Headlines      Issue Released August 27 2003

Young campers given essential life skills

Toronto — The Bharat Sevashram Sangha’s summer camp this year focussed on imparting some of the important skills needed to cope with life in our challenging environment.

Over 50 kids of varying ages were beneficiaries of this week-long training session in Toronto from July 14-18. The program combined a healthy mix of religious teachings with mechanisms to help the young ones grow into successful and confident adulthood. The day after the camp ended was set aside to consummate the entire learning program through a satsang with both parents and kids.

The course of training included yoga asanas geared for students with an emphasis on the improvement of concentration and confidence building. This aspect of the training was handled by Geeta Maraj, a professional yoga instructor who was also the chief coordinator of the camp.

Other course instructions included meditation, recitations from the Bhagavad-Gita, music, public speaking and self-defence techniques. Swami Pushkarananda, monk in charge of the Bharat Sevashram Sangha, played a major role in relating the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita to daily life. Other volunteers at the camp were Sase Narine and Christine Rekha who did the Mahabharat.

Asimilar camp was held two weeks later in London, England at the Maha Lakshmi Vidya Bhavan with one difference: there was a session for adults in the evening. Bankim Gossai, priest in charge of the Bhavan was pleased that the camp attracted "so many young people, especially teenaged boys." He was delighted to see the youths showing "such an interest in what their culture can teach them in coping with societal pressures."

According to Geeta the success of the camps was the result of the method of teaching employed. "When we begin to teach through the eyes of the students, its sparks an interest and respect from them that we could never have imagined," she said.

Plans are in place to hold these camps again next year with additional ones in Trinidad and Jamaica.


The Link Show:

riotously funny

By Bernard Heydorn

Toronto — Luther Hansraj Theatre Productions and Ned Blair brought the popular Guyanese Link Show to Toronto on Saturday, August 16, and Sunday, August 17, for two shows. The cast of 14, led by the veteran Ron Robinson, performed a riotously funny routine of skits interspersed with song and dance. Robinson, with 49 years of theatre under his belt, accompanied by outstanding actors like Desiree Edghill, Rajan Tiwari, Sheldon Braithwaite, Nikosa Stewart, Andre Wiltshire, Nazim Hussain, Marlon Braam, Henry Rodney, Sonia Yarde, Leslyn Lashley, John Phillips, Howard Lorimer and others, made the audience laugh "till their belly buss" as advertised.

Political satire brought one up to date on some of the shenanigans in Guyana. Portrayals of a bank stick up, Bourda Post Office, the many Guyanese beauty contests, street vendors, a cross-dresser, a drunk, neighbours gossiping (spit press), a class in school, Barbados Customs and Immigration, a local doctor, and the longing of a number of Guyanese to emigrate, gave a good flavour of what’s on the mind of the public in Guyana.

In spite of the fallout from the recent blackout in Toronto, the award winning Link Show, in its seventh year in Canada, equaled if not surpassed previous performances. With a mixture of veteran and newer actors, the show, in existence for over two decades, continues to charm and entertain Guyanese at home and abroad. It demonstrates that the small, struggling South American nation has talent galore. It also shows that the Guyanese people can laugh at themselves, despite their hardships, and portray the foibles and weaknesses in human nature.


Legal issues follow Caroni closure

Credit union asks court to stop VSEP payments

By Sandra Chouthi

Special to Indo Caribbean World

Port-of-Spain The August 1 announcement of the closure of Caroni (1975) Ltd and the lay-off of its 9,000-plus workforce has been followed by injunctions over severance payment to workers.

On August 12 High Court Justice Amrika Tiwary ordered Caroni Ltd to stop payments of voluntary separation of employment (VSEP) payments to 1,000 daily paid workers. Justice Tiwary made the order after the Caroni (Brechin Castle) Credit Union filed a writ against Caroni for (Can) $1.25 million and $208,000 representing sums the company collected from employees on the credit union’s behalf and which was supposed to be deducted. Credit union manager Vishnu Lucky submitted

an affidavit to the court claiming Caroni deducted (Can) $1 million from employees from March 14 to July 18, 2003, but this sum was not passed to the credit union. The injunction was granted until the money has been paid.

The initial news of debt-ridden Caroni’s closure led to the All Trinidad and General Workers Trade Union going to the Industrial Court to argue against the government issuing VSEP to workers, who, in opposition of their union’s actions, wanted the VSEP.

On August 20, Justice Maureen Rajnauth-Lee ordered that the injunction to remain in effect until September 17 until a further order was made.

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