Significant apprehension nationally and internationally

first_imgDear Editor,There is a direct relationship between the operations of a Government of any country, and its functions to influence governance approaches that are binding on citizens, partnerships with other States, as well as national and international business arrangements.The foundation of such arrangements is enshrined in the Constitution of a State, as it informs the basis under which current and future behavioral norms of any Government is premised. Unconstitutionality in this realm is therefore intolerable!The consequences for breaches of these central Constitutional pillars will not only undermine the current relationships and existing obligations of the State, but will be dire for all futuristic arrangements as it informs a defining framework of untrustworthiness and uncertainty. Such an unpredictable environment feeds illegitimacy, and fuels circumstances under which only the few in Government can benefit.Under the globally accepted democratic formula to which Guyana is constitutionally committed, things have become glaringly abnormal. There is now significant apprehension nationally and internationally, given the surreptitious delaying signals from the fallen of the APNU/AFC Government in response to the passing of the historic No-Confidence Motion in the Nationally Assembly on December 21, 2018.Today, imminent personalities and prominent Organisations both nationally and internationally, are justifiably demanding the activation of the mechanism for the holding of General and Regional Elections within ninety days as instructed by the Guyana Constitution. The immediate resignation of the Cabinet prescribed by Section 106 of the Constitution implies and infers a meaning of immediate suspension of forward functionality by the Principals of this Government Organ. The President is also committed to resign his individual portfolio on the election of a President following elections held in the prescribed period.It is implicit that during this period, Ministers, Prime Minister as well as the persons who formed the Cabinet, would have lost their portfolio. We should refer to them by their respective names only! These rude, abusive and disrespectful persons must face the citizens at the ensuing polls and be held accountable for their activities that informed the loss of confidence by the majority of citizens.Amidst the high tension and the debacle of our citizens’ exposure to the significant incompetence of this APNU/AFC cabal, it is indeed very heartening to see that Guyanese are responding to this present political situation very sensibly.Observably, our people are demonstrating the will to charter their own destiny, and not leave it in the hands of a few self-aggrandising and uncaring individuals. Citizens are going about their daily lives with cool, and waiting for the constitutionally instructive period to change this trespassing APNU/AFC Government by March 19, 2019. Guyanese must not allow our country to have an unconstitutional Government and our citizens have issued the eviction notice.Sincerely,Neil Kumarlast_img read more

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Songbirds Sing on a Fast Wing

first_imgPurple martins and wood thrushes are common songbirds of the eastern United States.  Until recently, it has not been possible to follow their movements accurately.  Now, a team of biologists in Toronto, Erie and Cambridge was able to track them with tiny geolocators.  They found that the little birds fly farther and faster than previously known.    Reporting in Science,1 the ornithologists found that most of the purple martins made it from Pennsylvania to the Yucatan (2500 km) in 5 days.  That’s 500 km, (over 300 miles), per day.  Then the birds stopped over there for 3 to 4 weeks before moving south to the Amazon basin.  Some of the wood thrushes that migrated from Pennsylvania spent a 2-4 week stopover in the southeastern United States before crossing the Gulf of Mexico.  A couple of the monitored thrushes stopped also in the Yucatan before reaching wintering grounds in Honduras or Nicaragua.    As if that were not amazing enough, the return flights were 2 to 6 times faster.  One female martin made the 7500 km trip from the Amazon Basin to Pennsylvania in 13 days – averaging 577 km (360 mi) per day.  That includes 4 stopover days.  The wood thrushes took 13 to 15 days to get home.  One of them, oddly, took the overland route instead of crossing the Gulf of Mexico, requiring 29 days to complete the 4600 km route.    How do these new studies enhance our understanding of bird flight capabilities?  “Previous studies appear to greatly underestimate the true flight performance of migrating songbirds because spring migration speed has typically been estimated at under 150 km/day.”  National Geographic News reported on the story with pictures and a video.  The lead author commented on the purple martin front-runner, “Maybe this is some kind of super-bird, but still I was really impressed that any bird can do this.  These birds are traveling really fast and breaking all the rules.”    Science Daily also reported on the research.  The geolocators, it said, are smaller than a dime and mounted on the birds’ backs with thin straps around the legs, hopefully not interfering with flight.  One can only wonder if the record-setting female martin might have bested her own time without the backpack.1.  Stutchbury, Tarof, Done, Gow, Kramer, Tautin, Fox, and Afanasyev, “Tracking Long-Distance Songbird Migration by Using Geolocators,” Science, 13 February 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5916, p. 896, DOI: 10.1126/science.1166664.This bird didn’t break any rules.  God didn’t put speed limit signs on the route.  He equipped these amazing creatures with awe-inspiring capabilities and let them loose to fly like they were designed to do at their own pace.  We can watch the race like sports fans.    Here is another story that owed nothing to Darwin.  Neither the original paper or the popular write-ups even mentioned him.  Darwinists keep saying that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.  This science project did just fine in natural ambience without the black lights (see 02/10/2009 commentary, last line).(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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R44m facelift for Mpumalanga reserves

first_img19 December 2012 Plans are under way to give the nature reserves in the South African Lowveld’s Panorama a R44-million facelift from next year, says Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza. “The emergency fund will be used to upgrade the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, Manyeleti Reserve, Loskop Dam Nature Reserve and Songimvelo Reserve,” Mabuza said. However, the Blyde River Canyon will enjoy preference and renovations will start as soon as possible.” He said the renovations in the Blyde River Canyon will be done on Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s Window, “Drie Rondawels” and Lowveld Views and River Falls. Bourke’s Luck Potholes will get a new entrance gate which will accommodate buses without obstructing the road. A restaurant will be opened with a capacity of 50 seats, and reconstruction of an eco-centre with new animal trophies, lighting and geological features will begin. Ablution facilities, offices and guest houses will also be upgraded and new boreholes will be drilled for water supply. God’s Window, just outside Graskop, will also have a new entrance gate, parking areas, walkways and view site railings. Potholes around “Drie Rondawels” and Lowveld Views will be patched and the road repaired. Walkways and railings to view sites will be installed and ablution facilities will be built, and River Falls will have new curio stalls and ablution facilities as well. Mabuza said the upgrading will also help the historic town, Pilgrim’s Rest, get back on its feet. He said the Economic Development, Environment and Tourism Department had been tasked with ensuring Pilgrim’s Rest is restored. “This campaign is targeting the festive season travellers from Gauteng and appealing to their travel needs of a tranquil and relaxed holiday,” said Mabuza. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

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AU celebrates 50th anniversary

first_img23 May 2013The African Union (AU), previously the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), marks its 50th anniversary this week with a series of events aimed at building a common identity and sense of belonging among all people on the continent.On Monday, the Scramble for Africa Conference, involving academics from the continent and the diaspora, started in Pretoria. On Wednesday, a gala dinner pitched as a networking session with African embassies took place in Pretoria, and on Friday Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile will open the exhibition “Cultural Brokerage: Africa Imagined (Act1)” at the Pretoria Arts Museum.The activities will culminate in the Africa Day celebrations planned for Saturday, when President Jacob Zuma will unveil an artwork at the AU’s headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as South Africa’s cultural contribution to the organisation’s 50th anniversary.The Department of Arts and Culture, the City of Tshwane and the Africa Institute of South Africa are celebrating the anniversary under the theme “2013, Year of Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance”.According to Mashatile, the anniversary will encourage South Africans to see themselves as part of an African movement for change, while acknowledging the role of the OAU in bringing an end to apartheid.“As the government, we are particularly interested in pursuing a social cohesion programme that will help the people of the country and continent to redefine their social, political and cultural identity in a manner that will give them a sense of belonging and ownership to determine their own future and destiny,” Mashatile said.Promoting African unityIt has been 50 years since the emergence of the OAU and a decade since the formation of the AU.Comprising 54 member states, the organisation brought the continent together to collectively address its challenges, including conflict, social upheaval, climate change and poverty.It seeks to promote an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa that is people-centred and represents a dynamic force on the world stage.Significantly, during the 2008-09 global economic crisis, Africa’s economies continued to expand, and growth forecasts for the continent remain positive.However, the benefits are not reaching all Africans. Poverty, hunger and disparities in health, education and social participation are preventing the continent’s people from fully realising their full potential.Africa Day will enable the continent to take stock of its assets, capabilities, opportunities and challenges and to look forward and define the pan-African values that will underpin the African agenda over the next five decades.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Buy local to build South Africa’s economy

first_imgLeslie Sedibe will feature on the next instalment of Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part TV series, to air on Sunday 24 August on SABC2 at 9pm Proudly South African launched the Ubuntu Schools Campaign against sexual violence and bullying in schools in 2012. If anything, the campaign has shown a pressing need for guidance, mentorship, vision, discipline and encouragement in schools. (Image: Proudly South African)• Leslie SedibeCEOProudly South African+27 11 327 7778info@proudlysa.co.zaMelissa Jane CookSocial cohesion will only come on the back of economic success, says Leslie Sedibe, the chief executive of Proudly South African. The country faces massive challenges of unemployment, poverty and growing inequalities, he points out. The simplest solution is to buy local as this will grow the economy and increase jobs.Sedibe is an advocate, and holds a BA, LLB and LLM (Tax) from Wits University. Before joining Proudly South African, he was heavily involved in the football World Cup in South Africa in 2010. He was the head of legal of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee; during the championship he was the chief executive of the South African Football Association (Safa), and chairperson of the National Rights Protection Programme.In addition, he was on the boards of Safa and the Local Organising Committee. Other boards on which Sedibe has served include EMI and the SABC. He was the deputy chairman of the Film and Publication Board and chaired the board of the Recording Industry of South Africa and the South African Music Awards, or Samas. Added to his business acumen, he is a passionate activist and introduced the Ubuntu Schools Campaign against sexual violence and bullying in schools.Proudly South AfricanThis project is about national identity and the need to encourage people to buy South African goods, Sedibe says. “This job’s not just about patriotism; it’s about investing in the country, about job creation.” Buying local will boost the economy and, in turn, job creation.Sedibe’s main task is to ensure that South Africans are proud of that which makes this country great. If it were up to him, he would introduce a rule that compelled South Africans to buy local every time they shopped, particularly for clothing. He laments that thousands of people lost their jobs in the textile industry partly because a number of South Africans chose to buy imported designer labels. But he believes the campaigns he leads at Proudly South African will go a long way in educating South Africans about the importance of choosing locally produced goods and services.His first task at Proudly South African was to reposition the brand and ensure that more South Africans understood its ethos. To achieve this, he set himself four goals: to ensure more South Africans buy local; to ensure the country produces quality products; to campaign for fair labour standards; and to protect the environment.Lesley Sedibe reminds South Africans to embrace Brand SANeed for jobsFirst conceived at the Presidential Job Summit in 1998, the Proudly South African campaign was born out of a socio-economic need to create jobs, under the leadership of Nelson Mandela. Mandela was the president of the country at the time. Through the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), the campaign was launched in 2001 and supported by the government, organised business and labour. It promotes national pride, patriotism and social cohesion.“I think that South Africa needs more and more people to dedicate themselves and their lives to better position South Africa. One of the things that really strongly influences me is what Madiba spoke about in parliament after 10 years of democracy. He said his wish for South Africa was that South Africans should never give up on the belief in goodness,” Sedibe says.Under his leadership, Proudly South African has been vigorous in its “buy local” campaign and many seem to be heeding the call. The campaign seeks to promote South African companies, products and services which are actively helping to create jobs and economic growth.“What we really need as South Africans [is] to speak well and positively about our country. There’s a very good reason for that. I think we need to be very careful as South Africans about what we say about our country because you could be the only person that the world will interact with to know South Africa. If you say negative things about South Africa then people will have a negative view [of] South Africa.”Sedibe is adamant South Africans will never see the value of a South African product unless they have pride in who they are and their creativity.Ubuntu Schools CampaignProudly South African launched the Ubuntu Schools Campaign against sexual violence and bullying in schools in 2012. If anything, the campaign has shown a pressing need for guidance, mentorship, vision, discipline and encouragement in schools. “The Ubuntu Schools Campaign is a direct response to the level of violence that happens in our schools and communities, particularly issues around sexual violence and bullying within schools. There are issues that the Ubuntu Schools Campaign seeks to address.”The aim of the project is to drive home the message to the youth that abuse and violence are not acceptable, he explains. “We owe it to the generations who went before us to make this country a better place for all who live in it. And we certainly owe it to the generations of South Africans to come. We owe it to ourselves and our fellow countrymen and countrywomen to live out the principles of ubuntu. We need to get back to basics and learn, teach and practise humanity, respect, humility, kindness, love and self-control.”last_img read more

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‘Ujala Clinics’ set for revamp

first_imgAs part of an ambitious plan to revamp “Ujala Clinics” for adolescents, the Rajasthan government will appoint peer educators and “shadow educators” for counselling of youngsters and ensure better coordination with other medical and health schemes. Ujala Clinics are functioning at the government health facilities in 10 districts of the State.A workshop of adolescent health counsellors was organised here earlier this week under the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram. The role of Ujala Clinics and the scope for connecting them with the initiatives for promoting mental health, reproductive health and de-addiction was discussed on the occasion.National Health Mission’s State Director Samit Sharma said the “shadow educators”, to be appointed in Rajasthan on the lines of Madhya Pradesh, would provide supplementary support to the ongoing counselling services. The new batch of educators will deal with behavioural aspects of adolescents and help them cope with physical and hormonal changes.Ujala Clinics have been established at district hospitals, community health centres and selected primary health centres in Udaipur, Rajsamand, Banswara, Dungarpur, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jalore, Bundi, Karauli and Dholpur districts.United Nations Population Fund’s State Programme Coordinator Sunil Thomas Jacob said a new software was being prepared for reporting, monitoring and evaluation of the clinics’ functioning. Anaemia preventionRKSK State Nodal Officer Rajendra Gaura said the adolescent health strategy was aimed at reducing the prevalence of malnutrition and anaemia and improve adolescents’ knowledge and behaviour in relation to sexual and reproductive health.last_img read more

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