first_imgFormer Director of the Guyana National Service, Retired Colonel Desmond Roberts has been sworn in as the lone Commissioner for an Inquiry into the treatment of retired members of the armed services.Colonel Roberts took his oath as Commissioner before Magistrate Judy Latchman and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon in Court Three of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Monday.Retired Colonel Desmond Roberts, Magistrate Judy Latchman and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon at the swearing inThis latest Commission of Inquiry (CoI) will seek to examine, advise and report on the conditions and circumstances facing armed services veterans, including those from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF); Guyana People’s Militia and the Guyana National Service. The public hearings will be held at the Ministry of the Presidency’s Department of Public Service, Waterloo Street.Colonel Roberts suggested that his experience in various levels of military administration has made him suitable for the post.“I’ve been a senior officer of the military. I’ve worked with the Guyana Youth Corps [and] I think administration is very important thing,” the retired army officer noted.He also related that many of the retired armed services members have skills that can be passed on.“Many veterans have skills that are actually quantifiable but are sometimes not transferrable, there is no reason why those things cannot come into civilian life, [but] we have to try to also get some equivalency to make sure that military skills could transfer.”Meanwhile, responding to questions on what Government hopes to achieve from this CoI, Minister Harmon expressed that Government would seek to implement the recommendations.“There would be some clear recommendations as to how Government should act…what institutions should be set up to ensure that veterans are given a fair share and that they are being dealt with in a fair and just manner,” Harmon further explained.Over the next two weeks, the Commission will compile its preliminary report and gather witnesses. About 60 witnesses are expected to testify from various regions across the country. These include the present and former Army Chief-of-Staff and Retired Major General and Private Sector Commission Chairman, Norman Mc Lean. Colonel Denzil Carmichael will serve as the Commission’s secretary.last_img read more


first_imgWhen one is named a diplomat to take an assignment to another country, the perception grows that he/she is taking on a prestigious position that sets life well for him/her.While this might be true about assignments to some of the brighter regions of the world, that situation no longer obtains when it comes to diplomatic assignment to just anywhere.Just ask President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who happens to know what is going on with challenges facing Liberian diplomats and other staffers abroad.In her annual message to the National Legislature on January 27, President Sirleaf emphasized that most of Liberia’s embassies in the West African sub-region and other parts of Africa are in dilapidated conditions and staffers there live as though they are not diplomats.According to the President, Liberia’s properties that are in Washington D.C, Abuja and Paris are in a relative good shape; but the rest are in serious disrepair and have suffered from neglect over the last quarter of the century as a result of the civil crisis.In addition to the woes, President Sirleaf said, “There is no provision in the budget for education allowance or medical insurance coverage for staff and, in many instances, Government is in breach of laws of the host countries regarding benefits for local employees.”Moreover, she noted, “most embassies are understaffed.  Staff accommodation is less than desirable, and because of inadequate rental allowances, many of the officers are forced to live in areas that are not representative of their status as diplomats of the Republic.”Citing some references, the President noted that in the Mano River Union Countries including Guinea, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone, prime properties for Chanceries in Abidjan, Conakry, and Freetown are in urgent need of repair and renovation.She added that in Accra, Ghana, Liberia’s embassy and Chancery are in the same neighborhood of the Vice President in the heart of Accra; but if immediate action is not taken to erect decent structures in those locations, Government could lose them.Furthermore, President Sirleaf indicated that Liberia—being one of the first to acquire property in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia—Liberia’s Embassy is within a stone’s throw of the new multi-million dollar AU Commission Headquarters.She said unless government takes action to improve the facility to conform to infrastructures in that vicinity, Liberia may lose it also.She proposed that at least US$20 million is needed to bring all Liberia’s properties to a minimum standard so that they can stand among glittering buildings around the world.Meanwhile, there are 38 facilities housing Liberia Chanceries and residences of diplomatic staff around the world.According to President Sirleaf, 15 of these properties are owned by Government while the rest are under rent.The last time a reporter was in Conakry in 2004, the Liberian residence facing the Cliff Costal Beach of the Atlantic was in a deplorable condition with no good sanitary system.The main embassy situated near the Senegalese Embassy and former President Lasana Conteh’s residence in Donka, was also in a dilapidated condition with only the Ambassador’s office at least furnished well.In Freetown, Sierra Leone in 2012, the embassy there was undergoing minor renovations, but Ambassador Thomas N. Brima at the time underscored the need for financial support from government to complete.The fact that President Sirleaf emphasized these prevailing situations for Liberian diplomats in foreign economies tells of difficulties staffers are undergoing—something that contradicts the long-held belief that prosperity is automatically associated with assignment on a diplomatic mission.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgEdwin V. Barclay, the man who was reported to be on the run because he was a ‘fake’ customs broker has denied the claim, and has threatened legal action against his accuser, the chief executive officer of the NEW VISION Media Publishing Network and African Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies, Josephus M. Gray.Mr. Barclay told the Daily Observer in an interview yesterday that contrary to the allegation, he did not dupe Mr. Gray of US$800 and neither did he dupe unidentified “individuals more than US$9,000 and other valuables pretending to be a member of the Customs Brokers Association of Liberia.”He also refuted the claim that he is wanted by the Liberia National Police (LNP), because of his involvement in forgery and impersonation, as alleged in the reports published widely in the media on December 13, allegations that he forged land deeds by falsifying signatures of officials of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy; and that he is involved with criminal gangs.“I am talking to my lawyer to seek legal redress from Mr. Gray,” he said about the man who claimed that Barclay allegedly duped him.Barclay told this newspaper that Mr. Gray was recommended to him by a man identified only as ‘Gbarlee’ to help him release his 2003 Citroen imported from Paris, France, from the Freeport of Monrovia.“I charged Mr. Gray US$50, but he told me he could get me US$20 to start the process and a day later he gave me the remaining US$30,” Barclay said. “Also the cost for the Delivery Order that gives authorization of ownership is US$175 and Mr. Gray further gave it to me and I used it to complete the Delivery Order and brought him receipts.”Barclay said he did not receive any additional money from Mr. Gray as he alleged; and after nearly three weeks of interaction, he was shocked to learn that Mr. Gray had claimed that he was on the run from justice and that he was involved in illegal activities and defrauding people.“It is a complete lie,” Barclay said, “I turned over every document to him when he told me that he did not want to use my services anymore.”Barclay said when he heard the news he consulted his lawyer who held a conference with him to ascertain what he knows about the allegations. “I told my lawyer that the only money I received from Mr. Gray was the US$50 and the US$175 that I used to process his documents for the delivery of his vehicle,” he said.He said though he is yet to face justice in a competent court of law, information provided by Mr. Gray to the media has ruined him and he would seek redress in court to reclaim his honor. Barclay said because of the media reports, his clients have withdrawn contracts because “they are convinced that I am a criminal because of what Mr. Gray released to the media.”In a telephone conversation with Mr. Gray yesterday, he insisted that the report against Barclay is true but admitted he has no receipts of the US$800 he claimed Barclay took from him.Mr. Gray meanwhile recommended that the Daily Observer invite him to a conference with Mr. Barclay, possibly today, that he promised to attend.In a letter, Barclay expressed displeasure with the report published in the Daily Observer, saying that he, along with his family, is embarrassed by the report and that the only redress to reclaim his honor is to seek legal action against Mr. Gray.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgPhoto: Billy Reimer and Wendy Pollock started the “Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Foundation” to help support local cancer patients – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.caTwo survivors are giving local cancer patients the opportunity they never had.Wendy Pollock is a breast cancer survivor, and Billy Reimer battled leukemia. Pollock says was put on medication that cost $5,000, to help boost her white blood cell count. She quit her job, which left her husband’s paycheck the only source of income for her family.- Advertisement -She says she worried about money, which caused unnecessary stress during her recovery.[asset|aid=2230|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=75d142a267a52b52f63100bb399409c0-Wendy Pollock 1_1_Pub.mp3]Billy Reimer had just started a new job when he was diagnosed, so he didn’t qualify for extended medical coverage.He says he sold his home, among other things, to afford his treatments.Advertisement Reimer notes that it’s not just medical bills that cancer patients face. He says it’s the monthly costs like rent or mortgage payments.With Christmas approaching, the foundation has begun selling tickets in advance, for its first-ever dinner, auction, and dance gala.There are 350 tickets available, and are $50.00 each. The event is at the Pomeroy Hotel on January 16th, 2010. Reimer and Pollock hope to raise $20,000.Tickets are available at the Pomeroy Hotel and the Moose FM radio station. To volunteer your time, donate an auction item, or to apply for financial assistance call Billy Reimer at 250-262-8883. [asset|aid=2231|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=75d142a267a52b52f63100bb399409c0-Billy Reimer 1_1_Pub.mp3]Both Reimer and Pollock searched for financial assistance, but to no avail.The pair decided at that point that a foundation needs to be in place to help those who are vulnerable. Two months ago, the local branch of the Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Foundation began.[asset|aid=2232|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=75d142a267a52b52f63100bb399409c0-Billy Reimer 2_1_Pub.mp3]Advertisementlast_img read more