A calculated act to suppress the voice of the people

first_imgDear Editor,The issue of the consideration of the 2018 Budget Estimates and the way the Parliament is managed is one for the ELECTED parliamentarians, the SELECTED Speaker and the other APPOINTED officers of the Guyana Parliament to act upon as instructed by the Constitution of Guyana.There is no place in that legislative arrangement for the Police in the Chambers. More importantly, there is no place for Police brutality in any square inch of Guyana, especially in the hallowed hall of Parliament.The Granger Government is responsible for the safety and well-being of all parliamentarians and for that matter all citizens.  But more importantly, the delivery of this sacred duty is expected especially when the House is in session.I am disturbed by the reports I have seen, read and listened to over the last few hours which outlined a calculated act to suppress the voice of the people. It is expected that all Guyanese will be treated humanely irrespective of their politics and it is unfortunate that the Speaker of the House has misled the Parliament for so many months, exposing publicly his unfitness for the post.  It is clear as day this is another case of another glorified pension for another unfit pensioner.But what is worse is how an “eggball” operations out of the Office of the Prime Minister, called the DPI, mishandled the truth and attempted to massage its message into nothing else but ‘fake news’.  I must commend the independent media for standing their ground and for playing their important and legitimate role as the Fourth Estate by ensuring that the truth surfaced. It is important that the truth overcomes the “rubberstamp news” coming out of the Office of the Prime Minister of Guyana.The ordinary Guyanese people have by and large conducted themselves with decorum over the years and they expect nothing less from their parliamentarians and other high officials. This act of the Speaker of the National Assembly to attempt to violate the people’s constitutional right to speech, expression, and assembly by denying their elected representative a chance to interrogate the 2018 Budget, must be condemned by all since it illustrates clear signs of a dictatorial mind in the Speaker’s chair and a burgeoning dictatorship in Guyana under the direction of none other than a most unfit President – David Granger.I urge all sides in the House to return to the tables of dialogue and allow this 2018 Budget to be properly interrogated so that the Guyanese people can be better informed on how their taxpaying dollars are being spent.  Nothing less should be expected.Regards,Sase Singhlast_img read more

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LeBron James defends Like Walton record amid job speculation

first_imgLos Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James stands in front of head coach Luke Walton during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 124-106. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)LeBron James has defended Luke Walton’s record amid ongoing speculation concerning the Los Angeles Lakers coach’s future with the franchise.Walton is widely expected to be shown the door by the Lakers at the end of the season after a disappointing campaign which saw them fail to make the playoffs for a sixth straight year.ADVERTISEMENT Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? “I’m not talking two or three games here, everyone is back in the lineup. We’re talking like 15, 20, 25 games.”The Lakers injury toll also included James, who missed 17 games between the end of December and February after suffering a groin strain.The NBA superstar’s absence — the longest injury layoff of his career — triggered a slump which saw the team fall out of playoff contention in the Western Conference.James said that when all of the Lakers’ key personnel was fit, the team had been a match for most other sides in the league.“We had a defensive rating of fourth in the NBA, and we were like seventh in offense when we played together over 23 games,” James said.ADVERTISEMENT Tim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’ Read Next LATEST STORIES Games of death However, James said injuries and suspensions throughout the campaign left Walton short of resources for key parts of the season.James cited the suspensions handed down to Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram in the first game of the season as well as a litany of injuries as reasons for the team’s problems.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“No one expects for a suspension to happen on opening night,” James told Spectrum Sportsnet television in an interview.“No one expects for injuries to happen the way they did with our franchise this year. Where your starting point guard is out for numerous games. Your starting small forward is out. Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruptioncenter_img P260,000 each in aid to displaced Marawi folk released by US ‘Duterte legacy:’ Gov’t boasts achievements so far Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart “As good as that is, it’s not enough for Luke to even know what he has on a consistent basis, when you don’t have a consistent roster every night during the season.“Like you said, control what you can control and you’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt. I think he played the hand as well as he could.”The Lakers wrap up their campaign on Tuesday against the Portland Trail Blazers. MOST READ Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Comelec assures no disruption in operations with retirement of execs Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

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Junda Morris-Kennedy Name WFA Liberia Representative

first_imgThe founder of Liberia Art and Fashion Council Junda Morris-Kennedy has been announced as the official representative for World Fashion Week (WFW) in Liberia.In an official communication, WFW President Paco De James said, on behalf of the WFW Executive Board of Governors, International Committee, World Fashion Exhibition and its subsidiary companies name you the official representative of the WFW in the territory of Liberia.The president added the representative is responsible for the nomination process, creating organizing committees as well as Goodwill Ambassadors. “WFW serves as a global platform for the national fashion industries around the world, as an Olympic style event, designers and professionals representing their nation of origin and cultural identities,” Mr James noted.He said “the objective is placing these artisans in the global market, in a celebration of cultural diversity expressed through the artistic and social movement of fashion.”WFW boss explained that nominee from Liberia will be under the rules and requirements dictated by the organization for its next year event in Paris.With this representation from Liberia, designers and professionals can participate officially with WFW and with recognition from the organization, he said.Meanwhile, Ms. Kennedy said she feel honored to have been chosen as the representative for this prestigious organization and promise that Liberian fashion professionals’ presence will be in full at the events in Paris next year.“I have been working for years to bring to light the so many talents that have gone unnoticed in the fashion industry and the perfect time has come for me to do that again,” Ms. Kennedy, who heads the 2016 nomination process for the West Africa fashion Award in Liberia, said.Talking about transparence she also said: “I will never use this opportunity to favor some one for nomination, my dream is to give everyone the chance to show to the world the uniqueness of Liberian creative landscape,”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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The South China Sea Issue: Stop Stirring the Clean Water

first_imgIt is reported that the so-called “award” will soon be issued by the South China Sea Arbitral Tribunal established at the unilateral request of the Philippines. China has declared its solemn position of non-acceptance of and non-participation in the arbitration, and will stay committed to settling the relevant disputes with the Philippines in the South China Sea through bilateral negotiation.To help people get to know the truth, I would like to share with Liberian readers the background information of the said arguments about the South China Sea Issue in terms of its history, current situation as well as the Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China on Settling Disputes Between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea Through Bilateral Negotiation. As for the Philippines’ South China Sea arbitration, the root cause of the issue is the invasion and illegal occupation by certain countries of some islands and reefs of China’s Nansha Islands. The Nansha islands have been China’s territory since ancient times. Successive Chinese governments have been exercising continuous jurisdiction over the islands and relevant waters by means of administrative management, military patrol, production and business operation and maritime rescue. Though during the World War II , Japan occupied Nansha Islands, China, as the victor of the war against Japanese aggression, finally recovered the islands according to international law and also international instruments such as the Cairo Declaration and Potsdam Proclamation. In the decades that followed, many countries recognized that the Nansha Islands belong to China and not a single country raised objection. The western border of the territory of the Philippines, according to several related treaties and documents, is at 118 degrees east longitude. China’s islands and reefs in the South China Sea are all located west of that line. However, since the early 1970s, the Philippines pursued their territorial expansion by invading and occupying 8 islands and reefs of the China’s Nansha. The Philippines’ illegal territorial claims constitute the violation of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, in disregard of historical facts and international treaties. What is more, ignoring the fact that China and the Philippines have already reached understanding to resolve relevant disputes in South China Sea through bilateral negotiation, and China have excluded compulsory settlement proceedings in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Philippines unilaterally initiated the South China Sea arbitration in January 2013 in an attempt to deny China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests and to cover up its invasion and illegal occupation of some islands and reefs of China’s Nansha Islands. It’s also noticed that some accused China of the peaceful construction on some islands and reefs of the Nansha as “militarization” and “threat” to the freedom of navigation and overflight. It’s true that China has been conducting development activities on its own territories. In fact, some countries have conduced their development activities on some islands and reefs illegally taken from China in this area at a much earlier time. What China has built focuses on making available civil services and providing international public goods, which will neither affect the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, nor damage the marine ecosystem, let alone resulting in so-called “militarization”.As for the argument that China has controlled the strategic sea lane in the South China Sea, it can’t hold water at all when confronted with the facts. China has been always honoring and maintaining the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea enjoyed by all countries in accordance with the international laws. Thanks to the concerted efforts by China and neighboring countries, the international shipping lane in the South China Sea stays unimpeded, flourishes with trade and benefits all countries concerned. However, some external countries, often in the disguise of upholding the freedom of navigation, send military vessels and airplanes approaching and even entering into the waters and air space close to the related islands and reefs of China’s Nansha Islands only to flex its military muscle. They try to stir up tensions among regional countries and interfere in the South China Sea Issue for its own political and military interests. Their actions are the true threats to the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. China stands firmly against such actions that posed threats to China’s sovereignty and security, abets the militarization of South China Sea and endangers regional peace and stability.In fact, the current tensions in the South China Sea are totally imposed artificially with an aim of stirring the clean water. It stands for a dangerous tendency constituting a grave threat to the peace and stability of the region and the world as well. Some countries with ulterior motives outside the China South Sea want to muddy the waters in the South China Sea and to destabilize Asia. Some countries try to abuse the UNCLOS as the only standard and deny the principle of territorial sovereignty established under international law, including the UN Charter. They attempt to cover up the fact that they are illegally occupying China’s islands and reefs in the Nansha Islands. Lies have short legs and truth will always come to light. China’s position is clear and firm, as indicated by the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China issued on June 8,2016 regarding settling disputes between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea through bilateral negotiation. The following is the full text:China and the Philippines are neighbors facing each other across the sea, and the two peoples have enjoyed friendship over generations. Before the Philippines’ unilateral initiation of the South China Sea arbitration on 22 January 2013, the overall situation in the South China Sea had remained stable despite certain disputes between China and the Philippines therein. Thanks to China’s efforts, China and the Philippines carried out friendly consultations on, among others, establishing dialogue mechanisms and engaging in practical cooperation and joint development, and have achieved positive outcomes in this regard. However, ever since its initiation of the arbitration, the Philippines has unilaterally closed the door of settling the South China Sea issue with China through negotiation, and has, while turning its back on the bilateral consensus regarding managing differences, taken a series of provocative moves that infringed upon China’s legitimate rights and interests. This has led to dramatic deterioration of China-Philippines relations as well as of peace and stability in the South China Sea. China is firmly opposed to the Philippines’ unilateral actions. China adheres to the solemn position of non-acceptance of and non-participation in the arbitration, and will stay committed to settling the relevant disputes with the Philippines in the South China Sea through bilateral negotiation.I. It is the common agreement and commitment of China and the Philippines to settle their relevant disputes in the South China Sea through negotiationChina has all along stood for peacefully settling territorial and maritime delimitation disputes through negotiation with States directly concerned on the basis of respecting historical facts and in accordance with international law. On issues concerning territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation, China never accepts any recourse to third party settlement, or any means of dispute settlement that is imposed on it. Territorial sovereignty issues are not subject to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). With regard to maritime delimitation disputes, China made, pursuant to Article 298 of UNCLOS, an optional exceptions declaration in 2006, excluding disputes concerning, among others, maritime delimitation from the UNCLOS third party dispute settlement procedures.It is not only the Chinese government’s consistent policy, but also a clear agreement reached between China and the Philippines, to settle their relevant disputes in the South China Sea through negotiation.The 10 August 1995 Joint Statement between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of the Philippines concerning Consultations on the South China Sea and on Other Areas of Cooperation states that “[d]isputes shall be settled in a peaceful and friendly manner through consultations on the basis of equity and mutual respect”, and that “a gradual and progressive process of cooperation shall be adopted with a view to eventually negotiating a settlement of the bilateral disputes.” Afterwards, China and the Philippines reaffirmed the consensus on settling the South China Sea issue through bilateral negotiation and consultation in a number of bilateral documents, such as the 23 March 1999 Joint Statement of the China-Philippines Experts’ Group Meeting on Confidence-Building Measures and the 16 May 2000 Joint Statement between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines on the Framework of Bilateral Cooperation in the Twenty-First Century.On 4 November 2002, China and the ten ASEAN Member States signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), in which the Parties concerned solemnly “undertake to resolve their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force, through friendly consultations and negotiations by sovereign States directly concerned, in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea”.Afterwards, China and the Philippines reaffirmed this solemn commitment they had made in the DOC in a number of bilateral documents, such as the 3 September 2004 Joint Press Statement between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the 1 September 2011 Joint Statement between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of the Philippines.II. China and the Philippines have never conducted any negotiation on the subject-matters of the arbitration initiated by the PhilippinesAccording to the Philippines, China and the Philippines have engaged in a number of exchanges of views since 1995 on the subject-matters of the arbitration initiated by the Philippines but the disputes have remained unsettled, and the Philippines has good reasons to believe that it is meaningless to continue the negotiations and it therefore has the right to initiate the arbitration. The fact, rather to the contrary, is that the two States have by far never engaged in any negotiation on the subject-matters of the arbitration.China and the Philippines have held multiple rounds of consultations on the proper management of disputes at sea, but have by far had no negotiation designed to settle the relevant disputes in the South China Sea. China has on a number of occasions proposed with the Philippines the establishment of a China-Philippines regular consultation mechanism on maritime issues; however, to date, there has never been any response from the Philippine side. On 1 September 2011, the two countries issued the Joint Statement between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Philippines, reiterating the commitment to settling the disputes in the South China Sea through negotiation. Thereafter, China, for many times, proposed restart of the China-Philippines consultation mechanism for confidence-building measures, but this proposal has once again fallen on deaf ears. It is completely groundless for the Philippines to claim that it is meaningless to continue the negotiations, and that the Philippine side has had to initiate the arbitration.III. The Philippines’ unilateral initiation of arbitration goes against the bilateral agreement on settling the disputes through negotiation and violates the provisions of UNCLOSThe South China Sea arbitration was unilaterally initiated by the Philippines. In doing so, the Philippines has turned its back on the agreement reached and repeatedly reaffirmed by China and the Philippines on settling the relevant disputes in the South China Sea through negotiation and violated its own solemn commitment in the DOC. This is a violation of the principle of Pacta sunt servanda and an abuse of the UNCLOS dispute settlement procedures. It goes against international law, including UNCLOS.First, by unilaterally initiating the arbitration, the Philippines has violated its agreement with China to settle the relevant disputes through bilateral negotiation. In relevant bilateral documents and the DOC, China and the Philippines have agreed to settle through negotiation their disputes in the South China Sea and reaffirmed this agreement many times. The above bilateral documents between China and the Philippines and relevant provisions in the DOC are mutually reinforcing and constitute a binding agreement, by which both sides have chosen to settle the relevant disputes through negotiation. The Philippines’ breach of its own solemn commitment is a deliberate act of bad faith.Second, by unilaterally initiating the arbitration, the Philippines has violated the right, as provided for in UNCLOS, of a State Party to UNCLOS to choose the means of dispute settlement of its own will. Article 280 of Part XV of UNCLOS stipulates that: “Nothing in this Part impairs the right of any States Parties to agree at any time to settle a dispute between them concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention by any peaceful means of their own choice.” Article 281 of UNCLOS provides that: “If the States Parties which are parties to a dispute concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention have agreed to seek settlement of the dispute by a peaceful means of their own choice, the procedures provided for in this Part apply only where no settlement has been reached by recourse to such means and the agreement between the parties does not exclude any further procedure”. Given that China and the Philippines have made an unequivocal choice to settle the relevant disputes through negotiation, and have excluded third party settlement procedures, including arbitration, the third party dispute settlement procedures stipulated by Part XV of UNCLOS is thus non-applicable in this regard.Third, by unilaterally initiating the arbitration, the Philippines has breached Article 283 of UNCLOS regarding the duty of exchange of views. The Philippines deliberately misrepresents certain consultations with China on maritime affairs and cooperation, all of a general nature, as negotiations over the subject-matters of the arbitration, and uses this as an excuse to claim that bilateral negotiations have been exhausted. This is despite the fact that the two States have never engaged in any negotiation on those subject-matters. Such claim made by the Philippines is fundamentally contrary to facts, and must have been made with ulterior motives.IV. China will adhere to the position of settling the relevant disputes with the Philippines in the South China Sea through negotiationChina is a major force for upholding peace and stability in the South China Sea. China is a staunch supporter of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. It is committed to upholding and promoting international rule of law and shall always respect and act in accordance with international law. While firmly safeguarding its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea, China adheres to the position of settling disputes through negotiation and consultation and managing differences through relevant rules and mechanisms. China endeavors to achieve win-win outcomes through mutually beneficial cooperation, and is committed to making the South China Sea a sea of peace, cooperation and friendship.On issues concerning territory and maritime delimitation, China does not accept any means of dispute settlement imposed on it; nor does China accept any recourse to third party settlement. The door of China-Philippines bilateral negotiation is always open. China will remain committed to settling through negotiation the relevant disputes with the Philippines in the South China Sea on the basis of respecting historical facts and in accordance with international law. China urges the Philippines to immediately cease its wrongful conduct of pushing forward the arbitral proceedings, and return to the right path of settling the relevant disputes in the South China Sea through bilateral negotiation with China.Currently more and more African countries have seen the true colors of the arbitration and rendered their support to China. The international community, especially the developing countries, demonstrates their commitment to the international law, through standing on the side of the victim and justice. The truth can not be distorted and justice naturally inhabits man’s heart. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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