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TCAAAs calls for investigation; local executives in row over Presidency

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 16, 2022 – There seems to be confusion in the camp at the Turks and Caicos Amateur Athletics Association as various members claim to be the head of the institution but Edith Skippings remains President until further notice.  On June 1st a notice was released apparently from the executive of the TCAAA addressed to Members, Partners, and Stakeholders.

The notice read: “This notice serves as an official correspondence to inform you that as of Wednesday 1st June 2022, Ms. Edith Skippings was placed on a conditional Suspension by the Executive Team of the TCAAA’s. Mr. Willah Gray, 1st Vice President, has been appointed as Acting President in the interim.”

Skippings, who has been the President of the organization since 2011 hit back immediately in an interview with Magnetic Media calling the move “illegal”.

Because of the infighting in the TC 3As the North American, Central American, and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC), the overarching track & field body for the Americas, is stepping in to investigate decisions by and accusations against Skippings.

But she is not the only one under scrutiny; the NACAC will also investigate the purported missteps by members of the TC 3As executive.

Skippings told Magnetic Media that she will “not be bullied” into vacating the role of president and denies being suspended.

The NACAC concurred with her on this account as they issued a communication which keeps her as president and Rosalie Ingham-Hall as General Secretary. She called the meeting where this vote reportedly happened unconstitutional and illegal.

The TCI Sports Commission has been reached by the TC 3As for intervention; we are told none has come from the Commission.

The local Sports Commission, in May, made it clear it was not responsible for the appointment of members in NGBs like the TCAAA, “Contrary to public belief, national team selection and coordination is the remit of the National Sports Governing Body and not the Turks and Caicos Islands Sports Commission. NGB executive members are elected by their general membership and are not appointed by the Turks and Caicos Islands Sports Commission.”

It had also informed in a media statement it would investigate allegations of abuse and inequalities at the TCI Swim Federation. To date no information from that investigation has been shared with the public.

Caribbean News

Barbados bestows Humanitarian Award on PAHO director Dr. Carissa Etienne 

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#Barbados, November 25, 2022 – The newest recipient of Barbados’ Humanitarian Award is outgoing Pan American Health Organization Director, Dr Carissa Etienne.  The government of Barbados grants this award to frontline workers who were instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Etienne expressed her gratitude for the recognition, noting, however, that she was more grateful for the opportunity to have served on the island. She also praised Prime Minister, Mia Mottley for her diligence in leading the country and regional involvement during the pandemic.

Humanitarian medals were also given to Frontline workers who risked their own safety to ensure the needs of the public were met. Those who held supporting roles on the frontline received humanitarian lapel pins, and those who made generous donations were given humanitarian plaques.

Dr. Etienne highlighted one major lesson from the pandemic, “we are only safe when the weakest among us is also safe”.

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Bahamas News

Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Immigration Ministers make appearance on TCI Radio Talk Show

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#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.

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Bahamas News

Former Bahamian Cabinet minister defends record amid ongoing police investigation

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – Former Youth, Sports and Culture Minister, Lanisha Rolle is reportedly currently under investigation due to several allegations that came up during her tenure; she however knows nothing of this alleged criminal investigation.

After the minister resigned – unceremoniously –  in February 2021 with little explanation, the ministry was locked down by the Prime Minister for an audit of the National Sports Authority, which fell under her ministry.

Auditor General Terrance Bastin revealed that unauthorised contracts had been issued, some of which were later forwarded to the NSA for payment. Three cheques to contractors were also found, which were paid to individuals and then collected by a senior ministry official.

Despite the allegations, Rolle said she upheld cabinet standards and good governance during her tenure. She added that a minister is not always aware of “everything in a ministry at any given time.”

Rolle said she has not yet been approached by the RBPF regarding the audit findings.  Having served as a member of the Police Force for 11 years herself, Rolle told a crush of media on Wednesday (November 23) that she continues to trust that they will follow the legal process and in due time, the truth of her innocence will be revealed.

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