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CM Meade wants closure on racist matter

Chief Minister Meade (left), and Bennette Roach at ZJB studio

Apologises for Government on threat to Freedom of Expression

Chief Minister Meade (left), and Bennette Roach at ZJB studio

by B. Roach
Chief Minister Reuben T. Meade just following his return from the UK, said in an one on one interview with Bennette Roach, editor of The Montserrat Reporter (TMR),  “let me make it abundantly clear the government of Montserrat does not promote, promulgate or encourage any form of racism  in Montserrat I think we have gone beyond those days but to say somebody is black or somebody is white in my mind is not a racist statement…and I do not think that in the context of Mr. Brandt’s statement that in fact there was any racism involved.”

The CM was reacting to Government House requests reportedly made to ZJB for an apology arising out of a Statement published by David Brandt on October 26, 2010. The matter had been fully reported in two most recent TMR newspaper and on ZJB radio. The Attorney General had in the meantime advised the cessation of ‘paid advertisements’ on the radio station until further notice, as they wait for a new regulatory structure to be developed.

Commenting on the matter overall, C M Meade said, “I want to make it abundantly clear that whatever errors of judgment took place during that period those errors of judgment are gone and past.”

He wanted the matter put to rest as he repeated what he had said earlier. “There  will be no recurrence of such errors of judgment and the matter in my mind should now be put to rest.”

He referred to how he expects any matter relating to complaints or concerns regarding statements on the radio station. “If in fact an individual has a concern with a statement made by radio Montserrat, that individual must put in writing their concerns directly to the permanent secretary with responsibility for Radio Montserrat and copying it to the manager,” he announced.

Attorneys David Brandt and Jean Kelsick along with Editor Roach and the general public saw the various official actions as threatening the right to Freedom of Expression. CM Meade while suggesting there were other issues arising out of the overall issue, said:  “freedom of expression is enshrined in the Constitution. It is enshrined in the United Nations convention of human rights and as such Montserrat will in fact abide by the freedom of choice and the freedom of expression.” This he said will also “be aired on radio Montserrat as long as people falls within the rules and the guidelines as established by the Government of Montserrat,”

The CM outlined what has been the procedure identical to what the Attorney General had ruled. “If there are maters which the (ZJB) manager is of the opinion feel are contentious in terms of being litigious, he should draw that to the attention of government’s legal advisor for advice before it was broadcast… that’s very clear so we do not want to see a recurrence of what has happened in the past,” he declared.

He closed his discourse on the matter with an apology on behalf of the government. He said there were many who were offended by the matter, as they waited for a reaction from Government. “I apologise on behalf of the Government of Montserrat for the waste of time which took place in relation of this particular matter,” he concluded, as he repeated,“ and I hereby now put it to rest.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Apologises for Government on threat to Freedom of Expression

Chief Minister Meade (left), and Bennette Roach at ZJB studio

by B. Roach
Chief Minister Reuben T. Meade just following his return from the UK, said in an one on one interview with Bennette Roach, editor of The Montserrat Reporter (TMR),  “let me make it abundantly clear the government of Montserrat does not promote, promulgate or encourage any form of racism  in Montserrat I think we have gone beyond those days but to say somebody is black or somebody is white in my mind is not a racist statement…and I do not think that in the context of Mr. Brandt’s statement that in fact there was any racism involved.”

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The CM was reacting to Government House requests reportedly made to ZJB for an apology arising out of a Statement published by David Brandt on October 26, 2010. The matter had been fully reported in two most recent TMR newspaper and on ZJB radio. The Attorney General had in the meantime advised the cessation of ‘paid advertisements’ on the radio station until further notice, as they wait for a new regulatory structure to be developed.

Commenting on the matter overall, C M Meade said, “I want to make it abundantly clear that whatever errors of judgment took place during that period those errors of judgment are gone and past.”

He wanted the matter put to rest as he repeated what he had said earlier. “There  will be no recurrence of such errors of judgment and the matter in my mind should now be put to rest.”

He referred to how he expects any matter relating to complaints or concerns regarding statements on the radio station. “If in fact an individual has a concern with a statement made by radio Montserrat, that individual must put in writing their concerns directly to the permanent secretary with responsibility for Radio Montserrat and copying it to the manager,” he announced.

Attorneys David Brandt and Jean Kelsick along with Editor Roach and the general public saw the various official actions as threatening the right to Freedom of Expression. CM Meade while suggesting there were other issues arising out of the overall issue, said:  “freedom of expression is enshrined in the Constitution. It is enshrined in the United Nations convention of human rights and as such Montserrat will in fact abide by the freedom of choice and the freedom of expression.” This he said will also “be aired on radio Montserrat as long as people falls within the rules and the guidelines as established by the Government of Montserrat,”

The CM outlined what has been the procedure identical to what the Attorney General had ruled. “If there are maters which the (ZJB) manager is of the opinion feel are contentious in terms of being litigious, he should draw that to the attention of government’s legal advisor for advice before it was broadcast… that’s very clear so we do not want to see a recurrence of what has happened in the past,” he declared.

He closed his discourse on the matter with an apology on behalf of the government. He said there were many who were offended by the matter, as they waited for a reaction from Government. “I apologise on behalf of the Government of Montserrat for the waste of time which took place in relation of this particular matter,” he concluded, as he repeated,“ and I hereby now put it to rest.