VIJAYAWADA, India, (CMC): West Indies Women will undergo their first training session here today as they kick off preparation for their limited overs series against India Women bowling off here on Thursday. The Windies side touched down at the Gannavaram airport in the coastal state of Andhra Pradesh yesterday after arriving in India on Saturday from the Caribbean. West Indies Women will practice at the Mulapadu playfield – located 12 miles outside Vijayawada – which will also be the venue for the six-game limited overs series. The Windies clash with India Women in three one-day internationals (ODI) – all designated ICC Championship status – from November 10-16 and will follow up with three Twenty20 internationals from November 18-22. West Indies Women are currently ranked third in the championship on 22 points, one behind the second-placed England Women and eight adrift of leaders Australia Women. India lie sixth on 13 points. The top-four in the championship at its completion will earn automatic qualification for next year’s ICC Women’s 50-overs World Cup in England. West Indies, who are coming off a 3-2 loss to England Women in a five-match series in the Caribbean last month, will be led once again by the prolific Stafanie Taylor, while stroke-maker Mithali Raj takes charge of the Indian unit for the ODIs. Harmanpreet Kaur will take over from Raj for the T20 series.
Dear Editor,The contemptuous sentiments expressed by Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, against the people of this nation would have been shocking and disappointing had we higher expectations from this Government.As expected from our brand of “us vs them” politicians, more than half of Mr Bulkan’s interview with a section of the media centred on idiotically attacking the PPP/C, and nothing that he said there is worth engaging, unless one is an idiot too.What cannot be condoned, however, is the contemptuous attack on us, the people of this country. Apparently according to the dear Minister, the people of this country don’t know what Local Government is all about. The minister claims “it will take time for persons to fully grasp the benefits.”Sections of the media quoted the minister’s arrogance and big talk as follows: “We are empowering people ultimately for their own benefit. The PPP will either conform or step aside.”So, in the Minister’s mind, it seems clear that the Local Government Elections are a battle between the two major political parties currently in the National Assembly; Local Government Elections are just like National Elections. So who is it that needs the education on what Local Government is all about, and time to fully grasp the concept: the people of this country, or Minister Bulkan and cohorts?The system for Local Government in Guyana is heavily structured in favour of political parties. This is a system of Local Government that is supported by both major political parties in this nation. President Granger, when questioned about the heavy participation of his party in Local Government Elections, expressed a view that was biased against the participation of individual candidates in Local Government Elections.With politicians who are invested in consolidating political power, controlling the activities of NDCs, and directing the future activities of our communities; and who believe in state control, we cannot expect any other sentiment more in alignment with freedom and the spirit of democracy.The governance architecture that we have in Guyana is a set of self-interested politicians operating at the Central Government level. Politicians at the Central Government level infiltrate the Guyana Public Service directly, and also through the recruitment of partisan staff. We have seen in this country Permanent Secretaries – the backbone of stable Government across political transitions — who are directly affiliated with political parties. We have Mr Mortimer Mingo, holder of an “Independent” position — Chairman of the Local Government Commission – being also a PNCR Executive.What is it about our country and the political culture of the political parties that allow these kinds of corruption to thrive? What happened to ethics, and how can it be institutionalised?Contrast the behaviour and ethics of Elisabeth Harper, who resigned from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prior to venturing into a career in politics.The Laws of Guyana support a Local Government System that has pushed out all the capable, independent and civic-minded citizens to the fringes of Local Government, so what we have is complete political domination, with a corresponding path for the free flow of corruption from Central Government to Local Government, and a corresponding lack of diversity of perspectives within our politics; with the creative, independent-minded professionals and individuals on the sidelines of society while the corrupt and the partisan take centre stage in the administration of the nation. This model allows for too much corruption and too much political control. We need freedom from this oppression.If we wish to have a truly democratic nation, and a knowledge-based society free of the weight of oppressive politics, we need to identify those structural elements that are blocking the sunshine. This is not a job that calls for political consensus in a model of the cat guarding the milk. With oil and gas at our heels, this is an urgent job that requires national consensus and the coming together of all those disenfranchised on the fringes of society. We cannot have an oil and gas economy that sits on top of a dense and Third World Government; for if we do, we will have a Third World outcome.The people of this country need Government beside us, not on top of us. We are not a monarchy. We are not only an Independent nation, but we are also a Republic. And while the political class, in their mad rush for Local Government Elections to control Amerindian lands and dominate our future, have forgotten the true meaning of a Republic and the role of the people, we, the people, are very much aware of our role.All over this country: from Region 1 to Bartica to Lethem to Corentyne, Guyanese are desirous of changing our politics. We may, at present, be amorphous, but we are everywhere.It might take Mr. Bulkan some time to fully grasp what all this means. Let him save his breath, for we know that the rush to Local Government Elections has nothing to do with benefiting the people, and everything to do with consolidation of political power in pursuit of their own personal agenda.Sincerely,Sandra Khan