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A high-stakes upcoming election in TCI, who is better poised to bridge our divide?  

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#TurksandCaicos, March 09, 2024 – In a thriving democracy like Turks and Caicos Islands, we need more than just a few political parties; it demands that these parties truly connect with a wider electorate. This involves creating policies that mirror the collective ambitions and hurdles of our island nation, not just the interest of a select few.

The path to being an informed voter is riddled with challenges, particularly the allure of aligning with a party or ideology without deep analysis. In an era filled with misinformation, how do we base our beliefs on truth and politicians genuine concern for the people?

We must see beyond political divisions, recognizing our shared fate, because unity is our strength, though often hard to achieve.

Times like these have never been more critical. As Turks Islanders, we have to ask ourselves are we safer and better off now than 3 years ago?

On the heels of the pandemic among many other competing priorities this government had to face, most would agree a number of boxes have been checked. What the voters will have to decide is, whether or not the right boxes were checked and have made a difference in the lives of the ordinary citizens.

The country is facing a pivotal moment;

Turks Islanders must assess governance by the real improvements in everyday lives.

Case in point: With the rapid growth and development, are we advancing fast enough to keep up with the growing demands, from food security to adequate housing and transportation? Are we attracting and entertaining the right investors who can deliver on what is needed to strengthen our economy and create better employment opportunities for our people? Is national security front and center of our leaders discussions, and are we investing enough in this area in terms of improving in critical infrastructure and advancement in technology? These are some of the essentials concerns often get lost in political rhetoric.

Democracy works when you have two strong political parties working in concert to bring people together. This will ensure they are shaping policies together that impact the entire country in a positive way and not disenfranchise some.

Every candidate should have to answer a few simple questions; What have you personally done in your career that has directly impacted people? What have you done to uplift citizens in your communities and made a difference in the vast majority of us?

There is nothing wrong with being a strong supporter of a particular party, but at what point do we as concerned citizens become more educated voters? It’s important to understand that when people possess strong political identities they may be more vulnerable to false narratives or facts.

We have more in common than we have apart, and we will all rise and fall together if we don’t unit. What some candidates lack is the ability to stay engaged and focused on what it takes to execute on issues rather than just platitudes. So, how do we change that?

It is our voice and action that matters and this should include civil servants.

A voice that speaks out against injustice, calls out corruption and that wants to have a say in the values shaping our communities.

More and more of our people are feeling voiceless and stifled and feel that those in power are creating division and putting their interests before those of the people.

That is why I believe we need political leaders whose mission includes helping everyday people unlock their power to create real change, rather than implementing policies that in the end hurt the little guy and stifle local entrepreneurships.

We should be looking to elect candidates who are interested in growing the middle class, because the wealth gap is widening between the rich and the poor, helping our communities grow, improving our healthcare system, lowering inflation and making life for everyday Turks Islanders better.

Having honest, forthright and visionary leaders are all too rare in politics. Some of our inspiring leaders are on the outside or were on the inside at one point. They see the issues, they talk about the issues, but once on the inside they tend to lose focus and appear hesitant to challenge the status quo.

Use your voice to advocate for lasting change in TCI. We have to make our government better, more efficient and more responsive.

At a time when division among our people is more prevalent than unity, we must stick together. We must have a drive passion and purpose to get the attention needed.

We have to ask ourselves some serious questions like: What drives me? Where do I get my resolve and what am I made of?

Our country will head down a road of morale bankruptcy if politicians continue to put their own interests ahead of their principles and promises.

You can have all the intelligence in the world, but without shared terms it will not build collective understanding in our country.

We must create a society in which people can find and use their power to participate, influence and act and not just sit on the sidelines.

Despite the frequent leadership changes, politics appears to remain mired in division and toxicity, which means that it’s tempting for many to just disengage or tune out.

So how do we stay engaged without losing hope or falling into despair? With our changing demographics landscape, as Turks Islanders we must find ways to bridge our divides.

A politician must ask themselves, do their actions and decisions reflect the greater good? Does it really serve their constituents to have another term? Whilst years of experience in politics or lack thereof could be considered an advantage over an opponent, it is not always synonymous with forward thinking.

Many of us are biologically predisposed to certain political parties and leaders, but silence should not be an option for concerned citizens.

No governing body should be above constructive criticism. If this is allowed it derails true democracy.

I don’t believe we’re just “preaching to the choir, because our relentless efforts will eventually lead to some level of progress. The key to survival and thriving is to never lose hope in these beautiful by nature Turks and Caicos Islands.

In order to move the country forward we have to be equipped and empowered with the right mindset and become more educated and informed voters.

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Two Deaths on Monday July 8, Police report on Sudden Death and Unresponsive Male

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#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – Officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force are actively investigating separate sudden deaths that occurred in South Caicos and Providenciales.

On Monday, July 8th, 2024, shortly after 10 a.m., the Police Control Room received a call reporting that a male employee had fallen from the fourth floor of a Resort in South Caicos.

Officers and medical personnel were dispatched, and upon arrival at the resort, officers were told that the employee was fixing an air-conditioning unit when he fell off a ladder.  The male was transported to the South Caicos Clinic for treatment but was pronounced dead at 11:47 AM.

The deceased has been identified as a 47-year-old Indian national, whose name is being withheld at this time, pending the next of kin being informed.

The second incident occurred shortly after noon in Providenciales.

Officers of the RT&CIPF responded to a report made at a Resort located along Lower Bight Providenciales. Upon arrival at the scene, officers observed a male lying on his back on the beach, surrounded by a group of people performing chest compressions. The victim had been removed from the water after being discovered floating.

The 52-year-old victim was rushed to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center via ambulance but sadly passed away.

The RT&CIPF extends condolences to the family and friends of the deceased men

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TCI Cabinet agrees to subsidise South Caicos international flights in May 29th meeting

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#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – Her Excellency the Acting Governor Anya Williams chaired the 16th meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday May 29th, 2024, at the Office of the Premier on the island of Providenciales.

All members of Cabinet were present with the exception of Governor H.E. Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  1. Approved the Statutory Bodies 4th Quarter Special Purpose Financial Report for FY 2023-2024.
  2. Approved the 4th Quarter Financial Report for the Turks and Caicos Islands Government and agreed for the report to be published on the government’s website.
  3. Granted approval under Refurbishment Policy for a duty concession on the importation of construction, materials, furniture, fixtures, and fittings for the Palms Resort.
  4. Granted approval of the request from the Ministry of Public Safety to access the Contingency Fund to support immediately required security arrangements.
  5. Did not support the request for the waiver of Import Customs Duty.
  6. Granted approval for the disposal of 73,000 cubic yards/meters of silt that will be dredged from the seabed during the South Dock Redevelopment Project.
  7. Granted approval for amendments to the Electricity Ordinance and approved Draft Control of Capital Investment Policy which would allow for advance approval of any significant capital expenditures by a public supplier.
  8. Granted approval for the reappointment of the following persons to the Electricity Board for a period of one (1) year commencing May 21, 2024: John Ariza-Chairman, Master Electrical, Richard Harvey-Member, Electrical Contractors, Menelik Astwood-Member TCICC, James Fulford-Member Electrical Contractors, Director of Planning-Dainer Lightbourne-ex-officio, Energy and Utilities Commission-Delano Arthur-ex-officio and Permanent Secretary (MPSU) Mrs. Bridgette Newman ex-officio, and Shanetta Thompson appointed as Secretary for a period of 2 years.
  9. Granted approval for a long-term lease over Parcels 10506/29 South Suburbs, Grand Turk for the development of a cruise stop over resort type facility.
  10. Noted the findings of the Registrar and approved an interim settlement to be paid in respect of Interim Certificate of Taxation re: CL 42/21 Thanbyrase Srikanth et al v Director of Immigration et al-Cost Certificate)
  11. Granted approval of the Draft District Administration Bill 2024 and noted the stakeholder consultation plan that was scheduled to be conducted throughout the islands.
  12. Noted the previous approval for the budget reallocation within the DMMO Experience Turks and Caicos to fund the minimum revenue guarantee (MRG) in respect to international airlift to the island of South Caicos

Further information on these matters will be provided by Ministers in due course.

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Proposed Amendments for Business Licensing in TCI heard at June 4 Cabinet Meeting  

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#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – Her Excellency the Acting Governor Anya Williams chaired the 17th meeting of the Cabinet on Tuesday June 4th, 2024, at the Office of the Premier on the island of Providenciales.

All members of Cabinet were present with the exception of Governor H.E. Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, Attorney General Hon. Rhondalee Knowles and the Ministers of Home Affairs and Public Safety and Utilities.  Ms. Yaa McCartney attended in the capacity of Acting Attorney General.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  1. Received a presentation from the Ministry of Finance on the proposed amendments to Business Licensing which was being put forward as a result of the consultations that had taken place and agreed next steps.

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