One week after a junior Government minister accused Amerindians of being greedy because they have requested security in the lands they have held since time immemorial, an official from the National Toshaos Council (NTC) has said he did not feel inclined to respond.NTC Vice ChairmanLenox ShumanVice Chairman Lenox Shuman told Guyana Times on Monday that the inflammatory statement was not the type of discussion the NTC planned on having, because it was childish and was not well thought out.“We don’t intend on being in the gutters. We will not be dragged into the gutter with anyone. What we intend to do is elevating the discussion to what not only is fair and just but also what history has done to the indigenous peoples,” Shuman said.Minister Keith Scott had said in the National Assembly that sovereignty now belonged to the State, when responding to the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) motion to halt the presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the issues surrounding lands belonging to Amerindians and freed African slaves.Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection Keith ScottMeanwhile, speaking on the recent meeting held between the NTC, other Amerindian rights groups and President David Granger, the NTC Vice Chair said it was a meeting long overdue.“The discussions we thought were very constructive in finding a way forward in addressing this issue in relation to the Commission of Inquiry in lands,” he told this publication.Asked whether the NTC was confident coming out of those recent discussions that things would happen in its favour, Shuman said that that was yet to be realised, but the body remained positive and hopeful.“We look forward to seeing what more the President could offer,” he added.Shuman said all parties invited to last Thursday’s meeting listened to the President and his five-point plan. That plan has not yet been revealed by any of the parties.According to the NTC official, the executive council will meet next week to discuss the issue at greater length with the intention of putting forward a general view to the President.“We only had one engagement with the President and he has made some commitments and so far we look forward to the NTC position and other Amerindian rights organisations’ position to be respected.”On June 16, in Parliament, the Opposition was free to press through its motion – a debate weeks in the making – calling for the immediate suspension of the CoI that was established by the Head of State.During the course of the debate, which began on Thursday and culminated on Friday evening, Government Speaker to the motion – specifically Minister Scott – rose and told the National Assembly that Amerindians were avaricious in their request for more land.He was peddling the same line as African Cultural and Development Association (ACDA) head and now Presidential Advisor, Eric Phillips, that Amerindians, while being a small population in Guyana, were looking to own 24 per cent of the country, including sub-surface rights.This position was vehemently argued against by the political Opposition.Opposition members quickly took umbrage to this position, pointing to the supreme law of Guyana, which says that sovereignty lies in the people of the country and the elected leaders were merely representatives of the people.The NTC had called for the establishment of two separate entities to deal with the two different issues, as it voiced its refusal to cooperate with the current lands CoI.The NTC also complained of “severe” lack of consultations on the matter, an assertion which President Granger has denied. The Head of State told reporters that the statement was “inaccurate”. He said, “The proposal to establish a body was announced by me in August last year at the National Toshaos Council meeting.”
A man who beat a woman so badly that he left the footprint of his shoe on her body has been told he has brought great shame on his family.Eamon Harkin (pictured) beat up then girlfriend Danielle Kerrigan for more than 90 minutes on St Valentine’s Night.He only stopped his reign of terror to get a drink of water. Harkin, 24, of St Eunan’s Terrace, Raphoe, appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court after pleading guilty to assault causing harm to Ms Kerrigan on February 14th, 2010.He had been remanded in custody since he first appeared in court two weeks ago.The court heard that Harkin, a butcher, had locked Ms Kerrigan in the house they shared and then beat her consistently as she cried for help.Horrific pictures of her injuries were shown presented to the court. She suffered extensive bruising to her body and also a suspected broken nose and toe.The court was told that Harkin drank six pints of beer and a litre of vodka before attacking Ms Kerrigan.At one stage Harkin put his hands around his victim’s neck and Ms Kerrigan said she felt like she was going to die.In a victim impact statement on behalf of Ms Kerrigan, the court heard that she sometimes cannot look at the couple’s young son because he reminds her of his father.It also revealed how Ms Kerrigan, who was training to become a prison officer, can sometimes not leave her house for fear something will happen to her.Judge John O’Hagan said there was “simply no excuse for assaulting a defenceless woman.”He added that drink was no excuse but he found the fact that Harkin had no previous convictions and had not got into any trouble since impressive.“You have brought great shame on your family. But your family have been very supportive and your father said the effect on the family has been devastating. He said ‘The Harkin family don’t do this type of thing’,” he said.Judge O’Hagan said if he had not pleaded guilty but been found guilty by a jury then he would have jailed Harkin for between 2 and 3 years.However he sentenced him to two years in prison but substituted the sentence for 240 hours community service.MAN WHO BEAT GIRLFRIEND FOR 90 MINUTES TOLD HE BROUGHT GREAT SHAME ON FAMILY was last modified: November 10th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:asaultDanielle KerriganEamon HarkinRaphoe
A ribbon seal photographed in Prince William Sound July 9th, 2014. Courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service boat crewed by Gloria Zager, Patti Sullivan, Karen Sinclair and Marty Reedy.A federal wildlife technician got a rare treat in Prince William Sound yesterday. Marty Reedy was driving a boat for a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seabird and marine mammal survey when a colleague pointed out a seal that didn’t look quite right. Reedy, who has also worked in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, knew immediately what the animal was- a ribbon seal:Download Audio“I just could not believe my eyes. I kept thinking to myself, I must be seeing something wrong, but if you look at a picture of these guys, there’s no doubt what it was. We see a lot of wonderful stuff out in the sound but to see something like that, is pretty unique and special.”Reedy drove the boat closer and snapped a picture of a male ribbon seal hauled out on a chunk of glacial ice. He found the animal in the northwest section of the sound, but doesn’t want to give an exact location.Peter Boveng is a seal expert with the National Marine Mammal Lab in Seattle. He says ribbon seals spend their winters in the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk. But this time of year, they are roamers and have been spotted as far south as British Colombia and Washington. He’s not surprised one turned up in Prince William Sound, and says the seal is on the fringes of its summer range:“They go into a pelagic phase where essentially they’re in the water all the time. They seem to be mostly solitary. So people don’t see ribbon seals really anywhere this time of year with any frequency or commonness.”A ribbon seal was found in Cook Inlet in Anchorage in 2007.Boveng says if this seal is healthy, he should be able to find his way back north to the Bering Sea for the winter breeding season.