Petronella Trotman is the name adopted by Ronnell Trotman, who is a transgender person. Born a male, she identifies as a female. Two famous transgenders, born as males and now identifying as women, are Caitlin Jenner, an Olympian and television personality, and Chelsea Manning, a soldier who was imprisoned for leaking information to Wikileaks, both of them of the United States. Bruce Jenner struggled for many decades and Bradley Manning, who is much younger, for many years with gender identity issues before formally and publicly adopting the female gender with which they have identified.

A transgender person suffers from a gender dysfunction. He or she identifies with the gender opposite to that assigned to him or her at birth. It has nothing to do with sex. Their sexual preferences do not necessarily change. And it is not the same as homosexuality and lesbianism, which has to do with sexual, not gender, preferences. Homosexuals and lesbians are not transgenders.

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Chronicle apologises to Ramkarran

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The Chair, Board of Directors and Editor-in-Chief of Guyana National Newspapers Limited and the Guyana Chronicle unequivocally apologise to Mr Hari Narayen Ralph Ramkarran for two specific instances of libel against him as well as Chronicle’s role in what was indisputably a politically directed campaign of which he was the target.Mr Ramkarran, Senior Counsel and a former Speaker of the National Assembly, is a citizen whose outstanding reputation precedes him. The first libel was contained in an article dated the 2013-07-24 in which the Chronicle alleged that Mr Ramkarran had been involved in some unspecified way in the disappearance of funds belonging to the estate of Yusuf Mongroo, deceased, from a bank in the Cayman Islands.

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There appears to be no consensus among parliamentary parties about a date for the first sitting of the National Assembly after the just concluded recess.

There also appears to be some confusion as to the procedure by which the National Assembly is to be convened. It is claimed that the Government has to make a request of the Speaker. The AFC, on the other hand, relies on Standing Order (S.O.) 8(2) which permits the Speaker, if in his opinion the public interest so requires, to convene the National Assembly to a day earlier than that to which it stands adjourned. Under this S.O. the pre-requisite for the Speaker’s intervention is that a date must have already been fixed, which is not the situation. The AFC also relies on the Opposition’s has 51 percent of the seats. The Opposition Leader says that it is out of their hands.

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Two weeks ago a Government team led by the President Ramotar visited Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice. This area is populated by descendants of indentured labourers and has a substantial land problem. The President described it thus: “…historic problems which has (sic) been in the making for a long time whereby lands were given out to people and some of them sold out but no title was passed to them while some died out and some migrated and in the meantime, over the years, it was festering and beginning to cause some problems in the community itself.”

The President announced the Government’s decision to resolve the problems of the community. Under the Land Registry Act the area would be declared a “registration area.” When this is done the parcels of land occupied would be surveyed. The President announced that the Government will allocate the sum of $46 million for the survey. Upon completion of the survey the Land Court will then receive applications for title, hold sittings at which evidence of occupation will be taken and ownership granted.

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I should like to thank you for your invitation to deliver opening remarks to this the Third Conference of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana. This acknowledgement from you that I may have something of interest or value to say to the trade union movement, is indeed a great honour.  
Among the material I consulted when preparing my remarks, is the speech of Brother Ashton Chase to the first Conference of FITUG in 2006. It is a most enlightening document, reverberating with history. A portion of the speech traces the formation and suspension of FITUG between 1988 and 1993, and its re-establishment in 2003. This history demonstrates that FITUG=s birth and growth were inevitable outcomes of the underlying interplay of politics, workers= struggles and trade unionism, that have characterised our history as well that of many other Caribbean countries.  

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