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CDB supports regional trade facilitation initiative - CSME

CDB supports regional trade facilitation initiative – CSME

by Staff Writer

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jun. 4, CMC – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a recent grant for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), that will make regional trade easier .

On Monday, the Bank’s Board of Directors signed off on CDB’s support of US$43,665 in grant funding to finance completion of the CARICOM Interactive Marketplace and Suspension Procedure Portal (CIMSuPro).

The CDB says the portal’s development makes it easier for CARICOM states to administer the common external tariff (CET), the system underpinning regional trade, which all CARICOM states are required to maintain. The CET is a uniform set of tariffs imposed by CARICOM members on goods from third countries.

The regional lending agency noted that suspension of the CET can be granted to allow importation of goods in short supply within the Region. 

However, information on the actual supply of goods in CARICOM is limited and officials grapple with a high volume of CET suspension requests.

CIMSuPro seeks to encourage more intra-regional trade by allowing buyers to find regionally produced goods as their first option. The portal allows buyers to find appropriate regional products by description or tariff code.

It also provides an on-line mechanism to create a faster process to handle CET suspension requests.

CDB’s funding will support training and technical support for trade officials and traders.

Director of Projects at CDB, Daniel Best expressed optimism that the portal would contribute to a more enabling environment for Regional manufacturers and producers, saying:

“CIMSuPro is designed to take the CSME process a step further by allowing our producers and our retailers to find each other more easily. CSME is intended to give our producers access to the larger regional market and to leverage economies of scale. A fully operational CIMSuPro will bring greater certainty to intra-regional trade.”

The project is aligned with CDB’s strategic objective of supporting inclusive growth and sustainable development as well as its corporate priority of promoting private sector development, competitiveness and innovation.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, International, Local, News, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments

EU launches fund to assist Caribbean countries

EU launches fund to assist Caribbean countries

by staff writer

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The European Union has launched a Euro 28 million (One Euro=US$1.29 cents) Regional Climate Resilience Building Facility that will provide financial resources for technical assistance, disaster insurance and resilient investment facilitation.

The facility is the largest grant-funded resilience building project in the Caribbean to date and will be implemented by the World Bank and the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF).

EU Ambassador, Daniela Tramacere

“What we want from this programme is to address real needs. For this, governments and partner entities will have to define clear priorities, without which a targeted implementation is not possible,” said EU Ambassador, Daniela Tramacere, at the weeklong Understanding Risk (UR) Caribbean Conference that is organized by the World Bank in partnership with the Barbados government, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the EU.

The EU diplomat said the action should have as its ultimate objective, the genuine interest of Caribbean citizens translated in terms of resilience building at community and individual levels.

The technical assistance aims to strengthen the capacity of public institutions and civil society organisations which are capable of protecting citizens from disasters. The support to the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility will help countries cope and recover better from the effects of extreme weather events.

“The support to resilient investment will stimulate the private sector to better adapt businesses and jobs to the priority needs of countries and citizens,” she added.

The Regional Resilience Building Facility is one of the many resilience programmes being financed by the EU in the Caribbean. Additional support for countries to build societal resilience by encouraging the transition to green economies and progress towards a sustainable economic path is being provided by various other EU programmes.

The EU said it is also partnering with regional governments and institutions on climate adaptation and ecosystem resilience and on hydrological meteorological data gathering.

Earlier this week, Canada also announced the  launch a CAD$20 million (One Canada dollar=US$0.74 cents) Canada-Caribbean Resilience Facility initiative to help regional countries better prepare for and respond to natural disasters.

“This initiative is being undertaken with Canada’s Caribbean support as a direct response to the lessons learned following the devastating hurricanes in the Caribbean in 2017 that have impacted our neighbouring countries so severely,” says Marie Legault, High Commissioner of Canada to Barbados and the OECS.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Climate/Weather, Earthquake, Environment, Hurricane, International, Local, News, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments


Ferry Service Update June 7- 29

Ferry – Jaden Sun

Information coming out of the Government Information Unit informs: “This weekend with the upcoming holidays will see significant changes that will affect both stakeholder and customers significantly.”

The result of that is that the current month will see a number of changes to the Ferry schedule, as follows:

Friday, June 7th 2019 – No Day Tour (Regular Morning and evening Svc in place)

Saturday, June 8th 2019 – Day Tour Service in place

Sunday, June 9th 2019 – No Ferry Service

Monday, June 10th 2019 – Day Tour Service In place

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019 – No Day Tour (Regular morning and evening svc in place)  

It seems early, but the release noted: “the Access Division’s Buju Trip to St. Kitts scheduled for June 29th, 2019 is cancelled due to low uptake.” 

Special note is invited to the following: From July 6, 2019 ALL Sunday services will depart Montserrat at 10:00 a.m. arriving Antigua at 11:30 a.m. The Departure times out of Antigua remains the same

The Division is reminding that check-in closes 30 minutes before departure. 

Then, “All agents and customs and immigration personnel, please advise your staff on these changes.”

Posted in International, Local, News, Regional, TOURISM, Travel0 Comments

DSC_7397 - web

Port Authority renovate to serve better and uphold international standards

by Bennette Roach

Much of the external renovation and reconstruction is well underway

Joseph O’Garro is the Manager of the Montserrat Port Authority, recently referred to as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the recent Port Development launch last week. He invited the media to what he said was a simple briefing exercise to alert the public, “so they can know and appreciate what was taking place in terms impact to them when they come to clear their cargo…”

That was the morning of Friday, May 24, 2019 at the Little Bay port building that houses offices and cargo storage. O’Garro briefly outlined that the works that began couple weeks ago, and was ongoing when the launch took place at the ferry terminal about 100 yards away, on Friday 17th.

He apologised for other members of the management team who he said he would love to be present at the informal briefing, but they were about getting ready to effect the relocation of the offices, as the works were well into full gear.

He introduced those present in Stephie Buffonge from the Comms and Works and Adrian Galloway of Galloway Group who had been awarded the contract to carry out the works, which had an estimated budget total of EC$890,000, which is partner-financed.

He referred to the project as a follow-up of the marine side of the new port development launch in terms of the “landside works that are being undertaken separate and apart to the project, but in support of the project itself.”

The works he said, will be about the offices, administration, Customs and customer area renovations, currently engaged in a material fashion. He explains that the layout as it stands is not very customer friendly, as he later pointed out on the external, the construction of ‘disability access’ to make the premises and the offices accessible by everyone.

“Some of the works undertaken will address the customer friendliness of the facility ensuring we are much more customer oriented. In addition, we are providing additional space for Customs as the accommodation is presently very cramped…”

He added that for the MPA itself they are expanding their own offices to “facilitated some of our expanded national responsibilities,” with regards to their maritime responsibilities that did not receive as much attention in the past as it should have.

He explained: “We will be providing for some additional office space to facilitate some of our expanded national responsibilities, our marine time responsibilities that would not have received as much attention as it should have in the recent past…just examining vessels when they come into our Port, to know that they are compliant with international standards.”

He added, “We intend to embrace a lot more of that responsibility going forward and as such we a going to provide the office space for our officers to work comfortably while they engage in those activities.”

Upgrading to facilitate the disabled, and wheel chair access

One of the initial steps is to ensure that the Port Authority and Customs are in a better position to handle the increase business that we expect and to upgrade the facility…so that we’re more customer focused.

The partner-financed sum of $890,000 is shared with the MPA providing $500,000, with GoM the balance of $390,000.

O’Garro explains the external renovations and relocations

Following a brief explanation of the drawings and the work progression by Galloway and Buffonge relating to the project, the manager now with support of some senior staff provided a tour of the quarters that will housed in temporary accommodation in the parking area where the staff will effectively meet the needs of the public. And of course, to facilitate the construction office operations for both Customs and the Port, “are being relocated to the parking lot into temporary accommodations, as of Monday.”

The project is expected to be completed within six months.

see related:

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Featured, International, Local, News, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments

Culture plays important role in Region’s sustainable growth, development...

Culture plays important role in Region’s sustainable growth, development…

June 7, 2019

We have had on several previous occasions commented on the fact that culture is important and should be seriously considered when the occasion is warranted. That is expressly so in so many areas of our onward thrust for change and progress.

Consequently, we have always reminded, there is bad and good culture,

we always say. That alone is cause for common sense and seriousness when the topic is raised.

Here are a few excerpts taken from the Thirty-Sixth Meeting of the Council on Human and Social Development (COHSOD) on Thursday, June 6, 2019, at the CARICOM Headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana.

The two-day meeting was being held under the theme ‘Leveraging CARICOM’s Cultural Assets for the Sustainable Development of the Community’. The Secretary-General said that the theme further emphasised the commitment of the Region to develop its rich and diverse cultural assets.

“It has been asserted that Culture should be seen as the fourth pillar of sustainable development, as both an enabler and driver of economic and social development and environmental sustainability, which constitute the three dimensions of sustainable development,”  said Ambassador LaRocque.

In supporting his point, he said further that cultural industries in the Region had out-performed sectors such as agriculture, finance, insurance and construction in some Member States. He, however, said that there needed to be the necessary enabling environment for the creative industries to be more competitive, and to increase their contribution to employment and growth.

Speaking about the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA),

He noted that since CARIFESTA XI in Suriname, a business component – the cultural marketplace – was introduced where managers of venues, international festivals and performing arts, buyers and booking agents were invited to see and network with Caribbean artists.  According to him, that initiative was intended to create more opportunities for the professional development of artists and for the export of their products and services.

Dr. the Hon. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, Trinidad and Tobago, who gave the feature address at the opening, was also of the view that the theme chosen for the hosting of the Meeting was very relevant, remarking that a paradigm shift was needed to create a more self-sustaining cultural economic cycle.

“We must place ourselves in the driver’s seat – charting together the course for cultural development based on already identified cultural assets – driving the way forward, instead of accepting windfall successes.”

She expressed the view that in addition to developing the creative sector, the Community’s icons and citizens who had made outstanding contributions should be honoured so as to “incentivise” excellence in the cultural sphere.

Hon. Dr. George Norton, Minister of Social Cohesion, Guyana, also posited the value of culture, saying it was time for it to be mainstreamed in the Regional agenda.

He noted that the Community’s culture was dynamic and that the cultural and creative industries would continue to evolve, even while being the key vehicles driving the development of the Region. He encouraged those present to continue to work together to achieve tangible outcomes.

See: Full CARICOM Release:

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

Do we need Education or Connection to succeed on a politically insecure Montserrat?

By Claude Gerald

Since people management is a myth on Montserrat, slackness in the Public Sector is chronic and allowed. Friendship and family connections and moral weaknesses run the ball game.

Montserrat is thus soaring high on the corruption index and out-does its own poor standards at each check point. Subtle, persistent and cumulative, it is ruinous potentially.

Agriculture as an example requires a microscope to locate it on the contribution landscape. Grieved undertakers at least 10 years ago, dismissed its existence with last rites.  Permanent Secretary, Agriculture, Eulyn Greaves who energetically flirted between Ministries with aplomb, seemingly cultivating if not manipulating obedient politicians advantageously at will, must disentangle the puzzle as to how her husband, Lorenzo, continues to occupy the comfortable position he has had for a number of years on the technical staff of the Department of Agriculture. (Her son at Lands and Survey now attracts nepotistic queries too)

The fact is he is being made to hide out under the radar, staying low and reap rewards that are not due to him.

It is a choking moral dilemma and neither ignorance nor silence from Mrs. Greaves is countenanced by any means.  Culpability, by aiding and abetting at least, rests in her lap and those with experience and know-how of this matter are crying foul on the issue.

Lorenzo has zero certification in the very basics. He has no requisite training in the science of agriculture and experience prior, to match the position assigned in the Department of Agriculture. His salary and perks additionally, have been higher than other decorated and experienced officers of the last twelve years in his undeserved role. He has been covered by indifferent officials, who continue to look the other way in an apparent grand conspiracy. It is a scandal and a debacle. It is a rogue arrangement.

It should never have been contemplated, in a system with valued standards, or are there? Though one suspects some level of opportunistic and meticulous planning over many years, his positioning is a gut-wrenching portrait of business in our pint–sized volcanic isle. It is way out of line with due processes: highly irregular and easily the most scandalous public service event, amongst many, current in the Ministry of Agriculture, since the narrow-minded splitting of Environment from Agriculture, which signaled the rapid decline of both portfolios.

How did this pass the Public Service Commission and other key personnel that checks and balances? It is tantamount to administrative fraud, designed to give a favored one an unfair advantage in the market place for relevant skills. Lorenzo Greaves, in all likelihood could never have brazenly put forward an application for the job. One is hoping that all relevant records remain intact for certain scrutiny and determination as this one should not and cannot be swept under the table anymore.

He ought to be made to repay British tax payers money along with others, like him who manipulates the public system as glorified water- cart carriers. His excuse is that he did not ask for all this and is well aware and delights in this undeserving gift.

Can Mrs. Greaves any longer conduct her important overarching roles with good conscience and credibility? Questions remain and only a vhands; she most likely cannot be a supporter of schooling and education; and likely to be a hater of academic excellence; reasonably she must be in a world of generalized hypocrisy where narrow personal interest trumps everything else.

Neither can she credibly deny personal knowledge that has sustained this travesty in the processes of public service employment. To whom much is given much is expected; especially given her lead role in youthful Seventh Day Adventism and her staunch, vocal, visible and energetic advocacy of Christian principles, even beyond the Montserrat world. She being at the heights of her present powers, how can public service watchers put confidence in her decision making regarding the just placements of personnel?

Agricultural Science is multidisciplinary and the mother of all sciences. The curriculum at University is intimidating and mindboggling for the range of subjects. It features the pure and applied sciences, the arts, economics and social sciences. It has breadth; it has depth and students are truly tested in that setting.

It thus prepares one for most walks of life. Uncertain teenagers opt for the grounding it gives and then branch elsewhere later; but you have to be academically prepared to enter such an undertaking. For 15 years prior to the volcanic eruption, given the centrality of agriculture to the overall political economy, equipping staff was singled out for special attention. The Department of Agriculture boasted a team of highly trained technicians, many with first and second degrees in the field, outstanding in the OECS, measured per head of population.

Lorenzo Greaves was a hired hand and pound keeper who did not dispose himself to preliminary certification for further training. Management reached out to entice and encourage him to make him eligible. He migrated after the volcanic eruption and returned to operate both a seed and health food store, which evaporated in quick time.

Subtle and direct attempts to get him into the Department failed. Did Mrs. Greaves feature in those? Management at that time bluntly rebuffed the idea, insisting that training would be the first avenue to enter the door of the Department of Agriculture.  Proven experience in the practice of agriculture could get you in: just barely conditionally. To proceed otherwise was to set the bar so low that the educational endeavor from kindergarten would have been a waste of effort.

With a change of technical head the theory behind Lorenzo Greaves’s existence in the Department of Agriculture reads thus:  ‘Lobby to get him in despite his complete lack of credentials. Some mice, in the rare presence of a cat, will hear you; and if one happens to meet an ass, then go riding since no one stands for anything anymore. Play the game and nice up and keep a low profile; show up and be present only when you have to, if at all; production and commitment is unimportant; your swollen salary is sure since prior to the change of government, outgoing powerful politicians, with Salem City attachments would see to your establishment; you are now pensionable at your current salary and you can just glide; the story is over. No fuss. Life could not be easier’.

Easton Farrell Taylor, a lay preacher and the immediate former Minister of Agriculture proved himself a formidable and experienced technician without the academic requirements. He applied self from early. He became the backbone of many outreach efforts for many years and was a household name even beyond the farming community. Management had confidence in him and dispatched him on a special one year program to Guyana to round him off. He was duly promoted to an Agricultural Officer years later.

Sadly he failed to effectively transition to a Minister’s role and no doubt oversaw the dying of the Department of Agriculture and the Environment. He was clearly trapped into allowing Lorenzo in against his better judgment. He sought to wrestle control once revelations were being made especially regarding Lorenzo’s salary but was outdone. He typically lacked the will to stand up to anything not in his personal interests. Now out of office he still frets about the monster of a problem left over by this fly-by-night employee.

By Easton Farrell’s neglect of his core duties the situation was created that allowed Lorenzo Greaves to continue to grade himself annually, rendering himself top marks for his questionable service, and then to have them signed off by a complaining but compliant management; thus cementing his stay in the work place, in a vicious cycle of brazen deception of the system.

How did we reach this stage? Is it that we have a lot of people who go to church, but we do not have a lot of God fearing people? What kind of philosophy can so infect the minds of individuals who lead in our various churches but yet descend to levels that call evil good? Woe to them that call evil good and good evil.” (Isaiah 5:20).

Public sector leaders seem to be polluting their potential to stand for people centered principles, undermining trust in their leadership and dodging responsibility with flippancy.

Which amongst us will elect to watch the watchers? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

Claude Gerald is a social commentator on Montserrat.

Posted in Features, Local, News, Opinions0 Comments

Former Prime Minister’s funeral to be held on June 23

Former Prime Minister’s funeral to be held on June 23

by Staff Writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jun. 4, CMC – The state funeral for former Prime Minister Edward Seaga is to be held on Sunday June 23.

The details of the funeral arrangements and related activities were revealed by Culture Minister Olivia Grange on Monday during a media briefing .

The funeral service will be held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in the Corporate Area.

Grange added that the period of mourning has been declared and will be observed from June 19 to June 22.

“It means that government will not have any social activities; official activities that were scheduled will be postponed where possible; travel by government officials will be limited and the flag will be flown half-mast,” she said.

Ahead of the funeral, Seaga’s body will lie in state at several locations, however, the casket will remain closed at the request of the family.

Seaga’s remains will be interred at National Heroes’ Park.

The government is appealing to the public to also observe “a certain decorum during that period,” she said.

Seaga, Jamaica’s fifth prime minister, died at a Miami Hospital last week Tuesday, following a battle with cancer. 

He died on his 89th birthday.

Seaga, who was prime minister, from 1980 to 1989, also served as the leader of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) from 1974 to 2005 when he retired from active politics.

Since his retirement from politics, he has been an honorary distinguished fellow at the professorial level at The University of the West Indies (UWI), and also served as chancellor of the University of Technology, Jamaica.

A lifelong sports enthusiast, Seaga was chairman of the Premier League Clubs Association, one of Jamaica’s governing football bodies, from its inception until 2010. He also served as president of the football club of his former West Kingston enclave, Tivoli Gardens.

Seaga is credited with building the financial and planning infrastructure of the country after independence, as well as developing its arts and crafts, and awareness of national heritage. As a record producer and record company owner, Seaga also played a major role in the development of the Jamaican music industry.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, International, Local, News, Obituaries, Politics, Regional, Travel0 Comments

Attorney found guilty of theft

Attorney found guilty of theft

by staff writer

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Jun. 4, CMC – A jury on Tuesday found well known attorney  Vonda Minerva Pile,   guilty of theft.

Pile, was accused of stealing BD$191,416.39  (One Barbados dollar=US$0.50 cents), belonging to her former client, Anstey King, between April 29, 2009 and October 26, 2010.

However, the jury said she was  not guilty of money laundering.

The 7-2 verdict was handed down after two hours of deliberations by the jury.

She has been remanded until July 16.

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

Barbados PM announces sale of LIAT shares

Barbados PM announces sale of LIAT shares

by staff writer

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Jun 4, CMC – The Barbados government Tuesday night formally announced plans to sell its shares in the cash strapped regional airline, LIAT, but insisted that it was committed to regional transportation and would continue to hold minimum shares in the Antigua-based carrier.

Barbados along with Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are the main shareholders of the airline that employs over 600 people and operates 491 flights weekly across 15 destinations.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley in a statement to Parliament confirmed reports that Antigua and Barbuda would be seeking to replace Barbados as the largest shareholder government by seeking to acquire the shares Bridgetown would be outing up for sale.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley speaking in Parliament (CMC Photo)

She said that Attorney General Dale Marshall would lead the negotiations.

“There is only so much that Barbados can responsibly do at this time given our current circumstances and our current position on the journey which I referred to just now,” she said, having earlier made reference to the island’s multi-million dollar agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to turn around the ailing economy.

“Therefore…notwithstanding our absolute commitment to regional air travel and notwithstanding the fact and given in fact that the studies have recommended a different module and restructuring for LIAT and given the inability of the government of Barbados to do for LIAT in the next five to 10 years what the government of Barbados did for LIAT in the last five to 10 years when we moved significantly to assume major shareholder responsibilities, we have taken the determination, a decision as a cabinet that it is time for us to step back while at the same time allowing other governments to continue with their proposals to restructure LIAT in the way which they have determined.”

Last month, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said he had ieceived communication from his Barbados  indicating that Bridgetown was willing to sell all but 10 per cent of its shares in the airline that serves 15 Caribbean destinations.

Antigua and Barbuda currently holds 34 per cent of the shares and if it succeeds in convincing Bridgetown to part with its LIAT shares, would have 81 per cent of the airline.

The government in a statement last month had said that “an offer was made for Antigua and Barbuda to acquire the LIAT shares owned by Barbados, through a take-over of the liability of Barbados to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).”

The Antigua and Barbuda government chief of staff, Lionel Max Hurst, said that “there are many jobs here in Antigua and Barbuda connected to LIAT and we intend to ensure that those jobs are not lost.

“Many of the route rights that LIAT now possesses would be utilized more fully if Antigua and Barbuda gets its way,’ Hurst said.

Motrley told Parliament that Barbados would not be turning its back on regional transportation or LIAT, adding it would maintain a “minimum shareholding in LIAT should we reach an agreement with our sister governments for them to take over our shareholding with respect to the negotiations.

“We will continue to provide a minimum revenue guarantee, I shouldn’t say continue, we will provide a minimum revenue guarantee on any route that is uncommercial, unprofitable, recognising however that the majority of routes that Barbados is involved in, is in fact profitable with LIAT.

“And it is against this background Mr. Speaker, our commitment continues that such within the last few weeks the government of Barbados would have sent a further one billion dollars (One Barbados dollar=US$0.50 cents) to LIAT and would also have satisfied our commitment to the Caribbean Development Bank with respect to the re-fleeting of LIAT,” she added.

In May, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that the shareholder governments had agreed to give further consideration to a proposal by Prime Minister Browne regarding the future direction of the airline.

Gonsalves said he had hoped that the proposal from Antigua and Barbuda would be discussed by the shareholders “before the end of May is out”.

Grenada recently became the latest shareholder in LIAT and Gonsalves confirmed that St. Kitts-Nevis had responded positively to the call for raising US$5.4 million to help the airline deal with its current financial problems.

St. Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has said that Castries would not contribute any funds unless there’s a significant change to the airline’s structure.

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

Body of former prime minister returns on Sunday

Body of former prime minister returns on Sunday

by staff writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jun 1, CMC – The Jamaica government says the body of the late former prime minister, Edward Seaga, is scheduled to arrive here on Sunday, as the region and international community continues to pay its respect to him.

A government statement said that Seaga’s remains, draped in the national flag, will arrive on a Caribbean Airlines flight at the Norman Manley International Airport, escorted by members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

Edward Seaga (File Photo)

It said family members, including widow Mrs. Carla Seaga and daughter Gabrielle, will be on the flight and that the body of the country’s fifth prime minister, will be received by the Government with the appropriate honour guard in place.

On hand will be Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen; Prime Minister Andrew Holness; Members of the Cabinet; Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips; Members of Parliament as well as other relatives of the late prime minister, who died in a United States hospital on Tuesday at the age of 89.

The government said that Seaga will be accorded a State funeral and that a period of mourning will be announced.

It said condolence books have opened at locations across the island and people overseas will have the opportunity to sign condolence books, which will be opened in all diplomatic missions.

Meanwhile, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin LaRocque said Seaga was instrumental in reviving the integration movement as host in 1982 to the first heads of government conference after a seven year hiatus.

“The meeting served to reinvigorate the integration process,” LaRocque said, adding that Seaga made an indelible contribution to the development of his country in many spheres.

“Recognised as the longest serving member of the Jamaican Parliament, he was also the youngest ever nominated to the Legislative Council prior to Independence.  His record of service in both the Lower and Upper Houses was marked not only by his passionate oratory but also by his initiation of innovative legislative actions which resulted in significant changes in his country.

“Mr Seaga lent his considerable experience and expertise to the University of the West Indies (UWI), where, upon his retirement from public life, he was appointed as a Distinguished Fellow at the regional institution’s Mona Campus.  The Campus’ Research Institute had earlier been named in his honour.”

LaRocque said that Seaga has done his part and that Jamaica and the region “ have lost a towering figure.”

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

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