Five newcomers named to Sunshine Girls squad

first_imgRobert Bailey, Staff Reporter Five new comers have been named in the Sunshine Girls’ 15-member squad to take on Barbados in a tri-Test netball series, which takes place this weekend at the National Arena from Friday, May 19 to Monday, May 22. They are, Caralee Tinglin, Zonasha Hinds, Rebecca Robinson, Melissa Hinds and Jodiann Ward. The Jamaica team has been preparing for nearly three weeks under the guidance of new coach, Jermaine Allison-McCracken. They will play the opening game of the series on Friday, beginning at 7 p.m.; then the second Test on Sunday, starting at 6 p.m.; and close out on Monday, starting at 7 p.m. The full squad: Thristina Harwood, Rebecca Robinson, Shimona Nelson, Hasana Williams, Carlalee Tinglin, Adean Thomas, Kerry-Ann Brown, Melissa Wright, Antoinette Stone, Zonasha Hinds, Shamera Sterling, Stacian Facey, Tashike Salmon, Jodiann Ward, Latanya Wilson.last_img read more

PUL Rejects Licensing Scheme for Journalists

first_imgThe Press Union of Liberia has challenged the recently announced scheme by the Ministry of Information to resume the licensing of journalists in Liberia as a retrogressive effort that does not only undermine various pronouncements about a free press, but one which effectively rolls back efforts made by previous governments to make the media operating environment conducive.In remarks at the Tuesday, September 30 MICAT press briefing, Deputy Information Minister for Public Affairs Isaac Jackson said, “In accordance with chapter 31.8, D. of Liberia’s new executive law on the Act establishing the Ministry of Information, every journalist operating in the country is required to do an annual renewal of their permit during the second week of January.”The MICAT statement was coincidentally made on Tuesday, September 30, as the Press Union of Liberia marked its 50th anniversary.According to Minister Jackson, the Information Ministry “was provoked” to revive the law, which he referred to as “administrative measures”, following a publication of an August 2014 article in the National Chronicle newspaper which alleged that an interim government was being formed in the United States of America to overthrow the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.  As a result of the article, the National Chronicle was shut-down by a squad of the Liberian National Police who also arrested and subjected its staff to interrogation.In a statement issued Sunday, October 5, the Press Union said it “regrets that reversing this historic trend is not only regrettable, but a further betrayal of the trust and confidence that the Liberian people had placed in the government to promote human rights and democracy.”The PUL recalled that Professors Lamini Waritay and Joe Mulbah, respectively Ministers of Information under the Interim Government of Dr. Amos Sawyer and during the Charles Taylor regime, entered into Memoranda of Understandings that permitted the Press Union of Liberia to accredit journalists in Liberia.The Press Union recalled that as recently as her annual message on 27 January 2014, President Sirleaf told the Legislature that “Antiquated laws that retard the promotion of our fledgling democracy should be abolished,” and boasted that Liberia was “one of the first two African States that signed the Table Mountain Declaration, which calls for decriminalizing freedom of expression,” and promised to submit bills “to repeal all repressive laws as found in the statutes and in decrees of the PRC.”The Press Union of Liberia reminded President Sirleaf that at the signing of the Declaration of the Table Mountain in 2012, she vowed to repeal criminal defamation laws loud and clear, and “… committed to advancing free press and free expression not just in Liberia but to use our leadership role to promote it on the entire continent of Africa.”PUL President Abdullai Kamara said when the Information Ministry resumes conversations about permits for journalists, in the face of all of these commitments, it is prone to get reminded about a new array of intimidating questions targeted at newspapers and printing houses, reinforces the fears that prompted our September 4 letter to the Government, as well as calculated delays in approving 2014 licenses for The Independent Newspaper. All of these actions heighten our concerns that our democracy is slipping away from its acknowledged objectives.”By bringing up these issues, “this government has not only failed to implement domestic and international promises, but is now undermining the free press, censoring the media, and slipping into attitudes that led the country to more than 14 years of brutal civil war that killed quarter of a million people,” Kamara observed.Because of the retrogressive nature of this plan, the Press Union is inclined to admonish journalists to adopt a non-cooperative attitude as we seek further options.  “No, Madam President, we disagree with any attempt by this government to subject citizens to seek permit and licenses to speak or write,” the PUL boss declared.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Liberia Deserves US Support

first_imgThe influential American Senator, Chris Coons, has said that Liberia deserves the support of the United States at such a critical period that the country has endured following the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).Senator Coons, who hails from the state of Delaware, is a ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He assured President Sirleaf that the US Congress will make sure that Liberia’s situation gets better.  A dispatch from Washington D. C said Senator Coons gave the assurance when he met with President Ellen Johnson,  along with key Congressional Leaders and ranking members of both Houses. The Liberian leader was visiting the United States to show appreciation to the U.S. Government and people for standing with Liberia during the Ebola crisis. Liberia has long standing historical, economic and social ties with the US that now spans centuries but practically, Liberia has nothing to boast of this relationship as the country still suffers from abject poverty and underdevelopment unlike its surrounding African neighbors that have historical ties with Great Britain and France.Though many Liberians have accused the United States of neglect, others have said that the United States has done well in its support of Liberia, but it is corrupt Liberian government officials that have kept the country in the state of backwardness. In the wake of these arguments, is the fact that Senator Coons stressed the need for the United States to still do more as Liberia actually deserves American support. Some of this support needs to come in the form of rebuilding the healthcare system and power supply that will help to transform the country’s economy The Senators and Representatives who met the Liberian President pledged to use their respective offices, influence and power to give Liberia the needed support to move from the fringes of Ebola to sustainable recovery and development.The need for sustainable electric power for Liberia under the Power Africa Program was stressed by Senator Coons and other Congressional leaders.  “Power is of critical importance to Liberia’s recovery process. All the developmental processes in Liberia are hinged on the provision of sustainable energy supply and we are committed to helping Liberia meet this important goal,” Rep. Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said.  He said rebuilding the healthcare system and health infrastructure are also critical to efforts aimed at helping Liberia recover from the impact of the Ebola virus disease.House Minority Leader Lauds Ellen  The US House of Representative Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, congratulated President Sirleaf for what she termed as her impressive leadership, particularly during the Ebola crisis.  “You are a true friend to the American people and we appreciate the special recognition accorded the late Congressman Donald Payne. Let me express our admiration for you and say how grateful we are for the progress made by Liberia in containing the Ebola virus disease,” Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat’s Minority Leader said.  Congresswoman Nancy Patricia D’Alesandro Pelosi was the 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011. She is the only woman to have served as the House Speaker for the 110th and 111th Congresses, making her the highest-ranking female politician in American history. Congresswoman Pelosi, who represents California’s 12th congressional district which consists of four-fifths of the city and county of San Francisco, assured President Sirleaf that the U.S. will stand by Liberia as the country works toward reaching the zero new case level and the post-Ebola recovery plan.“We can achieve this because members of the U.S. Congress have a fan at the bi-partisan level. We are very impressed with your courageous leadership, Madam President,” Madam Pelosi indicated.President Sirleaf told the U.S. Congressional leaders that Liberia is back in business. “We have only come to say thank you on behalf of the people and in my own name for all that you have done for us, especially when we cried out for help and you responded in no small measure,” President Sirleaf stressed at the various meetings with leaders of both sides of the U.S. Congress.She pointed out that the Government was glad that kids were now back in school, markets are buzzing again, the borders have reopened and the restriction on people’s movement are all lifted. She also indicated that most importantly, the spirits of Liberians are lifted and reignited in the hope that the country was now back to business and development.She also spoke of the current state of the Ebola fight and about the country’s plan for post-Ebola, seeking the U.S. Government’s full support for Liberia’s recovery process now that Ebola is being contained.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Debbah to Invite Wleh, Williams for World Cup

first_imgThere is a maxim which says “It is not enough to succeed” and in continuation of the country’s success on the pitch or to maintain the winning way, especially in the 2018 World Cup play-off, the Daily Observer has gathered that Coach James Salinsa Debbah could change some players.Reports say Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh of PKNS FC in the Malaysia Premier League and Dioh Clarence Williams, who is currently playing in the Swedish premier division Allsvenskan for Gefle IF, are expected to be included in the squad against Guinea Bissau on Thursday, 8 October in Monrovia.The two prolific strikers are expected to boost the team’s attacking forwards to increase Liberia’s chance in the first leg and relax in the second leg to better prepare for the Cote d’Ivoire merely 20 days later.When contacted via mobile phone yesterday, Coach Debbah neither confirmed nor denied the report, but said his official call-up would be unveiled to the Liberia Football Association before making it official.“I can’t say anything about who I am calling, but all I can say is there will be two or three changes to boost the team for the Guinea Bissau’s clash – we want to maintain the winning ways and we are confident, though we can make predictions as technicians,” coach Debbah said.“By next week, the list will be submitted to the LFA for subsequent invitation to the players’ clubs,” he said.This means that if the two players are called up, two players would be dropped against Guinea Bissau.“My focus is Guinea Bissau, after Guinea Bissau before I start to think about Ivory Coast, but I am positive,” Coach Debbah said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

George Weah’s New Dispensation Rumbles Along, Albeit A Few Minor Hiccups

first_imgBy Jeremiah Jefferson Kringar Harris Sr. George Weah’s New Dispensation has steered the reins of our national Ship of State since the inaugural festivities in January, 2018. As we enter the beginning of the ninth month of Weah’s presidency, an agenda has now begun to take shape with a view to prioritizing the ultimate eradication of abject poverty, and altering the inaccessibility of large segments of the country, particularly the southeast, due to substandard highways, by the massive construction of roads as a conduit to national unity and enhanced economic development throughout the nation.  Succinctly put, this agenda, though timely and ambitious, is overdue by several decades.It would be foolhardy to deny that George Weah has a mandate to redirect the trajectory of events in this nation’s immediate future, in a shape, manner and form favorable to the welfare of the masses given his election to the Presidency by a landslide, despite the sham resort to the nation’s highest court by elements of the defeated opposition, under the pretext of the rule of law, to deny him victory, and, in the process, muffle the clamor of the downtrodden masses for change after 12 years of unbridled Unity Party leadership; even the most inept simpleton would see this as  an attempt to render illegitimate  the results of a hard fought free and fair election.The malaise in the nation, permeated by the stench of the nasty polarization and hopelessness that had overtaken all segments of the populace, especially the disadvantaged, necessitated change vital to the restoration of hope to the people. The massive turnout by voters, culminating in Weah’s overwhelming victory, attests to what was common knowledge in Liberia; that there was an urgent need for a life jacket to rescue the nation from the demons of hopelessness who were drowning it in a river of despair, thus strangulating the essence of the national soul and destroying its existence as a body politic by mesmerizing the psyche of the teeming masses to embrace the subtle ploy of a failed and out of sync political establishment.The people have spoken with one voice which must now be heard throughout the length and breadth of this land, being driven not by selfishness, arrogance and blind ambition, but the divine ordination of the HIGHER POWER. Consequently, the idea of change in this nation is not subject to debate or compromise; it is a fait accompli (an accomplished fact). The elections are long since over now and the roadmap for the path to the next level of Liberia’s historical evolution has been literally cast in stone.However, overly ambitious members of the opposition have chosen the route of denial to resist the reality of the peoples’ mandate by deliberately attempting to derail any initiative to implement meaningful remedies devised by the CDC Government to bring relief to the nation, like for instance, the proposed highway system that is envisioned to link the entire country from coast to coast. The rationale is that the successful implementation of any of the core objectives on Weah’s agenda would fatally wound their chances of gaining the presidency in the elections of 2023 and ultimately ensure his reelection for six more years.As they see it (the opposition), a 12 year pause in an opportunity to gain state power would be anathema to their presidential ambitions, given that by then the fitness for public office  of many of their most politically attractive aspirants would have been rendered moot by the hands of time. Therefore, out of desperation, they have now concocted a subtle ploy, deliberately orchestrated by an unseen hand, to prematurely discredit Weah’s government at every twist and turn in its embryonic stage, by tagging it with a stigma of failure to ensure his defeat in 2023.  But is this strategy worth a grain of salt and would the public be deceived into buying it? I think not; that kite cannot fly, the tailwind is just not strong enough. The people of Liberia have a nagging thirst for solutions to the nation’s problems and not the renaissance of outmoded tactics of confrontation, a faulty formula which created the inertia of the past, to the detriment of the nation.President Weah’s resolve to build a system of highways, designed, in essence, to ensure accessibility to all parts of the country would, unarguably, be a milestone of his administration, a boon to national development and guarantor of the growth of a vibrant economy whenever it comes to fruition. However, can this be achieved within the three year timeframe that he has given himself, being mindful of the constraints of time and the fact that this could be a key theme of his platform for reelection in 2023?Failure cannot be an option as this could expose the cards in his hands to the caprices of his opponents in the gamble for the presidency In 2018.  In view of the initial projections that the government would need almost a billion dollars to bankroll the project, and the ongoing but almost successfully concluded negotiations to finalize the two loans being sought by the government to start the project, will it be possible that this could commence on schedule in time for its completion in three years as anticipated?All things being equal, it appears that the answers to all of these questions, in the final analysis, would be in the affirmative. However, it shall not be an easy ride given the determination of some misguided elements of the opposition to dupe the public into visualizing the sequence of events surrounding the loan negotiations as questionable, most especially the ones being negotiated with the Elton Finance Corporation of Singapore and the Eboumaf Corporation of Burkina Faso, owned by a millionaire Burkinabe Entrepreneur, based not in Ouagadougou where there is no money, as the skeptics would have us believe, but in Paris, where he undoubtedly has considerable investments that would guarantee his ability to provide the almost half a billion dollars that he has pledged.Interestingly enough, the CEO of the Eton Finance Corporation visited Liberia recently with all of the pertinent documentation which emphatically verified the legitimacy and capacity of the Eton Corporation, without a modicum of doubt. This categorically debunks the irrational theory of the somewhat disjointed opposition being erroneously disseminated all over social media that the Burkinabe magnet lacks the financial resources to live up to his pledge and that the Eton Corporation lacks legitimacy.   This makes it glaring that the opposition needs to be coached in how to make a lie look good. They blundered badly in this one; small wonder then that they failed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, leading to a resounding loss to the CDC.If this nation’s nascent democracy is to prevail, given the many hurdles and challenges that provoke national unity in this period of reconstruction, let us remember that ignorance masked by arrogance and framed with nihilistic propaganda is anathema to unity and reconciliation. The opposition parties must reconcile their overwhelming defeat with the morals of their national political consciousness and love of country. For love of our common patrimony we must exile the demons of disunity from our national psyche and work together for the common wellbeing of our people. God help us all.AND SO YOU HAVE IT.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Labourer charged with simple larceny

first_imgA 23-year-old labourer of Lot 21 Middle Street, Georgetown appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts after he was accused of stealing a quantity of items.The defendant, Alex Josiah appeared before Magistrate Fabayo Azore and denied the charge which stated that between November 6 and November 7, 2018 at Subryanville, Georgetown, he stole a quantity of construction equipment belonging to Omar Rupi.The unrepresented Josiah pleaded not guilty to the charge. Police Prosecutor Simone Payne made no objections to bail being granted to the defendant.As a result, Magistrate Azore granted bail in the sum of $75,000 and adjourned the matter until December 19, 2018.last_img read more

Wrongly-accused Raphoe man says he would give all compo back for his old life

first_imgA man wrongly accused of murder said he would return his state compensation to get his old life back.Raphoe man Mark McConnell was one of a number of people arrested for the death of Richie Barron in October 1996.The cattle dealer’s body was found by the side of the road outside the East Donegal village. And while all evidence pointed to the accident being a hit and run, McConnell, his cousin Frank McBrearty Jnr and his father Frank Snr, were held over his death, accused of assaulting him.Following a lengthy and costly tribunal in which Garda corruption was exposed, the McBrearty family were awarded compensation.However, speaking on RTE documentary After the Headlines, Mark said: “Every penny that we received I would gladly give it back to have a normal life.“We planned to have a big family, that didn’t happen. It’s no coincidence that there’s an 11-year gap between our two children. “We would have much rather have lived our simple life, struggling to pay our mortgage . . . I’d much rather be doing that than sitting here discussing this.”Frank Junior remembered the moment he was arrested, nearly two months after Richie’s death.He recalled: “It was a very slippy morning and there was a checkpoint with about 40 guards on it. I thought they were checking for drunken driving or something like that.“Until I rolled down the window and the local sergeant said ‘Get out of the car.’ I said, ‘What for?’ He says, ‘You’re under arrest for the murder of Richie Barron.’ They handcuffed me and put me into the patrol car.“I looked back and all I could see was my son running after the car.” AFTER the Headlines airs on Tuesday on RTE Two at 9.35pm.Wrongly-accused Raphoe man says he would give all compo back for his old life was last modified: December 18th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:RaphoeRichie BarronRichie McBreartylast_img read more

South Africa set to become global leader of green energy

first_img17 April 2015Independent Power Producers (IPPs) have welcomed the announcement on Thursday by South Africa’s Department of Energy that it would expanding opportunities for private sector to contribute to the production of power in the country.The Department of Energy approved 13 new renewable IPP bids, which means there will now be 79 IPP projects with 5 243MW being added to a national grid desperately in need of power.Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said at a briefing in Cape Town that she had requested a further expedited procurement process of 1 800MW from all technologies.Added to that, the department had engaged in a process to design a gas to power procurement programme for a combined 3 126MW allocation from IPPs. There is also a 2 500MW IPP programme for coal power stations and 800MW from cogeneration, bringing the total IPP contribution to 13 469MW.That is more power generation than Eskom’s three new projects currently under construction. Medupi (4 764MW), Kusile (4 800MW) and Ingula (1 332MW) will bring a total of 10 896MW once they are completed. Eskom’s current fleet produces 41 194MW of power.SA to become leaderAndrzej Golebiowski of Scatec Solar won three bids to produce solar energy in South Africa. These projects are Solar PV Sirius Solar PV Project One (75MW), Solar PV Dyason’s Klip 1 (75M) and Solar PV Dyason’s Klip 2 (75MW).“The renewable IPPs programme is inspiration and visionary,” he said. “It’s really big on a global scale. It’s over 4 000MW they are planning to reward this year. It’s going to make it by far one of the biggest markets globally for renewables. That’s pretty impressive.”Golebiowski said that the Norwegian company moved its headquarters from Germany to South Africa when they saw the potential of renewable IPPs in Africa.Scatec Solar currently has 190MW of solar power being generated in South Africa and this will now increase to 415MW.Golebiowski said the move to South Africa had paid off and the latest announcement was important not only at a South African level, but also for business in Africa and the market globally.‘Big day’“Today is one of the biggest days in the history for our company,” he said. “For us, it reconfirms that SA is the heart of our company. It’s a small example of how the programme is building a long-term sustainable industry,” he said. “We have decided to make this place our global hubs. With the new wins, it reconfirms our strategy.“Companies will devise long-term strategies on the continent due to this move,” he said. “Things will happen on the back of this. We can now look at other projects in Africa because of South Africa’s leadership.“There have been challenges, but they are being overcome,” he said. “They deserve a lot of credit from a renewable perspective.”Scatec Solar is serious about South African development and has a funding programme at the University of Stellenbosch where it funds a department R1.5-million a year for five years. The aim of the fun is to build competencies and capabilities to develop the skills locally in South Africa.“We can also learn from the studies they do there and get knowledge from a local perspective,” he said.Wins for local IPP companySouth African IPP company Pele Green Energy (PGE), which is 100% BEE owned, won two wind renewable energy projects, each with a 140MW capacity and located in the Eastern and the Northern Cape respectively.“The announcement of winning round four projects represents an increase of 280MW into the total portfolio of power plants for PGE, raising our overall nameplate capacity of power plants to 639MW across solar and wind,” said PGE’s Gqi Raoleka.“We are looking forward to playing our role in adding more renewable powered energy on behalf of our client to the national power grid,” said PGE’s Thapelo Motlogeloa.“We aim to make a positive social contribution in the communities where projects are located, in terms of job creation and by supporting local enterprises.”Wind worksCo-founder of G7 Renewable Energies Dr Killian Hagemann, whose 140MW On-shore Roggeveld Wind Farm was one of the 13 preferred bidders, said the announcement was an important milestone.“It reaffirms our expertise and ability to develop competitive and efficient wind farm projects in South Africa,” said Hagemann.G7 director Nicolas Rolland said the Roggeveld site in the Karoo was selected after an extensive and rigorous investigation.“The ideal site comprises several factors, such as wind resources, topography, grid proximity and capacity, accessibility, as well as reduced environmental and permitting constraints,” he said.“In what has now become a very competitive industry, the financial viability of a wind farm depends on the quality of the wind resource available at the identified site,” he said.“The accuracy of our wind measurements and the predictability of the future yield are key to establishing the long-term success of the project.”Joemat-Pettersson announced these 13 preferred bidders for window 4: :Bio-Mass – Ngodwana Energy Project – 25MWOn-Shore Wind: Roggeveld Wind Farm – 140MWOn-Shore Wind: The Karusa Wind Farm – 140MWOn-Shore Wind: The Nxuba Wind Farm – 139MWGolden Valley Wind – 117MWOyster Bay Wind Farm – 140MWSolar PV: Sirius Solar PV Project One – 75MWSolar PV: Droogfontein 2 Solar – 75MWSolar PV: Dyason’s Klip 1 – 75MWSolar PV: Dyason’s Klip 2 – 75MWSolar PV: Konkoonsies II Solar Facility – 75MWSolar PV: Aggeneys Solar Project – 40MWHydro: Kruisvallei Hydro – 5MWnews24.com and SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

NCGA media and policy training takes advocacy to new heights

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A group of veteran farmer leaders from across the country met in Washington this week to take part in the NCGA Policy and Media Training program co-sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association and Syngenta. This program, which replaces Advanced Leadership, offers high-level training for a select group of Leadership At Its Best alumni. During the program, participants received an insider’s view of how lobbyists work on Capitol Hill and talked through some tough issues facing the association and American agriculture.“The program provides an impactful way to sharpen the skills gained through Leadership At Its Best in a short time,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes, himself a graduate of the program. “These farmers have stepped up as leaders, volunteering their time and talent on behalf of corn farmers and the entire agricultural community. They are passionate about farming. We aim to give them the knowledge and tools to harness that passion and effectively drive positive change.”The class underwent extensive media training with professionals from the American Farm Bureau Federation and heard directly from consumers about their attitudes and perceptions of modern farming. They also received policy briefings from and spent an afternoon shadowing NCGA’s lobbyists.This year’s NCGA Policy and Media Training class includes Ken Hartman, Jr (Ill.); Brent Hostetler (Ohio); Mike Lefever (Colo.); Mike Moreland (Mo.); and Doug Rebout (Wis.).last_img read more

Gorakhpur deaths: CM Adityanath orders criminal action against doctors, hospital staff, gas firm

first_imgUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath late on Wednesday directed criminal action against the former principal of Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur, Rajeev Mishra, and the private agency supplying it liquid oxygen, Pushpa Sales, in connection with the death of 30 children on August 10 and 11.Criminal action would be also taken against Dr. Satish, oxygen supply in charge and HoD of the anaesthesia ward, and Dr. Kafeel Khan, in charge of nodal 100-bed AES ward in the hospital where the children died, allegedly due to disruption of oxygen supply. The government had denied that the deaths were caused by disruption of oxygen supply.An FIR is expected to be filed against the indicted doctors, hospital staff and oxygen supplying firm.Panel recommensationsMr. Adityanath issued the directions after considering the recommendations of the four-member committee under Chief Secretary Rajeev Kumar. It submitted a report to him on August 20.Though the contents of the report were not made public, the Chief Minister’s office issued an action-taken note on the report.According to a government statement, the probe committee has recommended criminal action against Mr. Mishra, Dr. Kafeel and Pushpa Sales Private Limited.The government note, however, remains silent on the specific reasons for calling the criminal action and has no mention of the deaths of the children, merely calling it the “Gorakhpur incident”. It also does not clarify if the deaths were caused due to disruption of oxygen supply or other reasons.Disciplinary actionThe committee has also recommended action against Mr. Mishra’s wife Dr. Poornima Shukla, chief pharmacist Gajanan Jaiswal and hospital accountants under the Prevention of Corruption Act.A homeopathic medical officer, Ms. Shukla has been accused of interference in the hospital adminstration and of seeking commission in purchase of surgical equipment.Disciplinary action would be further taken against Dr. Khan, Mr. Jaiswal, Mr. Mishra and other staff for irresponsible behaviour, dereliction of duty and working against the staff behavioural rules.Dr. Khan, who was suspended on charges of private practice, will face further criminal action after the probe found that he hid facts in his affidavit filed to the Chief Medical Officer of Gorakhpur and violated the rules of the Indian Medical Council.Mr. Adityanath has ordered that a special audit be conducted by the CAG into the supply of medicines and chemicals in the hospital in the last three years.He has directed that strict action be taken immediately against the guilty officials and staff and that they “not be spared at any cost,” the government said.The probe committee was asked to report the background and sequence of events, the cause of the deaths, responsibility and accountability for the deaths, suggest punitive measures against the guilty and recommendations to be made so that such deaths do not happen in future. Alok Kumar, secretary, medical and health; Mukesh Mittal, secretary, Finance department; and Dr. Hem Chandra, medical superintendent of SGPGI, were the other members of the probe team.Mr. Adityanath has directed officials to ensure there was no interruption in supply of medicine, chemicals and other essential items in medical colleges and hospitals in the State.He has told officials to take necessary action on the short-term, mid-term and long-term recommendations made by the committee to prevent such incidents in future and to improve the state of medical colleges in the State.The report has made several recommendations. As part of its suggestions, the committee has said that to meet the shortage of doctors and specialist doctors in state medical colleges, provision be made for recruitment on basis of campus interviews within six months.The committee has said that under the Japanese Encephalitis programme of the Medical and Health directorate it should be ensured that those clearing the Diploma of Child Health be posted in the paediatric intensive care unit wards.Meanwhile, the government also acted against principal secretary of the medical education department Anita Bhatnagar, transferring her to DG training. Rajnish Dube has been given additional charge of her department.In an earlier probe report, the District Magistrate of Gorakhpur, Rajeev Rautela, blamed hospital staff and adminstration for the lapse in oxygen supply while not commenting on the cause of deaths.He had also hinted at financial irregularities in the medical college while holding Pushpa Sales responsible for cutting the supply of crucial liquid oxygen.Pushpa Sales had, however, dismissed the claims of Mr. Rautela, saying it had proof to show that it did not cut supply of liquid oxygen despite pending payment amounting to nearly ₹70 lakh.last_img read more