17% increase recorded in tourism development sector

first_img…geared to create growth in Private Sector – Minister GaskinBusiness Minister with responsibility for tourism, Dominic Gaskin, in his address to the National Assembly during the budget debate, revealed that Guyana’s tourism sector has seen tremendous and steady growth over the years.According to Gaskin, there has been a 17 per cent increase over the same period when compared to last year. “This has been very good news to Guyana because visitors bring in money into our economy which, therefore, means that there will be more money circulating in that particular sector”.The Business Minister underscored that an additional 30,000 visitors arrived in Guyana throughout the year, which means that an additional US$15 million wasBusiness Minister Dominic Gaskinpumped into the country’s economy.“If we are to assume, an average visitor spends at least US$500 when they visit – which is extremely conservative – so if we look at all the figures in totality, tourism is expected to bring in US$150 million to be spent in our economy,” he explained.Further, Gaskin noted that the Government realised the importance of this sector and its capacity to create and sustain employment and the need to develop Guyana’s tourism product to keep increasing visitors arrivals. “We do recognise the economic opportunities that tourism can create in traditionally these advantage areas, such as the hinterland where the Indigenous population lives. This is why there has been a steady increase in the budgetary appropriation for the GTA [Guyana Tourism Authority] from $123 million in 2014 to over 300 million in 2019”.Moreover, the Minister anticipated that in 2019, the sector, which fell under the remit of the Business Ministry, will be “up to date” with the annual reports.“The main thrust of our tourism drive is to develop sustainable tourism in each administrative region, starting with areas identified by stakeholders as their tourism hotspot. We are seeking to make tourism a mean of improving lives in the communities where it takes place by making the communities the main beneficiaries of the visitor’s flow that they allocate,” Gaskin noted.Meanwhile, Minister of State, Joseph Hamilton condemned those who have peddled distasteful news about Guyana’s tourism sector. (Yanalla Dalrymple)last_img read more

SCOTUS Inmates Sentenced as Juveniles for Life Imprisonment Must Be Able to

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares“HarrisCountyJuvenileJusticeCenter” by WhisperToMe – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.January 25, 2016; Washington PostThe nonprofit community has always been involved in trying to make the criminal justice system more accurately meet the needs of juvenile offenders, including the particular needs of juveniles while they are incarcerated and when they are re-entering society. The sector has also been proactive specifically for juveniles serving life sentences, with or without parole. They will have to continue to be proactive, given the U.S. Supreme Court’s major clarifying decision to a prior 2012 decision that said juveniles could not receive automatic life imprisonment without parole sentences.In 2012, the Court found in Miller v. Alabama that a juvenile cannot be mandated a life imprisonment sentence without the possibility of parole without consideration to the specificities of the particular case. The decision was referring to laws in states where if an individual is found guilty of a certain crime, the sentence must be life imprisonment without exception. However, the question remained whether the decision would apply retroactively to cases before the decision.In a 6-to-3 decision written by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the Court clarifies and says all individuals who were sentenced to life imprisonment as juveniles must be able to argue for parole and their release from prison. The case centers on Henry Montgomery, 69, who was convicted as a 17-year-old of shooting and fatally wounding a police officer in Louisiana. He was automatically sentenced to life without parole. Montgomery has since argued that following the 2012 SCOTUS decision, his several decades in prison should allow him to be considered for release, an argument that was rejected by the Louisiana Supreme Court.In the opinion, Kennedy writes, “Prisoners like Montgomery must be given the opportunity to show their crime did not reflect irreparable corruption; and, if it did not, their hope for some years of life outside prison walls must be restored.” Many states have already decided themselves that Miller will apply retroactively to cases that were finalized before the decision, but Louisiana and seven other states have not.The decision strengthens the Court’s contention in Miller that juveniles must be treated differently than adults and a mandatory sentence amounts to a violation of the Eighth Amendment. “Children are constitutionally different from adults for sentencing purposes. Their ‘lack of maturity’ and ‘underdeveloped sense of responsibility’ lead to recklessness, impulsivity, and heedless risk-taking,” said the 2012 decision. According to Miller, mandating a life sentence without the considerations that must be afforded a juvenile, that sentence is unconstitutional.Nonprofit and other organizations with interests in juvenile sentencing will have to be vigilant, as this decision has opened the door for potentially thousands of cases to be reviewed on appeal. However, it’s important to note that this decision does not stop courts from doling out life sentences for juveniles: courts are only prohibited from delivering mandatory life sentences, in accord with Miller. Further, the purpose of the clarification decision, as detailed by Kennedy, is to give these specific cases further consideration given that the prisoners were sentenced when they were young.“Extending parole eligibility to juvenile offenders does not impose an onerous burden on the states, nor does it disturb the finality of state convictions,” writes Kennedy. “Those prisoners who have shown an inability to reform will continue to serve life sentences. The opportunity for release will be afforded to those who demonstrate the truth of Miller’s central intuition—that children who commit even heinous crimes are capable of change.”—Shafaq HasanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more