BY RAMONA LUTHIThe elderly couple that was burnt to death in their East Bank Essequibo home by bandits was on Wednesday laid to rest.Bibi Jamila Munir and her husband, Mohamed Munir were killed on Sunday last when bandits invaded their Lot 17 Good Hope, East Bank Essequibo home and set it on fire during a botched robbery.At the funeral on Wednesday, the atmosphere was both sober and sad, as hundreds turned up to pay their last respects to the couple.Paying tribute to the couple, their granddaughter said the family has suffered a shocking blow and are still trying to come to grips with the death of their loved ones.Relatives and friends pay their last respects to the coupleShe described her grandfather, Mohamed Munir, as the “kindest, most hard-working, most compassionate and gentle person” she has ever known and her grandmother Bibi Jamila Munir, as the “bravest woman in the world.” She added that her grandmother was a driving force in their lives and the lives of everyone in the community.Munirs’ granddaughter noted that her grandparents loved Guyana, and the family is praying that they get the justice they deserve. She also recited a poem during which she broke down in tears.The children of Bibi and Mohamed Munir conveyed gratitude to all those who supported them in this time of their grief, noting that the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG), friends and neighbours played an integral part in assisting the family.Agriculture Minister Noel Holder who was also present at the funeral expressed condolences on behalf of himself and the Government of Guyana to the family.People’s Progressive Party’s Member of Parliament and cousin of the late Bibi Munir, Bibi Shadick, in her tribute said the couple would “forever be remembered by everyone as persons who cared for the community and wanted it to be better than it was.”She added that the fate the Munirs met on Sunday last was one that she cannot accept.‘’We have to stand up for what is right and we have to demand that there should be security for lives and livelihood. What we work for, we should be allowed to use and we should be allowed to give when we want to give and somebody should not come and snatch it from us. Then when they don’t get it, kill us,” she lamented.Shaddick said that her cousin was “not just a farmer” but she was also a “social worker, mother, sister, daughter and everything to everyone that needed her.”Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo who also paid his respect to the couple, conveyed his condolences to the family. He described their departure as being “tragic and horrendous.”Jagdeo relayed that from what he gathered from persons that knew the couple, it seemed as though the lives of these wonderful people epitomised hard work and commitment to cause. He said that Bibi Jamila Munir was an executive member of the Rice Producers Association (RPA) and knew what struggle was.He added that “it is a pity that hard work is not recognised in this country, today since people can come in such a callous manner and try to snatch away one’s fruits of hard work, possibly killing them in the process.”According to Jagdeo, the State should not be held responsible for every criminal act but they should indicate where their sentiments are directed as they should be on the victim’s side and not the perpetrator’s.”We don’t see them (APNU/AFC) go to places where tragedies occur, right across this country, where people are grieving and they are sorrowful and they have their lives knocked out in callous manners. But we see negotiations in the prison with criminals and we heard about how many people were released from prison… We are still asking until today to see the records of those people who were released from prison and until now there is no attempt on the part of the Government to make those records public.”According to reports, at around 23:15h on Sunday, several armed bandits invaded the couple’s premises but they managed to secure themselves in one of the bedrooms.After not being able to gain access to the couple, the angered bandits then doused the house with gasoline and set it alight.
TORONTO — The Toronto stock market was lower Thursday afternoon amid a poorly received earnings report from CIBC (TSX:CM), while data showed the U.S. economy performing worse than expected earlier this year.The S&P/TSX composite index lost 54.03 points to 14,556.93.CIBC said that poor results in its Caribbean operations were responsible for net income dropping to $306 million from $862 million a year ago. CIBC’s adjusted net income came in at $2.17 per share, beating analysts’ expectations of $2.07 per share and the bank also raised its quarterly dividend by two cents to $1 per common share. However, its shares dropped $1.59 to $97.45.Financials led TSX decliners with all of the major banks, save Scotiabank, giving back some of the gains racked up over the last week as most of the banks delivered strong results.“You’ve seen banks outperform as a group, about 3% over the last week or so — not surprising we’re having a bit of a profit-taking on them,” said Stephen Lingard, managing director of Franklin Templeton Solutions.“There is a slowing momentum in mortgage products and they’re having to be pretty competitive with each other. But they have had other segments that have offset this, notably wealth (management) and business loans so all in all a good quarter.”The Canadian dollar was up 0.27 of a cent to 92.22 cents US.U.S. indexes were higher as the first revision to first-quarter gross domestic product showed that GDP actually shrank at an annualized rate of 1% in the period, largely because of severe winter weather. That was much higher than the 0.5% drop that economists had expected, but they anticipate the weakness to be short-lived.The Dow Jones industrials rose 10.44 points to 16,643.62, the Nasdaq climbed 12.05 points to 4,237.13 and the S&P 500 index was ahead 4.51 points at 1,914.29.In other corporate developments, Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS) is selling more than two-thirds of its interest in CI Financial Inc. (TSX:CIX) in a deal worth at least $2.27 billion, making it one of the largest public offerings in Canada. Scotiabank will sell 72 million common shares of CI at $31.50 per share, reducing its current 37% interest to about 11.4%. CI shares climbed 45 cents to $34.10 and Scotiabank added 13 cents to $68.95.The debut of shares in Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA) subsidiary PrairieSky was a huge success Thursday. The energy giant earlier in the morning announced the completion of the initial public offering of 52 million common shares of PrairieSky (TSX:PSK) at an offering price of $28 and by mid-morning, the shares were trading at $36.51 on the TSX. Encana is spinning off some of its Alberta land holdings through PrairieSky.Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is expected to be elected as board chairman of media giant Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR:B) next month. Pierre Karl Peladeau stepped down as board vice-chairman of Quebecor in March and chairman of subsidiary Quebecor Media when he announced plans to run for the Parti Quebecois in the April election. The move could signal an attempt by Quebecor to put some distance between itself and Peladeau. Quebecor shares slipped 17 cents to $26.58.Elsewhere on the TSX, the base metals sector dropped 0.9% as July copper slipped three cents to US$3.14 a pound. The energy sector was down 0.07% even as July crude gained 91 cents to US$103.62 a barrel. The gold sector was the leading advancer, up 1.15% as August bullion lost $2.60 to US$1,257.10 an ounce.