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Premier Of The Turks And Caicos Islands, Dr. The Honourable Rufus W. Ewing Addresses The Foreign Affairs Committee On Governance In London

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London, United Kingdom, Tuesday December 1, 2015 – The Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Dr. The Honourable Rufus W. Ewing, yesterday, made representation on matters of governance as it relates to the Overseas Territories and particularly, as it relates to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The address was delivered to members of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the presence of other Overseas Territories Leaders, who are gathered in London this week to attend the Joint Ministerial Conference 2015.
The Premier’s address, which was delivered in part (due to time constraints) but later submitted, read:
“Members of the FAC it gives me great pleasures of address you all here this morning on behalf of the British Overseas Territories on the issue of governance.

“The Overseas territories enjoy a long period of relationship with the United Kingdom Government ranging from Bermuda in the early 1600s to the British Antarctic Territory as recent as 1908.
“The territories have in common the Queen as the head of state who is represented in the territories by a Governor or such person appointed by the FCO whose authority varies across the territories ranging from limited reserve powers in areas of foreign affairs, security and defense to those far reaching powers and responsibilities extending into the internal administrative governance of the territories which often overshadow the roles and responsibilities of locally elected government.

“These governance and administrative arrangements are laid out within each territory’s constitution where the good governance framework also receives its genesis and are refined by subordinate good governance legislations giving birth to good governance bodies.

“Even though each overseas may territory differ greatly from each other in size, population, economy, administrative capacity and level of political maturity, each territory has a right to self determination and self governance based on the settle will of the peoples of each territory and this self determination include the choice to remain a British OT. The British government has the responsibility to ensure that the territories are protected and are provided with a constitutional and governance framework that ensures good governance and supports progressive move towards self governance in whatever form.

“The constitutional construct varies greatly between the overseas territories and the rationalization for such construct seems haphazard and reactionary to circumstance in many instances and not based on the principles of the UK’s responsibility as laid out in the UN Convention and principles of modern democracies and good governance.
“There are many territories who feel strongly that the reserve powers of the governor are too wide in scope and overreaching into the daily executive decisions of the territory. There are many territories who feels that the governor has too much influence in the legislature in addition to veto powers.
“There are many territories who feels that the UK’s persistence as borne in the constitutional construct, to separate politics from governance the territories undermines the ability of locally elected politicians to deliver their political mandate and a shift in decision making powers to the FCO.
“There are many overseas territories who are concerned about not only the reserve powers of their governor but also the method and criteria used for the selection of their governor as this impacts heavily not only on the style of governance but the extent of interference of the governor outside of their constitutional remit.
“Ladies and gentleman I have spoken broadly on governance arrangements and concerns that you may find across the OTs, so I now turn my attention specifically to the Turks and Caicos Islands to highlight such governance concerns.
“The Turks and Caicos Islands as a UK Overseas Territory was administered via its own Governor since 1972 after the Bahamas went independent and in 1976 gain its own constitution that permitted elected ministerial system of governance.

“The Turks and Caicos Islands has had its constitution suspended twice for allegations of maladministration and corruption as was discovered in two commissions of inquiries. There are many including myself who still question the need for suspension of the constitution as a necessity to intervene and correct and weakness in governance as whatever failures there were did not have its origin in the constitution. The elected government of the TCI believe in and embraces the good governance bodies that have been implemented prior to and during the direct rule from the UK, but we are of the view that there are many provisions within the new TCI constitution when combined with the mandates of the good governance institutions stiffles the ability of any elected goverment to govern effectively.
“Governance in the Turks and Caicos Islands is even further controlled by the UK via the new role of a Chief Financial Officer who has decision making and veto powers as it relates to financial management as a condition of the U.K. loan guarantee which will expire in February of this year. The financial legislative framework in the Turks and Caicos outside of the provisions for a CFO has many provisions for safeguarding and ensuring sound financial management and we as an elected government are sufficiently confident that with these systems in place there would be no need for a CFO beyond the timeframe specified.

“There are many concerns related to the current Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution and these concerns were well articulated in the recent report on the TCI Constitution and the subsequent House of Assembly recommendations for constitutional amendments which were submitted to the FCO. In the new year we will be addressing these concerns and other governance issues with a bipartisan team interfacing with the FCO and this FAC so as to improve and strengthen the relationship between the TCI and the U.K. Government with respect to governance in the best interest of the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“Mr. Chair on behalf of the Overseas Territories I thank you for this opportunity to address this body today on these issues of governance.”

The meeting with the Foreign Affairs Committee was the first of several to be held with the Overseas Territories Leaders and key UK Government Committees and officials, including the Plenary Sessions of the Joint Ministerial Council, which also began yesterday, December 1st at Lancaster House in London.
Premier Ewing is scheduled to deliver another address at the JMC later today at the Plenary Session on the Challenges Facing Small Island Economies.

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Traffic Death again, a woman dies and two others hospitalised

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#TurksandCaicos, June 23, 2024 – Magnetic Media can inform that, yes there has been another traffic death in Providenciales and reports say it’s a woman who didn’t make it out of a three car smash up.

Almost, exactly 24 hours after a deadly collision was recorded in wee hours of Saturday morning came news, this morning, of a second death by motor vehicle accident.

“I can confirm the Police Control Room received a call during the early hours of this morning involving a serious accident on Leeward Highway. One person (female) died while others were rushed for medical treatment,” said Denyse Renne, media officer for the Royal TCI Police.

The Cheshire Hall Medical Center, which had already suspended visitation due to security concerns in the wake of four murders between Friday and Saturday in Provo, has restricted its Emergency Room to emergencies only.

TCI hospitals citing the unusually high demand for urgent medical care to multiple patients as the reason for the restriction.

While it is widely reported that the person who died in the traffic accident on Leeward Highway near Pratt’s Road is a female tourist, police say they’re investigating.

It’s been a total of six lives lost in startling incidents in the past day in Providenciales.  The tragic circumstances of the car accidents and sheer violence of the shootings have sent shockwaves throughout the country leaving residents utterly bewildered.

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Crime

Five Cays Shooting Death

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***MEDIA RELEASE***

June 22nd, 2024.

Homicide detectives of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force are actively investigating a murder in Five Cays, Providenciales.

Initial reports indicate that shortly after midday, the Police Control Room received several calls stating that gunshots were being heard in the area of the Community Center.

RT&CIPF officers responded to the given location and found the lifeless body of a male with what appeared to be gunshot wounds about the body.

The RT&CIPF is asking anyone with information that may help in this investigation to contact the closest police station, 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 to provide any information anonymously.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app to share information.

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Rescued

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Media Release

June 22nd, 2024.

 

Two occupants of an aircraft were rescued around 3:28 p.m. today (June 22) following an intensive sea search around Providenciales.

The occupants –two males- are currently receiving medical attention.

The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force can confirm that shortly after midday, the Air Tower received a report regarding an aircraft landing on water (ditching) approximately 11 miles from Northwest Point, Providenciales.

The aircraft had departed from the United States and experienced engine failure.

Having received reports of the incident, a Strategic Coordinating Group with representation from the RT&CIPF, the TCI Civil Aviation Authority, the Airport Authority, the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies, and the Ministry of Health was activated to coordinate the search and rescue.

The group worked closely with partners from OpBat and received confirmation that a United States Coast Guard helicopter had successfully rescued the two persons after three hours.

The victims were brought ashore.

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Mat Newton said, “I wish to express my profound gratitude and acknowledge the invaluable support of our national and international partners.

“This successful rescue operation is a testament to our collective strength and coordination. With the full support from our US partners and the local marine community, I extend my heartfelt thanks to our OpBat partners and the crew of the US Coastguard helicopter, as well as the Marine Branch of the RT&CIPF, the staff of the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR), the Department of Fisheries and Resources Management, Caribbean Cruisin, and vessels from the TCI Search and Rescue Association.

“We are now in the process of initiating an investigation into the accident in close liaison with the Civil Aviation Authority.”

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