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Bertrand Osborne dies at 83

It was by no means surprising on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. how quickly the word resounded worldwide that former Chief Minister, the Honourable Bertrand Osborne, OBE had died at his home, after a lengthy illness, which he endured mostly at his home. In 2014 he was honoured with the National Order of Distinction award

Not surprising, as the condolences and tributes kept pouring in over the internet and as announced on ZJB Radio, since the news.

Premier Donaldson Romeo

The Hon. Premier in a statement of condolences on behalf of the Government and people of Montserrat, “Premier the Honourable Donaldson Romeo expresses heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of former Chief Minister Honourable Bertrand Osborne.”

The statement reads, “It is with deep regret and profound sadness that the Government and people of Montserrat, express sincere condolences, on the passing of a former Chief Minister of Montserrat, Honourable Bertrand Osborne…”

The statement provides the information that Mr. Osborne, served as the Chief Minister of Montserrat from November 1996 to August 1997, but was a member of the Legislative Assembly continuously from 1987 until 2001 serving as the leader of the National Development Party (NDP).

Osborne at St Patrick’s Church Plymouth

As the Premier ends his condolences: “We all pray that God will bring comfort to his wife Lystra Osborne, his children and the entire Osborne family during this time of bereavement.

As we honour his legacy, may his soul rest in eternal peace.”

At the same time Leader of the Opposition Easton Taylor Farrell, while on behalf of the parliamentary opposition extending condolences to the Osbornes family assuring them that “our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time,” said: “On reflecting on the life  of Mr. Osborne it is safe to say that he was a man of integrity, a role model, an individual who has helped to shape the lives of so many who knew him.  He was truly a man who was dedicated to service to his people. His business and political contribution has helped to shape the future of this island.”

Ag. Governor and Deputy Governor the Hon. Mrs. Lyndell Simpson

 Ag. Governor and Deputy Governor the Hon. Mrs. Lyndell Simpson was also quick and in a press statement described Mr. Osborne as “a great man who maintained a deep sense of humility, integrity and dedication to the public service and the people of Montserrat.

She said “the many facets of his extraordinary life and legacy to include managing MS Osborne Limited for 46 years (1967 – 2013) will live on in the hearts and minds of all who had the privilege to know him, learn from him, and work alongside him.

“Montserrat has lost a leader,” she says, adding “an exemplary man of deep principles and patriotism.”

She, on behalf of the Montserrat Public Service “most respectfully conveys its sincerest condolences to Mr Osborne’s bereaved wife, children, family and loved ones.”

Osborne at Tree planting at Germans Bay with St Patrick’s club

TMR will memorialise in a next issue, the Hon. Mr. Osborne following a memorial service to be held in his honour on Friday, September 14, at the Montserrat Cultural Centre at 10.30 a.m. following which his funeral service will begin at 2.30 p.m. at the R. C. Church in Lookout.

Staff of The Montserrat Reporter derived from Montserrat Reporter founded by Mr. Osborne’s National Development party in 1985, offers their sincerest condolences.

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Dr Jules and Dir Henri Yacou shake hands at OECS HQts

OECS and CGSS of Guadeloupe Sign Cooperation Agreement on Healthcare

General Director of the CGSS, Mr. Henri Yacou, signs Protocole d’Accord (MOU) in General Director of the CGSS, Mr. Henri Yacou, signs Protocole d’Accord (MOU) in Guadeloupe. (OECS Photo)

The OECS Commission has in an OECS Media Statement informed the following:

On Thursday, August 23, 2018 — Efforts to facilitate the ease of access to medical care in the French Departments of the Eastern Caribbean for nationals of OECS Member States were reinforced by a recent cooperation agreement signed by the OECS Commission and the General Social Security Fund of Guadeloupe (Caisse Generale Sécurité Sociale – CGSS).

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Dr. Didacus Jules, Director General of the OECS Commission and Mr. Henri Yacou, General Director of CGSS.

Inter alia, the Agreement seeks to:

  1. Address the administrative, logistical and financial barriers that OECS Member States face when accessing health services in the French Departments in the Eastern Caribbean; and
  2. Facilitate the exchange of information and capacity building in an effort to support the development of regional approaches to health services and the portability of health benefits backed by adequate health insurance.

The MOU follows a visit of the CGSS General Director, Mr. Henri Yacou, and his team to the OECS Commission’s offices in Saint Lucia in June, 2018.

Dr Jules and Dir Henri Yacou shake hands at OECS HQts

Dr. Didacus Jules said, “We are very aware of the exorbitant costs associated with extra-regional travel for medical care. The Commission has been actively seeking to create linkages with our French neighbours to expand access to specialised healthcare within the region and this agreement with the CGSS in Guadeloupe is a materialisation of these efforts. We look forward to deepening areas of cooperation in the years ahead.”

Mr. Henri Yacou informed, “It’s a real pleasure to have signed this agreement between CGSS and OECS.”

“I sincerely wish that this project will facilitate the free movement of citizens of the OECS to access health care in the best conditions possible.”

 

 

The CGSS team is presently working on a plan for:

  • A pilot project in the OECS with a French health insurance company;   
  • Unique identification numbers for citizens of Member States; and
  • A financially and legally secure partnership with hospital establishments of Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Martin.

 The Agreement came into effect in July 2018 and will last, in the first instance, for a period of three years.

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Dominica Opposition party wants answers on Ross University departure

Dominica Opposition party wants answers on Ross University departure

While St. Vincent PM says no blame should be afforded to his regional colleagues on Ross University

ROSEAU, Dominica, Aug 14, CMC – The main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) is calling on the Dominica government to make public the recent 25 year agreement it signed with the US-owned Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) that still allowed for the school to be relocated in Barbados.

“Given the apparent support of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit for the relocation of Ross University to Barbados, the people of Dominica have a right to full disclosure of the 25-year agreement that allowed this to happen without notice. We need to know what are the unmet government obligations under the agreement that allowed Ross to relocate without breaching the agreement,” the UWP said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Skerrit announced Ross University, which had been forced to relocate its operations to St Kitts and the state of Tennessee in the United States following the passage of Hurricane Maria last September, would be leaving the Eastern Caribbean nation after 40 years.

His announcement was followed by a press conference in Bridgetown where Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and the president Adtalem Global Education and chief executive officer at Ross University,  Lisa Wardell, announced that Bridgetown would be the new home of the American university by January 5, 2018.

The Skerrit administration said it had informed the RUSM that it could have resumed its operations on the hurricane struck island even before the start of the January semester in 2019.

The island’s ambassador to the United States and the Organisation of American States (OAS), Vince Henderson, speaking on a radio programme last Tuesday night, read from a three-page letter Prime Minister  Skerrit had sent to the university in July indicating that plans were advanced for the resumption of classes in Portsmouth, north of here.

“It is my fervent hope that all things considered there will be a much earlier re-opening of the campus that has been indicated in your earlier communication and during your visit in April 2018,” Skerrit wrote in the July 9 letter to Wardell.

Opposition Leader Lennox Linton

But in its statement, the UWP said that after 40 years of serving as a major engine of economic activity in Dominica, “the Prime Minister found it impossible to negotiate even a phased withdrawal that would give the country at least 12 months to cushion the devastating blow and prepare for adjustments”.

It asked “what exactly does the agreement provide?”

The party said that the circumstances of the termination “allow us to conclude that the Prime Minister failed to deliver on the investment support and public infrastructure improvements that had to be addressed satisfactorily within the context of the agreement to facilitate a return of Ross. What exactly does the agreement provide?

“There was a particular concern about accreditation by the Dominica Medical Board and the future of Ross in Dominica. What exactly does the agreement provide?”

It said that the National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation in the United States  is authorized to evaluate the standards of accreditation applied to foreign medical schools and to determine their comparability to standards applied to medical schools in the United States.

“This determination of comparability of accreditation standards by NCFMEA is an eligibility requirement for foreign medical schools to participate in the US government’s student financial assistance program and is therefore extremely important to Ross.

“Yet, under the watch of the Prime Minister who made himself directly responsible for Ross, there has been no determination, for more than 10 years, that accreditation standards in Dominica are comparable to those of the United States,” the UWP said.

The opposition party said “instead of coming clean with the people of Dominica to facilitate learning the lessons that will avert a similar catastrophe in the future, the Prime Minister is busy confusing the issue and creating distractions.”

The party said it has also taken note that both the chief economic and political advisor to Prime Minister Skerrit are Barbadian Avinash Persaud and Hartley Henry, both of whom serve in the same capacity to Prime Minister Mottley.

“These advisors had the inside track on the challenges faced by Ross in Dominica and were no doubt asked to advise both Prime Ministers. What was their advice to their Dominica boss about facilitating Ross to stay in Dominica?

“What was their advice to their Barbadian boss about facilitating Ross to relocate to Barbados? Did they even advise their bosses that they should, as CARICOM partners, meet with the owners of Ross to work out the best way forward for Dominica – a CARICOM Single Market and Economy country that stands to lose the significant development benefits of a 40-year investment relationship?

“Only Barbados is benefitting from this glaring conflict of interest in which the same political and economic advisors serve masters in Bridgetown and Roseau,” the UWP said.

On Monday, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said he would not blame either his Dominican or Barbadian counterparts for the controversy surrounding the decision of the US-owned Ross University to re-locate to Barbados.

Speaking at a news conference, Gonsalves told reporters that he had received information “from different sources” and he does not believe that ‘anyone can reasonably blame Prime Minister (Roosevelt) Skerrit (of Dominica) of losing Ross University neither can one reasonably blame Mia Mottley of poaching Ross University.

“The matter which comes out stark to me first of all is that the business entity has no loyalty to any country or any community if that loyalty conflicts with what they perceive to be their immediate, medium term long term interest,” Gonsalves said.

No blame should be afforded to regional colleagues on Ross University

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Aug 13, CMC – St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves Monday said he would not blame either his Dominican or Barbadian counterparts for the controversy surrounding the decision of the US-owned Ross University to re-locate to Barbados.

Speaking at a news conference, Gonsalves told reporters that he had received information “from different sources” and he does not believe that ‘anyone can reasonably blame Prime Minister (Roosevelt) Skerrit (of Dominica) of losing Ross University neither can one reasonably blame Mia Mottley of poaching Ross University.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves

“The matter which comes out stark to me first of all is that the business entity has no loyalty to any country or any community if that loyalty conflicts with what they perceive to be their immediate, medium term long term interest,” Gonsalves said.

Over the weekend, the Dominica government called for an end to the “unwarranted verbal attacks” against the Barbados government as a result of the decision of the university to re-locate after 40 years there.

“The decision to relocate to Barbados was a decision taken solely by Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM). The relationship between Barbados and Dominica is longstanding and amicable. The people and Government of Barbados have always stood with us both in good times and most recently in difficult times,’ Skerrit said in a radio and television broadcast.

The Skerrit administration said it had informed the Ross University School of Medicine that it could have resumed its operations on the hurricane struck island even before the start of the January semester in 2019.

The island’s ambassador to the United States and the Organisation of American States (OAS), Vince Henderson, speaking on a radio programme last Tuesday night, read from a three-page letter Prime Minister  Skerrit had sent to the university in July indicating that plans were advanced for the resumption of classes in Portsmouth, north of here.

“It is my fervent hope that all things considered there will be a much earlier re-opening of the campus that has been indicated in your earlier communication and during your visit in April 2018,” Skerrit wrote in the July 9 letter to the Adtalem Global Education president and chief executive officer at Ross University,  Lisa Wardell.

“I wish to assure you that all the arrangements we discussed for the accreditation for Ross by the Medical Board have been acted upon to meet the desired expectation,” Skerrit added.

Last week,Prime Minister Mottley denied there was anything underhanded by her administration into accepting the Ross University School of Medicine’s move to the island.

“Barbados came into the picture, only when, for Ross University, returning to Dominica for the start of the January semester in 2019, was not an option. This is not and has never been a case of poaching or enticing anyone away from Dominica,” she said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Skerrit announced Ross University, which had been forced to relocate its operations to St Kitts and the state of Tennessee in the United States following the passage of Hurricane Maria last September, would be leaving the Eastern Caribbean nation after 40 years. Hours later, Mottley and Wardell held a press conference in Bridgetown indicating that Barbados would be the new home of the American university by January 5, 2018.

In her statement, Mottley said while she could not speak for or on behalf of Ross, “the hands of the Barbados Government are clean in this matter”.

Gonsalves said Ross University was built in Dominica, recalling that “when Ross went to Dominica in 1978 …they started with 80 students, they would have had a hurricane in 1979…that did not stop them, they were just up and running, they came back.

“They have had other hurricanes. The Barbados government, nobody could tell Ross that there will be no hurricane in Barbados. Barbados has had hurricane in the past.

“They (Ross) have assessed where they are. The back to back hurricanes were probably the occasion, the spark for them having consideration for moving. But they would have assessed that their immediate, long term interest is no longer with Dominica”.

Gonsalves said the decision by Ross was “clearly” not based solely on the weather.

“Look, Grenada is outside the hurricane belt more than Barbados. They say Grenada is south of the hurricane belt but what happened in 2004. Ivan blow down the whole place including the medical school and they build it back better because they saw their long term interest being there in Grenada….”

Gonsalves recalled that when the off shore medical schools were first coming into the region, some Caribbean countries campaigned against them saying “they are bad for the medical profession.

“Now their thinking is clearly different,” he said, adding he is unaware if the medical professionals in Barbados “are yet convinced about having it (offshore medical school).

“It is going to be interesting to see how those medical doctors going to work with the medical students at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. I am sure they would be working out all of those problems and I don’t want to be negative about that, but I come back to the fundamentals that you can’t reasonably blame Roosevelt Skerrit or Mia Mottley.

“The thing is this between the decision to leave somewhere and to go somewhere else is always some period of uncertainty and that has to be sorted out…and they decided they going to Barbados. But basically 40 years of Ross in Dominica, clearly they did not consider that to be of any importance to them,” Gonsalves told reporters.

 

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Government reviewing dress code

Government reviewing dress code

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Aug 15, CMC – Less than a week after the Jamaica government announced it had suspended the no sleeveless policy after reviewing the longstanding practice of prohibiting women wearing sleeveless attire from entry into government buildings, another Caribbean island is following suit.

The Antigua and Barbuda government said it had appointed Social Transformation Minister Samantha Marshall to undertake a comprehensive review of the policy that prohibits people from wearing certain types of clothing when accessing services at government departments.

Marshall said that her ministry has already started the process and is also holding discussions with other Caribbean islands to learn from best practices.

“In the past, we have used what is the old-time sort of thinking in terms of dress code. Right now, we have to appreciate that we serve the people and we have to accept that there are ways in which persons may present themselves,” Marshall told the OBSERVER Media.

She said that if an individual is not dressed in a vulgar manner, he or she should be allowed to conduct their business.

Marshall said that the present policy is not mandated by law, but is a rather a rule that was adopted a few years ago.

“We are in consulting stages, we are hoping that within two to three weeks we can have an initial report to present to the Cabinet and we are hoping very shortly that there will be a change in the policy,” Marshall said.

Last week, Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness in a statement said he has formally given instructions for the suspension of the no-sleeveless policy and instructed a full review of government dress code practices.

“It has been found, that while the practice exists to prohibit persons who wear sleeveless from entering Government buildings through “dress codes” established within particular Ministries, Departments and Agencies, there is no law or official government policy on which these are based. “

“To ensure the formulation of a proper policy, in the medium term, the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has been mandated to formulate, subject to consultation, a government dress code policy that is aligned with modern considerations as well as the climatic realities of Jamaica,” the statement noted.

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St. Kitts-Nevis P M promises no new taxes under current administration

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Aug 15, CMC – Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Timothy Harris has promised that citizens will not have to worry about any new taxes for the time remaining in his administration’s term in office.

Team Unity – an alliance of the Concerned Citizens’ Movement, the People’s Action Movement, and the People’s Labour Party, led by Dr. Harris – assumed power in the February 2015 general elections. With another year and a half left in the current term in office, Dr. Harris said the focus is on alleviating poverty.

“No new taxes are contemplated during the life of this Team Unity administration. We believe that through appropriate management, through the consistent growth of the economy and through the necessary administrative efficiencies in tax collection, we believe in reordering our incentive programme, the government will be able to collect adequate revenues to finance the programmes which are required by the people,” he said on local radio programme ‘Straight Talk’ on Monday.

Prime Minister Harris said it was important to initiate programmes to assist the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. He assured that the government stood ready to help where necessary.

“I would say that, by and large, the programmes in which we are engaged are not frivolous programmes. The fact that people are poor and need help is a matter to which we must respond and we must respond appropriately,” he said. “It is a commitment of this government to do all that we can to alleviate poverty in the country because no one ought to be living demeaning lives and, at the same time, the government through the variety of social and other interventions would want to ensure that people can move from poverty into prosperity.”

The Kittitian leader reminded that alleviating poverty and economically empowering residents form part of the government’s good governance and prosperity agenda.

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It is time to move beyond the politics of division and destruction

It is time to move beyond the politics of division and destruction

 

 

 

Contribution – Part 12/2018

 It is time to move beyond the politics of division and destruction

 How can we best build a consensus to rebuild and renew our economy and community?  

BRADES, Montserrat, July 25, 2018 – A basic principle of sound, sustainable democratic self-government is that we must learn to strike policy deals we can all live with, today and tomorrow.  In short, “mis-government by ‘divide and dominate’ gossip, slander, ‘advantage’ and melee tactics will not work.

Yes, we must first remember that Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition is a part of the Government. Repeat: The Parliamentary Opposition is a part of the Government.

(And yes, class is again in session here at TMR, The People’s College®.[1])

For example we have an Opposition Office that is funded through the annual budget, with a “ring-fenced” sum to support its policy analysis, representation of the people and parliamentary roles.

(But, that Office must not be abused through “partisan politicking.” That was a key part of the bargain struck with DfID when the office was created by the initiative of then Opposition Leader, Hon. Mr Donaldson Romeo. And yes, that Office is actually funded based on the “first call on the UK aid budget” principle. That principle, in turn, is built on the even more mocked and dismissed UN Charter Article 73. That’s also where 60% of the recurrent budget and maybe 80 – 90% of the capital budget comes from. Where, the St Helena “yardstick” example,[2] the 2012 MDC “last chance” business case[3] and the ECCB Governor on his recent visit alike point to key UK infrastructure investments working to catalyse local and foreign private sector investment; leading to self-sustaining growth. Indeed, that is the foundation of the recently developed, widely discussed Economic Growth Strategy.[4] Reality trumps rhetoric.)

Similarly, being a part of our government is why there is provision for regular Opposition access to the Government Radio station, ZJB. Where, in a “truly democratic” community, there is room for debate, critique and putting forward a serious, truth-based alternative. For,   a mature Opposition will conduct itself as potentially, the next Governing Majority.

That leads to “the permanent arm of government.” Our Civil Service’s officers – especially the senior ones – must always serve the nation by so serving the present government that they can readily serve the next one . . . and the one after that.[5] In short, red tape driven delay or obstructionism, too close a connection to political figures or parties, or repeated failure to render prompt, true, sound, responsible and prudent evidence-based, objective counsel are unacceptable. Poor service to Jane or John Public when she or he walks in the door is also unacceptable.

Likewise unacceptable is the attitude that where you were born and who your parents are trumps competence, diligence, capability and soundness.

(A quiet word of advice: if being ancestrally Montserratian is constantly used in an unfair,  polarising way, it will create dangerous pent-up, silent rage on both sides.[6] While we are at it, sound “advice” can always be refused, but not without damaging consequences. If you doubt this, ponder the case of the McGregor 1938 Royal Society Report, the 1986-88 Wadge-Isaacs Report and the 1995 VDAP Bulletin 16 warnings about how we were handling the eruption. Yes, eighty years of telling but largely forgotten history.)

Going on to Cabinet [the working Committee of parliament’s governing majority], ever since Plato wrote his telling parable of the Ship of State in his The Republic Bk VI,[7] we have known that a “bridge fight” on the ship of state is suicidal. Or, maybe the Apostle James will be more familiar:

James 3:13 “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere . . . . 4:1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder [and this can be by the power of the accusing tongue]. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel . . .”  [ESV. Also see a literal case study in Acts 27.[8]]

No wonder, then, that “mis-government by “divide and dominate” gossip, slander, “advantage” and melee tactics will not work.

How can we do better?

First, by heeding good old Miss Sophia [= Wisdom] as she stands by in the gates and at the street corners, calling out[9]:

Prov 1: 32 For the simple are killed by their turning away [from wisdom],
    and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
    and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” [ESV]

Where, parsons and lay preachers of Montserrat, with all due respect, the Bible plainly implies that our pulpits and street corners should also be places of education in true, God-fearing citizenship. Such is undeniably a part of Christian discipleship.[10]

Let us prize truth, responsibility, neighbourliness, prudence and soundness. Next, we have to learn to build reasonable policy cases and build a healthy broad-based consensus on where our nation needs to go. (Why, then is it that ever so many voices avoid or dismiss key steps forward such as the recently developed Economic Growth Strategy[11]? This key strategic document is based on not only analysis of our economic challenges and opportunities but also on a process of broad-based consultation, laying out a ten year path to growth based on a SWOT analysis.)

Next, Economist Kenya Lee’s remarks that were played on ZJB News recently are right: moving to self-sustainability is a generational challenge, it will not happen overnight. Here at TMR, the suggestion: twenty years to get there has repeatedly been put on the table.

Indeed, that is what it took last time, from the mid-’60’s to the mid-’80’s. END

[1]           SHAMELESS PLUG: Check us out just about every week at leading shops here in Montserrat (and at the Library for those who cannot afford $3.00  – the cost of one grease bread). Not to mention, here: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/

[2]           See, TMR: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/de-ole-dawg-part-19-2016-can-montserrat-make-a-good-case-for-catalytic-investments-in-development/ also, DfID remarks, INTRODUCTION (p. 1): https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/67426/DFID-work-overseas-territories.pdf 

[3]           See the DfID 2012 MDC Business Case, esp. p. 4:  http://iati.dfid.gov.uk/iati_documents/4158833.odt also note: http://www.businessenvironmentreform.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/BERF-Montserrat-BE-Capacity-Building_FINAL_31Jan2017.pdf

[4]           See, TMR: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/de-ole-dawg-part-1-2018-what-are-montserrats-economic-realities-challenges-and-opportunities/  and also Caribbean News Now: https://wp.caribbeannewsnow.com/2018/01/09/montserrat-moves-forward-economic-growth-strategy/

[5]           See TMR: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/the-needed-radical-reform-of-our-civil-service/

[6]           We would do well to remember that when our population was dwindling away and the UK was suggesting total evacuation, people from sister Caricom states were invited to come here and help keep Montserrat going.

[7]           Based on the history of the collapse of Athenian Democracy. See: http://www.john-uebersax.com/plato/myths/ship.htm

[8]           See: http://kairosfocus.blogspot.com/2013/01/acts-27-test-1-on-celebrating-new-year.html

[9]           Compare, the classic Consolation of Philosophy, written by Boethius, a high officer of state in Italy just after the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West. It was written while he was awaiting unjust execution on trumped-up charges: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/14328/14328-h/14328-h.htm

[10]            See Rom 13:1 – 13, esp. vv. 8 – 13. Cf. Matt 28:18 – 20 and Titus 2:11 – 14 etc.

[11]          See: http://www.gov.ms/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Economic-Growth-Strategy-Delivery-Plan-Final.pdf

 

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Former Attorney General urges country to put aside partisan politics ahead of referendum

Former Attorney General urges country to put aside partisan politics ahead of referendum

ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA, Aug. 16, CMC – Former Attorney General Justin Simon QC, has called on the population to put aside partisan politics in the runup to a referendum on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), scheduled for later this year.

During an interview on state media, Simon this is what he will be pushing while on the trail to promote the Trinidad based CCJ.

Justin Simon

“I am not saying that people will not have their political difference, but let us sink them in respect to this particular cause.”

Simon, who served as AG under a previous administration of the United Progressive Party (UPP), made comments following  calls by the UPP – now the main opposition party, for the referendum to include more than one item in the context of constitutional reform.

However, the former Attorney General believes that the referendum should remain a one issue initiative.

“I am of the strong opinion and view that the CCJ should be dealt with on its own by itself. We look at the experience of Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines which placed other issues of constitutional reform on the table and that was rejected,” Simon said.

The London-based Privy Council presently serves as the island’s final court and the referendum on November 6 will allow for the population to indicate whether they intend to join the CCJ that was established in 2001.

While many of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are signatories to the Original Jurisdiction of the CCJ, only Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana have signed on to the Appellate Jurisdiction of the court that also serves as an international tribunal that interprets the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the regional integration movement.

CMC/kb/2018

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Montserrat Innovation Days to Open this Week

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 By TMR staff

OCTA Innovation Newsletter – Montserrat Innovation Days reveals: The Government of Montserrat is organising Innovation Days in Montserrat on 16th and 17th of August 2018. Innovation Days will be held under patronage of the honourable Donaldson Romeo, Premier of Montserrat, who will personally open the Montserrat Innovation Days. That will be great occasion for local both public and private stakeholders to gather and to exchange relevant knowledge and best available practice in different aspects of sustainable development of the island.

Mrs. Janice Panton MBE

Mrs. Janice Panton MBE, UK and EU Representative for the Government of Montserrat and Chair of the OCTA Innovation will present Association of EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA) and OCTA Innovation, EU funded project for propelling innovation in the OCTs. As an introductory speaker at the Montserrat Innovation Days, Janice Panton will particularly highlight her call upon the heads of the governments of the EU Overseas Countries and Territories to embrace Systemic Innovation for the sustainable development of their territories.

The Premier’s Office on Tuesday this week, provided some more details. The linkages between innovation and sustainable development will be the focus of discussions on Montserrat for the ‘2018 Innovation Days’, being organised by the Government of Montserrat with support from the local Innovation Advisory Board.

The ‘Innovation Days’ are scheduled for Thursday August 16 and Friday August 17 at the Montserrat National Trust starting at 9:00a.m. on both days.  The event will be launched on Thursday morning by Hon. Premiere Donaldson Romeo who will deliver opening remarks. Other speakers scheduled to deliver remarks at the opening ceremony include Government of Montserrat’s UK Representative and Chair of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) Innovation, Mrs. Janice Panton, and Brussels based OCTA Innovation Team Leader, Milan Jezic von Gesseneck.

The Brussels based OCTA Innovation Team Leader and the local Innovation Advisory Board explained that the ‘Innovation Days’ are intended to assist in enhancing sustainable development through innovation solutions for economic diversification.  The event targets both local public and private stakeholders, encouraging exchanges of relevant knowledge and best available practice in different aspects of sustainable development of the island.

During the sessions, Milan Jezic von Gesseneck, will lead a group of EU experts who will provide some lectures and transfer of knowledge on the best EU practices to Montserrat. Milan in particular will share his knowledge and experience in innovation and sustainable development; Innovation, entrepreneurship and green business expert from Trinidad and Tobago, Alan Cooper, will share his knowledge and regional experience in policy support for innovation, entrepreneurship and green business development; while development and tourism expert James McGregor, will bring the best worldwide practice and experience in visitor economy. Some members of the local Innovation Advisory Board will also deliver presentations based on their areas of specialisation.

In addition to the Innovation Days on August 16 and 17, a round-table discussion on the ‘Creative Industry’ is also being planned for Monday, August 20 starting at 9:00a.m. at the Cabinet Secretariat’s Conference Room.

The OCTA Innovation programme assists Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) in propelling innovation and creativity through the organisation of local ‘Innovation Days’. Innovation Days are events held in the OCTs, ranging from one day up to several days, with support from the Brussels based OCTA Innovation Team Leader, and features lectures and trainings from experts.

Creativity in Monserrat has been recognised: handmade craft items specific to Montserrat. Emerald Isle Ceramics won OCTA Innovation BIC Award 2017 in creativity field.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Government Notices, International, Labour, Local, News, OECS, Regional, Technology, TOURISM, Youth0 Comments

Antigua announces “non-stop” campaign ahead of CCJ referendum0

Antigua announces “non-stop” campaign ahead of CCJ referendum0

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Aug 14, CMC – Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin has announced the start of a “non-stop campaign” ahead of a referendum vote in November on whether or not Antigua and Barbuda should make the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final court.

The London-based Privy Council presently serves as the island’s final court and Benjamin said that the referendum on November 6 will allow for the population to indicate whether they intend to join the CCJ that was established in 2001.

Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin

“We want to make sure Antiguans are brought up to date with the real purpose of the CCJ. So we are starting a campaign, a non-stop campaign from now until the day of the elections.

“I just want to talk with my fellow Antiguans and Barbudans today. Search your soul, search your heart. Are you really independent? Are you really a Caribbean person? How can you say you are independent when you don’t control your Court of Appeal,” Benjamin asked.

Benjamin urged nationals to ensure that they are registered to participate in the referendum, saying that the last date for registration is August 31.

“So you could have your challenges, objections etc. But to get on the final list. The list will be published in October you’ve got to register by the 31st of August this year,” Benjamin said.

The referendum will be held on November 6.

While many of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are signatories to the Original Jurisdiction of the CCJ, only Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana have signed on to the Appellate Jurisdiction of the court that also serves as an international tribunal that interprets the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the regional integration movement.

Posted in CARICOM, Education, International, Legal, Local, News, OECS, Politics, Regional0 Comments

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States press room Logo

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court brings Golden Anniversary Celebrations to an Official Close

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States press room Logo

ECSC Media Statement

Monday, March 26, 2018 — The closing ceremony of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations was held on Thursday, 22nd March 2018 at 5:00 p.m., at the Finance Administrative Centre (FAC) Conference Facility, 5th Floor, Finance Administrative Centre, Pointe Seraphine, Castries. This ceremony was held to bring to a close the wonderful year-long celebrations.

The ceremony was attended by His Excellency Sir Emmanuel Neville Cenac, Governor General of Saint Lucia and his wife Lady Julita CenacHer Excellency Dame Calliopa Pearlette Louisy, Former Governor General of Saint Lucia, Judicial Officers of the Court of Appeal and High Court, Honourable Stephen Julien, Attorney General of Saint Lucia Mr. Thaddeus Antoine, OECS Bar Association President, Mrs. Mary Julianna-Charles, Saint Lucia Bar Association President, Staff of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court’s Headquarters and Saint Lucia High Court, Members of the Public and Private Bar, Principals, Teachers, Parents and Saint Lucian Students who were successful in the ECSC 50th Anniversary Essay and Poster Competition.

The event gave Her Ladyship an opportunity to personally thank everyone who contributed to the yearlong celebrations of the Court’s milestone anniversary celebrations. Additionally, Her Ladyship also took the opportunity to assure the members of the legal fraternity present that the Court will do everything possible to embrace the use of technology so that justice can be dispensed in a timely and efficient manner. 

However, Her Ladyship lamented about the limited and often inadequate resources allocated to the Court and asked everyone present to be patient and continue to give the Court their continued support as it serves the citizens and residents of the OECS by administering and delivering the quality of justice that they deserve.

Attendees were treated to a video highlight of the 50th Anniversary events held in all Members States and Territories. The event was also used to launch the ECSC’s future logo and the 50th anniversary Commemorative Magazine.

Entertainment for the evening was provided by Saint Lucian Songstress Mrs. Claudia Edward-Ladner and the award winning Royal Saint Lucia Police Band. Immediately after the closing ceremony, there was a cocktail reception where the lively and appreciative gathering, took the opportunity to mingle and socialize as the curtains officially closed on the celebrations.

Posted in Court, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

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