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DDME to coordinate donation funds for Turks and Caicos recovery

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#TurksandCaicos, September 12, 2017 – Providenciales – Government is trying to head off scams which could emerge as the country copes with the catastrophic blow of Hurricane Irma.   Lots of help is on the way for the Turks and Caicos Islands and lots of help is already happening on the ground; from free services to mobile and internet users, to hot cups of coffee, to hot food handing out and links to reconnect family and friends; the efforts to be our brothers’ keeper following the devastation caused by #HurricaneIrma is tremendous and commendable.

However, Premier Sharlene Robinson in a Monday morning debrief with media explained that donation initiatives must be coordinated through the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies.   Government leaders want to ensure that funds or goods donated to bring the rebound the Turks and Caicos so desperately needs, actually gets to the people it is intended to assist.

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Farewell and Appreciation Ceremony & Re-establishment of the Salt Cay Police Post            

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#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – The quaint island of Salt Cay came together for a farewell and appreciation ceremony for outgoing District Commissioner Mrs. Almaida Wilson in honour of her exemplary service and commitment to the community.  Mrs. Wilson has served as the District Commissioner since 2016 and has been in the public service for over thirty (30) years.   In her remarks on the day, Acting Governor Her Excellency Anya Williams, expressed her thanks to Mrs. Wilson for her years of service after voluntarily retiring in 2012, for coming back into the service and serving the people on Salt Cay.

The Premier Hon. C. Washington Misick expressed his respect and thanks to Mrs. Wilson, whom he said: “provided fine service to the people of Salt Cay.” He added, “Although you are retiring from this job, I know this community will always hold a special place in your heart.”

The Acting Governor in her role as Head of the Public Service also introduced the incoming District Commissioner, Ms. Aisha Thomas, who took up her post on 1st June 2023.  Ms. Thomas, who has experience in finance and has worked in public service, gave an impassioned speech laying out her vision and excitement about taking up the new post.

In the presence of the Acting Governor, Premier, Cabinet Ministers, Leader of the Opposition, Government Officials, and the community of Salt Cay, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr. Rodney Adams commissioned the new Salt Cay Police Post in the person of Constable Stanley Been.  Addressing the need for more community policing, Deputy Commissioner Adams thanked the community of Salt Cay, who had waited for the Police Post stationed on the island, and the day has now arrived.

The morning ceremony on Tuesday, 30th May concluded with a light reception and music from the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force Band.

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Sharla Walkin’s initiative to see TCI ‘Wear Orange’ is growing

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By Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 6, 2023 – The momentum and support is growing for the international commemoration of Gun Violence Awareness Day in the Turks and Caicos Islands; for a third year Sharla Walkin and those who have partnered with her has ensured there was a time of reflection and open grievance for the scores of people killed as a result of gun violence.

Walkin, whose brother Ervin Walkin was shot several times in the back as he walked on Albacore Close in Providenciales in 2018, was just 27 years old and left behind a devastated family including two sons.  His sister was shattered when she got the call, struggled to sleep after the savage way her “humble” brother was killed but found a way to cope.  Walkin tells the story that she found out about a day to remember as a community and as a nation and put plans in motion to commemorate Gun Violence Awareness Day in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

That was in 2021.

In picking up the pieces of her life, Ms. Walkin stood initially with just a few people to mark the moment on the first Friday in June.  Three years later and the Turks and Caicos event has attracted more victims’ relatives, prominent members of society and senior leaders of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police.

“To the families, friends, and loved ones gathered here, we are here for you; we will continue to be with you. I wish to say to you that I am sorry for your loss, I am sorry for the years of pain that you have endured. I am sorry for the fact that there are too many young people turning to a life of crime. Even though sorry will not bring your loved ones back, I empathize with you. The tears you shed also wet our faces too often,” said Rodney Adams, Deputy Commissioner of Police.

The Turks and Caicos Islands has seen a dramatic escalation in gun crimes with losses far beyond what anyone could have imagined for the cluster of close-knit islands, which enjoyed almost surreal levels of peace.  Now, with consecutive years of record breaking murder figures and a per capita homicide rate that puts the TCI at the top of the heap, it stands with CARICOM in sounding the alarm about the devastating loss in human lives due largely to the overwhelming surge in gun trafficking flowing from the United States into the islands; which ‘do not manufacture weapons.’

The US has become a stronger ally in recent years, stopping several gun shipments from its shores including one such interception to the TCI, thwarted in November 2022.

Gun Violence, Wear Orange Day is a relevant reminder and was again this year held in the Memorial Garden of the Turks and Caicos National Trust managed, Cheshire Hall Plantation.

The Royal TCI Police provided photographs of the support drawn to the tranquil spot to reflect as a community on the heavy price being paid due to the infiltration and savage use of illegal firearms.

Deputy Commissioner Adams, in addressing the gathering which included the wife of the late, Rev Percy Williams, who was gunned down inside his Blue Hills home in another shocking, unprovoked attack in 2020, said about the investigations  “ into the murders of your loved ones are ongoing and we continue in our sustained efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Orange was worn by thousands this past weekend.

In the United States is where the day was born, following a random shooting that took the life of a little Chicago girl in 2013.   Hadiya Pendleton, a 15 year old honour student had just been part of a parade with the ushering in of second term president, Barack Obama a week prior, when she was shot at a playground in her hometown.

Orange is the colour selected because it is also the colour worn by hunters to protect themselves from becoming a target and shot, when out on hunting expeditions.

For Sharla, who also uses her business, Healing Haven to remember her brother, a series of beautiful bracelets have been designed, featuring orange jade and a message of love for her lost brother.

“If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.”

She explained, “I think a lot of people thought I was doing it only for my brother, he was the reason I started but I also wanted to acknowledge because we have quite a few young men that we lost to Gun violence and even young women.”

 

 

 

Captions

Header: Relatives of the deceased victims join hands and sing “Bind Us Together”.

1st insert: The widow of Percy Williams chats with DCP Rodney Adams. Williams was shot dead on May 03rd, 2020, at his Blue Hills, Providenciales home.

 2nd insert: Nadidja Parker reads the names of murdered victims.

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By Merit Only; TCI Politicians enthusiastically support NEW Pathways to Citizenship

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – Residents of the Turks and Caicos will no longer be able to gain Islander status just by virtue of living in the country for a period of time, instead they will be judged on a points system. The significant changes were announced in the House of Assembly on May 31st by Premier Washington Misick, deputizing for Otis Morris, the Minister of Home Affairs.

“It will assist the Status Commission with streamlining the application process for persons who come to call this beautiful country home— it is a tidying up exercise to make the system more transparent,” Misick maintained.

Amendments to the TCI Islander Status Bill will legalize the changes.

The points system is touted as a fair process which will allow all residents to see the criteria they need to receive status, weed out those who contribute nothing to the country and allow authorities to award status to those who have truly helped build the Turks and Caicos.

“The new points [system] aims to create a more objective framework through which extraordinary individuals can be acknowledged,” Misick said.

Individuals with special talents, skills and accomplishments will be able to accumulate points. Those points will come from specific criteria in the areas of:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Sports
  • Academia
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • Humanitarian assistance and more

A quota system is also to be established where a set number of applicants are approved each year and no more, any leftover applications will be deferred.

Status by Marriage will also undergo significant changes.

All residents seeking to gain Islander status via their spouse will have to prove that they have been married for at least 10 years to the date of application and living in the Turks and Caicos for at least two years to the date of application.

Because of the nature of the changes the application period for Turks and Caicos has been pushed back significantly to allow for public consultation and a proper understanding of the Bill by residents

The Bill was met with enthusiastic support from both sides of the house and both the Opposition and Government shared that these amendments would make the status seeking process more transparent.

“This [status] is not something that we can just give out so we need our process in place to critique applications as transparently as possible.”

The push comes months after a set of permanent residents sued TCIG over the obscurity in the process, demanding more explanation on why they had been denied status.

The actual setup of the points/metric system will go to the residents of the Turks and Caicos for public consultation in the coming weeks.

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