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Race and alleged discrimination: responsible handling of this issue

first_imgDear Editor,Permit me space in your newspaper to comment on an issue, which if not handled properly by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), could become an unnecessary issue about race and alleged discrimination.On the face of it, the People’s Progressive Party Commissioners at GECOM could perhaps be genuinely forgiven for believing that Vishnu Persaud’s race had played the greatest part in him not being selected as the Deputy Chief Elections Officer; a post I am aware he had held for a number of years during the Steve Surujbally era.But from what I know, there had been much discontent with his handling of voter education exercises and programmes during the time Persaud had worked both as the deputy chief and as the public relations insider at GECOM. He was the one responsible for voter education and could have done a better job while he was at it. I think Commissioners who had been in place for a while would have noted questions about his performance and would have leaned towards voting against him as they did. They also might have briefed Chairman James Patterson about this, hence the fact that he threw in his casting vote to settle the issue, albeit amid a cloud of suspicion about race playing the major part in his rejection. This is a rather unfortunate development.I therefore sincerely hope that a way could be found to indicate to the general public that there are issues other than race pertaining to Persaud not getting the nod from the three People’s National Congress Commissioners and the Chairman. I make a case for responsible handling of this issue because this proverbial albatross of race which hangs around the neck of the Guyanese society, needs no more fuel to ignite racial insecurities and anxieties.Given his vast experience and familiarity with operations at GECOM, I make a bold suggestion for him to be retained in a consultative capacity given the enormous level of preparations required for Local Government Elections and the General Elections in 2020. He could do no harm if he is so retained and such a move on the part of those at the agency could help to ease lingering suspicions about the motive for not picking him.Sincerely,Winston Marslast_img read more

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Delta’s Liberia Passengers Will Have to Catch Flight from Accra

first_imgDelta Air Lines last week announced that it has reached agreement on what it calls “an enhanced partnership” with SkyTeam partner Kenya Airways to offer convenient connecting flights between Monrovia, Liberia, and Accra, Ghana.The services will begin effective September 1, 2014, operating three times a week on a Boeing 737 aircraft operated by Kenya Airways (KQ). The Kenya Airways flight will offer seamless and convenient connections with Delta’s nonstop flights between Accra’s Kotoka International Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.“Delta has had a presence in Liberia for four years and we are pleased to be able to continue this association with the country through our new partnership with Kenya Airways,” said Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s senior vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “Delta recognizes the importance of offering services between Monrovia and the United States and we would like to thank the Liberian Government for its continued support. Delta remains committed to the country and facilitating travel to the U.S. with our Kenya Airways partner.”This service replaces Delta’s three-times weekly operations from Monrovia’s Roberts International Airport to Accra, Ghana. Passengers connecting onto Delta’s Accra to New York-JFK services from Kenya Airways will enjoy through check-in for their entire journey from Monrovia – collecting their boarding passes and checking in luggage from Monrovia through to their final destination in the United States.Passengers connecting in Accra will be able to proceed directly to the transit lounge, without the need to clear Ghanaian immigration, for the flight departure from Delta’s dedicated airport gates to New York. Delta staff will be on hand to ease the connecting customer process and the transit time in Accra is anticipated to be one and a half hours. SkyMiles and Flying Blue members will continue to enjoy mileage accrual and elite benefits like extra baggage allowance, priority boarding, and lounge access on both airlines.Business class passengers connecting through Kotoka International Airport will be able to access the new Sanbra Priority Lounge, which is positioned next to Delta’s airport gates, and provides customers with a luxury lounge experience prior to their flight to New York-JFK. The lounge has capacity for 108 people with leather seating, free Wi-Fi, complimentary snacks and a wide variety of soft and alcoholic drinks, as well as televisions and shower facilities.Delta’s sales office will remain open in Liberia and continue to sell tickets to the U.S. The airline will also continue selling tickets from the U.S. to Liberia.Kenya Airways’ Regional General Manager for West Africa, America, Europe & Asia Pacific, Julius Thairu said: “This strategic partnership with Delta Air Lines enhances our presence in West Africa and cements our position as Africa’s premier airline. By providing a seamless connection from Liberia to Delta’s Accra to New York service, it significantly boosts Kenya Airways’ efforts to link Africa to the rest of the world. This will provide our guests from Africa with an additional efficient and convenient connection to the U.S. on Delta Air Lines. It ties in with our long-term growth strategy to increase our footprint across the world.”The Monrovia-Accra-New York schedule will leave Monrovia at 18:00 and arrive at 20:00 and arrive in Accra at 20:00. Thereafter, it leaves Accra at 22:35 and arrives at  05:13.Delta’s daily services between Accra and New York are operated with a Boeing 767-300 aircraft with 225 seats, comprising 25 seats in BusinessElite, 29 in Premium Economy and 171 seats in Economy.Once onboard, passengers in the BusinessElite cabin will enjoy forward-facing seats that convert to a 180-degree fully flat-bed and offer direct aisle access in a 1x2x1 configuration.  Delta has also invested in its economy class with seats that provide additional legroom, adjustable headrests, personal in-seat entertainment screens with over 350 films, 250 TV shows, 100 hours of HBO, 4,500 songs and 30 games and USB power at each seat. All Economy passengers will be provided with a complimentary amenity kit to improve their flight experience.Delta Air Lines operates services to four African cities in four countries. The airline has grown from 22 weekly departures to and from Africa in December 2006 to 29 in summer 2014.Passengers travelling from Liberia can book flights to the U.S. on Delta and Kenya Airways via travel agents and Delta’s dedicated reservations teams in Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more