…tells GDF to always be prepared to defendJust over a month after the Venezuelan navy attempted to intercept a vessel conducting 3-D seismic oil exploration activities offshore Guyana, President David Granger has stated that these incursions into Guyana’s maritime and land space must be stopped.The commander-in-chief made this statement during his feature address at the opening ceremony of the Guyana Defence Force’s Annual Officers’ Conference on Thursday.According to President Granger, Guyana has always been victim to claims – by Venezuela and Suriname – on its territory despite international recognition of its land mass, territorial borders, territorial sea and exclusive economic zone (EEZ).He specially mentioned the December 22, 2018 incident whereby the VenezuelanCommander-in-Chief, Brigadier (retired) David Granger inspecting the Guard of Honour ahead of the opening ceremony of the Guyana Defence Force’s Officers ConferenceNavy corvette, the Karina PC-14, made a hostile incursion into Guyana’s EEZ, some 144 kilometres from the boundary that separates the two countries. A helicopter on the platform of the naval corvette attempted to land on the Ramform Tethys – an unarmed vessel contracted by ExxonMobil to undertaking seismic surveys at the western end of the Stabroek Block. The incursion forced the vessel to discontinue its operations at that time.The Head of State posited this recent aggression by Venezuela is the second naval assault against Guyana’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. He reminded of the incident back in October 2013, where a petroleum exploration vessel – RV Teknik Perdana – conducting a survey in the Roraima block offshore, in Guyana’s EEZ, was intercepted by a Venezuelan Navy frigate and ordered to cease its. That vessel was ordered to sail to Margarita Island, where it was seized for six days before being subsequently released.Furthermore, President Granger also recalled an incident involving Guyana’s Dutch neighbour. Back in June 2000, the Suriname Navy expelled a CGX licensed exploration vessel and drill ship, the C. E. Thornton, from Guyana’s waters.These, according to the Head of State, all occurred within recent memory and while Guyana remains committed to ensuring that the Caribbean and continent of South America remain a zone of peace, these incursions should end.“Incursions have occurred not only in our maritime space but also on land. Illegal mining, illegal logging, illegal arms, narcotics, people and wildlife trafficking and the smuggling of precious minerals have continued. They have to stop,” the President insisted.He pointed out that citizens have been killed, especially those living in the frontier villages. As such, he underscored the need for the safety of these communities from transnational crime.“The persistence of transnational crime alerts us to the need for continued vigilance to protect our airspace, land borders, coastline and territorial sea. Over-flights and landings by aircraft suspected of involvement in illegal activities undermine our territorial integrity and sovereignty. The influx of more than 3,000 migrants fleeing economic and political distress in Venezuela necessitates stronger controls along borders,” he asserted.The Commander-in-Chief said the GDF must always be ready to deter aggression, defend national sovereignty and ensure the development of the country as a safe, secure and strong state.“The Guyana Defence Force therefore, must maintain itself in a state of readiness to secure our entire country and protect it from present and future dangers,” he stated.Referencing the Defence Act, President Granger added, “The Force therefore is obligated to secure the state and safeguard the entire territory from invasion, incursion and insurrection. Incursions must be deterred. Insurrections must be suppressed. The state must remain secure.”The Head of State went onto acknowledge, however, the number challenges the army is faced with including its inability to effectively man the borders not only as a result of lack of human resources but because of the terrain of the hinterland region.Moreover, he noted that in addition to working to boost recruitment to 50 per cent of the strength of the regular Force, the army is also working with frontier villages to protect its territory and natural resources as well as to repel threats to human safety.“The Force is the vanguard of national defence. The Force is conscious of its duty to preserve our territory, protect our people and develop the economy by implementing our national defence doctrine. The Defence Force has been, and always must be, ready to deter aggression, defend sovereignty and ensure the development of our country as a safe, secure and strong state,” the Commander-in-Chief asserted.Meanwhile, Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Patrick West, in echoing the sentiments of the President, also assured that the GDF will continue to execute its mandate, particularly as it relates to upholding the country’s territorial integrity especially in light of ongoing exploration activities offshore Guyana.This year’s GDF Officers Conference was held under the theme: “Effective Transformation for Total National Defence”.
0Shares0000LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers said the opening game against the Golden State Warriors was “one of the toughest losses I’ve had in my career” © GETTY/AFP / Thearon W. HendersonOAKLAND, United States, Jun 3 – Cleveland’s LeBron James, known for bouncing back stronger from playoff losses, promises such heroics Sunday in the NBA Finals after what he calls one of the toughest defeats of his career.Defending champion Golden State opened the best-of-seven championship series with a 124-114 over-time home victory Thursday after the Cavaliers led in the final seconds. Referees reversed a charging foul on Warriors forward Kevin Durant on video review into a blocking foul on James in the final minute of regulation time and Cleveland’s J.R. Smith squandered a last shot chance in the fourth quarter apparently unaware the score was level.“It’s one of the toughest losses I’ve had in my career,” James said Saturday. “Because of everything that kind of went on with the game and the way we played.“It was a tough 24 hours… for our whole ballclub because we put ourselves in a great position to be successful.”James scored 51 points, grabbed eight rebounds and passed off eight assists, his scoring total the most in an NBA Finals game since 1993 and the most ever in a losing cause.But far from demoralized, James said he is re-energized by the chance to level the series before the scene changes to Cleveland next week in the fourth consecutive finals between the two clubs.Stephen Curry (L), who led the Warriors with 29 points in the opener, says his team will be more aggressive in keeping LeBron James (R) from comfortable situations © GETTY/AFP / Thearon W. Henderson“You should feel excited about the opportunity to be better and be great and move forward,” James said. “I woke up feeling excited about the opportunity that presents itself tomorrow.“I expect us to come and play with the same grit we had in game one. And we made a lot of mistakes in game one. I expect us to be better.”Improvements after defeats have become a James trademark in the playoffs. Four times after producing fewer than 27 points in a post-season loss this year, James has scored 42 or more in the following contest.But where do you go from 51 points?“That means he has to score 60 now, right?” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said of James. “Well, got to score 60 tomorrow then I guess.“After a loss, it’s tough. But I think he always comes out and leads by example and sets the tone early. I think, offensively, we need him to do that, especially on this floor with their crowd and the way they play. We need him to set the tone early in all the games.”– ‘Animosity and edginess’ –Stephen Curry, who led the Warriors with 29 points in the opener, says his team will be more aggressive in keeping James from comfortable situations.“We’ve got to be a little bit more aggressive,” Curry said. “It just means doing things a little bit faster, a little bit more physical, and trying to make not just him but everybody else more uncomfortable out there to start the game. I think we can do that.”Draymond Green poked James in the right eye during a drive to the basket that the Cavs playmaker says looks worse than it hurts.“There is going to be a little animosity and a little edginess,” Curry said. “We’re enjoying the competitive environment.”– Big Cavs effort expected –A victory Sunday would put the Warriors halfway to their third crown in four seasons, the other denied when Cleveland rallied from 3-1 down in the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history.JR Smith of the Cleveland Cavaliers rebounds the ball after a free throw in the closing seconds against the Golden State Warriors apparently unaware the score was level © GETTY/AFP/File / Lachlan Cunningham“They might have been deflated, and they came back and won. So we’re expecting another great effort from them,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.“We’ve been through this too many times. All we’ve done is win one, and we’re on to the next one.“We’re right where we want to be and we’re all very confident that we’re going to get better from here.”Kerr, who said Warriors forward Andre Iguodala remains doubtful for game two with a left leg injury, said limiting James would be a priority.“I didn’t think we made him work hard enough. I thought everything was smooth sailing for him,” Kerr said. “We’ve got to put more pressure on him. We can’t just sit back and let him pick us apart.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)