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Llewellyn, Jordan push PoS to title

Sports - 7 hours 22 min ago

Kianna Llewellyn and Janika Jordan picked up multiple medals in their respective age-groups to help Port-of-Spain dominate the Atlantic National Primary Schools Championships.

The duo sped across the track at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, to each cop three gold medals which guided their district to 439 points to claim the title, a narrow 16 points more than Caroni which tallied 423. Third was favourite Tobago with 372. Filling the other places respectively were Victoria (301), St Patrick (282.50), St George East (278), North East (268) and South East (164.50).

Llewellyn completed the sprint double winning the Girls 100 metres dash in 12.71 seconds to comfortably beat Kevah Scott of Tobago into second in 13.08 and third was Victoria’s Akeila Phillip in 13.22.
In the afternoon session, Llewellyn returned to clock 26.82 to ease to victory in the 200m to cross ahead of Taneka Bonnett of North East (28.06) and Victoria’s Sydney Horsford (28.90), respectively.

Later, Llewellyn running the final leg in the Girls 800 Sprint Medley 13-15 relay while partnered with Tia Lewis, Darielle Prescod and Dominique Stewart won gold in a time of 3:29.31. North East was second in 3:31.01 and Tobago third in 3:33.60.

Jordan sprinted to victory in the Girls Under-13 100m and in the 400m event. Jordan was tested by Janae De Gannes but she pulled ahead to win in 12.75 ahead of the Tobagonian in 12.84 while Sierra Joseph (Victoria) was third in 12.98.

In the one-lap race, her 1:01.93-clocking earned her the top of the podium a second time in the morning session. Gianna Paul (St George East) was the runner-up in 1:03.05 and Keneisha Shelbourne (Caroni) crossed third in 1:04.71.

Jordan’s third gold came in the Girls U-13 4x100m relay when she ran the second leg in combining with Fatimah Springer, Shakira Joseph and Abigail Burton to speed across the line in 51.94, to beat Victoria (54.55) and Caroni (54.57).

Sprinter Jenna Thomas also starred on the day winning three gold medals and a bronze in the Girls U-11 category. Her wins came in the 100m, 200m and 300m in her individual events and she ran the opening leg in Caroni’s third-place finish in the Girls U-11 4x100m relay in 58.26. Capturing gold was Port-of-Spain in 56.51 and the silver medallist was North East in 57.56.

J’Nae Bertete (Port-of-Spain) also won two gold medals in the Girls U-9 category, winning the 60m (9.58) and 100m (15.28).

Kyle Williams of St George East was another athlete copping double gold in the Boys U-13 division, dominating the 200m (25.90) and 400m (58.90) events. He also won silver when his team followed Port-of-Spain (52.12), to the line in 52.23 in an exciting affair.

Port-of-Spain won six of the eight relays contested, also getting gold in both the boys and girls relay events in the U-11 division.

The district also dominated the long distance races winning the Girls 1,500m run thanks to the performance of Kayleigh Forde in 5:25.64. Her teammates Tafari Waldron (4:52.69) and Shaquille Lawrence (9:07.59) claimed the Boys Run and walk 1,500m Open titles, respectively.

Categories: News

Outdoor Hockey season flicks off tomorrow

Sports - 7 hours 25 min ago

The T&T Hockey Board (T&THB) is pleased to announce that the National Outdoor League is scheduled to commence tomorrow at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua for a ten-week period.

This late start is due to the unavailability of the playing surface at the National Hockey Centre as a result of electrical issues experienced by the facility, followed by the cleaning of the artificial surface, which has not been in productive use for 11 months.

The first game of the 2018 League will be a Trinity Women encounter between Harvard Checkers and Paragon from 12 noon.

The highlights of tomorrow’s opening day will be the Women’s Championship fixture between powerhouse Malvern and Notre Dame from 4 pm, and the Men’s Championship fixture featuring 2016 champions Petrotrin and T&T Defence Force from 7.30pm.

According to the T&THB press release, the playing of a One Round of competition for the Championship Men and Two Rounds for the Championship Women’s Division have been structured to cater for preparation and participation of the national senior teams for the upcoming Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games from July 20 to August 3, 2018 in Barranquilla, Colombia.

The executive of the T&THB wishes to make special mention of support by the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs in addressing electrical and cleaning issues to make the playing of the 2018 season a reality.

Special mention must also be made of the efforts of the senior men’s national training squad and several members of the hockey family, working under the direction of the coach of the senior men’s national training squad, Glenn ‘Fido’ Francis, who has been spearheading the cleaning effort.

Categories: News

Smith earns Windies recall

Sports - 7 hours 30 min ago

Windward Islands batsman Devon Smith has been recalled to the Windies team for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka in the Caribbean.

The left-handed Smith and Leewards wicketkeeper/batsman, Devon Smith and Leewards wicketkeeper/batsman Jamar Hamilton comes in as the only surprises amongst a core group which played in the last Test series in New Zealand.

Smith gathered 1,095 runs at an average of 84.23 in the last Digicel PCL season.

He became the fourth batsman to score more than 1,000 runs in a single Windies first-class season and he has been rewarded for this.

He won the acclaim of chairman of the selection panel Courtney Browne who said: “We have retained the core of the Test team as they remain competitive even after a tough series in New Zealand. Devon Smith had an outstanding year and players who excel to that degree should be recognised. We are trying to improve our top order batting performances.”

Also coming into the team is Hamilton who was very good with bat and gloves against England A team, becoming the becoming the second Anguillan, behind Omari Banks to make the Test team.

According to Browne:“Jamar Hamilton comes into the squad after consecutive strong performances over the last three years and showed even better quality in the A Team series against the England Lions. We wish the team every success.”

T&T’s Denesh Ramdin who was the second highest scorer in the PCL with 799 runs at 61.46 with three centuries has been overlooked as a wicketkeeper/batsman.

The 13-man squad will start their busy summer schedule against Sri Lanka in the first Test which bowls off on Wednesday, June 6 at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago.

The complete summer schedule includes five Tests, three ODIs and three T20s and CEO, Johnny Grave thinks these two international homes series “will provide an opportunity for the team to improve its rankings in the Tests and One-Day formats.”

The Sri Lanka series will also include the historic day/night Test, scheduled for the Kensington Oval, Barbados from June 23—27. The period will also mark the 90th anniversary since the West Indies became a Test-playing nation.

WINDIES TEAM

Jason Holder – captain, Devendra Bishoo, Kraigg Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Jamar Hamilton, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach and Devon Smith.

Categories: News

Arrival and cohesion

Columnists - 7 hours 47 min ago

“The political and social climate that prevails in the world today emphasises difference, disunity, and destruction rather than the qualities of unity and productive and constructive energy that are required to sustain human societies. These negative processes and forces have perpetuated our alienation from the basic material roots of our existence, the natural world of which we are a part.”—(Roxande Lalonde, 1997)

On Wednesday May 30, the nation will observe the 173rd Anniversary of Indians arriving in T&T. Like Lalonde, I believe that we can have “unity without uniformity and diversity without fragmentation.” Most of our forebears came from other parts of the world and they have all put their shoulders to the proverbial wheel to build this blessed country. The challenge for us is to work together to take T&T forward.

Years ago, I presented a paper at the Dattatreya Education Foundation Conference entitled: “Indians, you have arrived! Where do you go from here?” Stephen Kangal and the late Dr Morgan Job also presented papers at this event. I recall Stephen saying that “the achievement of real unity in diversity is a prerequisite for taking forward T&T. Failure to do so will result in the preservation of the policy of rampant, divisive ethno-nationalism.”

Where we are going as members of a plural society in a globally connected, highly technological, rapidly changing world?

Can we commit to promote mutual respect and harmony and embrace the concept of unity in diversity? For nearly 56 years we have had responsibility for charting our own course. Although there have been many areas of growth and development, we cannot say that we are anywhere near promoting sustainable development in T&T—which requires unity of purpose.

Every creed and race in T&T do not have an equal place here! My three years as a lay assessor on the Equal Opportunity Tribunal have come to an end. Inter alia, what I take away from this experience is that issues such as race, religion, and ethnicity must be addressed urgently if we are to build a cohesive, harmonious, equitable mother T&T which truly embraces the multiple strands in T&T’s rich tapestry.

As the writer Zhang Yong-jun has said: “Social cohesion is an important foundation for a nation-state’s existence and development.” To what extent can we work together to achieve common goals; to build a cohesive society? While we squabble about which ethnic group is getting more crumbs than the other eg, for Emancipation Day or Indian Arrival Day, there are those who are intent on running away with most of the cake. Are we focusing on the issues that should be of concern to us? I urge our politicians not to compound the issue; not to divide society; not to pander to emotions such as fear of those who are seen as ‘other’.

I recall my father, the late Balgobin Ramdeen, telling us, his children, how sad he felt when, as an MP (1961-1966), he attended functions and the wives of the Democratic Labour Party, to which he belonged, would ignore my mother, because she was of African origin. Yet all the wives on the People’s National Movement would include her in their conversations. He was so hurt that he decided after a while that he would not attend these events. My dear deceased mother, Ruby Ramdeen (nee Manning), was a fighter. She would dress “to kill,” as she was wont to do, and would find some way of encouraging him to take her to the functions.

I could write a few books about my experiences growing up as a dougla. I remember having tea with Lord Diljit Rana at the House of Lords in London and having to tell him that I would not be able, after all, to accept the role as co-chair of Gopio’s International Women’s Arm. Lord Rana was the-then president of Gopio. His then wife, Lady Shruti, was chair of the International Women’s Arm of Gopio. In 2010 I delivered a paper at a Gopio Conference in London, and spent a few days as their guest in Belfast. I was asked to accept the role as co-chair of the Women’s Arm. Well, all hell broke loose among some individuals of Indian origin in T&T. To cut a long story short, I was not prepared to go through what my mother experienced. I have learned which battles to fight. I declined the offer.

LOVE is the answer to the question: “Where do we go from here?” Happy Indian Arrival Day!

Leela Ramdeen
Chair, CCSJ & director, Credi

Categories: News

Don’t let religious differences fuel animosity

Columnists - 7 hours 49 min ago

The widespread condemnation of the decision by the secretary general of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Saba, Sat Maharaj, to deny On-The-Job trainee Nafisah Nakhid entry to the Lakshmi Girls’ Hindu College for wearing her hijab on Monday, stands as testament to the religious pluralism that exists amongst our people today.

Whist as a nation we continue our struggle to overcome the ethnic and racial divide that continues to plague our society, throughout the world our country has been a shining example of religious pluralism and tolerance.

That is not to say we have been completely free of religious tensions, but as a people we were able to overcome those obstacles and today, we can be proud of the co-existence in society of a vast variety of faiths in peace and harmony.

That being said, it is unfortunate, worrying, and distasteful when religious leaders make statements and/or take a stand on issues that does not reflect the views of those they purport to represent.

For those who may not be familiar with the Sanatan Dharma Maha Saba, it is the major Hindu organisation in T&T. It operates 150 mandirs, over 50 schools, and has its own radio station and TV channel. It was founded in 1952 by Bhadase Sagan Maraj, a politician and Hindu leader, and in 1971, forty seven years ago, he was succeeded by his son-in-law, the organisation’s current head, Sat Maharaj as leader of the organisation.

Infamous for making controversial comments, which he is free to express on his own behalf, Mr Maharaj defended his stance by saying that they have a right to enjoyment of property under the Constitution and as a result, also a right to determine how people dress when they go onto the compound.

To add insult to injury, he further retorted “The girl is not attached to the teaching staff, she came to learn to teach, but she wants to teach us how to dress, we said we have a dress code,” adding that the school was “doing a favour by saying come and we will teach you how to teach.”

Not surprisingly, Mr Maharaj’s obstreperous response was met with nationwide criticism, not only because the manner in which the issue was dealt with was offensive, but more so because of the underlying tones of intolerance, whether real or perceived.

Whilst the national response spoke volumes about how far we, the people, have come as a nation since the landmark ruling of the Honourable Justice Margot Warner, 23 years ago, which allowed Muslim girls to attend private and public schools wearing a hijab without discrimination, it also served as a reminder that while there has been an attempt to use the law as a means of promoting religious pluralism in our complex, multicultural society, there is still much work to be done, but it is not an insurmountable task.

As a country we have shown that we are resilient, tolerant, open to change, and not easily fooled. That being said, we must be wary especially now when there is a sense of hopelessness, frustration, and anger in society, that religious differences do not fuel mistrust and animosity.

As such, this issue needs to be addressed urgently with respect and diplomacy. Those with the power to do so must now act fairly and without religious or political bias. Too often issues of social concern are not given the priority that they deserve, not to mention they are swept under the carpet forgotten or left for the courts to deal with. Let us not miss this opportunity to re-examine policies that are now outdated.

The word “change” often has a negative connotation. Many fear it, others despise it and for the most part, people seem to reject the idea of it, but in the immortal words of George Bernard Shaw “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

Let me take this opportunity to thank the readership for their positive feedback over the last two-and-a-half years, the Guardian Media Group for the opportunity to write a weekly column, and to wish the national community a happy and safe Indian Arrival Day and Corpus Christi.

Mickela Panday 

Categories: News

Calypso Fund stays at $18

Business - 7 hours 52 min ago

Overall market activity resulted from trading in 15 securities of which five advanced, five declined and five traded firm.

Trading activity on the First Tier Market registered a volume of 668,974 shares crossing the floor of the Exchange valued at $13,061,359.13.

GraceKennedy Limited was the volume leader with 251,894 shares changing hands for a value of $767,263, followed by Massy Holdings Limited with a volume of 150,000 shares being traded for $7,124,927.20.

Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited contributed 124,277 shares with a value of $990,552.69, while Unilever Caribbean Limited added 52,944 shares valued at $1,565,436.10.

Scotiabank T&T Limited registered the day’s largest gain, increasing $0.75 to end the day at $65.

Conversely, Unilever Caribbean Limited registered the day’s largest decline, falling $2.43 to close at $29.57.

Calypso Macro Index Fund was the only active security on the Mutual Fund Market, posting a volume of 25 shares valued at $450. It remained at $18.

In Thursday’s trading session the following reflect the movement of the TTSE Indices:

• The Composite Index advanced by 0.20 points (0.02 per cent) to close at 1,246.98.

• The All T&T Index advanced by 2.75 points (0.16 per cent) to close at 1,732.17.

• The Cross Listed Index declined by 0.33 points (0.32 per cent) to close at 102.44.

Categories: News

Imbert: NIF IPO in July

Business - 7 hours 53 min ago

Government will launch the National Investment Fund (NIF) prospectus for sale of assorted CL Financial assets at the end of June with a closing date at end of July, Finance Minister Colm Imbert revealed yesterday at the weekly post-Cabinet media briefing.

He said the NIF implementation team met Wednesday.

During the recent mid-year review, Imbert announced the NIF as the vehicle for an initial public offering (IPO) of assets from CL Financial, including shares in Republic Bank, OCM, Witco, Angostura and Home Construction.

Yesterday, he said Government was targetting the end of June or beginning of July to issue the prospectus which will provide information on the IPO, including various equities and securities in the fund, information on the dividends it is expected to yield and price levels.

Imbert said the process involved getting approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission for the prospectus.

Once that is done, the offer can then be launched, with time for investors to make bids.

He expects to close the transaction and distribute shares by the end of July and is forecasing that the IPO will be oversubscribed.

The minister said Moody’s recent pronouncement on T&T’s economy was simply their opinions and it was a fact that revenue collection has increased with more income expected from NIF’s public offering.

Imbert said also that proposed legislation for the T&T Revenue Authority will be laid in Parliament either today or Monday.

While the Bill requires a special majority vote from the Opposition for passage, he said Government had obtained such support for recent insurance and FATCA legislation, “so you never know.”

Reiterating developments from the Prime Minister’s recent China trip, he said Cabinet had approved the proposed industrial estate at Pt Lisas which will involve ten Chinese businesses.

He said construction is expected to begin this year at a cost of $104 million.

The project will provide jobs with an estimated 60 per cent of local labour involved in construction.

It will be spearheaded by Beijing Construction Group on five million square feet of land with a plant comprising 25 million square feet.

Categories: News

ANSA McAL achieves highest revenue in history of company

Business - 7 hours 54 min ago

The ANSA McAL Group recorded a four per cent increase in revenue, up from from $6.001 billion in 2016 to $6.244 billion for the 2017 financial year. However, profit before tax was $986 million—less than the $1.107 billion achieved in 2016, while earnings per share (EPS) was $3.15 cents, down from $4.01 cents in 2016. A dividend of $1.50 was paid.

Group CEO Andrew Sabga announced these highlights of the comglomerate’s 2017 results at ANSA McAL’s 89th Annual General Meeting yesterday at the Radisson Hotel in Port-of-Spain.

“This is the fifth consecutive year of revenues exceeding $6 billion,” said Sabga, who described the 2017 figures as the “highest revenue in the history of the company.”

Noting that the strength of the Group is in its diversified portfolio, he told shareholders: “The beauty of a diversified portfolio is that when things are tough in one sector, there are always opportunities in other areas.

“We think that given our diversity, we are almost evenly spread. We are looking feverishly at how we can grow the areas that are not as large as the others to make sure that our diversity is such that it really does insulate us from any shocks in any one industry that may exist.”

The financial statements show that the Group produced strong operational results despite very challenging conditions in T&T and Barbados.

The report stated: “There was robust revenue growth across the region with Guyana exhibiting double digit growth at 11 per cent. Grenada and St Kitts grew revenue by nine per cent and seven per cent respectively. Revenues in the United States also increased significantly by 22 per cent.”

The 13 per cent decline in profit before tax was due mainly to slow spending by consumers in the automotive and media sectors, resulting in greater discounting to maintain market share.

According to the report, ANSA McAL’s strategy is to continue revenue growth while optimizing operating costs, thereby improving margins.

“The Group’s performance over the many years means expectations are rightly set at the highest level.

“The true test of a business, however, is its resilience through the economic troughs, to adopt to changes in the market and navigate bumps in the road, an ability the Group and its management team have demonstrated in spades for more than three decades,” the report stated.

Categories: News

Gambling addict faked kidnapping

News - 8 hours 30 min ago

A Couva housewife lied to the police about being kidnapped along with her son for a $30,000 ransom because she gambled away all her husband’s money.

Sapna Chinyan, 33, gave the excuse when she appeared in the Couva Magistrates Court charged with wasteful employment of police. She pleaded guilty but her sentencing was put off to give her an opportunity to join the Trinidad - Gamblers Anonymous at Rosalino Street, Port-of-Spain.

Prosecutor Sgt Lincoln Bonnett said Chinyan went to the Couva Police Station around 10.40 am where she reported the kidnapping.

She said around 7.30 am last Thursday four unarmed men abducted her and her six-year-old son from their Carli Bay Road home. She said the kidnappers took them in a Nissan Almera to a location along the Southern Main Road, Claxton Bay, where they demanded the ransom.

Chinyan claimed the men allowed her to leave to collect the ransom money but they kept her son until she returned. Chinyan said they were released after she paid the money.

PC Visham Ramoutar of the Couva CID conducted inquiries, including viewing CCTV footage, which did not corroborate her story. When confronted with that information, Chinyan admitted she lied.

Through her attorney Natasha Mongroo, Chinyan asked Senior Magistrate Siumongal Ramsaran for leniency. Mongroo said Chinyan who is married with one child has a gambling problem and spent the $30,000.

“She could not account for it and in her mind, that was the only way,” said the attorney. Mongroo said the $30,000 was all the money in her husband’s bank account.

“She is apologetic. She understands what she did was wrong. She genuinely has a problem,” said the attorney. She said Chinyan gambled before but never this amount of money. Chinyan’s family did not know she had a problem.

She said Chinyan does food catering but she has been out of work since the economy slowed down. Asking for Chinyan to be placed on a bond, Mongroo said she was also willing to submit to any form of counselling. “She wants to reform herself and rekindle her family situation,” said Mongroo.

Acknowledging that gambling is an addiction, the magistrate said the correct approach is to treat the addiction as a disease.

“Let her get in contact with gamblers anonymous and let her come back and tell me she has enrolled herself in the programme. Then I will decide what her sentencing is going to be,” said the magistrate, as he adjourned the matter to June 11.

Categories: News

Villagers pave own road, rather than stage protest

News - 8 hours 31 min ago

When road conditions get deplorable, it is common for people to stage fiery protests to get the relevant authorities to fix it.

But villagers of Sewlal Trace, Fyzabad got together and paved their road for themselves, rather than protest.

The community comprising of 30 households raised $5,500 which they used to buy 12 truckloads of oil sand and crush stone aggregate.

Paving started at the crack of dawn on Wednesday and continued up to late yesterday.

Using rakes, spades, forks, and buckets to dig and spread the oil sand, the villagers worked together earning the support of two Fyzabad contractors, Brian Ramlogan, of Trice Enterprise Limited, and Sheldon Ragbir, of SR Transport.

Ragbir said he first opted to donate his equipment for one day but when the project was not completed on Wednesday he brought in another set of materials and equipment on Thursday to complete the job.

The road, which is about a mile long, falls under the jurisdiction of Petrotrin but despite numerous appeals, it remained unpaved.

Resident Kierron Yip Ngow said, “We decided that it was not worth waiting for Petrotrin to pave it. They promised to do so since 2013. The last time this road was paved was in 2005 when it was done as a self-help project. Back then a resident, Tiffany Mungroo, pleaded with everyone to pave the road and to give us pipe-borne water. We got together as a community and did it with Self Help Commission,” Yip Ngow said.

He added that the road was not maintained by the Siparia Regional Corporation and even though Petrotrin agreed to survey and repave the road, years passed and their cries fell on deaf ears.

He said Ragbir offered to give them materials at a discount. Ramlogan offered a yard of crush and 12 yards of oil sand. That was what we started with and we spent the day spreading the oil sand. It was not enough and those contractors came back with materials and used their backhoes and steamroller to help us,” Yip Ngow said.

Another resident, Deo Mangaroo, said he was proud of the residents’ efforts.

“It is not everywhere you would find this kind of co-operation,” he said.

Mukesh Jaikaran added, “It felt very good. I took a day off today. We deal with the MP well and he spoke with us and explained that we weren’t getting any funds. He was the one who motivated us. We are hoping that we will get an asphalt road one day,” he said.

MP Lackram Bodoe said the residents first approached him last October and he told them that funds were short at the Corporation. Bodoe said he told the residents that if they pooled money together he will match whatever they raised and get assistance for them to pave their own road.

Ideally, the cost of paving the one-mile strip could have been over $10,000 but residents got much more.

With co-operation and charity, they achieved friendships, community camaraderie, and personal satisfaction, Bodoe said.

Categories: News

High Court to resolve hijab ban

News - 8 hours 34 min ago

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi will seek High Court’s interpretation of the issue concerning the on the job trainee teacher who was recently asked by Lakshmi Girls’ Hindu College administration to remove her hijab before starting her assignment.

Education Minister Anthony Garcia confirmed the move at yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing. He said reports from the principal of the school and Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) have been sought on the matter. These will be turned over to the AG who will seek a court ruling on it.

The trainee Nafisah Nakhid was told to remove her hijab before starting her assignment on Tuesday. The SDMS reportedly said it will no longer accept trainees from the Ministry as they “dress how they want and make trouble”.

Categories: News

New ferry on way to Cuba

News - 8 hours 35 min ago

The Galleons Passage may now be arriving in T&T by end the of June—or thereabouts—since it has to spend four weeks in Cuba undergoing retro-fitting before coming to T&T.

At yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing, Works Minister Rohan Sinanan confirmed the vessel which has crossed the Panama Canal and is now en route to Cuba.

“We’re happy it would have made a journey across the world and all indication is that the vessel is working as we expected. We’re at the stage now where once the retrofitting in Cuba is completed, it will leave Cuba and be on its final journey to T&T,” Sinanan said.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert said the vessel was delayed in the Panama Canal since it had to queue up. As a passenger vessel it was given a lower priority than other mercantile vessels to pass through the Canal, he added. Imbert estimated it would reach Cuba in a couple days.

Sinanan said it was anticipated that the retro-fitting, which includes the installation of a canopy and toilets on the sundeck, will take just about four weeks.

If the four-week projection for the retrofitting in Cuba is on schedule, the vessel could arrive here in June, or early July.

When the vessel was first acquired and had left China for T&T - in February- Government initially estimated it would arrive here by the end of April. With other delays and stops along the way, it was pushed forward to this month.

No settlement yet for Kay Donna land

Works Minister Rohan Sinanan also said he has not benefitted “anything” from Government’s expected acquisition of Kay Donna cinema for the Curepe Interchange.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert assured that “if Sinanan got anything at all,” it would be based on valuation from the Commissioner of Valuations. Sinanan was asked how much he’s “benefitted” from the acquisition of the property at yesterday’s post-Cabinet briefing. “How much I have ‘lost’, you mean,” he responded.

“As you’re aware I did declare I do have an interest in the property there and that interest would have been declared up front to the Integrity Commission for the last 15 years,” he said.

Categories: News

T&T, St Kitts showdown

Sports - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 22:00

T&T Women braces for a virtual final showdown with St Kitts/Nevis from 6:30 pm this evening at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, as the race for the top qualifying spot from Group C of the CONCACAF Caribbean Women's World Cup Qualifiers heats up.

T&T leads the group by a superior goal difference over St Kitts/Nevis, but this afternoon the two teams will settle the score and maybe determine the team that will go through to the next CONCACAF qualifiers.

Yesterday T&T national coach Jamaal Shabazz said, "What Allah has written for us, will come to pass, but we will give our everything this evening as this game means a lot to us."

The T&T women thrashed USVI 10-0 in their opening match Saturday and followed that up with a hard-fought 3-0 triumph over Dominica on Monday. The wins have lifted the confidence level in the T&T team, but Shabazz will be careful his troops do not become too cocky for the match.

"We are expecting a very even contest, and our girls are excited about it, as they are aware of the importance of the game and what it means to them. St Kitts/Nevis, I think, have a very good programme, but on the other hand, the game will provide a good opportunity for us to re-establish ourselves in the CFU," Shabazz explained. He assured, "We will be confident but certainly not cocky."

St Kitts/Nevis have also scored big in their two matches to date, first edging Dominica 2-1 Saturday before hammering Grenada 10-0 on Wednesday.

Today's late encounter will be the feature contest of a double-header which will be preceded by another clash between Grenada and Dominica from 4 pm.

On Wednesday the Dominicans got their first victory of the tournament by thrashing USVI 3-0 in the late game at 6:30 pm, courtesy of a double strike from speedy forward Romeicia Phillips. Coach Rajesh Latchoo's girls went into all-out attack from the start and were rewarded in the 21st minute when Keanna Francis headed in a left side cross from striker Romeicia Phillips.

Afterwards, it was all Phillips, first slotting the ball past an onrushing goalkeeper Levania Lawrence while on a break in the 49th minute. And later the lanky Phillips galloped past the USVI defence before skilfully chipping the ball into the vacant left corner of Lawrence's nets in the 88th minute to complete the win.

STANDINGS:

TTeams P W D L F A GD Pts
T&T 2 2 0 0 13 0 13 6
St Kitts/Nevis 2 2 0 0 12 1 11 6
Dominica 3 1 0 2 4 5 -1 3
USVI 3 1 0 2 3 13 -10 3
Grenada 2 0 0 2 0 13 -13 0

WALTER ALIBEY

 

 

 

Categories: News

Outdoor Hockey season flicks off tomorrow

Sports - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 22:00

The T&T Hockey Board (T&THB) is pleased to announce that the National Outdoor League is scheduled to commence tomorrow at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua for a ten-week period.

This late start is due to the unavailability of the playing surface at the National Hockey Centre as a result of electrical issues experienced by the facility, followed by the cleaning of the artificial surface, which has not been in productive use for 11 months.

The first game of the 2018 League will be a Trinity Women encounter between Harvard Checkers and Paragon from 12 noon.

The highlights of tomorrow’s opening day will be the Women’s Championship fixture between powerhouse Malvern and Notre Dame from 4 pm, and the Men’s Championship fixture featuring 2016 champions Petrotrin and T&T Defence Force from 7.30pm.

According to the T&THB press release, the playing of a One Round of competition for the Championship Men and Two Rounds for the Championship Women’s Division have been structured to cater for preparation and participation of the national senior teams for the upcoming Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games from July 20 to August 3, 2018 in Barranquilla, Colombia.

The executive of the T&THB wishes to make special mention of support by the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs in addressing electrical and cleaning issues to make the playing of the 2018 season a reality.

Special mention must also be made of the efforts of the senior men's national training squad and several members of the hockey family, working under the direction of the coach of the senior men's national training squad, Glenn 'Fido' Francis, who has been spearheading the cleaning effort.

Categories: News

SporTT settles $9M in debts

Sports - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 22:00
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The Sports Company of T&T Limited (SporTT) has presented its new Strategic Plan (2018-2023) and audited financial statements (2016 and 2017) to the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and Ministry of Finance. This follows the presentation of the audited statements in Parliament on 16 March 2018, and at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 2 March 2018.

Dinanath Ramnarine, the chairman of sporTT said the completion of the Strategic Plan and audited statements, as well as the decision and commitment by the SporTT Board to strengthen the governance structure, signalled a turning point in the company’s performance since the Board was reconstituted.

In a release, yesterday Ramnarine stated, “SporTT has experienced a difficult and challenging period that has affected its ability to perform effectively, damaged the company’s reputation and eroded the national trust. Over the past year, we have focused on rebuilding institutional discipline and corporate governance to redefine how we function as a company and to do business with our partners and stakeholders.”

This transformation, he said, could not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of the Board of Directors, management team and employees. He also acknowledged the support of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs (MSYA), the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Office of the Attorney General throughout the process.

The release pointed out some of SporTT’s key achievements:

(Put in a Box please)

• Strengthening of the company’s compliance status with the relevant statutory bodies (MSYA and MOF) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

• Developing a prudent financial management process supervised by a Finance Sub-Committee which resulted in the more efficient use of limited funding

• Completion of several contractor negotiations and legal settlements resulting in cost savings of more than $9 million which was used to settle other outstanding debts.

• Implementation of more than 70 policies across multiple SPORTT departments including HSSE, Finance and Accounting, HR and Procurement

• Implementation of a Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest Policy for both the Board of Directors and staff to ensure transparency and improved governance in operations

• Redefined Service Level Agreements (SLA) and compliance and governance rules with the National Governing Bodies (NGBs) for sports

• Completion of an organizational review and restructure to address both surpluses and shortages as well as resource gaps and areas where there can be gains in efficiency, all of which have so far resulted in a cost savings of more than $300,000.00.

• Significant reduction in the number of outstanding Industrial Relations and High Court matters

• Transformed the tendering process, in alignment with policy and legislation, into a robust fair and transparent one, using independent subject matter experts in the evaluation stages

The Chairman also said: “For any company to be effective and serve the purpose for which it was established, it must have the right governance and compliance structures. We needed to take the time to put these structures in place and to address issues so we could effectively serve our stakeholders and fulfil our mandate.”

With respect to Service Level Agreements (SLAs), the Chairman said it was critical to ensure National Governing Bodies (NGBs) were compliant with the rules and guidelines set forth by the SporTT in accordance with the National Sports Policy and the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.

Ramnarine said, “Given the country’s persistent economic constraints, our funding has been significantly reduced and as such, SporTT is looking at other non-financial ways in which we can provide support both to the athletes and the NGBs. Many of the NGBs have been very receptive and open to the collaborative efforts to make sure they are fully compliant.”

The Chairman noted that SporTT has made significant strides in its functionality but acknowledges that there is still a lot of work to be done. One such area is the improvement of the quality and standard of the sporting facilities under SporTT’s purview. In this regard, SporTT is currently developing a facilities management and maintenance plan.

“We have made significant progress in improving our governance, strengthening our corporate rigour and charting a strategic direction for SporTT. As we move forward to the next phase in our transformation, we are committed to working with our stakeholders and partners to ensure we build a strong company that supports the growth and development of sport in T&T.”

Categories: News

Bludgeoned to death

News - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 22:00

[email protected]

A crime of passion is how residents of Coco Piece Road, Gasparillo, described the brutal murder of housewife Kavita Lisa Jokhan, who was bludgeoned about the head by a man who claimed to love her.

The suspect’s response was apparently triggered after Jokhan refused his advances.

“He used to say nobody else can get her. Only he can get her,” a neighbour told the T&T Guardian yesterday.

The suspect, a 58-year-old gardener from the area, was arrested at the scene after residents noticed blood splattered on his feet and alerted the police.

According to reports, Jokhan, 27, who lived with her common-law husband, had just returned home around 3.30 pm on Wednesday and was standing in her garage. It is believed the suspect met her there and repeatedly bashed an object against her head and left. An autopsy yesterday revealed death was due to blunt force cerebral trauma.

Police were not sure what was used to kill Jokhan and Southern Division Police were searching the area in the hope of finding a murder weapon. They suspect that a heavy piece of wood was used.

A neighbour said a worker who was loading produce onto a truck nearby noticed someone lying on the floor and alerted them.

“A boy was loading his truck when he said ‘look a man dead over there’. When my husband went across there to see what happened, he said it looked like Lisa killed herself,” the neighbour said.

She said Jokhan had personal problems, but on further checks, they all realised that the situation was grimmer than they first thought.

A diminutive Jokhan was found on the ground with her blood on the walls and the silver Toyota Altis parked in her garage.

Residents gathered at the scene were shocked at the horror that befell their neighbour and quiet community.

They said the suspect later emerged from the bushes behind a neighbour’s house and casually joined them until they noticed the blood on his feet.

Neighbours said the suspect was a drunkard who they stayed away from because he would walk in the roadway spitting profanities.

They said Jokhan, who was brought to the community six years ago by her husband, developed a friendship. They dispelled talk of a love triangle but said Jokhan and the suspect would drink together at his shack at the end of the road, in a track leading to agricultural lands. However, they fell out when the suspect touched Jokhan inappropriately and she and her husband reported him to the police.

Since then, neighbours said the suspect had been passing on the road and cursing her, but they would speak to each other when he was sober.

Southern Division police are continuing investigations.

Categories: News

Woman who won $.1m for corkball blow:I just wanted my life back

News - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 22:00

Six years after being hit by a corkball while sitting in a classroom talking with classmates at the North Eastern College in Sangre Grande, Vidya Jaglal says she is still in excruciating pain and just wishes her life could return to normal and she can be a “normal” parent to her two teenage daughters.

Speaking to the T&T Guardian yesterday, Jaglal became emotional as she lamented she had “missed a lot” with her children.

“They could not hug me because of how painful it is. I am grateful my mother and sister are there to help them with homework and stuff, but as a parent I should be there at least to sit up with them,” an emotional Jaglal, who did not want any photographs for safety and stigma reasons, said, as she noted she can’t even help her children with their homework because of the pains he experiences from the condition caused by the blow.

Simple household chores and gardening are now difficult for Jaglal, who once did massage therapy to earn additional revenue to take care of her family after her husband died through illness in 2005.

The clerk/typist at the Sangre Grande office of the Ministry of Community Development said she was doing the social work course at the UWI Open Campus because her dream was to be a social worker when the life-changing incident happened.

“I wanted to educate myself, also to give back to the country and to do something meaningful for people and at the same time I wanted to look after my children and secure a better future for them, but that had to stop because I can’t handle the stress.”

Although she eventually completed the certificate programme, she cannot do the degree she had hoped to follow.

As a parent, she said it grieves her that the incident has cost her not just financially but valuable parent-child time.

“I was a multi-task person, I would work, look after my children, I have a house in Freeport I used to rent and which needs some work, but since the incident, it has been put on hold. A lot of stuff I used to do I can’t do any more,” she said.

Six years after the incident sleep is still difficult at times without medication and Jaglal said she still needs medical care.

Recalling the incident, Jaglal said she was sitting near the door of a classroom talking with other students when a cork ball flew through the ventilation block and hit her on the back of the head. After the incident, the class was moved to the open campus.

On Wednesday, Justice Ricky Rahim ordered compensation in the sum of $120,000 for Jaglal after ruling UWI Open Campus was negligent in failing to provide a safe environment for students at its part-time facility at the college.

Jaglal said after initial treatment for the injury she visited a neurosurgeon who diagnosed her with severe cervical disk and nerve trauma - equivalent to her getting whiplash from a car accident. Between 2012 and 2013, she was given two separate six-month periods of leave because of the excruciating pain and effect the medication had on her.

Admitting she used up all of her savings on medical bills and transportation, Jaglal said she had hoped UWI would have accepted some responsibility and offered compensation. However, the campus later told her it would not pay the medical claims because the time had passed for her to file them in relation to the incident.

On the advice of friends, she sought legal advice, but the first attorney called $40,000. She eventually sought help from Freedom Law Chambers, the firm of former AG Anand Ramlogan, which agreed to take the case pro bono.

While happy the court had ruled in her favour, Jaglal yesterday said, “I would have loved to go back to my normal life, but we know that is not going to happen.”

Guardian Media reached out to Dr Terrence Babwah, who specialises in sports medicine, about Jaglal’s case. He said while a lot of people may believe she is faking it six years later, a corkball weighs about five and a half ounces and when it hit her it would have forced her head forward, “setting off something like a whiplash kind of thing.”

Babwah said Jaglal “is a classic case of somebody with acute pain which was not properly treated and then she went on to develop chronic pain. He said there is a process called “central sensitisation where changes happen within the spinal chord and brain and that would have caused this chronic pain and they are in pain and its real pain.”

Categories: News

Honet Leon wants to become a cop

News - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 22:00

Rhondor Dowlat

Amputee Virginia Reyes yesterday expressed pride over her grandson Leon’s act of honesty. She said she expected nothing less than him returning the wallet he found to its owner untouched, with all the money, cards and other important documents intact.“I grew up my seven children to not to take what is not theirs and I transferred that teaching to my grandchildren. I always told them if you sweeping and you see money, sweep around it and if you see something and it is not yours leave it alone, it is not yours,” an emotional Reyes, 59, said as she sat on her wheelchair at her Maloney home yesterday.Several years ago, Reyes herself was in a similar position after finding a wallet lying on the ground at the nearby Building 18. She took it up, searched through it, found a contact number and called it. The number was for the wallet owner’s mother, who lived in Tobago at the time.

“She was able to contact her son who met with me and I was able to give him back his wallet with everything in it. I remember how happy he was to get it back. That was my satisfaction.”In this latest situation, Leon, 14, went to a cafe at the Maloney Mall on Wednesday morning to purchase a snack. On his way back home he noticed the wallet on the ground between two vehicles. Virginia said Leon ran home and asked her what to do about it.

“I told him that it was okay to go back for it and once it’s there to pick it up and bring it for me. He got it and we went through it to see if we got any phone number but we got none, so that is when he and his uncle (a police officer) decided to take it to the police for further tracing on the name we saw on the identification cards.”

The wallet contained over $400 in cash, ID and credit cards.The Maloney police were later able to locate the wallet’s owner, identified only as Nigel from Morvant.

“My grandson was so happy that he got a $100 reward and he even wanted to bless me with it. Leon is such a blessed and honest child,” she said.Reyes said Leon lived with her from a little boy, as his mother lives in Moruga while his father lives in Arima. Leon is a Form One Five Rivers Secondary School pupil.

She said having her left leg amputated from below the knee last year and being in a wheelchair would not deter her from keeping her watchful eyes on all of her grandchildren. Reyes is currently awaiting a prosthetic limb she applied for through the Ministry of Social Development.

“I never wanted to depend on people. Before this I did geriatric nursing and certified myself to take care of children. That is how I took care of my seven children and now, grandchildren. I hope to get my prosthetic soon so I can move around again.”

A shy Leon meanwhile admitted he was afraid to even touch the wallet at first.

“I watched the wallet and passed it straight but I had to tell my aunt and grandma what I saw. I then told my uncle to take it to the police after. The owner was very happy and thanked me because he said he thought it was stolen for good.”

Leon said he wants to follow in his uncle Andre Modeste’s footsteps and become a police officer and promised to study hard to achieve this.

Categories: News

Hitman killedin Belmont

News - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 22:00

A planned “hit” backfired for the hitman when he was shot dead by his intended victim in Belmont yesterday.

The victim, also shot in the attack, died as well.The dead men were identified as Khareem Stanislaus and Kobe “Bottles” Brown.

Police said Stanislaus, who was wearing a bulletproof vest and ski mask, was the “hitman.”

According to a police report, Brown was at his home at Walcott Lane, off Belle Eau Road, when he was confronted by Stanislaus, who opened fire on him. Police said Brown managed to draw his gun and fired back at Stanisclaus, hitting him several times in the bulletproof vest and once in the head.

Police said Brown was a “priority suspect” in several cases and was held during the 2011 state of emergency for alleged gang affiliation.

In an unrelated incident at about 9 am yesterday, the body of an unidentified man wrapped in a garbage bag was found over a precipice off Morne Coco Road, near Le Platte Village, Maraval.

Police said the body was in an advanced state of decomposition.Investigations are continuing in both incidents.

Categories: News

100 domesticviolence cases so far for 2018

News - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 22:00

T&T Police Service public affairs officer, ASP Michael Jackman, says domestic violence is a social ill impacting T&T in a profound way and it is time for all to act.

“Domestic violence is not only physical abuse but it covers sexual, emotional, psychological and financial abuse and anyone in society who is aware of any of these situations should make it their business and report it to the police,” Jackman said on CNC3’s Morning Brew yesterday.

He said last year there were over 1,100 cases of domestic violence reported, of which 43 victims were killed. So far this year, there have been over 100 reports made to the police. But Jackman said the police still had a lot of challenges getting full cooperation from victims.

“They are many instances where victims would refuse to work with the police officers and cooperate and would just want the officers to warn the offender. But it is a dangerous practice,” he said.

“I advise that all parties to go to the court and apply for protection orders. Other family members can also apply on behalf of victims. Also, adults can apply for children.”

Anyone seeking further assistance in relation to domestic violence cases is asked to contact the TTPS’ Victim and Witness Support Unit at 624-8853. —Rhondor Dowlat

Categories: News

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