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RBC – 2020 Financials

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Bank of Montserrat 2020 Financials

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Brandt prevails in Court of Appeal – pretrial Constitutional issue on witnesses during trial

By Bennette Roach

Updated: December 18, 2020

As ZJB Radio report begins, “More interesting developments in the court matter involving attorney at law and former Chief Minister David S. Brandt.”

The question being asked more frequently now and in the face of other judicial areas where money would be better served, “Why is the local government allowing the UK to expend the amount of money on a trial that may have gone wrong ‘at’ the overdue time and the way it started? For another consultation and discussion.

We have referred to this ongoing matter as historical and it seems there is little end in sight for the matter to come to a conclusion. And, whereas by virtue of the nature of the case, which we believe has other motives involved, the public seems now to have lost interest in it.

The following was noted in the ruling/decision: “Several trial dates have been set and subsequently vacated on account of supervening litigation at the instance of the appellant over the past five years. To date, Mr. Brandt has not been tried,” Chief Justice the Hon. Dame Janice M. Pereira, DBE wrote.

East Caribbean Supreme Court
DPP Oris Sullivan
Helen Weekes QC – Lead prosecutor from the UK

The latest is the decision of the East Caribbean Court of Appeal dismissing appeals brought by the Attorney General (AG) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) against a decision by His Lordship Justice Rajiv Persaud, who ruled that consistent with his constitutional rights, Mr. Brandt could not be prevented from cross-examining any witness at his pending criminal trial.

The background of the appeals came from: “…the DPP’s application’

Dr. Dorsett, who appears for Mr. Brandt in these appeals, was appointed by Persad J [Ag.], the learned judge of the High Court presiding over the criminal proceedings… to represent Mr. Brandt for the purpose of cross-examining the prosecution witnesses.

Dr. David Dorsett

[4] Mr. Brandt and Dr. Dorsett were equally aggrieved by the learned judge’s decision. Dr. Dorsett challenged his appointment as counsel for Mr. Brandt by way of CPR Part 56 proceedings, and Mr. Brandt, being desirous of cross-examining the prosecution witnesses himself, raised an objection to Dr. Dorsett’s appointment before the learned judge. Mr. Brandt’s position was that any restriction on his ability to cross-examine prosecution witnesses without the assistance of counsel, runs afoul of his rights to defend himself and to cross-examine witnesses under sections 7(2)(d) and 7(2)(e) of the Constitution of Montserrat2 (“the Constitution”).

Accused David Brandt

Mr. Brandt therefore urged the judge not to apply sections 287, 288, and 291 of the Criminal Procedure Code, on the basis that they are incompatible with his rights under the Constitution.
On 28th September 2020, the judge rendered an oral decision which was later reduced to writing, by which he concluded that sections 287, 288, and 291 of the Criminal Procedure Code infringe Mr. Brandt’s constitutional rights… and vacated his earlier orders limiting Mr. Brandt’s ability to cross-examine in person and appointing Dr. Dorsett for the purpose of doing so.
The DPP also applied under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code to have special measures adopted for the taking of evidence from certain prosecution witnesses (“the special measures application”). In relation to the special measures application, the learned judge was satisfied on the evidence that the application ought to be granted and, on 5th October 2020, made orders permitting the Crown to lead evidence from three prosecution witnesses, who are complainants in the matter, through a video recording to be played in court as the evidence in chief pursuant to… the Criminal Procedure Code. The learned judge also granted leave to have the said three prosecution witnesses appear remotely from another location, outside the court, when they are required to be cross-examined on their evidence… and to have another prosecution witness, give evidence by video link.
Then came the Appeals.

The Attorney General and the DPP by way of appeal against the judge’s 28th September 2020 decision, in essence, challenged the correctness of the judge’s analysis and conclusions, and his order vacating Dr. Dorsett’s appointment as legal representative for Mr. Brandt.

The CPC Appeals were launched as civil appeals and not criminal appeals even though they do not originate from a constitutional motion or civil claim in the court below, and notwithstanding that they arise from a ruling by the learned judge within the context of the pre-trial case management hearing of Mr. Brandt’s criminal trial.

Mr. Brandt, at the same time, launched a criminal appeal challenging the learned judge’s 5th October 2020 decision in relation to the DPP’s special measures application (“the Special Measures Appeal”). The Special Measures Appeal challenges the judge’s orders sanctioning the prosecution’s use of special measures for the protection of certain prosecution witnesses.

Following the filing of these appeals, Mr. Brandt applied also on 15th October 2020 to strike out the CPC Appeals.
In similar vein, the DPP moved the Court to strike out the Special Measures Appeal, in essence on several grounds:
(i) The Special Measures Appeal does not fall within the scope of permissible appeals under section 38 of the Supreme Court Act as it is not an appeal against conviction or sentence;
(ii) There is no legal basis to mount an appeal to the Court of Appeal against a trial judge’s ruling on a pre-trial issue in a criminal trial…
(iii) The issue before the trial judge was well within the competence of a trial judge without there being any reliance upon or invocation of any section of the Constitution.

In the final decision, the Appeal Court ruled “on 11th November 2020 this Court unanimously dismissed three appeals brought respectively by the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions (“the DPP”) of Montserrat and Mr. David Brandt, following the consideration of submissions by the parties on this Court’s jurisdiction to entertain the appeals.”

First – “We are satisfied that the Attorney General in the circumstances has no standing as an appellant in this matter and, on that basis alone, it is sufficient to dismiss…”

In the circumstances, the Special Measures Appeal is clearly not permitted by the Supreme Court Act, is a nullity and must be dismissed…Agreed with Mr. Brandt “that this Court has no jurisdiction to hear either of the CPC Appeals. He argues that the appeals are caught by section 31(2)(a) and must be dismissed.”

And finally, “It is for all the above reasons [in the 50-clause decision] that the Court dismissed the CPC Appeals and Special Measures Appeals.”

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Update to CLICO policyholders

Clico International Life Insurance
Limited – Montserrat Branch
(IN JUDICIAL MANAGEMENT)

On 2 May 2014 the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in Montserrat ordered that Clico International Life Insurance Limited’s (“CLICO”) Branch operations in Montserrat (hereinafter referred to as “the Branch”) be placed under judicial management pursuant to Section 53 of the Insurance Act of the Laws of Montserrat at the request of the Supervisor of Insurance.

Russell Crumpler of KPMG (BVI) Limited was appointed as the Judicial Manager of the Montserrat Branch (hereinafter referred to as the “Montserrat Judicial Manager”).  We write to provide an update to Montserrat policyholders in respect of the wider Judicial Management of CLICO and, more specifically, the Judicial Management of the Branch. 

Further to a report filed in the Barbados Court by the Barbados appointed Judicial Manager of CLICO we understand that he has recommended to the Courts in Barbados, Grenada, Dominica, St. Vincent and Anguilla that the judicial management of CLICO be terminated, and that a liquidator appointed. 

Whilst the recommendation for the termination of the judicial management of CLICO and appointment of a liquidator is yet to be considered, we understand from the CLICO Judicial Manager that, as of 29 February 2020, all policies administered under CLICO ceased to be in effect. We understand that whilst all policies ceased to be in effect from 29 February 2020 onwards liabilities accrued to that date in respect of those policies will essentially be fixed. We further understand that this is with the intention of being able to calculate the amount owed under each policy for the purposes of potential future distributions.  We expect to be able to provide further updates on the appointment of the liquidator over CLICO and the effect the liquidation may have over distributions as the process develops.

Accordingly, we provide notice to all policyholders of the Branch that any premiums received for the period 1 March 2020 to date will be returned. We anticipate that the return of those premiums paid to the Branch will be completed by the end of December 2020, and no later than 31 January 2021.  

We also request that no further premiums are paid by Montserrat policyholders to the Branch either personally, or on their behalf by their employers. 

Where premiums are being paid on your behalf by your employer we will also be liaising with them to ensure they are aware that no further payments should be made (and where relevant no deductions).  

We will provide a further substantive update once the Barbados Court has delivered its final determination in respect of the recommendation for the termination of the judicial management and appointment of liquidator.  

In the interim, we thank you for your patience. Should you have any queries in respect of this notice or the information contained therein, please do not hesitate to contact Christina Rodriguez on behalf of the Montserrat Judicial Manager at christinarodriguez@kpmg.vg.

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Express

Lords inflict defeat on Boris’ Brexit plans as plot to ditch EU state aid rules HALTED

BORIS JOHNSON has suffered a humiliating Brexit defeat as the House of Lords backed a Labour motion urging a delay to the dumping of EU state aid rules.

By LAURA O’CALLAGHAN | UPDATED: 12:35, Thu, Dec 3, 2020

Brexit: House of Lords ‘out to thwart’ process says Redwood

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Peers backed the regret motion by 278 votes to 258 in a ballot in the upper chamber on Wednesday evening. The vote marks an embarrassing defeat for the Government over a move to ditch EU state aid rules in the absence of an agreed new post-Brexit subsidy regime for the UK.ADVERTISING

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The vote comes just four weeks from the end of the Brexit transition period.

Ministers had argued with the ending of the period, Brussels would no longer have any jurisdiction in the UK and so “makes no sense to leave these rules on our statute book”.

Fierce criticism in the Lords came about in response to a Government regulation, which would see the UK from January 1 follow World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules on subsidies and other international commitments agreed in free trade agreements, with the option to legislate for a home-grown system.

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The House of Lords has inflicted a blow to Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan (Image: GETTY)
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One peer called the proposed move a ‘typical Brexit act’ (Image: GETTY)

The rumblings came after a Lords watchdog raised concerns over the plan to revoke the EU’s rules on state aid.

The group said the planned move appeared to be a shift from the previous Government’s position which had sought continuity.

The Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee also questioned the use of a ministerial order, known as a statutory instrument, to introduce the changes in policy on such important issues rather than primary legislation.

READ MORE: Brexit LIVE: Michel Barnier’s ‘huge miscalculation’ – no deal panic

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An anti-Brexit campaigner calls for the transition period to be extended (Image: GETTY)

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In a statement, the Lords select committee said: “We take the view that this is neither a welcome nor acceptable use of secondary legislation.”

The vote comes amid intense post-Brexit trade talks between Michel Barnier and Lord Frost in London. 

With just weeks to go until the Brexit transition period deadline, both sides are battling it out to secure a free trade deal. 

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The Prime Minister suffered a humiliating defeat in the Lords (Image: GETTY)
Brexit news house of lords
Boris Johnson suffered the defeat in the upper chamber on Wednesday night (Image: GETTY)

Labour frontbencher Lord Stevenson of Balmacara said the WTO rules the Government is seeking to usher in are “widely discredited”.

He said: “We have no sense of where the Government wants to take their policy on state aid other than it cannot be the same as it has been under the EU.

“Removing a well-understood policy framework that has been in place for half a century and replacing it with a reliance on WTO rules, which are widely discredited seems a perverse way of making policy, even if the Government need more time before deciding what to do.”

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Britain’s constitution explained (Image: EXPRESS)

david frost
The vote in the Lords comes as Lord Frost holds talks with Michel Barnier (Image: GETTY)

He went on to argue there was a “powerful case” for delaying No10’s planned move.

He added: “This pause for reflection is what this regret motion in my name would achieve.”

Labour’s Lord Liddle, a former Europe adviser to Tony Blair, insisted the WTO rules did not amount to a “credible state aid regime”.

BARNIER
Michel Barnier pictured heading to Brexit trade talks in London (Image: GETTY)

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He summed up the Government’s rush to replace the EU’s regulations as a “typical Brexit act”.

Lord Liddle said: “It is a typical Brexit act taking a leap into the unknown without a clue of what actually you’re trying to achieve.”

But support for Mr. Johnson’s plan came from former Brexit Party MEP Baroness Fox of Buckley.

She called on the Government to “get rid of state aid rules as quickly as possible”.

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CCRIF SPC Provides US$250,000 (J$35 Million) to The University of the West Indies for Scholarships and Tuition Fees

The following is a release from CCRIF SPC as dated, that is of particular interest, to the left behind students from Montserrat, those with the desire to move up with higher education, but cannot because of the absence of the necessary resources so to do.

Kingston, Jamaica, December 1, 2020. On November 26, CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) presented a cheque for US$250,000 (J$35 million) to The University of the West Indies (The UWI) for scholarships and for covering the tuition fees of students who are in need of financial support this academic year.

L-R: Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Dale Webber; UWI Mona Guild President Sujae Boswell; University Registrar Dr. Maurice Smith; CCRIF Scholar Matthew Arnold; CCRIF Technical Assistance Manager and Corporate Communications Manager Elizabeth Emanuel; and CCRIF Board Member Mrs. Saundra Bailey at the handing over of US$250,000 (J$135 million) for scholarships and tuition support to The UWI

Approximately US$108,000 or J$15 million of the US$250,000 (J$35 million) is already allocated for scholarships for 2020/21 at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels and this is about the usual amount that CCRIF has been providing to The UWI annually since 2010 and can be considered merit scholarships since they are based largely on the performance of students. The remaining US$142,000 or J$20 million has been provided to cover the tuition fees of the most needy students, who due to the COVID-19 pandemic are finding it difficult to pay tuition and who are at risk of either being de-registered or not completing their studies. This latter support is part of the Facility’s COVID-19 response geared to supporting our members and other key stakeholders.

According to Saundra Bailey, CCRIF Board Member “Since 2010, CCRIF has provided The UWI with 71 scholarships totalling US$761,230 or almost J$107 million. CCRIF continues to view its investments in scholarships as critical to building a cadre of individuals who possess the knowledge and skills to advance the resilience of the small island and coastal states of our region.”

Outside of support to students at The UWI, graduates of The University also have benefited from CCRIF scholarships to study for postgraduate degrees in the USA and the UK as well as internships at national and regional organizations involved in disaster risk management and meteorology and at a number of departments and centres of The University itself such as the Disaster Risk Reduction Centre, Climate Studies Group Mona, and the Seismic Research Centre.

University Registrar, Dr. Maurice Smith in acknowledging CCRIF’s contributions, commented that both The UWI and CCRIF have had a longstanding relationship and today’s handing over ceremony is significant as it is an expression of support not only for the regional institution but the talented students who are pursuing programmes related to CCRIF’s mandate.

Professor Dale Webber, Principal of the Mona Campus and Pro-Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for Climate Change and Disaster Preparedness, signaled his gratitude for the tuition support for students in civil engineering, geography, and geology. He asked CCRIF to consider students pursuing programmes in actuarial science, computer science, and social work as these areas are critical to strengthening the region’s response to disaster management.

Earlier this year, CCRIF expanded its partnership with The UWI even further when the two organizations signed a new memorandum of understanding which went beyond offering scholarships and established a framework for the promotion and facilitation of disaster risk management, including modeling, disaster risk financing, and climate change adaptation as well as research, capacity-building and resilience-building initiatives that will support and advance the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM’s) ambition of making the Caribbean the world’s first climate-resilient zone.

One of the first outputs of this new MOU was the development of a new course called Fundamentals of Disaster Risk Financing for Advancing Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which is currently being offered through The UWI Open Campus. Over 30 students are members of the first cohort to take this Continuing and Professional Education Certificate course, which offers four continuing education units.

Including today’s contribution, CCRIF’s overall support to The UWI over the period 2010 – 2020 has totalled over US$1 million (J$140 million), through programmes for scholarships and internships and the current MOU as well as two grants to the departments of Food Production and Geography at the St. Augustine campus for community-based disaster risk reduction projects, support to the Seismic Research Centre towards establishing and maintaining a new accelerometric network in the Eastern Caribbean and Jamaica to enhance the capability for identifying and mitigating seismic risk in the Caribbean, and a contract with Lumin Consulting for work related to the CCRIF-Caribbean Development Bank Integrated Sovereign Risk Management Project.

CCRIF also used the occasion to launch its Technical Paper Series #4, A Collection of Papers and Expert Notes on Disaster Risk Financing and Disaster Risk Management … Highlighting academic papers prepared by a selection of CCRIF scholarship winners”. This collection of papers highlights research conducted by nine recipients of CCRIF scholarships between 2010 and 2017. The academic papers include papers completed as part of course work, extracts from dissertations, as well as complete dissertations – all submitted as part of their degree requirements. The papers demonstrate the diversity of research topics undertaken by CCRIF scholarship recipients – which range from social issues such as a discussion of whether disaster scenes should be “off-limits” to victims’ relatives, and climate and risk communication to an analysis of the financial services sector responses to climate change risks to more technical discussions such as seismic analysis.

Elizabeth Emanuel, CCRIF Technical Assistance Manager and Corporate Communications Manager presents a synopsis of the new publication, A Collection of Papers and Expert Notes on Disaster Risk Financing and Disaster Risk Management … Highlighting academic papers prepared by a selection of CCRIF scholarship winners”. Copies of the publication will be provided to all campuses of The University of the West Indies.
Mrs. Saundra Bailey, CCRIF Board Member; Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of UWI Mona, Professor Dale Webber; and Elizabeth Emanuel, CCRIF Technical Assistance Manager and Corporate Communications Manager, peruse the publication “A Collection of Papers and Expert Notes on Disaster Risk Financing and Disaster Risk Management … Highlighting academic papers prepared by a selection of CCRIF scholarship winners”.

According to Mrs. Bailey, “During this pandemic, CCRIF has both levelled up and pivoted to ensure that our members and key partners and stakeholders are able to better confront and address the many challenges posed by climate change and COVID-19, with The UWI being one such partner.”

Website: www.ccrif.org | Email: pr@ccrif.org |  Follow @ccrif_pr |  CCRIF SPC

About CCRIF SPC:

CCRIF SPC is a segregated portfolio company, owned, operated, and registered in the Caribbean. It limits the financial impact of catastrophic hurricanes, earthquakes, and excess rainfall events to the Caribbean and Central American governments by quickly providing short-term liquidity when a parametric insurance policy is triggered. It is the world’s first regional fund utilising parametric insurance, giving member governments the unique opportunity to purchase earthquake, hurricane, and excess rainfall catastrophe coverage with the lowest-possible pricing. CCRIF was developed under the technical leadership of the World Bank and with a grant from the Government of Japan. It was capitalized through contributions to a Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) by the Government of Canada, the European Union, the World Bank, the governments of the UK and France, the Caribbean Development Bank and the governments of Ireland and Bermuda, as well as through membership fees paid by participating governments. In 2014, a second MDTF was established by the World Bank to support the development of CCRIF SPC’s new products for current and potential members and facilitate the entry of Central American countries and additional Caribbean countries. The MDTF currently channels funds from various donors, including: Canada, through Global Affairs Canada; the United States, through the Department of the Treasury; the European Union, through the European Commission, and Germany, through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and KfW. Additional financing has been provided by the Caribbean Development Bank, with resources provided by Mexico; the Government of Ireland; and the European Union through its Regional Resilience Building Facility managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and The World Bank.

Website: www.ccrif.org | Email: pr@ccrif.org |  Follow @ccrif_pr |  CCRIF SPC

About The UWI

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies; the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ); The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development; The UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership with the University of Coventry and the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research with the University of Glasgow.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. 

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019 and 2020, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2018, 2019 and 2020. The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.  For more, visit www.uwi.edu.

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)

#ccrifspc #uwi #scholarships #covid-19 #donation #disasterriskfinancing  #parametricinsurance #theuwi

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JMC-OTs-family-photo-for-media-release

UK Family Of OTs Come Together On CORONAVIRUS, COP26 And The Economy

Premier Farrell middle in top rowUK family of Overseas Territories

FCDO Press Release: UK family of Overseas Territories come together on coronavirus, COP26, and the economy

The Joint Ministerial Council held virtually 23-26 November, has been a chance to celebrate the special partnership between the UK and the Overseas Territories (OTs).

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined elected leaders at the Joint Ministerial Council (JMC), and representatives from OTs and the UK held wide-ranging discussions on a number of topics, including economic issues, COVID-19 response, and recovery, protecting vulnerable groups and protecting the environment in both the run-up to and beyond COP26.

Leaders heard from His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, ahead of discussions on the environment and COP26, showing the importance the UK puts on its relationship with the Overseas Territories and recognising their huge contribution to our biodiversity.

The UK outlined support for border security, prisons and criminal justice in the Overseas Territories.

At the conclusion of the JMC, UK Ministers and OT Leaders agreed a joint communique which can be found here.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaking at the opening of the JMC earlier this week said:

“The UK is absolutely committed to you, to your futures, and to our partnership.

“As we go forward and recover from this pandemic, we want to make sure that we build back greener and that we look after island economies that are so vulnerable to climate change.

“In spite of everything, of the difficulties we are going through, we remember that we are united by deep ties of kinship and friendship and history and values. We in the UK government are going to make sure we continue to intensify that partnership.”

Minister Morton, Minister responsible for Falklands and Gibraltar who chaired much of the Joint Ministerial Council, said:       

 “Our Overseas Territories are part of the UK family.  We take our responsibilities towards them extremely seriously, whether that means working with them to defend the OTs from threats, helping preserve the natural environment, or supporting OTs in times of crisis – as we have with COVID-19.  When we face global challenges we face them together”

The UK government remains committed to partnership with the Overseas Territories, and to working together so communities flourish as modern, prosperous, and strong democracies.

ENDS

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Devastation in the village of Harris’ Below is the same area two weeke before

25 years unforgotten memory of volcanic destruction – ‘fighting’? volcano destruct, now COVID-19

In a Government of Montserrat release, for what or any significance that may be attached, superstitiously or otherwise, it declared that July 15, 2020, was “declared a public holiday on Montserrat, in observance of 25 years since the start of volcanic activity.”

It almost evaded my attention until the very day, having not seen the promised “order of service” which, “with other details was to be published at a later date. Meantime the day July 15, would be “observed as a National Day of Prayer, Reflection, and Thanksgiving, under the theme ‘25 Years on, we are still here’.  The National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving service will be held at 5:00 p.m. at the Look Out Catholic Church.”

Yet to be forgotten as a time in history, with Montserrat is not yet near a place or time a quarter of a century (25 years) later that it can say the loss was for better days, as it has been for others with somewhat similar experience.

It is still confusing why that holiday was not given on the eve which was Friday.

As for the theme, which seemed an effort at expressing some pride by those saying it, but to me, it is quite empty. Giving God thanks, of course, but…

Five years ago, remembering this day from 20 years prior, in the article under a headline caption “Bringing 20 year volcanic crisis perspectives – Recapturing: THE VOLCANO and DEATH, we opened: “In this week’s issue we mostly feature articles and reports from first issues after July 18, 1995 and from immediately after June 25, 1997.

“This, especially in light of discussions that have taken place as a committee set up to plan the 20th-year anniversary of the beginning of what is still referred to as the eruption of Soufriere Hills volcano; “where we came from, where we ought to be, and where we want to go.”

There were some memorable times from that commemoration. It is that which makes us declare the theme of this year’s Thanksgiving seems wrong. Expect more on this.

At that time we also wrote referring to articles from 1995 on…, “… we still hope our readers may now, following, hearing or having heard or followed the debate and discussions, make their own determination as to where we are and know where we are going.

We wish the conversation now would be updated with real pride but we still find we must say, Really, as is said it is time for action. “Everyone”, they say, “has their part to play.” And isn’t odd though that those last words, we have heard them time and time again. Still more to come.

So like 20 years ago and often enough we present as we recapture for the benefit of going forward and for those who might now get a sense of then.

For Bishop Melroy’s references:

https://www.themontserratreporter.com/mdc-shut-down-montserrat-back-five-years/

It is fifteen years on and featured speaker Bishop Melroy Meade said that one day was not enough. In a passionate message, he called for a week of Thanksgiving during which time residents would give thanks to God for his protection, preservation, and faithfulness over the last fifteen years. The congregation that came together to give God thanks appeared to have agreed with him.

Bishop Meade likened the experience in Montserrat to that of Job when everything he had was taken away, but he pointed to a better day which is coming. He also referred to the determination, resoluteness, and pride of a people who have suffered greatly. Like Job, people don’t understand what Montserratians went through but when they become familiar with the island, the resilience of the people they too want to embrace it, he said.

According to Bishop Meade, “The truth is our trials come to make us strong and life cost what it cost and it never goes on sale.”

By Bennette Roach

Devastation in the village of Harris’ Below is the same area two weeke before
Devastation in the village of Harris’

One of the conditions the British Governor of Montserrat and the local Government never wanted to exist, is that they would ever have to report that lives were lost as a direct result of volcanic activity in Montserrat.

On the night of July 18, 1995, residents not far away from Soufriere Hills could hear what they later described as roaring sounds like those that come from jet planes, and it was soon realized by all that a volcano that lay in waiting at English Crater in Soufriere Hills had come alive.

Soon after from several and continuous radio broadcasts, and interviews from scientists, the Governor and the Chief Minister, his office and the offices of the Emergency Operating Centre (EOC), we were to learn that there has always been this volcano, that there have been activities at approximately 30 – 35-year intervals since the turn of this century; that there have been studies, one as recent as the mid-80s, which suggested that there will be serious activities around this time.

No attention whatever was paid to these facts and so here we were in July, less than a month under two years ago, with an erupting volcano and every resident as ignorant as ever to the dangers that this could pose for Montserrat. Since that time it has been a downhill battle, which may have not yet culminated, but which has now directly claimed the lives of at least 10 people with more almost certain to be confirmed when the ash becomes cool enough to be cleared in some way.

1997 6 24 pics
Home demolished by the power and volume of the flow

June 25, 1997, will be long remembered as the worst day of the volcano (I hope) because lives were lost. And the question that is being asked, “Could this have been avoided?” Amazingly, the homes in Long Ground are still standing untouched but for the September 17 last year’s eruption. It may well be that the Tar River valley is their protection or perhaps it is early yet.

MVO Reports

The Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) report for that morning read as follows: The latest earthquake swarm has just reached a peak, with 4 or 5 earthquakes occurring every minute. At the time of the highest activity, the hybrid earthquakes could more accurately be described as continuous tremors. There have been several small pyroclastic flows in Mosquito Ghaut in the last hour. Observations of the dome last night showed that the top of Mosquito Ghaut is the only active area of the dome at the moment, as the focus of activity has switched from the eastern side to the north in the last few days.

Further pyroclastic flow activity is expected, and the high level of activity means that these flows could happen at any time and be larger than before. The current area of activity makes Mosquito Ghaut the most likely pathway, but further flows in Gages, Tuitt’s, or Tar River are probable as well.”

The following recently became a standard part of the report: Bramble Airport remains operational, but the public is reminded that it is open only for essential travel purposes. The sirens will be tested as usual this afternoon.”

Now following is the evening report following the disaster: “An intense swarm of hybrid earthquakes began at 11 a.m., and rapidly escalated to repetitive events which merged into continuous tremor after 12:15 p.m. At about 1 p.m. major pyroclastic flow activity began in Mosquito Ghaut, which generated an ash cloud to over 30,000 ft within minutes. The flow traveled into Farms River to Trants Bridge. Downriver of Bramble, the flows fanned out into Bethel and Spanish Point almost to the sea. On the northern side, Farms and Trants villages were affected, and the surge reached to Trants bridge. A total of at least 2 square kilometers of land was covered by the pyroclastic flow and surge.

The lower half of Harris village was also impacted, and an ash surge traveled from the Farrell’s area down to the west at least as far as Dyers, and into the upper reaches of Dyer’s Ghaut. There was no activity in the Gages valley during the afternoon.

During the time of the reported activities above, there were people tending their animals and gardens in the Farrell’s and surrounding areas, some of whom perished; there were people in Harris’ and areas way down to Trants, Bethel and Spanish Pointe, Bramble village, etc. who were either visiting their properties or living there. Except for those properties on the perimeter of Mosquito Ghaut in Harris’, individuals were able to avoid the fury of the ash surge from the flow by moving to even higher grounds, but not those in the other areas which were all on lower ground and not far from the ghaut which became more shallow as it nears the sea.

So that just as the report above described, confirmed by the eye witness account of Roy ‘Slim’ Daley from Bramble village who was in Harris’ at the time. He said: “I saw the surges coming back up the hill from the pyroclastic flows, which moved at incredible speed down towards Farms and Trants, breaking over the walls at Brambles and rushing down towards Spanish Pointe through Bethel.”

Fatalities

Soon we were to hear the calls of the authorities for persons to advise them of persons who were known to have been in the areas for one reason another. Both the Governor and the Chief Minister appeared on the radio to tell the nation about the rescue efforts that were underway, never admitting then that there might be fatalities following the activities.

But having seen the results of the forerunning pyroclastic flows, I was certain that the persons who I discovered were in their homes or in the area, had met an unfortunate end.

Other than the sketchy and well-monitored reports that came from Government Information Unit (GIU) and ZJB, the rest of the local media was reduced to press conferences which were cut short and severely limited by interviewees who gave much too long answers, having been denied views from the helicopter or access to the area other than the rest of the general public was entitled to.

By the end of the following day, the admission of fatalities was announced and the count grew each day from four to ten by Monday. It was on Saturday when the CM came close to saying that there may be more dead who are still difficult to get to because of the still searing hot ash that lay deposited on the ground.

THE DISASTER

1997 6 24 pics a
Helicopters involved in the search and rescue missions

I was finally afforded a trip to look at the damage done on Wednesday by EMAD, on a helicopter which is one of four helicopters brought in from different sources to aid the ‘search and rescue’ effort.

The trip was not like any I’ve had and did not afford me the opportunity for detail as I rode with David Brandt and 2 others, plus Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) cameraman and video cameras. with another from Trinidad. It was only a 20-minute trip, far too short.

However, the devastation is much greater than I imagined. The lands (forest) between Tuitts and Mosquito Ghauts is no more. Although not filled with material the pyroclastic was extremely powerful as it left the volcano and that’s when the surge immediately went over Farrells and down Streatham and across Windy Hill. The Farrells estate house is completely gone and so is Mandy’s garage on the corner below the graveyard. It went through the bottom of Windy Hill and well across and into the ghaut beyond.

Escapee

One eye witness woman who escaped and who eventually went back to collect money she left in a vehicle, found it but had walked via Water Works, retracing her steps to get to it. She said she had to go reap the carrots because she was under so much pressure from the government to supply vegetables to shelters.

She got the money but the vehicle she had to leave. She described the flow that she saw as “sweet oil” running down the hill, noting how the flow backed up when the heat.

Looking down on the Harris’ road Mosquito ghaut is next to it. The surge reached across the road to the Police Station and burnt all those houses including the Church. These were not completely demolished but nevertheless destroyed, from the Morgan’s house down the hill towards farm, then there is one mass of destruction down through Farms, Bethel, Spanish Pointe, Trants.

Since that of course more flows and reports have stated that more damage was done in Harris’. I could see the walls of some of the houses in Farms, Bramble village, and Spanish Pointe, but it is obvious that truly there may be about 10 feet of material lying on the lands.

Trants village was completely demolished, hardly recognised any walls standing and it did seem such a vast area.

I saw how the flow over Farrells ran down and into the top of Belham.

I can now report that for Plymouth, we can expect worse to come along, it already looks a disaster. The flows that have been going down Gages and Fort Ghaut seemed to have damaged houses high up on the Gages corner and down the fringes of the ghaut. The Catholic convent and infant school and even the Church are now like the rest of the property in that vicinity are now in line for certain disaster as long as flows continue. At the foot of Gage’s mountain, the ghauts as I can remember are somewhat shallow, so that serious flows are likely to spread early over to Amersham as it has reportedly done.

I hardly had time for any detail or even good photographs as I was shooting through the helicopter sealed windows. Looking at the photographs, I do not remember where the various scenes are, and I was unable to make notes.

The helicopters are being operated from Geralds and joining them is that from the British navy ship.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Climate/Weather, COVID-19, Environment, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

Participate in the First Virtual Student Fair of the Caribbean!

Participate in the First Virtual Student Fair of the Caribbean!

Participate in the First Virtual Student Fair of the Caribbean!

https://pressroom.oecs.org/participate-in-the-first-virtual-student-fair-of-the-caribbean

Register now!

Thursday, November 19, 2020 — This fair hosted on December 2-3, 2020 will enable participants to learn about study and training opportunities in the Caribbean region as well as to interact with exhibitors and guest experts.

Partners of the ELAN project are pleased to announce the very first edition of the Virtual Student Fair, dedicated to vocational training and higher education, organized on December 2nd and 3rd 2020 with the support of Campus France, the French National Agency for the Promotion of Higher Education, International Student Services and International Mobility.

This fair is free and designed for students (high school and tertiary level), parents, teachers, and also technical vocational trainees and trainers from the cooperation zone of the project (English-speaking Caribbean, Haiti, Martinique, and Guadeloupe).

With this event, the ELAN project team wishes to promote exchange, and cooperation between 70 exhibitors and visitors, allowing them to learn about the regional offer of studies and vocational training, and also to exchange with participating institutions and specialists on common regional hot topics during webinars. Visitors will also have the opportunity to consult internship offers, attend workshops to prepare their study experience abroad, assess their level in a foreign language (French or English), and, above all, try to win a prize in the great ELAN contest.

Registrations are open on https://www.elan-virtualforum.org.
For more information, visit the ELAN project website or social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).

Promo flyer of the INTERREG ELAN project

Posted in Advertisements, Announcements/Greetings, Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Classified, Education, Local, News, OECS, Regional, Youth0 Comments

colonialism_reparation.png

United States: It Is Time for Reparations

COLONIALISM REPARATION

SO THAT COLONIALISMS OF YESTERDAY AND TODAY ARE NOT REPEATED TOMORROW

Published: 19 November 2020

colonialism_reparation.png
Colonialism Reparation welcomes that in the United States of America reparations are gaining traction and invites all the other federal, state, and local administrations to take action in the same direction.

On March 1, 2019, giving continuity to the action of Congressman John Conyers Jr. begun in 1989 and those who preceded and accompanied him, congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee introduces the bill 40 to establish a Commission to study and develop reparation proposals for African-Americans, holding during the legislature a public hearing and gathering the support of 162 representatives, 20 senators, and the United States Conference of Mayors.

On January 14, 2020, in New Jersey senators Ronald Rice and Sandra Cunningham introduce the bill 322 to establish a Reparations Task Force to conduct research and develop reparatory proposals and recommendations.
On February 7, 2020, in Maryland delegate Wanika Fisher introduces the bill 1201 to establish a Reparations Commission to develop and administer a program for the provision of compensatory benefits to the descendants of individuals enslaved in the State.

On February 13, 2020, in Illinois representatives William Davis and Carol Ammons introduce the bill 5024 to establish an African descent-citizens reparations Commission.

On February 21, 2020, in California assemblymember, Shirley Weber introduces the bill 3121 to establish a Task Force to study and develop reparation proposals for African Americans, which is approved and enters into force on September 30, 2020.

On June 5, 2019, the City Council of Evanston in Illinois adopts resolution 58 launching a local reparations process with the creation of a dedicated Subcommittee, a dedicated fund, and the first reparatory measures.
On June 17, 2020, the City Council of Chicago in Illinois adopts resolution 694 launching a local reparations process with the creation of a dedicated Commission.

On August 10, 2020, the City Council of Burlington in Vermont adopts resolution 7.06 launching a local reparations process with the creation of a dedicated Task Force.

On August 18, 2020, the County Commission of Kalamazoo in Michigan adopts resolution 1917 launching a local reparations process.
On October 20, 2020, the City Council of Carrboro in North Carolina adopts resolution 382 launching a local reparations process.

On October 20, 2020, the supervisor of San Francisco in California Shamann Walton presented the ordinance 201190 to launch a local reparations process.

Colonialism Reparation welcomes that in the United States of America reparations are gaining traction and invites all the other federal, state, and local administrations to take action in the same direction, keeping the electoral promises made.

Posted in Culture, Features, International, Legal, Local, News, OECS, Politics, Regional0 Comments

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