Friday, October 11, 2013
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Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Philippians 1:27(NIV)
It’s quiet time Vol. XXVIII No. 32
Week Ending Friday, October 11, 2013
for Geothermal progress news but production next phase talk In The Montserrat Reporter issue of August 30, 2013, “Geothermal Resource best news”, in which we reported that, “Beardsley, in a statement dated Thursday (August 29th) revealed, “This well finally started flowing to the surface yesterday. It continued to flow overnight and everything is looking very positive.”, we had been waiting and seeking update on the progress of the testing. Beardsley who was permitted to give an update then had said, “It is still too early to confidently say that we have a commercially viable well.” However, he added, “the signs are very encouraging.” The Director who is also a member of
cont’d. on page 12
Photo curtesy Lana McDonald
by Bennette Roach
Relatives of crash victims want closure...pg 2
OECS Essay winners...pg 6
Montserrat retains Standard & Poor’s ratings...pg 3
Kids’ Korner...pg 8
Features: National songs & Airports...pg 5
Legalising Marijuana...pgs 10-11
24 HOUR ATM SERVICE Bank of Montserrat Your Bank. Your Future.
www.bankofmontserrat.ms (664) 491-3843
Friday, October 11, 2013
Relatives of Fly Montserrat crash victims want closure Antigua Observer By Theresa Gordon -. ST JOHN’S, Antigua – It’s been a year since the deadly Fly Montserrat crash and relatives of the victims say they remain in the dark about details of the official report. “We have heard nothing from the company or anyone one else. We are still waiting to hear something so we can get final closure,” said Carol Joseph, mother of Pilot Jason Forbes, who died in the crash. Similar sentiments were expressed by a relative of another victim who lost her life in the accident – Sandrama Poligadu of Guyana. Her daughter Rajama said she has heard
nothing since the premlinary findings, adding that she is in the process of contacting her lawyer for advice on how to proceed. The other victim who died in the crash was former teacher Annya Duncan of Jamaica. Director General of the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCA) Donald McPhail, yesterday, confirmed the report was complete but did not indicate the timeline in which it was submitted. The director added he would have to contact his team before any information could be released. McPhail said this was in keeping with protocol.
Owner of Fly Montserrat Nigel Harris, when contacted said he was not in a position to discuss the matter. Harris said he was in Las Vegas and would be available later this week. A preliminary report, released last year on the crash indicated the fuel was contaminated with water and there was failure of the right engine. The three deceased, along with a fourth passenger, Michael Hudson, were on board the ill-fated Britten Norman Islanders, when it crashed a year ago today. The accident occurred
l to r: Teacher Annya Duncan of Jamaica, Pilot Jason Forbes and Sandrama Poligadu of Guyana shortly after takeoff at 4:16 Poligadu succumbed to seated at the back of the plane pm at the VC Bird International head injuries later the same survived; he had sustained a Airport, then Forbes and Dun- day. fractured right leg and minor can died on the spot. Michael Hudson, who was cuts and bruises.
Glendon Hospital to receive cardiac monitor from USA Stratians for Strat
A ZJB news report states that a cardiac monitor and other accessories for the Glendon Hospital have been purchased and shipped to Montserrat. This follows a report when Iris Lake Ryan an RN in the USA, made a pledge
through social media request pledging to raise US$6,000.00 to purchase a Cardiac AED defibrillator for the hospital in Montserrat. Through the fundraising campaign conducted by Stratians for Strat in September which spanned
only an 11 day period, they raised a total of US$6,893.06, enabling the purchase of the Cardiac Monitor and auxiliary equipment at a cost US$3,780.11. According to the ZJB report, Over the coming weeks additional
purchases of required items for the Glendon Hospital will be made utilizing the remaining funds, which stood at US$3,112.95. The Iris Lake Ryan call for the Glendon Hospital equipment was raised the very day Governor’s wife Mrs. Sujue Davis handed over the first AED machine to the Glendon Hospital. Mrs. Davis in her capacity
We must apologise to all parties concerned and our readers for an error of fact. In the story here captioned, it stated: “The Red Cross branch patron said that this was the first iPad AEC machine purchased by Dr. Fred Glendon Hospital gets needed Pescatore,...” That was incorrect defibrillator, cardiac monitor on and should have read instead, “… the way purchased by Coral Cay.” as Patron, had begun a fund raising in November last year, for Montserrat Red Cross branch, eventually raising $37,000 for the automated external defibrillators (AEDs).
FINANCIAL INFORMATION MONTH Reasons Why Customers Must Complete A DECLARATION OF SOURCE OF FUNDS (SOF) Form for deposits over US$10,000.00 - EC$27,000.00 The SOF is a declaration form which customers complete to affirm how funds are obtained or the reason/s for payment(s) being made to an individual or company. Why does your Bank require you to complete a SOF form? 1. It is the Law 2. To gain the trust of the financial institution, 3. Protection of customer’s credibility and 4. To justify irregular transaction pattern.
Portsmouth Frigate HMS Lancaster in £58m drugs bust Capital FM (South Coast) A Royal Navy warship deployed in the Caribbean has seized cannabis and cocaine with a street value of £58 million in two busts just days apart. The seizure of 400kg of cocaine and almost 1.2 tonnes of marijuana in the separate incidents has been praised as another “fantastic success’’ for the ship, which has carried out four major drugs busts in as many weeks and six so cont’d. on page 11
First and foremost, IT IS THE LAW. In accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act 2010, a financial institution must keep records regarding the Source of funds coming into the organization and the information obtained is recorded on the SOF form. The documents requested by your financial institution are to verify the information on the SOF form. Banks are also required to keep records on the reasons for making payments of over US$10,000.00 (EC$27,000.00) to another individual/company or remittances out of the country. Secondly, to gain the trust of the financial institution information provided on the SOF when verified must be proven to be correct. When information is investigated by the institution and Law enforcement agencies and is confirmed to be accurate the financial institution will gain confidence in their customers. This in turn will build a credible and thrust worthy relationship. Thirdly, an individual’s credibility is very important in the world of finance and therefore should be protected at all times. As a customer, you can be cleared of any suspicions because of accurate information provided on the SOF form and documentation to support the information provided. As a result your integrity will be maintained along with a cordial relationship with the financial institution. Failure to supply accurate information and documentation can result in your Financial Institution making a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) to the relevant authorities. Finally, the SOF form helps to justify transaction patterns that are outside the norm of a customer’s banking habits and proves that the income is from a legitimate source. For e.g., If the customer’s deposit is out of character and lifestyle pattern of the individual, the information on the SOF form along with supported documentation will confirm that the income is from a legitimate source. All in all, the SOF should not be seen as the financial institution prying into your affairs, but should be viewed as a way of protecting the customers’ integrity and building a relationship of trust with the financial institution.
Friday, October 11, 2013
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Montserrat retains Standard & Poor’s BBB rating CMC (Adapted) – The United States-based rating agency, Standard & Poor›s (S&P), has affirmed its ‹BBB-/A-3› sovereign issuer credit ratings on Montserrat adding that the outlook remains stable. “Our ‘BBB-’ transfer and convertibility assessment is unchanged. The ratings on Montserrat reflect the United Kingdom’s institutional and budgetary support of the island, which is an internally self-governing overseas territory of the U.K. “The U.K., through the Department for International Development (DFID), and the EU contribute roughly half of GDP in grants for budget support and infrastructure investment,” it said. S&P in explaining the rationale for the maintaining the rating said Montserrat has a stable parliamentary democracy, with broad United Kingdom support that bolsters the island’s institutional and governance effectiveness. But it noted that a recent report on the quality and oversight of DFID pro-
grammes by the U.K.’s Independent Commission for Aid Impact cited a need to better align capital projects to a national development strategy oriented toward national self-sufficiency, to rationalize project expenditures, and to further promote private long-term investment where possible. The same report reiterated the collaborative relationship between U.K.DFID and the Government of Montserrat, S&P said. It said that a 2012 memorandum of understanding also affirmed London’s support for the island’s longterm development goals. “Following volcanic eruptions in the mid- to late1990s, Montserrat’s population has more than halved to 5,000 people, and the southern two-thirds of the Caribbean island has been closed to habitation and to most business activity,’ S&P said, noting that the population remain vulnerable to hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, with the Soufriere Hills volcano remains active at a low level.
“Today, the island’s narrow economy, with per capita income of US$12,500, is concentrated on small-scale tourism and volcanic sand and bottled water exports. It remains highly dependent on foreign transfers for government services and foreign exchange. “Access to the island is hindered by the lack of a breakwater and port at the future town centre and by limited air service. These factors have contributed to Montserrat’s less than 1% annual real per capita economic growth since 2007.” But S&P said the development of a new port at Carry’s Bay and of a new town centre at Little Bay is progressing slowly. “The Montserratian government has redesigned the development plans over the past few years to make the project more cost effective and components of it attractive for private-sector participation. However, construction of a critical, firststage breakwater and jetty have yet to begin. cont’d. on page 9
SAGICOR LIFE INC. LINDEN ROBERT ROBERTS of 10 Reculuer Mews, having made sworn deposition that Policy No. S05403795 issued by Sagicor Life Inc. on the life of LINDEN R. ROBERTS has been lost, and having made application to the Directors to grant a duplicate of the same, notice is hereby given that unless objection is raised within one month of the date hereof, the duplicate policy asked for will be issued. Dated 13th day of September, 2013. By Order Sandra Osborne Corporate Secretary
Barbados UN Resident Stephen O’Malley makes first familiarisation stop in Montserrat The United Nations Resident Coordinator for Barbados spent a day-and-ahalf on October 1-2, 2013 in Montserrat, his first official stop on a swing through the sub-region. Stephen O’Malley was speaking to the press after he had presented his credentials to Montserrat during his first visit in his capacity of UNDP (United Nations Development Program) Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the OECS countries. He met with cabinet members and other key government staff and individuals. He visited the unsafe zone to view the devastation wrought on the southern part of the island by the Soufriere Hills Volcano. Of this visit, Mr. O’Malley said he found
to be, “very impressive both in sense of what the devastation it causes for people, for property, but also I think a very historic reminder of the power of nature.” The UNDP official reported that his visit was an effort to acquaint himself with the realities of Montserrat, “and then to start to get some ideas of how we can continue what has been a very strong partnership between the UN and Montserrat overtime.” He said, “We have collaborated in a number of areas,” one such area located at Silver Hills, which visited where, radio repeaters, etc. with regards to disaster management. These were funded under a program that the UN Development Program
ran, “where we’ve worked together for the benefit of the people of Montserrat.” As he outlined other areas of support, he said, “Of real interest to us is this connection between energy, environment and climate change,” as he made reference to his visit to overlook Plymouth, “gives you a sense of this incredible power of nature and as we look at the data from climate change and the way that effects small island developing states whether they’re here in this region, or Asia. The UN Coordinator spoke of ‘inequality’ an area of interest, which he said is growing in the world even with the economic rebound. “…even now under the ecocont’d. on page 7
NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
TO: All Members of the St Patrick’s Cooperative Credit Union Limited, Brades, Montserrat
REGISTERED LAND ACT, (CAP. 8.01)
Notice is hereby given, in keeping with Section 46 of the Co-operative Societies Act, No 4 of 2011, that the 43rd Annual General Meeting of the St Patrick’s Cooperative Credit Union Ltd will be held at the conference hall, Credit Union House, Brades, Montserrat on Wednesday October 16, 2013 commencing at 5:30 pm for the following purposes: 1.
To receive the Report of the Board of Directors for financial years 2009, 2010 and 2011.
To receive the Report of the Credit and Supervisory & Compliance Committees for financial years 2009, 2010 and 2011.
To receive the Audited Financial statements for financial years 2009, 2010 and 2011
To elect members to the Board of Directors, Credit Committee and Supervisory & Compliance Committee.
Registration of attendees commences at 4:00pm at the same place. Please note that copies of the AGM Booklet, the respective Audited Financial Statements and the Minutes of the 42nd Annual General Meeting will be made available upon registration. (Sgd.) Steadroy Meade Secretary of the Board of Directors September 5, 2013
SECTION 34 NOTICE OF APPLICATION TO REPLACE LOST LAND CERTIFICATE TAKE NOTICE that an application was filed in the Land Registry by the following person, for the replacement of a Land Certificate, which has been reported lost: NAME George Landron
REG. SECTION/REFERENCE Beachettes 12/04/137
DATE ISSUED July 20, 1981
TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that anyone who objects to the issuance of a new Land Certificate or who has knowledge of the lost Land Certificate must within the period of fourteen (14) days from the date of publication of this notice in the newspaper inform the Registrar of Lands in writing. TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that in the absence of any objection or information as to the existence of the lost Land Certificate within the time specified, the Registrar of Lands may proceed to cancel the original Land Certificate and issue a new Land Certificate in its place without further notice. Dated this 3rd day of October 2013. ………………………………… Jamiel M. Greenaway Registrar of Lands
Friday, October 11, 2013
The people deserve to know the truth all the time
So why this talk of Rendezvous Bay with its white sand beach, perfect resort and secluded environment and signature hotel, concluding with the reopening of the Vue Pointe Hotel? It has all to do with the burning issue that haunts the island with what Premier Meade considers to be just over 10% unemployment, a distortion by his own explanations of the work available in Montserrat. Other than the imagined opportunities for new and young entrepreneurs, opportunities that older private sector and businesses are obviously oblivious to, the Premier speaks repeatedly to what he admits are sporadic employment for construction workers. The truth of that is there is no new work and when the substantial number of people who are employed in the manner he describes, while it is certainly better than nothing, hardship abounds. In addition to this, there are those who, particularly in the private sector do not know the word increment or raise to their salary/wage, a little mention not those who do not know the words salary or wage. This simply is the background upon which we say, the action, “…will begin to grow the population and the economic future will look much brighter. It would take such little time for that to begin to show a change.” More and more we believe this with the background information and knowledge available. The following are sound arguments and goals from a study led by Dr. Lydia Pulsipher and written 10 years ago. This came eight years after the crisis began in 1995m when already it was believed that there was a slowing down or it was understood, how the volcano would behave. Five years later, DFID hinted their own satisfaction and since 2010, we have not seen ash, and the popular question today is, “What volcano? In a thesis, “A Proposal for Knowledge based Tourism in Montserrat”, Dr. Pulsipher gave this back ground to develop what she calls Revival of Residential Tourism. This we contend is easy to do and does not require any grea study or consultation. It’s been done many times over. Pulsipher writes: “At least 200 of Montserrat’s stock of villas remain useable. If these houses were each occupied just two months out of the year by by just two people who spend US$300 per capita per day (for food, utilities, service, transport, entertainment, rent or home maintenance) for these 60 days, this sector of tourism would bring in US$7.2 mil.14 That is nearly $20,000,000.00.” Pulsipher suggests, be sure that Montserrat is the primary beneficiary of tourism development, while creating a product that advances human rights and democratic processes Build on Montserrat’s present niche in the tourism market and develop additional locally designed and implemented tourism products. Make optimal use of Montserrat’s social and natural capital for comprehensive social and physical sustainability. Create intellectually and financially rewarding jobs for Montserratians. Create a tourism experience that advances civil society by engaging the intellect and encourages humanitarian responses in visitor and host, alike. Capture the maximum of tourist expenditures for the local economy. Who cannot identify with these? Dr. Pulsipher explains, “essential perquisites for this component are the replacement of the airport, golf course, and club house destroyed by the volcano. Air travel is favored by those likely to inhabit the villas and golf is an activity highly valued by them for exercise and social activities.” Add to these the plans to develop the other tourism infrastructure. The Vue Pointe Hotel is ready made with convention buildings and facility. What is saddening about this, we have learnt recent studies and advisors, have advised the Government this is the way to go, but they obviously turn a blind eye and deaf ears. So what is the investment of Three million dollars which will earn returns in much government revenue, in such a short time to the island. Other OECS states did exactly this when lesser natural disasters forced their economy into decline. They invested in what they knew brought back revenue and resource to their people. This is not reluctance, but without any explanations as to why it is desirous to have people go through the pains without end in sight must leave the concerned with the words that come easiest when the suspicions become more glaring and are left to mount. If someone doesn’t believe the reality and economic boost this will bring, it is because they want Montserrat to remain where it is in the economic realm of the pits. This we believe is modest. Facilitate the reopening of the Vue Pointe; And, as things are today there would not be enough workers of all kinds in Montserrat to fill the need that would arise when those 200 or more home owners decide to renovate, rebuild, add the new construction as Montserrat shows that life continued and is ready flourish to welcome those offer the uniqueness of the island. Build now on the A1 road rehabilitation, while waiting for the dream of five years hence.
The Montserrat Reporter Published by: Montserrat Printing & Publishing, Inc. - Editor: Bennette Roach Office: Davy Hill, Mailing Address: P.O. Box 306, Davy Hill, Montserrat, W.I. Typeset and Printed by Montserrat Printing & Publishing, Inc. - firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel. (664) 491-4715 Fax: (664) 491-2430 E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org - Web Site: http://www.themontserratreporter.com
High time CARICOM discuss legalising marijuana - Gonsalves Caribbean360 KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Tuesday September 10, 2013 – Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has written to the chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping calling for a discussion on the medicinal and other uses of marijuana. In his letter to Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, who
is also the Trinidad and Tobago head of government, Gonsalves said it is high time that CARICOM addresses regionally “this matter in a sensible focus not hysterical manner”. Prime Minister Gonsalves said that the marijuana plant has a bundle of proven and potentially beneficial uses and while it is true that its use and abuse and the
consequential criminalisation of its cultivation, possession and supply have impacted on the health, welfare and security of the people. Gonsalves in his letter made a plea for “a reasoned debate” led by CARICOM political and civic leadership in the context of the legislation of marijuana. He said the matter should cont’d. on page 11
Former St. Kitts-Nevis minister alleges conflict of interest in high cour registrar’s replacement
By Ken Richards St Kitts (WINN) -- The official who has replaced High Court Registrar Janine Harris-Lake in an acting capacity has a clear conflict of interest, according to former St Kitts and Nevis government minister Dwyer Astaphan. Harris-Lake was this week sent on immediate vacation leave, with no official reason given for that decision by the government. She was not in court on Tuesday for the start of the Criminal Assizes in Basseterre. Contacted for comment on Tuesday, an official from the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs told WINN FM that HarrisLake was asked to proceed on leave, and questions about the matter should be directed to Minister of Justice Patrice Nisbett (who is out of state at the moment). Astaphan, on his Operation Rescue radio programme on Tuesday, questioned the method in which a replacement had been put in place, and also suggested that there was a clear conflict of interest. “Because I do not believe Ms Tashma Powell Williams
is properly appointed to act,” Astaphan said. He pointed out that she is “also the secretary to the Constituency Boundaries Commission, (and) provides legal advice to the Public Service Commission.” The former government minister noted that the PSC is one of the players that might have to deal with the Harris-Lake matter. The Boundaries Commission, meanwhile, is a respondent in a case set to get underway on Friday, and a claimant in an application to strike the same matter. “This thing has deep and broad implications not just for the people involved, but for good governance for our judicial system,” he argued. According to Astaphan, “certain individuals want to interfere with the judicial system” a clear reference to the Denzil Douglas administration. Astaphan is contending that the move against Harris-Lake has left many questions unanswered. Photo: Dwyer Astaphan
“Has she been singled out for punishment; is the fact that Timothy Harris is her brother relevant to the treatment that she is getting,” Astaphan queried. Dr Harris, a former senior government minister in the Douglas administration, now has his own People’s Labour Party. The PLP is one of three opposition parties collaborating in a unity partnership arrangement they hope will defeat the governing Labour Party at elections expected to be held in the near future. Opposition politicians, including Eugene Hamilton, deputy leader of the People’s Action Movement, are accusing the government of interfering with the judiciary.
Our Scripture Verse Today When No One Is Looking Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Philippians 1:27 (NIV) At the plant where I work, forklift drivers are required to wear seat belts at all times. This is because even a minor collision can be fatal. Still, safety rules can be frustrating when you are in a hurry. I was working alone one evening, tired and eager to finish my tasks. Knowing the safety coordinator had already gone home, I was tempted to ignore the seatbelt policy. Who would know? But I obeyed anyway · not because I feared getting in trouble, but because it was for my own good. Paul feared that his friends at Philippi might live differently if no one held them accountable. He acknowledged how they had obeyed him while he was with them and then explained that it was even more
important that they remain obedient in his absence. I can relate to that. It is easier for me to be Christlike when I know others are watching me. But when I am alone or around strangers, I am often tempted to compromise my values and revert to bad habits. Just like the seat-belt policy at work, GodÊs rules about how we should act are for our own good. When we are tempted to compromise, we can remember that each act of obedience draws us one step closer to Jesus · and he is always paying attention to us. Johnathan Kana (Texas, USA) Prayer: Dear God, thank you for sending Jesus to show us the way to live. Strengthen us when we are tempted to compromise our integrity. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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Montserrat: The case of its two National Songs By Claude Gerald
It is weirdly unique but factual. Montserrat has two national songs at the same stages of ripening. Only that one has little more traction momentarily. Nature and its biological laws would be hard pressed to replicate this man-made intriguing scenario. To contemplate this, as a national and a supporter of development through people, it takes the mind down a path of confusion and embarrassment, to be lost in the analysis that such conundrum brings. In the early nineties there was a political drive to distinguish certain assets in keeping with our growth as a developing nation. Reuben Meade, current Premier, headed a new Government and supported the concept. Dr. Howard Fergus, UWI’s Resident tutor energetically represented that notion, exemplified in the naming of Bramble Airport, to honour our first Chief Minister, W.H. Bramble who laid impregnable cornerstones for our development. It was just the beginning of a movement that one can only guesstimate the extent of growth that might have been fashioned from this germ of an idea. Symbols are the uniform that highlight and give credence to a people emerging from a colonial past. No surprise therefore when a contest was formulated to select a national song. Musicians and writers began to jostle to put their artistry in top gear in producing work symbolic of our history and aspirations. A national song is powerfully appealing and engages every organ of the body, touching sublimely the soul of the singer and the listener. It is a signature statement of who we have become. Denzil Edgecombe’s “Montserrat: My Country” competed with Dr. Fergus’s “Motherland”, co-written by the cultural virtuoso of his generation, Professor George Irish and emerged as the chosen song of national significance all through the volcanic period to the present. There may have been dissenting voices but no visible and open
rebellion to the choice of song. Significantly Dr. Fergus had graciously congratulated his winning rival and publicly proclaimed the song when the occasion arose in the ensuing years. It was used variously when needed, acknowledged and promoted as the national song by officialdom through the many changes of government that were realized since its initial acclamation. Some schools have learned and sang it melodiously, rising to attention and giving the requisite honour that symbolizes this signature characteristic of our evolution. In keeping with the shifting national priorities that emerged since the historic July 1995 eruption of Mount Soufriere volcano, legislative progress on sealing its entitlement was put on hold. The legislature never tabled it, as it seeks to do now to an imposter song, that gained competitive legs when again this Reuben Meade led government, initiate the launching of a new national song in 2013, engineered by its chief spin-doctor, Justin ‘Hero’ Cassell and parliamentary secretary Jermaine Wade and others. This new competition went nation-wide and beyond in the Dispora, encouraging widespread participation. Sir Howard Fergus entered his 1995 piece once more. Denzil Edgecombe refused claiming that there is no need to repeat the process given that his song is in place and there was no move to say it was not. Sir Howard’s prevailed this time and legislative approval is being hurriedly sought to concretize the song’s elevation, shortly after a winning competition. There is tangible evidence of recognition of “Montserrat: My country as the national song in many quarters even internationally. Edgecombe engaged the Premier in several unanswered letters seeking clarification on the issue since 2011 when first mooted. His silence was deafening and when challenged by the media for an explanation, he fired that the process had never been legitimized through the legislature as would be done with a new search.
Our airport, landing strip and our air services Is there something wrong with our airport? You tell me. Our airport was given to us by The EU and UK. The landing strip is approximately 600 metres long, now accepted as an international airport (TRPG), and is easily the one most import aspect of our sustainable development. But a bad workman blames his tools . When we were given the Airport my understanding is that we were given specific instructions for its use and we are now suffering a measure of economic loss for not having continued to follow these instructions. I would imagine that the EU/UK governments arrived at these instructions after considerable research. 1. Use twin otter aircraft (best for landing strip) 2. Use WINAIR (largest fleet of twin otters in the region with years of experience flying them into short landing strips,and their maintenance and fleet only 40 flying minutes away.) 3. Have a Public Service Obligation agreement with WINAIR. (for the protection of the traveling public.) It would appear that the UK civil servant who researched our air transportation needs at that time did a thorough job. We in Montserrat were very skeptical , emotional, and totally uninformed . We wanted LIAT. WINAIR services began in
July, 2005. For three years, in spite of cancellations, delayed flights , delayed baggage and bitter complaints, WINAIR ,using their own and a charter company’s twin otters, managed an incident free air service to Montserrat. But we were still dissatisfied, we wanted the very best possible of everything including service. Consequently WINAIR was treated with little respect by the then government and also by the Montserrat Tourist Board, both of whom appear to have had little knowledge of the airline industry. The cry for “our own airline” was initiated in one group, and like ‘crucify him’ the lower echelons of the society took it up. There were only a few knowledgeable dissenting voices. It was amazing that we, at the time a virtual welfare state of Britain, would presume to feel entitled to our own airline, regardless of our population and earning power. It would be revealing to learn where this refrain was first started. Enroute to this position and as soon as we were able to dispense with WINAIR’s services, in June, 2008 we went into a disastrous arrangement with LIAT/ Carib Aviation. I will mention here that a member of my staff bet me that it would last no longer than 6 months. The Montserrat Reporter
June 20, 2008, Headline “New airlink service between Antigua and Montserrat” “Liat/Carib two year Air service agreement”. On July 11, 2008 “Liat 1974 Ltd temporarily suspended its commercial arrangements with Carib Aviation.” (Who could still feel that Liat should be involved in our air access?). My understanding is that when approached for help “they were dismissive”.(Liat) Where does the Montserrat Government store it’s historical data? We have already been subjected to a disastrous arrangement with Liat when we lost to them our very own twin otter in the days of Montserrat Aviation Services Ltd. Government must have these records. Friday July 25, 2008. Headlines “Montserrat air link service new contract falls short.”(Service started July 1, 2008.) Friday, September 12, 2008. Headlines “Air link woes and uncertainty rule as Carib Aviation folds its wings.” Below this headline is a photograph of a WINAIR twin otter and headline “Montserrat goes full circle with WINAIR”. (this is fact, a truth that is stranger than fiction. We all lived through it). One continues to wonder which government technicians advised on this arrangement. Montserrat has not yet recovered
from the folly of this most unwise decision. Had we been adult in our outlook and patient with WINAIR, Montserrat would have enjoyed years of the airline exposure and the easy accessibility to Montserrat which WINAIR would have brought, and can still bring to us. The then Government was in an unenviable position. WINAIR cont’d. on page 9
He dared anyone who is not pleased with what he is doing to resort to the court. He mentioned that the Editor of the Reporter had famously challenged his 2009 nomination in the election, implicitly gloating over the Editor’s failed attempt, which had to do only with filing a document in specified time. Recognizing that the court is the final arbiter of such matters in administering breaches of law governing the state and its citizens, Mr. Meade is inviting a judicial review of his actions. It must be made crystal to him that unlike the technicality (EC$300 bond that was not paid in time) which prevented the hearing and full exposure of the facts in 2009, that enlivened and secured his Premiership that litigants are more wise four years ahead. Judges have real power to make the law. Society expects them to be bold. It was far more important to the growth of the law and the political interest of citizens to hear the case rather than living the black letter of an antiquated 60 year old law. This is the equivalent of a dumb executive arm of government. Premier Meade may well be missing something of key importance in his arrogance and of necessity needs to engage legal counsel on this score, to assess his chances in case a legal rebut mounts from offending parties. If this is the way he continues to practice his politics, immorally if not illegally in transgression, trampling contemptuously on the rights of citizens, he will have to reckon with the people, whose desire for accountability he so often callously frowns on. This attitude can precipitate a regime of tyranny in its worst forms. When leadership sets that pace, followers bent on self preservation, become empowered to blot out reason and spread anarchy in forms that can escalate over time. It is the atmosphere in which Satanism thrives comfortably. The saving grace of our constitution is that the rule of law still exists as a buffer against the powerfully powerful. Lady Chief Justice of the OECS Bar at the start of the law year highlighted the rule of law as a corner stone of justice. Decaying it would be, she should have argued if this important theoretical concept was not buttressed by men and women of steel especially at the judgeship levels as the CCJ’s Sir Dennis Byron rendered to UWI, Jamaica students last year. Nonetheless the rule of law gives the citizens the right and indeed that assurance that those bent on propagating tyranny, even at the level below physical abuse, will be made to account for their actions when they cross the boundary into gross indecency. Citizens must be ever mindful that in the absence of challenges to secure their democratic rights that no man will be free to enjoy earthly comforts. Bold actions are thus seen in a broader light of public service and public good, the creation of which will redound to the preservation of a life fit to be lived. The road map to a clearer understanding of where this controversy goes is unclear at this time of reporting. It is predictable that we have not seen the end of this matter. No matter how and where it goes one thing is certain: This awkward issue will tarnish legacies for good. Claude Gerald is a social commentator who lives and enjoys life on Montserrat. Ceegee15@hotmail.com
aerial view of John A Osborne Airport
Friday, October 11, 2013
Montserrat Secondary School and the Sir Aurthur Lewis Community College capture First Places in 2013 OECS Essay Competition Nadia Browne of the Montserrat Secondary School and Gernic Soudine, former student of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in Saint Lucia are the first place winners in the respective categories of the 13th OECS Essay Competition, hosted and sponsored by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). Nadia emerged winner of the age 14 – 16 category with her essay on the topic: “In today’s economic climate, many school leavers are faced with high unemployment rates within the OECS countries. What can the youth do to turn this situation into opportunities for entrepreneurship?” In response to the question, Nadia suggested that the youth should take advantage of entrepreneurship opportunities provided by the government and organisations; embrace agriculture; start cottage industries; transform theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom into practical every day skills; and collaborate with other young people to develop strong businesses. Gernic, who has since graduated from school, won the age 17 – 19 category with her discussion on the topic: “Agriculture is a viable booster for OECS economies.” She noted that while agriculture was once a major booster for OECS econo-
Jael Gumbs - 2nd place (14-16 age category) Ajay Williams - 3rd place (14-16 age category) Nadia Browne - 1st place (14-16 age category) mies and that sector can still be schools in the eight ECCU memrespectively in the age 17 – 19 most entries. seen as an important industry, ber countries, submitted entries. Certificates category. the challenges which farmers The essays were assessed for The first place winners o f r e c o g n i in the OECS face, including the content, soundness of points, in each of the categories will tion will also erosion of trade preferences and logical development, knowledge each be awarded a $2,500 cash b e a w a r d e d the lack of advanced technol- of the subject, command of lanprize and a grant of $1,500 will to students in ogy, limit agriculture as a viable guage and presentation. be awarded to their respec- each category booster for OECS economies. Jael Gumbs of the Washtive schools. The students for the essays The OECS Essay Com- ington Archibald High School, who placed second will receive which did not petition, which is part of the St Kitts and Nevis and Ajay Wil$1,500 and their schools will place among ECCB’s community outreach pro- liams of the Saint Lucia Seventhbe presented with a grant of the top three gramme, is aimed at encouraging Day Adventist Academy, Saint $1,000; while the third place but were adcritical thinking and raising the Lucia were adjudged second and winners will each receive judged the best awareness of secondary school third place winners respectively $1,000 and their schools a in the respecand college students in the East- in the age 14 - 16 category. tive countries. grant of $500. ern Caribbean Currency Union Clayticia Daniel and Uta Trish The Charlestown Second(ECCU) on issues of economic Taylor of the Charlestown Secary School and Nevis Sixth and social development. ondary School and Nevis Sixth Form College will be awarded a right: Maria One hundred and thirty-two Form College, St Kitts and Nevis grant of $500 for submitting the Figueroa (132) students, representing won second and third places
ECCB to host 2nd Annual Business Innovation contest for ECCU Secondary School and Community College Students
Name of Student Kamilah Parker Tiffany Johnson Risy Roberts Keeta Robertson Tajh Carty Collet Gordon Nickel Cuffy Nelson Chitan Maria Figueroa
Country/School Category: Age 14 – 16 Antigua and Barbuda – Antigua Girls’ High School Commonwealth of Dominica – Convent High School Grenada – Beacon Secondary School St Vincent and the Grenadines – Thomas Saunders Secondary School Category: Age 17 - 19 Anguilla – Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School Antigua and Barbuda – Antigua State College The Commonwealth of Dominica – Dominica State College Grenada – Beacon Secondary School Montserrat – Montserrat Secondary School Uta Trish Taylor - 3rd place (17-19 age category)
Clayticia Daniel - 2nd place (17-19 age category)
As part of the activities for Financial Information Month 2013, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) will host its 2nd annual Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) Business Innovation Contest for Secondary School and Community College Students. This year, the students are required to conceive an innovative business idea geared towards a specific business, social or economic need and/or problem which they have observed in their respective countries. The idea should be articulated in a supporting business plan which a panel of judges will assess mainly on innovativeness, viability and potential impact. The theme for Financial Information Month (FIM) 2013, “Reshaping our Future. Starting Now!” recognises the need for new and vibrant business ideas which address the socioeconomic challenges which confront the region. The contest harnesses the essence of this theme by challenging the young people of the ECCU to take steps to reshape their future through innovation. The key objective of the contest is to support the ECCB’s mandate to promote growth in the currency union. The contest is open to students from the eight member countries of the ECCU. The first place regional winner will receive a cash prize of $3,000; second place $2,000 and third place $1,000. The school with the most entries will be awarded a cash prize of $1,000 and the top entry from each country which does not place among the regional winners will receive a Meritorious Award of $500. The deadline for the submission of entries for the ECCU Business Innovation Contest for Secondary School and Community College Students is Friday, 29 November. The winners will be announced in March 2014 at the prize giving ceremonies which are held at the respective schools.
2013 OECS Essay Competition - Best in Country Winners
Friday, October 11, 2013
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UN Resident Co-ordinator for Barbados visits Montserrat
Mr. O’Malley attends press conference where he fielded questions from Mr. James White (ZJB) and Mr. Bennette Roach (The Montserrat Reporter)
cont’d. from page 3 The United Nations Resident Coordinator for Barbados nomic rebound where we see it in other parts Mr. Stephen O’Malley of the world… an unfortunate differentiation between a certain group of people who are doing quite well and others who are not benefitting as much,” continuing, “so inequality appears to us to be growing across the world and that’s something we’re very interested in,” he said. He noted however, “this region is considered to be a middle income, these are middle income states that do quite well,” as he qualified, “certainly don’t have the pockets of extreme poverty that you find in other parts of the world…” He said the UN is working and questioning, “how can we have more inclusive growth, so not just growth that shows year on year improvements in GDP, but also that everybody particularly the less well-off are also benefiting as well.” In rounding up on some of the UNDP The UN resident co-ordinator fielded efareas of interest, Mr. O’Malley addressed the ficiently questions and comments from ZJB area of statistics. “That is something where and The Montserrat Reporter. He recorded his we are really trying to help a number of the appreciation and thanks to everyone for a very countries at the OECS to look at what more warm welcome to Montserrat. At the beginning as can be done in that area and particularly we he introduced himself, he said: “Well thank you have a strong interest in what we call multi- very much and thanks for the warm welcome to dimensional - how do we better assess the real Montserrat,” I started my role as UN Resident situation of people…” he said. Coordinator…”
Jamaican Shanique Myrie wins landmark case against Barbados
Written by Caricom News Network The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) acting in its original jurisdiction, on Friday struck a blow in favour of free movement within the CARICOM community when it ruled in favour of Jamaican Shanique Myrie in her case against the Barbadian government and awarded her damages to the tune of BDS$75,000. A release from the court said it found that Myrie had been wrongfully denied entry into Barbados, subjected to a humiliating cavity search and unlawfully detained overnight in a cell and expelled from the island. She instituted proceedings in May, 2012 alleging that Barbados had violated her right to free movement within CARICOM. Myrie had also claimed that she was subjected to discrimination on the ground of her nationality when Barbadian officials refused her entry into Barbados on March 14, 2011. Jamaica intervened in the proceedings and at the trial supported the claims of Myrie. She gave evidence, which was corroborated by Jamaican
medical practitioners, that the treatment she received continues to cause her post-traumatic stress. “The Court rejected Ms Myrie’s claim that she was discriminated against on account of her nationality, but found for her on the other claims. In the course of its judgment the CCJ held that CARICOM nationals are entitled to enter CARICOM Member States, without harassment or the imposition of impediment, and to stay for up to six months,” the release said. It noted that this right was derived from the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC) and a 2007 CARICOM Decision made at the Twenty-Eighth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM. The right requires Member States to give the refused person written reasons for the refusal and also to advise them of their entitlement to access meaningful judicial review. The right may be denied only where the receiving State establishes that the visitor is an undesirable person or one likely to become a charge on public funds. The Court defined “undesirable” as a person who “poses or can reasonably be expected to pose a genuine present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society.” The Court also ordered Barbados to refund Myrie her medical expenses, her airline ticket and her reasonable legal expenses. The full judgment of the Court is available on the CCJ’s website:Myrie v Barbados -Executive Summary 4 October 2013
Friday, October 11, 2013
Kids time - In your own korner Hello everyone – It is kid’s time with Auntie Lyka “In Your Own Korner”. It’s almost mid term. Can you believe it? Yes it is! I hope you have settled down in school. Make sure you study for your mid term examinations. Remember “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” So do your preparation . Read a book a you go along. ended. “I running, you running, he/she/it runI LIVED IN A TINY HUT made of bamboo and ning.” We did this for all verbs. coconut leaves and lined with dozens of mats, English was the link between Tonga and pieces of tapa cloth, and wall-to-wall children. by Tina Martin other land masses. And English was the exercise When I sat on the floor with my back against that kept me scrawny, the worst physical defect a the back door, my feet almost touched the front body could have in the Tongan culture, where fat door. There was no electricity or running water, was beautiful. I tried to compensate for my lack so I used a kerosene lamp and drew water of bulk by being very anga lelei (good-natured), from the well. There were breadfruit trees and which was their most cherished personality trait. avocado trees around my hut, and if I wanted After school the children would come a coconut, the children climbed a tree for me. home with me and stay, singing Tongan songs The kids I taught were always with me, and the ones I’d taught them. and I loved them even more than I once loved Then I tried to help them prepare for the my privacy. I always wanted to have children, sixth grade exam that would determine their but I never thought I’d have so many and so scholastic future. And they helped me prepare soon. These were the children I would like to whichever vegetable was to be my dinner. see back home — children who had never even The children never left until I was safely seen a television set and didn’t depend upon tucked into bed under my canopy of mosquito over a pre-soaped me. They sometimes braided “things” for their entertainment because they net on top of tapa cloth. Then I blew out my didn’t have any things. For fun, they taught my hair and helped me get dressed for school. lamp, laid down, and listened to songs from a each other dances and songs, and they juggled Then they walked me there, where I used the kava ceremony nearby. Sometimes there was oral English method we learned in training — oranges. light from what a Tongan teacher told me was They woke me up in the morning, calling acting out the language so there’s no need for now the “American moon,” since we had put a through my bamboo poles. They took my five translation. man there. On moonless nights, I fell asleep in “I’m running! I’m running!” I said as I ran sentini and got me freshly baked bread from the complete darkness. But I fell asleep knowing in front of the class. “I’m running. I’m running!” shop across the lawn, and they helped me eat it. that I would always wake up under the Tongan Some of them watched the ritual of my morning I took a child by the hand. sun. “Run!” I said, and eventually he did. The goal bath-water drawn from the well and heated on Tina Martin (Tonga 1969–71) my kerosene stove and poured into a tin, then was to have a running paradigm, which usually
Under the Tongan Sun
Using the BrainTracker grid below, how many words can you find? Each word must contain the central R and no letter can be used twice, however, the letters do not have to be connected. Proper nouns are not allowed, however, plurals are. Can you find the nine letter word? Excellent: 100 words. Good: 80 words. Average: 60 words.
Pre-School Corner Hello to you my preschool friends. Today we will do numbers and colour . Enjoy.
See you next week right here
In Your Own Korner. Where we will have fun Kids write your stories, tell us about yourselves. Email or post - Write to Aunty Lyka, at P.O. Box 306, Davy Hill, or send email to: email@example.com
Add the numbers to complete the pyramid
Friday, October 11, 2013
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ALP files motion to stop voter re-registration By Martina Johnson ST JOHN’S, AntiguaAround noon yesterday, Antigua Labour Party (ALP) attorney Samantha Marshall filed an originating motion on behalf of ALP Leader
Gaston Browne and ALP spokersman Lionel “Max” Hurst, making good on the oppostion’s threat at the start of the week to stop voter reregistration currently under way.
Marshall said the moRe-registration began tion is seeking injunctive on Monday ahead of general relief to halt what the claim- elections constitutionally ants allege is an unlawful re- due next year. registration process as well The claimants say the as declaratory orders stating the process is unlawful.
Montserrat retains rating cont’d. from page 3 “Montserrat has a low net general government debt burden of four per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) and a low interest burden of less than one per cent of government revenues thanks to U.K. and EU grant support. “We expect that external grants of nearly 87 per cent of current account receipts (CAR) - or just over 50 per cent of GDP - that Montserrat will receive in 2013, plus net foreign direct investment, portfolio equity investment, and other external borrowing totalling nine, one and 16 per cent of CAR, respectively, will cover the island’s external financing needs. “
It said Montserrat’s external financing needs total upwards of 150 per cent of CAR and usable reserves. “As the development of the port and town centre progresses over the next few years, we expect imports of construction materials and capital goods will raise Montserrat’s external financing gap. The island’s indigenous banks remain net external creditors. ““However, they could reverse this position in favour of domestic lending if private-sector investment opportunities materialize around the port and new town centre on the island. Like many Caribbean peers, Montserrat does not publish an international investment
re-registration is in breach of the Constitution and the Representation of the People Act 2001 under which it was outlined that Common-
wealth citizens would be eligible to register to vote after legally residing in Antigua for three consecutive years.
Montserrat’s air services
cont’d. from page 5 had been relieved of their duties in favour of the Liat/Carib fiasco after position, which contributes having provided the service for to material inconsistencies of three years WITHOUT SUBSIDY. external data,” S&P added. It is interesting to note that at In last year’s Overview, the end of WINAIR’s contract in S&P reported: “U.K. insti- June 2008 WINAIR was the only tutional and financial sup- airline who responded to the tender port for Montserrat remains document . (Some in high places strong, which we expect will were saying “we have options”, continue to support Mont- which indicates the total lack of serrat’s medium-term fiscal correct information available , then sustainability and low debt and now, which would assist our governments in making informed burden. decisions.) As a result, we are afThe Montserrat Reporter of firming the ‘BBB-/A-3’ September 12, 2008 quotes a sovereign credit ratings on Government minister “we will Montserrat. be very careful this time round to The outlook is stable, make sure whoever is chosen to reflecting our expectation provide the service into Montserrat that the U.K. and EU’s strong will have interline agreements with institutional and financial other established carriers”. (To support of Montserrat will date we are still far away from continue through the me- this, now 5 years later and this shortcoming is proving detrimental dium term and foreseeable to our economy). future. The statement was very interesting, as WINAIR, even at that time 2008, was in possession of these requirements. Again no government technician was able to provide the information which would have assisted our government in making informed decisions. WINAIR agreed to return but only WITH SUBSIDY and hence the commencement of subsidy on the route. WINAIR’s service came to an end in January, 2011. They had their own domestic challenges and were faced with a pending situation in Montserrat where they would , even with subsidy have been obliged to compete with a subsidized ferry and another air carrier with whom they shared the route for a short period; and they had no written agreement with the Montserrat Government at that time. They had returned to take us out of a dilemma and almost panic in certain circles as they had virtually closed their inventory of airline seats into Montserrat. The Montserrat Reporter, November 26, 2010 “WINAIR dumps Montserrat end of December”. Both airlines presently providing a service to Montserrat are doing the best they can, but THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. We all know this. They cannot help our development. They were obviously the only option for the very short term.(Did our access coordinators see this as a long term or very short term solution?) We must have an airline with GDS connections. This is essential. The island is suffering as neither of our airlines can be found in
any detail in a Global Distribution Services. We need the exposure that such an airline will afford us. Even if it operates only a few days a week along with one or more of our existing services. It is surprising that our access coordinators and our tourist board failed to appraise our Government of this shortcoming in our air services. It is small wonder that only a very few people who live outside of Montserrat know how to get here. A Virgin Atlantic executive in Barbados had to email me to ask for instructions on getting here from Antigua. Many of us seem to have a misconception that one of our air services was handled by Virgin Atlantic in Antigua. This is untrue/incorrect as Virgin do not even handle themselves in Antigua but have a handling agent called Dispatch Services, who also handle Delta Airlines. Virgin Atlantic was previously handled in Antigua by ASA. Unfortunately, since WINAIR discontinued their service, Montserrat has not shown up in any airline or travel agents reservation computer .Hence the need to tell even an airline employee how to get here. Call an international airline and tell them you want to get to Montserrat from London, New York or anywhere, make a note of the replies you receive. On the other hand say you want to get to Saba ,St Barts or even Barra (most dangerous airport in the world in the Outer Hebrides). In a minute or less you will have a route and timings and fares for the latter three, but they will probably tell you that no airline flies to Montserrat any more, or worse that there seems to be no airport there. How can this help our tourist industry and indeed our development if so few know how to get here? By the way John A Osborne/ Geralds airport in not listed in the ten most dangerous airports in the world. But Barra, most dangerous, has several BA services daily, (except Sundays) twin otters, Saba (shortest landing strip in the world at 400 metres and second most dangerous, has four WINAIR twin otters daily.) St Barts, third most dangerous 651 metres but very dangerous approach. Last winter they enjoyed 23 WINAIR twin otter flights per day. WINAIR is in a GDS. Our airport at 600 metres is under-utilized, it can accommodate 3+ twin otters per hour. Call our airport and check. During opening hours I reckon we could have 500+ passengers arrive in a day. How many are we
having? Our airport is easily the one most important aspect of our sustainable development. Two of our very close Caribbean neighbours have more dangerous airports than we have, and look at their tourism, but the main airline providing their service is in a GDS, so any international airline and any travel agent virtually anywhere in the world can tell you in seconds how to fly to Saba or St Barts. But not to Montserrat. We all wanted larger and safer airports, but our neighbours are doing so much better with theirs than we are with ours. Montserrat is now very little known to the airline world. Do your own research on the most dangerous airports in the world and see their frightening approaches and runways with no room for expansion. They are getting on with their responsibilities without complaint. We can improve our economy with more efficient use of our airport. It is time to take this issue seriously and either use an established functioning airline which encompasses the specifications for the use of John A Osborne airport and has the overall requirements to improve our economy and also give a measure of satisfaction to the Montserrat traveling public and scores of potential visitors; i.e GDS capability, connections with international carriers which could in some instances save us every cent of Antigua’s crippling taxes, ($EC300 + on an adult fare Montserrat London return.) or have our existing air services improve by acquiring these capabilities. (And it is doubtful if a government can “help” an “airline” with no connections to any operating airline to get into a GDS.) My understanding is that for a twin otter operation to be viable it must carry minimum 30,000 passengers per year and this was from someone currently involved in a company in the region who operates twin otters commercially. Maintenance after every 50 hours of flying with trained certified engineers. (ECCAA requirements). I wonder about the reason for the Noakes recent consultancy on access to totally refrain from any mention whatsoever of WINAIR. It is difficult to imagine that our present Government did not make this so important and historical information on access to Montserrat available to him. If so, this is not only curious but deplorable. Occasionally a government’s “hands are tied.” Unfortunately this happens in situations where there are “mafia” type elements cont’d. on page 12
Friday, October 11, 2013
Antiguan arrested and fined Call to legalise ganja resonates $15,000 for marijuana possession with CARICOM leaders Following his arrest on September 30, 2013, Brian George an Antigua football official was fined $15,000.00 on Friday October 4 for the offences possession of cannabis sativa, said to have been nearly four pounds, possession with intent to supply, and drug trafficking. George was part of the management crew while in Montserrat for a friendly match against the national team. The matches have been taking place at the Blakes football stadium for the past few weeks and before. George who was represented by a local attorney was asked to the pay the EC$15,000.00 fine immediately, which he did. He was freed and has since left the island. Sources have hinted
marijuana plant which was reportedly landed on the island several weeks ago. The police have not verified the information, but the speculation is that Montserrat was the eventual conduit for the drop intended for elsewhere. Meanwhile three Dominicans and one Venezuelan remain in custody since January charged with drug possession and importation. There have been several hearings on the matter involving various legal ranglings, while they remain in custody.
The arrests resulted from the Royal Montserrat Police Service (RMPS) operation on January 30, known as ‘operation insertion’ into the exclusion zone resulting in the recovery of two separate burial sites which yielded the seizure of approximately 65 kilos of cocaine, having an estimated approximate street value of over three million dollars. The suspected narcotics were transferred out of Montserrat immediately for safe storage and forensic examination.
CARICOM leaders meeting in Trinidad: (L-R) Secretary General Irwin LaRocque; Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart; Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar; and St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves. Photo: OPM leaders agreed to engage each Stuart and CARICOM Secretary By Marcia Braveboy Caribbean News Now Senior other on this hot topic and has General Irwin LaRocque were also promised by February 2014 to present at the meeting. Correspondent Also part of the discussion PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad make available research data on -- In the words of the late Bob decriminalising the use of small was the economic challenges facing member states. Marley, “Excuse me while I light amounts of marijuana. The matter came up at the my spliff … every little thing is that the discovgonna be alright.” That’s if and 27th meeting of the bureau of the ery could have when the law allows it, of course. conference of heads of governcome from and But it seems there’s a new ment of the Community, which was part of a urge for legal ganja in the Carib- was held in Port-of-Spain on l a rg e s u p p l y bean these days. The Trinidad Tuesday. of marijuana Persad-Bissessar noted that and Tobago Chief Justice Ivor Archie wants it, and apparently several states in the US have Caribbean Community (CARICOM) legalized the use of marijuana and leaders want it, with a conversa- CARICOM will do its research and tion beginning this week about present their findings next year. “With respect to the use of legalising the use of small portions of marijuana. During his speech marijuana, about 16 states in the at the opening of the law term US have legalised the use. But we on Monday, Chief Justice Archie will have to do more research. The called for the decriminalisation CARICOM Secretariat is tasked to of the use of inconsequential do more research. The National amounts of marijuana. He says it Drug Council has been asked to is a sure way of helping to unclog prepare a paper for decision. We Chief Justice Ivor Archie (R) and Prime Minister the criminal justice system in will have much more consulta- Kamla Persad-Bissessar walking next to each Trinidad and Tobago. The backlog tion and in February of next year other at the opening of the law term in Trinidad Montserrat Police boat seizure resulting of cases has been a major bother research will be presented by the and Tobago on Monday. Photo: OPM from ‘Operation Insertion’ to the country’s judiciary for many team.” Only last week incoming years now. Trinidad and Tobago’s acting chairman of the conference, St commissioner of police Stephen Vincent and the Grenadines prime Williams told Caribbean News minister Ralph Gonsalves said Now he has no position on the regional governments should chief justice’s comments. He consider decriminalising marijuana would only share his position on use. Giving support to the idea at the conference, Gonsalves said it what the law is. Applications are invited from interested and suitably qualified nationals of the Caribbean “There is legislation govern- is not a bad idea to have discusCommunity (CARICOM) Member States and Associate Members of the Caribbean Community ing dangerous drugs and we have sions on legalising the use of small to fill the following position (funded by the Global Fund) with assigned duty station in Guyana: to enforce the law, if the law amounts of marijuana. “I understand in Trinidad in changes then we adjust to the (i) Strategy and Resourcing Officer, PANCAP changes of the law,” noted Wil- the Northern Range there is an liams, who is himself an attorney- excellent ganja being produced and you are importing a lot from at-law. Full details of this position may be obtained by accessing the following web sites-www.caricom. Decriminalising the famed Central and South America, and org; www.caribank.org; www.oecs.org; www.crnm.org and www.caribbeanjobsonline.com “spliff” that many young men the extent to which imports have in particular were sent to jail been coming from St Vincent has Applications in English Language with full curriculum vitae details, including nationality, work for, if caught with as little as a diminished considerably. The proexperience, educational qualifications and/or expertise, language proficiency, coordinates “joint”, is also being backed by duction in T&T has risen sharply,” (including email addresses) of three referees (at least two of whom must be familiar with CARICOM heads. Current chair Gonsalves said. the applicant’s work), and other relevant information, should be addressed to the Executive Immediate past chairman of of the regional body and prime Director, Human Resource Management, Caribbean Community Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater minister of Trinidad and Tobago the conference, Haiti’s president Georgetown, Guyana and sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Kamla Persad-Bissessar told the Michel Martelly attended the media on Tuesday that CARICOM meeting via video conferencing. The deadline for the submission of applications is 3 November 2013. Barbados Prime Minister Freundel
CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY SECRETARIAT STAFF VACANCY
Friday, October 11, 2013
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HMS Lancaster in £58m drug bust
CONSULTANCY TO DELIVER WORK PLAN FOR IMPROVING INFORMATION FLOWS WITHIN THE CARICOM SINGLE MARKET FOR ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, SAINT LUCIA AND ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
In the most recent incident, which happened at the start of the month, the ship was alerted to suspected traffickers by a Canadian tanker which had spotted a speedboat in the Western Caribbean. HMS Lancaster launched its Lynx helicopter - of 815 Naval Air Squadron, based in Yeovilton, Somerset - to pursue the boat, prompting the suspected drug runners to dump the drugs overboard. A Royal Marine sniper in the helicopter disabled the boat by shooting a hole in the engine, allowing the US Coastguard team to apprehend those on board. The HMS Lancaster crew and US Coastguards retrieved 17 large packages from the water, which were later found to be pure cocaine, thought to have a UK street value of around £55m. HMS Lancaster’s Commanding Officer, Commander Steve Moorhouse, said: “This is another fantastic result for Lancaster - and the multi-national counter-narcotics effort as a whole. “The level of co-operation that exists between units and nations working with the Joint Interagency Task Force is second to none and hopefully this bust will make those who choose to smuggle narcotics in the region think twice.’’ Just days earlier, the warship recovered marijuana weighing almost 1.2 tonnes when its crew had to recover 45 packets of the drug which had been dumped overboard in the middle of a thunder storm. The seizure came after Lancaster’s helicopter spotted a suspect vessel and started monitoring her movement.
ConsulƟng Firms/Agencies are invited to indicate their interest in providing this service. Interested Firms /Agencies must provide informaƟon indicaƟng that they are qualified to perform the services.
Gonsalves: time to talk
far during her deployment. In the most recent bust, HMS Lancaster’s Lynx helicopter chased a fast-moving speedboat, disabling it, and collected 17 packages of cocaine that had been dumped in the water. And just days before, sailors on the Portsmouth-based warship recovered marijuana weighing almost 1.2 tonnes after they were ditched by a speedboat in the
middle of a violent thunder storm. Announcing the latest success, the Royal Navy said at a wholesale price the cocaine would be worth just over £17m and the cannabis around £1.1m - but at street level the values would be much higher, nearer £58m. Armed Forces Minister Mark Francois said: “I visited HMS Lancaster earlier this year as the ship’s company prepared for their deployment so I’m pleased to hear
of the ship’s fourth major drugs bust in as many weeks. “We should be extremely proud of HMS Lancaster’s actions in the Caribbean and efforts to disrupt the supply of illegal, lifedestroying drugs. “This is another fantastic success for the ship’s company, their constant hard work and professionalism is a great international advert for the Royal Navy and our country. ‘’
CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (CARICOM) SECRETARIAT REQUEST FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST The Caribbean Community Secretariat has received funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), towards the cost of Supporting the CARICOM TRADE AND COMPETITIVENESS PROJECT, and intends to apply part of the fund to payment for the following consultancy service:
Eligible ConsulƟng Firms/ Agencies will be shortlisted and invited to submit proposals in accordance with the CARICOM Secretariat’s “Guidelines and Procedures”. The Terms of Reference may be viewed on the CARICOM website www.caricom.org/ jsp/secretariat/procurement.jsp . Further informaƟon may also be obtained from the following address: Programme Manager, AdministraƟve Services CARICOM Secretariat Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown Guyana Tel. 592-222-0001-75, ext.2326, Fax592-222-0168, Email: email@example.com Expressions of Interest must be submiƩed to the address below by 16:30 hrs, Monday. 14 October 2013: The Programme Manager, AdministraƟve Services Caribbean Community Secretariat Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown Guyana Tel. 592-222-0001-75, fax. 592-222-0080, email. firstname.lastname@example.org
be explored at the next meeting of the Bureau of CARICOM leaders scheduled for Trinidad on September 13. The letter added that preparatory work can possibly be done so as to place the matter in the agenda of the CARICOM InterSessional summit to be held here in February next year. Prime Minister Gonsalves said the general public disappointed with “the failure and or refusal of the political and civic leadership in CARICOM to jettison it or unnecessary caution and lethargy in addressing some of the controversial contemporary issues of real import”. Distinguished Caribbean professionals including Jamaican chemist and cancer researcher, Dr. Henry Lowe have been urging the use of marijuana product for a range of medical purposes.
part of cocaine parcel retrieved from the water
As soon as the speedboat saw them, they dumped the drugs and tried to flee, prompting an all-night game of “cat-and-mouse’’ which ended as soon as the speedboat entered Costa Rican waters and those on boat were arrested by waiting authorities. The navy said the cocaine seizure is HMS Lancaster’s sixth drugs bust of her deployment. Last month, £3.5m of marijuana was intercepted, while £100m of cocaine was seized in August as well as £700,000 of cannabis. The warship works with a US Coastguard team who carry out operations to stop illegal drug
Earlier this month, Dr. Lowe, speaking at a forum organised by the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper, spoke of how he was discouraged from pursuing work on the medicinal properties of the weed several years ago.
traffickers at sea. HMS Lancaster is on her fourth counter-narcotics patrol of the Caribbean region this deployment, and will continue to fight drugs trafficking until the end of the year. Her patrols are part of Operation Martillo, a combined effort by 15 nations to prevent criminal organisations from moving goods by air or sea in Central America, and stopping drugs trafficking from South America to the Caribbean and on to the UK. As well as counter-narcotics patrols, the ship is on hand to help British overseas territories in the region, especially to provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief during the hurricane season.
Lorne suggested that local politicians tended to wilt under the glare of the United States (US). “As a consequence of the US wielding that big stick over our head, our politicians are in fear,” he told the forum.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent & Tobago
Friday, October 11, 2013
Geothermal steady - silent progress? cont’d. from page 1 the Geothermal Unit had also advised that the intention is, “to let it continue to flow for a few days to monitor temperature and pressure.” All this was at the end of drilling of the second Well (Well #2). In a statement Beardsley had also explained that the next step will be to carry out specialist longterm testing. This will be carried out over several weeks and will determine the chemical composition of the geothermal fluids, as well as the temperature and pressure from the resource. This critical data will inform the design of the most cost-effective generation plant for our location. It will also give an estimate of the long term capacity of the resource. The long term testing will be carried out over the next couple of months. On September 10 at Governor Davis’ most recent press conference Dr. Kato Kimbugwe reported when asked for the short term update: “I am up to date with it and I think what I can say at the moment and again just being cautious and conservative is that we need to wait for all the test to be finalized,” he said. He said that as said morning he was advised the tests will be completed, “by the end of October.” He referred to the short term testing on which we were seeking information doesn’t give as much information. “…because the
testing period, you have the initial ten day test but that doesn’t give you as much information about the whole characteristics, until you’ve done the more longer term test which tells you the size of the resource and how much power can be produced.” The DFID private sector expert, then suggested, “I think it’s proper for us to be a little bit more patient and wait until the experts in the field,” remarking that he is, ‘not an expert (geothermal),’ who can then come back and tell us we’ve crunched our numbers, we’ve looked at the evidence and based on what we’ve seen this is the output on well number 1 and this is what is happening.” Finally, “I’m not engaging in any sort of discussion on what the results are because I don’t have anything in writing that tells me that this is the evidence,” he said. Following this the Governor intervened to inform, “Kato knows about this allot, because he has been asked by the DFID Minister in particular to give regular progress reports on geothermal. At that juncture, Kimbugwe further advised that on Well #2, “they have gone ahead and they are doing some additional drilling to get to three thousand (3,000) meters,” which should have been completed by the end of that week. Dr. Kimbugwe had even hinted that it might be closer to Christmas before final progress
could be reported. There has little or nothing reported since that report and it has been difficult to get information as to the progress. Sources have said that the drilling equipment has left the island reportedly for Dominica from whence it came initially. In the meantime while Premier Meade has been recounting the successes of the four years his MCAP government has had he has more to count on the future development of the island. One of these is geothermal energy production which he and DFID and some have come to believe will be a game changer for Montserrat. His latest pronouncement came at a weekly ‘government and people’ program on ZJB radio where he hosted ag. Station James White Jr. and editor Bennette Roach. While HMG has been saying that when the next phase of the geothermal development becomes available, they would seek private investor interest and the Montserrat Geothermal Power Co. (MGPC) has for some expressed an interest to, “on behalf of the people of Montserrat provide a bid for the geothermal power complex in response to an Expression of Interest (EoI) or any other legally authorised tender.” MGPC in a statement followed by a press conference on June 28, 2013, announced that it is a company, “set up with the
Have a Laugh!!! CUSSING
Two brothers, 6 & 8 were discussing whether the words ‘hell’ & ‘ass’ were cuss words. They both agreed that they were in the Bible and they didn’t believe they were bad words. Let’s try it out on mom. The 8yr old went in the kitchen, his mom asked: “what would you like for breakfast dear, some waffles or bacon & eggs?” He said: “What the hell, give me some cheerios”, and she smacked him across the face. The 6yr old witnessed this and slowly entered the kitchen. His mom in a stern angry voice said: “And what do you want?” He said: “You can bet your ass I’m not asking for cheerios”. NAMING BABIES A pregnant woman gets into a car accident and falls into a deep coma. Asleep for nearly six months, she wakes up and sees that she is no longer pregnant.\ Frantically, she asks the doctor about her baby. The doctor replies, “Ma’am, you had twins! A boy and a girl. The babies are fine. Your brother came in and named them.” The woman thinks to herself, “Oh no, not my brother — he’s an idiot!” Expecting the worst, she asks the doctor, “Well, what’s the girl’s name?” “Denise,” the doctor says. The new mother thinks, “Wow, that’s not such a bad name! Guess I was wrong about my brother. I like Denise!” Then she asks the doctor, “What’s the boy’s name?” The doctor replies, “DeNephew.” BIKERS A cheerful truck driver pulled up at a roadside cafe in the middle of the night for a dinner stop. Halfway through his meal, three wild-looking motorcyclists roared up– bearded, leather-jacketed, filthy. For no reason at all, they selected the truck driver as a target. One poured pepper over his head, another stole his apple pie, the third deliberately tipped his coffee over. The truck driver never said one word, just stood up, paid his check, and left. “That truck driver sure ain’t much of a fighter,” sneered one of the bikers. The girl behind the counter, peering out into the night, added, “He doesn’t seem to be much of a truck driver, either. He just ran his truck right over three motorcycles.”
EXPRESS purpose of enabling all the peoples of Montserrat to become shareholders in the single most important development to take place in living memory.” But Premier, the Hon. Ruben T Meade says has taken a decision to ensure in the initial stages that the geothermal project would be public enterprise for and on behalf of the people of the Emerald Isle. He said, “What we are saying and the stance which we are taking with the DFID minister in the UK, let us spend the money and develop that as a national resource. Let’s not get the foreign investor involved, let government deal with it with MUL and therefore the savings and the benefits will then come to government and the people of Montserrat, so the profits which have been taken by the foreign investor or the private investor that will then come to government as a nontax revenue, remember for government to spent it has to get money from some place, so you are sharing the savings with the consumer and government gets additional revenue which it can use for other services. So we are not having discus-
Dr. Kato Kimbugwe DFID sions with any private sector at least not at this stage perhaps after we learn the technology sufficiently and we wish to do further explorations then clearly we’ll have to find the means of raising that additional capital, but for the time being we want to go the full generation for the supply of electricity. Electricity will then be what we call clean energy it’s environmentally sown it’s green energy, we can then sell what you call our carbon credits to a European country, so you earn money from the fact that you are now preserving the environment, so you make additional revenue
which then comes into the government of Montserrat. KATO: I think the way we’ve dealt with geothermal set the tone for all the other SGP investments in that at every stage we will test the market to make sure that there is no private sector interest before any sort of UK funding is provided for geothermal So once that have been proven in terms of whether you have a resource or not and the size of that resource there are a number of things that need to happen we have to do another economic appraisal, update the existing economic appraisal to now plug-in the quantum of resource that you’ve got, you’ve also got to do an expression of interest as well as looking at existing legislation that you’ve got in place and whether that would create the enabling environment for private sector participation.
Montserrat’s air services cont’d. from page 9
usually coming from individuals who are employed in decision making areas of an international government with whom one must negotiate. Sadly, areas of the world receiving certain types of aid have their economies and development stifled by this type of horror. But communities know how to silently and patiently deal with this. Finally getting a twin otter and giving it to someone who has no GDS connections or agreements with international airlines will compound the issue and leave us in the doldrums for many many years to come. Also without GDS connections for our air services the tourism budget will continue to bring us very little in the form of the tangible returns that Montserrat urgently needs. The air services we now have, on their own are helping us to only “mark time”. We must move forward by using the services (additional or otherwise) of a more established airline. Our Government must take urgent steps to correct this deterrent to our growth. Access, both air and sea, to Montserrat with possibly only 3,000 inhabitants with earning power, would be considered by normal thinking people as part of our infrastructure. Why do the UK not tell us to stop the “want our own this and that.” These services are essential for our development and we must be assisted in paying for them, at least for the near future. Even communist govern-
ments make a mess of managing anything they own. Montserrat has already clearly proved that this is the area of our greatest incompetence. It is really time for us to take a stand on this constant trial and error, which seems to be simply protecting the continued employment of some of DFID’s personnel. One consultant when told that certain decisions were unlikely to work happily replied “well if it doesn’t we will try something else”. We need to use the services of established air and sea operators with whom we can negotiate arrangements for two years at a time so that we may get good rates and stop our “poverty stricken” uncertain arrangements, for very short terms. And remember, should we want “our own” ferry, that the ferries we had from after the closure of W.H. Bramble airport in 1997 to just before the opening of our airport in 2005 recorded only 11% occupancy. Where are our records to help us make informed decisions? Also one of these beautiful ferries Opal Express and sister ship, was rotting away in Perry Bay in Antigua. On asking, a solicitor told me that the ship was The Montserrat ferry that had been seized for debts to its owners. So, we must be careful here. These two ferries were so comfortable that someone told me that travelling on them was for her “like going on a cruise.” Will we get “our own” ferry and still have to subsidize it? I remember once while working in
Plymouth an American student of AUC telling me that “logic does not apply in Montserrat”. But as the economist very happily told me I suppose if “our own ferry doesn’t “fit the bill” we will simply try something else. In addition, all to the account of the Government and people of Montserrat. Our SDP 2008 -2010 “The SDP recognizes that Montserrat’s economy is demand deficient and without effective and efficient access by air and sea will remain in the doldrums.” Do our Government and their technicians not read these reports? If no one knows how to get here by air, how can our economy be anything but demand deficient and getting progressively in the doldrums? A learned black man once wrote, if you want to hide something from a black man put it in writing. But that, I imagine would have been decades ago. So many economists and yet SO MUCH HOPE (political and otherwise) VERSUS ECONOMIC REALITY.!!! GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM: An unbiased booking engine through which airlines and travel agents can access the schedules and fares of over 850 airlines, and a raft of travel services. The main Global Distribution Networks (GDS) are: Amadeus with 900+ airlines and travel agents worldwide Galileo Sabre Worldspan. Gloria M