James scores 25 as Lakers use defense to top Kings

first_imgNadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Chandler, playing in his second game with the Lakers, logged 23 minutes and scored three points. In his first game, the Lakers held Minnesota to 110 points — which, up until Saturday night’s game, was tied for the lowest by any Los Angeles opponent this season.“For me, the defense has been easy because it comes naturally, but it’s a matter of getting into the offense,” Chandler said. “The key for us was getting back on transition, building walls, forcing them into a half-court offense.”James said the Lakers’ center duo of starter JaVale McGee and Chandler, who combined for 20 rebounds and a pair of steals, has solidified a defense that struggled early in the season.″(Chandler) just shored up our front court. We have a great 1-2 punch now with JaVale and Tyson,” James said.De’Aaron Fox had 17 of his 21 points in the first half to lead the Kings, who shot 35 percent from the field and went 6 for 25 on 3-pointers. Willie Cauley-Stein added 12 points and 12 rebounds.ADVERTISEMENT Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown James scored 25 points and recently signed Tyson Chandler had 12 rebounds for the Lakers, who began the season with three straight losses but now have won four of their last five.The Lakers held the Kings, who entered the game averaging 118 points per contest, to their lowest scoring total of the season. It was only the second time Sacramento has been held below 100 points this season, and it marked the first time Los Angeles had held an opponent below 100.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“We won the game tonight because of our defense,” Walton said. “I think we’ve been showing glimpses of that defense, but tonight was the first time we’ve been able to put it together for long stretches.”James hit three 3-pointers and had seven rebounds. He only had two assists, though he often fed teammates for open shots that missed – including Lonzo Ball, who was 2 for 10 from the field. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Lakers: Ball missed all six of his 3-point attempts, most of them wide open. … There were plenty of Los Angeles fans in the stands, and several “Let’s Go Lakers” chants in the fourth quarter.Kings: Sacramento’s 44 points in the first half matched a season low. … The Kings had scored 100 or more points in each of their seven previous contests. … Sacramento had a season-low 11 assists.UP NEXTLakers: Return home to host Atlanta on Sunday.Kings: Conclude a four-game home stand on Monday by hosting San Antonio, which has won 14 straight against Sacramento. Starter or not, Ravena makes same impact for Blue Eagles Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, is fouled by Sacramento Kings forward Nemanja Bjelica during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. .(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Smoke from the raging Northern California wildfires seeped into the Golden 1 Center, giving LeBron James a headache and leading Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton to shorten his players’ stints on the court.But the haze did little to slow James and the Lakers, who used their best defensive effort of the year to earn a 101-86 win Saturday night against the Sacramento Kings, lifting Los Angeles to .500 (6-6) for the first time this season.ADVERTISEMENT Fox said the Lakers were able to shut down the Kings’ fast-paced offense by getting back quickly on defense.“They got back every shot attempt and they sent four people back,” he said. “And we didn’t shoot the ball well.”The Lakers were ahead by six points at the half and held a 76-65 lead entering the fourth quarter. They built that lead to 20 points at 88-68 before the Kings responded with a 10-0 run, but Sacramento got no closer.ON THE REBOUNDThe Lakers had a season-high 59 rebounds, including a season-best 17 on the offensive end. Five of Chandler’s rebounds were offensive, while McGee had three of his eight rebounds on offense.LEBRON’S RETURNJames made his NBA debut in Sacramento 15 seasons ago as the No. 1 overall draft pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He had 25 points, nine assists, six rebounds and four steals in the Oct. 29, 2003, game in which the Kings defeated the Cavs 106-92.BAD SHOOTINGThe Kings were held to their worst field goal percentage of the season, going 32 of 92 from the field. They were averaging 49 percent shooting coming into the contest, third best in the NBA.TIP-INS Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? LATEST STORIES Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

No need to score as Giannis Antetokounmpo’s triple-double leads Bucks past Heat

first_imgEric Bledsoe had 17 points and Malcolm Brogdon added 16 for Milwaukee, which has won 13 of 16 dating to Dec. 14. The Bucks improved to 31-12, second-best in the NBA. They are a season-high 19 games over .500.Justise Winslow and Hassan Whiteside had 19 points apiece for Miami, which fell to 21-21.Spoelstra expressed frustration with his team’s effort.“I didn’t see this one coming. I don’t know if our locker room saw this one coming,” Spoelstra said. “They are a very good team and you have to bring your best game against them and it starts with your effort and focus. We didn’t bring those things.”Milwaukee used a 12-0 run midway through the second quarter to pull away. The Bucks led by 26 late in the period. Antetokounmpo had five points, eight rebounds and six assists in the first half.ADVERTISEMENT Antetokounmpo, who averages nearly 27 points, took just nine shots as the Bucks benefited from having seven players score in double figures.“He didn’t need to (score),” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He read the game and saw that everybody else was going off and he didn’t get in the way.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissThe triple-double was the 13th of his career.“(Giannis) has such great court vision,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I think all year he has done a great job of balancing scoring and facilitating.” Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra View comments Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Roger Federer battles into Australian Open third round LATEST STORIES A lack of focus after the Bucks jumped out in front ruined the Heat’s chances for a comeback, Winslow said.“There were a couple of stretches that we became disconnected from each other and the game,” he said. “Guys looked like they didn’t want to be here when we got down by 20, but we can’t have that. We have to keep that competitive edge.”The Bucks built a 31-point lead in the third quarter and held a 93-63 advantage heading to the fourth. Milwaukee’s lead grew to as many as 38, the final margin, in the fourth as both teams turned to their reserves early.“We were in a zone (defense) and they started to hit some 3s,” Whiteside said. “I think we started to overact and miscommunicated.”The Bucks had a 13-2 run to close out the first quarter and grab a 30-23 lead despite shooting 39 percent. Whiteside had 10 points in the quarter for Miami.TIP-INSHeat: Started a four-game trip and play 12 of their next 16 on the road. … Whiteside returned to the lineup after missing Saturday’s game due to illness. … G Josh Richardson started after not participating in the team’s practice on Monday due to knee tendinitis.Bucks: Signed forward Bonzie Colson to a two-way contract. Colson has spent the 2018-19 season with the Canton Charge of the G league after going undrafted out of Notre Dame. … Brogdon missed just his third free throw in 88 attempts this season. … All 13 players scored.BANGED UPAntetokounmpo, who has been dealing with right quadriceps soreness and a left hip contusion, played his second consecutive game after sitting out against Washington on Friday. “Sometimes during the season, you get some bangs and some bruises,” Budenholzer said. “The more we can manage how much he does either on off days or practice days or shootarounds, but he’s not easy to dial back. We just need to make sure that he stays as healthy as possible.” UNUSUAL SURROUNDINGSDwyane Wade starred at Marquette, which played its home games at the Bradley Center until moving into the Bucks’ new arena, the Fiserv Forum, when it opened this season. Demolition crews imploded the massive roof of the neighboring Bradley Center on Sunday.“Normally, I come back and I can look around the arena and think about moments I had at Marquette and the Bradley Center,” Wade said. “This is definitely a little different in a new arena. It was definitely a home-court advantage. We lost one game in my two years there.”UP NEXTHeat: Visit Detroit on Friday night.Bucks: At Memphis on Wednesday night, where Milwaukee has won just once since 2009.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titlecenter_img Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo goes after a loose ball in front of Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)MILWAUKEE — Held well below his season scoring average, Giannis Antetokounmpo found other ways to help the Milwaukee Bucks win.Antetokounmpo had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in his fourth triple-double of the season, and the Bucks cruised past the Miami Heat 124-86 on Tuesday night.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ MOST READ Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazillast_img read more

‘Most SMEs Lack Capacity to Access Loans’

first_imgThe Deputy Chief of Party of the United States Agency for International Development Investment for Business Expansion (USAID/IBEX), Augustus Flomo, has disclosed that most Small Business Micro Enterprises (SMEs) in the country lack the capacities to access loans.He said that because of this trend, his institution has embarked on creating the necessary environment to enable businesses develop to impact Liberia’s economy.Mr. Flomo made the disclosure recently in Monrovia at a one-day stakeholders’ workshop on agriculture.Deliberating on the topic, “SMEs Access to Finance in Liberia; Challenges, Opportunities,” Mr. Flomo said that many of the businesses in Liberia, particularly agri-businesses are still operating in an informal manner.According to him, there is no financial institution that will want to transact business with SMEs, which are not standard in their activities.“Business records and good leadership in managing businesses are very crucial to getting loan for the expansion of small businesses. No entrepreneur can convince the banking sector if these mechanisms conducive for making business with the commercial banks are not put into place,” he said.He disclosed that IBEX has trained at least 200 SMEs in the country with basic financial management skills to enable them access loans.Mr. Flomo added that among the 200 SMEs trained, about 15 of them have gotten opportunities to get money to improve their business ventures, adding that 90 percent belong to the agricultural sector.He named the counties where SMEs have been approved for financing as Bong, Margibi and Montserrado counties.Though, there are concerns by some Liberians that the country’s lacked more market opportunities, the deputy IBEX chief of party differed that there is indeed markets for the agricultural produce.He said that there is need that entrepreneurs learnt to identify the market.“We do have market for crops like pepper, bitter ball in Liberia. But instead of Liberians toping in such a business, people from neighboring countries are making money from such produce,” he mentioned.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Cartoon: March 5, 2015

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“My Blood Pressure Is Up; I Cannot Appear”

first_imgThe Senate plenary and dozens gathered in the gallery of the Senate Chambers yesterday erupted into laughter when Health and Social Welfare Minister, Dr. Walter Gwenigale, informed that body by letter that he was unable to appear because of “high blood pressure and mild headache.”The Minister was requested last Thursday to appear with his lawyer before the Senate plenary during yesterday’s sitting to give reasons why he should not be held in contempt as recommended by the Senate Committee on Gender, Health, Women and Children Affairs, and subsequently approved by the plenary.In his communication to the Senate plenary dated October 17, Dr. Gwenigale said he was unable to appear “as requested by the honorable house of the Senate due to health reasons which could not permit me to travel along with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf today.“After my appearance before the Senate last Thursday, my blood pressure went up, and it is still up with mild headache. Appearing before you again tomorrow will further increase my pressure.”Dr. Gwenigale letter’s continued: “I kindly request that you reschedule my reappearance to a time when my health condition has improved. I thank you for your understanding and cooperation…”  Proffering a motion, Sinoe County Senator Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan asked his colleagues to accept Dr. Gwenigale’s letter of excuse, while those expressing unreadiness to vote on the issue, suggested that a time frame for his reappearance be decided on.For his part, Bomi County Senator Sando Dazoe Johnson asked that the Minister be given up to next Tuesday to re-appear with a medical report to substantiate his illness.“After seven days if the Liberian Senate is not serious, the determination will be made on Tuesday and the Liberian people will know by then,” Senator Johnson declared. Bong County Senator Henry W. Yallah, stating his un-readiness, said; “I am detecting that this Senate is not ready to receive the Minister. My amendment is that if the mover can agree that we dismiss the issue we have with the Minister, taking into consideration his health, and the very important role he is playing, and the critical condition our country is in now, there is no need to [maintain] this path that will yield nothing.”Yallah’s position was buttressed by Senator Dallas A.V. Gueh, who expressed the belief that Dr. Gwenigale will have his way; “so let us dismiss any charge against him and let him go free, and we can continue with our business as usual,” said Senator Gueh.Speaking with her usual vigor, Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif declared that for the sanity of the Senate an amendment be proposed to allow “Oldman Gwenigale to go so we can continue to be disrespected, because to even delay his appearance for next week Tuesday is a waste of our precious time. Let’s find something better to do and do it appropriately that will save our character.”Maryland County’s outspoken Senator H. Dan Morais warned his colleagues that the Senate was on the brink of redeeming itself or continue to be in the abeyance of history. “This Liberian Senate will take the excuse with evidence of the sickness of Dr. Gwenigale; he being the one sick, will not write his own certificate.”Senator Morais then suggested further that the excuse of Dr. Gwenigale be accepted, but that since the Senate operates on records, a team of medical doctors should examine the witness to show his readiness or unreadiness to appear.Commenting on what he described as the facts, Senator Joseph Nagbe reminded his colleagues that the Committee on Health submitted to plenary a report dated October 15, 2014 with one recommendation “that the Senate is acting upon today, that the Minister of Health be held in contempt for accusing the Liberian Senate of being supportive of the strike action by health workers.”The Sinoe lawmaker said it was upon this recommendation “that we are citing the Minister to appear to show cause why he cannot be held in contempt.   The Minister’s letter of excuse to us is contrary to the report of the committee. The letter is based on the politics in the streets, not on what we have before us.”In his final motion, Senator Nyenpan moved, “that the communication from Dr. Gwenigale be received by the Liberian Senate, and that his request be granted to the effect that he appears before the Senate next Tuesday, and that he brings along a medical certificate indicating his state of health during the period of his illness; and that the Secretary of the Senate communicate with him as to the decision of the Liberian Senate.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgThey tussle and hustleEach with his own methodThey were meeker than the poorest manBecause they wanted favor for the great positionThey got it, they took over it, they move like giantsEach in his own comfort zoneThey appear in luxuries and belong to another classThey wore attires their ancestors never dreamt ofThey rented elegant mansionsThey flew to the Queensland to soak up the sunThey lavish thousands on the earthly princessesAnd saw the great position like the Atlantic oceansThe lightning strikesThe clouds cover the moonThe cock crowsIt’s a new dawnRome was not built in one dayHence, Rome has many engineersThe great position is no moreThe luxuries have disappeared over nightLeaving their pockets emptyThey roamed the streets in search of buyers for their valuablesThey lived the rest of their lives in shame and frustrationAfter the great positionShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Skullduggery ongoing at the GGMC

first_imgDear Editor,There is a deliberate attempt by some members of the GGMC to silence me for exposing their corrupt practices. I drew this conclusion from how the Commission addresses matters that are of concern to me in my individual capacity, or when I stand as a representative of the group of bona fide residents of Kurupung.I came to this realization during a meeting which was organized by the commissioner to address all matters of concern to me within his organization. At that forum, only one matter came up for discussion — the issue of a missing claim file.The matter that was chosen for discussion was serving some members of the commission’s interest, because they are bent on covering up the atrocities of their colleagues.They were being selective in giving answers, rather than bringing a resolution to all matters affecting me. At that meeting, I requested an investigation into a missing claim file after I was led to believe by a senior staff that there were two of the same files for me in the system, when in fact there is only one. This was a mistake made by the cashier on my claim licence application receipt.In attempting to make the correction, a senior mines officer related there’s no issue with having more than one claim with the same name, because the serial/HO numbers are unique. The missing claim file issue was reported in a letter dated August 14, 2017.If the commissioner had chosen the letter addressed to him two days prior to the August 14, 2017 letter, he would have been able to touch on critical issues which are beneficial to me and the bona fide residents of Kurupung.It seems as though those issues were too sensitive for discussion, and would only lead to more cover-ups. There are numerous letters that were written to be addressed by the commissioner (ag) and his predecessor, which they both stubbornly refused to address. Two of those letters were sent by our then lawyer, now Minister Mr. Joseph Harmon, in January and February, 2014.Four years have since passed and the Commission is yet to respond to those two letters. I had followed up with several letters of my own, reiterating my request for an investigation into those matters of our concern as a bona fide resident of Kurupung, and in my individual capacity. Most of the requests made went unanswered.The few that were attempted by the commission were deliberately prepared with inaccurate information and yielded no result.At commencement of the last meeting, the commissioner decided to release some of his pent-up energy by telling me that I took my stories to all heights and lengths to state that he has been covering up corruption and this is the last time he’s going to address my situation; and if I am not satisfied, I could take the matter to the court.He then opened the floor to his colleagues, which comprised three heads of department.In my opinion, the ulterior motive of the meeting was clearly demonstrated, and that was to BLAME and SHAME me in order to SILENCE me for my reporting, and the request for answers to those atrocities which are taking place under his watch.I also thought the commissioner had a greater amount of stored energy to exhale at the end of the meeting, from the level of energy I felt every time I was interrupted during the course of the meeting. When it was discovered by me that the mistake had actually come from the cashier’s department, the atmosphere in the room changed, and the interruption became more frequent. I was unable to express myself due to the frequent interruption from members of the group before the commissioner brought the meeting to an abrupt end.At the conclusion of the meeting, the commissioner had changed from his initial stand of his last hearing on the matter, to a two-week ultimatum to produce relative documents to support my case, or he would strike out the matter that was in front of him.I welcome the new normal/beginning by the commissioner on the time limit into dealing with matters, if it is across-the-board and is not conveniently used to his advantage. Although I had supplied the relevant information to the commissioner before the allotted time, his response is still not forthcoming.I left the meeting with a stronger sense of a cover-up by some officials of the high echelons of the GGMC.I have many reasons to believe that the situation is worse than I previously thought. I do hope my speculations are wrong.Sincerely,Suffering minerlast_img read more

Harmon to present written statement to Cabinet – President

first_imgMinister of State Joseph Harmon will today present a written statement to Cabinet on all the accusationsPresident David Granger speaking to the media on Wednesdaybeing levelled against him, when Ministers convene for a meeting, President David Granger has assured.The President, responding to questions posed by Journalists on Wednesday, said Minister Harmon already offered an oral explanation to Cabinet members on Tuesday for being in a photograph with officials of BaiShanLin.According to President Granger, the explanation given to Cabinet by Harmon related that he had to visit a number of places in China, with little time to do so.“As you know the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China was in China at that time, he had to go to three or four different cities and the Ambassador arranged the executive transport because of the distance between the cities, and the amount of time he had at his disposal. So it was arranged by the Chinese Government to enable him to travel to different cities… to conduct the business that he was there to conduct,” President Granger said, before reiterating that the trip was funded by the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL).In what appears to be a move aimed at tarnishing Harmon’s political career, Kaieteur News has been publishing a series of articles about the Minister’s decision to appoint businessman Brian Tiwari as his personal Adviser on Business Development and instructions he gave to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) to halt a seizure of several vehicles from Chinese logging company BaiShanLin. The articles were skilfully designed in a manner to portray the Minister as corrupt.last_img read more

Automotive workshop launched at LTI

first_imgThe long-anticipated Automotive Workshop and Heavy Equipment Maintenance programme of the LindenRepresentatives of the Education Ministry and the Canadian High Commission at the ribbon cutting ceremonyTechnical Institute (LTI) was launched on Tuesday, following an official ceremony on the lawns of the institution in the presence of students, dignitaries and representatives of partnering associations.The initiative is a partnership between the Education Ministry and the LTI in partnership with College of the North Atlantic, the Marine Institute of Newfoundland Canada and MACORP.Chief Education Officer Olato Sam, in delivering his remarks before the gathering, applauded the partners in the initiative, while emphasising that it was expected that the facility would be a centre of excellence in heavy-duty equipment in the Linden community.The modern facility, situated in the compound of the LTI, initially took shape in 2006 and was officially declared open. The facility is equipped with offices as well as tool, operation, lecture and locker rooms to facilitate both students and lecturers.Referring to it as a significant community asset, Sam further encouraged the need to optimise its use, preserve and maintain it for future use as well as to ensure that the true essence of the project for education and employment was realised. The Chief Education Officer said the reality was that LTI was underutilised, which was ironic given the unemployment in the community. He stressed the need to embrace Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).Canadian High Commission Charge d’Affaires Daniel Joly, in delivering brief remarks, noted the importance of such partnerships between training institutions and industries, pointing out that it was critical to bridging the gap which existed in the Caribbean and throughout the world between skilled persons and employers seeking those skills. Further emphasising the importance, he noted that the Canadian college system had been very successful in promoting partnerships with industries and were involved in technical and vocational education. On that note, he said MACORP was visionary in establishing the link with LTI.Speaking on behalf of MACORP, Training Coordinator Miguel Oviedo said LTI was chosen as a pilot institution for the programme and praised the collaboration. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), he said, was signed between LTI and MACORP in 2013 to identify and ensure mutual relations to assist with the development of Guyanese through employment in the mining sector. Oviedo said MACORP would continue its support to LTI.Also present at the ceremony were LTI Board Chairman Gordon Gumbs, Regional Chairman Renis Morian, Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland and representatives of the Education Ministry.last_img read more

Nandlall raps Govt over Bank of America withdrawal from local banks

first_imgFormer Attorney General Anil Nandlall on Friday lambasted Government for one of America’s largest banksFormer Attorney General Anil Nandlallsevering ties with local banks and stated that if they do not rectify the deficiencies swiftly, the situation will worsen.With foreign banks, particularly those in the United States cutting relationship with financial institutions in the Caribbean over money laundering concerns, the Bank of America has penned its notice to sever ties with “indigenous banks” in Guyana.On Friday, Nandlall said that when a bank of such magnitude pulls out of a country it will have an impact on that nation, noting that the future between international banks and Guyana does not bode well.“Unless we rectify our deficiencies quickly, the situation will become worse. The government seems incapable of extricating Guyana from the problem they put Guyana in,” he said.Guyana Times was told that the Bank of America sent a notice indicating that it was severing its corresponding relationship with “indigenous banks” in Guyana. The notice was sent about a month ago.This matter was on the agenda for discussion at the 37th Caricom Heads of Government Meeting held in Guyana July 4 to 6, as Caribbean leaders try to tackle the cut-off of regional indigenous banks, referred to as de-risking – a situation that poses ominous costs for the Region, including crushing the wider economy.De-risking is when international banks withdraw from their relationships with indigenous banks because of fears of money laundering and questionable sources of funds which would cause the international banks to receive heavy fines from their regulators.Caribbean banking institutions rely on such relationships in order to allow residents to conduct international financial transactions. However, since last year, the Region has been facing the impact of de-risking and the issue has been occupying the attention of Regional policy-makers, following signals by international banks that they were unwilling to continue carrying the business of regional banks.Nandlall in a statement on Friday stated that during his tenure as Attorney General and Minister with responsibility over Guyana’s AML/CFT compliance regime, he had spent the greater part of three years battling with the Joint Opposition, in vain, to secure their support in the National Assembly to enact changes to our laws to make Guyana compliant with international standards in respect of Guyana’s AML/CFT regime.“We explained at every available opportunity the dangers to which our nation’s financial and commercial sectors will be exposed.We warned of the great volume of background information which will have to be supplied in relation to financial transactions both locally and across borders.We highlighted the unnecessary expenditures which will be incurred to do business across international borders.We emphasised the severance of relations that would take place between banks in other countries and local bank.We predicted that international trade and commerce between local businesses and those across our borders would decline,” he remarked.He noted that although they secured the votes of the diplomatic community, the entire private sector, the labour movement, the religious organisations and almost every civil society organisation of worth the coalition government did not budge.“They refused to budge. They held the nation to ransom. At every meeting their political demands increased. They accused us of creating panic in the country. They claimed that we are crying wolf; that nothing will happen if the Bills are not passed.”He added that in the end the then opposition reduced this deep-seated national issue to that of a “political football”.“They voted down the required AML/CFT Bill twice in the Tenth Parliament. They caused CFATF to issue a series of adverse Public Statements against Guyana, informing the world that Guyana poses a threat to the global financial structures and warned countries to take the necessary steps to protect their financial landscape from the threat posed by Guyana’s financial sector,” he said, highlighting that Caricom and indeed the world took note and implemented countermeasures against Guyana.“It is now a nightmare to transact business with the local banking sectors. Businessmen can relate the ordeal which they endure daily to conduct simple business transactions. As a result, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) begun a review process of Guyana. Thus, Guyana is stained globally as a country that encourages money laundering and terrorism. A year after assuming the reins of Government, this very Joint Opposition, now in government with a controlling Parliament has been unable to extricate Guyana from the morass in which they have dumped us,” he criticised.He opined that Attorney General Basil Williams appears shockingly clueless on how to propel the nation out of this state of international delinquency: “As if he is on a trial and error mission, he piloted four Bills, thus far, through the National Assembly. Instead of advancing out of the process, we seem to be backsliding. The level of incompetence is remarkable. He still, clumsily, blames the PPP/C administration for the technical deficiencies which afflict our system. A few days ago, he boldly informs the nation that we shall soon exit the review process.”Nandlall questioned how is it possible to exit the review process and at the same time a huge bank, like Bank of America, cutting out.“Someone is lying through their teeth. We continue to reel from the consequences of being an AML/CFT delinquent nation,” he said, adding that he disclosed that FATF’s latest Public Statement on Guyana contradicts the impression conveyed by the Attorney General that the country was exiting the FATF review process.The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) quoted a November World Bank survey saying that about 75 per cent of international banks have experienced a reduction in correspondent banking services with the Caribbean being the worst affected.last_img read more