Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos View comments Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely “We’re going to try and do something practically impossible next week,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. “We’re Atletico Madrid and maybe, just maybe, we can do it.”Madrid, which is looking to reach its third final in four seasons, was in control from the start at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and took advantage of Ronaldo’s impressive form. He had scored five in the two legs of the quarterfinals against Bayern Munich, including a hat trick in the second leg at the Bernabeu.“The team was amazing, it was a complete match,” said Ronaldo, who reached the 400-goal milestone in his 389th game with Madrid. “We played well from start to finish.”He opened the scoring on Tuesday after Atletico’s defense failed to fully clear a cross into the area. Midfielder Casemiro sent the ball back in with a bouncing shot and Ronaldo got ahead of defender Stefan Savic to nod it past Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak.Ronaldo, Madrid’s all-time scoring leader, added to the lead after Atletico defender Filipe Luis lost the ball in a challenge with the Portugal star, who entered the area and fired a right-foot shot past Oblak into the upper corner.ADVERTISEMENT He scored with a header in the 10th minute, with a strike into the top corner in the 73rd and a close-range shot in the 86th to give Madrid a comfortable lead going into next week’s second leg at Atletico’s Vicente Calderon Stadium.Monaco hosts Juventus in the first leg of the other semifinal on Wednesday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return“We played a great match,” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. “It’s not easy to score three times against such a difficult opponent and keep a clean sheet.”The result left Atletico close to yet another disappointing elimination against the crosstown rival, following defeats in the Champions League in the last three seasons. Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio 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 respite Wildlife rescuers asked to turn over animals to DENR LATEST STORIES Taal Volcano evacuees warned against going home Recovering from knife attack, Petra Kvitova back at practice MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates at the end of the match after the Champions League semifinal first leg soccer match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid. APMADRID — Another impressive performance by Cristiano Ronaldo has left Real Madrid on the verge of another Champions League final.Ronaldo scored a hat trick to reach 400 goals with Madrid and lead the defending champions to a commanding 3-0 win over city rival Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal on Tuesday (Wednesday Manila time).ADVERTISEMENT Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely LIST: Jan. 20 class suspensions due to Taal Volcano eruption He scored his 10th Champions League goal of the season with a low shot from inside the area after a pass by Lucas Vazquez. Ronaldo now has 103 goals in the Champions League, not counting one he scored in the qualifiers, which is three more than Atletico has scored since the new format was created in 1992.Madrid dominated early on, controlling possession and causing problems for Atletico’s defense with set pieces taken by midfielder Toni Kroos. Madrid had 11 attempts against only one for Atletico in the first half alone. It ended with 16 against four for Atletico.“Our first 30 minutes were fantastic, we started with great intensity,” Zidane said. “And in the second half we were very effective. We didn’t have as many chances, but we still scored twice.”The visitors improved in the second half, keeping Madrid from threatening as much, but they still were not able to create many scoring chances.“We had the ball in the second half but didn’t create anything and they exploited the spaces well,” Simeone said.Atletico’s best chance of the match came in the 17th minute, when forward Kevin Gameiro received the ball inside the area but wasn’t able to clear Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas in a one-on-one situation.The crosstown rivals are meeting for the fourth consecutive time in the top European club competition. Madrid defeated Atletico in the final last season and also in 2014, and eliminated Simeone’s team in the quarterfinal in 2015.Madrid, which won its record 11th-title last year, is trying to become the first team to win back-to-back Champions League titles since the competition’s new format began. No team has had a chance to defend its title since Manchester United in 2009.Atletico, the third force in Spanish soccer behind Madrid and Barcelona, is trying to win its first title and avenge the heartbreaking losses to Madrid in a penalty shootout last year and after extra time in 2014. Atletico also lost the final in 1974, to Bayern Munich.Tuesday’s loss at the Bernabeu was the first for Atletico in 16 away games. Simeone’s team had kept nine clean sheets in its last 13 games in all competitions, conceding only four goals. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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Omar McLeod continued his wining ways, Ronald Levy announced himself to the world, and Elaine Thompson suffered her first real loss this season in a breakneck women’s 200m at the Prefontaine Classic, IAAF Diamond League at Hayward Field in Oregon, USA.McLeod has only lost once in his past seven starts and never looked troubled throughout yesterday’s 110m hurdles showdown, crossing the line in a world-leading time of 13.01 seconds – his fastest time in over a year.University of Technology student Ronald Levy confirmed his good start to the season with a personal best 13.10 run for second place, making him the fifth fastest man in the event since the start of the 2016 season, while American Devon Allen, 13.11, was second.Thompson has been on fire all season, but she didn’t have things her way this time around as impressive corner runs by American Tori Bowie, 21.77, and Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo, 21.91 – both of whom were running personal best times, gave the Jamaican too much work to do in the end.The Olympic champion crossed the line in 21.98 seconds, her fastest time so far this season.SOLID WINVeronica Campbell-Brown, 11.00, and Simone Facey, 11.13, finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in a wind-affected (+2.1 m/s) women’s 100m, where American Morolake Akinosun, 10.94, ran away with a solid win in personal best fashion. Murielle Ahoure, 10.96, and Michelle-Lee Ahye, 10.97, were next best.Janieve Russell was eighth in the women’s 400m hurdles in a time of 56.21 with the event going to Ashley Spencer in 53.38.
Schoolboy Christopher Taylor upstaged his more senior athletes by taking home the Men’s 400m title in 44.86 seconds, on the final day of the JAAA Supreme Ventures Limited National Junior and Senior Championships at the National Stadium yesterday. Taylor ran a personal best and a National Junior record as he dipped under 45 seconds for the first time in his career, erasing Akeem Bloomfield’s National Junior record of 44.93 seconds. Taylor, who decided to compete in the one lap event among the seniors, instead of the Junior 200m, where he is the world leader, had stated a few weeks ago that his aim was to go sub 45 seconds and also to break the National Junior record. He did not disappoint. Drawn in lane five, ahead of Sprintec Track Club’s Demish Gaye, in lane four, Taylor took Gaye out of his comfort zone quite early with his blistering early speed. Gaye was second in 45.23 seconds, with Fitzroy Dunkley finishing third in 45.77 seconds. Javon Francis, who had a knee injury after his semi-final run, did not show up for the final. “My aim coming to the Championships, competing against the Seniors, was to break the National Junior record and getting a sub 45 seconds. I achieved both and I am very happy,” said Taylor minutes after his excellent run. Commonwealth Games silver medallist, Stephenie Ann McPherson was crowned female champion in the one lap event after an easy win in 50.74 seconds, as Christine Day, 51.41, and Anastasia Leroy, 52.00 seconds, finished second and third respectively. MVP Track Club’s Shericka Jackson and Louisiana State University’s Jahnoy Thompson were impressive in winning the Women’s and Men’s 200m. Jackson, following her third place finish at the meet in the 100m, was too good for her rivals in the half lap event, after posting 22.38 seconds to get the better of Shashalee Forbes, of Sprintec, who was second in 22.95 seconds, with Jeanine Williams of the University of the West Indies, third in 23.28 seconds. Jahnoy Thompson clocked a personal best in the Men’s equivalent. After a slow start, he caught up with his main rivals, just coming off the curve, then held his form well to score a good win in 20.21 seconds. Nigel Ellis clocked 20.37 seconds for second, as 100m champion, Tyquendo Tracy finished fast for third in 20.51 seconds. Defending female 100m hurdles champion, Danielle Williams retained her title, but had to work overtime after an average start, as Sprintec Yanique Thompson had a slight lead before Williams found her top form late to win in 12.63 seconds, ahead of Thompson, second in 12.78 seconds, with third going to Jodean Williams, formerly of Immaculate High in 12.94 seconds. Commonwealth Games champion Ronald Levy captured his second national title after winning the Men’s 110m hurdles in a decent 13.16 seconds. Former champion, Hansle Parchment, after a poor start, had to settle for second, in 13.40 seconds, as Andrew Riley was third in 13.53 seconds.
Coach of Jamaica’s National Junior Squash team Bruce Burrowes says that he is very confident that they can win this year’s JN General Insurance (JNGI) Caribbean Area Squash Association’s Junior Championships, which will be held at the Liguanea Club in Kingston from July 8-14.Jamaica finished third at last year’s championships, which was won by Barbados, but speaking at yesterday’s press launch, which was held at the Liguanea Club in Kingston, Burrowes said that the local players have worked well in their preparation for the championships ,and they were looking forward to the competition.”I am fairly confident because we have a wide group of ages. We have under-11 all the way up to under-19, and certain categories are more confident than others,” said Burrowes.”We are strong in the Boys’ Under-19, Girls’ Under-13, and we should be fine in the Boys’ Under-15,” Burrowes said.Chris Hind, general manager of title sponsors JNGI, said they were expecting a very exciting championships.Big competition”This is one of the big tournaments in our region, and more than 120 athletes will be coming from more than seven countries, and so it is really the pinnacle, and we are going to see our young athletes competing against the very best in the region,” Hind, who is also president of the Jamaica Squash Association, said.”The Jamaica National Group and JNGI is very focused on giving back to communities and nation building, and we believe that squash can be a great tool for the positive development of young people,” he added.Players from Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States will compete at the tournament.All-Jamaica champion and second seed Jonathan Walker will lead the country’s charge for the Boys’ Under-19 title, where he is expected to face stiff competition from Barbados’ Josiah Griffith.Top performances are also expected from regional ‘super girl’ Meagan Best of Barbados who holds the Caribbean Under-17 title, as well as the women’s crown and her teammate Khamal Cumberbatch, who is ranked number one in the boys Under-17 category.
Philip Feanny has reaffirmed his confidence in female apprentice Mellisa Ward by rewarding her with a second ride aboard ever-improving MARVELLOUS MARVA in this afternoon’s Owen Silvera Memorial at a mile, following her Labour Day victory with the five-year-old mare in the Mark My Word Trophy. Ward scored a narrow all-the-way victory, beating HOVER CRAFT by a head, but now faces a 15lb weight swing in a rematch with champion trainer Wayne DaCosta’s runner. HOVER CRAFT will carry 110lb this afternoon, down from 125lb on Labour Day, whereas MARVELLOUS MARVA returns with 119lb, the exact weight she had in her plucky victory with Ward. DaCosta has four in-form runners in the six-horse field – HOVER CRAFT, RADICAL, UNCLE FRANK, and SUPERTRONICS – recent winners, who are all in receipt of weight from MARVELLOUS MARVA. However, whereas MARVELLOUS MARVA is going for a fourth open-allowance victory, only HOVER CRAFT, from DaCosta’s quartet, has ever won at the level. Despite giving weight all around, MARVELLOUS MARVA’s rapid improvement as a four-year-old, at the back end of last season, still makes her the horse to beat. After winning the Mark My Word, Feanny’s runner faced grade one horses a week ago, the Viceroy Trophy, and was only beaten four and a quarter lengths by HOUDINI’S MAGIC fast 1:50.4 at nine furlongs. Always prominent throughout, MARVELLOUS MARVA sat in splits of 1:10.3 for six furlongs and 1:35.4 for a mile, a pace that ran two of the best horses in the country, WILL IN CHARGE AND BIGDADDYKOOL, totally off their legs. Meanwhile, BIMINI the third-longest shot on the board, yesterday stunned rivals at 14-1 in the five-furlong round overnight allowance sprint, pouncing on the trio of SIR BUDGET, POLLY B, and TALENTED TONY K, who engaged in a breakneck speed duel down the backstretch and into the lane. Sitting fourth in the catbird seat along the rail, BIMINI hit top stride in the stretch run with apprentice Odeen Edwards and came forward strongly to hit the front a furlong out. CRUCIAL APPEAL ran on inside the final half-furlong to chase home BIMINI, who clocked 1:00.3 for the distance, refitted with the blinkers in which she had made a brave bid at odds of 9-1, going five and a half furlongs but caught and beaten into fifth place by WONG DON a month ago.
Fabian Taylor, the head coach of Harbour View FC, has described yesterday’s 1-0 win over UWI FC as a real morale booster in their quest for a top-six spot in the Red Stripe Premier League. Shemar Nairne netted the all important winner in the 37th minute at the UWI’s Mona Bowl. The victory lifted Harbour View from 10th to ninth place on 23 points while UWI FC remain sixth on 27 points. Harbour View are now on a four-game unbeaten run in the competition and Taylor said the team has been moving from strength to strength and he is confident that they can secure a spot in the play-offs. “We are not a club that is used to being in the bottom half of the table and so the top six should always be our goal and that is what we are aiming at now,” said Taylor. The former Jamaica international said it is all about defence and keeping clean sheets. “We haven’t conceded any goals in the last four games and we have scored six. It’s kudos to the team because the guys have been working hard and keeping a good defensive shape,” he said. Nairne netted the lone goal for Harbour View when he arrived at the back post to tap in a cross from Odane Samuels. FAULTY SHOOTING UWI FC tried hard to earn at least a point but faulty from their attackers let them down. Taylor added that the new year has been good to Harbour View. “We needed to turn a new page this year and I think we are doing that now because we started off with a draw against Arnett Gardens and a win against UWI FC now and so that is good for us,” he said. “We came here for all three points and we got that because the guys followed instructions and really executed the game plan well.” Yesterday’s results – Reno 0 Dunbeholden 3 – UWI FC 0 Harbour View 1 – Arnett Gardens 0 Portmore 1 – Tivoli 2 Humble Lion 0 Today’s games 3 p.m: Mount Pleasant vs Waterhouse 5 p.m: Cavalier vs Montego Bay United
On the eve of the 50th Anniversary of our achievement of Independence from Britain, it is somewhat serendipitous that a Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) was established “to inquire into, report on and make recommendations on the role, functions, recruitment process, remuneration, conditions and other matters pertaining to the personnel employed in the Guyana Public Service.”The members of the Commission were Professor Harold Lutchman, who had written a history of the Civil Service, Sandra Jones a management consultant, and Samuel Goolsarran a member of the Consultative Association of Guyanese Industry.The CoI began hearings last September and submitted its report to the Ministry of the Presidency last week. The serendipity arises because of the eve of independence there was also an investigation into the Public Service.During the tumultuous years of civil riots and unrest preceding independence, the PPP had consistently called for the British to conduct an enquiry into the ethnic imbalances in the police and Volunteer Forces, but these were brushed aside by the PNC after they acceded to power.However, the British insisted and Burnham finally agreed to an investigation by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) to investigate the PPP’s claim. The PNC-UF government however, unilaterally expanded the CoI’s terms of reference to include the civil service, government agencies, the allocation of lands on land development schemes, and other areas of government responsibility.With specific reference to the Civil Service, the ICJ commission which took submissions in 1965, was instructed “to consider existing procedures relating to the selection, appointment, promotion, dismissal and conditions of service of personnel are such as to encourage or lead to racial discrimination in the areas concerned; to make such recommendations as are considered necessary to correct any such procedures with a view to the elimination of imbalance based on racial discrimination having regard to the need to maintain the efficiency of the services concerned and the public interest.”Interestingly enough, the PPP was incensed by the PNC’s including the composition of the Civil Service , which even though also racially imbalanced, was not felt to be as strategically important as the police and armed forces in the maintenance of political power. By this time the British had formed the nucleus of a future army for the country – the Special Services Unit (SSU) equally balanced between African and Indian Guyanese. The British Governor had no problem with recruiting the requisite number of Indians. The PPP, however, boycotted the sittings of the ICJ’s hearings.The ICJ highlighted Indian sentiment on their desire to enter the Civil Service which was seen as the epitome of “success” in the society at large, since it positioned citizens closest to the occupants of power positions. Their Report stated: “It may be said that the existence of a “racial problem” in British Guiana came to be noticed as a political factor about the year 1950. By then some Africans had begun to fear that if the Indian economic and social progress continued it would menace the advancement they had made. The Indians, on the other hand, felt that their newly-found desire to enter public services, such as the Civil Service and the police, was being thwarted by the fact that the Africans were already predominant in those services and that the conditions of entry were restrictive or discriminatory. These fears have to be viewed against the background of an economy which was not sufficiently buoyant or expansionist to allay fears of economic insecurity.”In the waning days of the Jagdeo administration there were charges made via a private court action that the PPP had “discriminated” against African Guyanese in the Public Service, and these charges figured prominently during the last elections campaign. It is hoped the present CoI has touched on this matter of “racial/ethnic imbalances” in the Public Services, much as the Disciplined Forces Commission in 2004 echoed the ICJ in their recommendations on “balancing” the Armed Forces.
The commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the abolition Indian indentureship kicked off last Thursday with a dinner hosted by the High Commissioner of India and a gala event at the National Culture Centre the following evening. As the vaunted “land of six peoples”, Guyana should consider itself fortunate by its diversity but at the same time, it has to continuously engage in self-reflection to ensure the peoples see themselves as part of one Guyanese mosaic. The Indian indentureship abolition event provides one such opportunity.Modern Guyana was built on the fateful decision of European colonisers not to exploit the labour of the native Indigenous peoples to provide labour on their plantations which provided their home countries with tropical produce. African slaves were introduced from the beginning in the early seventeenth century by the Dutch and in 1834 when slavery was abolished by the British, which then “owned” British Guiana, over 80,000 slaves were liberated.The English abolitionists had supported the suggestion by Adam Smith that “free labour” would be more efficient that slave labour on the plantations. The planters, however, were convinced the freed Africans would not be as reliable as was demanded by the exigencies of sugar production. Compounding their claim was their knowledge that with the imminent removal of preferential sugar tariffs in Britain, their profits would plummet and wages would have to shrink, which would be unacceptable to the freed slaves.The planters turned instead to indentured labour, which ironically, had been the first choice of European colonists when they brought their own poor to the other islands in the 17th century. Under indentured labour contracts, the passage of the labourer was paid for by the employer but he had to work for a specified period under stipulated conditions. These were very harsh and had criminal sanctions. At the end of the period he was now free and given a sum of money, or more frequently, a plot of land that formed the foundation of his independent livelihood.After introducing Portuguese and a smattering of other Europeans indentures, India provided the bulk of the indentured labourers, with substantial numbers of freed Africans introduced from other Caribbean Islands and Africa. During indentureship, the Portuguese and Chinese immediately moved off the plantations, which were then serviced by skilled Africans in the factories and Indians in the fields. To augment their increasingly meagre wages, the Indians exchanged their contracted right of return passage to India for small plots of land on which they planted rice and cash crops. They also reared cattle which then offered livelihoods off the plantation.The end of Indian indentureship was resisted by the planters who wanted continued supplies to undercut the bargaining power of the contract-expired Indians. Their lobby in the British Parliament was counter-manned by English officials in the Government of India, a much more lucrative colony, which wanted to placate Indian nationalists. The latter, from the Indian National Congress, were informed about the abysmal conditions of indentured labourers by Mohandas Gandhi, then a young lawyer in Natal South Africa. While the periodic strikes by indentures on the plantations – here and in other colonies – to protest the violations of their contractual conditions were controlled by the planters via their proxy state Police did not have local impact, their reports in India stimulated the Indian nationalists in India. Especially in 1913 when 13 workers were shot and killed at Plantation Rose Hall.The end of Indian indentureship then precipitated the struggle by Indians for equity, justice and full civil rights after all indentured contracts were commuted on January 1, 1920, and they became full citizens. Even though a labour union to represent urban workers was launched in 1919, fourteen protesting sugar workers were shot and killed in 1924. Finally, in 1939, after four more were killed at Leonora and five in 1948 at Enmore, their own labour union picked up their struggle, which unfortunately, continues into the present.
A United Nations publication on the state of the world’s Indigenous peoples reveals that all over the world first peoples continue to suffer from disproportionally high rates of poverty, health problems, crime and human rights abuses.According to the UN study, Indigenous peoples make up around 370 million of the world’s population – some five per cent. However, according to the survey, they constitute around one-third of the world’s 900 million extremely poor rural people. The report states, inter alia: “Every day, Indigenous communities all over the world face issues of violence and brutality, continuing assimilation policies, dispossession of land, marginalisation, forced removal or relocation, denial of land rights, impacts of large-scale development, abuses by military forces and a host of other abuses.”The report also draws a dismal picture of the fate of Indigenous peoples worldwide. It stated, “… statistics illustrate the gravity of the situation in both developed and developing countries. Poor nutrition, limited access to care, lack of resources crucial to maintaining health and well-being, and contamination of natural resources are all contributing factors to the terrible state of Indigenous health worldwide.” The State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples report was authored by seven independent experts and produced by the Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.However, the social demographics for Guyana’s hinterland communities and Indigenous peoples changed with the advent of the PPP/C Administration.While the first peoples of this country comprise approximately 9.1 per cent of the population, they currently own in excess of 14.1 per cent of the land, including the forest resources within their titled lands. This is their bounden right because they are the traditional keepers and guardians of the rainforests, for which Guyana was bountifully rewarded through the Norway pact. Amerindians also received protected rights by way of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and when the PPP/C Administration passed the Amerindian Act 6 of 2006.In fairness to the previous Administration, it made great strides during its tenure in office to protect Amerindians’ rights to their land.The unprecedented granting of titles and demarcation grants was full proof of a sincere and firm commitment by the previous Government towards protecting the land rights of the Indigenous peoples of Guyana.It would, however, seem that the current coalition Government has diverted from its many pre-election promises to the Amerindians and has demonstrated no political will to execute a comprehensive developmental agenda for this country’s first peoples. Its promises seem to be constricted to political statements that are often empty and, at best, rhetorical.Relative to Amerindian development, the very basic principles of consultation, participation and authority to govern and administer their affairs were the foundations of the previous Government’s strategy for development that have already been tested during its tenure, and that have put the Amerindian way of life many notches higher than what it was during the PNC era.However, in a letter penned by Amerindian representative Alister Charlie, he expressed fear that his people were now in danger of returning to the ethos of yesteryear, when the Indigenous peoples were alluded to and treated in a derogatory way.While the previous Government (now in Opposition) remained steadfast in its resolve and commitment to uplift the present malaise of Guyana’s Amerindians, whose rights and welfare had often taken the backseat, the current coalition Administration seems to be taking the Amerindian community down a retrograde path through the establishment of a land rights commission that is programmed to address African and Amerindian land rights together.The rights to land, territory, and resources are well entrenched in the Amerindian Act of 2006.Amerindian Villages have the right to independently set their respective rules that are not contrary to existing law. The Amerindian Act of 2006 and the Constitution of Guyana clearly stipulate the participation and involvement of Indigenous peoples in policy formulation. The Act has been enacted through massive consultation with the village leaders and villagers.The issues on titling as have been documented in the Amerindian Lands Commission Report of 1969 are respected by the State and Amerindians as well. Efforts in bridging gaps between the said report and the present land titling systems had been in constant review by the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs (MOAA) and the Amerindian leaders and villagers.On Sunday, more than 800 Amerindians, from more than 13 villages in Region One (Barima/Waini), unanimously passed a motion that condemns the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) by President David Granger to “examine all issues and uncertainties surrounding the claims of Amerindian land titling”. This is the latest in the committed efforts by the Amerindian people to reject the Government’s ploy to set up a land CoI.
Dear Editor,I am one of a few small miners to have worked for several years on land that was a Government reserve up until a few months ago. We have been informed that this land now belongs to a large scale miner, and have been told to cease working immediately and to pack up and leave the site. Editor, we have tried unsuccessfully to get mining permission for this land and now we are left wondering how this large scale miner got documents to this piece of land, which we, the miners who are actually working the land, could not receive. We have sought an audience with the Natural Resources Minister, Mr Raphael Trotman, but were without any success. We tried calling his office many times and on every occasion we were told that he is unavailable. We also wrote to him but we are yet to receive a response. We journeyed to GGMC to meet with Minister Broomes on her “Open Day”. However we were told that the “Open Day” has been discontinued.It is as if this Government does not want to hear the complaints of small miners. There is no policy or forum to address the concerns of small miners; no provisions have been made for us to receive any of the land that was recently allotted and distributed to miners. Editor, the recent distribution of land, which was promised by Minister Trotman to small miners to remedy the historic wrong, which resulted in miners not having any lands to work, came and went. Yet most small miners have not received any land, neither do we know what process, if any exists, is for us to get a piece of this land. The recent land distribution is like a national secret, nobody knows anything about it.The President told us that Minister Broomes was transferred to the Natural Resources Minister because of her vast experience in the mining industry, so why is Minister Broomes not dealing with mining issues? Why has she stopped conducting the “Open Day” and why is she no longer meeting with small miners? Where and to whom are small miners supposed to bring our complaints now?We were happy when the President transferred Broomes to Natural Resources, and we gratefully brought our complaints to her on Wednesdays at the GGMC, when she convened an “Open Day” to meet the public. We familiar with her and we are aware that she knows what happens in the gold bush. Many small miners went to her and have had their problems resolved. Why has this successful initiative been abruptly scrapped?It feels as though nobody cares.Sincerely,Small-Scale Miner