CHESTER-LE-STREET, England:Facing another defeat inside three days, Sri Lanka held England at bay for now as captain Angelo Mathews’ 80 helped them to 309 for five in their second innings in the second Test yesterday.England were still closing in on a series victory in the three-match contest, with Sri Lanka 88 behind England’s 498-9 declared after being forced to follow on.But the struggling tourists showed some fight on day three with half-centuries by Mathews, Kaushal Silva (60) and Dinesh Chandimal, who was 54 not out.England earlier fired Sri Lanka out for 101 in their first innings at the Riverside Ground, with the hosts’ seamers sparking another collapse after bowling the tourists out for 91 and 119 in an innings victory in the first Test. In this game, Stuart Broad led England’s bowlers in the first innings with 4-40 and all-rounder Chris Woakes in the team for the injured Ben Stokes impressed with three for nine. James Anderson had 3-36 in the first innings and 2-40 in the second.Sri Lanka will, at least, take this Test to a fourth day, better than their loss inside three days at Headingley.OVERWHELMING FAVOURITESEngland had Sri Lanka wobbling again at 100-3 in their second innings before Mathews and Silva combined for an 82-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Mathews cracked nine fours and a six in his counterattack before being undone by Anderson, who forced a thin edge behind to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.Chandimal took up the fight after the departure of his captain and Milinda Siriwardana supported with an unbeaten 35 in their unbroken stand of 87. Those two will continue today with a target of, at least, making England bat again.But England remained overwhelming favourites to win this Test and clinch the series with one match to play.
…says grounds for H-t-H Registration “unconvincing”The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) said that the air that permeates the current political climate in Guyana reeks of a “clear ploy to obfuscate the Court’s decision and muddy the clear-watered ruling” handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).The Trade Union body said that it has been following the unfolding developments in the recent days. In a statement, the Union said that it has taken note of the various interpretations of the CCJ rulings in the No-Confidence Motion challenge, as well as the challenge in relation to the unilateral appointment of Justice James Patterson as Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).“Indeed, while we have seen several postulations and prognostications, we reiterate, that the CCJ left, in our view, no ambiguity. The Court’s ruling was manifest and any rational, clear-eyed person would recognise that respect for the Constitution was expressly reiterated in the ruling,” FITUG said.The body explained that they are confused as to the many arguments and interpretations of the rulings.“It appears to us, like many reasonable-minded Guyanese, that there is a clear ploy to obfuscate the Court’s decision and muddy the clear-watered ruling. We are at a loss to see the logic in such an approach, especially when those contentions being advanced are quickly sliding down the slippery slope. The fact that apparently intelligent persons have joined this bandwagon is an aghast situation in itself”.In relation to the ongoing House-to-House Registration process, the legitimacy of the decision is contentious, bearing in mind that it was supported by a GECOM Chairman, who the CCJ ruled was unconstitutionally appointed. Moreover, the Union added that it could not ignore the seeming surreptitious appearance of an order regarding the commencement of the H-t-H, which has only served to heighten apprehensions.UnconvincingAccording the Union, the grounds for the H-t-H, so far, remain unconvincing.“We recall, for instance, the sentiment that hundreds of thousands of Guyanese are improperly on the extant list but, so far, empirical evidence to substantiate this assertion remains lacking. At the same time, the call for H-t-H is sounded against the backdrop that thousands of youths are excluded. Again facts supportive of this assertion remain questionably absent. Neither has any explanation been advanced as to why the ‘youths’ in question did not take advantage of the several claims and objection exercises over the years. Political parties, in our view, have a role in this regard and it astonishes us that parties did not take an active role,” the statement said.The FITUG noted that the proverbial clock is ticking, while referring what is set forth in Article 106 of the Constitution, which was ordered to be engaged by the CCJ. FITUG said that it is simply abhorrent that institutions of the State have turned apparently a blind eye to their responsibilities and obligations that are outlined clearly in the statues. Such actions, from our perspective, cause them to worry about the example it sets and the precedent it creates.“The FITUG, at this time, sees the need, without further delay, for full and complete abidance with the ruling of the CCJ and the enabling of the necessary mechanisms that will see our Constitution complied with. In our view, the perpetuation of the ‘skirting-around’ we have seen will do our country and its people no good,” the statement concluded.On July 12, the CCJ handed down consequential orders stipulating that the Constitution of Guyana must be upheld. According to Guyana’s Constitution, when a No-Confidence Motion is passed against Government, the President and Cabinet must resign and call fresh elections within three months. In this instance the No-Confidence Motion was passed on December 21, 2018. However, because of a number of legal challenges, the CCJ ruled on June 18, 2019 that the No-Confidence Motion, brought by the Leader of the Opposition against APNU/AFC Government, was validly passed. This, therefore, means that elections must be held in Guyana in September.While the Court stayed away from setting specific dates, President Justice Adrian Saunders emphasised that the key players, such as the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), the President, and by extension the Government, are obligated to “exercise their responsibilities with integrity”. In its ruling, the CCJ made it clear that since the passage of the No-Confidence Motion against the Government on December 21, 2018, the Government should have complied with the provisions of the Constitution, i.e., to resign and call elections.