#Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands – Wednesday, July 11, 2018 – Turks and Caicos politicians were chastised by one of their own during House of Assembly session today; a former Chief Minister and current Opposition Leader called-out Members for harbouring so much animosity that bipartisan unity is virtually non-existent.
“And so Mr. Speaker, it is an indictment that we, the Political Class and Senior Management of this country have all drank the kool-aid and now operate at the intersection of capacity deficit and system designed faults that have seen the establishment of a hegemony who do not know from whence we came!”
While the Opposition Leader did not define what exactly is a hegemony – leadership or dominance, especially by one country or social group over others – he did opt to decipher the meaning of his bombastic remark.
“The system that we now have is one that we have to accept responsibility for and it is partly because of the division we have among ourselves… because Mr. Speaker we all bought into the kool- aid, the theory or the snake oil, whatever it is that was sold to us and we have made decisions that we understood things as they were, when things happened but it is now time for that to change.”
Hon Misick, who is the immediate past Minister of Finance said he understands the frustrations eluded to by the Premier and current finance minister in her Budget Communication of the day before, where Hon. Sharlene Robinson said:
“When we got into office, we met certain institutional structures that were resistant to the change the people wanted; that were bent on maintaining the status quo and, on frustrating the will of the people and diluting the power of their vote. And so this budget Mr. Speaker, but must be seen as a significant part of the foundation we are re-building. We have had not only to navigate the institutional and structural landmines put in the people’s way, but also face head on the challenges that nature presented.”
The PNP Leader in the House of Assembly expounded with, “It is a non-partisan statement… we have to, all of us, whether we are politicians, permanent secretaries and other people in powerful positions, we have to start thinking critically about the next generation and not continue to drink the kool-aid that is served to us. We know what happened in Georgetown; we should let our actions be those that in our best interest and in the best interest of our country.”
Referring to Queen Esther of the Christian Bible, who is revered for her fearless stance which rescued her nation of Israel from complete annihilation by an evil ruler, Hon Misick said “we are all Esthers in our different roles… we should all in our separate roles think about the decisions we make, whether we are dancing to the music of a hegemony who do not know from whence we come.”
There were many analogies and Bible scriptures lacing the early remarks of Hon Washington Misick, the fifth all-Island member. There was also a backwards glance, deemed vital to perspective, by the Member and it captured some of the major events of 2008 and 2009 affecting the TCI including Hurricane Ike, the global financial meltdown and constitutional suspension.
Hon Misick labelled the story of the Turks and Caicos’ economy in the last decade as ‘unprecedented’ and a full recovery, no longer in need of a doctor’s care.
“…yet it continues long after the patient has recovered, it continues to this day.”
The Opposition Leader called on the Premier not to “flip-flop” on the matter.
The phrase ‘drinking the kool-aid’ is a euphemism emanating from a heart-breaking story from 1978 which happened in Georgetown, Guyana. Cyanide and Valium spiked kool-aid was willfully drank by 900 people who were followers of American Jim Jones. The poisoning of the Peoples Temple ‘cult’ members is one of the worst mass genocides and one of the more infamous chapters in Caribbean history.
Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Immigration Ministers make appearance on TCI Radio Talk Show
By Dana Malcolm
#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.
Next Year, more courses, more staff, new location for TVET says Minister Taylor
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, November 25, 2022 – TVET offerings in the Turks and Caicos will definitely increase, especially for incarcerated people according to Minister of Education Rachel Taylor. Taylor was responding to queries from a resident about the limited course offerings in a Town Hall meeting on Monday November 21st.
“By next year you will see more programs being offered, not just at the prison, but also at the community college.” she said.
Mentioning that the Turks and Caicos Community College already offered courses like Commercial Food Preparation, Customer services as well as Electrical Engineering, but not some others like masonry, she said that the one thing they were working on was synchronizing courses between high schools and higher education.
“We will have to align the courses that are offered in high school also in the community college. Persons may not be aware but the Caribbean Vocational Qualification is actually level one of TVET, so when our students finish with the carpentry and the masonry and data entry, they can move into level two at the community college.”
In order to make that happen there are several things the government must do, she explained.
“Currently, we have to get onboard additional manpower at the community college [that] has already been budgeted.” She said that interviews were already taking place for adult learning assessment officers and a larger space at Alliance Business Plaza had been procured.
“We have recently purchased Club Pillows, which will be our new Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, which will provide us a better outlet to introduce additional courses.”
Referencing the new program geared towards inmates, she said, “The first phase of the MOU is the introduction of the Commercial Food Preparation and Customer services so we will definitely increase the offerings. We will have that dialogue with the inmates in terms of the — kind of training they would want to receive.”
Increased TVET offerings had been one of the major requests from young people during a recent youth survey. The Bahamas Technical Vocational Institute has also been flown into the TCI to consult and help broaden the offerings provided in the technical, vocational programme.
Claudine Ewing Appointed CEO of United Way TCI
November 25, 2022 – United Way Turks and Caicos is pleased to reintroduce Ms. Claudine Ewing as our Chief Executive Officer.
Inciting change and promoting growth are major attributes of one that leads a Nonprofit Organization; attributes that is regularly exhibited by Ms. Ewing, who was among the founding leaders of this 4 years old Non-profit Organization, she held the post of Executive Director for 2 years and was able to incite change and growth for many young people through our various programs and initiatives. During the severe period of Covid she was forced to leave, to become a caregiver for her parents who demanded much of her time.
However, her love for philanthropic work always held a place in her heart and she knew that one day she needed to continue on the path of changing the lives of young people for the betterment of our country.
Ms. Ewing’s ability to be a creative thinker, forge relationships with community partners, promote volunteerism, leverage the community to be consistent and get involved, are just some of the qualities that she bring to this role in such crucial times to strengthen the fabric of our community.
Ms. Ewing said “ I’m excited to be back on the team and even more excited to get our program initiatives back up and running, with creative ideas and community conversations that will have everyone engaged. “
Chairman of the Board, Mr. Mark Fulford said “As a Board we are please to pledge our support to our Executive Director Ms. Claudine Ewing. We encourage the community to get involve, as we reignite our Program Initiatives and continue to forge relationships with fellow Non-profits to have a greater impact in our community”.
About United Way Turks and Caicos:
United Way Turks & Caicos was established in 2018 by a group of Turks and Caicos Islands business leaders, together along with an established international donor. Our vision for ‘giving back’ and contributing to society is aligned with United Way World wide’s mission and values. This was the driving force behind the desire to replicate the success of the United Way model in the Turks & Caicos Islands. United Way Turks & Caicos Islands is comprised of 15 Board Directors within diverse sectors of our society and business community.
Together we set the goals for UWTCI and envision a community where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through Education. Our Mission is to improve lives by cultivating and inspiring the caring power of the community to advance the common good of all which is being executed by an Executive Director and Staff supported by hundreds of volunteers.
Contact info: 6493334545
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