Santos on Belo’s quiet night: ‘He didn’t get enough touches’

first_imgSantos believes that his fellow FEU alumnus still can show more than what he did in the duel, and it’s just a matter of the San Miguel defense working to a tee against the Elite.“Pinaghandaan din namin sila kasi alam namin na may kakayahan sila na talunin kami. First and second quarter, maganda talaga ang ginawa namin defense and offense kaya nalamangan namin sila ng malayo at nahirapan sila makabalik nung huli,” the 2013 MVP said.(We prepared for them because we know they have a chance to beat us. We really played well in the first and second quarters, our offense and defense worked, that’s why we led early and they had a hard time recovering.)Santos has no doubt Belo will make it big in the PBA.“Oo naman, may ibubuga pa sya. Naga-average sya ng 17 points per game. Kanina lang, parang wala silang play, kanya-kanya sila so baka gigil din sila manalo,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT EDITORS’ PICK WITH DUE RESPECT: Trump acquitted without trial Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Fear and panic can do more harm than the coronavirus, says Singapore PM Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award PLAY LIST 01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance01:02Fajardo predicts there will be no sweep in PBA Finals01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND View comments Robredo: What’s the truth about VFA termination? Climate, immunity, incompetence? Indonesia’s zero recorded coronavirus cases raise questions Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Ginebra teammates show love for Slaughtercenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. READ: San Miguel stays on top, blasts Blackwater“Ok naman si Mac pero kanina, parang di siya pinapasahan ng nga kasama niya eh. Parang mabibilang mo lang kung ilang beses sya pinasahan ng mga kakampi nya,” Santos observed. “Dapat tingnan din nila yun kasi sayang yung talent ng bata. Si coach Leo (Isaac) ang makakapagdikta ng ganun, more plays pa para kay Mac Belo.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliSPORTSGreg Slaughter takes a break from basketball as Ginebra contract expiresSPORTSWe are young(Mac was okay but earlier, it’s like he didn’t get enough touches. You can count the times when he got the ball. That’s something they should look at because the kid is talented. Coach Leo has the say on that, more plays for Mac Belo.)With Belo silenced, the Beermen raced to a 29-point edge before cruising to a 25-point victory, their fifth straight win. (Yes, he can perform more. He’s averaging 17 points per game. It’s just earlier, it seems like they didn’t have a play, they’re playing one-on-one, so they badly wanted to win.)Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Coming off a meltdown, GlobalPort avoids collapse Climate, immunity, incompetence? Indonesia’s zero recorded coronavirus cases raise questions MOST READ We are young PBA IMAGESArwind Santos thinks Mac Belo’s woeful performance against San Miguel is just a blip in his promising rookie year.Belo was limited to just four points on 1-of-5 shooting from the field and Santos feels Blackwater was unable to get the most out of its forward on Friday.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Pumaren relishes GlobalPort’s unexpected crack at playoff berth

first_imgAi-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ View comments “We thought that we’re going to lose it all,” the mentor. “But I like where we are right now.”Given another lease on life, the Batang Pier knows what at stake on Sunday: it’s win or go home.“We just have to win on Sunday,” he said. “I don’t want to say we’re going to lose because we are tired and I don’t want to use that alibi. What’s important for us is we have to survive our game on Sunday.”The winner of the said duel will face the number one-seed Ginebra, armed with a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, on Tuesday.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead Globalport coach Franz Pumaren. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netGlobalPort coach Franz Pumaren admitted that he didn’t expect his team to be at this stage after its largely forgettable run in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.“Last month, I don’t think we’ll have chance to make it to the next level,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES China reports 17 new cases in viral pneumonia outbreak Gerald: Just because I’ve been bashed doesn’t mean I’d stop working Better chemistry propels Ginebra to next level, says Brownlee Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend MOST READ Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio 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 respite Swing Out Sister back to PH this April Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in Starting the conference with a 1-5 slate, the Batang Pier almost threw in the towel as Pumaren struggled to find a groove for his side, changing imports from Sean Williams to Malcolm White, and weathering the absence of Terrence Romeo who was with Gilas Pilipinas.“In fact, they were thinking already that we will not be in this kind of situation,” said the outspoken mentor.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnSPORTSBreak new groundBut GlobalPort made waves and flipped reinforcements one last time and rolled the dice with Justin Harper, welcomed Romeo back, and engaged in a blockbuster trade midway through the conference which brought Sean Anthony, Bradwyn Guinto, and Jonathan Grey to its fort.And the results were instant with Batang Pier winning three of their last five games to wound up with a 4-7 slate after the end of eliminations, enough to force an eighth place playoff against Alaska slated on Sunday. For Ina, portraying a zombie is like an ‘out-of-body experience’last_img read more

Tonight’s the night – Williamson

first_imgKimberly Williamson has said that she is optimistic that tonight is the night that she qualifies for the IAAF World Championships, when she competes in the women’s high jump at the JN Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium this evening. Williamson has a personal best of 1.91m, which she set in Manhattan, Kansas, last month. However, she missed the qualifying standard by just 3cm. Despite missing the height on all her attempts so far this season, she remains optimistic about her chances tonight, as her schedule has been less busy this week than in previous ones. “The last time I was here a couple weeks ago (for the Jamaica International Invitational Meet), we had back-to-back meets in the island,” she told The Gleaner. “We were competing, travelling, competing, so it was crazy. But this time, it’s just one meet so, hopefully, it will definitely be better than the last.” She added that her optimism stems from her current form and being in good condition at the moment. “Right now, I’m in pretty good form; no injury, nothing. Practice has been going well. So, so far, so good.” Even if events do not go in her favour, Williamson still has other opportunities to get to the height that sends her to London. She said that if this is the case, she will be remaining in Jamaica to continue putting in the training needed to clear the bar at the required 1.94m. “Right now, I’ll be in the island for two weeks because trials is in two weeks, and it didn’t make any sense to do the back-and-forth travelling, so I’ll be here competing and training, so that’s really what’s next. After that, it will be going to Europe for meets there and getting prepared for World Champs,” she said. This evening’s expected line-up for the women’s high jump sees Williamson up against Tynita Butts, Liz Patterson and Amina Smith of the United States, as well as Guyana’s Natrena Hooper, and her Antiguan friend, Priscilla Fredrick.last_img read more

Local coach enjoys teaching netball

first_imgKINGSTON:Local netball coach Roy Pryce says that while teaching the young girls has its challenges, it’s also fun.Pryce is one of the coaches engaged at the annual Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) Summer Camp, which started on July 3, and will end on July 28. The camp is being held at the National Stadium Complex.”It’s a bit challenging, but it’s fun. But it’s also important to get them to understand the rules. So coming into this camp and teaching them the game is a step in the right direction. The kids enjoy it, and once they enjoy it, they will get to like it, and once they like it, then we will start pushing the fundamentals at them,” he said.”But I really enjoy working with them, and at the end of the camp, I am positively sure we are going to meet our objective, which is getting them to understand the basic components of the game.”TEACHING BASIC TENETSThree hundred children from across the Corporate Area are currently at the sports camp with the aim of exposing each camper to the basic tenets of netball, football, basketball, swimming, and bocce, among other disciplines.In addition to teaching the skill sets, participants are taught the rules of one of the nation’s most popular sports.The Government, particularly the Institute of Sports, has come in for a lot of praise from Pryce for staging the camp free of cost for children mostly from the inner city.”It is very important, especially at this time when it’s summer and most of these kids don’t go to summer school because the parents cannot afford it.”This initiative by the Government is really good, because it is free. They (kids) are in a comfortable environment. They get lunch and breakfast, and are well monitored and are transported home most times.”It (camp) means a lot to them. Some are coming to Independence Park or to the indoor centre for the first time. So when you see them enjoying themselves, you see it means a lot to them. So when this camp ends, a lot of them are going to be sad,” he said.last_img read more

Windies eye another T20 win over England

first_img All about improvement “[They are free to] make the right decision at the right time in [their] view and then as a team we assess whether we win, lose or draw and we’ll see how we can continue to improve going forward.” West Indies possess an excellent record against the English, losing only four of their last 14 outings. Of more recent, however, the Windies have struggled, swept 3-0 by Pakistan last year in the United Arab Emirates before being hammered 3-1 by the same side in a four-match series earlier this year in the Caribbean. They picked themselves up by whitewashing minnows Afghanistan in June and then stunned powerhouses India in one-off encounter in Kingston, when opener Evin Lewis hit a dazzling hundred. Brathwaite said the Windies would look to extend that same form while flaunting their unique brand of cricket. The 13-man side is a hybrid of experience and youth, with the seasoned likes of Gayle, Pollard, Samuels and Narine combining with young players like Lewis, Brathwaite and Kesrick Williams. “The best players are available, the best players play. On that given day, the best XI … are the ones that take the field and we have the full support and full trust of whoever is selected and the boys in the dressing room know that,” Brathwaite stressed. The match bowls off at 6:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m. Jamaica time). SQUADS: ENGLAND – Eoin Morgan (captain), Jonathan Bairstow, Jake Ball, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey. WEST INDIES – Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Ronsford Beaton, Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Ashley Nurse, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Chadwick Walton, Kesrick Williams. CHESTER-LE-STREET, England, (CMC): Star-studded West Indies will face nemeses England for the first time in a Twenty20 International since the dramatic T20 World Cup final 17 months ago, when the two teams clash in a highly anticipated one-off match here today. The reigning World champions boast the likes of superstars Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Marlon Samuels and Sunil Narine in their ranks, and will be fancied to get the better of the hosts, despite playing in foreign conditions. In two meetings during last year’s T20 World Cup in India, the Windies came out on top – the last coming when Carlos Brathwaite – now captain – blasted four consecutive sixes off the first four balls of the final over to hand the Caribbean side an unprecedented second title. While the memories of that have slowly faded, what remains fresh is the Windies confidence levels and Brathwaite said the unit was pumped up for the contest at the Riverside. “The camaraderie off the field it shows on the field so it’s just about coming together and letting the guys have the freedom to express themselves, make decisions, make their own calls at their point in time,” Brathwaite told reporters yesterday. “Once guys do that we can always go back to the drawing board. I prefer that than guys thinking what would the coach or what would the captain want. They are all seasoned T20 players and they all do well for different franchises around the world and it’s for me as a young captain just to go out there and tell them ‘look, whatever you do on the field, you have my full support.’last_img read more

Boscobel, Days Mtn clash in St Mary BPL cricket

first_imgDefending champions Boscobel Warriors will face their sternest test today when they tackle highly fancied Days Mountain Strikers in the Costley Construction St Mary Boscobel Premier League (BPL) T20 cricket competition at the Boscobel cricket ground. Match time is 1: 30 p.m. In the opening encounter at 9:30 a.m. Top Pen Giants oppose Mango Valley Lions. In the feature match, Day’s Mountain, who boast a star-studded line-up, will parade Samuel McIntosh, Jesse Alexander and the Bryce Brothers, Damion and Andre, while the defending champions will be looking to national representative Alwyne Williams, Tyron Daley, and Jason Goldson. In matches played last weekend, Day’s Mountain defeated Jack’s River by 54 runs. Batting first, Days Mountain rattled up 202 for 7, with Andre Bryce 70 and Damion Bryce 33 the main run getters against Steve Williams, 3-30. Jacks River made 148-7, with Sashane Anderson 47 and Lesmond Lewis 35. Andre Bryce, 2-12, was the top bowler.last_img read more

Oral Tracey | Trials and no contracts

first_img Revolving practice This revolving practice of young promising Jamaican players being shipped off to these frequent trials is basically a ‘long-shot exercises’ in futility that typically bears no fruit. The hypocritical rhetoric that typically accompanies the almost systemic rejection of the youngsters is hardly consolation for the inevitable disappointments. The list of recent players who have endured this traumatic ride comprises the likes of Peter-Lee Vassell, Kaheem Paris, Jourdaine Fletcher, Tyreek Magee, Maalique Foster, and Kevon Lambert. Before them there were Alex Marshall and Chevone ‘Messi’ Marsh, and even before those, there were Marvin Morgan and others. All have visited European clubs on various trial stints,and indeed some continue to do so, getting the usual soft endorsements, but very little or nothing in terms of contracts. The only Jamaican player in recent memory to have got a reasonable break directly from a trial is Kemar ‘Taxi’ Lawrence, who was signed by Major League Soccer outfit New York Red Bulls after a trial at the 20I4 MLS Combine. Otherwise, these trials have consistently made a mockery of Jamaican football talent. On the other hand, the local clubs, coaches, and, particularly the players must play their part in ensuring that their individual talent and skills are complemented by the requisite work ethic, professionalism, and mental and psychological fortitude needed in a player for him to attract decent offers. Jamaican players generally need to be better physically prepared and more disciplined in their approach to the game on and off the field in order to give themselves the best chance of grasping these rare opportunities when they arise. Local clubs also need to forge more meaningful partnerships and relationships with international agents and bigger clubs with a view of making more actual deals instead of being resigned to the fallacy of these trials. Local clubs need to show a greater appreciation of the reality that the better the quality of the player, the easier it will be for a deal to be struck. Leon Bailey is a case worth noting. For sure, the relevant contacts and arrangements were made, but the fact that Bailey was well-prepared and ready, and has genuine quality, meaning written contracts presented forthwith, instead of idle rhetoric. It is obviously not an easy road, but Jamaican players must step up their game on and off the field, not just to avoid being subjected to the now routine indignity of these generally useless and subtly disrespectful trials, but to increase their chances of signing real professional football contracts. Trials generally, but even more so, football trials are innately ineffective and decidedly unscientific in depicting with an accurate degree of finality the true quality and potential of footballers. One poignant example that aptly demonstrates the folly in the general principle of football trials is the situation of elite players entering the high-profile English Premier League. This is at the very top end of the international player scale, yet invariably, these players, even with multimillion dollar contracts routinely struggle initially with adjusting to the change in conditions, lifestyle, food, language, culture, et cetera. Rich, comfortable, experienced players worth millions of pounds on the open football market cower and struggle under the new conditions. What if these same top players were arriving from obscure amateur clubs and were seeking to impress these big clubs via one or two week trials? Many would be summarily dismissed based on their understandable inability to cope with new nuances that face them in those initial circumstances. The fact of the matter is that most professional players were not signed directly from trials. Players are usually spotted by scouts or managers at lower level clubs or in international football. If impressed, the interested club might do some statistical research on the targeted player, possibly try to see the player in action again, and then in short order, a decision to sign or not to sign is made and the necessary processes and protocols set in motion.last_img read more

Rise…

first_img…of RISEAfter its birth was heralded (“make ye ready…the coming of the deliverance party!”) by a columnist over at the Muckraker, (who’d been identified by Adam the prophet) there are great expectations after RISE was birthed at Moray House. No manger this, though!! This was as elegantly retro, as you could get within the carefully preserved colonial ambiance starting with naming the building down to the bric-a-bracs of the aspiring, earnest, middle class.But unlike what the herald had heralded, however, RISE was quite coy about its political ambitions. But then that’s the tradition in Guyana, no? Politics and competing for political office? Naah! Not us…that’s too infra dig! But one candid soul from the group did rise and concede if “the people” do demand they become a political party, what could they do? Another member announced he was “privileged”, but sadly did not expand on that interesting titbit, even as he accepted he just had to do something for those less privileged. Aaaah…the burdens of noblesse oblige, not the crass opportunism of the nouveau riche!!Your Eyewitness does concede, dear reader, he’s being quite snarky; but then, he’s been through this so many times, you’ll excuse his jaded reaction, won’t you? Remember those two altruistic young men — Trotman and Ramjattan — who’d essayed forth from the two major parties with an altruistic consumer advocate lady from WPA — Sheila Holder — a decade ago? They, too, didn’t want a new political party, even as they squatted on the parliamentary seats they’d been allocated by their parties. They, too, talked about “constitutional change” to free us from the bondage of that nasty “race voting”.But maybe there’s some reason to fan the hope in your Eyewitness’s heart. Unlike what the three Musketeers — who quickly morphed into the AFC party, and addressed the “race question” by embracing it with their “rotating” leadership, did – the people of RISE have announced they are “post-racial”!! Imagine that!! We’ve arrived at the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, dear sisters and brothers!! Hallelujah!!! So while Ramjattan, for instance, represented Indians by the facticity of his “race” – as did Trotman – the leaders of RISE have evolved beyond that!Like Athena issuing full-blown from the brow of Zeus, they haven’t been tainted by any of the fabled six (contaminated?) collectivities of Guyana. They’re beyond concrete manifestations of mankind’s cultures, and rather represent the Platonic categories of “man”. Yes, they’re probably also “post gender”. But they ARE willing to tell us benighted souls, who insist on voting PPP and PNC because of our “ethnic bent”, what constitutional changes are necessary so that we can also break our terrible habits.And perchance also lead the US, EU and Britain, which seem determined to “go ethnic”, to the Promised Land?!…of the middle classRISE is just another expression of the development of Guyana from its abysmal “Highly Indebted Poor Country” pariah status, brought on by the PNC to, “Upper Middle Income” status, achieved by the PPP.  With “middle income” status, you’ll have folks like the ones in RISE — from the upper end of the bracket — feeling their oats. “Boom Out” babes parading in Parliament imitating ghetto trash is just too cringey to be representing them!! Puleeeze!!The rise of the “educated” criminal in another symptom. Your Eyewitness is surprised folks are surprised that some fellas with degrees and jobs are into armed robbery. They’ve obviously forgotten that part and parcel of middle-classdom is the “fetishization” of commodities. To be middle class now means the big (0,000/monthly rental), big SUV and big bling (for those at the bottom end) etc…etc.Sure, the middle class aspirants will try to finesse it; but, like a druggie needing a fix, some will go for brute force and ignorance.Even those in RISE!…of self interestOn that “administrative” decision to bump the Junior Minister of Natural Resource’s Clerk housing allowance by 5,000.Doesn’t the Parliamentary Clerk have a conflict of interest, since he has extensive mining interests”?last_img read more

Marginalisation and Anti-African Racist discourse

first_imgThe following was first offered in 2008 and republished several times. I have always marvelled that, because I have also spoken out against anti-Indian racism by some African-Guyanese, I have been branded as “racist”. The abused can also become abusers.“In our estimation, the African experience in the “New World” defines the word “marginalisation” in conjunction with “racism”. Following the powerlessness of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas to withstand the labour demands and diseases of the Spaniards (evidenced by ninety percent of then dying off in the Caribbean within decades of Columbus’s arrival) the Christian Church recommended the importation of Africans as slaves. As opposed to the Amerindians, they could discern no sign of a “soul” in the latter group – deeming them beyond salvation. They were fair game for slavery – or extermination, for that matter.The enthusiastic entry of the English into the trade dragged 3.1 million Africans to the West Indies, but only 2.7 million survived the Atlantic crossing.  That only 600,000 survived at “Emancipation” in 1834 offers a clue to their living conditions, and the ravages of the Middle Passage. The appallingly barbaric treatment, which included the most vicious physical brutalisation, destruction of families, wrenching away of languages and cultures etc., impelled the creation of some sort of rationalization, since Europeans insisted they were “civilised”.Early on, slaves working alongside white European indentured slaves were simply defined as soulless “heathens,” and could be kept on the margins as such. It was when they started to convert to Christianity that colour became the marker to distinguish them from the “mainstream”. “Race” as we now know it was created and transmuted into racist practice that relegated and maintained Africans to the margins of society.As I wrote in 1993, “Race and racism, as we know them today, are very modern constructs arising out of a European 18th century discourse that ran parallel with the European conquest of the rest of the world, and especially with the justification of African slavery. Notable rationalists such as Hume, Kant and Hegel were involved in the project, which gave a social significance to physical markers. This is illustrated in Hume’s position that, “negroes…are naturally inferior to the whites”, and Kant’s view, summarised by his comment, “this fellow was quite black …a clear proof that what he said was stupid.” My contention is that “race and racism” are part and parcel of the “Western Enlightenment,” exported as one weapon in the European arsenal of imperialistic conquest.”“African and Black” was constructed as the binary opposite to “European and White”, and, like all dualities, it is not possible to eliminate one without the other. Racism is not a phenomenon that ended with the abolition of slavery – and it has not ended, even though many assert that “race” has no objective existence. It persists in the totality of its relations that have become imbricated on the sinews of the civilization that we all practice. Its panoptic gaze has taken in other “natives”, but its emblematic and defining instance remains African racism.Following Foucault, one can consider racism as a discursive field that incorporates beliefs, descriptions and actions, and the principles on which racist institutions are based. The discursive formation would include the normative rules and norms – including laws and moral rules about how we “ought” to act towards each other.In the words of Cornell West, racist discourse is a product of the “structure of modern discourse…the controlling metaphors, notions, categories and norms that shape the predominant conceptions of truth and knowledge in the modern west.” As I wrote in 2006, West assures us that “there are the lingering effects of slavery and past discrimination in the continued attack on black humanity and racist stereotypes which are designed to destroy black self-image”. This, if true – and I believe it is – would perpetuate the continued marginalisation of Africans in the world, including in Guyana.To appreciate the parameters of its continued impact on the marginalisation of Africans in Guyana, one must inquire into the extent to which the premises of the old discourse of race and racism have survived into our particular socio-historical conjuncture, and continue to influence our thinking and narratives. To suggest how difficult this project would be is to consider that even the empirical sociological tools we would probably use — such as, say, social psychology — are all contaminated with premises of “races”, “racial differences” and “racial attitudes”. But the task must be initiated and programmes initiated to eradicate the cancer of racism. We would all be liberated.last_img read more

50+1 years later

first_imgThe speeches have been made, the songs have been sung, and the Golden Arrowhead has been raised for the 50+1 Independence celebrations. It might therefore be appropriate to reflect on where our country is in relation to the promises that were held out in 1966.If “independence” is to mean anything to a people whose lands were expropriated from them and whose labour was coerced through systems of slavery and indentureship, then it has to be judged by the degree of freedom that is enjoyed by the descendants of those indigenous peoples, slaves and indentureds. Freedom, as we were reminded by Isiah Berlin, is of two variants – negative and positive. In the former, it means the removal of restraints over our autonomous actions, especially by the state. Unfortunately for us, for the first two decades of our “independent” existence, Guyanese experienced a government using the apparatus of the state to increasingly impose controls over the people in what is ironically labelled “democratic governance”. The right to choose a government – the most fundamental in an independent, democratic state — was denied between 1968 and 1992. The freedom of assembly and the free speech of citizens were severely restricted as government goons regularly and violently broke up political meetings of the opposition. In one instance, the head of the government publicly regaled a Congress of his party about an opposition leader scaling a fence in his desperate effort to escape from the political enforcers.The freedom of movement was denied many opposition figures via “blacklists” that were issued to the immigration department at the airport. Today we have a case of the present government creating a list of 200 citizens who are not free to travel out of the jurisdiction. But even their names have not been made known, creating a dark and ominous cloud over persons who may fear they have been targeted. In a climate in which a slew of criminal charges were brought by the state on grounds that can only be described as “frivolous” and “vexatious”, this restraint on the freedom of movement of those citizens on mere suspicion at the very best makes a mockery of the freedom promised by ‘Independence’.It is redolent of the practices that were prevalent in the dark period of authoritarian rule, which all assumed would be banished forever after “free and fair” elections were returned in 1992. But based on utterances from the general secretary of the major party in control of the government — the same PNC that had ruled with an iron fist before — the new “blacklist” might just be the signal of what lies ahead under our negative freedom. “Positive freedom” speaks to the creation of conditions in which the citizenry can express the full spectrum of their full potential to be the very best they can be. And in the modern world, this means a government that is sensitive to the imperative to at least guarantee the basic needs of its citizens, primarily through securing full employment in the economy, educating the young to take advantage of those employment opportunities, providing health care, and providing a safety net for the aged, infirm or unemployed.At 50+1 years after independence, however, we witness the Government already dismissing 1700 workers in one sugar plantation, and promising to dismiss at least another 7,000 imminently. In an economy that has shrunk in all sectors except in gold mining, this callous action is tantamount to dooming those individuals and their families to lives that would be “nasty, brutish and short.”We witness, also, corruption in the procurement of pharmaceuticals — that has led to widespread shortages that endanger the health of the sick and infirm. We have also witnessed the imposition of the onerous 14% VAT on private education, which restricts the freedom of choice in this critical area of positive freedom.In retrospect, the question has to be asked: “What is there to celebrate after 50+1 years of independence?”last_img read more