Archive | Security

Grace-recflowers-from-Chairman-gives-flowers-to-chman-DSC_1677w

St. Patrick’s Day Lecture feature – Praedial Larceny

Contributed by Cleo Cassell

Grace Cassell, delivering the lecture

I would like to make a confession before I continue. I confess, not to committing praedial larceny, but to never attending any of the St. Patrick’s Day lectures before March 10, 2020. I believed that by fate I should go this year because every time I turned the radio on the advertisement seemed to beckon me through the speakers. The topic also appealed to my creative mind. Praedial Larceny: A Scourge on Agricultural Production and Food Security, and in my mind, I personified Praedial Larceny and imagined this character whipping agriculture and food security.

        In contrast, the setting of the conference room at the Cultural Centre was intimate and calming. The lofty windows had been dressed with draped fabric of our green, orange and white madras, while our sturdy national flower, the Heliconia, muted the stark white walls. Even more pleasing to see were the green chairs that were almost filled to capacity.

The St. Patrick’s Day lecture truly added a sophisticated element to the debauchery that the day was becoming. It was an unmistakable reminder that the St. Patrick’s celebration was much more: it was a celebration of our ancestors who fought for our freedom. Later on, it became apparent that the lecture was also important because it was a way to safeguard Montserrat’s undocumented history in this new emerging Montserrat where so many memories of the pre-volcanic times had been buried and displaced.

The lecture was amply chaired by Mr. Claude Brown the infamous host of Farmers’ Corner, President of the Farmer’s Association and Former Agriculture Development Officer. Besides his credentials, Brown’s soothing voice, pleasant way of lightening the seriousness of the mood with a joke or two and seamless way of segueing into the next segment seemed to keep the audiences’ attention.

Claude Browne

However, Brown was not the only trick up the sleeve, there was entertainment. First came Lord Meade’s calypso, which passionately told the story of a farmer who was frustrated by his neighbours’ “damn” livestock that were harvesting his produce before he had a chance to. Our very own historian and poet, Professor Sir Howard Fergus followed with two recent poems and an old one about praedial larceny.  I do not know about the audience, but I thoroughly enjoyed his readings. It reminded me of sitting in tutorials listening to the man who made me fall in love with poetry, Professor Mervin Morris.

Sir Professor Howard Fergus

The main feature did not disappoint either. Miss Gracelyn Cassell began the lecture with anecdotes. She told the story of entitled workmen who openly stole coconuts from the Open Campus to the heart-wrenching story of her uncle, Cephas Cassel who died by the scourge of praedial larceny. The saga of Cephas’ was an allusion to the Cain and Abel story told in Genesis. Cain was a farmer and Abel a shepherd; however, it was Cain’s jealousy that led his naive brother to his death just as the murderer had done to the innocent Cephas.

My mind was completely engaged by then and kept ticking as Cassell transitioned into the historical perspectives of praedial larceny. It was once accepted as a means to an end for the emancipated slave, but was also negatively described by Bryan as a ‘typical black perversion’. Bryan’s notion appeared to be a paradox as Cassell continued by illustrating contemporary experiences, praedial larceny’s impact on food security, the approaches and measures taken to solve this problem. Although not mentioned, I shuddered as I was able to make the connection with the disturbing piracy that regularly occurred off the coast of Africa. Praedial larceny was once petty theft and was tolerated as a means of subsistence, but it had morphed into the pure evil of Cain. It was the business of highly organized theft.

Praedial larceny was much more than just stealing it was a scourge on people’s psyche. At the end of the lecture, the audience was encouraged to share a memory or experience about praedial larceny. Some of the accounts had been hoarded for over 40 years and involved even huge cows disappearing into thin air. The account that really pricked me the most was hearing about a grandmother who put pins into her provisions not to harm buyers, but to discourage people from purchasing from the thieving seller. This story reminded the audience that praedial larceny was also a public health and safety issue.

I left the lecture with a lot to think about, but not ill-equipped. Although I did not have a definite remedy for the problem, I could do my part to help put an end to praedial larceny. I would make sure I bought from reputable farmers.

Posted in COVID-19, Education, Fashion, Legal, Local, News, OECS, Opinions, Poems, Security0 Comments

DMCA logo

Montserrat will host a Maritime Mass Rescue Operation exercise

A release today from the Montserrat Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) says it  will host a Maritime Mass Rescue Operation (MRO) tabletop exercise and seminar on Thursday, August 8, 2019 at the Montserrat Cultural Center in Little Bay.

The one-day event, organized by the DMCA with technical support from the United Kingdom (UK) Maritime Coast Guard Agency and the United States (US) Coast Guard.

The Maritime MRO tabletop exercise and seminar will allow stakeholders to test and evaluate Montserrat’s national Maritime Mass Rescue Operation (MRO) response framework and draft Maritime Mass Rescue Operation plan for dealing with large passenger vessels that may traverse Montserrat waters.

The release notes, that some of these vessels may not have Montserrat as their destination but the circumstances may require a local response in the event of an alert or an emergency is declared.

Hence, Montserrat needs to be ready to respond nationally, with all stakeholders knowing and understanding their roles and responsibilities as defined in the Mass Rescue Operation (MRO) response plan, based on local resources and capabilities.

It is also critical that in any response Montserrat knows its resource limitations, incident command structure and logistical and communication arrangements.

The tabletop exercise and seminar would also guide Montserrat’s effectiveness and efficiency in responding to all types of marine emergencies.

The release informs that the event will bring together staff from the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA), the Royal Montserrat Police Service, the Montserrat Port Authority, Royal Montserrat Defence Force (RMDF), Tourism Division, Montserrat Integrated Border Security Unit (IBSU), Montserrat branch of the British Red Cross, Airport, Governor’s Office, the Fisher’s Association, Social Services, Ministry of Health and representatives from the US Coast Guard and the UK Maritime Coast Guard Agency.

Posted in Climate/Weather, Environment, International, Local, News, Regional, Security, TOURISM, Travel0 Comments

BVI government to improve border security

BVI government to improve border security

by STAFF WRITER

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands, Jun 3 CMC – Over US$6-million will be spent to improve border security across this British Overseas territory.

Immigration Minister Vincent Wheatley  says the move shows that the current administration is serious  about advancing the territory.

Vincent Wheatley

“For as long as I can recall, there have been complaints and heavy criticism levied against Labour and Immigration departments.That is why Cabinet recently approved the sum of $6.4 million for the purchase of a new state-of-the-art Immigration border management system.”

This comes several months after Governor Augustus announced that travellers arriving and departing the BVI will be subject to heightened security measures to include the implementation of an Advance Passenger Information (API) System.

Meanwhile, Wheatley said he intends to give support to the departments of Labour and Immigration by introducing policies and legislation to help reform and improve them.

Concerning plans for the online amalgamation of the Labour and Immigration departments, Wheatley, who is also Labour Minister, says this has already started.

“It’s currently undergoing testing. We are using a test group of 32 different businesses – which will soon be open to the wider public,” adding that the undertaking is scheduled to be ready for the broader public by July.

“It is only the beginning. Later on this month, we will be launching a few more initiatives within that department starting with a name change,” he said.

Posted in CARICOM, Local, News, OECS, Politics, Regional, Security, Technology, Travel0 Comments

Police offer reward to capture escaped prisoner

Police offer reward to capture escaped prisoner

bySTAFF WRITER

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Jan. 17, CMC – The police have offered a reward of EC$5,000 (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) to anyone who can provide information that will lead to the recapturing a man who escaped last week.

The police report that Hayden Phillip was discovered missing from the prison last Thursday and since then they have been searching for the convict who was serving time for robbery and was awaiting trial for a sexually related offence.

During a press conference here Thursday,

Assistant Superintendent of Prison Finbar Charles said that the financial reward is aimed at encouraging persons who know about his whereabouts to come forward so that law enforcement can return him to prison.

“We need the public to assist us in having him recaptured,” said Charles who gave the assurance that whatever tips provided to the police and or the prison will be investigated.

On Wednesday, Inspector Desmond Richard promised that Phillip will be recaptured although he has been evading Police for the last seven days.

According to  Richards, be believes there are persons   assisting Phillips and promised that once investigations can be confirmed and clarify certain information, persons will fully be prosecuted in accordance with the law.

The penalty to harbour, conceal, or aid in the concealment of any person who has committed a crime, ranges between a minimum of six months and five years in prison.

Posted in CARICOM, Crime, International, News, OECS, Regional, Security0 Comments

US Embassy to waive visa renewal interviews for Barbadians

US Embassy to waive visa renewal interviews for Barbadians

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Aug 23, CMC – The United States (US) Embassy has announced that from August 28, it will waive visa renewal interviews in Barbados for qualified applicants.

It said the move is part of the US Government’s efforts to improve customer service and streamline the visa process.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Embassy said Barbados passport holders may qualify for a visa renewal interview waiver if their previous visa expired within the past 12 months and they are applying for the same visa category as their previous visa.

“The applicant must be physically present in Barbados or within the consular district of the US Embassy in Bridgetown to avail themselves of this option. Additionally, the previous US visa must be in the applicant’s possession, and the applicant must have submitted a ten-fingerprint scan in conjunction with the previous visa application,” it said.

Students who wish to renew their visas, and who satisfy the requirements may qualify for interview waiver if they are applying to continue attendance at the same institution, or will continue the same major course of study at a different institution. Applicants seeking to renew work-related visas who are returning to work for the same employer/company as annotated on the previous visa may also qualify. Applicants under the age of 14 and over 79 will continue to qualify for interview waiver in most visa classifications.

However, third country nationals must schedule an interview.

The US Embassy stressed that eligibility for interview waiver does not automatically entitle applicants to a waiver of the interview requirement.

It added that there will be further expansion of interview waivers in US Embassy Bridgetown’s consular district in the coming weeks.

CMC/2018

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, International, Local, News, Regional, Security, TOURISM, Travel0 Comments

Mark Lancaster poses with the crew of RFA Mounts Bay after watching a Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief Exercise on the small volcanic island of Montserrat.

UK Armed Forces on high alert for hurricane season

News story

The UK’s Overseas Territories will have unwavering military support throughout the 2018 hurricane season, a Defence minister has confirmed.

Mark Lancaster poses with the crew of RFA Mounts Bay after watching a Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief Exercise on the small volcanic island of Montserrat.
Mark Lancaster poses with the crew of RFA Mounts Bay after watching a Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise on the small volcanic island of Montserrat. Crown copyright.

British residents were killed, homes were destroyed and infrastructure was decimated when Irma and Maria, two of the most powerful hurricanes for decades, smashed through the region back-to-back in September 2017.

Mark Lancaster visited Barbados, Antigua and Montserrat this week to reassure locals that the Ministry of Defence is supporting other Government departments to ensure that similar devastation is not repeated.

Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster said:

No matter what the elements throw at our Overseas Territories this year, we will be there to help them every step of the way throughout 2018 and beyond. We may not be able to prevent natural disasters from occurring, but our world-class military have been planning meticulously to ensure lives are protected and damage is kept to a minimum.

Our citizens in the Caribbean have already shown incredible resilience over the last year and we are determined that when this difficult period is over their local facilities are in a better state than they were before.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Mounts Bay will act as the hub of the UK’s response, and the minister was able to see a demonstration of her amphibious capabilities while in Montserrat.

Fleet Auxiliary vessel MOUNTS BAY and her crew conducting a Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief Exercise in Montserrat.
Fleet Auxiliary vessel MOUNTS BAY and her crew conducting a Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise in Montserrat. Crown copyright.

As well as being able to carry vital aid and equipment, RFA Mounts Bay also has the latest Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter on board to provide aerial support. There is also a medical facility on board, with 10 patient beds for anyone who suffers serious injuries or illness.

The visit also provided an opportunity for Mr Lancaster to speak to island governors and residents about their needs as they continue to recover from last year’s hurricanes.

As well as preparing for this year, RFA Mounts Bay has been in the region since Irma struck and will remain there until 2020 to help restore the islands to normal.

A Wildcat helicopter takes off from RFA Mounts Bay during the Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief Exercise
A Wildcat helicopter takes off from RFA Mounts Bay during the Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise. Crown copyright.

The Government has already committed £142million to support the recovery effort in the affected territories, as well as £300million of UK loan guarantees.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon is currently visiting the British Virgin Islands, which suffered extensive damage, as the Government continues its preparations for 2018.

Posted in Hurricane, International, Local, News, Regional, Security, Videos0 Comments

People embrace outside the Alamo Gym where students and parents wait to reunite following a shooting at Santa Fe High School today.

At least eight dead in Texas high school shooting

Jamaica Observer

Friday, May 18, 2018

People embrace outside the Alamo Gym where students and parents wait to reunite following a shooting at Santa Fe High School today.

CHICAGO, United States (AFP) — At least eight people were killed when a male student opened fire at a Texas high school on Friday, a local sheriff said, as President Donald Trump expressed his “heartbreak” over the “horrific” shooting.

The incident took place at Santa Fe High School in the city of the same name, located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Houston.

“There are multiple fatalities,” the sheriff of Harris County, Ed Gonzalez, told a news briefing. “There could be anywhere between eight to 10, the majority being students.”

The male teen suspect in custody was not immediately identified. A second possible person of interest was being questioned, Gonzalez told reporters.

A somber Trump, who was speaking at an event on prison reform at the White House, expressed “sadness and heartbreak” over the deadly shooting spree.

“This has been going on too long in our country,” Trump said. “We’re with you in this tragic hour.”

The shooting was the latest in what has become an all-too-familiar situation in American schools, where gun violence has become a part of everyday life.

Earlier this year, 17 students and staff were killed in a shooting at a Florida high school — a massacre that prompted survivors to launch a grassroots campaign against gun violence.

The US president, who has previously shied away from gun control measures in favor of arming teachers, said his administration was “determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools, and to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves, and to others.”

– Multiple shots –
The shooting erupted before 8:00 am, as the school day was beginning.

“There was someone that walked in with a shotgun and started shooting, and this girl got shot in the leg,” an eyewitness identified as Nikki told local television station KTRK.

She said students fled the school in a panic, and several other students told local media they heard multiple gunshots.

The school district, which quickly imposed a lockdown, cleared the students from the campus, with television footage showing them leaving in a single file. No other schools had been affected.

Some students were evacuated to a nearby auto shop, where parents were picking up their children, according to CBS affiliate KHOU-TV.

Parent Richard Allen told KTRK he arrived at the school soon after the shooting and reported seeing a number of victims being taken away in ambulances.

“My son said someone went into the art room and started shooting a lot of the kids,” Allen said.

Student Paige Curry told local media that she heard gunshots and then a fire alarm, after which students were taken out by teachers to a nearby gas station.

“I saw some girl — she had, you know, she got shot in the kneecap, I guess. So she had a bandage around it. She was limping and then the firemen came and got her,” another student, who gave his first name as Tyler, told CBS.

A large contingent of police as well as agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were responding to the incident.

Posted in Crime, International, Local, News, Police, Regional, Security0 Comments

Phillipe Ardanaz

Treaty signed to define maritime space with French territories

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Mar. 16, CMC – A treaty to solidify negotiations with the Republic of France to define the maritime space between Antigua and Barbuda and neighbouring French territories, was signed by government officials on Wednesday.

The treaty establishes the outer limits of Antigua & Barbuda’s jurisdiction from where the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) ends, its use, and exploration and exploitation of the Atlantic Ocean in respect to Guadeloupe and Saint Barthelemy.

It also embraces the interests of local fishermen and seafarers who now have a clearer understanding of the delineation of boundaries, thereby enabling both governments to rectify the common issue.

Phillipe Ardanaz
Phillipe Ardanaz

“It is also the first step to manage the problems we may have between our fishermen; obviously, it is never easy to know if you are in French waters or Antiguan waters,” said Ambassador to the OECS Member States and Barbados, Phillipe Ardanaz, who signed the treaty.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said his administration recognises the need for adopting a ‘Blue Economy’ approach to development and is currently looking at ways to develop the nation’s oceanic resources.

“That is a significant amount of resources for us to harness, in fact it is almost 200 times our land space. My understanding is that within the next 40 years, it will be very difficult to find sufficient land space in order to produce sufficient food to sustain the global population,” Browne said.

The prime minister added that possessing a large EEZ provides the opportunity to satisfy seafood demand and suggested the twin island is capable of harvesting in the region of 10,000 tonnes of fish and fish products each year.

“As it stands now, fresh fish and fish products are relatively outside the means of the ordinary Antiguan and Barbudan, but as we continue to invest more resources in the ‘Blue Economy’ in fisheries, we will see an increase in supply and therefore that should help to drive down the cost.”

The Prime Minister said this treaty delineates an essential area in the Atlantic waters that will ensure there are no disputes over maritime space with the country’s neighbours.

The signing of the agreement follows the Eastern Caribbean Ocean Policy (ECROP) declaration for OECS members to formalise maritime boundaries in securing rights protection and jurisdiction over marine areas.

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

Rowley KK

Trinidad PM supports death penalty

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Mar 16, CMC – Prime Minister Dr, Keith Rowley Thursday said he supports the death penalty and that his administration is working towards having it implemented as it moves to deal with those citizens bent on committing murder ‘with impunity” in Trinidad and Tobago.

Rowley, speaking at the end of the weekly Cabinet news conference, told reporters that “this fight against the criminal element is a national crusade” and urged the public to assist the police in carrying out their investigations.

Rowley KK
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley

“This just require that we stay on the job and do what is required. There are people in this country who has chosen crime as a way of life,” he said, adding that “we are being traumatised by a very small minority and we are going to take the best chance in law to protect us”.

Rowley said that even when people are incarcerated “they are running criminal empires from inside the jail and we are going to take steps to ensure that this does not go on”.

He told reporters he does not care whatever the backlash could be from his position but he wanted to make it abundantly clear that he is a “firm believer in capital punishment.

“It is the punishment for the crime,” he said, noting that “it is my view that people acting with impunity that nothing will happen” when they commit the crimes including murder.

Rowley said that the Attorney General Faris Al Rawi has set up in his office the mechanism to monitor persons who have been convicted of murder and is moving to ensure that they pay the penalty keeping in mind the Pratt and Morgan ruling of the Privy Council that persons on death row for more than five years can’t be executed.

Despite Trinidad and Tobago hosting the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the oil rich twin island republic still uses the London-based court as its final court.

Rowley said that former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj is also assisting the government so that “persons of recent vintage (convicted of murder) will pay the ultimate penalty”.

Rowley said that his administration is providing all the necessary resources to the security forces to deal with the crime situation here and reiterated a call for the law abiding public to help the police in their investigation.

Rowley said there were some people who were bent on committing crime not as a result, for instance of having lost their jobs, but who believe that it is their right to take lives and property from other nationals.

The last execution in Trinidad and Tobago occurred on July 28, 1999 when Anthony Briggs was hanged after being convicted for the August 1992 murder of a taxi driver, Siewdath Ramkissoon during a robbery in August 1992.

Briggs was hanged just over a month after the members of the Dole Chadee gang were hanged over a three-day period.

Dole Chadee, Joey Ramiah and Ramkelawan Singh were executed on June 4, 1999, while Clive Thomas, Robin Gopaul and Russell Sankeralli were hanged on June 5, 1999.

On June 7, 1999 Joel Ramsingh, Steve Eversley and Bagwandeen Singh were hanged.

The Chadee gang were hanged for their involvement in the murder of the Baboolal family in 1994.

Posted in Crime, International, Legal, Local, News, Politics, Regional, Security0 Comments

Untitled-2

US $2.5M marijuana bust in the Bahamas

Untitled-2MIAMI, CMC – The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency says a joint task force from Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) seized 2,842 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated wholesale value of over US$2.5 million during three separate law enforcement operations in The Bahamas last week.

CBP reports that over three separate nights, aircrews observed suspicious go-fast vessels transiting waters in the southeast Bahamas.

It said surface and air assets were subsequently dispatched to pursue and apprehend the suspected smugglers.

In addition to the narcotics seized, CBP said two smuggling vessels and a vehicle were taken into custody, and a total of six suspects were arrested.

The seized go-fast vessels and contraband were eventually escorted to Nassau, Bahamas, for further processing.

Posted in Local, News, Regional, SecurityComments Off on US $2.5M marijuana bust in the Bahamas

Please Support The Montserrat Reporter

This is bottom line for us! Unless we receive your support, our effort will not be able to continue. Whatever and however you can, please support The Montserrat Reporter in whatever amount you can (and whatever frequency) – and it only takes a minute.
Thank you

TMR print pages

Flow Internet Open Gifts

Notice – British American Insurace Company Ltd.

Newsletter

Archives

Bank of Montserrat – Scholarship Offer

FLOW - Back to School

https://indd.adobe.com/embed/2b4deb22-cf03-4509-9bbd-938c7e8ecc7d