Heritage Month Interfaith Service marred by controversial presentation

first_imgBy Devina SamarooIt was high drama on Wednesday evening when a Pandit made some startling remarks at the Heritage Month Interfaith Service, prompting the Adviser to the Indigenous Affairs Minister, Mervyn Williams to walk out, completely offended.The Interfaith Prayer Service, which was held at the Amerindian Heritage Village in Sophia, is an annual event that ushers in the celebrations of Amerindian Heritage Month.Pandit Deodatt TillackBut this year’s event was far from traditional after Pandit Deodatt Tillack of the Shri Samayapuram Mariamma Temple took to the stage to offer his contributions to the service.In examining this year’s theme “Our Culture, Earth’s Future – Save the Environment, Live the Indigenous Way”, Pandit Tillack declared to the amusement of sections of the audience that US oil giant ExxonMobil was here to rob the environment and that persons must beware.Most shocking, however, was when he declared that the indigenous way is characterised by paedophilia.“I was reliably informed that in Amerindians’ tradition and culture, and please I stand to be correct, that a girl as soon as she enters puberty, she must be equipped with these fundamental knowledge: she must know how to make the pepper-pot, the cassava bread and she must also know how to warm the bed…,” he stated.At this point, a visibly upset Williams rose from his seat up in front and walked out of the benab.Perhaps oblivious to the alarmed expressions on the faces of the audience, the Pandit went on to highlight that these practices were against the laws of the country.“While they seem it is okay for you to get married at 12, or a 17-year-old boy to marry a 12-year-old girl; our Constitution speaks against that…and according to the criterion that meets the criteria of paedophilia is that the person has to be five years older than the victim,” he stated.In wrapping up his speech, the Pandit charged that good qualities were the best garment, and urged everyone to decorate themselves with them.InappropriateThe Ministerial Adviser was standing outside the benab trying to comprehend what had just transpired when the media exited.Approached for a comment on the matter, he told media operatives that the presentation was utterly inappropriate for the prayer service.“I was extremely uncomfortable, because I believe this to be a very sacred occasion. It is invoking the blessings of God Almighty under whatever name you call him on this activity and I think there was a misconception of some issues, and I believe that those issues, having been misconceived, lead to an inappropriate presentation,” Williams explained.He posited that the Pandit should have sought clarity ahead of the presentation.“I think it was perhaps misinformation and perhaps the absence of some clarification led to this inappropriateness. I believe if one is going to speak to an issue, I believe it is in one’s best interest to seek clarification on all the details one requires before making the presentation,” he stated.Moreover, Williams indicated that he strongly disagreed that the culture to which the Pandit alluded did not exist.Respecting opinionsIndigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock, when approached for a comment on the situation, simply noted that everyone has their own opinions.“Everybody has an opinion and that’s their opinion. For me personally, these things do happen. It’s a multiracial society and this is just one of those things to encourage dialogue,” he stated.President’s takePrompted for his position on the situation, President David Granger expressed that the indigenous people should speak for themselves regarding their cultural practices.“I think every ethnic group has its own cultural and religious customs and rituals. It is my view that the best people to speak about their own cultures are the people themselves. Sometimes when we go outside of our cultural boundaries there be some practices which we won’t comprehend. I agree that it is common that we are one people and that we should understand each other better. But in the particular matter that you refer to, I would prefer that the indigenous people speak for themselves,” the President stated.Generally, Granger also urged that individuals should broaden their knowledge and learn to understand and appreciate the country’s diverse cultures, especially before speaking definitively on them.PrayersThe controversy aside, the Interfaith Service was marked by prayers and cultural presentations from a number of Amerindian groups and religious organisations.Prayers were offered by the Hallejuah Group Tasserene, the Baha’i community, the Anglican Church, the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha, the Muslim community, and the Guyana Rastafarian Council.Various groups also presented Arecuna, Akawaio, Patamona, Makushi, Wapishana and WaiWai prayers.last_img read more

Guyana Balance of Payment deficit widens

first_imgEconomic report shows– deficit moves from US$53M to US$69MBy Jarryl BryanWith the release of the 2017 macro-economic report, the 2.1 per cent growth rate is not the only thing of concern. The report shows that the deficit in Guyana’s balance of payments, an important economic indicator, is on the rise.The Balance of Payments report contains statistical data on a country’s fiscal transactions, including imports and exports. To record a deficit, Guyana would therefore have had to spend more on imports, among other things, that it derived from exports.According to the report, Guyana’s overall balance of payment in the 2017 fiscal year showed a deficit of US$69.5 million. This is a hike when compared to US$53.3 million the previous year. A breakdown of the figures shows stunning disparities.On the one hand, the current account shows a deficit of US$287.4 million for the year 2017. But in the previous fiscal year, the report notes, this was just US$12.4 million. The report admits that this is because of a negative balance on the merchandise trade account.“The further weakening was due to the negative balance on the merchandise trade account. Merchandise exports were slightly lower than projected, mainly on account of lower export earnings of gold and other exports in the last two months of the year.”When Finance Minister Winston Jordan presented the 2018 budget last year, he had announced that merchandise imports were estimated to grow by 9.6 per cent. This had been attributed to increased imports of mining machinery, chemicals, fuel and lubricants. According to the report, imports exceeded the Government’s projections.“Imports were slightly more than the US$1.59 billion projected at the time of the presentation of the 2018 budget. As a result, the merchandise trade deficit of US$196.2 million was considerably higher than the projected deficit of US$147.2 million.“Notwithstanding, the deficit on the services account was lower than estimated. The improvement in the services account more than offsets the weaker balances on both the non-factor services and unrequited transfers accounts,” the report states.Capital accountWhile the Current Account is nothing to boast about, the Capital Account improved. The report notes that it showed a surplus of US$228 million, an increase from a deficit of US$13.2 million in 2016. It also exceeded a projected surplus of US$181.8 million.This publication had recently done an article on the state of Guyana’s net foreign reserves. A recent report from the Central Bank had indicated that Guyana’s net foreign reserves, held by the bank in foreign currency notes, have fallen to their lowest point since 2008. The reserves went from a high point of US$825 million in 2012 to US$498.5 million as at March 2018.A perusal of the Bank of Guyana’s statistical abstract shows that the reserves started dropping in 2013, going from $751.2 million in that year to $652.2 million in 2014. It is in 2017 that the reserves plunged well into the US$500 million range.By November of last year, the reserves were recorded at US$562 million. And as at March 2018, for the first time since 2008, the net foreign reserves fell to below the US$500 million benchmark. Interestingly enough, the end-of-year report details that US$12.1 million was drawn down from the reserves to finance the balance of payments.“The 2017 balance of payments deficit was financed by exceptional financing of US$1.9 million in debt relief and US$55.6 million in debt forgiveness, along with a drawdown of US$12.1 million in net foreign assets of the Bank of Guyana,” the report states.“Additionally, gross revenues of the Bank of Guyana were equal to about 3.1 months of import cover at the end of 2017; slightly above the three-month minimum benchmark for reserve adequacy.”The Parliamentary Opposition had previously expressed concern over the increasing deficit in the country’s balance of payments, which it had said would continue to have serious implications for the local economy.last_img read more

This was the hardest game of my life- Oliech

first_img“This was the most difficult match of my life. Not even the numerous Harambee Stars games,” Oliech told Capital Sport just after the game against Mathare.He added; “This was my first match and the most important thing for me was the impact I was to make. People were expecting a lot and that made it more difficult. The competitive feeling is coming back slowly and I think I am building up nicely.”“Coming off the bench, from experience is very tough. But, I expect to start on Wednesday against Posta Rangers.”Oliech, still panting form the rigorous warm down he was put through as well as the other substitutes who played under half an hour said he was delighted to make his debut for Gor and furthermore mark a return to the Kenyan Premier League.Dennis Oliech dribbles towards goal during his debut during a Kenyan Premier League match against Mathare United on January 6, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya“It was nice. I remember when I was starting off as a 17-year old, I used to play 10, 15 minutes and I slowly built on that. It is the same now,” a delighted Oliech stated.Coming on, Oliech caused some jitters to the Mathare United backline and coach Francis Kimanzi admitted as much, that he had to guide his young backline to contain the mental fist-fights that came with the striker’s entrance.“It was a psychological thing which tried to disturb my boys but we had prepared well mentally for it, that we don’t care who plays but they play against Mathare United,” said the tactician.With a target of scoring more than 20 goals, Oliech says his biggest ambition is to help Gor retain the KPL title and personally for him to win a title after a long time in his career.“My focus now is on helping Gor Mahia win the league. Personally, I want to win a trophy because it has been so long since that happened. The last time I won a title was in 2010 when we won the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in Mwanza with Harambee Stars. I want that feeling all over again,” he noted.Dennis Oliech moves around the pitch closely guarded by Mathare United defender Andrew Juma when he made his debut during a Kenyan Premier League match on January 6, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaCommenting on whether or not he will be ready to step into the national team for an opportunity to play at the Cup of Nations, Oliech says that will only count as a bonus as it is not on his mind.Oliech scored the all-important goal against Cape Verde that took Kenya to it’s last ever African Cup of Nations in 2004 and was also on the score sheet netting the second goal as Kenya beat Burkina Faso 3-0 for its only win in the tournament staged in Tunisia.“For me, I am not thinking about that very much now. My focus is on Gor Mahia and helping the team do well in the league and continentally. That will come later,” he further stated.0Shares0000(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Dennis Oliech points out tactics to his teammates when he made his debut during a Kenyan Premier League match against Mathare United on January 6, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 6 – Having made his debut for Gor Mahia on Sunday evening in a 1-1 draw against Mathare United at the Kasarani Stadium, Harambee Stars legend Dennis Oliech has described it as the hardest game in his life, especially having stayed for close to two years without club football.Oliech came in for Nicholas Kipkurui after 67 minutes and had some flushes of brilliance and should have twice had a goal on his debut, first as he dived in to a Boniface Omondi cross while in the second opportunity, a forest of Mathare defenders blocked his view as he went for a shot from close range.last_img read more

DDTV – BACK IN DONEGAL THE FANS ARE GOING NUTS!

first_imgAlmost 2,000 fans gathered in Ballyshannon to watch Donegal beat Mayo to take the Sam Maguire back home after 20 years.A large screen was erected in the town’s square and fans cheered every score as JIm McGuinness and the boys claimed a second All Ireland. Many thanks to our friends in Wallace Media for the video footage.Simply CLICK to play for all of today’s events. DDTV – BACK IN DONEGAL THE FANS ARE GOING NUTS! was last modified: September 23rd, 2012 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

GOLF NEWS: OTWAY CLUB NOTES

first_imgWintery conditions awaited the brave souls who ventured out in the scramble last Sunday in search of the elusive festive bird, with a few participants questioning their sanity, and others inquiring how much did a turkey cost, because 18 holes on a day like that just seemed like a high price to pay, especially for those of us that got no reward at the end ! But as usual, it turned out not to be as bad as it looked at first, and for three hardened soldiers, the battle with the elements was worth it. The winning team of Dan Canning, Shaun Sweeney and Noel Kiernan returned a very impressive score of nine under par to blow the rest of the field away and claim the prize. With Dan’s big tee shots and Shaun’s accurate approach shots, they defeated the elements and secured the turkey for Christmas day for the three of them. Everyone else will have to just keep trying, starting again this Sunday at Otway, with names in to the clubhouse by 11.45 for a 12 noon tee-off ! GOLF NEWS: OTWAY CLUB NOTES was last modified: October 31st, 2012 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) Tags:OTWAY GOLF CLUB NOTESlast_img read more

ARLENE AND JOSEPH ON THE GOLD DOUBLE FOR FINN VALLEY

first_imgArlene Crossan, centre, grabs more goldAthlone IT is a Mecca nowadays for our track and field athletes – a new state of the art facility to international standard.And last weekend that’s where the journey that is a weekly remit in athletics began.Topping Finn Valley AC’s medal tally was Arlene Crossan who took gold in the 400m with a personal best time of 57.6! She also landed gold in the long jump – with a few centimetres to spare.Said Patsy McGonagle: “You are always observing year on year to ascertain if the talented youth athlete of the previous years are progressing and yes Arlene had and she would be aware she can build on this – there is progress.”Progress also from another star from 2015 Janine Boyle a new pb and indeed a Donegal senior 60m record 7.54 silver behind a girl that posted a new Irish youth record 7.42. Molly Scott.Janine had earlier medalled long jump and was just about to edge ahead in the 200m final when she lost her balance so in true grit style she dusted herself down and is ready to prove her worth over 100/200 outdoors. The other aspect of a championship is to check if there should be a new kid on the block and again its a yes – as a young lad who attends Sessiaghoneill NS Joseph Gillespie early Saturday went clear all the way to 1.56m – setting a new Irish U13 high jump record – and taking gold!The previous record of 1.51m had been set in 2003.Then later he was to get up on the final round of the long jump and took bronze.But Joseph wasn’t finished there.Overnight time on Saturday to consider the challenge of the hurdles on the Sunday. He won his heat and late in the afternoon whizzed out of the blocks to return a 9.72 winning run for another gold on a weekend he will never forget.Other medal performances include a silver in 600m for Hannah Murray having finished 4th 60m on the Saturday.Danny Browne took a bronze in the 200m and Aine Kerr a bronze in the long jump..Other interesting aspects were 3 Valley athletes in top 6 u 14 long jump – Michaela Byrne, Lauren Callaghan and Cate Smyth. Valley had an interest in sprints, middle distance,shot,walks,jumps,hurdles but with the final aspect of the programme next Saturday again back in the Midlands thoughts will turn to the challenge of outdoor competition, progress, qualification and success at nationals and youth international appearances in many cases. Coaches, parents and athletes take a bow!ARLENE AND JOSEPH ON THE GOLD DOUBLE FOR FINN VALLEY was last modified: March 15th, 2016 by John2Share 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)Tags:Arlene CrossanFinn Valley ACJoseph Gillespielast_img read more

DDTV SPORT: DONEGAL’S CARL McHUGH SAYS HE CAN’T WAIT TO PLAY FOR MOTHERWELL

first_imgDonegal lad Carl McHugh has had many highs in his career to date.But his switch to SPL side Motherwell is a huge step for the 23 year old. He reveals what the move means for himself and his family and how he plans to make the most of it.Simply click on the video to view.DDTV SPORT: DONEGAL’S CARL McHUGH SAYS HE CAN’T WAIT TO PLAY FOR MOTHERWELL was last modified: July 6th, 2016 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) Tags:Carl McHughdonegalmotherwelllast_img read more

DONEGAL BUSINESSMAN ORDERED TO PAY BANKS MASSIVE €12M!

first_imgOne of Donegal’s best-known and most-respected businessmen has been ordered to pay back a staggering €12 million to the banks.Letterkenny man Brendan Gildea has been battling with National Irish Bank for a number of months in the courts.However the commercial court yesterday granted a summary order for almost €12 million against the developer to National Irish Bank. Another order for approximately €6 million was granted against Mr Gildea’s wife Tessie arising from the couple’s personal guarantee of the debts of their property company.There was no appearance by or on behalf of Mr Gildea, his wife Tessie and their company, Brendan Gildea Ltd (in receivership), all with addresses at Brookside Villas, Magherennan, Letterkenny, when the bank’s proceedings came before Mr Justice Peter Kelly at the Commercial Court yesterdayMr Gildea has been very ill for some time and could not appear at previous court cases because of his condition.He had been in business across Co Donegal for more than 30 years and built some of the most highly-regarded projects and housing states in recent years.EndsDONEGAL BUSINESSMAN ORDERED TO PAY BANKS MASSIVE €12M! was last modified: October 18th, 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) Tags:BRENDAN GILDEANational Irish Banklast_img read more

JUDGE RELAXES CURFEW TO ALLOW TEEN TO GO TO HALLOWEEN PARTY

first_imgA teenager who appeared before Letterkenny District Court is to be allowed to go to a Halloween Ball after a Judge relaxed his curfew hours.Solicitor Patsy GallagherThe 16 year old, who cannot be named, appeared before the court on a public order charge. Gardai asked the court to order the man to observe a curfew between the hours of 8am and 8pm each day and to sign on at Letterkenny Garda Station twice a week.However Judge Paul Kelly agreed to give the youth an extra hour until 9pm each evening.The youth then asked if he could be allowed to extend the curfew until 10pm but this was refused.Through his solicitor, Mr Patsy Gallagher, the teen then asked of he would be allowed to go to a Halloween Ball this Friday night at the Golden Grill Nightclub in Letterkenny.Judge Kelly considered the request and was told the event finished at midnight.He agreed to allow the teenager to go to the party but told him the curfew was only extended until 12.30am for the night.Judge Kelly said he was sure there would be Gardai in the area that night keeping an eye on proceedings.Garda Inspector David Kelly said they were aware of the defendant’s address and could always send a car around to his house at 12.30am to ensure he was home.JUDGE RELAXES CURFEW TO ALLOW TEEN TO GO TO HALLOWEEN PARTY was last modified: October 20th, 2014 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) Tags:donegalGardaiHalloween BallLetterkenny CourtPatsy Gallagheryouthlast_img read more

Montebello to plan housing around resources

first_img “But we haven’t finalized our plans,’ he said. “There are a lot of constraints and variables associated with this property, and we’re still in the planning stage.’ At the committee’s meeting, Ruben Lopez, the city’s director of community development, explained the complexities involved with the oil company’s land. Obstacles and considerations to overcome before any development could proceed include a hilly landscape, working oil wells that would require cleanup, a high-pressure gas line beneath the ground, power lines for Southern California Edison and the endangered bird’s sensitive habitat. Because of the inherent challenges of the property, out of 480 acres, the oil company is only looking to develop 140 acres, Molinari said. “The birds’ nests are not contiguous; they’re spread out over the site,’ he said. “The feds are negotiating about 200 acres to be set aside for the environment, so they’ll be wanting to build the highest density possible with what’s left.’ Belinda Faustinos, executive director of a local branch of California’s Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, was optimistic that all parties’ interests could be met. “The federal government has jurisdiction because of the endangered-species aspect of the land,’ Faustinos said. “We have to wait for the (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) to finalize their review of the plan and determine a timeline. No one can do anything until the amount of land required for the gnatcatcher’s habitat is determined.’ Whatever the outcome, plenty of time remains for input from all interested parties, City Manager Richard Torres said. “It will be the end of this decade before the first shovel of dirt is turned over,’ he said. @tagline columnist:Pam Wight can be reached at (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029, or by e-mail at pam.wight@sgvn.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Margot Eiser, vice chairwoman of the task force and longtime resident of Montebello, said that because the city is working on a new General Plan, her organization wants to ensure that Montebello designates open space as part of any deal made with the oil company. “The idea of this Sierra Club task force is to bring awareness to how important it is to save some land for low-impact passive use,’ she said. “People should understand it’s not just for nature and ecological reasons, but for historical reasons. There’s evidence that the Tongva people, and other native peoples, lived there. Plus, there are mine shafts and fossils. It’s an important place, historically.’ Bryan Stanek, land manager for Plains Exploration, said residents and the Sierra Club will be pleased with the amount of open space his company is planning to keep for the future project, although he declined to define it by acreage. “The plan is a balance between open space and reasonable development,’ Stanek said. “We’ve put a lot of thought and science into how to proceed and we’ve left a significant amount of open space, with things like trails from the edges of the property into the recreational facilities nearby. A local arm of the Sierra Club is demanding a place at the table with city officials and property owners regarding development plans for the Montebello Hills – one of the largest undeveloped spaces in Los Angeles County. The environmentally sensitive area is home to the gnatcatcher, a bird that is on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s endangered species list. Activists and members from the Sierra Club’s Montebello Hills Preservation Task Force and the state’s Rivers and Mountains Conservancy insisted on an invitation to a recent meeting of the PXP Committee, which was formed by Montebello Mayor Bill Molinari. The committee is charged with facilitating information between the city and the Montebello Hills’ owner, oil company Plains Exploration and Production Co. (the company for which the PXP Committee is named) regarding the company’s development plans. last_img read more