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December 20 – January 11, 2013



Back to basics

LAST week, I noted that the negative impacts of corruption are not merely financial, but are also economic, moral, and social. Feedback since the publication of that article has shed new light on the issue – a wide view of the entire dynamic of the problem that has held the Turks and Caicos Islands in its eroding grip. What I was told was that the age old problem of the Caicos Islands being treated as separate from the Turks Islands created



a need for empowerment of Caicos Islands’ residents, which was done. However, somewhere along the line, the availability of opportunities to persons who worked hard to get it, a merit-based system, withered down to opportunities for work and study abroad being given on a shallower basis. After the holidays have ended and the New Year begins its approach, people begin making their resolutions. As a country, what is becoming

clearer is that after another Commission of Inquiry, three years of interim administration rule and the final return to democratic rule, the Islands and its people need to get back to basics. Leader of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, told the Weekly News that her party will soon be pushing a campaign called ‘Back to Our Roots’. She said, “There needs to be that understanding, especially among our


A series that seeks to engage the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands on issues and act as a medium through which they can hear from prominent personalities on current concerns, including on politics, development and the environment, among others.

young people, that Turks and Caicos Islanders have always had to work hard, from the salt industry to the fishing industry. “Our children have been exposed to a ‘get rich quick’ mentality that will take forever to reverse, but it is something that we will have to do.” The impacts of such a campaign, hopefully positive, are still to be seen. Acclaimed philosopher Aristotle’s claim that living things having “a principle of change and staying unchanged” (cited in Wiggins, 1980, p.88- 89) is a natural paradox of human life. Over the course of development, individuals must come to understand the inherent contradiction that we

are “as we were, and yet different” (Hermans & Salgado, 2005, p.10). The understanding of this paradox is a personal and collective imperative: without links to who you were and who you will be, life would lose meaning, future planning would make no sense, and because no one could be held accountable for their past actions, society would cease to function (Chandler, Lalonde, Sokol, & Hallett, 2003). What is clear is that while some people need to get back to their roots, there are many Turks and Caicos Islanders who never left them.

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Little Water Cay gets new visitors’ centre LITTLE Water Cay now has a new visitor’s centre, compliments of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) National Trust, in its continued effort to protect and preserve the natural,

historic and cultural heritage of the Islands. Executive Director of the Trust, Ethlyn Gibbs-Williams, told the Weekly News that visitors will now

Premier expressed condolences after Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting PREMIER, Dr. Rufus Ewing, this week, expressed his condolences following the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. He said: “As Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, as a friend of the United States and as a father, I speak for my Cabinet, the people of my country and my family in expressing heartfelt condolences for the heartbreaking suffering inflicted on those who must now struggle with the losses that came at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut. “We are deeply saddened, our consciences are shocked and we are outraged by this assault against innocence and the prospects of an ordinary day; the pain of which

echoes across the ocean, in the words of President Obama: “Our hearts are broken”. “We stand with the people of Sandy Hook in Newtown; we stand with goodhearted Americans who have been the friends of Turks and Caicos for over 200 years – in their hour of unimaginable sorrow. “And as we are a praying people, we make and send our prayers and our affection, and we look ever forward, driven by that inspiring hope which, for so long has been America’s great gift to the world.” Twenty children, ages five to 10, as well as six adults were killed in last week’s shooting. The shooter, identified as Adam Lanza, took his own life after the massacre.

TCI awarded World’s leading Beach Destination THE World Travel Awards upped its year-long search for the most popular tourism brands around the globe with its glittering Grand Final Gala Ceremony, on December 12, in New Delhi, India, bestowing upon the Turks and Caicos Islands ‘World’s Leading Beach Destination’. Hailed as “the Oscars of the travel industry” by the Wall Street Journal, WTA is recognised worldwide as the ultimate travel accolade. Its 2012 Grand Tour featured regional heats in Dubai (UAE), Turks and Caicos Islands, The Algarve (Portugal) and Singapore, with the winners from these competing headto-head at the Grand Final. The award follows Grace Bay Beach being named the Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination in the WTA’s regional heats held on Providenciales in September. The Islands held off stiff competition from Cancun, Mexico, Cape Town in South Africa, Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana in Brazil and even the Maldives.

Commenting on the award, Director of Tourism, Ralph Higgs, said, “Along with our tourism partners and stakeholders we are delighted to accept this award as World’s Leading Beach Destination. This is further testament to what we here in the Turks & Caicos have known all along and the world is beginning to find out.” Graham Cooke, World Travel Awards president and founder, said, “The Turks & Caicos continues to build its reputation as the definitive low-key luxury hideaway, offering stunning beaches away from the public glare.” The Turks and Caicos Islands were also recently named as the number one Beach destination in the World as voted on in the Travelers Choice 2012 category by readers of the popular online site, Trip Advisor. Established 19 years ago, World Travel Awards is committed to raising the standards of customer service and overall business performance throughout the international tourism industry.

have access to facilities that support their exploration of history of Little Water Cay and its link in the history and culture of the Turks and Caicos Islands on a whole. She said, “What we intend to do is to develop and display panels that will help visitors learn more about the Islands. “Right now Little Water Cay is a nature reserve, protected under law. It is also home to about 3,000 plus iguanas and other wildlife.” The total cost of the construction was placed at just over $100,000. When asked, the Executive Director said funding for the

project was provided, in part, by the European Union (EU). She said, “This is just part of the Trust’s overall management of the Turks and Caicos Islands’ sustainable economics project, which is cofunded by the European Union.” According to her, visitors will continue to be charged the same fee on visiting and touring the Island, which is a means of ensuring the continued management of the Island. Gibbs-Williams added that the visitor turnout to the Island has been fair for 2012, but not better than 2011. She said, “We intend to beef up

on marketing of the services offered by the Trust, in terms of tours to protected sites in the Turks and Caicos Islands. “The whole aim of what we do is to raise awareness of what we have in the Turks and Caicos and also to strengthen the capacity of the National Trust to manage the heritage sites.” The centre will also provide better accommodations for wardens on the Island, during their time there. The construction of the new centre was done by T. Holdings and completion took two months. (VANESSA NARINE)

Contractor, Trevor Musgrove, in front of the recently completed visitor’s centre

Tourist given a guided tour of Little Water Cay

Turks and Caicos Weekly News