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Bi-lateral talks with Bahamas to resume, UK gives green light to high-level TCI delegation

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#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Thursday July 26, 2018 – A serious bi-lateral discussion between the Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas is on the horizon according to Premier, Hon Sharlene Robinson who today told media that the Governor has approved an official visit.

“On the matter of illegal migration, discussions with The Bahamas; the Governor this past week has issued the diplomatic note that would allow the high level TCI delegation to travel to The Bahamas to further this dialogue.  Persons would recall that The Bahamas had agreed to assist with the patrolling of our waters and a letter of entrustment was requested by myself and the UK Minister who has graciously agreed to allow for the exploratory talks.”

The idea of a stronger alliance between the Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas has been touted for years, including by the former Rufus Ewing Administration.

On Thursday, notes from the most recent Turks and Caicos Cabinet meeting reflected that the conversation is imminent between the two countries which share borders, waters, geography, history, family relations and more woefully, troubles brought by illegal fishing and illegal migration.

From the Cabinet report of July 25, 2018:  “The Hon. Premier reported that the TCI Government would commence talks soon with the Government of the Bahamas on possible co-operation to tackle the problem of illegal sloops from Haiti. The Hon. Premier also reported that she had received the report of the UK Border Force delegation who had been in TCI recently to carry out an assessment of TCI’s needs to combat illegal migration. The recommendations in the report were currently under consideration but were broadly in line with existing TCIG’s thinking and several were already being implemented.”

Peter Beckingham, former Governor TCI

In 2014, former governor Peter Beckingham travelled to The Bahamas where he met with the former Deputy Prime Minister, Philip Davis – acting Foreign Affairs Minister at the time.

The two leaders explained to media in July 2014 that policies were being formed to curb the issues with illegal migration from Haiti.

Philip Davis, former Deputy Prime Minister Bahamas

Mr. Beckingham, on behalf of the Turks and Caicos Islands, shared that:  “We have put in a number of measures to try and get a tighter grip on the problem of illegal migration,” he said. “It is costing human lives and it is costing our government money. So for those reasons and others we want to do more about it.  I can’t help feeling that if we can match up those two areas rather more there is an area for development. We believe that by meeting jointly with the government of Haiti there may be areas where we can exert some persuasion to encourage them to do more about the problem that they face and we face jointly. By showing that we are united in this enterprise and in this discussion we will underline the seriousness of this problem and the hope that we can do something about it.”

Soon the meeting of two nations became a tri-lateral caucus when it welcomed Haiti to the table.  The session was expected to stem the flow of illegal boats loaded with migrants fleeing Haiti.

Whatever ideas were discussed have never been publicized or implemented.  The meeting seems to have been a dud and the inundation of Haitians illegally to both the Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas in subsequent years has not waned.

During his Budget presentation in July 2018, Deputy Premier and Border Control Minister, Sean Astwood announced that illegal migration activity surged by nearly 300% in the past fiscal period for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

L-R: Jovenel Moise, Haitian President; Darren Henfield, Bahamas Foreign Affairs Minister and Hubert Minnis, Bahamas Prime Minister

“Mr. Speaker, the battles we faced as a ministry, as a government and as a country, in my mind, were unprecedented.  As a people, we endured the wrath of two major hurricanes and untold damages and displacements, and it appeared that our borders came under relentless attacks from the start of 2017.A total of 22 sloops and 1,335 persons were repatriated throughout the year. Mr. Speaker, this represents a 160% increase in sloops arrivals and a 270% increase in repatriations over the same period for 2016.Mr. Speaker, this was truly unprecedented.”

No date was given by Premier Robinson for the high-level, bi-lateral meeting in The Bahamas.

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Caribbean News

Educational Aids Strengthen Learning Experience for Provo Students

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PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands: Scores of students in Providenciales will benefit from back-to-school supplies donated by Sandals Foundation Ambassadors at Beaches Turks and Caicos resort, strengthening the instructional process in four schools at the start of the new school term.

More than 2,000 students from Ianthe Pratt, Enid Capron, Oseta Jolly and the Thelma Lightbourne Primary Schools were presented with a generous supply of educational materials including notebooks, pens, pencils, rulers, sharpeners, knapsacks, reading material, sports gear and musical instruments from members of the philanthropic arm of the family all-inclusive resort. While sharing the gratitude for the gifts received, the leaders at the various institutions lauded the efforts of the more than 20 volunteers on hand.

Neekimo King, Principal of the Ianthe Pratt Primary School shared, “Beaches Turks and Caicos and the Sandals Foundation over the years have adopted our institution as their own. These reading books will go a far way in increasing our library stock and improving literacy among the students while the physical education and the guidance counseling units have received lots of materials to bolster the learning experience for our students.”

Sophia Garland, Principal of the Enid Capron Primary School was equally elated as she expressed how beneficial resources will be for the teaching and learning process.

“These supplies, including the books, will definitely aid in increasing literacy amongst the students and the many teaching aids that we have been received will create an environment that is conducive for teaching and learning.”

In sharing with the schools, James McAnally, General Manager at Beaches resort noted, “Sandals Foundation and the resort remain committed to the development of the education of our children, the environment and the communities in which we operate. These four government operated primary schools were identified for these supplies to help in fostering their academic and extra-curricular growth.”

McAnally continued, “A big thank you to the Sandals Foundation Ambassadors who came out and helped with making these distributions possible.”

Vice principal of the Oseta Jolly Primary School, Diana Dean, also expressed gratitude noting, “With these tools, I am sure the students will be excited about learning and the teachers will be better equipped to deliver the lessons.”

The Sandals Foundation and Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort have long been supporters of education and community development in Turks and Caicos, donating to a number of schools and youth sports programmes. Since 2011, the organisations have been assisting students at Ianthe Pratt, Enid Capron Primary Schools and other schools across the islands in their holistic development by providing educational supplies and the opportunity for Sandals and Beaches resorts guests to meaningfully engage with the students through a weekly literacy enhancement programme, hosted in partnership with Island Routes Tours – Reading Road Trip.

 

Captions: 

Header: Staff and students from the Enid Capron Primary School share a moment for the cameras with members of the Sandals Foundation team as the school received educational items from the Beaches Turks and Caicos and the Sandals Foundation.

Insert: James McAnally, General Manager, Beaches Turks and Caicos (front left) makes a presentation to members of the Ianthe Pratt Primary School recently with sporting gear and educational items looking on are members of the Sandals Foundation team, Sesame Street Character

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Crime

PRESS STATEMENT: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

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#TurksandCaicos, January 27, 2023 – The Ministry responsible for Education confirms that a recent report of alleged sexual abuse was brought to the attention of authorities at a particular school. For the protection of the child, we will not divulge details of this matter. We do acknowledge that there were issues experienced which resulted in less than appropriate response to the incident.

 The Ministry is continuing its investigation of the incident, in its totality and has since requested a comprehensive report on the response from all involved. Several meetings, visits and discussions were held. The key is to ensure that the minor involved is afforded additional counselling and care and that other students within the institution are also afforded the relevant support needed. The Student Support Services has been active in coordinating this response which is currently in operation.

 As an immediate further action, the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) entities will convene and existing protocols will be reviewed and investigations conducted to determine the consistency of the response, exactly where the established protocols were not followed and the subsequent actions to be taken.

 The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Social Services considers its responsibility for the Safeguarding of children of utmost importance. In so doing, the Ministry of Education has instituted a number of measures over the years to ensure that allegations of abuse to children in schools are treated with urgency. The creation of the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) was created to ensure that teachers, leaders, Social Workers, and Police can respond to allegations with the child’s safety and protection as the core consideration. Child safeguarding remains the Ministry’s primary concern.

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Crime

Murder Victim Identified

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#TurksandCaicos, January 27, 2023 – The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force have identified Ervin Glinton of Sand Bar Street, Five Cays, as the male who was shot dead on January 24th .

Based on preliminary reports, at around 3pm, the Police Control Room  received a call from a resident stating that gunshots were being heard in Five Cays.

RTCIPF officers responded to the given location at Reece Street and found Glinton’s lifeless body lying face down on the ground, with what appeared to be gunshot wounds.

The public is being advised to notify the closest police station or to contact Crime Stoppers and give any information regarding this murder or  any illegal activity anonymously.

Please note, that Crime Stoppers calls are answered in Miami and in Houston by Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers which is a non-profit and not a police agency.

The calls are anonymous and cannot be traced in the United States or the TCI.

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