Connect with us


GT Residents speak out ahead of Public Meeting & Island Fish Fry



By Deandrea Hamilton and Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff


#TurksandCaicos, November 18, 2022 – Grand Turk residents learned last week that on Thursday night, (last night), they would finally have their Premier’s ear at a town hall meeting on the island.  Ahead of the meeting, we learned of a number of grievances to air.

The meeting was rescheduled from a 7pm start to an earlier time at 5:30 pm after initially clashing with a Fish Fry event which had been planned for the Grand Turk community as part of the Tourism Environmental Awareness Month,   In the end, both important functions were accommodated much to residents’ delight.

Residents seem to be anxious for the meeting based on reactions over social media; some feel it has been a long time coming while others have expressed little faith that their concerns will be genuinely considered. We spoke to some residents who told us their major concerns

Grand Turk went through an extreme downturn in 2020 as the pandemic shut down cruising and thus livelihoods for 20 months; dozens of businesses are just now recovering. One resident said people want to see an expansion of the tourism industry from just cruising; they want to see more cash injections onto their island, maybe even a hotel or two.

Another resident told us they feel the island has been neglected with still nowhere concrete for microbusiness vendors to ply their wares, no significant work has been done on infrastructure, cost of living is too high and they are concerned about the country’s blacklisting by the EU and what it truly means for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

In addition to all that, community members have consistently struggled with the risk of their properties going up in flames as arson continues to be a major threat with unsolved cases piling up. The marine branch that used to be active in Grand Turk  is another problem.  Residents say point blank, they want it rectified; demanding that the station be re-established.

Jobs for young people was another ask as many graduates are without a source of income and often find themselves leaving their island home on the hunt for a promising career.  Getting the constantly roaming animals off the island’s streets was another concern expressed to our newsroom.

There are complaints about the state of the airport; residents revealing that up to last week promised renovations had not been done and tourists and residents alike were still walking on the outside of the airport when disembarking or boarding flights.

Finally residents say they simply want more of their government’s attention on the country’s capital to fix the multiplying issues before they get even worse.

After the meeting the Island Fish Fry was set to begin, according to Blythe Claire, Education Officer at the TCI Tourist Board.  Clare said the focus is on youth, highlighting Chelsea Been, the Junior Tourism Minister and the HJ Robinson High School Band.

Caribbean News

Barbados bestows Humanitarian Award on PAHO director Dr. Carissa Etienne 



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”.

Continue Reading

Bahamas News

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



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.

Continue Reading

Bahamas News

Former Bahamian Cabinet minister defends record amid ongoing police investigation



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.

Continue Reading