Dear Editor,The GAWU could not miss Mr Earl John’s letter appearing in the October 17 section of the media titled: “Loud silence on plans for the former sugar workers”. Indeed, we felt the title was most appropriate considering, it seems, the powers-that-be have all but forgotten about the some 7000 workers they put on the breadline following their decision to shutter sugar estates.Mr John begins his missive by recognising GAWU’s presence on the corporation’s Board of Directors. Our Union, for some time now, as he is no doubt aware, has been invited to name a nominee to sit on the Board. We have grasped that opportunity as, we contend, we should not fail to use every opportunity and platform to advocate on behalf of our members. We should add, on that note, that though having a representative on the Board, the plans to minimise the industry were not discussed in the representative’s presence, though he was a Board member at the time. It seemed to indicate that the corporation’s Board was not really privy to the plans to minimise the industry and gave rise to suspicion as to who was really giving direction. This fact of notoriety we drew to the Government’s attention at the inaugural meeting held on December 31, 2016 to discuss the future of the sugar industry. Mr John may recall our concern as he was present at that December 2016 meeting.At the meeting held at Enmore in December, 2017, our Union along with Mr John, who represented GuySuCo, among others, listened carefully and attentively to what NICIL-SPU had to say regarding its plans for the estates identified for divestment. We agreed, at that time, there was much optimism from the NICIL-SPU and the workers who stood to be affected were hopeful those plans would have become a reality. Of course, now nearly 2 years down the road, those plans have all but evaporated and been replaced with suffering, misery and hardship for thousands in the affected communities.In furthering his concern, Mr John drew attention to a study that was conducted regarding transitioning sugar workers into farmers. The study which, was done by consultants contracted by the European Union (EU), was tasked to prepare a roadmap, as we understand, to pursue the transition. Of course, as we recollect, the GuySuCo did not want the consultants engaging our Union. In fact, it was only after a stern foot was put down that the consultants were eventually allowed to meet with the Union.During that engagement, we did share with the consultants some of the concerns we had and some of the matters we believed required attention for the transition to be successful. Following our meeting, we never heard from the consultants or what finally they recommended. This apparently is a State secret. The transition of displaced workers into farmers were also expressed by Government officials and during an engagement with President David Granger in January 2018 we did share our views on the matter.It was, therefore, for us, a surprise to learn that GuySuCo Managers were actually trained to facilitate the programme. We wonder how many workers were trained, since as far as we know the Alternative Livelihood Programme developed by the Corporation also was not as impactful as may have been envisaged. That programme, we understand, trained a small number of the displaced workers.Nevertheless, the situation for the workers and their families has not improved. Their remains a dearth of opportunities whether for entrepreneurship or jobs. The talk about taking care and assisting the workers has all died down. And, as Mr John puts it there is a loud silence.Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGeneral SecretaryGAWU
Philadelphia 76ers incoming general manager Elton Brand speaks at the NBA basketball team’s practice facility in Camden, N.J., Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — Only two years out of the NBA, Elton Brand is set to return to the league as a 39-year-old general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers.For a franchise that underwent the painful “Process” for a few seasons and had its last GM caught up in a Twitter scandal, a youth movement in the front office could be what the Sixers need to take the next step into Eastern Conference contention.Brand is ready to help lead the way.“I’m going to rely on my team,” Brand said. “Not just on the court, but the off-the-court team. I can’t keep saying it enough. In my opinion, we are one of the top groups in the NBA.”Brand was introduced Thursday at the Sixers complex as the new GM, and it was made clear the two-time All-Star will not yield the power to make the final decisions, but rather work in concert with coach Brett Brown and the rest of the front office.“The 76ers are on the cusp of something very special and the next 12 months are really important,” Brand said. “I think that’s why I was the leading candidate, to bring stability to the organization and this group that I know really well.”Brand had worked for the Sixers as vice president of operations and was the general manager of the Delaware Blue Coats, the 76ers’ G League affiliate.Sixers owner Josh Harris said Brand emerged from a list of at least 10 candidates as the right choice to steady a franchise rocked by Bryan Colangelo’s sudden departure. Colangelo resigned in June as the 76ers’ president of basketball operations after what an investigation concluded was “careless and in some instances reckless” sharing of sensitive team information on Twitter.“I’ll lead with honesty, integrity,” Brand said.Brown had assumed interim GM duties but wanted no part of holding the job full time. But he will work as Brand’s partner in key decisions the franchise faces coming off a 52-win season.“Coach and I are aligned,” Brand said. “Teams that have won in the NBA, the GM, the coach have to get along. He’s going to have the players. But when it comes to trades, draft process, I’m running that. That’s what I’ve been hired for. Final say? Coach is going to have a voice in it.”Brand played in 1,058 career games over 18 seasons with the Bulls, the Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas, Atlanta and two stints with the Sixers. He posted career averages of 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks per game.A two-time All-Star and the 2000 co-rookie of the year, Brand was also the recipient of the 2005-06 Joe Dumars Trophy, presented each season to the player who exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.“I think we’re at a new point in our team’s development into hopefully an NBA championship,” Harris said. “We need to be attracting talent here. Certainly, Elton’s image and who he is as a person were real positives. But leadership and managerial skills and the things you’ve got to do in the front office that aren’t just about image, he’s got those, too. But certainly, that was a huge positive.”Brand said it’s fair to question his inexperience as he skyrocketed through the organization from the G League to GM. But it’s a job he’s ready to handle.“I’ll take the hits,” he said. “When there’s decisions made on the basketball side, I’m taking the hits.”Alex Rucker was promoted to executive vice president of basketball operations. Ned Cohen will remain assistant general manager and Marc Eversley will stay as senior vice president of player personnel.The Sixers beat Miami in the first round of the playoffs before they were eliminated in the conference semifinals by Boston. Under Brown’s watch, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have blossomed into two of the top young players in the league.Embiid and Markelle Fultz were among the players who attended Brand’s press conference.The Sixers were stunned when an independent review found that Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini, operated four Twitter accounts. She admitted using private information to criticize the Sixers and rival colleagues.Brand, the fourth black GM in the NBA, is ready for the Sixers to put the offseason mess behind them and make a jump in the East.“This is a special team, an incredible opportunity, and we will lead a disciplined and determined path to building a championship organization,” he said.
The Spice Route offers an exclusive dining experience in a stunning backdrop. As you enter the courtyard, with its beautiful appearance, the ambience will instantly transport you to Southeast Asia – a picture perfect location accompanied by gentle music.Chef Veena Arora, Chef De Cuisine, The Spice Route, The Imperial, is all set to take you on a journey of spices around Southeast Asia, with her exotic and tempting brand new menu titled ‘Noodle Symphony.’ Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe recipes from the exclusive noodle menu comes with a twist to the traditional ones conjured up by the veteran Chef. When you swoop in a mouthful of the ‘Chef’s Special’ noodles, the thin and light cellophane noodles with cherry tomatoes and scrambled eggs takes you on a mind trip to Thailand. The chef advices that one must eat noodles as soon as they are served since the taste wears off and it might become slightly soggy when cold. Chef Veena had experimented with the traditional Kieow Tieow Naam with chicken and Thai style wontons making it both healthy and tasty for her guests. She did not forget her vegetarian guests in the process, as she says, “To cater to my vegetarian guests and make the menu equally desirable to meat lovers, I have added vegan meat in all the vegetarian recipes, made with konjac and soya.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveA noted advantage for vegetarians is the addition of mock meat in the noodles. “Vegan eaters often complain about the less variety in their noodles. Since it has mostly vegetables, they do not get to taste the variants in non-vegetarian noodle dishes. Therefore, to provide some more elements and give them a close taste of meat, I added mock meat. Initially, I used soya nuggets, but here in India, I do not like the smell they add to the noodles,” describes the Chef De Cuisine. One of the most outstanding dishes in the menu is Sen Krob – wok fried crispy noodle with vegetables in Thai light soya sauce. The ideal crisps blend in well with the vegetables and give you the much desired flavourful crunch in every bite making you crave for more. Another mention worthy meal is Kieow Tieow Kheow Waan – Thai rice noodles wok fried with green curry paste and bamboo shoots. The cooked-to-perfection broad noodle topped with crispy basil is an appetizing meal in itself.To wrap up your well enjoyed Southeast Asian meal, try out some vegan coconut ice cream garnished with roasted peanuts – another twist to ice cream consumption by Chef Veena! If you are not so fond of coconut, have the vegan chocolate ice cream with the peanuts – it tastes like heaven.Upon completion of your meal take a leisurely walk down the garden while contemplating about the delicacies and the spice party down in your tummy. Drop in for a meal with friends and family soon, to try out these enriching flavours of Thailand for an ultimate indulgence.