Dear Editor,The current state of affairs necessitates a restatement of certain facts pertaining to the current materialisation of job opportunities via several major investments and projects in Guyana.With over 30,000 jobs lost over almost four years under the APNU/AFC coalition Government, the question must be asked: What has the coalition done to stimulate job creation in Guyana? What investments produced job creation that Guyanese have benefited from recently?In dealing with the latter first, hundreds of Guyanese have benefited from job opportunities that have been created as a result of work done by the former People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Government.In the area of projects, work on the East Coast Demerara Road and the West Coast Demerara Road, are only two of the major projects that stimulated job creation.Incentivised multimillion-dollar investment deals negotiated by the PPP/C, which also stimulated job creation, include:*First BauxiteCorporation;* Reunion Manganese;* Guyana Goldfields;* Troy Resources;* Teleperformance;* Qualfon;* Santa Fe Farm;* Guyana Marriott HotelGeorgetown;* Texila AmericanUniversity;* Giftland Mall; and* MovieTowne.Editor, the opening of MovieTowne took place on Thursday, March 15, 2019, and to my surprise, four APNU/AFC coalition Government Ministers graced the event with their presence. Editor, this is the same project that was met with delays because of the APNU/AFC coalition. The headlines that made the news a few months ago were clear: “Foreign Investor blames Government for delay in MovieTowne opening” (June 12, 2018 – Newsroom); “MovieTowne owner decries red tape in US$40 million Turkeyen investment” (June 13, 2018 – Kaieteur News); and “Gov’t ordered to pay TPL $1.7 billion in damages over Turkeyen land” (April 21, 2019 – Stabroek News). Yet, Ministers Joseph Harmon, Winston Jordan, Carl Greenidge, and Dominic Gaskin all talked up the investment during Thursday’s opening. Is the coalition Government not shameless?I have to also point out that the land sale on which MovieTowne was built – an investment that is now being talked up by the coalition – is the same land deal that former Minister, Ashni Singh and former National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) Head, Winston Brassington were charged for. Will the charges now be dropped since top coalition Government Ministers now tout the merits of the investment?Editor, I also must point out that in addition to the projects that were envisioned and started by the former PPP/C Government, as well as the investments that were successfully pursued, the coalition Government inherited over US$500 million in concessional resources secured to finance development initiatives, including:* US$130 million from China Exim Bank to construct a new international airport;* US$66.2 million from Inter-American Deve-lopment Bank to fund a road network upgrade and expansion project;* US$64.6 million from Inter-American Deve-lopment Bank and European Union to fund a power utility upgrade programme;* US$50 million from India Exim Bank to fund the East Coast to East Bank bypass road – a project that has not even stared as yet;* US$34.4 million from the Caribbean Development Bank to fund the West Coast Demerara highway upgrade project;* US$31.7 million from Inter-American Deve-lopment Bank and European Union to fund a water and sanitation infrastructure improvement project;* US$15 million from Inter-American Deve-lopment Bank for a new citizen security project;* US$12 million from the World Bank for a flood risk management project;* US$10 million from the World Bank for a new secondary education improvement project;* US$10 million from the World Bank for the UG science and technology support project; and* US$7.5 million from the Caribbean Development Bank to fund a sugar industry mechanisation project.All of these developments provide ample testimony to the stewardship of the Guyanese economy discharged by successive PPP/C Governments and the strong position of the economy, as the PPP/C demitted office.Even Guyana’s burgeoning oil and gas sector was the vision of the PPP/C. ExxonMobil came to Guyana under the PPP/C. Oil was found in Guyana under the PPP/C.Editor, returning to the first question I asked – What has the coalition done to stimulate job creation in Guyana? –The answer is clear. Nothing. There has been no major new project to stimulate job creation. There has been no major new foreign direct investment to stimulate job creation. Their policies have resulted in the loss of jobs. The David Granger-led coalition Government is bereft of ideas and have instead advanced initiatives that were envisioned and started by the former PPP/C coalition Government.The coalition Government, for almost four years, have busied themselves untying bows and cutting ribbons on PPP/C gifts.With the increasing likelihood of the APNU/AFC coalition Government being illegal after March 21, 2019, the resultant increase in loss of jobs is to be expected, as is the deleterious impact on the local economy.Sincerely,Dr Peter Ramsaroop
A nearby dwarf galaxy is giving astronomers a unique view of what the first stars and galaxies in the universe may have looked like. The early universe was made up almost exclusively of the hydrogen and helium created shortly after the big bang. All the other stuff we have today was made by stars burning hydrogen and helium as fuel, fusing them into heavier elements, and then spewing them out when they explode as supernovae at the end of their lives. Models suggest that the first generation of stars, made almost exclusively of hydrogen and helium, were unlike anything we see today—huge monsters hundreds of times the mass of the sun pumping out intense high-energy radiation. Such stars are thought to have played a role in the epoch of reionization—a period before the universe was 1 billion years old during which all the gas it contained was stripped of electrons, becoming ionized—but they are too far away to be studied. Now, a team of astronomers has surveyed a dwarf galaxy called IZw 18 (pictured above), which has the least heavy elements of any galaxy in the nearby universe. They found a large region of the galaxy giving off a signal of helium being ionized. It takes intense radiation to knock electrons from helium, so the team suggests this month in The Astrophysical Journal Letters that IZw 18 may be the home of modern-day equivalents of those primordial, bright, supergiant stars. Studying them more closely could teach us more about conditions during the epoch of reionization.