Saturday, November 30, 2013

Shame on Labour by Looshan Forum

Break the silence the authorities would now
encourage us to openly stand against child sexual
abuse, while other forms of abuse like bullying go
unnoticed. It's as if the authorities pay attention to
children's problem only when these problems form
part of the official calendar of activities. Many are, however, quite aware that seldom does
government language materialise into action.
Rather than assist those children who are victims of
sexual abuse the authorities would simply continue
with their campaign of "good touch, bad touch" as
if this is all that matters in helping children of sexual abuse.
Just when one tagline is replaced by another nice
sounding tagline, receiving the nod of government
officials of how well it sounds, perpetuators of
crime against children remain free to continue their
exploits with impunity. Government technocrats
are somehow contended for a job well done in educating our young against abuse as a target
setting. When what is largely needed as a weapon
against sexual abuse and all other forms of abuse
against children is enforcement, which leads to the
swift indictment of those persons who for all intent
and purposes violate the rights of our children.
Break the silence they would admonish an already
indifferent society, while the Ministry of education
remains silent on the bullying of a female student
by another male student. The ministry wouldn't
care to have this problem staring it in the face as it
was not on their calendar of activities. Their campaign on bullying was just about a success.
After all, the ministry had just about pull out all the
stops in educating students about the problem of
bullying. It had check off this concern on its short
list of concerns for this year. Who was now making
it a problem when it was so professionally dealt with, would obviously have to wait for next year,
as the Christmas barrels for this year were just
about being rolled off.
But if the message on bullying was missed by the
male student who was bullying this female student,
it was most certainly missed by his mother too. No
sooner was the bully's mother the main
perpetuator taking over from where her son had
left off. They were educating the people when all along education on the rights of others were
seldom upheld by enforcement. In this nation, the
relay of abuse runs from home to school, from
school to the community, from the community to
the wider society, with law enforcement hardly
done by a justice system too caught up in its delayed proceedings to careless. Now, you see why
we have become so apathetic. Bravo to Molly Allen for standing up for her abused
Bravo to Molly Allen for the tongue-
lashing meted to an indifferent ministry of
education and the minister of labour. Robert Lewis,
no matter how much he tried to wash his hands
from off this matter as Pilate did in the crucifying of Christ, he can't. No amount of water will keep
Robert Lewis' hands from being stained from the
abuse received by this little girl while at school. Had
Robert now conveniently forgotten to "step-down"
and to serve his constituents when he had so
proudly exalted on the election campaign trail? How quickly has he Robert now forgotten?
Robert Lewis had somehow lost his political fervour
from chasing all about the place behind Taiwanese
money. If there was no credibility left in him, one
expected that he would, at least, remain steadfast
in obeying the words of his God when he
admonished us "to suffer not the little children to come onto thee". With his mind on the Taiwanese
money, school is definitely out. He would rather
chase the fire engines in his constituency rather
than come to the aid of a bullied little school girl.
Robert Lewis missed a rare opportunity to serve in
a dual capacity; first, as district rep to a child and mother from Castries South, which he represents
and, secondly, as minister of education to a little girl
attending school whose mother believed that the
minister of education would make safe.
When at school a young female student is bullied
and bruised, Robert is absent. The ministry's
technocrats in the chief educational office is the one
on whose shoulder and not that of the minister of
education this matter rests. The chief education
officer is the technocratic responsible for handling this matter and not the minister; after all, he is a
policy maker. Try as hard as he may to wash his
hands clean of this matter, his hands are already
red. He has let down this little girl and her mother
simply for not showing any care towards them. All
Molly Allen was asking of the minister was to extend a reassuring hand at this her child's
moment of peril.
We see it all the time public officials coming out and
reassuring victims' families that justice will be done
without taking sides. To reassure this mother that
her child would be safe at school was an
opportunity again missed by the minister. Labour
pays lip service to the ills of the nation's children. There is this young school girl being bullied by
another male student and the authorities did
nothing about it. For two years this would go on to
the point where the child being bullied is attacked
by the bullying male student's mother. How could
this have been allowed to happen in the first place by a school system which is obligated to keep our
children safe?
Break the silence the authorities would admonish.
Now, Molly Allen has done just that and the
authorities are having none of it. Just recently a
young man was shot for the second time and killed
in the same Castries South constituency despite
asking to be placed in police custody. Must Molly's daughter kill herself or be killed by this bully in
order for her plight is taken seriously? An ever
bizarre twist to this story, will the bullied female
student's mother become a victim of bullying
herself, this time from the government, as the
Labour government tries to make an example of her for breaking the silence.
Social services have since been put on notice to
follow up on why Molly's daughter remains at
home. According to the authorities now showing
concern for Molly's child, it is an offence to keep a
child of school age from attending school, without
reasonable excuse. With the mother who attacked the school girl now arrested after TV reports
showed the child unable to talk and apparently
injured. The authorities now seem eager to
embarrass or to even make Molly pay for berating
them publicly for failing to keep her daughter safe
at school. The youth is the future, then, again this is St Lucia where lip service is only paid to such an
assertion, victims are not protected, the dead are
marched for, vigils are kept, and the living must
break the silence, and suffer, but are made to be
silent like the dead! Shame on you, Labour!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Strange But True

The following is an editorial posted on the Caribbean News Now website. The article was published on November 28, 2013.
An apology read out on air in Saint Lucia, which
might charitably be described as craven, represents
a new low in the ongoing practice of media
intimidation by governments in the region
generally and in Saint Lucia in particular, and the
submission to such intimidation by the media. Of course, the situation may be different in Trinidad,
where it seems the media is in bed - literally, as well
as figuratively - with politicians. However, be that as it may, three government
officials in Saint Lucia apparently forced local
broadcaster Timothy Poleon to admit that they
were defamed by his reading on air an article
published by Caribbean News Now on September
25, 2013, entitled "US action against St Lucia may be connected to visa revocation". A summary of subsequent threats of legal action
against Poleon and why, in our considered and
reconsidered opinion, nothing in our article was
defamatory in the first place, may be found here. On Monday, Poleon read the following on Radio
Caribbean International:
On September 25th 2013 an article appeared on a
website entitled US action against Saint Lucia may
be connected to visa revocation. This article
contained statements which were highly
defamatory of certain individuals including the
minister of tourism and creative industries, Honourable Lorne Theophilus; the minister of
foreign affairs, Honourable Alva Baptiste and the
president of the senate, Claudius Francis. Essentially
I stated that, in respect of Mr Baptiste, among other
things, that present day government officials who
were then in opposition supplied the United States government with false information in a successful
bid to discredit a then minister of government. I
also referred to the unimpeded ability of two
government officials to travel to the United States
despite their past criminal conduct. I accept that,
taking into consideration all the surrounding circumstances, ordinary sensible listeners could
and would have come to the conclusion that I was
referring to Mr Theophilus and Mr Francis. I
unreservedly accept and wish to state that the
statements made in respect of these individuals
were and are highly defamatory of them and that there is absolutely no factual basis for such
statements, which allege and insinuate among
other things that these individuals are guilty of an
ethical, immoral and professional and criminal
misconduct. I was wrong to have published these
statements on air or at all. I accept that by publishing this highly defamatory article on air that
I made it my own. I was negligent in that regard. I
wish to take this opportunity on behalf of Radio
Caribbean International and on my own behalf to
apologise for the inevitable injury to their
reputations by my repetition of these malicious and unfounded allegations.
Assuming that the apology was in fact required
purely on the strength of Poleon's reading of our
article in question and no other statements were
involved that may have been made on air at the
time, this must surely be the first case where a
journalist has been forced to apologise for something that was never said in the first place. First of all, the minister of foreign affairs, Alva
Baptiste, apparently thinks our article stated that,
"among other things" (whatever those other things
might be), he is one of the present day Saint Lucian
government officials who were then in opposition
that supplied the United States government with false information in a successful bid to discredit a
then minister of government.
The only mention of Baptiste in our original article
was in connection with his visit to the US Embassy in
Bridgetown, reportedly at the request of the US
government, accompanied by Prime Minister Kenny
Anthony, national security minister Phillip La
Corbiniere; commissioner of police Vernon Francois; and George Deterville (about whom more
at a later date). Since when does a stated visit to Barbados become
an issue of reputational injury, even if it is untrue?
In this case, the fact of the matter is easily proven
one way or the other by the relevant embassy logs.
And what about the other four individuals named
as visiting the embassy? One can only assume that they did not feel as grievously injured as Baptiste
clearly does, for reasons apparently best known to
himself. By thus voluntarily taking ownership of the alleged
provision of false information to the United States
government, does Baptiste have something to hide
of which we were hitherto unaware? If this is so,
thanks for the "heads up". Next, the other two individuals, Theophilus and
Francis, neither of whom were actually named
anywhere in our original article, nevertheless
claimed that they were therein accused of past
criminal conduct. This is also misguided. What we stated was that two
unnamed "prominent Saint Lucian government
officials . have a known history of violent sexual
assault". Again, Theophilus and Francis took
ownership of this assertion. As outlined in our subsequent article, the facts of
the matter are that Theophilus and Francis have
each been accused and formally charged with rape
(more about this later also). However, as previously
made clear, criminal conduct is not substantiated by
allegations, charges or indictments; it has to be proven in a court of law. Nevertheless, Theophilus and Francis apparently
now acknowledge that it was "criminal conduct",
when none was alleged, by us at least, even
though such conduct may have been alleged by
the respective victims and the director of public
prosecutions. Last but not least, why has no approach
whatsoever been made to Caribbean News Now by
the individuals allegedly defamed or their
attorneys, seeking to correct the information
contained in the article in question and requiring an
apology and/or retraction from us? One might in fact argue that Poleon has now
defamed Caribbean News Now by stating that our
article contained statements which were highly
defamatory, when in fact they were not, for the
reasons outlined.


Thursday, November 28, 2013


Lorne Theophilus
The Choiseul/Saltibus UWP Constituency Branch calls on the Parliamentary Representative for Choiseul/Saltibus to immediately desist from issuing veiled threats to patriotic St. Lucians who muster the courage to criticize his pathetic performance to date as their Parliamentary Representative. Instead, Hon. Theophilus would be better served to attend to the desperate cries of the people of Choiseul/Saltibus including that of his former Campaign Manager, one of his principal critics. Further, the Branch would like to remind Hon. Theophilus that as a trained attorney at law and a government Minister, he should set the example by respecting and adhering to the constitution of St. Lucia which arms every citizen in Chapter 1 clause 10 with, “Protection of freedom of expression.”
It is glaringly evident to all that Hon. Theophilus’ verbal rampage of an address at the Choiseul/Saltibus SLP Constituency Conference was none other than a botched attempt at distracting the people of Choiseul/Saltibus from the stark reality and pungent embarrassment of his inept and negligent representation.
It is for this reason, on the second anniversary of his tenure as Parliamentary Representative of Choiseul/Saltibus, we respectfully request that Hon. Theophilus provides his constituents an account of his accomplishments in the constituency. We also invite Hon. Theophilus to enlighten the people of Choiseul/Saltibus of his plans for the development of the constituency for his next three years in office.
The Choiseul/Saltibus UWP Constituency Branch would also like to remind Hon. Theophilus that the youth of Choiseul are also victims of the unemployment scourge which has worsened over the last two years in St. Lucia under his SLP administration. The youth of Choiseul/Saltibus are also in desperate need of and are waiting for his commitment and professional dedication to their dreadful circumstances that he promised during his 2011 election campaign.
Finally, Choiseul/Saltibus UWP Constituency Branch advises Hon. Theophilus that if he is unable to efficiently and effectively perform his duties as the Parliamentary Representative for Choiseul /Saltibus and his responsibilities as the Minister of Tourism and Creative Industries as alluded to by his Cabinet colleague, Mr. Harold Dalson, then in the interest of the people of Choiseul/Saltibus and the people of St. Lucia he should do the honourable thing and get out of the kitchen.
/ Ends

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Party Stalwarts Defends Lorne At Conference

The SLP Constituency Conference which was held at Choiseul last Sunday, seemed to have taken the characteristics of a trial - the accused being Lorne Theophilus, being represented by the Party stalwarts and ministers  and the plaintiff, Labour supporters  of Choiseul-Saltibus. The judge, the people of Choiseul-Saltibus

    The case?  Lorne is accused, left, right and centre by the constituents about his prolonged absence from the constituency and  poor representation.

    The persons Lorne suggests that hide behind face book and the  little things written on the blogs, so he says, are the very things  that opened the eyes of the people in the constituency  to demand better representation and not  a "Soucoyan" form as described by a blog that gave him full support during the last election campaign.  Yes, the person whom he implied to "know better" is the very one that somehow almost single-handedly won him this position which he now enjoys.

    So here we are, Minister after Minister, as well as party stalwarts, defending  spewing out all sorts of rhetoric to validate the Rep's  non-presence in the Constituency. Pierre in his defense of the Rep, explained how Lorne  holds that important Tourism Ministry, having a $40m budget, travelling around the world to bring the dollars home and that Choiseul-Saltibus constituents  will not be able to be blessed with his frequent presence. Pierre continued, " My brothers and sisters, how can you see Lorne when Lorne has to go out and promote St Lucia for tourists to come to St Lucia............ How can he sit with you on the block when Nations are fighting for the same tourism market........?" Dalson added to Lorne's defense by saying if Choiseul has to be the sacrificial lamb in place of Lorne's travelling overseas, well so be it.  " Your Parliamentary Rep is a man who is important to this country. If he has to make a sacrifice for the country and he has to sacrifice Choiseul you have to accept this." Dalson echoed.

  Dalson, crude as ever, blasted at the supporters that they are political cannibals and that they eat each other; seemingly implying that they, the supporters of Lorne, should not be the ones to criticize the Rep.  Many persons seem to think that Dalson aimed that low blow at Lorne's past campaign manager, because of a post he once published on his Blog "The Choiseul Powerhouse?" Is Dalson suffering from amnesia? Didn't he know how effective this Blog was during Lorne's campaign? Though Dalson and the past manager are buddies, we are all aware at the hypocrisy and nastiness in SLP's politics. "We have political cannibalism  in Labah. ........You know what that means? " Because of the gathering he reverted to kweyol, "Se ou kar manje moon ou say yon cannibal. Nou kar manje labourites nou mem. Stop that nonsense, stop it." Dalson blasted out. His all wrinkled and shiny face looking miserable.

    Dalson 's misplaced statement should have really been made in his constituency, where  to coin his term "political cannibalism" really took place. One would like to call to his attention the Chris Dolor incident where his supporters savagely brutalized one of their own, as he (Dalson) stood and watched without uttering  one word. The clip "SLP attacks one of their own" on You Tube speaks volumes to this.

     Lorne just amazes me with his constant swings in personality - sometimes, passive, sometimes angry, sometimes mean and loose and sometimes a concoction of all . During his presentation at the conference, he was truly himself - the mean and loose type. Like one person said he was firing on all four cylinders. This blog would have liked to see his performance at the conference if he was prepped with six cylinders.  Lorne seems to dislike criticism, even from his own supporters. Politicians, must put up with the fact that not everyone will be in their corner and that criticisms will always be on the horizon. Lorne continues to threaten persons who oppose him. He, in his address said , "I will deal with them." This statement was directed at the bloggers and users of social media.  This blog makes no bones about Lorne's poor record of representing the people of this constituency. This blog make no bones  writing about Lorne's  poor visibility in the constituency, with special emphasis on Polling division I5 - over 725 days now and no contact with the residents.( remember his apology  in the House to his constituents earlier this year). This blog makes no bones about  condemning  Lorne's statement he made in the House when he announced his intention to make Piaye playing field a "cricket mecca" in the south.(La Fargue Playing Field is more appropriate). This blog makes no bones  complaining about the deplorable conditions of roads in the constituency, and more specifically the Debreuil-Myers bridge Road.  And finally this blog mkes not bones when it comes to exposing the favoritism displayed by this Rep. So for the Rep to come and threaten persons who speak their opinions on  face book or blogs in a legal manner is frightening.

    In his usual rhetoric, to divert persons attention from his poor performance as the District Rep, he took swipes at the former Rep and one individual who he claims was Bousquet's right hand man. One should have seen the glee in his eyes as he  told the poorly attended conference, that he  awaits the day when the PM will give him "card blanche" to expose the wrong doings of the past Rep and his surrogates.    Referring to the past Rep he said, "You will never hear your Parliamentary Rep involved in any scandal. Yea, you will never hear your Parliamentary Rep pocketing monies that belong to the people of Choiseul-Saltibus and using them for his own purposes." As if waiting for his turn to take revenge he bloated, "....given the chance, ..........let the PM tell me," Lorne open your mouth and tell the people of the country what has been going on. When he tells me, my brothers and sisters," rocking from left to right and that mean look on his face,  " on that , I will have a special day in the House.  I will call every name, I will call every cent, and let the people of this country know the kind of scoundrels that have represented them before."  He went on to disclose that he  has  SSDF documents and one of them for sure he is going to make a document of the House and hopefully send it to the DPP office. This time referring to Bousquet's right hand man

   He  seems  to have laid off Chastanet, for now, after probably enjoying the Dubai trips.

    Coming to think about it, Jn Marie may have been right about our District Rep when he said that Lorne lacks the experience and clout to be able to manage the tourism Ministry. The Rep is unable to balance his time effectively between his constituency and the Tourism demands. For that one he can't blame facebook or blog writers or even Chastanet and  Bruce Tucker, much less Tucker's surrogates.

  Finally, instead of Pierre, Dalson and the rest trying to make a case for Lorne over his poor representation for the past two years and blaming it on the Tourism Ministry's work load, one would have hoped Lorne and his party stalwarts would informed Choiseul what steps are in place to make his Ministry part of the development of Choiseul into a tourist attraction district. We in Choiseul- Saltibus are blessed with Beachfronts, Windmills, Waterfalls and Trails.

He lost the case. The Choiseul constituents won big time.

Thursday will be two years since Lorne took over to represent us, could someone point their finger on his achievement?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Choiseul-Saltibus Constituency Branch Press Statement Kicks The Wind Out Of Lorne And Pierre

Choiseul District Rep
 A recent Press release by the UWp Choiseul-SaltibusConstituency Branch by the Uwp Choiseul-Saltibus had both Pierre and Lorne feeling uncomfortable in their chair as they responded to questions from HTS pertaining to that press release. One could have visibly seem Pierre's eyes rolling all over the place, an indication of the reliability of his statements and Lorne so sombre as if to indicate to the public his concern. - the games politicians play.
The press release went like this:

CASTRIES, Saint Lucia – Monday, 11 November 2013 – The Choiseul/Saltibus Constituency Branch   is calling on Parliamentary Representative, Hon. Lorne Theophilus and Minister of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport, Hon. Phillip J. Pierre to come to the relief of the elderly, sick, school children and residents of Darban, Saltibus and Balca by effecting urgent and much needed remedial works on the Darban, Saltibus and Balca road network.

The Government of St. Lucia Ambulance Service has stated categorically that they will not drive into these communities to transport sick persons to Hospital as the road is too deplorable for the Ambulance to traverse.

Delivery trucks from the Windward and Leeward Brewery and other wholesalers have also refused to service these communities because of the terrible road conditions. Bus drivers and other motorists have complained that their vehicle’s suspension cannot withstand the condition of the roads any longer.

The residents of Darban, Saltibus and Balca want to remind Hon. Lorne Theophilus and his local surrogate Mr. Kevin Thomas of their responsibility to the constituents, as this situation has become a matter of life and death for the sick and others who may fall gravely ill and will be needing the services of the Ambulance. The livelihoods of persons living within these communities are also being impacted negatively by deplorable condition of the road network.

We the residents are expecting urgent action by all responsible parties. (Photographs of the deplorable roads are attached for reference).

Minister of Infrastructure
  Though he Pierre, out of pure guilt, refused to respond to the criticism from the Branch, he however admits that his Ministry is aware of the conditions of the road. He said that the Ministry has conducted a full assessment of the Daban, Saltibus and Balca  roads - a statement Lorne also endorsed, when he (Lorne) said that  he was part of a team that  made a community tour to assess these roads.
    Pierre, swinging from left to right in his cushioned chair continued, " we speak a contractor is costing the roads, so that the cost of the contractor can be compared to the estimates of the Ministry. His big bloodshot eyes starring through his glasses as if to imply uncertainty, he continued. "When that happens, when the process is completed,we will endeavour to fix the roads for the people in the area." (this reminds me of Lacobs statement where he said an investigator came into the country, did his work and flew back out - and not one Lucian knew about this?)
    But Pierre had to shift the blame. This has always been the modus operandi of the SLP. he contends that these roads has always been bad even during the time of reign of the last administration. is Pierre suffering from amnesia? Can't he remember, the works done on both the Daban and Balca roads? can't he remember it was smooth sailing from Piaye to Saltibus?
   Lorne, devoid of all the posturing and aggressiveness he has known to display in the House, was rather sombre and  had a look synonymous with Kenny sometimes, when he  needs sympathy from the public, frown-less this time around, he went on, ".....I understand and feel the plight of the Constituents, because these roads affect them in a material way. We have instances where the people are cut off in times of bad weather and in instances where people cannot have access to ambulance services. We have instances where people cannot even get buses to take them to their homes. These are not conditions anyone would like to live under, and I as District Representative of Choiseul-Saltibus, I take this matter very seriously."
   It is not surprising, like Pierre, Lorne had to find fault with someone or something. He claims, " It is unfortunate that during this time when people know the process is on the way they decide to make a political football of it. He went on, " But that is the nature of the game. It's just that we'll do  what is necessary...."
  During his last Budget contribution in the House, he vowed to be consistently present in the constituency. This has not materialized, and there should be no reason to blame  the Constituency Branch for calling upon him to live to his reputation as District Rep.
  Pierre says that the rehabilitation of the roads will cost approximately $10m and should begin in the next two months.
The Saltibus, Daban and Balca residents await this project with bated breath.  The bus drivers have threatened strike action if the officials do not keep to their word. The Rep's popularity in his constituency is way down low, and it would be to his advantage if he could see this project commencing before the festive season, at least to put bread on the table of many in the constituency.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Clarion Call For More Human Rights Laws

By Human and Gender Justice Advocate - Felicia Browne.

Felicia Browne
  Shakadan Daniel’s death has drawn much concern in relation to modern legislative laws and litigation where we rely upon the professionalism of custodians and that of the penal system. Though many agree that human rights are of key significance in our society, very little has been done to educate the general populace on the Human Rights Conventions. Human Rights are fundamental to human development and shape our modern understandings of what actions are morally permissible when interacting within our own society. Rights structure very nature of governments, the content of our laws, and the shaping of our moral values and our ability to act responsibly to our fellow humankind. Such moralities and universal values are usually geared towards shaping our human and national development- in relation to person-hood, collectivism and patriotism. Felicia Browne, who was recently awarded a Ambassador for Peace, agrees that though our legal and human rights advocates have continued to advocate for justice and peace within our society, not much has been done to educate various sectors on Human Rights. Human Rights have been often seen as a nuisance in many social matters. However, it is imperative that the rights of others, regardless of soci-economic backgrounds, must be upheld by the State and human institution. Victims of human rights violation are becoming an international and global concern. These violations have an extremely devastating effect, not only on the victim but the perpetrator as well. Theories of Victimology recognize that passive victims are more likely to be prone to further abuse within their formative and developmental stages. These may manifest themselves through various forms of violence, which include but not limited to; bullying, rape, suicide, crime and gun violence. In many cases, families of human rights victims are usually prone to further violence or injustices which may create a space for internal and immediate conflicts that are far removed by possible solutions. Governmental and non-government organisations must not remain at loggerheads with each other, nor remain silent on matters of human dignity. A young citizen has died, and it is the State’s responsible that the general public, including the media, understand how such cases are being handled without any biases or ambiguities. Our country needs and requires good leadership and transparency in order that citizens are able to feel safe and secure. Sadly, what we are now observing is that people no longer feel that the local police stations are safe for their families when they are held in custody. There is a growing element of fear, uncertainty and lack of faith in our judicial and social systems.
Shakadan Daniel
 Criminal activity and violence is escalating with society from our homes, schools and now our prisons. Can we currently be certain, without any reasonable doubt, that Shakadan Daniel was not simply bullied by the authority to the point of death- directly or indirectly? Was young Daniel a victim of an injustice system where persons in authority are claimed to have more rights than others? Do our families need to mourn for similar losses of sons and daughters, before serious changes are made in our justice system? Had CCTV and proper monitoring of the system been in place, would Shakadan Daniel be dead today? Does having only one pathologist and the lack of a functional forensic lab in this developing country not warrant some serious and reflective concerns by our policy makers? These are questions we must ask if we are to ensure that no such event occurs again. We must implement effective policies on Human Rights may have saved the life of this young man and others. As leaders in our communities must recognise the role we play within our communities and places of employment. Our young leaders are observing those policies, behaviours and solutions in addressing various social concerns that we are faced with, and we must ensure we set the example of good moral leadership that they can then follow. It is a time where peaceful resolutions are deeply needed. In the case of Mr. Daniel, we have lost a young citizen and we must try to ensure that his death is a symbol for greater peace and justice within our society. His death should not be seen as a tug-of-war between the State, families and advocates, but it must be seen as an opportunity to begin immediate and effective human rights awareness within all facets of society - schools, police force, civil servants and private sectors. Human rights must also be seen as a developmental tool to project greater economic and social stability. Our leaders should be seeking those clear advantages when dealing with sensitive concerns on human rights violations. We must never forget our ability to show compassion, empathy and humanity. We need to revisit our traditional ways of doing things and seek alternative ways to foster a greater level of compassion for each other. It is clear that everyone has been affected by this tragedy but we must ensure that the law is effective and contemporary enough to deal with such challenges. Additionally, the inadequacies within the criminal law and justice system must reflect international standards of human rights policies. Proper legal infrastructures like CCTV and video recording in police stations, counselling for custodians who are awaiting trial, as well as an independent victim’s aid should be implemented to alleviate these challenges. We must begin to practice these fundamental rights in order that peace, justice and fairness are encouraged to flourish within our small society. We must NOT wait until a tragedy occurs for us to inform the public about their rights. Human rights are universal rights. Every human being has rights that protect them from harm from others, including the State. Human Rights Advocates and the media must continue to educate the society on the Human Rights acts as well as examples of human rights violations. We have heard all too often, that someone‘s rights have been violated, but do we know which Human Rights have been violated? We need to conduct educational programs that educate on human rights in order that children, youths, women and men, all have a fair understanding of those basic human rights. Some universal rights include the right to a nationality, the right to an education, the right to proper legislative procedures and the right to health.” We need to save lives and become more humanistic in our approaches to good governance and policy making if we hope to achieve a peaceful and prosperous nation.

Source: UnitedPac

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Who Has Jurisisdiction Over Parliamentarians? By Dr. Augustin Charles

If a PM has oversight over the ministers, then who
has oversight over parliamentarians (to ensure that
they do their work conscientiously)? By the way, do parliamentarians who graduate to
ministers of gov't get remuneration for their 'work' as
And is this a plus or minus for our parliamentary
system? Does the lack of an MP salary to Ministers
exonerate them from their poor quality or even non-
representation to their constituents? What specific recommendations are there in constitutional reform
report to address those issues? By the way, who is responsible for the (final review?)
and implementation of the constitutional review
Now that St. Lucia is seemingly at a "crossroad" point
and seemingly facing irreversible discontent and
degeneration in almost every sphere of life, is it now
a strategic point to consider a complete overhaul:
economic, social, constitutional etc?
In the new dispensation, Consideration should also
be given to special provison in our new constitution to
deal with 'negligent' utility companies and also
negligent parliamentarians. Perhaps, we can consider
surcharge for the former and recall after two years
for the latter. Comments:
Merle St.hill: Interesting, keep us informed if you get the answers
De Dan: For poor representation by an MP, Recall should be
on the cards after two years? Hmm! Not in a life
time would you see that. Our electorate are not savvy
enough and our politicians are too greedy. Plus the
partisan politics is a murderer.
Magdelene Daniel: Recalls be done every five years but some of us are
too myopic to even do such. We so love our quality of
lack of representation, that some constituency votes
them forever without any representation. We've got a
long way to go but I pray we get there, when we
starting thinking outside the box and using our brain cells.
Winston Williams: At list someone is asking some question,our st lucia is
how it is now ,because we let mp's do as they please
with us. Like ·
Veran Laforce: It's time to organize and demonstrate against the
miss representation that weve gotten over the years
from our so call MP's.
De Dan: Veran Laforce, take Choiseul for example, all you
hear is talk, talk, and more talk about such a position.
You Veran, I am sure have felt the victimization of
some of these politicians for taking a stance against
them. Thank God you are self-employed. you can
survive. You reallly believe many persons with their two-cent jobs will endanger their job to demonstrate
against a Labah rep? Boy Choiseulians en have balls,
a bunch of cowards who only talk, talk, talk. Come
election time and you will see that the very ones dat
were crying their eyes out about poor
representation, are the very ones ready to kill to re- elect that same rep who gave the 'Soucouyanish'
representation. The more things change, the more
they remain the same. Jah! By the way Veran, are you
willing to lead the charge? You have me , full time. Lol.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Pros and Cons of Petro-Caribe Agreement

A sister blog posted this article which i thought makes for good reading. Below is the article:
SOME of the weaknesses and strengths of the
PetroCaribe agreement were highlighted during a
recently hosted panel discussion and forum. Weighing in on the topic, lecturer in the
Department of Government, Sociology and Social
Work at the Cave Hill campus, Kai-Ann Skeete,
suggested that some of the benefits outlined in the
agreement include an appropriate or suitable
means of integration as small developing countries and the provision of social assistance. She said it
also generates additional savings for countries and
deepens and widens Caribbean integration. On the other hand, some of the weaknesses
include the potential to endanger the private
sector; Venezuelan dominance, which was seen in
Guyana; and the potential to divide CARICOM. "Barbados produces approximately 1 000 bpd
and has an arrangement with Trinidad and
Tobago to refine the oil. Therefore, Barbados
refused to sign on to the PetroCaribe as it could
affect its relations with Trinidad, which affords
Barbados a preferential supply," she said. She also suggested that purchasing oil at cheap er
a cost could be more harmful if not manage d
efficiently. Skeete told the large audience in the Errol Barrow
Centre for Creative Imagination that CARICOM
Member States should indicate their intention to
CARICOM and what they would like to achieve from
joining the treaty agreement, the Bolivarian
Alliance for the People of our Americas (ALBA). ALBA is an international cooperation organisation
based on the idea of the social, political and
economic integration of the countries of Latin
America and the Caribbean. The nine member
countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba,
Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Venezuela and St. Lucia. She stated: "It is duly recommended that if other
CARICOM states wish to integrate and accept the
principles of ALBA, it is necessary to negotiate
within CARICOM on the terms to ensure that our
national interests will not be compromised. "There is a need for a CARICOM-wide collective
agreement to assist Member States in achieving the
collective gains of these strategic partnerships and
alliance formations such as the ALBA." The lecturer recommended that the ALBA secure its
future with CARICOM by assisting the region in
achieving its development goals and visions.
"Therefore, if the ALBA-Caribe continues to be
implemented as planned, it could offer to the
Caribbean more than what CARICOM currently offers as it goes beyond the economic realm and
focuses in-depth on the social rights of citizens." Skeete explained that ALBA is novel in trade
agreements as it is not the typical commercially
driven agreement, because it is based on the
principles of complementarity as an alternative to
competition; solidarity as opposed to domination;
cooperation as a replacement for exploitation; and respect for sovereignty rather than corporate rule. She added that ALBA is implemented through
government-to-government agreements and not
treaties as in trade agreements, and it is a bartering
type of arrangement where a country has the
option of paying with other goods and services
such as sugar, bananas etc. (JH)