Turks & Caicos – December 10, 2020 – As the Turks and Caicos and other British Overseas Territories (OTs) were layered with messages of commitment from as high up as Prince Charles and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, there came a bombshell decision which caused the UK Minister for the OTs to quit and slam the Foreign Office for abandoning its fiscal promise to countries like TCI.
Baroness Sugg resigned from her junior ministerial role when she learned funding would be cut to .05 percent of gross national income from .07 percent, according to media reports about the explosive development.
Foreign Office Minister, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has since come under fire. The chancellor however defends that Covid-19 forced the streamlining of funds, saying “spending .07 percent of our national income overseas is difficult to justify to the British people.”
Sunak said there is a commitment to return to the .07 percent once the pandemic loosens its grip on the UK; but his statement raises that age-old argument of how the overseas territories are truly viewed in times of trouble.
Ping-ponging from being a part of the British family to being considered foreigners who benefit from benevolent as opposed to entitled support; the explanation seemed to undermine the message from Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister who on Tuesday spoke to the JMC live from #10 Downing Street, London.
“In spite of everything, of the difficulties we are going through, we remember that we are united by deep ties of kinship and friendship and history and values. We in the UK government are going to make sure we continue to intensify that partnership,” said Johnson who reflected on the impact of climate change and now the public and economic crises of Covid-19.
“Do not forget that the UK is absolutely committed to you, to your futures and to our partnership. As we go forward and recover from this pandemic, we want to make sure that we build back greener and that we look after island economies that are so vulnerable to climate change.”
Prince Charles had a similar communication ahead of talks on the environment, telling OTs of their huge contribution to “our” biodiversity.
With one month to Brexit, a media report explained the UK Government recommitted to JMC member states they will continue to be considered by the European Union for funding of development projects, which is an area of particular concern in the TCI.
A report from the Office of the Premier informs that other areas of concern over the four days of virtual meetings, from November 23-26 were: Constitutional Relationships; Trade; Economic Resilience; Border Security; Prisons and Environmental Protection and Funding.
“During day one of the meetings, Premier Robinson gave a presentation on Border Security, highlighting TCI’s management of illegal migration and human trafficking through its National Security Strategy and multi-sector partnerships including the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police, United States (US) Coast Guard and Bahamas Defence Force. Following the Premier’s presentation, a roundtable discussion ensued to outline further border security challenges experienced around the region and a full outline of the UK funded Border Security Programme.”
Before her abrupt departure, Baroness Sugg invited Premier Robinson to speak – on day two – to the impact of COVID-19 on the Turks and Caicos Islands Economy and TCI’s short, medium and long term plans in response to the pandemic.
The Premier’s Office informed: “During day three of the meeting, the Premier made a third presentation on Her Majesty’s Prison highlighting the TCI Government’s investment in the redevelopment, management and hiring and training of staff at the facility. The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force and the UK Government has lent their support in physical manpower and funding, in partnership with the TCI Government which has in the National Budget allocated funding to fulfill much needed upgrades to the facility.
Leaders heard from His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson as well as the Minister for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Baroness Sugg.”
The Premier was joined by His Excellency Nigel Dakin, TCI Governor; Ronlee James, Executive Director for the Office of the Premier, Local Government and Community Affairs and Tracy Knight and Kimo Tynes, UK Representatives for the TCI Government London Office.
Turks and Caicos Government Ministers joined during sessions which discussed matters pertaining to their respective Ministries.
The Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) is usually held in London, however on account of the pandemic, the meetings were held virtually.
Originally published in the Magnate; our brand new E-newspaper. Want it every morning? Contact Deandrea Hamilton: 649-231-9261. We are the News Leader.
Turks and Caicos Islands school sports season 2023/24 officially opens in September
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, September 19, 2023 – After an active summer of events, Turks and Caicos Islands School Sports (TCISS) season 2023/24 will open with TCISS Football for Boys and Girls on September 30, 2023.
The opening ceremony of TCISS Football will take place at the TCI Football Association on Venetian Road, Providenciales and we will commute to the National Stadium for the games. Games will take place weekly on Fridays and Saturdays. After making their debut last year, TCISS Girls Football will run concurrently with Boys Football on a split pitch from September through October. The championship games are slated for October 28, 2023.
Last year’s Girls’ football champions were the Marjorie Basden High School after defeating the British West Indies Collegiate 2-1. The Boys’ champions were the Clement Howell High School who beat out the Elite High School who forfeited the game 1-0. All current students, fans and alumni are encouraged to watch the games weekly each Friday and Saturday, with tickets for Adults $5 and Children $3.
TCISS Boys Basketball quickly picks up after the Football season ends, spanning from early November 2023 to January 2024. Home and away games are one the highlights of this event, affording all teams a chance at a ‘home-court’ advantage throughout the season. As is tradition in TCISS, schools will be randomly selected and placed into pools to compete. Ultimately the strongest teams will meet at the championships. The reigning champions are the Clement Howell High School who defeated the A. Louise Garland Thomas High School 92-56 for the gold.
In a double-team affair, TCISS Girls Softball will launch a few weeks post Boys Basketball’s commencement, for a season which lasts from November 2023 – January 2024. This means softball and basketball seasons will run concurrently like last year, and tickets will allow entry to both games. The reigning champions are the HJ Robinson High School who won the championships 14-6 in their hometown Grand Turk against the Wesley Methodist High School. The championships will return to the nation’s capital next year, in honour of last year’s champions.
Ending the TCISS season will be the Track and Field events also known as Athletics. The Athletics opener will be the Track and Field Development meets. Historically this has been segmented into two meets: Sprints and Throws, Distance and Jumps.
Following will be the TCISS Inter-High Track and Field Championships also known as Nationals in March 2024 then the TCISS Inter-Primary Track and Field Championships also in March. Last year’s champions of Inter-High was the A. Louise Garland Thomas High School and for Inter-Primary the Ona Glinton Primary School. After being implemented last season, TCISS Track and Field champions are determined by a medal count with gold holding the most weight.
TCISS 2023/24 Sport Schedule
- TCISS Inter-High School Football Boys, TCISS Inter-High School Football Girls – September 30, 2023 – October 28, 2023 (Providenciales)
- TCISS Inter-High School Basketball – November 2023 – January 2024 (All-Island)
- TCISS Inter-High School Softball – November 2023 – January 2023 (Season Games – Providenciales. Semi-finals & Championships – Grand Turk)
- Track and Field Development Meets – February 2024
- TCISS Inter-High School Track and Field – February – March 2024 (Providenciales)
- TCISS Inter-Primary School Track and Field – March 2023 (Providenciales)
The full TCISS event schedule and further updates will be found on the TCI Sports Commission’s website www.gov.tc/sports/.
For the latest news on the TCISS, fans can follow on Instagram (@tcisportscommission) and Facebook (Turks and Caicos Islands Sports Commission). To share your experience with TCISS on social, use the hashtags #TCISS and #morethanjustsports.
Court Ruling leaves Young Son without Mother, Father killed in 2022 violence
Freelance Court Reporter
#TurksandCaicos, September 19, 2023 – A young son is left without a father, taken through gun violence and his mother, now deported back to her home country of Jamaica.
A Jamaican woman, ANDREA ROSE MARIE ATKINSON, now in her late fifties, who was married to a Wheeland, Blue Hills, Providenciales native, appeared before the Hon. Chief Magistrate Mr. Jolyon Hatmin.
Atkinson was charged on August 7th with remaining in the Islands beyond the permitted time. The Chief Magistrate (CM) asked the lady if she would like an opportunity to get legal representation? She said, your Honour, I just want to get this over with because “mi can’t take da cell no more” “mi bin lock up now fa sa much days, mi just a plea guilty and go back to mi Yard.”
The lady, communicating in her native, raw Jamaican patois tried to explain to the CM that she once had a permanent resident certificate (PRC) but after the divorced she was trying to get a work permit.
She said, yes, she overstayed but she was trying to make herself legal.
The woman asked the CM for some time to sort out her son and her things before they send her home. The mother of a boy child told the chief magistrate that she didn’t know where her child was because since law enforcement arrested her and took her into Immigration lock-up and since, she has not seen or heard from her son.
This matter was heard in August.
Investigation by this reporter uncovered that the son, a Turks and Caicos Islander, was taken in by one of the deceased sisters; therefore an aunt to the boy.
The CM sentenced the Jamaican woman ANDREA ROSE MARIE ATKINSON to a fine of $2,000.00 to be paid immediately in default, she will serve 90 days imprisonment.
He also recommended deportation; giving the former PRC holder seven days to sort out her son and her belongings.
REOPENING OF THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
The First (1st) Sitting of the First (1st) Meeting of the Third (3rd) Session of the Twelfth (12th) Legislature of the House of Assembly of the Turks & Caicos Islands
The Opening Ceremony for the First (1st) Sitting of the First (1st) Meeting of the Third (3rd) Session of the Twelfth (12th) Legislature of the House of Assembly occurred on the 14th September at 10 o’clock in the forenoon with its usual pomp and fanfare.
During the proceedings, the Honourable Premier and Minister for Public Policy, Hon. C. Washington Misick, moved the motion that the House of Assembly be suspended to allow for the reading of the Speech from the Throne, presented by Her Excellency, the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam.
The Speech from the Throne, having highlighted some of the Government’s accomplishments since being elected to office on 19th February 2021, culminated with the proposed Legislative Agenda to be considered for the upcoming legislative year which included, but is not limited to:
Constitution (Amendment) Order;
Retiring Allowance (Amendment) Bill;
Community College (Amendment) Bill;
Gaming Control (Amendment) Bill;
Business Licensing (Amendment) Bill;
Real Estate Licensing Bill
Immigration Bill; and
Crown Land (Amendment) Bill
The Speech from the Throne took a long-term perspective and placed emphasis on fulfilling the objectives of the Vision 2040 document and the Government’s strategic plan to move the Turks and Caicos Islands towards developed country status within the next two decades by investing in projects and policies that will result in a more robust triple-bottom-line economy.
The Speech from the Throne also addressed short to medium term deliverables; highlighting that the Government has twelve (12) high-priority projects being progressed. It posited that the National Delivery Unit (NDU) is tasked with assisting project owners and implementers advance the Government’s priorities. The value added by this Unit is the facilitation with streamlining of project management processes to ensure the most efficient timelines and use of available resources – all for the ultimate benefit of the citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The day’s proceeding ended with a motion entitled: Write-Off of TC Invest/TOLCO Loan that was tabled by the Minister of Finance, the Honourable E. Jay Saunders. The motion which sought to write off $10.8 million in debt accumulated by scores of borrowers was passed. This write-off was a welcomed intervention by many Turks and Caicos Islanders, laden with debt obligations for over 11 years following the divestiture of the former TC Invest Agency. The write-off directly affects over 150 borrowers but is indirectly beneficial to many more.
For some, giving them a second lease on life, which, when property ownership is considered can be extended to inter-generationally.
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