– at opening of summit for African Descendants– Govt injects $68M into hosting conference hereIn observance of the International Decade for People of African Descent, Guyana is currently hosting the 2018 IDPAD Summit, which brings together more than 60 academics, black activists and other expert speakers from around the world to focus on eradicating the plight of African descendants through the implementation of possible solutions to issues affecting the race.The four-day conference, being held at the Guyana Marriott Hotel under the theme “Where we are, Where we ought to be, How we get there”, opened on Thursday.Among the packed agenda of the forum is the issue of getting Britain and other European nations to pay reparations to the region for the brutal Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.According to Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge, acting as President, the theme facilitates realistic reflection on the challenges and opportunities that define the realities of African descendants.“Such reflection, I dare say, should take account of the historical and global legacy of wrongs and moral debt that still demands redress. The ubiquitous impact and lasting consequences of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade have been widely acknowledged at a variety of levels, including that of the United Nations. There has not yet, however, been an equal and commensurate effort to fully acknowledged the moral debt, or to make recompense for the indelible scar on humanity that the unmitigated horrors of slavery represent, especially by those that were the prime beneficiaries of the trade,” he posited.Minister Greenidge went on to say that despite insistence that the descendants of African slaves move on rather than dwelling in the past, the call for both reckoning and reparation in monetary and non-monetary forms is one that cannot be ignored, or forsaken, or confused with ultraism.“The call is premised on the principles of justice and ethics. For this reason, CARICOM (Caribbean Community) has committed to the pursuit of this matter, and Guyana strongly enjoins these efforts, including the efforts pertaining to the 10 core principles which are intended to guide efforts at reparation,” the acting Head of State noted.This issue also grabbed the attention of Programme Manager of Culture and Community Development at the CARICOM Secretariat, Hilary Brown, who spoke of efforts at the level of the regional body in its fight for reparation, including the development of the Caribbean Reparatory Justice Programme’s 10-Point Action Plan, which outlines the path to reconciliation, truth and justice for the region’s indigenous and African-descended population.“All of these elements, we believe, constructively address reparatory justice for all people of African Descent, and which must begin with a full formal apology and recognition of the effect of the wrongs committed. It is the view of CARICOM that success in the reparation claim would be a desirable and fitting outcome of the International Decade for People of African Descent,” Brown asserted.The four-day conference will serve as a platform for participants to openly discuss the serious issues facing African Descants, as well as the solutions they envision to address the problems; and ways of implementing these solutions.The IDPAD Summit is being held with the injection of some $68 million from the Government of Guyana, monies that were the subject of incomplete scrutiny during the consideration of the 2018 Budget Estimates.Back in December, Minister of Social Cohesion with responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. George Norton, had failed to give any proper information or details on the organisation, which was listed to receive a cut from the $235+ million that were allocated under the category of ‘Subsidies and Contribution to Local Organisations’ during questioning by Opposition Members of Parliament.The Minister had only explained that the monies would be divided among the sixteen departments within the Culture sector, including Castellani House, National Thrust, Theatre Guild, Linden Museum of Heritage, National Cultural Centre and Decade for the People of African Descent. But when further probed, Dr Norton could not provide any information about the latter organisation that was set to receive $68 million from Government, and had committed to providing the details at a later time.The International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024) was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in a Resolution (68/237) adopted back on December 23, 2013. It was subsequently launched by UN two years later, thus commencing the 2015-2024 decade aimed at highlighting issues relating to Africa and its millions of descendants around the world.Guyana had subsequently established a local arm, IDPAD-Guyana (IDPAD-G) Committee, which is the only one of its kind in the region, and has received the support of the Guyana Government.In fact, at the opening of the conference on Thursday, the acting Head of State said President David Granger, who is on State duties in India, has an “abiding interest” in the event.“President Granger has committed to supporting the work of IDPAD, and of the IDPAD-G Committee in achieving the objective of the Decade. The Government has already made good on majority of the agreed commitments, including the approval of resources within the 2018 National Budget for core undertakings identified by the country coordinating mechanism (IDPAD-G),” Greenidge stated.
As the tussle for power sharing continues in Maharashtra, delegations of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari separately at the Raj Bhavan on Monday. The BJP delegation was led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Sena’s by Transport Minister Diwakar Raote. The two later said the meeting was just a courtesy call to extend Diwali greetings to the Governor, but party sources indicated a discussion on the modalities of government formation did take place.Also Read Maharashtra government formation: BJP, Shiva Sena try to win over independents, small parties “I don’t think the BJP will agree for a rotational Chief Minister, but the position of Deputy Chief Minister can be given to Shiv Sena for 5 years. I think the Shiv Sena should accept the Deputy Chief Minister’s position for Aditya Thackeray and Devendra Fadnavis should be Chief Minister,” said Mr. Athawale.BJP State president Chandrakant Patil has called for a meeting of newly elected legislators on October 30. The meeting is to elect the legislature party leader. The two alliance partners had won 161 seats including 105 for the BJP and 56 for the Sena. In Maharashtra, 2 Vidarbha MLAs offer support to Shiv Sena The alliance partners secured the support of five more independent legislators, party leaders said. “State Transport Minister Diwakar Raote called on the Governor and extended Diwali greetings. The Chief Minister too exchanged Diwali greetings with the Governor,” said a press release from the Governor’s office.“I have been meeting the Governor to extend Diwali greetings for many years now. This was just a courtesy visit,” Mr. Raote clarified. His party maintained it was not responsible for delay in government formation. It was the BJP’s primary responsibility, Sena leaders said. “We are not responsible for the situation in Maharashtra, where no government has been formed. We all know what the formula (sharing) is and our party will follow the coalition dharma,” Sena leader Sanjay Raut said.The independent candidates who extended support to the BJP and the Shiv Sena included Meera Bhayandar’s Geeta Jain, Solapur candidate Rajendra Raut and Ravi Rana from the Badnera constituency. Others who have already extended support include Melghat legislator Rajkumar Patel and Achalpur legislator Bacchu Kadu. Earlier, saffron alliance partner and Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment and Revolutionary Party of India (RPI) leader Ramdas Athawale advised the Sena to drop the idea of sharing power for 2.5 years with the BJP. The party must instead accept the post of Deputy Chief Minister for Aditya Thackeray for five years, he said. Also Read
The Ministry of Education is seeking to reduce the estimated $6 billion per annum in utility costs for schools.In the first instance, focus will be placed on containing electricity bills, through the use of solar energy.Pilots for this initiative are expected to begin in several schools come September, Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, informed on Thursday, May 16, at apost-Sectoral Debate press briefing at Jamaica House.He pointed out that the Ministry has proposals from companies, which are willing to provide these solar systems at their own cost.“They have indicated that a savings of at least 20 per cent of energy used can be achieved, and we would pay for the capital cost over a period of time,” Rev. Thwaites said.“This is the direction in which we are thinking…I expect that within another month, I will have a set of proposals and the financial implications for it to be done,” he said.Rev. Thwaites said the cost of solar systems could be lowered if the use of batteries to store energy for nighttime is eliminated, since schools only operate during the daytime.“We have a number of problems…we are careless in that many of the lights in our schools stay on all day and all night,” the Minister said, adding that in some communities residents illegally connect to the electricity systems at some institutions, as well as use water from the school compounds.Additionally, he said primary and all age schools do not pay their own utility bills, as these are covered by the Ministry of Finance and Planning.“While I understand why that was changed, what it does is to remove the responsibility from the school for its own basic usage, so we have asked for this to be reversed,” the Minister said.Contact: Alphea Saunders
zoom Shipping company Pacific International Lines (PIL), port group PSA International (PSA) and technology company IBM Singapore (IBM) have completed a blockchain-based supply chain platform trial.As informed, the companies worked on a proof of concept (POC) exercise, built on IBM Blockchain Platform, applying and then testing the platform to track and trace cargo movement from Chongqing to Singapore via the Southern Transport Corridor.The exercise follows a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in August 2017 with an aim to collaborate on blockchain-based supply chain business network innovations.The partners believe that there is now sufficient evidence to show that the concept can be taken to the next stage. The scope of the POC will be widened and the partners are eager to engage more participants from the different nodes of the distribution network that form the supply chain logistics ecosystem, PIL said in a statement.“We are highly committed to this idea because we as a company believe the wider application of blockchain across the global logistics and shipping businesses will lead to much greater operating efficiencies, security and transparency. It is the future for our industry,” Teo Siong Seng, Managing Director of PIL, commented.“PSA’s collaboration alongside our partners and relevant stakeholders in this blockchain trial demonstrates our efforts to enhance physical and digital connectivity, as well as to improve efficiencies along the global supply chain. Ultimately, we hope to create value for our customers along the Southern Trade Corridor – a key route in the Belt and Road initiative,” Roger Tan, Regional CEO Northeast Asia of PSA, pointed out.Image Courtesy: PIL
Be loud and let your voice be heard this November at the polls! The latest celebrity to support OurTime.org via a PSA is Black Eyed Peas’ very own will.i.am!Video: A public service announcement from will.i.am: Don’t Be a PunkIn the PSA, will.i.am is urging America’s youth to get out and vote and stresses the importance of making your voice heard by saying, “Be as loud as rock and roll. Go out and activate yourself and show them that you ain’t a punk.”Voting is a right and privilege most young Americans don’t exercise because they do not feel empowered or feel the need to.OurTime.org knows that today’s youth and millennials live online and what better way to get them pumped and registered than via these amazing PSA’s from celebrities like will.i.am, Nas, Rachel Zoe, Larry David, Renee Zellweger, Trey Songz, Steve Carrell and more. They event went a step further and created the very first Voter Registration App on Facebook that can be added to any site making it super easy to register.Find out more here.
Stars lent their support this weekend for Operation Smile’s 4th Annual Celebrity Ski and Smile Challenge presented by The Nerd Machine.Chuck’s Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski and Ryan McPartlin, Chicago Fire’s Taylor Kinney, Night Shift’s Scott Wolf, TV Personality, Fashion Designer and Super Mom, Brooke Burke-Charvet and husband David Charvet, Parks and Recreations’ Retta, Vampire Diaries’ Michael Trevino and Claire Holt, About a Boy’s David Walton, Bad Judge’s Tone Bell and Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush went head to head with Olympic skiers on the slopes at Park City Mountain Resort in dual slalom races to raise funds for the children’s charity.After a day of friendly competition Walton, Kinney, and Wolf took home championship medals at the event’s award ceremony. In support of fiancé Taylor Kinney, Stefani Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, accompanied him at the event’s VIP mountainside dinner held at The Canyons Resort. Moved by Operation Smile’s mission and the knowledge that as little as $240 can repair a cleft lip or cleft palate and change a child’s life forever, Kinney and Germanotta joined guests in making a generous donation to the cause.The evening closed with an acoustic performance by Nancy Wilson of Heart who sang hits from Heart and Neil Young to the star-studded crowd. For additional information about the Pak City Celebrity Ski & Smile Challenge, please visit www.operationsmile.org/parkcity.
Mumbai: Malayalam actor Tony Luke says the fact that his performance in his Hindi debut “Badla” was well-received reflects there is no divide between talent from north and south. Tony made his acting debut in 2016 with the Malayalam movie “Oozham” and has since featured in three more films in south film industry. “Today an actor has a future in the film industry because content rules. The North and South have come together. Now it’s about Indian content versus the global, not North and South,” Tony told PTI. Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knot “There are people like Karan Johar and Rajamouli coming together, to make truly Indian cinema and the times are only going to change for the better,” he added. Tony said when the project came his way, he was initially reluctant to audition as he felt there was “no chance” he would make it. “I thought my Hindi is bad, because I’m from the South so I didn’t even believe I could be a part of it, until Sujoy met me and said ‘you’re the boy.’ Sujoy decided to place me as an actor and I’m grateful for that. There’s no heavy pressure on me to be a star,” he said. Also Read – ‘Vaastav’ gave me the real sense of being an actor: Sanjay Dutt on film’s 20-year anniversary The actor said he feels “blessed” that he bagged the thriller, where his biggest takeaway was learning from megastar Amitabh Bachchan. “If someone told me last year that I would be a part of a big film such as this, I would’ve laughed it off. To be on the set and watch Mr Bachchan perform is surreal. As an actor, you take away so much just by observing him and imbibing his energy.” Going forward, Tony said, if everything falls in place, he will be soon seen in an international web series.
Alipurduar/Jalpaiguri: Coming down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for criticising the Trinamool Congress-led Bengal government over its ‘involvement’ in the tainted Saradha and Narada scams, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee called Modi the “pied piper of thieves and corrupt people.””Just as the whole city had run after the pied piper, the thieves and corrupt people run after the fake chowkidar who gives them shelter and protection,” she said, adding: “the fake chowkidar addressed the rally today after sharing the dais with a person involved in the chit fund scam.” Banerjee was addressing a rally at Alipurduar on Sunday. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsWhile addressing another election meeting at Jalpaiguri late on Sunday afternoon, she said: “BJP does not play any constructive role and its sole business is to incite the people of the Hills against those living in the plains.” Banerjee said BJP has no chance of coming back to power in Delhi. “It will lose the elections in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha and Bengal. It will do badly in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh as well. Come May 23 and you will see how people will reject the party that survives on riot, loot and murder,” the Trinamool supremo said. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayBanerjee alleged that the saffron party was spending “cash” to win the elections. “They are giving Rs 1,000 to people to attend their meeting and Rs 5,000 to cast vote in their favour. They have looted people’s money in the name of note ban and are now spending the money to win the elections. They have set up a five-star party office in Delhi by looting people,” she maintained, adding: “They think by changing some senior police officers they will get more votes. But in reality, the more they change police officers, the lesser their votes will be.” Criticising Modi for not opening closed tea gardens, she said: “The chaiwala had promised to open the closed tea gardens before the 2016 Assembly polls. Now there is no chai, milk or sugar and he has transformed into a fake chowkidar.” In Jalpaiguri, Banerjee gave a list of achievements of the Bengal government. “Kanyashree has helped 60 lakh girls, while one crore students have been benefitted by Sabuj Sathi. The state government has spent Rs 700 crore to pay crop insurance of the farmers. But BJP is jealous of Bengal and is not giving clearance to change the name of the state, which was passed in the state Assembly unanimously.” “When there was trouble in Darjeeling or Jangalmahal, Modi did not come to see the situation and now he has come to incite the people there,” she added. The Trinamool supremo reiterated that if voted to power, BJP will change the Indian Constitution. “In the name of NRC, BJP is harassing people. The names of 22 lakh Hindus and 20 lakh Muslims had been dropped from the NRC in Assam,” she said, adding that the Bengal government will never introduce NRC. She urged people to ensure BJP’s defeat in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, saying: “The quicker BJP is ousted, the better it will be for the nation.” She called on the young voters in both the constituencies to vote for Trinamool Congress candidates.
New Delhi: Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar Monday said he is surprised at young glovesman Rishabh Pant’s exclusion from India’s World Cup squad given his “exceptionally” good batting form and “great” improvement in wicket-keeping skills. The 33-year-old Dinesh Karthik pipped Pant in the fight for the second wicketkeeper’s slot in India’s 15-strong squad for the World Cup, starting May 30 in England. Gavaskar said the move is surprising but backed Karthik as a better wicketkeeper. “A bit surprised, looking at his (Pant’s) form. He was batting exceptionally well, not only in the IPL but before that also. He was showing great improvement his wicket-keeping as well. He brings that left-handed option in the top-six which is very handy against the bowlers,” gavaskar told ‘India Today’. “The bowlers have to change their line (for a left-hander) and the captains have to do a lot of field arrangements. Pant has so far scored 245 runs in the ongoing IPL, compared to Karthik’s 111. Karthik was chosen over Pant despite an indifferent IPL campaign with the Kolkata Knight Riders. Gavaskar said there was some merit in the move. “On a morning when say, MSD (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) has a flu and can’t play, you want somebody who is a better wicket-keeper. I think Karthik’s wicket-keeping skills, more than anything, have won him this place,” Gavaskar said. Gavaskar said Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar, who made it to the squad for his “three-dimensional qualities”, will be a very useful player for the team. “He is a cricketer who has improved over the last one year. He has grown in confidence. Shankar is a very useful cricketer. He is a very very good batsman, handy bowler, and an outstanding fielder,” the batting great explained. Former Indian batsman Aakash Chopra said Pant’s elevation to the top tier of the central contracts had him believe that the youngster would make India’s World Cup squad. “Wasn’t Pant elevated to the top tier of the Central Contracts a few weeks back?? Not a certainty in two of the three formats,” Chopra wrote on his twitter page. “India has picked Shankar as #4 option. Without really knowing if it’ll work. DK will play only when Dhoni isn’t available. And no fourth seamer. Interesting choices. Hope it works. Good luck #CWC.” Former India medium-pacer R P Singh and star of India’s 2007 World T20 triumph said he hoped that the decision to pick experience over youth works in the team’s favour at the mega-event. “Clearly they’ve chosen experience and patience in the form of @DineshKarthik. Middle order will be very interesting to see @klrahul11/@DineshKarthik could be at number 4. Rest seems sorted with @JadhavKedar and @msdhoni at number 5/6,” Singh tweeted.