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10 Day Tour is first for Her Excellency, Sworn in now to serve His Majesty and the TCI 

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Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, July 1, 2023 – The interests of the Turks and Caicos Islands come first and already decided is a national familiarization tour, for the newly appointed governor to become directly acquainted with the islands and islanders.

In her first official, Her Excellency Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam was poised, succinct and clear about expectations and her role as the 16th governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“I am acutely aware of some of the issues on your mind, in particular national security, the constitution, social development, and the economy. My meetings with elected representatives, communities, officials, and bodies over this coming month will equip me with what I need to focus my priorities to best serve the interest of the Turks and Caicos Islands,” she said.

Crime was high on the list of deliverables for the new governor and with a decades long background in law and overseeing courts, she promised a rework of the justice system to come.

“Tackling the present challenge of the safety of these Turk and Caicos Islands requires now more than ever a strong relationship between the police, partner agencies, and our communities that they serve. I will be working with all involved to address the stark levels of criminality and much needed justice reforms, ” she promised.

She thanked Anya Williams, Deputy Governor for her ‘admirable and dedicated service’ over the past three months in the role of Acting Governor and reflected on the preparation she had for the role in the last six months meeting with former Governor, Nigel Dakin and Williams herself.

Selvaratnam maintained that her time in Anguilla, which ended in May, had also prepared her well for the job.

“My previous role taught me much about the issues and challenges which Caribbean Territories face, and our relationship with the United Kingdom and the region more widely. I will build on that experience to deliver the constitutional responsibility I now come to bear.”

After her address, she was presented with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers by one of the island’s boy scouts and met each member of the House of Assembly personally escorted by Gordon Burton, Speaker of the House of Assembly.

Selvaratnam will spend the first 10 days of her tenure touring the Turks and Caicos and visiting each constituency; a tour she says she anticipates will help her serve the country better as she aims to meet as many residents as possible.

“As I make my way through each and every inhabited island, I will listen and I hope to begin to appreciate your rich and multifarious societies, to witness with my own eyes, the beauty and diversity of each of the Islands and to learn about the gains and the challenges these bring.”

She had been brought to the House of Assembly under honour guard led by Trevor Botting, Commissioner of Police.

Selvaratnam took her oaths just after 10:00 am at the House of Assembly, at HJ Robinson High School auditorium after which she was addressed by Premier Washington Misick and Edwin Astwood, Leader of the Opposition, both welcoming synergy and speaking bluntly about their own expectations.

“I’m sure each constituency is unique and only through meeting as many of you as possible can I begin to understand your respective concerns and ambitions for the islands and how I must shape my governorship,”  she said as she doubled down on her thrust to properly serve all islands and cays.

Government

TCI GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES JUDICIAL APPOINTMENT

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#TurksandCaicos, May 21, 2024 – Ms. Patricia Arana has been sworn in on13 May 2024 as Resident Magistrate, Grand Turk.  She first joined the Judiciary of the Turks and Caicos Islands as Registrar of the Magistrate’s Court in April 2022.

Prior to taking up the position of Registrar of the Magistrate’s Court, she was the Deputy Registrar General at the Supreme Court of her native Belize in Belize City. She started her judicial career as a Magistrate in 2010 and was promoted to the position of Senior Magistrate in 2015. As Senior Magistrate, she worked in several districts in Belize, and acted as Chief Magistrate on several occasions.  She was also within that period, seconded for two years as Legal Counsel to the Financial Intelligence Unit of Belize.

Ms. Arana is a graduate of the University of the West Indies where she obtained a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) Degree, and a graduate of the Norman Manley Law School, Jamaica, where she obtained her Legal Education Certificate. There she distinguished herself when she received the H.H. Dunn Memorial Prize for Legal Drafting and Interpretation.

Regionally, Ms. Arana currently serves as an Executive Member of the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers (CAJO) on behalf of the Judiciary of the Turks and Caicos Islands. She is also an active member of the Caribbean Association of Women Judges (CAWJ), and the National Garifuna Council (NGC) Orange Walk Branch.

In the Turks and Caicos Islands, Ms. Arana has since her appointment in 2022, served in various capacities: ADR Administrator and lately a member of the Mediation Committee, a member of the Breach Process Rules Committee, Justice of the Peace Vetting Panel, Justice of the Peace Disciplinary Panel, and Election Adjudicator.

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US CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION

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#TurksandCaicos, May 20, 2024 – The Governor’s Office can confirm that Her Excellency the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and the Honourable Premier Charles Washington Misick will this morning receive a US Congressional delegation, who have requested a meeting to discuss the recent arrests of US nationals for possession of ammunition offences.

The US delegation, which arrived yesterday evening, was met by Protocol officials and is due to depart this afternoon.

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Government

PDM 10 All-Island Candidates a Surprising Slate dubbed ‘the Avengers’

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Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

The Turks and Caicos Islands need saving according to Edwin Astwood, Opposition Leader and he’s assembled his ‘Avengers’ to do it; a team of 10 district candidates who were unveiled on Monday, May 6 to contest the 2025 general elections. 

“We the PDM want to be those champions for you. We want to be your avenging team to lift the country back up,” said Astwood who is the incumbent for ED 2, Grand Turk South.

The Candidates in question were all allowed to speak:

ED 1 Grand Turk North candidate George Lightbourne, former PNP member and minister now stands ratified by the PDM and said “I am fully aware of the issues affecting our people and fully prepared to tackle them.”

ED 3 South Caicos candidate Hynetta ‘Karen’ Forbes made a vow, “To you the people of South Caicos I promise to be a positive change and an advocate for empowerment for all— to make up for the lack and neglect we have endured over the years.”

ED 4 candidate, contesting North and Middle Caicos, Denaz Williams said “I believe in good representation so try me and I guarantee you will love me.”

ED 5 Leeward and Long Bay hopeful Keith Cox said “I want to make sure my efforts go to the betterment of Leeward and Long Bay, it’s time for a change.”

ED 6 candidate for The Bight, Audric Skippings, who returns from his loss in 2021 said “I pledge to be the voice of the people, the driving force behind positive change, and the chairman of progress in our district.”

ED 7 candidate for Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hill, is Rose Higgs who swore  “I am committed to serve as someone committed to changing politics and how some politicians behave after we elect them into power, I am your Beacon of Hope, I am going to parliament!”

ED 8 Blue Hills candidate Anthony Walkin maintained “The ideas I have for the constituency will change Blue Hills— no longer will you be suffering” he swore. 

ED 9 candidate for Five Cays, popular firebrand church pastor and businessman is how many know the energetic Bryant Cox, now approved on the PDM ticket he promised “ED9 it’s our time, I stand before you a man of action ready to work for you.”

Finally, ED 10 candidate for Wheeland Vaden Delroy Williams, who lost to newcomer Kyle  Knowles, now-Minister of Public Safety and Utilities by only a few votes in 2021, said “I am back because you have asked me to come back—because of the love I have for my people…”

They join the already announced all-island candidate team of Robert Been, Ruth Ariza, Karen Malcolm, Sean Astwood, and Ralph Higgs.

Sean Astwood, the former Five Cays members and deputy premier in the Sharlene Robinson administration, had missed the PDM’s all-island slate announcement on March 22; during the constituency candidates roll out had his say.

“Returning to politics was not an easy decision for me and I didn’t make it lightly— I came back because I believe we have a responsibility to stand up for what is right,” said Astwood.

Opposition Leader Edwin Astwood was especially excited to unveil the array of candidates having been the sole elected representative for the past four years. 

“Being in the fight alone these three and a half years wasn’t easy— I was in this battle alone but now you gave me 15 people, they had trouble when it was just me so imagine now with this team coming,” he exclaimed.

Astwood was the only PDM representative to be re-elected in February 2021 when the current PNP Administration gave them a historic walloping, storming their way to victory 14 to 1. Seven of those 2021 candidates including the party’s leader have returned to fight again in the upcoming elections which are constitutionally due in early 2025.

Ezra Taylor, National Party Chairman is convinced that the ‘rescue team’ will serve the Turks and Caicos to its fullest potential.

“Real representation, meritocracy, and honest engagement with our people will be the order of the day in the governance of the Turks and Caicos islands,” he continued “Our candidates embody the values that define us as a country, integrity, compassion, and a relentless dedication to the common good.”

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