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Disempowerment of Our People

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#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2024 – As this new year 2024 started, I observed the Premier and his Ministers putting out some press releases on their so-called accomplishments for the past three years. When I saw it I laughed out loud, and then a few moments later, I felt ashamed for them. In three years, all some did was get 3 policies approved in Cabinet, for which the technocrats did all the work, as none of them were original nor new to the government.

Then other Ministers listed things that are hurting our people and our country. And another is listing a few feet of road works completed in 3 years. Talk about a grossly underperforming government. I also saw digitization, which only refers to applying for police records online. Wow, talk about not getting the job done.

Now I have to give the Premier and his Ministers for approval the Deputy Governor’s outstanding project of the Salary and Grade increases. But we all saw the real motives for why it was approved- Giving themselves $45,000 to $50,000 more in annual salaries, while the people who needed it got a $4,000 to $7,000 increase in annual, with most of the allowances being removed. No allowances were removed for the Premier and his Ministers.

I am also seeing where the Hon. Premier wants to meet with the general public at his Party’s headquarters. What is he thinking, that is not how a democratically elected leader should behave, that happens in an autocracy (dictatorship)       .

If he was meeting with his Party supporters yes that’s the way to go, but when it is extended to the general public, No that is not how it should be done. Those meetings should be at a government facility or a a non politically affiliated facility rented by the government for that purpose

We have to hold the premier and his government accountable for not addressing the issues facing the country.

All we are seeing is there Marketing on the disempowerment of our people.

We are in a historic national security crisis… and all they do is hide from dealing or talking about tough issues, but when they think they want to mislead the masses to think that they are looking out for them and have done something to misdirect our people, then we see their dog and pony show.

Can anyone name one thing that the Premier has done Proactively to combat boat landings, crime, and illegal guns? In his release, he failed to mention that we ended the year on a sad note where families were devastated by the loss of loved ones to gun violence and preventable accidents. But it is radio silence on these serious crime occurrences from the Premier and the Ministers.

He failed to mention have seen a record number of illegal boat landings and illegal boat interceptions, and the country closed off the year with some reaching land. Our citizens almost daily report seeing illegal people marching across their properties in the early hours of the morning. Some of our people have said that they have stopped going out in the morning for their wellness routine as they have been encountering aggressive persons who appear to be new illegal arrivals.

Let us look at roads, road use, and the dramatic increase in illegal jitneys and illegal vehicles…. What new roads have been done in 3 years? What major repairs? One maybe? What proactive policy to deal with illegal jitneys on the road? Not one thing.

People are still losing their homes to the bank, yes you completed the write-off of the TALCO mortgage loans, which was well deserved for some, but what about many other people who need help with securing their home ownership? Nothing as expected, because that would be developing an original plan, original policy, implementation, and execution, something that the Premier and his government have proven that they are unable to do.

The Premier and his Ministers don’t want you to talk about these real issues facing our people and our country. So, the only option they have in holding your attention is to try and flood the streets with money and take advantage of our struggling local economy and our people’s need to access additional financing.

But instead of putting sustainable systems in that would increase our peoples’ financial independence, they want you to be forever dependent on them, allowing them to remain with all the power over the people. They want to be forever the ones with the fish to give to you at their convenience but never will allow you to come up and be yourself a fisherman, able to catch as many fish as you want, independent of any government or politician.

This is not my way, nor is it my PDM way. I want you to be independent of any political, generating your own wealth, beholding to no government of the day for your survival, self-reliant, stepping out in confidence, knowing that you can provide for all you and your family needs, going and coming as you so desire.

Remember the future is nothing but possibilities, and is completely open to choice, so we must choose wisely, as Everything is Changeable.

We in the PDM are creating something new, something beautiful, something wonderful. I want to show our people how great they can become, and I want to show them the excellence that can be generated from our people and our country. We are seeking to have our people truly empowered, giving them options and tools, with the freedom to choose solutions not people, and in doing so, 2024 and beyond will be magnificent- if you choose correctly.

 

Hon. Edwin A. Astwood

Leader/PDM

Leader/Opposition

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TCI Police Confirm Passenger Death after Emergency Landing at PLS

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#TurksandCaicos, March 4, 2024 – On Wednesday (February 28) evening, TCI Police report that they were summoned to the Providenciales International Airport for an emergency landing around 6:12pm.

A female passenger who fell ill during a flight while on route to Charlotte, North Carolina from the Dominican Republic was taken from that plane and transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center where sadly, she died.

The 41-year-old woman had been escorted to the hospital by police units; we are told that CPR was performed on the passenger.

Police in that statement on Wednesday informed, s a post mortem will determine the cause of death.

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Police hear major concerns from GT residents

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 4, 2024 – Given the opportunity to liaison with the top brass of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, residents came prepared with the concerns that have been plaguing them for years, from detective work to 911 issues.

”Y’all didn’t say anything new, we keep hearing the same thing and we keep getting the same result,” was the complaint from the very first resident who spoke; but her biggest concern was the force’s detective work.

The resident said she was not averse to sharing information with the police, far from it.

“Someone sent me a video where a young man was sitting on a bed putting two bullets in a gun— and he called two names, he said one bullet for one of these people.”

After sending the video to the police the woman says, incredulously, the police asked her to find the room where the young man was so they could go and collect the gun. Her frustration was:  “It seems like the police put more of the burden on the community to provide them with information instead of going out there.”

In response to the concern, Dean Holden, Superintendent of Crime expressed that the police had had success recently, and over time because of community intelligence and would do better at working to communicate that success so residents were assured that they were making a difference.

A concern raised by another resident was the disconnect between 911 operators and Grand Turk residents.

“Once you call 911 operators they don’t know addresses in Grand Turk. I called the 911 operator, this was right by the police station, she didn’t even know where I was,” explained a resident sharing details of a car accident weeks prior.

The complaint has been an enduring one. Magnetic Media has received similar complaints regarding other serious incidents like fires and murders.

Oswald Skippings, Former Chief Minister demanded a more proactive approach to crime fighting with which Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam, TCI Governor agreed. He didn’t just put the blame on the police, drawing the Governor and parents into the limelight outlining that they too had a part to play in the prevention of crime.

“There is a need for the government to reach down to unemployed residents, especially the youth and it’s easy because we have a small native population. We need to go under the trees, by the bars wherever these people associate and reach out to them.”

On the panel listening to the concerns were Micheal Woodbine, Superintendent of Prison; Dean Holden, Superintendent of Crime and SPPU; Rodney Adams, Deputy Commissioner; Chris Eyre, Acting Commissioner; and Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam, TCI Governor.

The meeting was called after the public slaying of a young man in Grand Turk on February 8, 2024.

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Not Enough Police in Grand Turk; Residents are vocal in Anti-Crime Town Hall Meeting 

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Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 4, 2024 – Residents of Grand Turk, while appreciative of the recent police Anti-Crime Town Hall meeting on February 21, say they’re concerned about the number of officers being deployed to the nation’s Capital.

One resident who spoke to the police officers during the event brought statistics.

”I want to speak to what I see happening in Grand Turk. In the ongoing capacity carrying study. It has been noted that the population in Grand Turk is around 72 to 7300 – that works out to about 927 persons per square mile.”

The resident maintained that 927 persons per square mile on an island like Grand Turk was in the police’s favor and much could be done for crime fighting using both humans and technology. Citing the millions of visitors that visit the island’s shores each year, residents lamented that there was no police enforcement to go along with that.

”There’s very little to mitigate the industry that’s keeping this island afloat,” the resident continued, demanding more attention for the capital.

”We live here, we see the change, probably the parliamentarians don’t see it but we see it and we expect that as citizens to have more than three police officers working the night shift.”

Other residents were in agreement, expressing frustration at the blind eye that they say is often turned to the capital.

“Why did it have to get to this point, that there had to be a shooting basically at the high school in order for people to [realize] that 20 or 15 or 28 officers just doesn’t cut it,” said one longtime resident

He complained that nine years ago, having moved to Grand Turk there were over 40 officers but with the increase in killings in Providenciales officers were stripped from Grand Turk. Now residents say they want them back.

Earlier, during the meeting police had promised that the increased presence in Grand Turk would not be temporary and they were exploring ways to increase the Force complement.

Hosting the meeting were executives of the Royal TCI Police including new Acting Commissioner Christopher Eyre; Dean Holden, Superintendent and Rodney Adams, Deputy Commissioner.  Attending were Her Excellency, the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and Otis Morris, Minister of Home Affairs and the Member of Parliament for Grand Turk North, the  Hon. Otis Morris.

The meeting was held at H.J. Robinson High school.

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