Dear Editor,Mere hours after Nagamootoo lambasted the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) for salary increases during their tenure in Government, headlines revealed yet another atrocity on the nation’s purse by Nagamootoo and the coalition regime.He has been granted tax exemptions on unlimited vehicles, in addition to the duty-free vehicle in his possession as a Member of Parliament (MP) and the multiplicity of benefits he receives as erstwhile Prime Minister and Vice President: So much for his pre-elections assurances to the electorate that his Government would not indulge in a “Cadillac lifestyle in a donkey-cart economy”.When the PPP/C accessed administrative office, the former People’s National Congress (PNC) Government had depleted the nation’s Treasury to zilch, run up internal and external debts that this and coming generations would have been paying to infinity if it had not been for former President, late Dr Cheddi Jagan and former Finance Minister and subsequent President, Bharrat Jagdeo’s unrelenting struggle for debt relief and prudent and astute management of the nation’s finances.For years the President and Ministers of successive PPP/C Aadministrations received what was tantamount to a mere stipend – a pittance much lower than that of the PNC-inherited. In 1995, President Jagan acceded to his Ministers’ requests for an increase in salary, bearing in mind that their duties engendered great expenses, including travel and related costs to effectively manage their respective mandates.The salary scale of PPP/C Ministers was then increased to one dollar above that of Permanent Secretaries.Desmond Hoyte, who is being praised for reversing the PNC’s draconian management practices during its governance of Guyana, had been forced by the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), in particular the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to re-institute a plethora of changes – including holding free-and-fair elections after decades of rigging, or face sanctions, which included, among others, withholding of financial assistance to a poverty-stricken nation bankrupted by the PNC regime. He had no choice but to assent to all the IMF punitive conditionalities, among which was the imposition of the much-touted Economic Recovery Programme (ERP).Now being lauded as a feather in Hoyte’s cap, the ERP was, in effect, a punitive menu of measures that created much suffering to the nation’s working-class, which dubbed the punitive fiscal regime of the ERP as ‘Empty Rice Pots’. One of the impositions of the ERP was freezing the wages of public servants at 00, to which Hoyte had acceded. All during the PNC’s dictatorial tenure the trade unions, except for the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU), had become toothless poodles that could not even yap.Upon accessing office, even as vulnerable as his government was to external financial forces, Dr Jagan figuratively told the IMF to put their conditionalities where the sun does not shine and immediately restored bargaining powers to the trade unions.Ever since then, to the date that the party demitted office, the PPP/C has ensured, depending on the dictates of the nation’s economic strength, that public servants received an annual increase in salary retroactive to the first month of the year, an annual bonus at year-end, and enhanced benefits.For someone who is benefiting from the fruits of the hard work and prudent management of the nation’s finances by PPP/C Presidents and Ministers, as Nagamootoo is, to begrudge the salary increases of PPP/C Presidents and Ministers is tantamount to spiteful vindictiveness and is absolute ingratitude because he, not the PPP/C Presidents and Ministers, started living a Cadillac lifestyle and became a ‘fat cat’ without lifting a finger to work for the Guyanese people.Nagamootoo’s tirade against the PPP/C anent salary increases was an attempt to deflect attention from the excesses that he and his confederates in the Granger-led Government are bestowing on themselves, relatives, friends and financiers – living the good life at the expense of the Guyanese working-class.More so, his figures were laughable and deliberately misrepresentative of Finance Minister Winston Jordan’s figures that he presented to Parliament.Unless one is mentally deficient, or deliberately obtuse the difference in governance by the PPP/C Administration and the coalition regime can be discerned by merely comparing the salary and simple lifestyle of PPP/C’s Prime Minister, the really honourable Samuel Hinds, to that of the coalition’s Prime Minister, whose excesses are unconscionable and utterly disgraceful because, as the PPP contends, the salary that Moses Nagamootoo is condemning the PPP Presidents and Ministers for was not enough for him and the members of the coalition Cabinet; hence their hefty pay increases immediately upon accessing office.Sincerely,Attiya Amanda Baksh
0Shares0000FORTALEZA, June 25- Sabri Lamouchi resigned as Ivory Coast coach minutes after his side’s hopes of reaching the World Cup second round were dashed by a late penalty giving Greece a 2-1 victory in Fortleza on Tuesday.Greece took a place in the last 16 and Lamouchi said he had to draw the consequences of that failure. “My contract comes to an end at this World Cup and there will be no epilogue and you can understand well as to why,” said the 42-year-old Frenchman.“It is logical as we did not do well at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations or at the World Cup finals.”The former France international, whose side started with a 2-1 win over Japan before losing by that scoreline to group winners Colombia, said a lot of hard work had gone into securing the Elephants first ever appearance in the second round.“I have put a lot of time and effort into the past two years but unfortunately my story with Ivory Coast ends this evening,” he said.“The outcome is a cruel one but the Greeks did not steal this victory.“I am very disappointed and sad and also for the players and the Ivorian people.“However, my career carries on and there will be other defeats but I would have liked this adventure to finish in a different fashion,” declared Lamouchi.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
IATA boss Alexandre de Juniac Global airline lobby group IATA has warned that a US-led international trade war could hit worldwide demand for air travel.Fears of a trade war increased Thursday after US President Donald Trump pushed forward with plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports but said the administration would use the next 15 days to negotiate exemptions for allies, including Canada and Mexico.The 25 percent impost on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum is opposed by senior members of Trump’s own Republican Party and has provoked threats of retaliation from some trading partners.The move coincides with an International Air Transport Association report showing that airlines opened 2018 with the slowest year-over-year global passenger traffic growth for almost four years.IATA said the increase in demand in January of 4.6 percent compared to January 2017 was affected by a number of “temporary” factors such as the later timing of the Lunar New Year in mid-February.It said the later Lunar New Year holiday accounted for about 40 percent of the slowdown.“Despite the slower start, economic momentum is supporting rising passenger demand in 2018,’’ IATA director-general Alexandre de Juniac said.“That said, concerns over a possible trade war involving the US could have a serious dampening effect on global market confidence, spilling over into demand for air travel.”De Juniac said aviation was the “business of freedom” but for it to be able to grow it needed “borders that are open to trade and travel, and infrastructure to support the demand for connectivity”.IATA’s figures saw the global passenger load factor fall half a percentage point to 79.6 percent as demand failed to keep up with a 5.3 percent rise in capacity.READ: IATA wants biofuel flights to carry one billion by 2025. International passenger traffic growth slowed to 4.4 percent but all regions stayed in positive territory.A regional breakdown showed demand growth in the Asia-Pacific, where the Lunar New Year is particularly important, at a 46-month low of 4.6 percent.Europe was the only region to see an acceleration in traffic compared to the prior month with 6 percent growth while Latin American carriers enjoyed the strongest growth at 7.3 percent.At the other end of the scale, Middle East carriers registered the weakest traffic growth of 0.5 percent as the market to and from North America was particularly hard hit.North American carriers saw traffic rise 3.5 percent, while African airlines were up 4.9 percent.Growth was more robust on the domestic front, where passenger markets were up 5.1 percent in January but were again hit by the later Lunar New Year.
Delhi Daredevils wicketkeeper Naman Ojha has started to nestle in the team’s set-up after moving from Rajasthan Royals last season. Though he didn’t have a fruitful 2011 season, the Madhya Pradesh keeper has had a quiet but confident start in this edition.One of the reasons for it being the settled look the Delhi team is sporting after the inclusion of star batsmen Kevin Pietersen and Mahela Jayawardene, which has seen the pressure being taken off the rest of the batsmen.”It has been a good start, winning two out of three games. Now our middle-order is stronger. Last season, we had concerns but with Mahela and KP, we have more confidence. In the middle of the 2011 season, things weren’t going my way. This season, I am enjoying it much more,” Naman told Mail Today on Thursday.The one development that has pleased the 28-year-old is that he has been given a chance to open the innings for now. However, batting with Sehwag poses its own set of problems.”I am getting to open, something which I enjoy a lot. Sometimes, while playing with Sehwag you feel inferior. Some of the shots he plays, you watch in awe. It gets difficult to hold yourself back while watching Viru paaji bat. But now I have learnt to not try to match him for shots,” he said.Having played under Shane Warne and now Sehwag, Naman said both skippers have a lot of flair in their leadership. “Sehwag doesn’t put any pressure on the players and tells us to express ourselves. Warne had many ideas and strategies; he would talk to the players. There are many similarities, but both have their own style,” he said.advertisementStanding behind the wickets to express pace bowlers like Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav and then switching to left-arm orthodox spinners like Roelof van der Merwe and Shahbaz Nadeem is a challenge which the Daredevils glovesman is relishing.”Morne and Umesh are express bowlers. To keep to them, you need a lot of concentration. van der Merwe and Nadeem are also very good spinners. It’s not so much about technique, but more about coping with it mentally and staying agile. I talked to Kiran More sir about keeping and discussed what I am doing right and wrong.”The keeper has already made his India debut – a forgettable ODI tri-series in Zimbabwe where India got walloped by the hosts and Sri Lanka – and learnt some harsh lessons in 2010.”In Zimbabwe, I learnt that you can’t take any team lightly and that any side can win a game on any day.”As with other wicket-keeper batsmen in the country, Naman knows that as long as Mahendra Singh Dhoni is operating, it is difficult to get a chance in the Indian team any time soon.”I am a batsman-keeper. I can open, play in the middle order, wherever. I am not concerned that the (India) captain is such a good keeper batsman. I am just concentrating on performing well for any team for which I play.”
DeoxyriboNucleic Acid (DNA) is one of the two types of nucleic acids present in our body. A DNA molecule is present in each and every cell of our body and contains the genetic code which tells the cells what proteins to make. In simple terms, DNA is what determines a person’s physical appearance and to a great extent, the person’s character. DNA is the very core of one’s genetic organisation, and it has been in the news lately.Ahead of Bihar assembly election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bihar on July 25, 2015. During his visit, Modi made a comment on Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s DNA saying “There seems to be some problem in his DNA because the DNA of democracy is not like that. In a democracy, you give respect even to your political rivals,” and to that, Nitish Kumar has responded with a letter on Wednesday to PM Modi , stating, “I am a son of Bihar. My DNA is the similar as that of the people of Bihar .”The DNA of democracy and the DNA of descent maybe different ideas, but the two leaders invariably have the same “DNA of politics”.Humble beginnings Narendra Modi belongs to the Modh-Ghanchi-Teli community, considered among the Other Backward Classes (OBC) and says that he has worked at his family’s tea stall in Vadnagar, Mehsana district. His CV says he holds a post-graduate degree in political science.Narendra Modi Photo: Reuters Nitish Kumar, a Kurmi by caste, was born to a freedom fighter who left the Congress to join the then Janata Party when he was denied a party ticket. Nitish was an ordinary government employee with the Bihar State Electricity Board, but gave it up for a career in politics. Steady rise in politicsadvertisementWhile Modi rose within the BJP by organising LK Advani’s 1990 Ayodhya Rath Yatra and Murli Manohar Joshi’s 91-92 Ekta Yatra, Nitish learnt his early lessons under Jayaprakash Narayan and VP Singh to name a few. Nitish also claims to have imbibed socialist values from the teachings of Ram Manohar Lohia.Nitish Kumar became the Secretary-General of the Janata Dal in 1989. In 1995, Modi was elected the national secretary of BJP.First stint as Chief MinistersNitish Kumar was elected to the Bihar Legislative Assembly for the first time in 1985, as an independent candidate, but his first stint as the Bihar CM was in 2000, though, only for a week due to lack of majority. Nitish Kumar Photo: ReutersConquering the reign Modi and Nitish are leaders bound to move forward in the direction they intend to, because whoever comes in their way will be slayed. Modi replaced his senior Keshubhai Patel as the Gujarat CM in 2001 after declining to be Patel’s deputy, saying he would only be responsible for Gujarat fully or not at all. When he took over the BJP’s central election campaign committee, he mercilessly sidelined his guru LK Advani as well.Nitish Kumar who is no different, overpowered his seniors, mainly his mentor Lalu Prasad Yadav, and became the most powerful man in his state.Development AgendaBoth Modi and Nitish are known for their self-professed focus on development in Gujarat and Bihar, respectively.Though Modi’s economic policies are credited with improving economic growth in Gujarat, his administration has also been criticised. Nitish became popular by implementing series of delayed developmental activities in Bihar.Mr Clean and Mr Clean Neither Modi nor Nitish are considered to be corrupt politicians.The LookNarendra Modi and Nitish Kumar sport a salt and pepper look with their grey hair and beard. They’re also found wearing similar attire, mostly khadi kurtas or shirts topped with a nehru jacket. Add to it the frameless spectacles, Modi and Nitish seem to be hinting at a very similar DNA.”I’m one amongst you” mantraWhen the Prime Minister uses it mostly to act secular and promote cordial relationships between various religions in the country, Nitish uses this mantra to please the people of his state who are mostly judged based on their descent.Dear leaders, whether or not we understand your DNA, we do understand the DNA of your politics, and we know the sad truth about the DNA of democracy in our country.