Ethno-national identity – Part 2

first_imgLast week, I ended my analysis of the first part of ethno-national identity with a series of investigative questions. While I may not be able to answer all those questions here, I will show that the maintenance of ethno-national identity can be a stumbling block to nation-building. I will also show that ethno-national identity is not restricted to the boundaries within the nation-state. Actually, ethno-national identity exists in the Diaspora with strong and significant strings attached to the parent-homeland, which arguably, provides a deep anchorage for sustenance and ultimate survival.The mere quest for an ethno-national identity in multiethnic Guyana, Trinidad, and Suriname can be problematic, leading to ethnic tensions. The jockeying for power along ethnic lines in these countries can result in hegemonic control and the exclusion of other ethnic groups in important sectors of society.Favouritism and competition for limited resources-jobs, housing, land, education, and credit-can fuel discontent and civic strife making the above countries virtually ungovernable and trapped in a cycle of wasted opportunities.One has to be living under a rock for the past fifty years not to realise that ethnic favouritism has dominated Guyanese politics in which the both majority populations – Indians and Africans – have taken turns distributing the country’s spoils according to ethnicity. There is no indication that this perilous pattern of ethnic patronage will change, certainly not from the decorative coalition regime.What is certain is that there are no set repressive measures (eg in the constitution) implemented to suppress and make demands on one ethnic group. But there is this perception that the majority African population that controls the levers of power in the coalition government has engaged in witch-hunting against Indo-Guyanese.How much of this is accurate will depend, in my case, on more investigation but the public outcry amongst Indo-Guyanese has certainly created a perception that witch-hunting exists. Worrying, too, is that there are no sound plans from both sides of the political divide to remotely address the perception of witch-hunting. There has been, so far, an exercise in finger-pointing.Witch-hunting aside, ethno-national identity is not restricted to one’s nation of birth. It is expressed outside one’s nation of birth in diasporic communities such as in North America and Europe.In these distant and different communities, Caribbean Indians, for instance, find out very quickly upon arrival who they are, and consequently, are quick to declare and express their ethno-national identity.Until recently, an average white person in the United States does not differentiate between black and brown people. To them, all non-white people are black.To some people, such as Caribbean Indians, especially from Guyana who were scarred by the former PNC regime, the non-white-people label is offensive.I label these Indians in the Diaspora as ethno-xiles, that is, they were exiled from their country because of their ethnic description. To these Indians, an association or a misplacement of their ethnicity is an attack on the very essence of their humanity.Similarly, Caribbean-Indians in North America and Europe feel rather uncomfortable when mislabelled and mistreated as South Asians, although not with the same intensity as being mislabelled as an African-Guyanese, for example.To demonstrate, in the US and Canada, no category for Caribbean-Indians exists in the census and so they are given the choice to identify themselves as black West Indians or South Asians.Coming from an environment where race and ethnicity are more important to them than class, Caribbean Indians find being treated as blacks, South Asians, or Arabs to be demeaning and have strived to maintain an identity that suits them.This is when ethno-national identity is reconstructed in a foreign land, which essentially means drawing on departed homeland ethnic sentiments to develop a sense of resurgence rather than resignation.What generally happens in the Caribbean Indian Diaspora is that if they are mislabelled as black West Indians or South Asians they may go at great lengths to educate whites in small, immediate, and friendly circles about where they come from and who they are, even though they may have little meaningful contact with their former homeland.From an open standpoint, the collective classification and subsequent identification of Caribbean Indians as something other than themselves misrepresent and undermine the unique differences among Caribbean people in North America. It is risible because no one wants realistically to be mislabelled for something else, particularly in developed countries of the world where higher standards are expected.Nonetheless, the very urge for separate identity, however, may prevent Caribbean Indians from forming alliances with other ethnic groups to achieve greater goals such as racial equality in white societies as well as in their departed homeland.(Send comments to: lomarsh.roopnarine@jsums.edu)last_img read more

THREE BLUES EARN ALL-CANADIAN HONOURS

first_imgSpouge and Emily Ziraldo each earn their third straight all-Canadian nod, while Hilary Ziraldo caps off her five-year career with her first national honour. Rachel Spouge, Emily Ziraldo and Hilary Ziraldo were named 2019 U SPORTS all-Canadians as national award winners were celebrated on Thursday night in Victoria. A fourth-year midfielder/forward, Emily Ziraldo led the OUA in scoring with 15 goals in 12 regular season games in 2019. The Master’s of management of innovation student scored a career-high four goals in Toronto’s 4-1 win over Western on Sept. 14.Hilary Ziraldo, a fifth-year forward and pharmacology and biomedical toxicology major, ranked third on the team with six goals in 2019.For more information, scores and highlights on your favourite U of T athletes and teams, please visit www.varsityblues.ca. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for the latest and greatest in Varsity Blues intercollegiate athletics.Print Friendly Version Spouge, a fourth-year midfielder from Vancouver, scored four goals this season and has been instrumental in controlling the midfield all season, defensively making key tackles and shutting down opposing team’s attack and outlet passing opportunities. Story Linkslast_img read more

Recaptured prison escapee jailed for trafficking narcotics

first_imgBy Paula GomesCornelius Thomas stood silently in the prisoner’s dock while Magistrate Dylan Bess summed up the evidence before handing down sentence.He held that narcotics were found in a room which the accused occupied and had care and control of; and further, the defendant’s knowledge of the illicit substance was to be inferred from both oral and written caution statements in which he admitted to same.He ruled that the court was satisfied that the alleged substance was indeedCornelius Thomascannabis, and this was proven by the analyst’s report.He said the prosecution had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had full care and control of the narcotics which were found inside his apartment, and this was evidenced by caution statements given during the investigation process — an inference to which the accused did not object when it was read in court during trial.Magistrate Bess then concluded that the prosecution had successfully proven all elements of the offence, and he said the witnesses were not discredited under cross examination.Considering that the accused is a first time offender with no prior convictions, the magistrate passed a sentence of three years and six months’ incarceration, along with a fine of $566,000. Non-payment of the fine will see Thomas spending an additional six months in prison.Thomas accepted his fate, but petitioned the magistrate to allow him to serve time in his home country, Trinidad, for safety purposes, citing the situation in Guyana as “unpredictable” following the recent prison unrest and fire.And while acknowledging that prisons are not meant to be “comfortable” places, Magistrate Bess responded to the effect that he had no power to grant the defendant’s request.The accused was insistent in wanting at all costs to avoid incarceration in the Camp Street Prison, and Magistrate Bess assured that he would include in the order a request for the defendant to serve the time at either Lusignan (East Coast Demerara) or Mazaruni (Region Seven).RECAPThe 32-year-old Trinidadian gospel promoter was first arraigned in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts in May 2017, when he was charged and remanded to prison for trafficking in 834 grams of cannabis.Then residing in Guyhoc Gardens, Georgetown, Thomas had denied possession of the illicit drug, alleging in court that on the day in question (May 28), before calling the police, his landlord had called him and held him at gunpoint, informing him that a black bag was found in his apartment.Thomas was one of the six inmates who escaped from the Camp Street Prison on July 9, following the fire and subsequent unrest. He was recaptured weeks later in ‘C’ Field, South Sophia.It remains unclear at this point whether he was charged with escaping from lawful custody.last_img read more

Latest stem cell advance avoids destroying embryo

first_imgNEW YORK – In a leap forward for stem cell research, three independent teams of scientists reported Wednesday that they have produced the equivalent of embryonic stem cells in mice using skin cells without the controversial destruction of embryos. If the same could be done with human skin cells – a big if – the procedure could lead to breakthrough medical treatments without the contentious ethical and political debates surrounding the use of embryos. Experts were impressed by the achievement. “I think it’s one of the most exciting things that has come out about embryonic stem cells, period,” said researcher Dr. Asa Abeliovich of Columbia University in New York, who didn’t participate in the work. “It’s very convincing that it’s real.” But he and others cautioned that it will take further study to see whether this scientific advance can be harnessed for creating new human therapies. For one thing, the procedure used to get the mouse skin cells to mimic embryonic stem cells wouldn’t be suitable. And it’s simply not known whether the mouse results can be reproduced with human cells. “We have a long way to go,” said John Gearhart of Johns Hopkins University, a stem cell researcher who also wasn’t involved in the new work. In any case, scientists said, the advance does not mean that research that involves getting stem cells from human embryos should now be abandoned. “We simply don’t know which approach … will work the best,” said researcher Konrad Hochedlinger of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, who led one of the three teams. Embryonic stem cells are prized because they can develop into all types of tissue. So experts believe they might be used for transplant therapies in people who are paralyzed or have illnesses ranging from diabetes to Parkinson’s disease. To harvest human embryonic stem cells, embryos must be destroyed, an action many people oppose. Scientists have long hoped to find a way to reprogram ordinary body cells to act like stem cells, avoiding the use of embryos altogether. The new mouse studies seem to have accomplished that.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

German club want Giroud, Man City want £39m-rated defender and MORE GOSSIP

first_img1 Transfer rumours and paper review Here are the top transfer-related stories in Tuesday’s newspapers and online…Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is a target for German club Wolfsburg, who are looking to tempt the Frenchman to the Bundesliga with a lucrative offer worth around £5.5million a year. (Foot Mercato)Manchester City have agreed to pay the £39million release clause to sign Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte. (Basque newspaper EITB)Manchester United are readying a bid for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Mario. The 23-year-old has a £55m release clause. (A Bola)Nigerian winger Samuel Chukwueze’s move to Arsenal is close to collapsing. (Nigeria Soccer)Newcastle midfielder Florian Thauvin, 23, currently on loan at Marseille, has been linked with a move to Inter Milan. (Newcastle Chronicle)Manchester United managerial target Jose Mourinho is expected to make a decision on his next job this week. (Daily Telegraph)Rafa Benitez is among the names being considered by Everton as replacement for manager Roberto Martinez, should Newcastle be relegated from the Premier League. (Daily Mail)Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin is being strongly tipped to become the next manager of Watford. (South Wales Evening Post)Aston Villa supporters are planning a march in protest against owner Randy Lerner before this weekend’s final Premier League home game against Newcastle, plus “a mass release of energy” in the 74th minute. (Birmingham Mail)And here are the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…??‘Saturday can’t come quickly enough!’ – Wes Morgan on Leicester’s Premier League winDanny Murphy: ‘I’d take in-form Newcastle star Andros Townsend to Euro 2016 over Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’‘Jurgen Klopp clearly doesn’t rate Daniel Sturridge!’ – Danny Murphy’s verdict on Liverpool strikerLeicester star Jamie Vardy named Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the YearCeltic FC news: Brendan Rodgers responds when asked if he wants to take over at Parkheadlast_img read more

Things To Do

first_imgRide of Silence will honor the memory of cyclists who have been killed or injured on the road, 7:30 a.m. Saturday beginning at Canyon Country Park, 17615 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country. Call (661) 252-4993 or e-mail irenetjohnson@yahoo.com. Sierra Club hike to Los Pinetos will meet, 9 a.m. at the Walker Ranch entrance to Placerita Canyon Nature Center, 19152 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall. Call Gaylon Rodin at (661) 263-0568. Bird Walk, 9-11 a.m. Saturday at Placerita Canyon Nature Center, 19152 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall. Call (661) 259-7721. Tesoro Adobe Historic Park is open to the public, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. every Saturday with guided tours of the Harry Carey/Farmer John Ranch House, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Call (661) 702-8953. Family Nature Walk, 11 a.m.-noon, and an animal presentation, 1-2 p.m., every Saturday at Placerita Canyon Park and Nature Center, 19152 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall. Call (661) 259-7721. C.L.E.A.R. (Community and Law Enforcement Aware Response) fundraiser will feature food, live entertainment and an opportunity to register for the program, 3-11 p.m. Saturday at The Londoner, 18511 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country. Live entertainment begins at 9 p.m. Call Lisa Prather at (661) 755-4813. Heroes’ Day to thank local firefighters, law enforcement and military, 4-9 p.m. Saturday at Santa Clarita Elks Lodge, 17766 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country. Call Suzon Gerstel at (661) 606-2569 or Sharon Ventrice at (661) 755-8629. Oldies & Goodies Classic Car, Truck and Bike Show will feature classic vehicles from 1975 and older, rides, games, vendors, food and entertainment, 5-10 p.m. Saturday at Saugus Speedway, 22500 Soledad Canyon Road, Saugus. Call Terri Burbank at (661) 259-3886, Ext. 223. Western Day will feature food, drinks, live music and dancing, 5:30 p.m. to midnight Saturday at Jack Bones Equestrian Center, Castaic. Tickets: $20. Call (661) 294-8677. An Evening Under the Stars, to benefit the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer, 6-11 p.m. Saturday at Mann Biomedical Park, 25104 Rye Canyon Loop, Valencia. Tickets: $150. Call Allison Starr at (661) 250-4100.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesSierra Club hike to Mission Peak by moonlight will meet, 7 p.m. Wednesday at the trailhead in San Fernando Valley. Call Gaylon Rodin at (661) 263-0568 or Henry Schultz at (661) 284-5613 for information or directions. By the Light of the Silvery Moon Hike, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesday at Towsley Canyon, 24255 The Old Road, Newhall. Call (661) 255-3606. Michael John & The Bottom Line will perform in the Jazz & Blues concert series, 7-9:30 p.m. Friday outside the Hyatt Valencia on the corner of Town Center Drive and McBean Parkway, Valencia. Call (661) 290-2911. Excelencia Awards Gala will recognize Hispanic businesses, 6-10 p.m. Friday at the Hyatt Valencia, 24500 Town Center Drive, Valencia. Call Felicia Scorse at (661) 702-6977. “Fear Factor” Hang Loose Night for disabled adults, 7-9 p.m. Friday at the LETMESAIL Lifestyle Enrichment Center, 28304 Constellation Road, Valencia. Call (661) 702-8555 or visit www.letmesail.org. Ranger-led nature hike, 11 a.m. the second, third and fourth Sundays of each month at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area, 10700 W. Escondido Canyon Road, Agua Dulce. Call (661) 268-0840. “Black Comedy” and “The Real Inspector Hound” will be presented, 2 p.m. today at the Repertory East Playhouse, 24266 San Fernando Road, Newhall. Tickets: $16 for adults and $14 for students and seniors. Call (661) 288-0000. Dennis Agajanian will perform country music, 6 p.m. today in the amphitheater at Grace Baptist Church, 22833 Copper Hill Drive, Valencia. Call (661) 296-8737. CROP Walk will raise money to feed the hungry starting at 9 a.m. Monday from St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 24901 Orchard Village Road, Newhall. Call (661) 297-3783. last_img read more

Park visitor uncovers rare, big diamond

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECalifornia’s bungled $1 billion accounting system Bill Henderson, assistant park superintendent, said park officials don’t estimate values of the stones found by visitors. But he said Wehle’s gem was identical in quality to – but larger than – a 4.21-carat flawless canary diamond found in the park in March that was valued by a New York diamond expert at $15,000 to $60,000. MURFREESBORO, Ark. – A Wisconsin man visiting a state park took home the ultimate souvenir: a 5.47-carat canary diamond. Bob Wehle of Ripon, Wis., found the diamond at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro on Oct. 14. The park is the world’s only publicly operated diamond site where visitors are allowed to search and keep any gems they find. Wehle’s 5.47-carat diamond is bright yellow and has no visible flaws, said Tom Stolarz, park superintendent. It is the second-largest gem unearthed this year at the park. The largest diamond this year was found by a Texas couple. Donald and Brenda Roden of Point, Texas, found a 6.35-carat brown diamond in September. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Arsenal legend: ‘I’d have rather taken Yaya Toure over Sterling in a swap deal’

first_imgDavid Seaman has urged Arsenal to sign a powerhouse midfielder and strong centre-back before the summer transfer window closes.The Gunners legend has admitted he fears for the club this season with a number of first-team stars set to leave before Thursday’s 11pm deadline.READ MORE: GROUNDHOG DAY! Arsenal legend David Season admits he’s in shock over stars leaving Gunners againThe likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis Sanchez and Shkodran Mustafi have been linked with late departures, and the former goalkeeper is even more worried by the lack of news about potential replacements.It was rumoured earlier this week that Raheem Sterling could move to the Emirates Stadium as part of an offer from Manchester City for Gunners star Sanchez.Leicester City ace Riyad Mahrez is another player linked, and those reports intensified on Thursday after he left the Algeria camp to seal a last-ditch switch away from the Foxes.But Seaman has told talkSPORT he is not excited by those rumours, and insists the Gunners have a greater need to strengthen elsewhere.On the Mahrez speculation, the Highbury hero said on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “He would be a good signing but, for me, do they need that sort of player?“Obviously if the Ox and Sanchez go, then they do.“But I still feel they need a strong centre-half and a really strong dominating midfield player.“I heard the speculation about a swap deal for Sterling, but I would have rather taken a swap deal for Yaya Toure.”last_img read more

Senior Menu

first_imgLunch is served at noon weekdays at the Simi Valley Senior Citizens Center, 3900 Avenida Simi. Suggested donation is $5, or $2.25 for those 60 and older. Reservations must be made 48 hours in advance by calling (805) 583-6365. Lunch is served to Moorpark seniors at noon weekdays in the Moorpark Active Adult Center, 799 Moorpark Ave. Suggested donation is $2.25. For information, call (805) 517-6261. All meals are served with whole-grain bread, green salad, yogurt, cottage cheese or cheese stick, fruit and low-fat milk. Friday: Vegetable lasagna with fire-roasted vegetables, Brussels sprouts, spinach. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Here is this week’s menu: Monday: Chicken a la king, broccoli, mixed vegetables California. Tuesday: Beef and mushrooms with pearl onions, Brussels sprouts, spinach. Wednesday: Boneless chicken fricassee, baby lima beans, peas. Thursday: Stuffed cabbage rolls, broccoli, mixed vegetables California. last_img read more

Cycads to be saved by DNA

first_imgCycads growing wild in the forest of theRain Queen Modjadji.(Image: South Africa Tourism)  South Africa’s rare and sought-after cycads are to be protected by a new DNA barcoding initiative that will help clamp down on illicit trade in the endangered plants.Botany masters student Philip Rousseau, under the guidance of Professor Michelle van der Bank of the Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), initiated the project in January 2010. His aim is to preserve the ancient plants, which are often sold illegally to eager collectors in the US and Far East.The database will focus specifically on plants from the Encephalartos genus, as these are native to Africa, with 39 species occurring in South Africa alone. The country also is home to one species from the genus Stangeria, S. eriopus.The name Encephalartos comes from the Greek words en (within), kephali (head), and artos (bread). This refers to the traditional use of the pith of the stem as a starchy food, a practice reflected in the Afrikaans name broodboom (“bread tree”).“This project forms part of a global initiative, known as TreeBOL, to DNA barcode all the trees of the world within the next five years,” said Van der Bank. “UJ will generate a library of reference barcoding sequences for all cycad species, which will enable researchers and custom officials to identify specimens.”UJ is driving the African section of TreeBOL.According to the regulations South Africans need a permit to own a cycad, with one permit issued for every plant. Although the country’s laws are among the tightest in the world where cycads are concerned, officials have a difficult time with smugglers transporting valuable plants under the name of a less endangered species.In great demandNow modern technology is set to stop thieves in their tracks. The barcode library will deter illegal trade in cycads by preventing unscrupulous dealers and buyers from presenting rare plants as more common species. As visual identification is almost impossible once the leaves have been stripped for transport purposes, DNA will provide conservation officials with a foolproof way of identifying seized cycads.Plants are regularly stolen from protected areas and botanical gardens or simply dug out of their natural areas. In one such case, in January 2008, 103 extremely rare specimens with a value of US$1.3-million (R10-million), were plucked from the Lillie floral reserve in Limpopo province.Ruthless buyers, who are willing to pay $13 500 (R100 000) or more for cycads, ignore the fact that the plants take up to 800 years to grow tall stems, and that they are endangered in their native habitats because of excessive demand.Encephalartos cerinus, for example, was only described in 1989, but subsequent demand and poaching of the plant led to it tottering on the brink of extinction mere months after its discovery. Other species may have been wiped out before they were even discovered.Several cycad species are now extinct in the wild, while the numbers of others have dwindled alarmingly. In South Africa three of the 38 indigenous species are extinct in the wild – they are Encephalartos woodii, E. brevifoliolatus and E. nubimontanus. The cycad specialist group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified 12 more as critically endangered, and a further 13 as threatened.According to Dr John Donaldson of the IUCN cycad specialist group, South Africa has a disproportionately high number of critically endangered cycads. “We certainly are on the cusp of extinctions. We have a lot of rare plants that are down to less than 100 individuals in the wild,” he said.In recent years botanists have implanted microchips, which can only be read with a scanner, into rare cycads. This enables authorities to identify stolen plants and trace their rightful owners. The technology has proved effective on a number of occasions, although some canny thieves try to extract and get rid of the transponders. The DNA technology will overcome this hurdle.Plants of myth and legendThe palm-like cycads are the oldest seed plants on earth, with fossils dating back to the Early Permian period, about 280-million years ago. This puts the leafy specimens on the scene even before the Jurassic period when dinosaurs flourished.Just over 300 species have been described to date, falling into 10–12 genera and two or three families (the number of genera and families varies according to the taxonomic viewpoint).Cycads are found in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, America and Australasia. They have given rise to many myths and intriguing stories, and whole cultures have developed around them.One of the most famous is that of Ga-Modjadji, a rural community of over 150 villages near Tzaneen in Limpopo province, ruled by the Rain Queen Modjadji of the Lobedu people.The Modjadji dynasty is some 400 years old, but since the sixth Rain Queen, Makobo, died in 2005 at the age of 27, no heir has been chosen. The Rain Queen is always succeeded by her eldest daughter and Makobo did give birth to a daughter, now almost four years old, but as her father was a commoner it is said to be unlikely that the Royal Council will accept her as the next queen.The Rain Queen is believed to have special powers, including the ability to control clouds and rain. Farmers in the area are particularly respectful of her abilities. The annual rainmaking ceremony takes place at the royal compound in Khetlhakone village in November each year, at the start of the rainy season.The Modjadji cycad forest is a well-known tourist attraction which has been tended by the Balobedu for centuries. Here the Modjadji cycad, Encephalartos transvenosus, grows in abundance. The then-reigning queen passed stewardship of the 305ha forest to the South African government, who subsequently proclaimed it as a protected area in 1979.last_img read more