We demand better leadership for our country

first_imgDear Editor,The excesses of this de-facto APNU/AFC Coalition Government has been overwhelmingly overflowing. The over-indulgences are evidenced by unparalleled heights of corruption and squandermania, which have become the order of the day. The benefits, regrettably, are primarily themed towards the enrichment of the Government/PNC supporters, and must be challenged.The core drivers of the Government’s approach, no doubt, have their origins in ‘lust and hunger for power’ coupled with personal enrichment/greed of many of the key agents, who seek to achieve these outcomes by any means necessary. Unfortunately, the impositions are being advanced at the sacrifice of the welfare of the poorer class of Guyanese citizens at large.The Government is currently in the 34th month of its tenure in office, and its Ministers and leaders have invoked an almost immeasurable negative displacement on the welfare path of citizens. Their threats to a further unleashing of attacks on citizens’ rights seem duly imminent. While at it, their actions have become shamelessly uncaring, and there is much evidence that the extremes of further viciousness will be employed to deprive basic survival needs.Guyanese at large are called upon to speak out against the wickedness being rolled out from the very sinews of the Coalition.We have consistently observed, emerging from the very echelons of the Government, a lack of support and frequent authorization of disruptive development activities. Only recently, the Minister of Communities reaffirmed his threats to derail the progress of the elected Councils in Local Authority Areas (LAAs), where the Coalition lost at the 2016 Local Government Elections. He has moved to implement his own design, a Local Government control system through several moves to minimize the authority of the elected Councils.In fact, the Minister has taken ludicrous steps in many cases to approve the rebuffing and suppression of councils’ decisions by selected Overseers and Regional Executive Officers, to address his own political agenda which goes against the core of the people’s needs and choices. The moves, to date, of de-emphasizing the relevance of the Local Government Commission runs counter to any positive ideals in the interest of citizens’ representation and the intent of the constitution to balance against political excesses.The malicious deprivations to thousands of workers in several regions have resulted from the closures of several sugar estates without any realistic job options. It creates sufferings unforetold, and makes a mockery of the job creation and the focus on youths’ platform on which the APNU/AFC campaigned and promised Guyanese citizens.Those of us who were temperate enough to survive the role plays of the PNC of the 70s, 80s, and period prior to 1992 would be familiar with the most economically damaging and brutal playbook from which the Government’s strategic choices are being drawn. Amidst the lavish spending and squander by the Government, Guyanese would have never imagined or experienced the increased sufferings of so many in such a short period of time.The unleashing of, or uncontrolled escalation of, the criminal terrors on citizens seems to be one of the areas designed for intimidating, or rather, one that the Government is totally incapable of addressing.Many of the issues can be linked to the economic situation and the unconcerned approach of the Coalition in many areas.It is extremely sad to know that APNU/AFC Regional Councillor Amarnauth ‘Bobby’ Chinkan was brutally chopped and is presently in a serious condition at the hospital. However, one cannot help observing accommodation of the power-drunk approach and treatment of another APNU/AFC agent, Mr. Abel Seetaram from Region #5, who has also been involved in all sorts of questionable activities.The defiant Ronald Bulkhan must not be allowed to pretend that a deaf ear is acceptable. He is obligated to the members of the Local Government Commission, and must make sure they get their salaries and be provided with a properly equipped office with adequate staffing. People in the Local Authority Areas have shared the view that if the Local Government Commission were operational, then many of the reported serious in-fighting and corrupt activities would be avoided.The corruption under this administration has become ingrained. The Regional Democratic Councils, through the Government-controlled REOs, are micro-managing the Local Authority Areas. Contractors are bribing seriously to scrape a contract so they can keep their staff and small business in operation. Word on the street is that for a contractor to get a small ‘job’, he has to bribe the officials at the Ministry, RDC, and the APNU/AFC activists for his survival.The Local Government Commission must look in to these numerous issues and develop an immediate response to help our citizens, since it does not seem to matter to many in the Government,Neil Kumarlast_img read more

What is a “decade of development” from a Guyanese perspective?

first_imgDear Editor,There is certainly a buzz around the phrase, “decade of development”. What is a “decade of development” from a Guyanese perspective and who can best launch it?To answer these questions, one has to look at the concept of what it does to free a nation from the shackle of racial, ethnic and religious oppression using an attitude of mind that sets a specific tone. How about a Guyana that uses its natural resources and wealth to lift all boats (in this case our people) economically, socially and mentally? How about using the resources of the State to show the entire nation how “not to practice” nepotism, favouritism, and political marginalisation so that more of our people can be empowered to live a more dignified life and are allowed to get ahead based on merit rather than which political leader you are connected to? How about harnessing the dwindling entrepreneurial skills to unleash the nation’s true potential? While one can find very little to disagree with on this concept, one has to beware not any “jankelaar” can proceed along this path. You must have a track record of human development to give credibility to your agenda. Therefore, it is imperative to examine the record of Mr David Granger over the last 4 years 6 months to conclude if he does have the integrity to speak of a “decade of development”. I will only use two examples today because of space, but I have more than 120 other examples to support my conclusion that he is unfit and unsuitable to lead Guyana ever again.1. Rural Guyana – sugar is intertwined with the livelihood of the people in rural Berbice and Demerara, yet Mr Granger chose to ignore the conclusions of his CoI and shut down 4 factories. Any child could have told him that the outcome from that decision would have created a socio-economic implosion in rural areas. The outcome of that Granger decision was the drastic reduction in sugar production, which at the end of 2019 was only 90,246 tonnes (59 per cent decline from 2014), the lowest production since 1926. In the last full year of the PPP/C Government, sugar production was 216,186 tonnes and in those days that was considered a poor production. Today the head office cost at GuySuCo is now 34 per cent of total operating cost compared to 20 per cent in 2014, and this strategy of Mr Granger was designed to make the industry more efficient? The human development wreckage left in the wake of Mr Granger’s decision was nothing but heartless and inhumane.2. Investments in agriculture – The graph below as sourced from the Bank of Guyana illustrates the situation with respect to the importation of agricultural machinery. Investing in capital equipment is a pre-requisite for the development of any economy and in Guyana’s case, the agriculture sector is key. The importation of agriculture machinery declined by some US$30 million since Mr Granger took over. Even the worse of the PPP Presidents (Mr Ramotar) achieved better results.With the agriculture sector being one of the main employers and the reason for our future, it must play a crucial role in promoting human development and contributing to the reduction of poverty. Any investment in this sector is vital but the evidence reveals it is not happening under Mr Granger because the farmers have no confidence in him. Such a situation has contributed to an increase in economic disparity and human deprivation that now exist in at least 1 in 4 homes across the nation.So while Mr Granger talks about the “good life”, the reality for the ordinary people illustrates something very different. What is clear is that Mr Granger does not have a clue what he is doing and is incompatible with the process of implement policies to strongly influence the quality of life for the people in a positive manner. The evidence is overwhelming to prove that he is a policy dullard.After half of a decade as the President of Guyana and with such a tragic record, why would Guyana want to further destroy itself and give him a second chance over a new decade? Are we silly enough to give a policy failure more time to now bury us all six feet under when it comes to our human development?The facts will show that after spending more than $1400 billion over the last half of a decade, Mr Granger has very little to show as newly conceived projects. All he has done is spend money on completed PPP/C conceived projects and on his coterie of advisers. He can claim D’Urban Park, but can the Guyanese people eat D’Urban Park? Does it give them health, strength, wealth, wisdom and happiness? Mr Granger has left a legacy where his version of the “economic trickle-down” has left the widest gap between the rich and the poor in the entire history since independence. Because of the massive distribution of wealth to this new cabal of PNC multi-millionaires numbering less than 500 persons, we find that more people are now living in poverty. The latest estimates speak to some 40 per cent of our people who are now living in poverty.The evidence is overwhelming, Mr Granger and his APNU cabal are certainly not the people to launch the decade of development.With regards,Sasenarine Singhlast_img read more

5-a-side football set to light Marriott beach front ablaze

first_imgBeing deemed one of the biggest football tournaments to hit the Marriott beach front under the theme “Bragging Rights 5-a-side Football”, popular promoter Marlon Jacobs, aka “Freedom Boss”, has stated that all systems are in place as the tournament is set to commence today.Promoter Marlon Jacobs, aka “Freedom Boss”Speaking with Guyana Times Sport, Jacobs stated that registration has been officially closed, and he was excited because some of the top teams from around Guyana are competing for a chance at $500,000.He further went on to confirm that 18 teams have been confirmed for the tournament such as Diamond, Uprising, Silver Stars Berbice, Avocado, Sparta Boss, Back Circle, Leopold Street, Gold Is Money, North East, Tiger Bay, Kingston, Swag Ent (Linden), Dave & Celina (Linden), BV, Future Stars and Agricola Warriors.When asked how he felt as today is officially the day when the first ball kicks off, Jacobs responded, “I feel like this tournament will be the biggest tournament to hit Guyana based on the tickets sales and the tremendous feedback from participating teams and from their fans. Also, everyone is excited to see who will win and come out victorious, since the competing teams are no stranger to each other and have not played with out-of-town teams lately,” he declared.Jacobs said, “The sponsors have played a vital role in the tournament getting to where it is right now, especially the National Sports Commission (NSC), who is very happy to welcome such a competitive and fun tournament, and Stag also is excited since they haven’t had a football tournament of such magnitude in Guyana.”In closing, Jacobs stated that his intention was to make “Bragging Rights” an annual event which footballers from across the country can look forward to. Based on the success of this year’s competition, they are looking to raise the stakes next year. Football is not the only sport that Jacobs plans to promote as he views sports as an area that he can definitely boost, with cricket and basketball among the possibilities.The tournament begins at 18:00h and concludes at 22:00h and will be followed by the after-party that will conclude at 02:00h. (Timothy Jaikarran)last_img read more

Homeless camp in A.V. field is raided

first_imgLANCASTER – Sheriff’s deputies arrested 19 people Friday at a homeless encampment in a vacant field as part of an effort to address theft- and drug-related crime in the area. The encampment, which contained wooden huts and 5-foot-deep holes, was razed to prevent the homeless from returning to that locale, near Avenue J and Division Street, deputies said. “They built five structures out of plywood and scrap metal and dug elaborate structures beneath ground level,” Sgt. Adam Ellison said. “It’s unsanitary and unsafe.” One person was arrested on suspicion of receiving stolen property that was taken in a burglary, four had felony warrants out for their arrests and four were wanted on misdemeanor warrants, Ellison said. In January, deputies arrested 16 people at a homeless encampment in the 45300 block of Trevor Avenue on suspicion of charges ranging from parole violations and trespassing to drug possession. About 4,000 homeless people are estimated to live in the Antelope Valley, according to a study commissioned by Grace Resource Center, a faith-based charity that provides food and outreach to the homeless and indigent. Center officials have said about 40 percent of the homeless men in the Antelope Valley are veterans. karen.maeshiro@dailynews.com (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Ten others were cited for illegal camping. Four women were among the 19 people taken into custody. Ellison said the people at the camp repeatedly were warned to leave. “One guy was arrested two days ago and was here today,” Ellison said. The operation involved Los Angeles County firefighters, who cleared and burned brush. The Sheriff’s Department worked with the city to get dump trucks and bulldozers to clear debris and fill in the holes, Ellison said. The raid was the second one in as many months. last_img read more

Government malaise cited in Katrina study

first_img The House study is the first to be completed in a series of inquiries by Congress and the Bush administration about the massive failures exposed by Katrina. The storm left more than 1,300 people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama dead, hundreds of thousands homeless and tens of billions of dollars worth of damage in its wake. Despite Bush’s accepting full responsibility for the federal government’s shortfalls, the storm response continues to generate finger-pointing. The panel, chaired by Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., was to formally unveil the final version of the study today. Parts of it were released Sunday. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant “Earlier presidential involvement might have resulted in a more effective response,” the inquiry concluded. The White House had no immediate comment. The inquiry into one of the nation’s worst natural disasters looked at everything from the evacuation to the military’s role to planning for emergency supplies and in each category found much to criticize. “The single biggest failure of the federal response was that it failed to recognize the likely consequences of the approaching storm and mobilize federal assets for a post-storm evacuation of the flooded city,” the report said. “If it had, then federal assistance would have arrived several days earlier.” Typical of the report’s unsparing tone, it warned, “The preparation for and response to Hurricane Katrina should disturb all Americans.” WASHINGTON – Government at all levels took an indifferent stance toward disaster preparations after the 2001 terror attacks, leaving the Gulf Coast vulnerable to Hurricane Katrina and contributing to the death and suffering the storm inflicted, a House inquiry concludes. Finding fault with the White House down to local officials, the 520-page report, titled “A Failure of Initiative,” determined that authorities failed to move quickly to protect people – even when faced with warnings days before the catastrophic storm struck last Aug. 29. “Passivity did the most damage,” concluded the report, which was written by a Republican-dominated special House committee and obtained Tuesday night by The Associated Press. “The failure of initiative cost lives, prolonged suffering, and left all Americans justifiably concerned our government is no better prepared to protect its people than it was before 9-11, even if we are.” The hard-hitting report concludes that President George W. Bush could have speeded the response by becoming involved in the crisis earlier. It says he was not receiving guidance from a disaster specialist who would have understood the scope of the storm’s destruction. last_img read more

MUM’S ANGER AS DRINKING WATER GETS EVEN WORSE!

first_imgYuk! Lifford waterTHIS is the drinking water a mother and her three children have been left with – three days after highlighting the issue on Donegal Daily.Siobhan Kelly, from the Castlefin Road in Lifford, contacted us at the weekend – with pictures of water that looked more like Fanta than H2O!Our story has been followed up on other media since. But instead of getting it fixed by Donegal County Council, Siobhan’s water is heading from looking like Fanta to looking more like Coke!She’s had to put up with this for SIX YEARS.“It’s costing me a fortune buying bottled water,” she told Donegal Daily.“Why I should have to put up with this in 2013. It’s a basic human right to have access to clean water. Ms Kelly has already slammed the council for failing to deal with the issue.“I’ve pleaded with everyone to help, but it’s like banging my head off a brick wall,” she said.Below is the picture we showed you of her water – taken on Saturday night.MUM’S ANGER AS DRINKING WATER GETS EVEN WORSE! was last modified: May 15th, 2013 by BrendaShare 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:MUM’S ANGER AS DRINKING WATER GETS EVEN WORSE!last_img read more

Transit services set holiday hours

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals For the Whittier Transit schedule information, call (562) 929-5550. For information on the Dial-A-Ride program, call the Transit Division office at (562) 698-2131. For information on holiday schedules for other regional bus services, call (800) 266-6883). From staff reports WHITTIER – The Whittier Transit buses are taking a short vacation for the holidays, and Dial-A-Ride will be on a modified schedule. There will be no Whittier Transit bus service on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. Since the buses do not run on Sundays, there will be no service on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Those looking to use Dial-A-Ride need to plan early. The service will run every day, but there will be no same-day requests for rides on Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. People who need a ride on a those days must make a reservation by Dec. 23 for service on Christmas Eve and Christmas, and by Dec. 30 for service on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Whittier Dial-A-Ride is a shared-ride, door-to-door transportation service for those 60 years and older, or residents younger than 60 who have a disability that prevents them from driving. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Over 20 Ugandan referees in line for FIFA badges

first_imgFUFA sent 26 names to FIFA for consideration. (PHOTO/Courtesy)The Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) has sent a list of 26 match officials to FIFA for consideration of the 2020 badges.This was confirmed at the 21st FUFA Excom meeting held on Wednesday at FUFA House in Mengo.The key names on the list include Ssali Mashood, Muhabi Alex, Sabilla Ali, Oloya William and Madanda Ronald, all of whom officiate in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League.The list also includes three female officials and seven assistant referees.At the same meeting, it was confirmed that three clubs had been granted permission to change names.The three are Kabale Sharp, Nkambi Coffee and Mukura Town Council who have been allowed to change to Kigezi Home Boys, Masaka City SC and Basere FC respectively.In a bid to keep promoting football at the grassroots and encourage identity of clubs with the local communities, the FUFA Executive received proposals from the Competitions Committee on change of clubs’ names;It was also announced that three Clubs Kagadi Eagles FC, Kahunde FC and Digital FC (Kitara Region FA) have been granted permission to play under one name Kagadi United FC.However, a request by Eastland FC (North East Region FA, in Bukedea) to change name to Lifeline FC was rejected by the FUFA Executive.The FUFA Executive also noted that there has been a genuine delay by authorities concerned to release results of the coaches who attended the CAF C coaching course three years ago but have not been able to enroll for the CAF B course for reasons beyond their control.With this deficiency, FUFA has granted provisional Licenses to coaches who fall in this category as they wait for the release of results by CAF.However, upon release of results, the successful CAF C coaches will be required to apply to undertake immediately a CAF B course to attain the minimum requirements for any coach to sit on the technical bench in the Uganda Premier League this season.FUFA also applauded the efforts and great strides made in the process of the normalization of the club. FUFA has written to SC Villa to attend an urgent meeting on Thursday 29th August 2019 to conclude on the matters of; Statutes, structure and schedules of activities.Uganda’s full FIFA Referees Proposed listThe FUFA Executive approved a list of 26 referees to be forwarded to FIFA for consideration of the 2020 FIFA badges. The list has;Referees (Men): Ssali Mashood, Muhabi Alex, Sabilla Ali Chelangat, Oloya William and Madanda RonaldAssistant referees (Men); Okello Dick, Katenya Ronald, Okello Lee, Balikoowa Musa Ngobi,  Masembe Issa, Mulindwa Hakim and Okudra EmmanuelReferees (Women): Nabadda Shamirah, Murungi Diana, Tiwuwe EuniceAssistant referees (Women); Nantabo Lydia Wanyama, Nakitto Marex Nkumbi, Mutonyi Jane, and Docus AtuhaireBeach Soccer: Kintu Ivan Bayige, Mugerwa Shafic, Ssenteza Muhammad and Kawagga Bazirio KeneddyFutsal Referees: Nsubuga Brian Emmy, Sengendo Isaac and Kamala BenonComments Tags: Basere FCFifaFUFAkabale sharpKigezi Home BoysMadanda RonaldMasaka City SCMuhabi AlexMukura Town CouncilNkambi CoffeeOloya WilliamSabilla AliSC VillaSsali Mashoodtoplast_img read more

Darwinian Just-So Story Criticized

first_imgWhen Young and Brodie & son published their article “How the Horned Lizard Got its Horns,” (see 04/01/2004 headline), they apparently meant it as a bit of April-fool joke, not a real Kipling-style just-so story.  Several respondents in the Sept 24 issue of Science,1 however, either didn’t think it was funny or concluded the story was just-so after all:William R. Fouts (Nevada State) was not amused by the Kipling reference, because he viewed their paper as “an important example of natural selection in the wild” and thought the title was a poor choice of words.  He thought they should have examined the possibility of preadaptation: i.e., maybe the horns grew out of a nub that once upon a time appeared on the back of the lizard’s neck.John H. Christy (Smithsonian) thinks the authors did not prove that the longer horns function in defense against shrike predation.  In his opinion, therefore, the authors’ explanation for the adaptive function of the horns is still a just-so story.R. Yosef described how shrikes actually kill their prey, and then whimsically remarked, “I suggest that the parietal horns developed as a defense against shrike attacks to the nape region and not against their being impaled after they are dead,”  because clearly, “it does not make evolutionary sense for a trait to be incorporated into a prey species, as a result of a predator’s behavior, that results in all cases in its death (i.e., the impaling stage).”The authors thanked the respondents for their insights on issues they claim were not discussed in the original paper due to space limitations.  But then he chided them for not getting the joke: “The title of our paper was meant as an allusion to the Just So Stories of Kipling, which are often used as a shorthand criticism for unsubstantiated adaptive arguments.  It is a bold statement, and we thought it so clearly over the top that it would not be taken as a literal explanatory title.”  (Emphasis added in all quotes.)1Letters to the editor, Science, Vol 305, Issue 5692, 1909-1910, 24 September 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.305.5692.1909b].Here was a rare, valiant attempt at providing just one clear, unambiguous association between a trait and a survival advantage, and even their fellow evolutionists were not convinced.  So what are the rest of us supposed to think about the validity of adaptive stories in the Darwinian tradition?    The critics’ points were pointless as far as helping Darwin.  A nub turns into a horn, right.  Silly.  For support of the “preadaption” or “exaptation” hypothesis, Fouts refers to the panda’s thumb and tetrapod limbs (see 04/05/2004 headline).  How does said nub get into the genome and developmental pathways, and become established in the population before it functions in defense?  Darwinism allows no foresight, yet Fouts argues:Perhaps the role of preadaptation in evolution is of great importance and is deserving of more widespread appreciation.  Given the possibility of a preadaptation scenario in the evolution of crown horns in horned lizards, I find it ironic that Young et al. commented on the weakness of “just-so stories” and also chose a title that reads remarkably like the titles of Kipling’s stories.  Until presented with evidence suggesting that the horns were mere nubs until the onset of shrike predation, I will remain convinced that “How the horned lizard got its horns” is a poor choice for what is presumably meant to be an informative title.Sheesh, think the authors; can’t a guy take a joke?  Their response undermines the hope of proving a trait arose by evolution:The question of whether any horns on the head of horned lizards existed before shrike predation drove them to elongated states (i.e., were “preadapted”) is an interesting one, but one that is only answerable through comparative analyses with full phylogenetic information and ancestral environmental conditions.  Although we have not performed such an analysis and could probably never reconstruct the ancestral predation conditions, it is worth noting that of the 13 species of horned lizards currently extant, P. mcalli has the longest relative horn lengths and belong to the most derived species group, while some other species in the genus (e.g., P. douglassi) have virtually no parietal or squamosal horns (i.e., the nubs mentioned by Fouts).So how did the nub-challenged lizards get along?  If nubs are cool, every lizard would want some, especially when the shrikes are dive-bombing down on their necks.  Yikes!  Shrikes!  Man your nub stations!  (Or do they say, “lizard your nub stations”?)  It’s survival of the nubbiest.  May the best nubs win!    The authors agreed with Christy’s comments, but in so doing, again undermined any hope of providing a Darwinian explanation for anything:Christy correctly points out the two primary shortcomings of any covariance analysis of selection: It is impossible to rule out every unknown unmeasured character that could drive the observed selection, and covariance analyses usually cannot assign a mechanism of selection because they are not manipulative studies.Yosef didn’t get it, either.  Of course they didn’t mean that selection acted after the lizard was impaled on the tree; they merely assumed that longer horns prevented attacks in the first place.  Obviously, they couldn’t ask the shrikes how they feel about the effectiveness of the horns, so they relied on personal experience.  Visualize the scientist at work: “When attacked or grasped, flat-tailed horned lizards stab their spines into the offending object.  In the case of human fingers, this behavior often results in bleeding and immediate release of the lizard.”  Ha!  This obviously means they evolved to ward off junior-age kids.    So yes, as entertainment, the original article and the criticisms are “clearly over the top.”  Why do you think the Darwin Party is so sensitive to the charge of storytelling?  Guilty conscience?  We feel honored to be included among those who, in the spirit of promoting good science, often use the phrase “just-so stories” as a “shorthand criticism for unsubstantiated adaptive arguments.”  Grab your baloney detector and join the fun.(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Paradise Papers: Amitabh Bachchan, Top Politicians Among 714 Indians on List

first_imgOver 700 Indians are named in the Paradise Papers, the second biggest leak of documents from two companies — Bermuda’s Appleby and Singapore’s Asiaciti Trust — that show how the rich move their money into offshore accounts.  The documents were accessed by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and investigated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in partnership with several newspapers worldwide, including the Indian Express.  Among the 714 Indians named in the 13.4 million documents, are Cabinet Minister Jayant Sinha and BJP MP Ravindra Kishore Sinha. Also mentioned on the list, an information leak of 1.4 tb data, are actor Sanjay Dutt’s wife Manyata by her former name, former public relations professional Niira Radia, Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, former Cabinet ministers Vayalar Ravi and M Veerappa Moily, and chairman of Fortis-Escorts, Dr Ashok Seth.  BJP Ministers on the ListThe investigation revealed that BJP MP Ravindra Kishore Sinha, the founder of private security firm SIS, heads two offshore companies. He responded to the allegations by saying: “These matters have been fully disclosed in the various filings with SEBI as a part of the IPO of Security and Intelligence Services (India) Limited.”  In a series of tweets, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said: “Full details have been provided to Indian Express. These were bonafide and legal transactions undertaken on behalf of highly reputed world-leading organizations in my fiduciary role as Partner at Omidyar Network and its designated representative on the D.Light Board. All these transactions have been fully disclosed to relevant authorities through all necessary filings as required. After leaving Omidyar Network, I was asked to continue on the D.Light Board as an Independent Director. On joining the Union Council of Ministers, I immediately resigned from the D.Light Board and severed my involvement with the company. It is crucial to note that these transactions were done for D.Light as an Omidyar representative, and not for any personal purpose.” Links to Former UPA Ministers When Veerappa Moily was part of the UPA government, his son Harsha had floated a firm that received investment from a Mauritius-based firm, Unitus Impact PCC. Harsha issued a statement about the Paradise Papers leak issue, saying: “Having founded Moksha-Yug Access Private Limited (MYA) and led the company as its CEO since its inception in 2005, I have seen MYA experience growth as well as face significant challenges in operating an impact business in rural India. The dairy/ agri space is extremely volatile, but it is a critical sector for rural India and we worked hard to make our business model work…Please also note that we have raised capital from a range of other professional institutional investors such as Unitus Equity Fund and Khosla Impact (both of whom originally invested in 2008) through their investment vehicles, with much of the overall equity investment into MYA having started even before my father became a Union Minister in UPA II.”  A company registered by Appleby in Mauritius invested in an Indian firm — founded by son of Congress leader and former Union minister Vayalar Ravi — that is caught in the Rajasthan Ambulance Scam. Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot; Karti Chidambaram, the son of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram; former Union minister Sachin Pilot, and Ravi Krishna, the son of Vayalar Ravi, were named in the initial complaint by the Rajasthan Police in 2014 and then in 2015 by the CBI.  Vijay Mallya‘s Involvement The documents also revealed that when the Diageo group bought fugitive Vijay Mallya’s United Spirits Limited India, they waived off a $1.5 billion debt. That fund was diverted using four offshore subsidiaries of the USL group, which indicates that Mallya received more money than the declared Rs 1,225 crore.  Other Famous Indians Manyata Dutt, whose real name is Dilnashin, held positions in a company called Nasjay Company Limited, set up in the Bahamas. Dutt’s spokesperson said, “As per the requirements of provisions of Income-tax Act, 1961, all the properties, company or body corporate or shares in any company are declared in the balance sheet.” Top cardiologist Ashok Seth, the chairman of Fortis-Escorts, was also said to have held shares in a Singapore-based company that manufactures stents, leading to a conflict of interest.  Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia was registered as the director, legal and judicial representative in Suez La Vallette Limited, incorporated in Malta in April 2012, and Pegasus International Advisors Limited, incorporated in Malta in August 2011.   Amitabh Bachchan, meanwhile, is said to have became the shareholder of Jalva Media Ltd., a Bermuda-based digital media company, in 2002. Silicon Valley venture investor Navin Chaddha was also a shareholder of the company. It was set up in Bermuda on July 20, 2000 and dissolved in 2005.International CelebritiesAt least 127 international celebrities have been named in the leaked data, including Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and singers Bono and Madonna.The findings also reveal involvement  of 13 allies, major donors and Cabinet members of U.S. President Donald Trump. Files show Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s interests in a shipping firm that makes millions from an energy firm whose owners include Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law and a sanctioned Russian tycoon.The investigation, performed by 382 reporters at almost 100 media outlets, involved study of over 13 million tax haven documents covering the period 1950-2016, Efe news reported.In a statement, Applyby said: “We are a law firm which advises clients on legitimate and lawful ways to conduct their business. We do not tolerate illegal behavior,” adding that “there is no evidence of any wrongdoing, either on the part of ourselves or our clients.”  “We refute any allegations that may suggest otherwise and we would be happy to cooperate fully with any legitimate and authorized investigation of the allegations by the appropriate and relevant authorities…Having researched the ICIJ’s allegations, we believe they are unfounded and based on a lack of understanding of the legitimate and lawful structures used in the offshore sector.” Related Itemslast_img read more