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PDM Update on Constitutional Talks

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Hon. Edwin A. Astwood

Leader/PDM

Leader/Opposition

 

“Leader of the Opposition Outlook on the Constitutional Talk 2023”

 

All would have seen the releases stating that the Constitutional talks had occurred last week, at Waterloo, Grand Turk.  My super team comprised the Opposition’s Appointed Member, former Premier Hon. Sharlene Cartwright Robinson, Mr. Allen Wood, KC, and myself.

Former Premier Robinson was appointed to the first Indigenous Constitution Review Body in 2002, and then again in 2006. She was a part of the 2015 Constitution Review Team and submitted new and supplementary proposals to the UK Government in 2019 as Premier. Those 2019 proposals, gathered from our people have for the basis of much of what is going forward now.

KC Allen Wood is no stranger to Judicial work in the Turks and Caicos Islands. He led the legal team during the election petition in 2012 Oral Selver vs Amanda Missick & Others, in which Mr. Selver was successful. Mr. Wood KC is also a Turks & Caicos Islander and has had a long-standing relationship with the PDM Party. Those older persons who lived in Grand Turk should know of his aunt, we called her Ms. May Wood, who lived in the big pink house on Middle Street.

Hon. Alvin Garland since becoming the Opposition Appointed member, has been a part of the constitutional talks between the Government and the Opposition leading up to the meeting with the UK delegation and has made significant contributions during the meeting with the UK delegation.

Let me categorically state that it is my view that all the United Kingdom’s Overseas Territories should at least have a constitution similar to that of the Cayman Islands. Full Internal Self-Government should be the Norm and not the exception. Being granted Full Internal Self-Government will make the transition to independence much easier.

It will give the next government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, which will be the PDM, the opportunity to get as many of our people financially Independent as possible, to get as many of our people trained and educated to be leaders in all sectors in the country, allow the PDM to get crime and illegal immigration under control, Health Care in a better place, True and attainable diversification of our economy, to name a few important milestones.

The Proposals for the Reform of the Constitution of the Turks & Caicos Islands contain a list of proposals for reforms to the Turks & Caicos Islands Constitution Order2011, the previous 2006 TCI Constitution, recent constitutional developments in other British Overseas Territories (especially those of the Cayman Islands – which indicate an acceptance of autonomous capacity in domestic affairs), and the report of the Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC) which was presented in 2019 after an extensive consultation exercise in the Islands.

These proposals have been previously submitted to the UK Government and had the benefit of a considered response from Mr. Adam Pile, Head of the Caribbean Department in the UK FCDO’s Overseas Territories Directorate (‘the Pile Letter”).

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STATEMENT FROM THE HONOURABLE C. WASHINGTON MISICK, PREMIER TURKS AND CAICOS GOVERNMENT

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#TurksandCaicos, May 22, 2024 – As Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, I assure our American friends that the Turks and Caicos Islands prioritizes hospitality, cultural exchange, and mutual respect.  You will find our doors open and our hearts eager to share the warmth and beauty of our homeland.  We value the trust and confidence travelers from around the world place in us when they choose the Turks and Caicos Islands as their destination.  Transparency and accountability are paramount in our operations, ensuring that our decisions are made lawfully and in the best interests of all residents and visitors.

The Turks & Caicos Islands welcome over one million visitors each year, more than half of whom are American.

Respect for the rule of law and an independent judiciary are key tenants of our justice system, and all persons are equal in the eyes of the law.  Judges are permitted to use their discretion in sentencing individuals who have been convicted of violating our Firearms law. In fact, in cases that occurred prior to the five cases that have generated media coverage, the mandatory 12-year minimum sentence has never been imposed by the Court because judges determined in each case that exceptional circumstances warranted shorter sentences.

Our justice system is designed to uphold the rights and freedoms of all individuals, regardless of their place of origin, while maintaining the security and integrity of our Islands.  Our judicial and law enforcement institutions are dedicated to impartiality and consistency in enforcing our laws.

Recent events have underscored the importance of adhering to the principles of justice and accountability.  Let me be clear: In the Turks and Caicos Islands, the law stands firm and applies to everyone equally, without exception.  Our commitment to the rule of law is unwavering and remains a cornerstone of our democratic values.

We are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all citizens, residents and visitors.

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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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