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TCI Country Leaders condemn vicious memes

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#TurksandCaicosIslands – February 12, 2019 – The Church in the Turks and Caicos is among those today condemning the divide and conquer tactics being employed ahead of the 2020 General Elections and is calling on islanders engaged in the vicious memes to “stop it now.”

“The Bible admonishes us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. These videos and other messages on social media are signs of hatred and jealousy. The Christian Council condemns such acts and urges persons to desist from this negative behavior,” said the Christian Council in a media statement.

Magnetic Media had requested a statement from the Council and others on the hurtful memes which are becoming increasingly cruel and dangerously defamatory with each new one created.  A meme is defined as: ‘a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.’

Social media memes have now become an infamous way for people to attack leaders and other public personalities, anonymously.  Some residents of the Turks and Caicos Islands are taking full advantage of expressing their innermost thoughts, and no one is exempt.

One resident suggested, “Let Miami forensics find out who is creating and distributing these videos.  They have the expertise and the equipment.  It is the lowest, lowest, low… this has got to stop.”

It was a meme released last week, amidst the interest in the leadership race of the Opposition, Progressive National Party, (PNP) which sparked this reaction for the Grand Turk resident. 

The video used a popular scene from the 2004 German film, Downfall; which is an historical drama about the final days of Adolf Hitler, Chancellor of Nazi Germany.   

In the Turks and Caicos, the crudeness is escalating to potentially criminal heights.   According to the Turks and Caicos Bar Council, the nation has the legal framework to protect citizens and residents from libel, which are untrue or erroneous statements written in the public domain.

The Turks and Caicos Bar Council informed that: “…one may be pursued in Court for Defamation– more specifically, Libel for written publications (e.g. articles written on social media) and Slander for spoken words of a defamatory nature.  A person adversely affected by the publishing of false information that causes damage to their reputation may seek redress…”

Redress can be a retraction and apology, an injunction to stop the guilty party publishing the unsubstantiated deprecating statements or the victim can sue for damages.

Rights of individuals are protected in the Turks and Caicos, informed the Bar Council, under the Obscene Publications Ordinance.

“…which prohibits persons from producing and or distributing subject matters that is deemed obscene by right thinking members of the community. If found liable, under this Ordinance, a person is subject to a $5,000.00 fine, 6 months’ imprisonment or both.”

Beyond the societal repercussions, the Christian Council reminded that there are spiritual ones too.

“These messages are killing, stealing and destroying the joy and reputation of others. Remember a house divided against itself cannot stand. Appreciate the political differences of others and if you do not support them then do not vote for them. There is no need for this mudslinging. Remember at end of the day it is our own we are destroying. Life and death are in the power of the tongue.”

The Church is vowing not to sit by and allow this ugliness to spread.

Political attacks have been most pronounced against two leading ladies in the country – Hon Sharlene Robinson, Premier and Hon Josephine Connolly, second All Island member of the House of Assembly. 

Mrs. Robinson and Mrs. Connolly were the two most voted for all island candidates in the 2016 General Elections and so their fall out – politically – was epic for the Turks and Caicos Islands.  While the break-up of the first Cabinet of the Sharlene Robinson-led PDM Administration is 20-months old, a war of words and videos has raged on.

Hon Connolly, who eventually withdrew from the PDM party has since February 3, 2019 announced that she will join the Opposition PNP. 

In a statement to Magnetic Media, Mrs. Connolly rejected the accusations levelled at her, “I have no agenda except for the success of this country and the people who live here. I have nothing but love and respect for the Hon Washington Misick and the Hon Akierra Misick. They are both resourceful and effective politicians who have given a lot for their country and their party and I have nothing but admiration for the work they have done and are doing.”

Connolly, who is a wife, mother of two and successful business woman surmised: “…if our political process is to be elevated from the taunts of the playground, that we as a people need to say no to those who want to pollute the process and drag down fellow Turks and Caicos Islanders. There are more sensible, God fearing and supportive Turks and Caicos Islanders than there are these political character assassins.”

Also a wife, mother of two and pioneering female figure, Sharlene Robinson shared comments which she has made before to denounce the nasty memes, even if those messages may be in defence of her political career.

“I know that my record can stand for me. This behavior is driven by pure hate and that is truly not who we are as a people.  Too many people do not understand that we are on a world stage and we are painting ourselves in the worst light. I encourage persons to use these talents and time for good: Build up and not pull down. Use your preferred politician’s record to promote them as it is a disservice to them to participate in such trash in promotion of them.”

Robinson, like others has seen the sinister attacks cross the line, “Over the years, my children, my husband and my Church have been the subject of nasty attacks all because I have made the choice to serve in the political arena.”

PDM Party Chairman, Douglas Parnell said his party condemns the messages and recommends a few items more worthy of focus, “The Government and especially our Premier and all members of our party have been vilified and personally attacked with nasty and vicious rumors and smear campaigns over the years and we cannot stress how distasteful and distracting these tactics can be to the real issues that need to be addressed in this country.” 

Meanwhile, the European Union is seeking to institute copyright protections which would make it illegal to use uploaded information likes photographs and videos; essentially, memes would be banned if the EU gets its way.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Caribbean News

BTC Water Sports Department Celebrates with staff

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PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands: In a show of appreciation for outstanding service over the past year, particularly with the addition of new offerings following the expansion of the Beaches Turks & Caicos waterpark, the resort management recently held a commemorative function for its dedicated watersports team.

The function, which took the form of a special luncheon in the resort’s lavish ballroom, was spearheaded by the resort’s leadership including General Manager, James McAnally and WaterSports Manager, Mark Henley.

General Manager, James McAnally, (right) presents Nicorge Edward from St Lucia with a token of appreciation at the recently held awards ceremony

McAnally thanked the team  for their unwavering efforts in providing stellar service over the past year and reminded them  “The resort recently received recognition from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) for more than 25 years of certification which means that you as our valued team members, have been providing world-class watersports experience for our guests.”

“Among you, there are three team members who have been recognized for over 60 years of diving experience, combined. As a team, you have all continued to give nothing but outstanding service as you provide amazing experiences for our guests every day.  This is just one way for us to let you know that we see you, and we appreciate you.  Thank you all for your continued support as we remain committed to not only exceeding our guests’ expectations but to also elevate our brand offerings and positioning as the best place to work in the Turks & Caicos Islands,” said McAnally.

For his part, Henley stated, “each of you here today has shown tremendous will and determination to make this resort the best family resort on the Islands. For the three men who have each given more than 21 years of service each, I encourage you to continue to show the way forward to those who are not as experienced in this field. Let us continue to grow as a team, having fun as we work hard together.  We believe that, together everyone achieves more.”

Evanz Inelus, Pool and Waterpark supervisor while sharing his commendation for the team noted, “we are forever a team in this department and the resort in general. As we continue to grow in our professional life, let us look forward to the new year with getting more certifications from the Sandals Corporate University (SCU). Beaches Turks and Caicos has made it possible for us to grow professionally in what we love in this department by allowing us to be certified while we are doing what we enjoy in the water sports department.”

Mamrio Pierre (right) accepts his certification of recognition from Mackenson Petit from the Learning and Development department

Three members of the team were given special recognition for their years of service to the resort; Jacquelin Pierre, Marion Pierre and Charitable Sertune August. Marion Pierre, while sharing his gratitude for the recognition added, “Beaches Turks and Caicos is the best place for anyone to start their career. My team and I are very grateful for this award as the resort continues to build us into becoming the best professionals that we can be. The training and exposure provided, allow us opportunities at other Sandals and Beaches resorts across the Caribbean and to get certification from some of the most recognised institutions in the world. Working with this company has given me and my family the opportunity to live a prosperous and comfortable life.”

Two team members, Jed Arkim Reggie and Nicorge Edward, from Sandals La Toc, St Lucia who were on training and experiencing the resort, were recognised for their contribution to the department. Edward stated, “what I love most about this company is the opportunity to gain professional experience in different cultures and regions. My colleague and I came here to gain valuable leadership experience while learning more about the daily operational duties of the watersports department at this, the largest and most equipped resort. We are grateful for the exposure and look forward to going back home to share the best practices we have learned.”

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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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