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Letter: Obama must not pardon Garvey

 

CNN — January 6, 2017  
Dear Sir:

A few days ago, the BBC reported that there is an intensive campaign by some groups in Jamaica and elsewhere to get the outgoing American president to pardon Jamaica’s first National Hero, Marcus Garvey. These campaigners hope to get the pardon before Mr Obama leaves the White House, which is very soon.
 

However, there are two very good reasons why Garvey should not be pardoned – either because he was guilty of the crime of which he was convicted or not. My position may sound confusing, but both reasons should not only render any pardon worthless, but disrespectful.

First, if Garvey really was guilty of the crimes of which he was convicted in the United States, as claimed by the FBI, then pardoning the man would send a very wrong message to many – not at least, to us here in Jamaica. Imagine having a hero who preached “black pride”, whatever that may be, and then trying to advancing his cause through criminal actions, being pardoned. Worse yet, imagine having a convicted and then pardoned felon being praised as some sort of great man – especially one who always urged his followers to stay within the law.

No, pardoning Garvey of a crime that he may have done, if indeed he did do it, would send the wrong signals. In fact, it would be an insult to Jamaicans. So, for this reason alone, no pardon should be given to him.

However, what if he did not do the crime for which he was convicted of in the United States? Surely, some may argue, that the man should be pardoned on that basis. This is what many of his followers are arguing, claiming that he was framed. However, this is exactly the reason why he should not be pardoned.

Those seeking a pardon are displaying true hypocrisy when they are urging the out-going American president to pardon him. A pardon, by definition, is an admission of guilt. So, what these “Garveyites” are really saying, when pushing for the pardon is that, on the one hand they profess that the man was framed and thus not really guilty, but on the other hand, they are willing to accept that he is guilty just so that he can get the pardon!

What they should be pushing for is an exoneration, which would have been a recognition that the man was not guilty in the first place and thus his record should be clean. However, those pushing for the pardon realize that an exoneration is impossible, so they would rather have the American justice system still have the man as a criminal, albeit a pardoned one. These are the same people who preach black pride!

You know, come to think of it, all of the previous American presidents who were being urged to pardon Garvey probably saw through this ruse and, in at least that sense, were perhaps more proud of the black race than many of these Garvey hypocrites who want to have their cake and still eat it!

Of course, one can understand them trying to push that that ruse with Obama, a black man, which itself is another insult. Those pushing for the pardon probably think that Obama, being black, is not as smart as his white predecessors, so he may not understand this ruse and pardon the man! Some proud black people these Garvey pardon pushers are!

Anyway and thankfully, for our sake Mr Trump, if he is ever presented with such a request, will probably laugh at it (in one of his regular tweets) – and rightly so. Let’s hope Obama will spare us the insult and don’t pardon the man.

Michael A. Dingwall

Posted in International, Letters, Local, News, Regional1 Comment

letter-to-the-editor-pic

Letter: We need to improve our tourism package first

Published Caribbean News Now on October 28, 2016

The following letter written to the newspaper in Trinidad raised questions as to the readiness of Trinidad as a Tourist Destination. It got our interest as we ponder Montserrat’s readiness or lack thereof and how funding towards this very goal was approved and provided for this very purpose since 2008-09.

In some instances in this letter, the conditions are not the same, but the caption is very appropriate and questions remain valid.
Dear Sir:

A newspaper article indicated that there was interest in marketing Trinidad and Tobago as a tourist destination. While Tobago has an excellent product, the same cannot be said for Trinidad. Apart from Maracas and Las Cuevas, which are average as beach destinations go, the rest of Trinidad needs a lot of rebuilding before we invest in marketing Trinidad as a tourist destination.

The buildings around the Queens Park Savannah are in a state of disrepair, our capital city is overrun with rodents, vagrants, criminals, faeces on the sidewalk and poor drainage. Our city parks are either fenced around or homes for vagrants. Certainly, we could not be encouraging tourists to visit our capital city. 

letter-to-the-editor-picPerhaps we may want to encourage tourists to visit us for carnival. If the tourist manages to get through the crowds without getting robbed, he or she will find that there are very little viewing galleries with toilet facilities and proper seating. Walking through the streets with the smell of pee on the walls and sidewalk certainly is not encouraging for most tourists.

Our attraction must then be our eco-tourism package. Having made the trip to the top of El Touché one of our highest mountain top, I can say that what could have been a fantastic panoramic view of Trinidad turned out to be a view through thick shrubbery and trees. There were no signs along the treacherous path, no guides and no welcome at the top indicating the summit and elevation. Moreover, there was no viewing tower above the trees. 

Our wonderful hiking trails are unsupervised, our caves are undeveloped for safe visitor exploration and our beaches lack basic facilities like changing rooms, parking and security. 

The Caroni bird sanctuary is a hustler’s paradise, with tours by poorly dressed men, operating dirty looking boats with noisy outboard motors. There is no proper reception area, no gift shops, no restaurants, no place to purchase pictures of one’s trip down river. The beautiful beaches at Scotland Bay, Chaguaramas and Chacachacare are littered with plastic bottles and garbage. 

If we are serious about making Trinidad a tourist destination and making tourism a major contributor to the income of Trinidad and Tobago we need to first invest in developing our destination to attract families. That can only be done successfully by partnering with local and foreign investors who understand the standards required for international attention.

God bless our nation.

Steve Alvarez

Posted in Letters, Regional0 Comments

Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

In at least two press conferences DFID indicated that they are prepared to provide ‘’EXPERTS’’ to examine any proposals for the development of power systems here on Montserrat ‘’BRING THEM ON’’ say we, and the sooner the better. The island knows that one group has been asking the various administrations to provide the necessary documents to proceed with both a new diesel generation system and exploit Geothermal for Montserrat’s use. They started with education leaflets, expression of interest forms and various solutions over the last 5 years. We have no fear of competition as long as the playing field is LEVEL. DFID and the government have indicated that they have had many offers, two of which were rejected when details of their bids indicated they did not benefit the island only their company’s shareholders. The authorities MUST make it clear to all potential bidders that; All offers must be totally TRANSPARENT There must be NO confidentially clauses All offers will be presented to the people of Montserrat for their evaluation There shall be no hidden modifications to the specs as happened with the LIAT/WINAIR bids. The winner will be that which offers the best deal for the people of the island and retains the geothermal asset in the hands of the people now and in the future. Montserrat Geothermal are confident that their offer will be the best as it is based on a company established on Montserrat with its shares in the hands of the people and having a team dedicated to the provision of the maximum benefits for its shareholders——-

Montserratians here on island and in the wider diaspora. We must all remember three things

A) All companies are in business to make money for their shareholders

B) The shareholders in the case of Montserrat Geothermal are the people of Montserrat.

C) We all need power, no one can do without electricity.! Utilities are better than government bonds, they never fail. Which is more than can be said for banks and insurance companies.

We must all remember that we will only get one shot at this fantastic opportunity it will have huge and lasting effects on not only those here now but their children grandchildren and generations to come.

Yours looking to the future

Posted in Letters1 Comment

Response to Governor's Claim: Civil Service Lacks Understanding

Response to Governor’s Claim: Civil Service Lacks Understanding

On July 22 the Governor, Elizabeth Carriere, claimed there were issues with the civil service resulting from their lack of understanding and awareness of the role of a professional civil service within a modern democracy. However, as many of our senior civil servants have lived and/or earned degrees abroad, this argument lacks merit.

Put simply, civil servants in general, and senior civil servants in particular, are fully aware of the roles of elected and non-elected officials in a modern democracy.

Elections are held to enable a community to shape and redirect the future of their society. The elected officials act as trustees in creating laws and opportunities that reflect the wishes of the electorate. As all civil servants are also voters, each civil servant must be fully aware of this principle.

When civil servants fail to honour the direction and instruction of the elected trustees, they are undermining democracy, and they know this. These civil servants are using their position for their own gain or for the benefit of others. This is corruption and must result in their immediate dismissal, regardless of the rank of the employee.

Members of the assembly who encourage or are aware of such behaviour and fail to publicly condemn these actions also fail to uphold and defend the tenets of democracy. This is equally corrupt.

All civil servants are public employees who have a reasonable expectation of keeping their jobs after elections are held only if these conditions are met.

  1. Civil servants use their expertise and specialised knowledge to provide their best, unbiased advice and assistance to the government.
  2. Civil servants faithfully implement all democratically enacted laws without exception, modification or favour.
  3. Civil servants are competent in their job. (customer service skills, timeliness, professional, knowledge)

Failing any one of these requirements must result in immediate disciplinary procedures that are fully supported by all members of the assembly and the entity responsible for the civil service, the Governor.

David McKeand

Woodlands

Posted in Letters0 Comments

Loud Vulgar Music being played in public places

Loud Vulgar Music being played in public places

18/07/16

Good Morning HE. Ms. Carriere,

I am writing to you as the head of Security/Police about the fact of the verbally degrading  sound pollution in public places, especially at times when the public/families are enjoying a swim or socializing on the beach’s, with their young children and family members  eg: Little Bay beach and other public functions, especially on Saturday and Sundays.

The disc jockeys are playing music with Luda; Vulgar and Degrading words  especially targeted to young girls, at very high volumes which is very disturbing, along with electronic sounds of Sirens; Gun shooting and Explosions.

I know we have Laws that contravene this type of music being played in public. I personally witnessed just yesterday Sunday afternoon between 2:30PM and 4:30PM.

A local business man who was so very appalled by the type of vulgar music, went up to the Disc Jockeys and asked them to stop playing that type of music, they just ignored him, so he asked two Police officers on foot patrol to ask them to change their music, I saw them go to the Bar and speak to them, they changed the music for all of five minutes until the officers were out of sight, then proceeded to start playing the same type of vulgar music again.

Ms. Carriere, prior to the Volcano, we had almost three times the population, the disc jockeys only problem was loud music, we all knew that music was for enjoying, not to be degrading women.

Just a few weeks ago, on June 29th. at a Music Festival in neighbouring St. Kitts, an American singer 50 cent was arrested; Jailed and Fined for swearing and using Vulgar language in his song on stage, he was actually warned prior to his performance Not to use any indecent language while on stage, it made the World News..

Until we stop this type of music, young women will continue to be abused, as the men think that if famous singers are doing it, we can too, and now the young children hearing this type of music are beginning to think that it is normal.. NO .. NO.. NO..

Ms. Carriere – Can you Please instruct your police officers to “STOP” this type of Vulgar Sound Pollution on our Beautiful Island Montserrat.

Montserrat used to have a censuring committee, to screen/ban vulgar music from being played on the radio and in public places.

I look forward to your response, as a very concerned Montserratian.

Sincerely,

John Howes, Capt.

cc.. Hon. Premier Donaldson Romeo

Editor’s Note:

The businessman spoke to us on the matter who noted that the disc jockey’s mother is an ex-police, who was at the scene of the behaviour complained of.

See the article published on July 1, 2016: American rapper and bodyguard fined

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Jun 27, CMC – American rapper, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson was fined

Posted in Letters, News0 Comments

Lawyer speaks out on Carrs Bay Beach sand removal (sand mining) destruction

Lawyer speaks out on Carrs Bay Beach sand removal (sand mining) destruction

Dear Minister Hogan

I am very concerned to see that a very substantial quantity of sand is currently being removed from the southern end of Carrs Bay Beach. This area is both environmentally and ecologically sensitive. It contains one of the two remaining egret nesting sites and some the last white mangrove trees in Montserrat. It may be a nesting site for turtles, although they are likely to avoid going there in view of the removal of sand. It is used for recreational purposes and visiting scuba divers.

Moreover, it is share folly to remove sand from this beach given that the hurricane season is a few days’ away. The loss of the sand will greatly exacerbate the erosion of the beach if we have hurricane seas and place the main road abutting the beach at increased risk.

I understand from inquiries made by me that the removal of sand from this area started last year, ostensibly to clear the outlet to the ghaut that empties into the bay. I gather the sand will be  sold privately. It is clear, however, that far more sand is being removed than is necessary to accomplish the clearance of the mouth of the ghaut and one has to ask why. If you visit the beach, you will see this for yourself. In any event, it is questionable whether there is any need at all to clear the opening of the ghaut, given that nature is perfectly capable of doing this itself. Instead, this area should remain pristine and no sand whatsoever should be removed from it at any time.

I have been informed that the Fisheries Department authorised the removal of the sand both last year and this year. Is the Fisheries Department authorised to do so? Are you personally aware of the sand removal and did you authorise it?

Under section 77 of the Constitution the Governor is required to approve the disposition of any Crown land, the foreshore being Crown property. I am therefore copying this email to the Governor. I am also copying it to various interested parties, including the Montserrat National Trust, so that hopefully additional representations can be made to you.

I hope that steps can be taken by you today to stop the mining and that the sand that is currently stockpiled at the beach will be returned to it and that sand mining in this area will be stopped permanently.

I look forward to your early reply.

Yours sincerely

Jean Kelsick

Posted in Letters0 Comments

south view of tip of Gun Hill from

Collapse of Gun Hill

Mister Editor,

Something that not too many people are noticing, is the fact that massive amounts of Beach sand which has been removed from the DSC_0983aSouth side of Carr’s Bay, has now caused the undermining of the North side of Gunn Hill, and it has now started to Collapse into the Sea, a large chunk of cliff, fell into the water a few weeks ago, NOW a lot more has collapsed overnight, also another area on the other side, of the same cliff has also collapsed and a large cavern has opened up, leading towards those large boulders as seen on the top of Gunn Hill.

About 10 feet has been consumed just over the past two days of rough seas.

Since Gunn Hill was first cut down, slowly bit by bit the ocean waves have been eroding that area, and as the sand is being harvested, it is undermining the shore line, by about some fifty plus feet.

We will have to IMEDIATLY STOP mining sand on that beach, and go elsewhere to get our beach sand.

south view of tip of Gun Hill from

south view of tip of Gun Hill from

I am calling on the Environment Department to investigate this serious erosion of Gunn Hill, and the removal of beach sand there!

Fishermen, love to drive their cars down to the end of the cliff, to have easy access to their vehicle whilst fishing, this can be a serious thing to do now, as a collapse could drop their vehicle or even trap them under or between tons of rock.

I personally used to go there first thing in the morning to catch my sprat bait, or sometimes go fishing there.

I spoke about the first piece of collapse on the radio, and now noticed that someone dumped two loads of gravel and stone on the shoreline access, so no one can drive on that side, of the cliff.

However the other side needs to be blocked too, and some warning signs be erected.

Capt. John

 

Posted in Letters0 Comments

Cove Final almost version

Poisoner leaves dog owner “Brokenhearted”

Cove Final almost versionI am grief-stricken – I’ve been a teary misery since our wonderful dog, Glennie, died recently.  I am bereft.  He was my faithful friend, my constant companion.  He was exceptionally intelligent, affectionate, loyal, patient, gentle, well-mannered – I could go on and on listing his virtues.  He considered me his responsibility, preceded me into every room and checked on me all day.  He anticipated events and sensed when I was blue, at which times he would comfort me with his close presence.  Plato wrote that a dog has the soul of a philosopher and I believe it. 

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole: Roger Caras.  I agree and have always needed a dog in my life.

Glennie wasn’t destructive or free-roaming; we were aware of the danger of poison in our area and so were careful to avoid it.  I responsibly walked him on his lead every afternoon and my husband took over this practice when I could no longer do so.  Glennie wasn’t old or sick and didn’t have to die.  I believe he was lured to his death by the scent of food, food which had been poisoned.  So I must think his last moments were spent in agonizing pain.  What kind of person would intentionally harm a precious dog?

My husband, too, has been terribly hurt by losing our dear companion.  Friends suggest we adopt a dog from the MAPS shelter, initially to serve as a distraction to help alleviate our overwhelming sadness.  But I wonder if we’d just be condemning yet another to a hideous death by bringing him or her to a neighborhood where a poisoner lurks.  Ours has become a dog-free zone – not by community choice but by a poisoner’s malice!

Words cannot express my profound anger at such a situation.  Because this individual seems to kill on impulse, as the urge takes him (or worse, as a premeditated goal), we are being denied the pleasure of canine companionship.  This state of affairs is infuriating.  There is surely a law against this crime on Montserrat.  Can this abhorrent practice not be stopped? 

S. Simpson

Posted in Letters, News, Opinions0 Comments

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More Questions than Answers – But For a Little Information

Editor,

Information on this island is sadly lacking, hence we need an FOI (Freedom of Information)  clause added to our Constitution Order.

This is not an exhaustive list but it is a start. Drilling of the 3rd well, contract award date has been set back until mid-Jan 2016. Why no mention of this to the people? Power station. contract completion summer 2015. We have the engine alternator and concrete hard standing BUT nothing else. Why has MUL not told the people when completion will be? Design and manufacture of purpose built ferry. DFID UK have put out details on their site BUT it is difficult to access. Why do we need a purpose built unit? There are plenty of suitable units about and what does the spec say? Fibre Optic cable DFID EME but no further info. Why? Hospital project. The Minister said the business case would be done by June 2015. Now it is 2016, why the delay? Why are they looking at six sites when DFID refused to countenance a “Greenfield Site”? Is it Sour Grapes regarding the design put forward by the previous administration? (Who’s great mind is advocating Little Bay)? Remember Gerald’s Airport! This is not a fashion show. Emergency Ambulance why is it NOT on site on call and in service? New procurement regulations: DFID Rep said that they would be here in third quarter 2015, where are they, why the delay? It was also said that they would be agreed by April 2016 . It is imperative that a draft of these rules be made available to the people for comment as they will be involved and the beneficiary in their use WHY THE DELAY? I am sure that there are other items that should be on the list.

S R-W

Note – The above queries were submitted since mid-September last year, but have only now come to light. They are presented especially that the observations and questions are still not answered

Posted in LettersComments Off on More Questions than Answers – But For a Little Information

18 years Chief Minister, John Osborne, deceased

An Open Letter to Premier Donaldson Romeo

Dear Premier Don Romeo,

David Edgecombe

David Edgecombe

I write to support the sentiment expressed last week by former Minister of Education, Vernon ‘Auk’ Jeffers. I don’t know if his assertions are correct, but he is right to urge you not to rush to sign the new Banking Bill into law as former Premier Ruben Meade is pushing you to do.

Do not be swayed by this argument contained in Mr. Meade’s statement on ZJB Radio in his interview with Jermaine Wade, October 4, 2015:

“Our principal advisers are the Central Bank, our financial ministers of the entire OECS have all said yes [to the new Banking Bill]. Is Montserrat’s Premier brighter than everyone of those? We have for example in Grenada, Dr. Keith Mitchell, a former university lecture in math. Coming up the stream to St. Vincent and the Grenadines an economist/lawyer Ralph Gonsalves, Doctor the honorable Ralph Gonsalves, first degree in Economics, Ph.D. in Law, former university lecturer. Are you saying that he don’t (sic) understand the law and the laws? Go up to St. Lucia you have Dr. Kenny Anthony also with a first degree in Economics and a Ph.D. in Law, university senior lecturer in Law, we are saying that we are brighter than them? And you can keep coming up the line all the way to St. Kitts who has a Ph.D. in Economics, and you are saying they have seen the wisdom of passing it and Montserrat that is run by a small shop keeper is saying, ‘ahm, I’m brighter than these guys, I’m not going pass the law, because it’s not to our satisfaction’? Clearly, we’re not serious in terms of how we’re operating in Montserrat. We are part of the region we have to make a decision. Are you going to be part of the Central Bank or not? Make a decision. Not making a decision is not an option.”

The argument is that if those other leaders with their Doctor of Philosophy Degrees agree with the bill, who is Don Romeo ‘a small shop keeper’ with no degree to hesitate to sign it?

Let me tell you who.

A Montserrat leader who follows in the path of two other non-degreed Montserrat leaders who would have heard Mr. Meade’s attempt at mockery and laugh in his face.

Two other leaders who went unflinchingly against the decisions of the other Caribbean leaders because they didn’t think those decisions made much sense or were in the best interest of Montserrat. The passing years show more clearly the wisdom of those two Montserrat leaders.

Former Chief Minister Austin Bramble 1970 -78

Former Chief Minister Austin Bramble 1970-78

The first of these is former Chief Minister P. Austin Bramble, who held that Montserrat must first create a path to economic independence before taking political independence like its neighbors. The implication is that far more planning and groundwork needed to be done first. Today, every OECS country is no closer to economic independence than its bigger Caricom brothers Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana.

The second is former Chief Minister John Osborne who insisted that the Eastern

18 years Chief Minister, John Osborne, deceased

18 years Chief Minister, John Osborne, deceased

Caribbean dollar be pegged to the United States dollar rather than to be allowed to float as was advocated by all of the other OECS leaders. That decision prevented the EC dollar from going into free fall like the Jamaica, T&T, and Guyana dollars. Today, the OECS currency is among the strongest in the region.

The briefest look at the economies of Grenada, St. Vincent, and St. Lucia should dispel any claim that their leaders are economic, financial and development geniuses whom you would be well advised to follow.

Their indigenous banks are in trouble, they cannot borrow any more money from the Central Bank, their governments have exhausted their country’s Social Security deposits. Here again Montserrat, so far, has seen to it that government can’t get its paws on the people’s pensions and money.

The one thing Montserrat should avoid doing is becoming wholly or partially responsible for any IMF debt. Based on the IMF’s record that’s the worse thing any country can do.

Nonetheless, Mr. Meade’s call for the Bank Bill to be discussed in the House is reasonable. An even better idea is to hold open discussions on it in Montserrat before voting in the House.

If there is a sound reason to pass any legislation, we cannot assume that the public and investors are too stupid to understand it. When our Government passes or rejects laws openly and in the spirit of democracy it is a good thing.

Finally, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank is playing a pivotal role in getting the new Bank Bill passed and it stands to gain a tremendous increase in its power. What is the health—financial, philosophical, and managerial—of the ECCB?

Mr. Meade has said that the Central Bank is a “good bank” that has sought to protect the interest of working people and their deposits; that has sought to keep failing indigenous banks (including BoM in the early 1990s) solvent; that it wants to put in place regulations to reduce the possibilities of directors and governments extracting loans from indigenous banks that they refuse to or are incapable of paying back. Therein lies the rub.

The Ministers of Finance will continue to make up the Monetary Council. Will the ECCB with its increased powers be in any better position to stop the bad practices that cause indigenous banks to be in financial trouble?

Can there be such a thing as a good bank? Given the gigantic rip-off of working people by too-big-to-fail American Banks in 2008 and the countless other examples around the world, this is not a cynical question.

If indeed the ECCB, with Montserrat’s help, can foster a banking system that will champion the interest of poor people rather than be a tool of the rich and powerful it would be a good thing. It would be an enormously good thing. But there are no guarantees and I must warn you, the evidence shows the chances of this happening are small.

Be vigilant. Discuss the new bank bill thoroughly. We cannot repeat the CLICO mistake rushing to follow others into disastrous money decisions because everybody else is doing it.

 

Sincerely,

David Edgecombe

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