Human rights body urges autonomy for State oil agencies

first_imgAs Petroleum commission bill awaits day in Parliament…says entities must be protected from political influence When it was first introduced, there was widespread criticism that the Petroleum Commission Bill gave too much political influence to the Government.According to the Executive Committee of the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) in a statement on Saturday, oil and gas institutions must be protected from undue political influence.The body questioned how the oil sector would directly improve the lives of citizens, and reiterated that entities that would have an input on state oil resources must be insulated from partisan political directives.“The unwillingness…to discuss that a problem exists renders reaching a solution remote,” the association noted. “Determining and defending the national interest would include, for example, taking steps to insulate oil and gas development from the vagaries of Guyanese elections.“Moreover, creation of state agencies and mechanisms related to oil and gas should be genuinely ring-fenced from partisan influence.“The (prevailing opinion) is that life in Guyana is about to be transformed. To date, it is unclear whether the transformation will create a secure, fulfilling life for all Guyanese, or will plunge our chronic failure to create such a society into something significantly worse,” the GHRA expressed.The association pointed to the recent controversies surrounding the appointment of a Chairman for the Guyana Elections Commission. This, it said, indicate the difficulties of filling posts through a bi-partisan process.“The price of polarised politics is to be counted, in part, in our inability to develop a truly national position on oil and gas. This implies, for example, that ExxonMobil, with its decades of experience as a global economic power, will be confronted across the table with inexperience, pettiness and mediocrity,” the association added.AppointmentsAccording to the GHRA, appointment of the questionably suitable rather than the eminently suitable is forcing certain considerations. These considerations, it noted, included whether it was time to appoint foreign nationals with the needed experience and qualifications to certain posts.“If we cannot bring ourselves to such a workable compromise domestically, are we prepared to consider, for example, that all appointments above a certain level should be of non-nationals? Galling as such a prospect may be, intransigent partisanship and willingness to sacrifice Guyana’s future by appointment of questionably suitable, rather than eminently qualified persons, are forcing such considerations upon us.“Guyanese have had enough of the posturing, the contempt for ethics, and the blatant preferment of political allies which passes for politics. If the transformational public policies required of us are not to be found in the political parties, where will such an initiative come from?”Autonomous institutionsThe Government came under a barrage of criticism when the Audit Office of Guyana (AoG) became one of several agencies to have their budget proposals cut by the Government for the year 2018.Since the office must provide oversight for Government spending at both the central and regional levels, the move did not go down well with the parliamentary Opposition. Auditor General Deodat Sharma has already stated that these cuts will have an effect on the agency’s plans.The association’s statement comes even as the Petroleum Commission Bill sits on the National Assembly’s Order Paper to be discussed at an upcoming sitting of Parliament. In fact, a number of other bills — such as the Animal Welfare Bill and even a motion to provide duty free concessions for two Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) staff — took precedence before this Petroleum Commission Bill, with first oil just two years away.The bill was sent to a Special Select Committee last year after the proposed powers of the minister had come under intense criticism. One example is that it allowed for the Natural Resources Minister to act in the absence of the Petroleum Commission Board, and even to dismiss the board.With Government already taking flak for sending a draft law, the Animal Welfare Bill, to a select committee but making no substantial changes thereafter, it remains to be seen whether this bill would propose that the minister’s powers be reduced.last_img read more

Top music and tasty food – it’s all at Sister Sara’s this weekend

first_imgHave your entertainment needs satisfied and your taste buds tickled this weekend at Sister Sara’s Letterkenny.The popular superpub on the Port Road has another spectacular line-up of music acts on the way for Friday and Saturday night.If you want to celebrate the weekend, make sure to catch Misty Days live from 9pm at Sister Sara’s tonight. And the top-quality entertainment continues on Saturday 27th July with the brilliant DJ Oisin Kelly playing the best hits from 10.30pm and free admission to the late bar.Sister Sara’s isn’t just a nighttime party venue – with Sara’s Kitchen, it is now a hotspot for food lovers too. They have a wide selection of small and big plates to keep you satisfied. There are delicious daily specials and a great selection of tea and coffees available.Find the food you’ll love by grabbing a table in Sara’s Kitchen, open 4-9pm Monday to Thursday and 12.30-9pm Friday to Sunday. Treat yourself to lunch, Sunday dinner, a midweek evening without the dishes or some nibbles with a cocktail! And if you’re a sports fan, Sister Sara’s will have all the best matches on the big screen for a great atmosphere this weekend.For more info or bookings, just call (074) 912 2238Follow @sistersaras on FacebookValue Lunch Menu at Sister Sara’s Letterkenny   Top music and tasty food – it’s all at Sister Sara’s this weekend was last modified: July 26th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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

India was able to pull it off against Pakistan as it had a weak defence

first_imgIt was a predictable high-scoring India-Pakistan match and the aggression that the hosts showed in the opening 20 minutes put them in a strong position to pave the way for a semi-final spot.Sardara Singh, Shivendra Singh and Rajpal Singh were the most impressive amongst the Indians but the team was found wanting in its defence on numerous occasions.India and Pakistan possess almost similar skills and with the crowd right behind them, the hosts came up with an impressive show just as they did at the World Cup against the same opponent earlier this year.The counterattacks that India made were significant to the final score but it also had to do a lot with their rival’s poor defence. India has a very good attack with Shivendra and Rajpal leading the way.The Indians were on the attack as soon as the hooter went off and besides the defence lapses, Pakistan gave away ball possession far too easily, helping India’s cause. After the initial aggression, India slowed down a bit which allowed Pakistan to make a comeback, making India’s weaknesses at defence very evident.If Rajpal and Shivendra continue to get good support from the midfield, India is capable of competing against the best in the business. Bharat Chikara also played well, but only in patches.Sardara’s long passes were a prominent feature that helped the Indian forwards, but he does take a few risks which should be a worry for the Indian think tank.He took far too many risks at the deep defence and was trying to dodge the Pakistani players inside the 25m line which he needs to avoid. But otherwise, he has a bright future and will do really well in days to come.advertisementSandeep Singh did score two goals but he was a big disappointment as he could convert just a couple of penalty corners out of the 10 that came his way.He is a penalty corner specialist and if this is his conversion rate, which has been the same for a long time now, he does not merit a place in the team. Indian midfield and defence still needs to work a lot and had it not been for a few misses by the Pakistan strikers, it could have been a close finish.With this kind of defence, India would surely struggle against England in the semi-finals as they have improved a lot in the last four years with their sights firmly on the London Olympics. There was not much of a change in how these teams played at the World Cup and now.If India manages to cut down on their risks like unnecessary ball possession and improve on their deep defence, they could well pull it off against England. With the home support, India cannot just play with the heart and they need to use their brain as well.(The author is a former India coach)last_img read more