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Walking through the Caicos Islands – new developments, beautiful by nature, clean up litter

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Providenciales, TCI, September 29, 2016 – The Governor, Peter Beckingham, took part in the Footsteps4Good walks in South, Middle and North Caicos on 26-28 September, joining all the primary and high schools.  He said afterwards:

wp_20160928_12_10_35_pro“Walking with the 250 plus schools children across South, Middle and North Caicos, and a good many teachers, business people and officials was a wonderful way of saying “farewell” to these beautiful family islands. The excitement of the children, especially from the junior schools, was palpable, and if their enthusiasm translates into determination and energy later in their schooldays the future of TCI is indeed bright. I had great chats to some of the children, learning about their ambitions – basketball or soccer player or doctor, among others – and their favorite pastimes – mainly sport!

“The walk gave me a great opportunity to see developments on the islands. The new runway being built in South Caicos is a big leap of faith by the Government in the future of the island, as are the plans by the Sailrock development. I would be fascinated to return in about five years to see how the island has been transformed.”

“There is less obvious sign of new development in North and Middle Caicos, but there is a good deal of smaller building work  and real estate activity which suggests that there is optimism in the community about prospects. A number of Parrot Cay staff supported the walk in North Caicos, and it was great to hear of the resort’s plans for re-investment in the property, which is one of the surest signs of a strong economy.

“You can’t fail to be struck in North and Middle Caicos by the beauty of the surroundings – “beautiful by nature” is exactly the right chord to describe them. I was lucky enough to arrive at Flamingo Pond at the same time as the Royal Society of the Protection of Birds (RSPB) secondee to the National Trust, Simon Busutill, who with his telescope was able to show me a flock of around 1,000 flamingos: a fabulous sight. Simon also took me with a local guide to walk around the Wades Green plantation, which is being cared for so well by the National Trust and has some of the eerie charm of the very different Ankor Watt remains in Cambodia, where the collapsed temples are also enhanced by the trees struggling through the buildings.

The only jarring note on the walk was the volume of litter. In two minutes between Whitby and Kew I counted 60 glass or plastic bottles: imagine how many there must be on both sides of the 3 mile road!  As one of my walking companions remarked we desperately need a “Clean Up” education campaign across the islands: if the next government promised that, they would be doing everyone in TCI a great service, before we no longer deserve the beautiful by nature brand”.

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Caribbean News

Barbados bestows Humanitarian Award on PAHO director Dr. Carissa Etienne 

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#Barbados, November 25, 2022 – The newest recipient of Barbados’ Humanitarian Award is outgoing Pan American Health Organization Director, Dr Carissa Etienne.  The government of Barbados grants this award to frontline workers who were instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Etienne expressed her gratitude for the recognition, noting, however, that she was more grateful for the opportunity to have served on the island. She also praised Prime Minister, Mia Mottley for her diligence in leading the country and regional involvement during the pandemic.

Humanitarian medals were also given to Frontline workers who risked their own safety to ensure the needs of the public were met. Those who held supporting roles on the frontline received humanitarian lapel pins, and those who made generous donations were given humanitarian plaques.

Dr. Etienne highlighted one major lesson from the pandemic, “we are only safe when the weakest among us is also safe”.

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Bahamas News

Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Immigration Ministers make appearance on TCI Radio Talk Show

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – “We have a humanitarian concern of course but we can only absorb so much” was how Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service in The Bahamas addressed the issue of the UN constantly nudging Caribbean countries about the deportation of migrants and recommending that it not be done.

He was speaking Thursday November 24 with Cheryl and Zhavargo on First Edition which airs on RTC FM.

While acknowledging that the UN offices likely ‘have to do what they do’ Minister Mitchell  explained that the current irregular migrants trying to get into the Bahamas did not fit the bill of ‘refugees’ as defined by the UN.

“We have a treaty obligation that says that if people have a fear of persecution in their home country that we have an obligation to take them in as asylum seekers. The people who come through on these boats from the south of us are not asylum seekers. They are afraid of poverty and that’s a difficult issue but in a legal sense we’re not obligated to embrace people on that basis.”

He cited a study that had found, on any given day there were around 7,000 illegal migrants in The Bahamas trying to get to the US maintaining that his chain of islands had to take a stand on the issue.  The Foreign Affairs minister acknowledged that  TCI was in an identical situation, citing also the the cultural effects of irregular migration.

“There is a cleavage which has developed in our own society over this; people are very concerned that we could lose our identity if we do not get on top of it.”

Earlier this year Arlington “new sheriff in town” Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks and Caicos had described statements calling on surrounding countries to do more to assist persons fleeing Haiti as “reckless and misguided.”

“Haiti has a population of 11.6 million people. How could any small developing state like the Turks and Caicos Islands assist that number of people or even the smallest fraction of them? We have a population of some 47,000 persons, and our health care, education and other social systems remain fragile and could never withstand an influx of refugees. This would be a risk to our very own livelihood,” he had said.

He was interviewed in the same show on Thursday prior to Mitchell and expressed a similar determination to crack down on illegal migration.

“I want to stress this. If we catch anyone harbouring illegals, it could be my mommy, she’s going up. We cannot tolerate this. We’re catching the sloops so my Haitian brothers and sisters should stress to them don’t waste your money we’re sending you back.”

Turks and Caicos, this year passed a law, doubling fines and prison times for individuals harbouring illegal migrants.

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Bahamas News

Former Bahamian Cabinet minister defends record amid ongoing police investigation

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – Former Youth, Sports and Culture Minister, Lanisha Rolle is reportedly currently under investigation due to several allegations that came up during her tenure; she however knows nothing of this alleged criminal investigation.

After the minister resigned – unceremoniously –  in February 2021 with little explanation, the ministry was locked down by the Prime Minister for an audit of the National Sports Authority, which fell under her ministry.

Auditor General Terrance Bastin revealed that unauthorised contracts had been issued, some of which were later forwarded to the NSA for payment. Three cheques to contractors were also found, which were paid to individuals and then collected by a senior ministry official.

Despite the allegations, Rolle said she upheld cabinet standards and good governance during her tenure. She added that a minister is not always aware of “everything in a ministry at any given time.”

Rolle said she has not yet been approached by the RBPF regarding the audit findings.  Having served as a member of the Police Force for 11 years herself, Rolle told a crush of media on Wednesday (November 23) that she continues to trust that they will follow the legal process and in due time, the truth of her innocence will be revealed.

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