A deportee from the United States was on Monday morning beaten to death during a drinking spree with his pal at his Industry Front, East Coast Demerara home. A deportee from the United States was on Monday morning beaten to death during a drinking spree with his pal at his Industry Front, East Coast Demerara home. The dead man has been identified as 44-year-old Bhagwan Ramadhar, also called ‘Alan Bhagwandin’, of Lot 50 Industry, East Coast Demerara. The Guyana Times understands that the two men had been in the habit of consuming alcohol, and on the day in question, they were engaged in a heated argument.During theMurder suspect Mahase Dhanrajargument, the suspect, Mahase Dhanraj, also called “Crusher,” picked up a piece of wood and dealt Ramadhar one blow to the head. Although the victim fell to the ground in an unconscious state, the suspect continued to hit him to the head. From reports received, Ramadhar’s face was battered.It is not clear whatprompted the argument, but persons in the area, including the suspect’s sister, related that the two men had been ‘drinking buddies’, and would become embroiled in heated arguments from time to time; but this was the first time an argument had become so violent. At the scene, the suspect’s sister, Sumintra Sugrim, told media operatives that the now dead man had lived alone, and her brother would frequently visit his home to consume alcohol. She explained that Monday morning was no different. Her brother went over to the dead man’s house, and the drinking spree began.However, whilst she was attending to her plants at the back of her yard, she heard the argument between the two men, but rather than enquiring, she continued doing her chores. This, she noted, was because the men would argue whenever they were “drinking rum”. Nevertheless, as sheThe body of Bhagwan Ramadhar being taken away by undertakersreached to the front of the yard, she saw her brother in a drunken state and he was trembling. Soon after, she heard her neighbours calling out to her, relating that Ramadhar was lying under the house in a pool of blood. She did not attempt to ask her brother what had transpired, but instead the police were summoned. The incident, she added, came as a shock not only to her, but to the residents. The suspect was arrested and has confessed to the murder. The piece of wood suspected to be the murder weapon was collected by investigators to be lodged as evidence. Meanwhile, Guyana Times understands that the now dead man had been deported from the US a few years ago, and had lived alone at his Industry, ECD home, where he plied his trade. His drunken state had persuaded persons not to give him work. As a result, he had resorted to doing odd jobs for people in the area. The murder suspect is expected to make his first court appearance shortly.
26 July 2006The head of the visiting African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) country review team, Adebayo Adedeji of Nigeria, has praised the manner in which South Africa handled the peer review process, saying other countries could learn from it.For the past two weeks, the 25-member team has been holding consultations South Africa’s APRM governing council, government, parliamentarians, political parties, business, trade unions, civil society and faith-based organisations.This followed South Africa’s submission of its country self-assessment report and programme of action to the APRM secretariat.Helping Africa help itselfA voluntary self-monitoring tool adopted by the African Union in 2003, the APRM aims to promote the adoption of laws, policies and practices that lead to political stability, economic growth, sustainable development and the economic integration of Africa.The mechanism also seeks to improve the accountability of Africa’s leaders and to deepen the levels of trust and cooperation between governments and citizens and among different countries on the continent.Countries are expected to conduct self-assessments in line with APRM guidelines, with South Africa one of 24 countries that have submitted to the scrutiny. First to be reviewed were Rwanda and Ghana, which released their self-assessment reports in June.Once the reports are complete, countries are expected to produce a programme of action to address shortcomings revealed in the self-assessment process, and report on progress every three to five years.According to Public Service Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, the chairperson of SA’s ARPM council, the goal of the APRM is “to help Africans help themselves. To show ourselves and the world that we are not part of those whose mindset assumes that we need external assistance in order to grow.”SA praised for participationSpeaking to journalists in Pretoria on Tuesday after meeting with President Thabo Mbeki, Adedeji emphasised that the peer review process was a review of the country as a whole and not merely of the government.Adedeji said he was impressed that the scepticism about the process that was evident when he visited South Africa in November was “not there anymore.” He also commended South Africans for their level of participation in the process.“The process has the potential for government and the people to reach a consensus on many issues,” Adedeji said.“There is also a clear understanding that the peer review was not here to judge the government but to facilitate a process where all stakeholders sit down and ask: Where are we [as a country]? Where do we want to go? And how do we get there?”Adedeji emphasised that the process did not end with the country report, but that this was followed by the implementation of a national programme of action.Adedeji said his team’s report on South Africa would be finalised and presented by the end of September.‘We need to take it forward’Fraser-Moleketi said the process of creating the country’s self-assessment report and programme of action was credible “and the participatory process in South Africa is good – we need to take it forward.”Handing SA’s self-assessment report to the review team in Pretoria two weeks ago, Fraser-Moleketi said the report “notes the emergence of an enabling political and economic environment conducive to improving social cohesion and economic growth, transformation and empowerment.The report, she said, also draws attention to the important role of the developmental state, South Africa’s Constitution, and the value of having a people’s contract that unites citizens and civil society with the government and its elected representatives.“Poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment are still the three primary challenges facing our country,” Fraser-Moleketi said.“Improving access to rights and using them properly is a major area of agreement that needs to be taken forward in practical ways so that justice is really taken to the people.”President Thabo Mbeki, who witnessed the handing over of the report, said South Africa had been “hard on itself,” as the majority wanted to see a better country in all respects.“Some progress has been made to change the country for the better,” Mbeki told the review team. “However … we look forward to the [review team’s country] report and to what our peers will say about us, and what we need to do to improve ourselves.”SouthAfrica.info reporter and BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material read more
8 January 2014 John-Lee Augustyn, once a fast-rising star in the world of cycling, will make his return to the sport and the professional peloton after well-documented injury woes disrupted his promising career with a first appearance for Team MTN-Qhubeka in the La Tropicale Amissa Bongo race. The event takes place in Gabon from 13 January and Augustyn is very motivated and hoping to make a positive contribution to Africa’s only Pro Continental cycling outfit. Team MTN-Qhubeka enjoyed a very successful first year in the Pro Continental ranks in 2013, highlighted by Gerald Ciolek’s victory in the Milan-San Remo. The team was also second among Pro Continental teams in terms of victories.‘Feeling good’ “My training has been going really well. I’ve been feeling good on the bike as well,” Augustyn said in a statement from Italy on Tuesday. “I just have a bit of bad luck now with a cold that’s going around here, so for the last few days I’ve been cutting the training load to try and get healthy again, but I will definitely be ready for the race.” Augustyn said he is very happy with his condition for this time of the year and is looking forward to building gradually through the coming months.Goal “My goal is to get back into the racing side of things and be there to support the team as much as I can. I will then take it from there on, maybe I feel good and surprise myself.” His programme after Gabon includes Le Tour de Langkawi and the Giro del Trentino among others. “My early season goals are to get back and feel comfortable in the peloton again. We will also know in these couple of days if we get into the Giro d’Italia. “Right now there’s not too much of a high expectation on my shoulders, but I will definitely give my absolute best to make the team,” Augustyn concluded.Famous fall Before injuries derailed his career, Augustyn made his mark with Team Barloworld and captured headlines around the world during the 2008 Tour de France when, after cresting the Col de la Bonette in first place he failed to negotiate a hairpin bend and fell 30 metres down a slippery, shale mountainside before scrambling back to the road and finishing the stage. Having shone with the South African-sponsored team, he subsequently moved to the powerful Team Sky squad, but injuries, including a debilitating hip problem, led to his decision to take an indefinite break from cycling in May 2012. SAinfo reporter read more
Shib Shankar Patra is one among thousands of die-hard Argentina fans in Kolkata and there’s nothing unusual about it. But then die-hard fans at times can be weird too and the 53-year-old Mr. Patra has that weird streak in him.Next best thingTrying to garner enough savings from his modest earnings through a tea stall, Mr. Patra harboured a dream — to watch ‘The Albiceleste’ live from the stands in Russia. But when a Kolkata-based travel agent informed him that his savings — a princely amount of ₹60,000 ($900) is not enough to fund his World Cup trip (travel agent gave him a budget of ₹1.5 lakh), he decided the next best thing — paint his entire three-storeyed building in Argentina colours.“I don’t smoke or drink. I have only one addiction and that is Lionel Messi and Argentina. I don’t earn much but ensure that bulk of my earnings is kept aside for these indulgences when World Cup comes calling,” Mr. Patra, owner of a tea and snack stall in North 24 Parganas’ Nawabganj township said.You don’t need a GPS to track Patra’s house once you get down to Ichhapore Railway Station. Ask any cocky teenager or elderly uncle about “Argentina Chaayer Dokan” (Argentina Tea Stall), they will be more than happy to oblige.The street leading up to his tea stall-cum-house is dotted with Argentina flags.Every four years coinciding with the World Cup, Mr. Patra gives his building a fresh coat of light blue and white shade. Enter his three-room apartment and the craziness hits you instantly. All the walls are painted in Argentina colour, even the small prayer room. The walls of each room adorn a life-size poster of Messi.Addiction can be contagious but if its ‘Messi mania’, Mr. Patra doesn’t mind that his wife Swapna along with his children — 20 year-old daughter Neha and 10-year-old son Shubham are equally mad about the fleet-footed genius. “My kids know everything about Messi. The food he likes, the car he drives, everything,” Mr. Patra says with a glint of pride in his eyes. read more
This is the gateway to the Thar desert. Churu in Rajasthan sits in the middle of unending sand dunes that roll away on all sides. Temperatures here dip below freezing point in winter and zoom to over 50 degrees Celsius in summer.This has been one such summer. The people of Churu know they must not venture out during the daytime, but needs must. Fetching and storing water is the chore that takes precedence over all others. It is not an easy task when the sun blazes down like molten gold.The only ﬂora that braves the heat and the terrain are the Phog and Kair bushes, and the Khejri, Royara and Babul trees.Drinking water is scarce in almost all the villages and towns of this region and the groundwater is salty. Some homes have made provision for rainwater harvesting and, those who can aﬀord it, have water puriﬁers.In summers, most families drink raabdi, a traditional drink made from bajra(pearl millet) and chaach (buttermilk). Heatstroke is an ever present danger and nobody ventures out bare-headed.Churu’s summers are too severe for any agriculture to be possible. Instead, the ﬁelds are all tilled and lie in wait for the monsoon.The main occupation in the countryside is livestock and dairy farming. And for the villagers, ensuring that their cattle and goats are fed and watered is a primary concern. This summer, grazing lands too are drying up.Churu is home to the Tal Chhapar Sanctuary, famed for its blackbuck population. But May and June are not the months to spot wildlife; not one animal ventures out in the heat.This year, on June 1 and 2, Churu recorded its highest ever temperature at 50.8 degrees Celsius. According to skymetweather.com, this is the second all-time highest maximum temperature recorded in the history of India.Of the 15 hottest places recorded in the world in the past few days, eight were in India and the rest were in neighbouring Pakistan.(IMAGES AND TEXT BY SANDEEP SAXENA) read more
Reiterating that it was his government’s aim to ensure that every family was provided with an LPG connection, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that the Centre had fulfilled its promise of providing eight crore free gas connections to women from economically weaker sections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) well ahead of the projected deadline. He was addressing a State-level Empowered Women’s Meet of Self Help Groups (SHG) organised by the Maharashtra State Rural Livelihood Mission (UMED) in Aurangabad.The occasion witnessed the handing over of free LPG gas connections to five women beneficiaries, thus completing the Central government’s target of eight crore free gas connections under the scheme, almost seven months before their deadline of March 2020.“The resolution that our government had taken to provide eight crore free gas connections under Ujjwala Yojna was fulfilled today, seven months ahead of the planned date,” said Mr. Modi, adding that the programme had gone a long way in empowering women from the BPL category by preserving their health and making their kitchens ‘smoke-free’.Ayesha Sheikh Rafique of Aurangabad became the eighth crore person to benefit from the scheme and was felicitated by the Prime Minister with four other women.“The first target under the Ujjwala scheme [when launched in May 2016] was to provide five crore connections. The target was later increased to eight crore connections and I am happy to say that within 100 days of the forming of our government, this has been achieved… The work was not only limited to giving gas connections. A massive infrastructure was put in place as new LPG bottling plants were installed to meet the demand,” Mr. Modi said.Commenting on the agrarian crisis and water scarcity in the State’s parched Marathwada region, the Prime Minister said that the proposed Marathwada Water Grid was a laudable project which would bring much relief to the farmers and households in the area besides help solve irrigation problems.“Women in the rural hinterland of Maharashtra and elsewhere have to face much trouble in collecting water. The great Socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia in the 1960s had said that there were two main problems facing the Indian woman: sanitation and drinking water… But despite so many governments and leaders after that, it is only our [BJP-led NDA] government that had the resolve to solve these pressing problems,” said Mr. Modi.He also said that the Centre was planning to spend ₹3.5 lakh crore in the next five years on the ambitious ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ which aims to resolve potable water problems across the country.Stating that SHGs were not only a means of enhancing economic security, but also a tool for social transformation, Mr. Modi said that his government was determined to ensure that every woman in the country availed of SHG subsidy benefits.“Should the need arise, then under the SHG subsidy benefit, women can withdraw ₹5,000 from their Jan Dhan bank accounts on zero overdraft charges. They will also receive loans upto ₹1 lakh under the Mudra Scheme,” the Prime Minister said.Addressing the audience, Mr. Modi said his government was committed to the safety and growth of women and said that society needed to change its attitude towards women.“Keeping this in mind, we passed a strict law for triple talaq for the benefit of women from the Muslim community. Now, awareness needs to be spread about this,” he said.He further said that he had full confidence that all resolutions taken by the Central government in the last five years, be they financial reforms or social schemes, would be carried out by 2022, the 75th year of Independence. read more