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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.

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EXCLUSIVE!  Police black CID Vehicle shot up by bandits in Five Cays

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Wilkie Arthur

Court Correspondent

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 15, 2024 – It was an uneasy night on Tuesday May 14 for some residents of Five Cays, Providenciales owing to continuous, serious fire power with gun shots blaring in various areas of the community.

Some say they heard shots in Granny Hill and reported a man walking around with a gun, randomly shooting at unidentifiable targets. Some say shots were heard behind the Enid Capron Primary School.  Some say they heard gun shot sounds coming from a residential area as well.

The most compelling accounts, however, were on reported events in another area called “The Wells”; a community in the depths of Five Cays and South Dock.

Criminals took on law enforcement in a gun battle involving the armored truck and a CID vehicle.

No members of the Royal TCI Police were hit.

Not the same for the other side.  One person was hit, a young man not known to police and it’s not clear if he was one of the men shooting at the police or an innocently caught in the crossfire.

The man was arrested as a possible suspect.  He is also in hospital with an “entrance and exit” gunshot wound.

During the shootout in The Wells, the CID vehicle was shot at repeatedly, disabling its movement as gunfire damaged the engine. Concerning to us, these shootings were at different times and locations but came in rapid succession; one right after the other, I was told.

Most described the sounds as coming “from some big guns.”

Police the morning after allowed me in to see up close.

Video, photos feature my EXCLUSIVE, close-up look at the damage done by criminals; it is clear high powered rifles were used by these suspects still at large.

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Charred Remains Found in Back Seat of Completely Burnt Vehicle

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Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Correspondent

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 21, 2024 – A gruesome discovery was made around midday today (Sunday, May 19th, 2024) when police and fire rescue teams responded to a call at a location on Blue Hills Back Road, off Millennium Highway. The area, situated next to the Fortis Sub-Station, is accessible via a long, secluded dirt road.

Upon arrival, authorities found a vehicle completely engulfed in flames. The vehicle was later removed by police after being alerted by an anonymous source to its burnt-out location. Local residents indicated that the fire had been ignited around 2-3 a.m. earlier that morning, but authorities were not notified until later in the day.

Residents could not provide details about the individual inside the vehicle or even discern its color due to the extensive damage caused by the fire. Videos of the discovery location are available, but footage of the vehicle itself will be provided once it has been located. The vehicle was reportedly still burning when police arrived at the scene.

Official Royal TCI Police Report:

Media Release – May 19th, 2024: Active Investigation Officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) are currently on the scene of a vehicle fire in the Blue Hills, Providenciales area. Acting on received information, officers arrived at the location along North Side Close and discovered a burnt vehicle with what appeared to be a body inside.
The RTCIPF is conducting a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances of this incident. As this is an active investigation, more details will be provided to the public as they become available.

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Caribbean News

NATIONAL SECURITY SECRETARIAT INFORMATION NOTE ISSUED MAY 17, 2024

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May 21, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands have clear laws prohibiting the possession of firearms and or ammunition without a licence and strict penalties in order to serve and protect the community. Our Firearms Ordinance, which was amended in 2022, states that:

No person (other than a licensed gunsmith in the course of his trade) shall have in his possession, discharge or use any firearm or ammunition unless he is the holder of a firearm licence with respect to such firearm, or in case of ammunition he is the holder of a licence for a firearm which takes that ammunition.

Firearm and/or ammunition offences carry a mandatory minimum custodial sentence of twelve years plus a fine. Where a court finds there are exceptional circumstances, the sentencing judge has discretion, under the law, to impose a custodial sentence and a fine that are fair and just in the circumstances of each case rather than impose the mandatory minimum.

The Chief Justice is advancing sentencing guidelines in respect of the application of exceptional circumstances. Wider work is also ongoing with criminal justice partners to review the efficiency and effectiveness of case progression, in driving justice outcomes.

It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure their baggage is free of firearms and/or ammunition. Permission from an airline carrier does not constitute permission to bring firearms or ammunition into the Turks and Caicos Islands. Travellers are also strongly advised to search their luggage before they travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands to ensure they do not bring in forbidden items inadvertently. Such offences will result in arrest.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory with a common law legal system, and reserves the right to enforce its laws. All persons, including visitors, must follow lawful process.

The Turks and Caicos Islands welcomes all visitors but reminds travellers that persons in the Turks and Caicos Islands do not have a constitutional right to carry firearms. Equally, the importation of firearms, ammunition (including stray bullets), and other weapons is strictly forbidden, unless licence to do so has been issued by the Commissioner of Police.

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