The number of Chinese investors who wish to establish businesses in the Guyanese market has begun to decline, which could mean the influx of traders will soon stabilise.This is according to the Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), Owen Verwey, who noted that the amount of investments reaching the agency from China is fewer than that which was recorded a few years ago.“In terms of the Chinese Industries coming to Guyana, I think it’s more or less stabilised now. We don’t see as many as (we were) seeing before,” Verwey said.This, he said, is completely normal since there are instances when an influx of investors would flood the market to establish trades, and these numbers would later stabilise.“Presently, the situation is at the stabilisation level in Guyana, and the future will tell if these numbers would remain or decrease further.“As things change, you see an influx, and then starts to stabilise and it either stays at that level or it declines. I think it’s coming more focused and more planned within the intentions and strategies and policies of [the] Government of Guyana,” said Verwey.In November, China will be hosting its inaugural China International Import Expo, which is intended to merge exporters from around the world to determine what can be imported into the country. Presently, China is one of the largest manufacturing and exporting nations in the world, and hence the expo will provide a medium for the country to showcase its interests in the exports of other countries. For this, over 21 companies from Guyana will be participating.“On the international forum, there is the inaugural China International Import Expo which will be held (from) November 5-10. We had the launching of that in Guyana, the information is well out there, and we have about 21 companies from Guyana who will be attending with us. The big advantage of this event is (this is) the first time China is opening its economy to imports, and it’s actually allowing you to showcase what you have to send to China.”While the manufacturing industry is one of the emerging sectors in Guyana’s economy, Verwey explained, there are still some challenges, mainly in the cost of energy consumption as well as the consistency of the power supply. However, many of these projects are now in the initial stages, and produce results when they are completely established.“The cost of power is the number one issue. In our agency, manufacturing is one of the primary sectors that we look at, so anything manufacturing-related we tend to give attention. There are some activities that are going on at the early stages right now. Overall, manufacturing did have its challenges over a number of years, both energy cost and energy reliability affecting it, and the overall cost of production and shipping,” Verwey explained.
Kaieteur National Park ‘militarisation’… Chenapau residents feel threatened by soldiersBy Lakhram BhagiratThe heavy military presence in the Kaieteur National Park (KNP) is due to a “temporary operation” dealing with alleged mining in the reserve, according to Protected Areas Commission (PAC) Board Member Raquel Thomas-Caesar.In a Facebook post, Thomas-Caesar said, “…we don’t want the world to know we are going in as they would run away…there is mining in the park and there is a monitoring operation for a period (not permanent)…everyone knows this is a very sensitive issue for Chenapau Village and for the Gov’t and we all need to sit together as I have told Chenapau Village Council and work this out. Issues are sorted when people work together. This KNP has had a difficult history and there are some key issues to address.”Ranks of the Guyana Defence Force questioning two men who made their way from the Kurourung areaHowever, the residents of Chenapau Village, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), are up in arms against the operation since they are being prevented from traversing the generations-old trail through the Park. Village Chief Edward Mc Garrell said that residents feel threatened by soldiers sporting AK-47s and intimidating villagers accessing the Park.“People are feeling threatened because they cannot come and continue their livelihood meaning fishing, hunting, gathering within the park whereas there is a section in the park saying we got the right as Amerindian,” he said.“With the military presence in the area, we feel threatened, really threatened because we cannot continue our customs in the Park. I see no demarcation of the Kaieteur National Park and that is a stance I have been taking and we respect the signboard as the Park and all the members of my community respect the signboard as the Park,” he added.President’s orderA few weeks ago, President David Granger ordered the Guyana Defence Force, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and the Guyana Police Force to commence an operation to combat illegal mining in the protected park. During the operation, 21 residents of Chenapau were arrested while on the ancestral trail, none were caught mining, and they were brought to Georgetown where they were charged. President Granger, as an act of “goodwill” later instructed the dropping of the charges.The residents vehemently deny mining in the KNP, noting they have a much deeper emotional connection to the Park since it was their tribe that settled there. Toshao Mc Garrell said since the arrests the villagers have been suffering since the atmosphere was now fear-filled.“We have that right to pass through the Park at any time we want to go and gather even medicinal weeds; we cannot do it anymore because if we go into that bush, the military will arrest us and take us to Georgetown. The struggle is on and we are prepared to fight it, because the community is united and we are fighting for what is right for our people; the Government must recognise Kaieteur as a sacred site for us the Patamona nation,” the Patamona leader informed.Military base?This publication journeyed to the region to ascertain the facts associated with the villagers’ claim and upon arrival, was greeted by heavily armed members of the Joint Services, who have set up camp at the Kaieteur National Park Arrival Centre. It is unclear whether approval to set up camp was granted by the PAC, and efforts to confirm this proved futile.Tourists accessing the Arrival Centre were prevented from going to sections of the upper viewing balcony since it was being used to store military equipment and hang laundry. They were immediately greeted by boxer shorts on the rails upon entering the viewing area; some suggested it was the newest addition to the scenery.To get a better understanding of the effects of the restrictions, Michael Mc Garrell of the Amerindian Peoples Association took a personal trip to the area to investigate the complaints coming from the villagers. He told this publication the heavy military presence in the area only confirmed the villagers’ allegation of militarisation. “What this demonstrates is that Kaieteur is now a militarised zone and that the military have control of what is happening here and it is very unfortunate for us as a people to be going through something like that because Kaieteur was not intended to be something like this,” he said.He added that the area has now become a battleground between the military and the villagers since their rights were being violated without any consideration from the authorities. “The amount of control the military have here is disturbing. There is the Arrival Centre and the military have control of that. Is that what we want to show the world? Is that what people are coming to Kaieteur for, to be greeted by army personnel with AK-47s? Is this what we are promoting? Is this what we are showing the world? Kaieteur is not about that; we want the Army to be pulled from this location with immediate effect,” the Chenapau native said.Economic implicationsThe economic implications of the restrictions are clearly visible in the village, since almost all activities are at a complete standstill. The villagers are puzzled as it relates to the Government’s plans for their survival because they cannot hunt or fish.The villagers, particularly the women folk, are especially concerned about their next move when food and money run out.“We have to farm, fish, hunt or mine to provide for our families and right now we can’t farm because of the flood and now the soldiers come in here to harass us. What will we do?” Linda Williams related.Williams also said that the soldiers and, by extension, the administration were treating the villagers as though they were “bush hogs” by taking bread out of their mouths. The angry woman called for the President to ensure that they are allowed to access the traditional trail to prevent them from starving to death.“On the sign board it is stated that indigenous have all rights to go hunting, fishing and so forth and now they have a new law that we cannot encamp, pass by or anything. It is our main passageway to go elsewhere; if we are restricted from doing these things then it can lead to many things like violence, so we need Government to do something about it, because we cannot live in this way,” resident Greg Marco said.The President is yet to make a comment on the issue that has been in the public’s domain for approximately one month.
LANCASTER – The contributions keep coming for the victim of a Lancaster burglary in which cold-hearted culprits put her Chihuahua into a freezer. Kimberly Holzer, a Lancaster woman whose tiny 2-year-old pet Roxy survived being left in an industrial freezer when Holzer’s home was burglarized on Jan.31, was presented $800 this week from Lancaster sheriff’s station employees. Holzer’s east Lancaster home was ransacked during the burglary, and the intruders destroyed $600 worth of new maternity clothes. The wife of an Air Force technical sergeant stationed in Afghanistan, she is pregnant with twins. Holzer said she was overwhelmed by the deputies’ presentation Wednesday morning, noting that she had only been told in advance that station employees purchased toys for her dog. Sullivan said a neighbor who reported the burglary in progress could be eligible for a $1,000 reward from Lancaster city government for providing information leading to the arrests of five suspects in the case: a man, 20, and four minors, all from Lancaster. The reward is given in a conviction. Anyone with information about a suspected burglar or robber can call the sheriff’s tip hotline at (661)948-COPS. “I hope something good can come out of this whole incident,” Sullivan said. “If people see something that’s not supposed to be happening, call us.” email@example.com (661) 267-7802160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “It means a lot,” Holzer said. “The generosity in the Sheriff’s Department has been amazing, and it’s not just them. A lot of people have helped.” Edwards Air Force Base employees cooked dinner for her and repaired a broken door lock. A San Fernando Valley-based security company installed a free alarm service on Saturday. The $800 was raised by sheriff’s Deputy Melissa Sullivan and her partner, Deputy Lee Schriever, who responded last week to reports of the burglary at Holzer’s home. Sullivan found Roxy in the freezer. Sullivan said the donations she and Schriever collected far exceeded the goal of raising a few hundred dollars. A gift bag of toys for the dog also was presented to Holzer. “We just felt it was important to do this because it was so unbelievable how disgusting people could be,” Sullivan said.
In October he recorded covering 134 miles for a trip to Long Beach. Armenta has requested $33,597 in reimbursements over the past 32 months on travel-related expenses – $12,000 more than his next closest rival, former Councilman Pete Ramirez. Of the total amount paid for golf tournaments for all council members, almost half was spent for Armenta. “This issue is the one thing I’ve heard about the most since I got on the City Council,” Beilke said. “I personally think it’s the right thing to do. Conferences have value, but we keep breaking the record year after year, when compared to other cities. I doubt the value is the same.” Armenta denied his mileage records were off track, saying he often drove to “other parts of the cities” he visited and made stops along the way. He also said he would have voted against the resolution because “going to conferences is how I learn about things. “I’ve developed good relations with officials from other cities and those in Sacramento and Washington,” Armenta said. “I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve been within policy. And no, I haven’t overcharged the city. I believe in going to conferences to learn.” Meanwhile, Beilke spent a total of $18,989 over those 32 months while Salcido spent zero. Salcido said he voted against the resolution because it was “based on vengeance” against Armenta. firstname.lastname@example.org (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “We’re here to answer where the money is being spent,” Archuleta said. “They’re spending money on golf. It’s one thing if they’re spending it to gain knowledge at some of the conferences. Some are essential, but some may not be. “Maybe Pico Rivera can be an example to other cities,” he added. The amendment will also require city officials to make reimbursement requests within 15 city business days or forfeit the money. Beilke pointed to Armenta as the biggest abuser of city expense funds and one of the reasons he requested the resolution. According to city records, in February Armenta logged more than 450 miles for a trip to Santa Barbara – a trip that is actually only 214 miles roundtrip from Pico Rivera, according to Yahoo Maps. PICO RIVERA – Pico Rivera officials are now required to pay for their own golf fees while attending any city-related events and can only expect reimbursement for three educational conferences a year. At its regular meeting this week, the City Council voted 3-1 to approve a resolution amending the old reimbursement policy which allowed city money to be spent on things like golf fees – a luxury that can run upwards of $150 a person, according to city documents. Mayor Ron Beilke, Council members Gracie Gallegos-Smith and Bob Archuleta made up the majority, while Councilman Greg Salcido voted against the move. Councilman David Armenta was absent. The change is expected to save the city approximately $8,000 a year on a “needless and excessive” expense, said Archuleta.
talkSPORT transfer rumours and paper review Sunday, 30 November Here’s what the Sunday newspapers are reporting in the world of transfer rumours…Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard’s future looks increasingly uncertain as discussions over a new contract drag on. The 34-year-old former England captain’s deal expires in the summer and he could leave for free. (Mail on Sunday)Arsenal have targeted Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko, 25, as Gunners boss Arsene Wenger aims to add some strength to his side and bring in cover for 22-year-old Jack Wilshere, who could be out until March. (Sunday Times)The Gunners will switch their attentions to £8m-rated Ipswich Town defender Tyrone Mings in January if Man United beat them to the signing of Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels. (Mail on Sunday)Man City will hold talks about extending midfielder Frank Lampard’s loan at the club beyond January with the club’s manager, Manuel Pellegrini, keen to keep the 36-year-old. (Observer)City are also planning to bring in a left-back in January and are lining up a £17m move for Monaco left-back 22-year-old Layvin Kurzawa. (Daily Star on Sunday)Colombia striker Radamel Falcao, 28, has until April to convince Man United to pay £44m for him and turn his loan move from Monaco into a permanent switch. (Sunday Mirror)Man United face a difficult decision on whether to offer striker Javier Hernandez, 26, a new contract after learning Real Madrid will decline a permanent transfer. Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham are among those believed to be interested in the Mexican. (Sunday Express)Arsenal are willing to put in a £16m offer for Everton’s Republic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy. The 24-year-old pinpointed by Arsene Wenger and his coaching staff as a player who is ready-made for their team. (Mail on Sunday)West Brom boss Alan Irvine will join Everton counterpart Roberto Martinez in the race to sign 22-year-old Costa Rica striker Joel Campbell from Arsenal. (Sun on Sunday)Leicester City will compete with QPR as both clubs want to buy 32-year-old Toronto FC striker Jermain Defoe, who is apparently keen on a return to the Premier League. (Sun on Sunday)And here’s the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…Arsenal manager snaps at journalist after being quizzed about ‘Wenger out’ bannerReplacements for Man United flop FalcaoLiverpool and Tottenham joined by Serie A teams in battle for Ukraine star 1