More problems with Indian indentured Caribbean historiography

first_imgI think by now readers realise that Indian indentured historiography is fraught with problems, or at least this is my position on the scholarship. I will just discuss two more problems before I move on and share some thoughts on how we can move this field of study forward.The first problem is the deafening silence on unclaimed remittances, which I have addressed in this and other newspapers, particularly to the Indian and British High Commissioners in Guyana. Let me repeat briefly what I have said earlier and I will not stop until I hear something from these busy Commissioners. In the process, I ask that my call for unclaimed remittances should not be conflated with reparations.Whatever might have been the problems so associated with not remitting savings from indentured servants in British Guiana to their families in India, the point remains that the unclaimed remittances belonged to the indentured servants not the colonial government. There is overwhelming evidence to make a case to reclaim these remittances. The records show that thousands and thousands of pounds of remittances from indentured servants went unclaimed. The current leaders of indentured scholarship should at least ask the question: Where are the unclaimed remittances now, or what happened to them? They can even push for the holders (if they can be found) of these unclaimed remittances to hand them over so that they can be given to the descendants of indentured Indians in the Caribbean, especially in the impoverished communities. However, no one has even brought up these ideas, and the challenge to reclaim the unclaimed remittances remains a closet secret.The second problem, which I believe, is worse than the evils of indentureship because in some ways Indians are still dragging the chains of this demonic act. This act by the Indian government, which is practically absent from Indian historiography, is the shameful abandonment of indentured Indians during and after indentureship. Those Indians who chose to settle in the Indo-phone Caribbean lost their Indian citizenship.There seems to be no concrete explanation as to why the Indian government chose to take such action. One suspects that the Indian government was powerless since it was essentially a colonised government subjected to the more powerful British Imperial government. Certainly, more research and published studies on the Indian government’s policy of non-inclusion will bring awareness to one of the multitudes of maladies during Indian indentureship.Perhaps this question about the Indian government’s policy of non-inclusion should be posed to various Indian High Commission Offices in the Caribbean since it had dire consequences. The loss of citizenship made Indians feel “homeless” in the Caribbean. For example, in the 1960s in British Guiana when racial riots broke out between Africans and Indians, many Indians felt they had no government protection and no place to escape to, even to their former homeland.The Indian government now grants citizenship to overseas Indians, but this move is probably too late since a majority of Indians in the Caribbean have lost connections with India. If the Indian government had not denied Indian citizenship rights to the resident Indians in the Caribbean, a more meaningful connection would have been forged, culturally and otherwise, between India and the Caribbean through migration.Now, on the topic of what ought to be done. Well, the study of indentured Indian history in the Caribbean should follow a revisionist approach with the intention of not merely dismissing previous studies, but fostering a focus for enquiry to better understand and advance our knowledge of indentureship. The focus should be from the memory and narrative of indentured servants and less reliance on archival records, housed in former colonial mother countries and in the Caribbean. This approach will produce an alternative, if not an equally compelling, collective memory of indentureship. Put differently, there ought to be a better approach and a better, selective use of sources to deconstruct, in order to reconstruct historical narrative. This approach has the potential to produce a reconstruction different from the predominantly ongoing neo-slave scholarship.To illustrate, the use of colonial records to write indenture so far has shown that there was one or two Indian heroines during indenture, for example, the leadership role played by an Indian indentured woman named Janey Tetary on plantation Zorg en Hoop in Suriname. She was eventually killed by colonial authorities.Are we to believe that the movement of 500,000 Indians from their homeland to the Caribbean and eighty years of indentured experience produced only one outstanding female indentured servant? From the colonial perspective, this memory existed in limitation and marginalisation. However, the basic understanding to historical memory is that there are two sides, and while historical truths cannot be determined by what people tell us, both sides should certainly be examined to arrive at some degree of authenticity. ( read more

GECOM is dead with respect to functional transparency (Part 2)

first_imgDear Editor,There are still serious allegations involving the spending of more than one hundred million dollars in the purchasing of materials that were not used in the 2015 and 2016 Elections. Many serious pending issues include:* Several senior staff members are still at the GECOM Office ‘liming’ and collecting ‘fat’ salaries.* The fact that inside confidential sources are calling on the Auditor General’s Office to expose the millions of dollars that were paid out to phantom workers.* That not only are there reports of discriminated employment of persons to work at GECOM, but the ‘pay sheets’ are heavily padded with names of families and friends.The public is calling on the GECOM Commissioners to get rid of those at the Secretariat including Chief Election Officer Keith Lowenfield; the Manager of Administration and Support Services, Michelle Ward; and Chief Accountant Joseph Eastman, who were allegedly involved in the financial and procurement irregularities at the election management body.For the 2018 fiscal year, Parliament has approved $192.8 million on Capital Works, and it is hoped that the money would be properly utilized. Overall, $2 billion were approved for GECOM, and the administration is also expected to explain what it would do with the millions of dollars unspent for 2017.It is of note that allocations include $21 million for the upgrade of the IT Office, and a further $7.2million for the purchase of 40 desktop computers to replace the current system in Region #4. Inside sources are questioning the purchase of these computers and the development of the IT Office, which did not function during the 2015 General and Regional Elections and 2016 Local Government Elections.Much more will be written of GECOM spending and pilfering. Guyanese at home and in the diaspora have recognized and are already condemning ‘rigged elections’ approaches touted and implied by Granger’s attitude. The mere actions of this Government are synonymous with deep-seated fraudulent intent for the upcoming 2020 Elections. All must be alerted to guard against any of the beckoning dirty signals. Further, institutional arrangements must be put in place, and the many local and international organizations must be fully alerted and be ready to overlook in ensuring free and fair elections in Guyana.It is very clear that the litigation process was deliberately orchestrated by the APNU/AFC so as to create confusion and frustrate the work of GECOM. Guyanese must prepare to stand up and fight against ‘rigged elections’.Sincerely,Neil Kumarlast_img read more

Georgetown: “the City of dreamers”

first_imgDear Editor,In the United States, the City of Philadelphia is known as ‘the City of Brotherly Love’ whilst in France, Paris is known as the ‘City of Lights’. Here in Guyana, Georgetown should probably be known as ‘the City of Dreamers’.Driving along North Road or Church Street, one is forced to view the abandoned and ill-advised Presidential Park and the area identified for a proposed ‘Petting Zoo’, both of which represent a wanton waste of the Georgetown municipality’s’ supposedly scarce financial resources.One can no doubt recall the grandiose plans by the now on leave Town Clerk for the construction of a modern and fancy three-storied shopping mall with special entertainment facilities at the new vendors mall and a similar edifice with parking facilities for farmers, wholesalers and other merchants at Bourda Green as part of wider plans to solve the vending crisis in Georgetown. Of course, just another ‘pie in the sky’ idea.Then they were the impressive plans to establish a municipal training academy, which we were told will offer training to all officers through the Human Resource Department of City Hall. It was supposed to aid in alleviating the lack of professionalism and build stronger departmental arrangements within the institution. Well one just has to look at the dilapidated and decrepit City Police Training Centre on Water Street (the former House Service Department Building) to understand where this grand plan is going. As they say, talk is cheap, there is no reward for impractical wishes.Quite recently, the Mayor launched a fund to restore the iconic but derelict City Hall building, which is supposed to cost almost a billion dollars and managed by a special civic committee and which should have included corporate leaders, investors and other stakeholders from civil society. Well the Mayor has less than a month more in office, chunks of the building continue to fall off, and we hear nothing more of this special fund in spite of a high-priced mayoral dinner being held recently for this purpose.The clock on Stabroek Market was to be restored and reactivated, the area in front of the Stabroek Market was to be transformed into a civic square to be used as a place of recreation for citizens, the Kitty Market which was to be completed more than two years ago was to have air conditioning units, extractor fans and other means of ventilation, the meat and fish section of the market was to have refrigeration facilities, so as to meet public health standards, all just a sick joke.Now we learn of a proposal by City Hall to introduce a 24-hour garbage collection system within the commercial district of the city. If they can’t pay the contractors for an eight-hour service, could someone say where they will get the cash from to pay them to work 24 hours a day?Sincerely,Anu Biharilast_img read more

Beggars on the roads are increasing at too rapid a rate!

first_imgDear Editor,I wish to highlight a situation which is getting out of control and needs to be addressed ASAP by the Government and Social Protection Ministry.I am a professional who works out in the fields visiting several areas on the coast on a daily basis. I will give a synopsis of my typical day at work and highlight the number of beggars and homeless persons I interact with.I would start out on the East Coast and head to Georgetown. At the Conversation Street stoplight, I would be greeted by two guys whose feet are amputated and who are begging. At Lamaha Street and Vlissengen Road, I would see at least 2-3 mothers and child/children at the junction begging. At Lamaha and Camp Streets, there would be another two who are begging. At Water Street or downtown whilst parking, I would be greeted by at least 2 persons directing me into a parking space and expecting a tip when I return to my vehicle. They are usually unstable persons or junkies looking for a tip to buy drugs. At DSL junction, I would be greeted by at least 3-4 other beggars/homeless persons. At the Eccles stoplight, I would be confronted by another 2 beggars. At the Harbour Bridge junction, I would be bombarded by another 3-4 persons on both sides of the road. This brings the total to about 15-17 beggars per day that I am being bombarded by. This does not include those who harass me to clean my windshield daily for a little tip. I don’t have a problem giving a small change or tip but this is too much!This situation is getting out of control and I am calling on the Government and the Social Protection Ministry to get these persons off the streets and into a home. Some of them are mentally unstable and can cause harm to ordinary citizens. They can also be easily involved in an accident since they are usually at main junctions where traffic is very heavy. This also paints a very bad picture of our city and country. Imagine a tourist coming to Guyana for the first time to explore and is approached by 20 beggars on his first day of touring. What will he think about Guyana? I’m calling on the authorities to have some pride in Guyana and get these minor things sorted out which is having a major impact on our image as a country.Kind regards,R Ramkhelawanlast_img read more

Guyana committed to preserving effective AML/CFT regime – Jordan

first_imgGovernment has made a commitment to maintain an effective Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime that gives priority to effective supervision and enforcement of the laws.This view was expressed by Finance Minister Winston Jordan, who addressed participants at the opening of a three-day Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) National Risk Assessment workshop that commenced on Wednesday.Jordan made a commitment to move swiftly to enact the relevant legislation toFinance Minister Winston Jordan addressing participants at the opening of the Financial Intelligence Unit’s National Risk Assessment workshop on Wednesdayaddress new threats and vulnerabilities to money laundering.“I am very cognisant of the catastrophic macroeconomic effects that money laundering and financing of terrorism can have on our country, if left unnoticed and unattended,” he stated.He noted that they could impair the integrity and stability of the domestic financial system, the current and capital accounts of the balance of payments, and reduce legitimate financial inflows entering the country.But more importantly, these offences also have the potential to drastically reduce the Government’s actual revenue collection and negatively affect investment and, ultimately, distort economic growth.“And so, it is to safeguard against these eventualities that the Government of the Guyana has been making stringent efforts to strengthen the country’s AML/CFT regime, through appropriate enactments and amendments to the relevant laws,” he added.The Minister told participants that sharp prudential standards have caused international banking institutions to avoid reputational risks and penalties by reducing or severing their relationships with jurisdictions that are perceived to be high risk, on account of inadequate AML/CFT regimes.He explained that many developing countries, including Guyana, were adversely affected by this de-risking practice. Some local financial institutions either have completely lost or have reduced relationships with their correspondent banks.“This development creates difficulties, including higher cost for individuals and businesses involved in the trade of goods and services, including remittances. In this regard, an efficient anti-money laundering regime will protect our country from the severity of the de-risking practice and sustain the level of development in the county.”Meanwhile, Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams urged participants not to take the risk-based approach for granted, but encouraged them to use it as a catalyst for positive change.The workshop was also addressed by Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Country Representative Sophie Makonnen and World Bank Senior Financial Sector Specialist Stuart Yikona, who both commended Guyana for its effort to tackle money laundering.A working group has completed a comprehensive analysis of Guyana’s money laundering and financing of terrorism risks. The National Action Plan prepared by the team will not only satisfy the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendation, but it will also form the basis for the efficient allocation of the country’s scarce financial resources.The National Assembly in 2015 had passed the Anti-Terrorism and Terrorist Related Activities Bill, the AML/CFT (Amendment) Bill No 1 and 2, and the AML/CFT Regulations.Currently, a draft amendment bill to the AML/CFT Act is being prepared to ensure that the assets and funds of terrorists or terrorist organisations are immediately frozen by the court.last_img read more

Curtain down on Schumi’s colourful career

first_img0Shares0000SAO PAULO, Brazil, November 26 – Michael Schumacher bade an emotional farewell to Formula One on Sunday after finishing seventh in the Brazilian Grand Prix, bringing down the curtain on his controversial, colourful career.After 21 years, seven drivers’ championship triumphs and 91 victories, the 43-year-old recovered from an early puncture to score points in his final outing with the Mercedes team. In an incident-packed race, Schumacher fell to the back of the field in the opening laps but climbed to sixth before being passed by title-bound fellow-German, and good friend, Sebastian Vettel.“I think it’s a nice ending,” he said. “I’m finishing off and he’s (Vettel) clinching his third title. I’m very proud of him, he’s a good friend of mine.“My emotions are under control at the moment, maybe later having a drink and hugging the mechanics it’ll become more sentimental but I’m looking forward to life after Formula One now.“It’s been a pretty big challenge in this race because obviously I had the puncture and was at the back again… It took some memories back to 2006 when the same thing happened to me.“Luckily I have the nature of not giving up and always trying to find a solution, and it worked out. In a way it does remind me of 2003 when I had a similar struggle and just managed by a point to win the championship.”He smiled as he looked back on his thrilling fight with 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus during the race.“People are here to see a show, so you might as well put one on,” added Schumacher.“Give it a go and give it the maximum. I was having a go, and at certain moments you need to accept that there isn’t the space and admit defeat.”He added that he had enjoyed his “second career” with Mercedes.“It’s been a beautiful time. Lots of exciting moments we shared, and lots of tough moments. The most incredible thing in a way is that I felt a lot of support in these last three years and they have been the most difficult years for me. But the fans have always been behind me.”For Schumacher’s fans, as in 2006 when he first retired, there was an air of disappointment about his exit from the sport because it came not by choice, but circumstance.When he retired after the Brazilian Grand Prix six years ago, it was because Ferrari had made clear they were signing Raikkonen from McLaren.This time around, it was another McLaren driver, Lewis Hamilton, who had to be accommodated by the German’s departure as Mercedes build for the future.“It’s a strange sort of coincidence that I’ve ended my Formula One career now in seventh, which was my first ever qualifying result at Spa-Francorchamps,” said Schumacher.“It also occurs to me that I was driving with the number seven on my car today and that I have seven world championship trophies in my cabinet.“Even under these difficult conditions, my final Formula One race was tremendous fun, and I would once again like to thank the team and all my fans for their support over the past years. I’ve enjoyed the time we’ve spent together very much indeed.”After 307 races, few drivers are without the bruises to show as proof of their scraps with the man Mercedes team chief Ross Brawn this week described as “probably the best Formula One driver of all time”.Brawn was with Schumacher at both Benetton and Ferrari and is widely regarded as the architect of his seven championship triumphs — a haul that is unlikely to be challenged in the near future.“In terms of results, his second spell in Formula One hasn’t been as special but it has been so for all of us who have had the privilege of working with him,” said Brawn after Sunday’s race.“It has been a real honour for all of the boys and girls at our team, and working alongside Michael gives you a real understanding of why he is so special and has achieved seven world championships.”Brawn had paid a glowing tribute to Schumacher on the eve of the race.“Having worked with Michael for the majority of the 21 seasons of his career, I feel that he is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Formula One driver of all time.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Loss of life

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! This is the good news: Gang crime in Los Angeles is down, and gang killings have dropped nearly a third, according to a five-month analysis by the LAPD. Overall, homicides have dropped about a quarter. Still trying fend off criticism of his officers’ out-of-control behavior at the May Day protest, Police Chief William Bratton reported the drop last week, a month earlier than the typical half-yearly report. He wanted to show the public that on its biggest public safety concern, his anti-gang efforts are working because he’s put more officers on gang-busting detail. But before jumping up and down, here’s the bad news: Gangs are still killing people in large numbers, and the city still doesn’t have a program that keeps kids out of gangs. Indeed, 148 people have lost their lives in gang-related killings since January — 16 of them in the San Fernando Valley alone. And gangs still have an inordinately large hold over too many of Los Angeles’ neighborhoods, casting a heavy dark shadow on the city. This is not the LAPD’s fault. A 30 percent reduction in gang slayings is a commendable feat. But it is a commentary that police action alone won’t end the stranglehold gangs have on this city. It’s all the more reason for L.A.’s politicians and civic leaders to support Controller Laura Chick’s gang resources audit and to move rapidly to adequately fund programs that provide effective alternatives to gangs. We know that many anti-gang programs aren’t working, but we don’t know what does work, so we can build on that success. The loss of life caused by gang violence in Los Angeles can be measured in more than just the physical count of bodies at the morgue. It’s the loss of opportunity for every boy or girl who winds up with a criminal record and no job skills. It’s the loss of freedom and hope that young offenders at county Juvenile Hall lament on paper as part of the InsideOUT Writers program. Kudos to Bratton and the police who have made a dent in this seemingly intractable gang-related crime. Now it’s up to the rest of us in the community — the politicians, the schools, the parents, the churches and the businesses — to do the rest. Together we can effect a cultural revolution that makes gang life a thing of Los Angeles’ past.last_img read more

Juventus make contact with Valencia over a move for Liverpool target

first_img1 Shkodran Mustafi is being tracked by a number of clubs in Europe Juventus have made contact with Valencia over a move for Liverpool target Shkodran Mustafi.The Germany international is being tracked by a number of clubs in Europe and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has apparently made it clear to the club’s owners that he wants the defender at Anfield next season.However, according to Tuttosport, Juventus also want to add Mustafi to their ranks this summer and are prepared to offer Roberto Pereya to Valencia as part of the deal.Having already bought Joel Matip from Schalke, Klopp is planning on further defensive reinforcements this summer and sees Mustafi as one for the future.However, Juventus are now clear favourites to land Mustafi as they can offer him Champions League football next season and the player is understood to be eager on a return to Italy, having spent two years at Sampdoria.last_img read more

Williams likely successor

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsCouncil members said they had qualified candidates already working at City Hall in Williams and the city’s other assistant city manager, Carol Seidl, and did not need to conduct a nationwide search. “I let it be known I was interested,” Williams said. “I’ve been with the city for 19 years, the last 3 1/2 as assistant city manager. I’ve been deeply involved with the inner workings of the city and have been a part of the positive progress.” Council members said Williams, who has been with the city since 1987, is familiar with major issues, such as the two massive, master-planned communities in development – Anaverde and Ritter Ranch. “I personally think he has proven himself,” Councilman Steve Knight said of Williams. “Steve is a good man, no doubt about it.” The proposed contract would keep Williams as city manager through Jan. 7, 2010. The agreement has provisions for automatic three-year extensions unless the council or Williams direct otherwise. Among the benefits included in the contract would be a six-month severance payment, an annual cost-of-living raise and a $600-per-month car allowance. PALMDALE – Assistant City Manager Steve Williams is being eyed by the City Council to take over as Palmdale’s first new city manager in 20 years. At its meeting Wednesday, the City Council will consider promoting Williams to succeed City Manager Bob Toone, who will retire in January. Under a proposed 38-month contract, Williams would be paid $215,000 a year. “Steve Williams is an asset to this community and a proven leader,” Councilman Tom Lackey said. “He’s familiar with the culture and goals of the community.” Williams’ contract would become effective the next day, but Toone would still retain a ceremonial title of city manager through Dec. 1, his 20th anniversary with the city. Although Toone would turn over the city manager duties to Williams on Thursday, he would remain with the city through Jan. 5. After Toone’s ceremonial title of city manager ends on Dec. 1, he would be designated “special assistant to the City Council and city manager.” In addition to providing support and advice to Williams during the transition period, Toone would handle questions, issues and special assignments as requested by Williams or the City Council. Williams was hired to establish Palmdale’s Public Works Department in 1987, when the population was 33,000 and local streets and roads were maintained by Los Angeles County. The city now has more than 130,000 residents. Williams left the city for a few weeks in 1990 when he took a job with a mining company in Indonesia, but returned after deciding that the environment was not right for his wife and three children. During Williams’ tenure as public works director, the city completed $300 million in improvements, including the Palmdale Playhouse, the Palmdale Youth Library and the renovation of the Cultural Center. Williams was named one of two assistant city managers, along with Seidl, in a city reorganization in 2003. In that capacity, Williams has been the city’s point man on a number of issues, including handling issues related to the Anaverde development and overseeing an effort to establish a power plant. james.skeen@dailynews (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgTHREE GARDAI have been hailed heroes after they pulled a woman alive from a frozen lake – while driving back from court!The trio from Letterkenny Garda station were on their way from Dungloe Court in an official Garda van on Tuesday at 11.30am when they noticed a woman in Dungloe lake.Two of the officers, Garda Paul McGee and Darren Carter who are both in their 20s, waded into the icy waters in full Garda clothing and rescued the woman from the lake. Their colleague, Garda Sean Mulroe, then helped the pair to take the woman ashore.The woman, who is in her 50s, was taken to Letterkenny General Hospital where she received treatment.Eye-witness  Benito Colangelo, who lives overlooking the lake, said the Gardai deserve medals for bravery.“When it approached the lake I could see the van turning and went to the lake. Three of the Garda got out of the van and two jumped straight into the lake. “I was on the phone and I immediately put the phone down and ran outside to see if I could help. There was a lady in the water which they pulled out and saved her life.“All praise to the two Gardai that jumped it. They were in full Garda gear, didn’t have time to take anything off and it was ice cold.“They put the woman’s safety ahead of their own and they certainly deserve praise for it,” he said.A Garda source confirmed an incident took place at Dungloe Lake but said the three Gardai involved wanted to play down the incident.“It was a miracle that the three lads just happened to be driving past at the time. They certainly saved her life but they want to play the incident down,” he said. EndsHEROIC GARDA TRIO SAVE WOMAN FROM DUNGLOE LAKE was last modified: January 12th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more