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Montserrat 2019 General Elections heralds in a change of government

Five of these candidates were winners. Two newcomers to the Legislature: Crenston Buffonge with the most votes in the poll, (1st left back row); Veronica DORSETTE-HECTOR (2nd left front row); half-term incumbent, Dr. Sammy Joseph (1st from rt back row); and the leader now fourth time Legislator, Easton Taylor-Farrell (2nd from left back row); and veteran fourth time Legislator, Charles Kirnon (between 2001 and 2019)

The Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP) team of candidates that successfully returned five of their team in the just concluded Montserrat 2019 General Elections.

See here: 2019 Election Results

Posted in Announcements/Greetings, Business/Economy/Banking, Elections, Featured, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Leroy-King

Leroy King makes 1st appearance in US court on fraud charges

Caribbean News Service https://caribbeannewsservice.com/now/leroy-king-makes-1st-appearance-in-us-court-on-fraud-charges/

Former chief of the Financial Services Regulatory Commission in Antigua and Barbuda, Leroy King made his first appearance in a Texas court on Tuesday.

A media release from the United States Department of Justice on Tuesday announced Trial Attorney Brittain Shaw of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney and John Pearson of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.

Leroy King

King is the only remaining defendant in a $7 billion investment fraud scheme involving Stanford International Bank. He was extradited to the United States last week.

King, of Dickerson Bay, Antigua, had been a fugitive since 2009. He and R. Allen Stanford, the former chairman of the bank’s board of directors, were charged in the scheme.

King, 74, was indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit mail, wire and securities fraud; seven counts of wire fraud, 10 counts of mail fraud, one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. He was also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering.

King’s indictment alleges he accepted more than $100,000 in bribes from Stanford in exchange for ignoring the actual value of the bank’s assets, the news release said. Authorities believe he also assisted Stanford and others in obstructing the SEC’s investigation into the bank.

Stanford was found guilty by a federal jury in June 2012 for his role in orchestrating the scheme over a 20-year period. Stanford misappropriated $7 billion from the bank to finance his personal business, the release said, and he is serving a 110-year prison sentence.

Five others were convicted for their roles in the scheme, receiving sentences ranging from three to 20 years in federal prison.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Court, Crime, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

Church leaders urged to exercise restraint in their opposition to anti-sodomy laws

Church leaders urged to exercise restraint in their opposition to anti-sodomy laws

by staff writer

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Nov 15, CMC – The organisers of the Intimate Conviction Conference series are urging Caribbean church leaders to exercise restraint, even if they express their opposition to ending laws that criminalize consensual same-sex intimacy.

In a statement which was also signed by Jamaican attorney Maurice Tomlinson, a leading gay rights and HIV activist in the Caribbean, the organisers said they were inviting the Church leaders in response to heightened rhetoric by some Caribbean churches opposed to cases challenging anti-sodomy laws.

Maurice Tomlinson (File Photo)

“As organizers of the Intimate Conviction conference series, we note with alarm the heightened and sometimes hostile anti-LGBT rhetoric that is being generated by some religious leaders across the Caribbean, which is in response to current and impending challenges to regional anti-sodomy laws.

“As people of faith, we believe that Christians should show the world how to respectfully disagree.  We are therefore troubled that some of the language being used by clerics who oppose decriminalization will incite violence against LGBT people,” the statement noted.

It said that “as such, we are urging all Caribbean bishops, pastors, and priests to exercise restraint, even if they express their opposition to ending laws that criminalize consensual same-sex intimacy.

“In addition, we would like to invite persons, on whatever side of this debate, to join us for the next Intimate Conviction conference from April 24-26, 2020 in Barbados”.

The organisers said that this global dialogue will continue to examine the role of churches in anti-sodomy laws that started with the first conference in Jamaica in 2017.

They said that any Christian leader from any denomination who wishes to make a presentation at this conference, should contact Tomlinson, who is the coordinator of the conference by November 22.

“We have a limited budget and can pay for some presenters to join us from outside of Barbados. So, we welcome robust and respectful regional deliberations on this matter,” the organisers added.

“As Caribbean Christians, we pray that this public dialogue will help our region to achieve greater harmony and understanding and in the meantime, we urge careful and critical discussions of this very topical issue by all stakeholders.”

Posted in CARICOM, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional, Religion, Scriptures0 Comments

Literary Festival coming – its here

by Cathy Buffonge

Brades – Nov 2, 2019 – Montserrat’s Alliouagana Festival of the Word is just around the corner, and all are encouraged to check it out. The Festival will run from Thursday, November 14 to Sunday, November 17, and as usual, it promises to be an exciting weekend.

On the Thursday morning there’s the primary schools’ Book Parade, organized by the Ministry of Education with two of the visiting authors speaking to the children at the end of the Parade. They are Miami-based Montserratian journalist and author Edwin Martin, and Toronto-based Jamaican author, Olive Senior, both of whom also feature in the Festival events at the weekend.

On the Thursday evening there is the launch of the MVO’s exhibition “Disaster Passed?”, an exciting and innovative walk-in booth full of information and electronic representations about the volcanic activity and how it’s affected the island. This will remain open until Saturday afternoon when it will be moved to the Community College in time for the “Word Up” event.  Several calypsonians will also perform volcano-related songs.

The Arrow memorial lecture will also be presented on Thursday evening. This year’s lecturer is Dr. Clarice Barnes who will speak on the topic “The Chance Pond Mermaid and Diamond Snake Meme: contending issues in gathering our volcano stories”. This promises to be an interesting topic. The Thursday, Friday and Saturday sessions will all take place at the Cultural Centre.

On the Friday morning visiting authors will speak with students at the various schools including MSS and the Community College. The Friday evening features the official opening of the Festival, along with the launch of three new books.

The Saturday will feature sessions by two more visiting authors on some challenging topics on race and lingering inequality, as well as a presentation on West Indian builders of the Panama Canal. In the afternoon there will be the prize-giving for the MVO creative writing competition, always a nice occasion as the children read what they have written. This will be followed by the spelling and reading competitions, sponsored by publishers Harper Collins. Antiguan bookseller Barbara Arindell, a very faithful supporter of the Literary Festival, will coordinate.

The evening will see the annual “Word Up” at the Community College, featuring informal performances by students and other young people, always a popular event, together with the MVO’s interactive volcano exhibition, which will remain there for the rest of the week.

The Sunday sessions will be held at the MVO and will feature a session on Montserrat’s heroes and legends by Edwin Martin, discussing the massive contributions by three recently deceased Montserratians who contributed to the island in many different ways. Also on Sunday, there will be a video discussing reparations, a topic which ties in with some of Saturday’s sessions, and one of a musical by famous Caribbean writer Derek Walcott on the history of the Steelband. The history of Africa will also be in focus. The entire programme is coordinated as always by committed UWI Open Campus head Gracelyn Cassell.

I hope the above will sensitize folks to come to some or all of the sessions at the Alliouagana Festival, which are free of charge. The visiting resource persons are only here for the weekend and it’s a privilege and a unique opportunity to hear what they have to say.

Posted in CARICOM, Education, International, Kids, Local, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments

CARICOM pays respect to two regional politicians

CARICOM pays respect to two regional politicians

by staff writer

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Nov 15, CMC – The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) says it is saddened at the deaths of two regional politicians this week, including the former premier of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Ralph Telford O’Neal.

Ralph Telford O’Neal

O’Neal, the longest-serving elected representative in BVI history, died on Monday at the age of 85, while former Suriname government minister, Winston Lackin, 64, also died on Monday.

“Mr. O’Neal’s long and invaluable service to the territory was highlighted by his becoming its first Premier when the constitution was amended in 2007,” CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque said in a message of condolence to BVI Premier Andrew Fahie.

LaRocque said that “the depth of respect that Mr. O’Neal earned was evidenced by the praises showered on him by all sides of the political divide when he became the first member of the House of Assembly in recent Virgin Islands history to have been bestowed with the title of Member Emeritus.

“The contribution to his beloved BVI spanned much more than politics as he was involved in business, sport and virtually all aspects of the life of the territory,” La Rocque said, adding “his, was a voice that was also heard in support of regional integration, both at the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and CARICOM”,.

Winston Lackin

The Secretary-General said Lackin, who served as foreign minister from 2010-15, had an “energy and vibrant personality (that0 were continuously evident in the Councils of the Community during his tenure.

“His commitment to CARICOM and determination to ensure Suriname’s prominent role in advancing the goals of the integration process were a feature of his contributions to the discussions.  His contributions were always underpinned by a full command of the issues at hand,” La Rocque said in a message to President Desi Bouterse.

He said those characteristics were also evident in Lackin’s role as Ambassador for the Environment, highlighted by his organization of a major international conference on climate financing for High Forest Cover and Low Deforestation (HFLD) countries in Suriname last February.

Posted in CARICOM, International, Local, News, Obituaries, Politics, Regional0 Comments

Stepfather pleads guilty to raping 12-year-old child

Stepfather pleads guilty to raping 12-year-old child

by staff writer

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Nov 15, CMC – The High Court will sentence the stepfather of a 12-year-old child on January 24, next year after he pleaded guilty to having sex with her two years ago.

The man, who appeared before Justice Ian Morley admitted to having sex with his under-aged stepdaughter in 2017 and pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a female under the age of 14 contrary to Section 5 of the Sexual Offences Act.

The court heard that the sexual offence occurred on December 17, 2017, but that he had been interfering with the child a year earlier.

Media reports said that the man, who was not named, continued having sexual intercourse with the child, who had a breakdown in class in January this year.

The girl told her classmate about her step-father and the man was subsequently arrested after her mother made a report to the police.

Posted in Court, Crime, Kids, Local, Police, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Barbados to get funds from IMF in December following latest review of local economy

Barbados to get funds from IMF in December following latest review of local economy

by staff writer

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Nov 15, CMC – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Friday said that Barbados continues to make good progress in implementing its ambitious economic reform programme and that the island is in line to receive US$48 million in assistance by December.

An IMF team has ended a two-week visit here noting that the homegrown Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan aims to restore macroeconomic and debt stability, increase international reserves, and raise growth.

The IMF said that the BERT programme, supported by the IMF’s US$290 million Extended Fund Facility, is on track.

“All programme targets for end-September 2019 under the EFF have been met. The programme target for primary surplus was met by a comfortable margin, which bodes well for reaching the financial year 2019/20 primary surplus target of six percent of GDP (gross domestic product).”

The IMF said Barbados also continues to make good progress in implementing structural benchmarks under the EFF.

“Following productive discussions, the IMF team and the Barbadian authorities reached staff-level agreement on the completion of the second review under the EFF arrangement. The agreement is subject to approval by the IMF Executive Board, which is expected to consider the review in December. Upon completion of the review, about US$48 million will be made available to Barbados, bringing the total disbursement to US$144 million,” it added.

The IMF said that international reserves, which reached a low of US$220 million or an average six weeks of import coverage, in May last year, have recovered to more than US$600 million by the end of October this year.

“The completion of a domestic debt restructuring in late 2018 has been very helpful in reducing economic uncertainty, and the terms agreed with creditors have helped to put the debt on a clear downward trajectory,” the IMF said in a statement.

It said the agreement reached in October 2019 between the government of Barbados and the external creditor committee reduces debt and uncertainty and that the agreed terms will bring about an immediate reduction in public debt, with a 26 percent haircut on principal and accrued interest, and will support further debt reduction, with a lower interest rate.

“The terms of the new instrument will help Barbados reach its medium-term target of 80 percent debt/GDP (gross domestic product) by 2027/28, and 60 percent by 2033/34. The inclusion of a natural disaster clause in the new debt will help Barbados remain current on its debt obligations in the event of a natural disaster. By reducing uncertainty, the completion of the external debt restructuring improves prospects for investment.”

The IMF delegation said that the fiscal adjustment is proceeding as programmed, with the authorities targeting a six percent of GDP primary surplus for the financial year 2019/20.

It said full-year effects of reforms set in motion during the last financial year, including the introduction of several new taxes, including an airline travel fee, room levies, a new fuel tax, and a new health service contribution, are helping to achieve this target.

A broadening of the base of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and the land tax, implemented in March 2019 in the context of the financial year 2019/20 budget, are also supporting revenue. The budget approved for the financial year 2019/20 provides a solid basis for the targeted fiscal consolidation, the IMF said.

It said reducing transfers to state-owned enterprises (SOE) is key for sustainable fiscal consolidation.

At close to eight percent of GDP in the financial year 2017/18, transfers to SOEs had become a significant burden on the budget, and a major contributor to fiscal risks. Under the BERT programme, grants to SOEs are targeted to decline to under six percent of GDP by financial year 2021/22, by a combination of  much stronger oversight of SOEs, supported by improved reporting and tighter control over SOE borrowing; cost reduction, including reduction of the wage bill; revenue enhancement, including an increase in user fees, combined with investments to improve services delivered by SOEs; and mergers and divestment.”

The IMF said that together with addressing the fiscal dominance problem, the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) needs to be equipped with tools and facilities to be able to manage liquidity consistent with the exchange rate peg.

The delegation noted that following several years with high monetary financing, the CBB now provides liquidity to the government only to smooth unforeseen developments in revenue and spending.

A new CBB law will clarify the mandate of the CBB, enhance the decision-making structures of the central bank, and introduce safeguards to protect the institutional and functional autonomy of the CBB. Work on this new law is well underway, it noted.

The IMF said that the financial sector remains sound despite a significant impact from the domestic debt restructuring. Depositary corporations are in general well-capitalized and liquid.

“The authorities are providing explicit and time-bound regulatory forbearance targeting select financial institutions with high – post debt restructuring – concentration ratios until they rebuild capital buffers. With the expected improvements in the business climate and fiscal sustainability, credit growth is expected to pick up through increased confidence and enhanced opportunities for lending.”

But the Washington-based financial institution warned that structural reform is necessary to unlock Barbados’ growth potential and that the authorities have started to address challenges related to the business climate with several initiatives.

“The process for providing construction permits has been streamlined. The credit bureau regime is being formalized by preparing a Fair Credit Reporting Act and a Code of Conduct for the operation of credit bureaus. There is much scope for further improvement in the business climate, including by reforming customs administration to facilitate trading across borders, streamlining processes for setting up new businesses, and strengthening protection of minority shareholders.”

The IMF said that improving resilience to natural disasters and climate change will help strengthen the outlook. It said given limited fiscal space and low fiscal buffers, it is important to make good use of contingent financing and insurance options.

“Barbados insures natural disaster risks through the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF). With the inclusion of natural disaster clauses into the new domestic and external bonds, the government of Barbados effectively used the debt restructuring to strengthen its protection against natural disasters.”

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Electoral Commission presents Voting process Education – 2019 General Elections

Montserrat Elections Voter Education

Presented by the Montserrat Electoral Commission

Posted in Advertisements, Classified, Education, Elections, International, Local, Politics, Regional0 Comments

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Dr. Lowell Lewis – Election Proposals and Committment

“Dr. Lowell Lewis wishes to inform the people of Montserrat, at home and abroad, that he once again wishes to represent our beloved country, as a member of our Parliament.

Dr. Lowell Lewis, former Chief Minister

At this election, I am pleased to work with and support Mr. Gregory Willock, incumbent Montserrat Legislator, the founder of the Montserrat National Congress, as an appreciation of the unconditional support that he has provided for me in the past.

I am also pleased to be working with and supporting Mr. Chedmond Browne, former Montserrat Legislator (2001-2006), who like me had a military background and has dedicated his whole life to the fight for freedom, democracy and equal opportunities for all people.

We promise to continue working for our people and our nation, for the rest of our lives and look forward to collaborating with all the other candidates in this election for the development of our Nation.

I also support and acknowledge the common objectives of other candidates, Dr. Ingrid Buffonge,  incumbent Legislator and Miss Veta Wade who have shared our campaign platforms; and my close friend and colleague Mr. Wilford Meade (Moose) who I was pleased to nominate as a candidate for this election.

The following is the list of policy issues and programs that will be actively pursued by our team.

l-r: Dr, Ingrid Buffonge, Gregory Willock, Chedmond Browne

Policy Issues and Programs proposed for Session 2019 to 2024

 “Good governance exalts a nation and eliminates corruption”. 

The enactment of Legislation for Integrity in Public Office and a Freedom of Information Act will be a priority.

We will involve our young people as they embody the future.    They will be provided with opportunities for education, training, sports, cultural activities, jobs, land, and capital to support small business ventures.

All Ministries will support community development projects.  We will provide budgets for the activities of Village Councils.

We will promote linkages and partnerships with overseas Montserratian associations and friends of Montserrat.

We will aggressively encourage the return of retired Montserratians living abroad by seeking finance for housing construction for persons over the age of 65.

We will aggressively encourage the return of middle agreed Montserratians, by seeking funds for the financing of private sector business.

Constitutional Issues

• Review of the new Montserrat Constitution Order Amendments of the draft to:-

i. Alter the electoral system.  National consultations and a referendum to determine options preferred for:-  Number of constituencies    Size of constituencies  number of votes per voter At large representatives

ii. Remove vote of non-elected members of the Montserrat Legislative Assembly

iii. Establish criteria for postal ballots.

 iv. Compulsory leave, without risk of loss of employment, for all candidates at a general election.

v. Revision of requirement for nomination of general election candidates.  

• Ensure comprehensive discussion of the new Montserrat Constitution Order with the public, prior to its enactment, and ensure enactment provides for constitutional advancement and self-determination.

• Review procedures for overcoming the restrictions of contingent liability associated with Overseas Territory status.

• Continue the comprehensive law reform exercise to modernize Montserrat’s laws.

• Implement activities of Human  Rights and Integrity  Commissions on Montserrat.

• Continue participation in the United Nation’s Decolonization Committee consultations

• Establish a program for achieving political maturity, administrative capacity, and economic sustainability, through regional integration. 

• Continue constitutional modernization towards self-governance, whilst retaining the special relationships that currently exist between our administering country, the United Kingdom and its previous colonies.

Sustainable Development Plan

Implementation of the Sustainable Development Plan of Montserrat will be a priority to allow the achievement of our objective to increase the population of  Montserrat to over 8,000 and be out of grant in aid by 2020. 

Our programs will be prioritized in 3 phases.                

Once our government demonstrates commitment to good governance and integrity in political leadership, the United Kingdom, Europe and other aid agencies, whose mandate is to create sustainable communities and alleviate world poverty, would support our proposals. 

Government of Montserrat would then cease being a financial burden for their taxpayers, and guarantee for its people a good quality of life.  Good governance legislation will be further improved, to facilitate the attraction of more investment to Montserrat.

Our listed project proposals have the potential to provide over 10% growth in the economy for each year.  This will require the provision of grant aid, investments and loan financing of approximately EC$1,500 million for the next five-year period.

Allocated as follows:
Breakdown ECD$ Millions  

ECD$ Millions Investment Capital and loans – 850; Capital Aid – 650; Total – 1500.

Port – 300; Little Bay Town 100; Roads and Utilities – 120;  Housing – 200; Government facilities – 60; Airport improvements – 100; Geothermal electricity – 80; Industrial estates and projects 500 – Tourism destination sites – 40; Total – 1,500.

Project proposals

This estimate is derived from an analysis of the following proposed 40 projects, many of which are linked, some ongoing, and some in planning phase:-

• Montserrat Development Corporation
• Small Business Financing Program
• Private Sector Development
• Statehouse, Court House, and Parliament Building
Tourist Destination and Facilities Development
• National Trust Museum and Archeological sites restoration
• The Montserrat Cultural Centre extension
• Institute of  Performing Arts and Film Production
• Sports facilities developments at Blakes,  Little Bay,  Brades  Salem, and St Peters.
• Inter-Island Sports Project
• Split-site 18 hole golf course
• Little Bay Town Development
• Little Bay Marina/Safe Harbour Developments
• Carr’s Bay  Port Development
• Airport improvement and extension or relocation 
• Education Facilities Development
• Hospital and Health Services Development
• Social Welfare improvement
• Vulnerable persons Housing
• Home improvement and volcano evacuees housing
• Returning Montserratians housing
• Residential and Commercial Housing Development Projects at; Look Out, Drummonds, Davy Hill,  Brades,   Barzeys, and Jones Hill.
• Jones Hill, Silver Hill’s and Blake’s Residential Tourism Developments
• Electricity generation projects (Diesel, Wind,  Solar, and Geothermal)
• Public works equipment and road rehabilitation and expansion
• Montserrat Volcano Observatory
• A Montserrat Volcano Observatory through Hope to Runaway Ghaut bypass road.
• School of Disaster Research, Education and (Search and Rescue Training)  
• OECS Climate and Volcano Institute and Mountain top Hotel
• Isles Bay to Foxes Bay access road and barge ramp or jetty, for export of volcanic materials.
• Cement manufacture and export projects at Sturge Park and Trants
• Rehabilitation of South of Belham properties by the provision of road access and utility services, to areas in Foxes Bay and Brandsbay Point which are at low risk of exposure to the volcanic eruption events.  
• Conveyor belt mining, stockpiling, and exportation of volcanic material from the Trants area.
• Roads to the Silver Hills and Dick Hill area. 
• Agricultural feeder roads in the north.
• Food production, processing, exportation, and security project.
• A north of Montserrat Corbett Spring to Silver Hills water supply project and water bottling plant for export. 
• A fish and turtle farm and recreational beach facility at Marguerita Bay, Look Out. 
• A People’s Pentecostal Cathedral at Look Out
• Medical Schools locally designed and owned
• Public service review and rationalization

The foregoing is a ‘paid-for’ party political publication

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Do Not Change The GOVERNMENT – PART 2

By Joseph Kirnon

In continuing the discussion of the development of our little island, we must understand the herculean task that is ahead of us.  We must understand that this can only be accomplished in stages over a long period of time. This is a task that requires men and women of thinking, patience and greatest of all, having the ability to persevere in difficult times.

This is not a call for the person who wants to be seen, and whose chief objective is ego aggrandizement, or the accumulation of wealth and position.  We need selfless people whose desire is for the future of our island and its people. BEGIN WHERE WE ARE.

At this moment we have several parties and individuals contending to lead us into the future. We must take a good look at them and say to ourselves “Is this party or person, right for the coming responsibility?”. And Yes we must be judgmental.  From my perspective, as I have listened to many of these individuals and parties, the one conclusion that I have come to is that many of them had been colleagues and co-conspirators in the past.  As a Montserratian working overseas, you the voting public would know more about the individuals, and parties than I would. It is therefore, not for me to speak good or ill of any of them. YOU KNOW THEM. What I can contribute to is to try and bring some sense of direction to the process based upon where we want to go. The decision is yours.

What I can say is that there are those who consider themselves as having already won and have asked your current Premier to collect his last check, when you yourselves have not made that decision yet by the casting of your vote.  No one should be so presumptuous (and rude). It is you the voting public who has the mandate to vote for or remove the leadership.  Wise and intelligent people do not give power to people who crave it, because they are oft to abuse it.

I stress this issue of leadership because that leader will be the face of the nation to the rest of the world. We cannot have anyone in that position that is corruptible, prone to scandals and or destructive behavior and lacks values. Judge them all and judge them well.

The other necessity is that of continuity. If we are to “BEGIN WHERE WE ARE”, THEN WE MUST HAVE CONTINUITY.  The current leadership has put some issues and ideas for development before the world body.  Representatives from that world body are expected to visit the island to see and discuss these issues and ideas. They should not be confronted with a whole new set of individuals that they do not necessarily know and who may have different ideas towards the process that led to them visiting the island. That would not be a good presentation for moving forward.  A change in government would say that the people are not for the platform or process established with the said world body if they are now having to engage with a new set of people. They should see people fully backing their leadership.

When they leave, they should carry away the feeling, the idea, that the island has good governance and the full support of its people. It is that observation that will strengthen their ability to support our needs vis-a vie our colonial ruler. The United Nations is not the Holy Grail to our development. We are the Holy Grail to our development. The UN is support and our actions and behavior should not be a hindrance in their viewpoint. Let us think wisely and act wisely. Our intentions and actions are to shape the world view of our small island. Let us demonstrate that through stability and continuity.

Above we noted that the UN is not the holy grail to our goals. It is support. It is important that we should be mindful of some of the ideas that the UN itself promotes. As a society, we may not agree or have as an ideal all those that the UN upholds. Some may conflict with our own social, moral and religious ideas. One such idea is that of Humanism and all of its manifestations. An idea that takes the importance away from the Creator and focuses on the Creation. More to say on this concept later. For now, we must think and act wisely.

Okay, so we are placing importance on stability in the society, continuity in the political environment and growth in the development of the nation. We know that there are a large number of infrastructural projects that are in the works. We must focus an all of them, yet prioritize a few wherein we may see a movement forward in the short term and which will impact on others over the long term.

Montserrat is at a stage where its infrastructural development, is based upon “grant-based funding”. The funds needed to finance the projects come to us from external sources. This should let us know that whatever the politicians are promising to do, they have to source the funds outside. They do not have the money. See the need for continuity???

The project that would be most fruitful at this moment, that would bring employment, and has the potential to bring in revenue from outside sources, reduce costs for the local population and provide the island with a marketable export is the Geothermal Project.

We can look at the volcano as the problem that devastated the island and decimated its population. Yet at the same time, we can see it as a path towards our (economic) salvation.  Montserratians see themselves as religious, God-loving people. It is therefore not difficult for them to understand that God does not place a burden on a people, or person greater than they can bear. With this understanding we then see the volcano as an eye-opener to greater understanding. To function or animate anything, the primary need is ENERGY. When properly harnessed, beneath our feet lies that energy.  We have something that we ourselves and others in the world can benefit from – A source of ENERGY.

As an educator, who has taught the Earth and Space Sciences (Geology, Meteorology, Oceanography, and Astronomy), they should be taught from the central idea of Energy. That is Geothermal Energy, Wind Energy, Hydro Energy, and Solar Energy. Montserrat is located on the Earth where it can benefit from all of these sources, with the right thinking, leadership, and investment. Our little island is surrounded by all of these sources. Think, my people. Think.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Elections, General, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

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