The Unity Labour Party celebrates its 17th anniversary in government on 28.3.18
PM GONSALVES ISSUES REMINDER OF MAJOR PROJECTS NORTH OF THE DRY RIVER
Prime Minister Dr. Hon Ralph Gonsalves has issued a reminder of a number of major infrastructural projects that have taken place in the indigenous communities north of the Rabacca Dry River.
Speaking recently at the official opening ceremony of the Cottage Road in Fancy, Dr. Gonsalves spoke of the herculean effort which was made to construct the Rabacca Bridge. He said that the idea and subsequent realization of the facility was was criticized by many but have proven itself and has served its purpose quite well. Dr. Gonsalves also spoke to the 40 million road network from Fancy to Kingstown.
The ceremony for the Fancy Cottage road was held by the Ministry of Housing in collaboration with the Basic Needs Trust Fund BNTF.
POLICE INVESTIGATE ROBBERY AT LOTTO BOOTH AT HERITAGE SQUARE
Police are investigating a robbery, which occurred at a lotto booth, at Heritage Square, Kingstown, on the 15.03.18 about 8:32p.m. The incident resulted in two people being shot by an assailant.
Errol Hinson, 69 years security officer from Enhams, received a gunshot to the left side of his jaw, while Veron Williams, 43 years of Kingstown Park, who was working at the lotto booth at the time of the incident, was shot in the left side of her back. Hinson and Williams were rushed to the Milton Cato Memorial hospital and are receiving medical care.
Following the incident, the assailant was seen fleeing the scene. Investigations into the incident are ongoing.
The police are encouraging anyone with information that would assist in this investigation, to contact the Officer in charge of the Criminal Investigations Department, CID and the Major Crimes Unit, MCU at 1784-456-1810.
ROYAL BRITISH NAVY INFORMS THAT RECRUITS MUST BE ABLE TO SWIM
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce on behalf of the High Commission of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the United Kingdom is informing persons interested in being recruited by the Royal British Navy that the ability to swim is a major requirement that must be met for joining the Navy.
The Chief Recruitment Officer of the Royal British Navy has stated that recent recruits from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are either unable to swim or are weak swimmers and have failed the swimming test. Further, if the recruit fails the swimming test, he/she may be asked to return to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The Ministry strongly encourages persons interested in joining the Royal British Navy to become enrolled in local swimming programmes to ensure that their swimming meets the requirements.
The Royal British Navy offers qualified Vincentians several opportunities aimed at personal and career development with over one hundred roles available.
EMBASSY OF THE BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA HOST EVENT FOR IWD AND WORLD POETRY DAY
The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela says that its Diplomatic Mission and the Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation, in the context of the celebration of International Women's Day (March 8th) and World Poetry Day (March 21st) is hosting Peña Poética: Poetry as an instrument of emancipation of our peoples today Friday, March 16th, 2018.
The event is taking place at the Prestige Cocktail bar & lounge which commenced at 5:30 p.m.
The purpose of the activity is to pay tribute to Latin American and Caribbean women, especially Vincentian women, through poetry as an artistic expression, in an entertaining, dynamic and special space in which Vincentian poets declaim and read texts from their authorship.
TOROUMA GOVERNMENT SCHOOL WINS PRISPAF
The Torouma Government School is the winner of this year’s Primary School Performing Arts Festival, PRISPAF.
This is the third consecutive year that the school has won the title. In addition to being adjudged the PRISPAF school of the year, the Tourouma Government school also copped the titles of Best Program, best dance piece and most promising female senior.
The preliminaries for the festival was held from February 6th to March 7th and saw participation from a total of fifty-four schools. The final grand two days were held on March 12th and 13th. Some eighteen awards were presented to schools and individuals on Tuesday of this week. Other awardees include the Bequia Anglican Primary School copped the titles of most disciplined school and the school with the best skit, the Pamelus Burke Primary was named the best prepared school, the Petersville School was the best instrumental group and the most promising male junior. The female vocalist went to the Chateaubelair Methodist School, best choir went to the Stubbs Government School, the Paget Farm Primary School copped the best pan solo title with the Argyle Roman Catholic School being awarded the Best Choral Speech. Holly Browne of the Belair Government School won the Most Promising Junior title.
The prince and the princess of PRISPAF went to John Graham of the Bequia Anglican School and Kevisha Richardson of the Biabou Methodist School respectively. PRISPAF 2018 was coordinated by Martin Quashie of the Department of Culture and sponsored by the East Caribbean Group of Companies.
DIGICEL CELEBRATES ITS 15TH ANNIVERSARY IN SVG
While March 2003 is etched in the minds of Vincentians as the time that Digicel revolutionised the telecommunication in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), March 2018 is shaping up to also have great impact on Vincentians.
This as Digicel on Monday March 6th officially launched its ‘March Madness’ promotion, which is geared at rewarding all its customers, both pre and postpaid with a series of deals and FREE offers.
Fanta Williams, Chief of Operations at Digicel SVG said about the exciting promotion, “This is the start of a month full of rewards for their loyal customers of 15 years - free credit, data and a giveaway of up to $5,000 in cash. Ms. Williams added that their ‘March Madness’ promotion is just one aspect of Digicel’s 15th anniversary celebration activities since the promotion will climax with a grand concert on Saturday, March 24 at the Victoria Park.
Siccaturie ‘JahCure’ Alcock and Andrae ‘Popcaan’ Sutherland are billed as headliners for the March 24 concert – making it the first time the two artistes will share the stage. Patrons can also expect to see performances by some of SVG’s best artistes including: Shirtz “Problem Child” James and Kevon “Kev” Alleyne, along with SVG’s best DJs.
KICK EM JENNY SLOWS SIGNIFICANTLY BUT ORANGE ALERT STILL REMAINS
There has been a significant slowing down of ‘Kick em Jenny’ but an orange alert still remains in effect.
A release from the National Emergency Management Organisation NEMO says that according to information received from the Seismic Research Centre (SRC), University of the West Indies, during the period 12th –15th March 2018, there has been a significant slowing of Kick-’em-Jenny (KeJ) earthquakes. It adds that activity at the volcano has seen such lulls before, without it signalling the end of this KeJ unrest episode. As a result, the alert level at Kick-‘em-Jenny remains at ORANGE. The UWI Seismic Research Centre is continuing to monitor the situation.
Alert level ORANGE means that an eruption may begin with less than 24 hours’ notice. The volcano is dangerous to ships and boats and there is a 5km exclusion zone around the volcano for mariners.
Due to the current depth and pattern of activity it is UNLIKELY that an eruption of Kick-‘em-Jenny will cause a tsunami at this time. Kick‘em-Jenny is an underwater volcano approximately 8km north of Grenada in the Eastern Caribbean. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the region, erupting at least 14 times since it was first discovered in 1939. The last recorded eruption of KeJ was on April 29th, 2017.
NEMO will continue to update the public on activities at the Kick ‘em Jenny submarine volcano. NEMO urges residents in the Southern Grenadines to continue to monitor the situation and mariners are asked to strictly observe the exclusion zone.
DR. KEITH MITCHELL SWORN IN A PRIME MINISTER OF GRENADA
Dr. Keith Mitchell was sworn into office as prime minister of Grenada on Friday following his party’s victory in Tuesday's general elections.
Mitchell, a 71-year-old mathematician and statistician, led the New National Party (NNP) to a resounding victory, which saw the party claim all 15 of the country's parliamentary seats. This was the second straight time, and the third time overall, the New National Party (NNP) won all of the 15 seats up for grabs in general elections in Grenada.
The whitewash in Tuesday's elections follows similar outcomes in 1999 and 2013 and saw the NNP securing 33,786 citizens of the island's 78,222 eligible voters. The NNP's closest rival - National Democratic Congress (NDC) - won just under 23,000 votes and the remaining eight parties hardly registering in the ballot boxes.
Approximately 45 candidates – from the two major parties, seven minor parties as well as two independent entrants – contested the election.
The other candidates who contested the election represented the Grenada Empowerment Movement (GEM), The Progressive Party (TPP), The Grenada Reconnaissance party (TGR), The Liberal Party (TLP), the Grenada Progressive Movement (GPM), the Grenada United Patriotic Movement (GUMP) and the Liberal Party (TLP) parties.
HIGH COURT JUDGE RULES BARBUDANS TO VOTE IN ANTIGUA FOR ELECTIONS
A High Court judge has sided with the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) in its decision to make Barbudans vote in Antigua in next Wednesday’s polls, and not on the sister isle as is usually the case in general elections.
Justice Clare Henry handed down her ruling yesterday, in the matter in which leader of the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) Trevor Walker was seeking an injunction to block ABEC’s move and have a declaration made that Barbudans should vote in their own constituency.
ABEC had announced that polling for the Barbuda constituency in the March 21 general elections would be done in Antigua, based on “prevailing circumstances” resulting from Hurricane Irma which ravaged Antigua’s sister isle last September. However, Walker, through his attorney Charlesworth Tabor, argued that there were no special circumstances that would prevent Barbudans from voting where they reside and ABEC therefore had no basis in law to stop Barbudans from casting their ballots in their constituency.
However, Justice Henry ruled that “there was no claim properly before the court to grant an injunction, therefore the request has failed”.
Speaking after the ruling, ABEC chairman Nathaniel ‘Paddy’ James assured that the Commission “has the best interest of Barbudans at heart”. He noted that discussions would continue with officials from the National Office of Disaster Services
WHO ANNOUNCES REVIEW INTO RISK OF PLASTIC IN DRINKING WATER
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a review into the potential risks of plastic in drinking water after a new analysis of some of the world’s most popular bottled water brands found that more than 90% contained tiny pieces of plastic. A previous study also found high levels of microplastics in tap water.
In the new study, analysis of 259 bottles from 19 locations in nine countries across 11 different brands found an average of 325 plastic particles for every litre of water being sold.
In one bottle of Nestlé Pure Life, concentrations were as high as 10,000 plastic pieces per litre of water. Of the 259 bottles tested, only 17 were free of plastics, according to the study.
Scientists based at the State University of New York in Fredonia were commissioned by journalism project Orb Media to analyse the bottled water.
T & T PRESIDENT DESCRIBES CHIEF JUSTICE REQUEST TO TAKE A SIX MONTH SABBITICAL LEAVE AS “A LOOMING CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS”
In a letter to Trinidad and Tobago president, Anthony Carmona, on Thursday, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley described the current situation over the request by Chief Justice Ivor Archie to take a six-month “sabbatical leave” as “a looming Constitutional crisis”.
Last week, the president approved Archie’s application for sabbatical leave to pursue a fellowship at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington DC.
However, in his letter, Rowley questioned whether there was a proper basis for Carmona’s approval of Archie’s application to be absent from Trinidad and Tobago on “sabbatical leave”.
Since a draft policy and recommendations by the Salaries Review Commission in relation to such sabbatical leave have never been approved either by Cabinet and/or Parliament, Rowley concluded that Carmona could not therefore properly act to implement regulations to give effect to that approval.
Yet another controversy arose on Wednesday night after Archie suddenly shelved his six-month sabbatical leave and announced he intended to proceed on over eight months accumulated vacation leave.
The announcement triggered an almost immediate response from Supreme Court judges and other legal observers about the vacation leave entitlement of the chief justice, the Trinidad Guardian reported.
The 98th Salaries Review Commission Report details the leave available to the chief justice. It states that the chief justice’s vacation leave coincides with the “court vacation” for Christmas and Easter and an additional six weeks when the Supreme Court law term closes at the end of July.
Senior Counsel Avory Sinanan said, “Archie gets vacation every year just like any other judge during the court vacation. That does not amount to 35 weeks. Where in his contract of employment under the Judicial and Legal Service Commission Regulation is he entitled to 35 weeks?”
Sinanan also felt Archie’s latest position was an admission that he was not entitled to sabbatical leave under the Salaries Review Commission Report and that is why he is now backtracking and claiming 35 weeks.
Sinanan said Archie had “misrepresented to the president that he was entitled to sabbatical leave, which is not true”, since, as also pointed out by Rowley, the recommendation by the Salaries Review Commission was not approved the Parliament and, therefore, “it is not law”.
NATIONAL HEROES DAY OBSERVED
St. Vincent and the Grenadines yesterday observed “National Heroes’ Day under the theme “Appreciating our identity, preserving our heritage with pride”.
Speaking at the annual wreath laying ceremony at the obelisk in Dorsetshire Hill, Prime Minister Dr. Hon Ralph Gonsalves again reminded persons what are the criteria that constitutes a national hero of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Dr. Gonsalves also asserted emphatically that the Right Excellent Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer remains a national hero for all of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Minster of Health Hon Senator Luke Browne who also addressed the ceremony pointed out why March 14th 2018, served as a significant day for more than one reasons.
Several communities were engaged in activities to commemorate National Heroes’ Day yesterday namely the Fancy Unity Farmers Cooperative which hosted their annual celebration with the main aim of preserving the memory of this country’s first and lone national hero Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer and also the community of Greggs which hosted their annual event inclusive of heritage village among others.
I. Police are investigating a stabbing incident, which occurred at Questelles on the 14.03.2018 about 6:30 p.m.
According to reports, Omar Robinson, 26 years labourer of Campden Park, was stabbed multiple times about his body and forehead by unknown persons. Omar is reported to have been taken to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, where he is receiving medical attention.
II. Police are investigating a shooting incident, which occurred at Betramay, Layou, on the 14.03.2018 about 9:23 p.m.
According to reports, Stokey Quashie, 34years labourer of Layou and Tambu Patrick, 35 years labourer also of Layou, was shot by unknown person(s). The men were rushed to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, where they are reported to be in stable condition.
III. Police arrested and charged, Akeino Gurley also known as Keino, 26 years bartender of Stubbs, with intent to commit the offence of abduction, on Shanda Bibby, 38 years teacher of Belmont. Akeino Gurley was also charged with, robbing Shanda Bibby, of one (1) black and silver Samsug Galaxy S6 cellular phone valued EC $2,800.00 and with assaulting her to with by “ squeezing her left shoulder, neck and hand. The incident occurred at Rawacou on 09.03.2018 about 3:25 p.m.
IV. Police arrested and charged, Everlyn Ramage, 43 years labourer of Union Island, with having custody of a minor wilfully assaulted him by, burning him with an electrical iron on both hands, in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering and injuries to his health. The incident occurred at Union Island on the 02.03.2018 about 8:00 a.m.
FANCY COTTAGE ROAD OPENED
An opening ceremony for the Fancy Cottage road was held on Tuesday afternoon.
The ceremony was held by the Ministry of Housing, Informal Settlements, Lands & Surveys and Physical Planning in collaboration with Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF).
Speaking at the event parliamentary representative for the area Hon Montgomery Daniel said that the people of Fancy had suffered for many years with regards to proper access to the road and he expressed gratitude for the completion of the road. Daniel said that he is quite happy that he was able to deliver on his promise to the people as their representative.
SVG YOUTHS CHALLENGED TO CAPTURE IMAGE OF HOW CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECTS SVG
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines youths are being challenged to capture images of how climate change is affecting the island through a photo and video competition recently launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) in coordination with the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The competition targets children and youth between the ages of six and thirty to create a video or a photo indicating how climate change is seen through their eyes. The competition is a part of a larger climate change public education campaign themed, ‘The Climate is Changing, SVG is Changing.’
“It is very important that the Nation’s young people understand what climate change is, how it is impacting Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and start taking an active part in trying to adapt to its impacts,” said Chisa Mikami, Deputy Resident Representative at the UNDP’s Subregional Office for Barbados and the OECS.
Nyasha Hamilton, Environmental Educator and National Climate Change Focal Point emphasised that, ”Public awareness and public education is an important component of the push to integrate climate change considerations into every aspect of life of the Vincentian populace and one of the logical places to begin is with the youth.”
Climate change – the long-term changes in the weather associated mainly with natural and manmade activities – is viewed as perhaps the greatest threat to national development especially for small island developing states such as Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Climate change impacts include stronger hurricanes, longer droughts, more frequent flash flooding and sea level rise.
The Caribbean has been severely impacted by climate change in the past 20 years with many islands suffering millions of dollars in damages due to impacts such as hurricanes and unpredictable weather. The troughs impacting Saint Vincent and the Grenadines during December 2013, for example, were estimated to cost US$93.3 million (13% of GDP).
Boosting the resilience of Caribbean islands is a key part of UNDP’s strategic intervention, and the communication campaign in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is geared at raising awareness and building partnerships towards that end.
The competition runs from 1 March to 15 April 2018. Applicants can visit www.bb.undp.org to download the application forms. Prizes include tablets and gift certificates.
ICT WEEK IS MARCH 19TH TO 23RD 2018
The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in collaboration with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) will be hosting ICT Week from 19-23 March, 2018.
The theme for the Week is 21st Century Government. The main aim of the Week’s activities is to sensitise the population on the use of ICT as a lever for economic growth and development.
The main focus of ICT Week will be on emphasising the steps that need to be taken by Caribbean Governments to accelerate the implementation of 21st Century Government, which is characterised as citizen-centric and utilising technology for the seamless delivery of services to its citizens.
A major component of the ICT Week – Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, is the ICT Roadshow. The ICT Roadshow-SVG which is an initiative of the CTU, is a public awareness and education programme, designed to enable stakeholders to maximize the benefits of ICT. Specifically, the Roadshow “demonstrates how technology can be used to transform society by offering education, fostering innovation and encouraging regional governments to implement ICT effectively with regard to public services and governance.”
The ICT Roadshow-SVG will target students from the nation’s primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions and is scheduled for Friday 23rd March 2018, commencing at 9:00 am.
It promises to be both informative and exciting and persons are being encouraged to attend and participate in the various activities.
NEMO PARTICIPATES IN “CARIBE WAVE 18”
Today Thursday March 15, 2018, the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) joins the rest of the region in participating in “CARIBE WAVE 18”, the annual Tsunami Warning Exercise for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions.
Exercise CARIBE WAVE will have three hypothetical scenarios which simulate a tsunami generated by earthquakes located along the Southern Lesser Antilles, along the Caribbean coast of Colombia and off the West coast of Puerto Rico. St. Vincent and the Grenadines will participate in the exercise using the first scenario which simulates a tsunami generated by a magnitude Mw 8.6 earthquake located South of Barbados.
The initial dummy messages for the three scenarios will be issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC), which acts as the CARIBE-Early Warning System Tsunami Service Provider and will be disseminated over all its standard broadcast channels.
As part of the local participation, NEMO will conduct Tsunami Evacuation Drills with the Community of Rose Place, the Kingstown Anglican School, the Clare Valley Government School and Community.
The initial dummy message, the information will be relayed to the schools and communities. After receiving this message the schools and communities will activate their Tsunami Plans and evacuate to their designated muster or assemble points.
The National Emergency Management Organisation will also activate the National Emergency Operation Centre and also use the opportunity to test the National Tsunami Warning Protocols and also the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) System, which is a web based system for disseminating information to the public via email, smart phones, and radio interrupt.
The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) says that the Tsunami Warning Exercise which will take place on today is a simulated exercise and the scenarios are not real and this exercise is not related to the activities that are taking place at the Kick 'em Jenny under water volcano.
The Tsunami Warning Exercise will also be conducted as part of NEMO’s Communities and Schools Tsunami Project, under the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency’s (CDEMA’s) Country Directed Fund which is funded by the European Union.
YOULOU PAN MOVEMENT CELEBRATES ITS 40TH ANNIVERSARY
The Youlou Pan Movement (YPM) is this year celebrating its 40th anniversary and will launch a number of Activities for 2018.
YPM would be celebrating 40 years as an organisation representing steel pan men and women in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The YPM would be celebrating under the theme “For the love of steel pan” with an overall objective of celebrating the history, development and meaning of the steel pan art form in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Anniversary Launch includes a Joint Worship Service on Sunday 18th March, 2018 at the Harvest Bible Chapel, Arnos Vale from 9:00am and a Media Launch on Tuesday 20th March, 2018 at the Peace Memorial Hall from 10:00am- 11:00am. Additionally there will also be a launch activity on Bequia in the Square, 31st March, 2018.
T & T PRIME MINISTER WOULD NOT BE APPROACHING THE IMF
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley Wednesday said that Trinidad and Tobago would not be approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under his watch as he blamed foreign companies in the oil industry for not meeting their financial obligations to the country.
Rowley was quoted as saying that it would be interesting if this nation of Trinidad and Tobago of 1.3 million people, the total population about the size of one mid-size American city with resources of that nature in this business that they end up with an IMF programme for US$200 million while they are leaking about a billion dollars out of our tax net, it would be a hell of a thing indeed,” Rowley told a one-day national conference titled “Spotlight on Energy Conference”.
He told the delegates that he has given the country the assurance that under his stewardship, the twin island republic will not go to the IMF. He said while contracts “bind them to terms and conditions, if the conditions have changed so dramatically and so detrimental and the re-opening and re-negotiating of contracts is a reasonable demand of the people of Trinidad and Tobago”.
Rowley said his administration anticipates that “our partners in this business will see our claim as a fair and just one and we anticipate that there will be re-opening of contracts so that at the end of the day we can all sustainably benefit from the God given riches (of) Trinidad and Tobago”.
ANTIGUA’S PRIME MINISTER SEEKS A WHITEWASH IN THE UPCOMING GENERAL ELECTIONS
Prime Minister Gaston Browne is seeking to follow the lead of his Grenada counterpart, Dr. Keith Mitchell, and lead his Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) of a whitewash of the opposition in the March 21 general election.
In a congratulatory statement marking Mitchell's 15-nil rout of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the third time he has achieved the feat since 1999, Browne, who called the general election here more than a year ahead of the constitutional deadline, said he intends to win all 17 seats in the Parliament.
In the last general election in 2014, the ABLP won 14 of the seats with the remainder going to the then ruling United Progressive Party (UPP).
EU FINANCE MINISTER BLACKLIST THE BAHAMAS, USVI AND ST. KITTS & NEVIS
European Union (EU) finance ministers have added the Bahamas, the US Virgin Islands and St Kitts and Nevis to a tax haven blacklist, while removing St Lucia from the list. Trinidad and Tobago remains on the list which was created last December.
In the meantime, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda have joined a so-called gray list of jurisdictions that do not respect EU anti-tax avoidance standards but have committed to change their practices.
The changes were disclosed on Tuesday, as the finance ministers met in Brussels. The decision to add St Kitts and Nevis has not gone down well with the government of that twin-island federation. It said in a statement that it was a committed and fully cooperative jurisdiction in the context of international tax transparency.
The government pointed out that the only area of concern from the EU was in respect of: fair Taxation where (a) a jurisdiction should have no preferential tax measures that could be regarded as harmful and (b) a jurisdiction should not facilitate offshore structures or arrangements aimed at attracting profits which do not reflect real economic activity in the jurisdiction.
Financial Secretary Hilary Hazel said that during the process of engaging with the EU, concrete commitments were made by St Kitts and Nevis to amend the relevant legislation to address the EU’s concerns.
Doris Mc Intosh was last evening returned unopposed as president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Netball Association at the association’s Annual General Meeting, staged at the Thomas Saunders Secondary School. Also elected unopposed were First Vice President – Natasha Stapleton; Secretary- Ruth Ann Williams and Treasurer- Neteko Quammie.
Meanwhile, Geshell Peters got the nod over Sylvorn Harry and Wollis Christopher in becoming the Second Vice President. Peters earned 15 votes; Harry- 9 and Christopher- 6. Thelma Foster beat Oneil Cockburn, 24-6, to take up the position of Games Secretary, with Skiddy Francis – Crick, elected as Public Relations Officer, defeating the incumbent , Dianne Questelles 17-13.
The two committee members are Oneil Cockburn and Cheryl Alexander, who were chosen ahead of Dianne Questelles, Julia Matthews and Shenica Haynes.
Team Athletics SVG will this Saturday host a development meet from 9:30 am at the Arnos Vale One Playing Field. The meet will consist of the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m for all ages, as well as a High Jump for Under 17s and Under 20s.
Tomorrow’s meet will also see a 400m Under-20 females run off, to complete a St Vincent and the Grenadines team to the 2018 junior carifta games set for the Bahamas over the Easters weekend.
• The last two matches in the Women’s 40 Over competition take place tomorrow from 12:30pm. At Stubbs, United Survivors and Super Strikers play at Stubbs and at Park Hill, JG Tigress takes on Radcliffe Girls. Both United Survivors and JG Tigress are locked on 40 points, and a win for both teams , will see them being declared as joint champions.
• Meanwhile, two quarter finals of the National Lotteries Authority First Division take place on Sunday, when Smashers face Ruddy’s Electrical Unique Warriors at Arnos Vale Two and at Stubbs, Combined Youths take on Radcliffe Too. Matches are set to commence at 10:00am.
• Another three matches in the National Lotteries Authority Premier Division 50 over competition this Sunday. At Arnos Vale One, FLOW Radcliffe plays Guardian General Saints; Team Rivals and Victors One meet at Park Hill and at Sion Hill Providence Electronic Solutions North Leeward faces off with Police Two. Matches are set to bowl off at 9:30am.
• Cricket West Indies president Dave Cameron has reignited the gender debate in cricket, insisting again more men were needed in the game’s development in order to facilitate the growth of the sport in the region.
Attempting to clarify comments regarding the gender issue which caused a furore last month, the Jamaican administrator told media personnel in Barbados that because boys learn from men, it was important to address the specific issue.
Cameron argued that unlike other sports, cricket was technical, suggesting the need for greater male involvement.
Cameron copped heavy criticism for comments last month when he told the Jamaica Gleaner that cricket development at the school level had been hindered by the presence of female physical education teachers who don’t know cricket. This, he argued, had been a significant change from previous years where males had been dominant in the developmental process.
Trinidad and Tobago Education Minister, Anthony Garcia, blasted Cameron over the comments at the time, arguing female PE teachers were fully equipped and trained to aid in cricket development.
• West Indies batsmen were bamboozled by Afghanistan's Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi and succumbed to a 3-wicket loss in a Super Six clash of the ICC World Cup Qualifier at the Harare Sports Club yesterday.
West Indies laboured to 197/8 on what looked a good batting track, with the teenage spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman taking 3 for 33 and Nabi- 2 for 43. Shai Hope scored 43 and Marlon Samuels 36.
Afghanistan replied with 198 for 7 . Rahmat 68 and Nabi 31. Jason Holder 3 for 39 and debutant – Keemo Paul 2 for 29. Despite losing, West Indies captain – Holder, hit a milestone, becoming the fastest West Indian to reach the milestone of 100 wickets and 1,000 runs in the 50-over format.
COMMUNITIES TO ENGAGE IN NATIONAL HEROES DAY ACTIVITIES
Several communities will be engaged in activities to commemorate National Heroes’ Day tomorrow.
The Fancy Unity Farmers Cooperative will be hosting their annual celebration with the main aim of preserving the memory of this country’s first and lone national hero Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer. It will be an all day activity with cultural performances. Local foods will also be available for sale.
The highlight of the observance of tomorrow will be the annual wreath laying ceremony that will take place at the obelisk located at Dorsetshire Hill. It is scheduled to commence at 8:00 am.
15 YEAR OLD CHARGED AS CONSPIRATOR OF MURDER
A 15-year-old is one of three persons charged as conspirators in the recent murder of Collrise Pompey, a resident of Redemption Sharpes.
The 15-year-old and Mwata Henry, both of Redemption Sharpes, were charged on Monday that they did, between the dates of February 28 and March 2, agree with others on a course of conduct, which if carried out as agreed, would amount to the commission the murder of Pompey. The offence was laid indictably against the two males, and neither was required to plea.
FCIB MAKES DONATIONS TO MARK IWD 2018
To mark International Women's Day (IWD) 2018, CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank donated to two institutions that support and empower women in the community.
The team visited the maternity ward at Milton Cato Memorial Hospital with care packages for their patients, which included much needed baby items like booties, baby cereal, new-born disposable diapers, baby gloves/mittens, baby rags, cot sheets and other toiletries, while the nurses received eight pairs of water boots needed during delivery. The bank also donated some small electrical appliances to the ward.
Grace Walters, the hospital’s administrator, thanked the bank for the donations: “On behalf of the patients and staff of the maternity ward, we sincerely appreciate the donations from CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank. Their generosity proves invaluable to those new mothers and their babies - to be able to start off on the right foot, while the donation to the nurses and to the maternity ward will improve the environment.”
The bank also donated a cheque to Our Lady of Guadalupe Home for Girls to purchase Poor Man’s dinner tickets, where all proceeds will help the Catholic-based establishment continue to help young women. “It’s important that we support our communities and those most vulnerable within them. The Milton Cato Memorial Hospital also known as Kingstown General is a very busy institution with just over 200 beds that serve the entire island, so we thought it necessary to support the women who work very hard there to help those who enter their doors as well as focus on the new mothers as we laud and celebrate women,” said CIBC FirstCaribbean Human Resource Support Officer, Jacintha Hinds.
She added that the bank also wanted to support Our Lady of Guadalupe Home for Girls, because the institution seeks to provide safe housing and a nurturing environment for abused and socially-displaced teenaged girls.
“Our Lady of Guadalupe Home provides shelter, support and counsel to young women in crisis. So for IWD, it was imperative that we call to action this year’s theme #PressforProgress and that we motivate our communities to think and act toward gender progression by helping those who need it most to move forward despite their respective situations," Hinds said.
Dr. Miriam Sheridan of the home, said they were grateful for the donation: “I am happy, and grateful for this donation by the bank because purchase of these tickets will raise much needed funds for the home and in turn the young ladies we support., I thank the bank very much for their generous contribution, and we hope they can continue to support us.”
GRENADA’S PEO DISMISSED REPORT OF INFERIOR BALLOT PAPER BEING USED
The Parliamentary Electoral Office (PEO) in Grenada Tuesday dismissed reports that inferior ballot papers are being used in the ninth general election, since Grenada attained its political independence from Britain in 1974.
Many voters had called into the Grenada Broadcasting Network to complain that there were at least “two or three different types of paper” being used to mark the ballots at some of the 264 polling stations across the country.
But the POE Civic and Education Officer, Ferdinand Phillip, speaking on GBN, said “from the office standpoint we want to refute that categorically. “It is one quality of ballot paper that was made available to the general public and that is being used today. “Yes we understand the concerns that persons may have but we have supplied one quality of ballot paper that is of such a standard that I heard the callers use the word flimsy, and definitely the ballot paper is not flimsy. “It is of a good quality material and once it is folded properly persons cannot see for whom you voted. We want persons to be aware of that,” Phillip said. He said he expects the results of the polls, which closes at 5:00 pm (local time) to be “very soon after” adding all the measures will be taken to ensure a free and fair election here.
I want persons to be aware (and) we cannot emphasis this enough that agents of the candidates representing the parties are there observing everything that the presiding officer sees. Whatever he sees, the agents will see, every single thing”.
At least 78,222 people are eligible to vote in the election where 45 candidates, including three independents, representing seven political parties are seeking control of the 15-member Parliament. Political observers say the poll is a straight fight between the incumbent New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) headed by a former finance minister Nazim Burke.
In the last general election, the NNP won all 15 seats and Mitchell told reporters soon after casting his vote that he was “confident” of victory. Burke has not yet cast his ballot.
March 12th 2018
VINCENTIAN HON MR. JUSTICE ADRIAN SAUNDERS APPOINTED AS PRESIDENT OF CCJ
Vincentian Hon Mr. Justice Adrian Dudley Saunders has been appointed as the incoming President of the Caribbean Court of Justice with effect from July 4, 2018.
The Heads of Government of CARICOM made the appointment at its last meeting, held in Haiti from February 26-27, 2018, acting on the nomination of the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commisison (RJLSC). The RJLSC had selected Mr. Justice Saunders after a competitive meritbased process.
President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the Right Honourable Sir Dennis Byron, said, “Justice Saunders’ appointment to be the incoming President of the Court has been greeted with pleasure by the entire Bench of the Court. He has served with distinction and has exhibited qualities of excellence, sharp intellect, strong moral values, leadership skills and encyclopaedic knowledge for the law tempered by things Caribbean”.
Mr. Justice Saunders is Chairman of the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers (CAJO). He is also the Course Director of the Halifax-based Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute. Mr. Justice Saunders has also co-authored the book, Fundamentals of Caribbean Constitutional Law. He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill) in 1975 and the Legal Education Certificate of the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad & Tobago in 1977. He was called to the Bar of St. Vincent & the Grenadines in that same year. Mr. Justice Saunders remained in private practice as a barrister and solicitor from 1977 until 1996 when he was appointed as a Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC). In 2003, he was confirmed as a Justice of Appeal of the ECSC and one year later he was appointed to act as Chief Justice of that Court. Mr. Justice Saunders was appointed a Judge of the CCJ in 2005.
PRIME MINISTER TO REPORT ON CARICOM MEETING AND VISIT TO SURINAME
Prime Minister Dr. Hon Ralph Gonsalves will hold a press conference this afternoon, to report on his recent visit to Suriname as well as matters relating to the 29th Intersessional CARICOM Heads of government meeting which he attended in Haiti. This afternoon’s press conference will commence at 1:00 pm at Cabinet Room. Star Radio will be on hand to bring live coverage.
NEMO INFORMS OF INCREASED ACTIVITIES AT KICK ‘EM JENNY
The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) has been informed of ‘increased activities’ at the Kick ‘em Jenny submarine volcano located north of Grenada (12.18°N, 61.38°W).
The National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) of Grenada continue to collaborate with the Seismic Research Centre (SRC), University of the West Indies to monitor activities at the Kick em’ Jenny volcano.
The Government of Grenada through the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) has therefore imposed a 5km (3.1 miles) exclusion zone around Kick ‘em Jenny. All mariners are asked to strictly observe this restriction and to continue to monitor releases from the Government of Grenada, the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), and the Seismic Research Centre (SRC).
Currently there is NO Tsunami threat for St. Vincent and the Grenadines or the region, and these activities are in no way related to our La Soufriere volcano.
Residents in the Southern Grenadines are asked to continue to monitor and mariners to strictly observe the exclusion zone.
The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) will continue to update the public on activities at the Kick ‘em Jenny submarine volcano.
SVG’S AGRICULTURE MINISTER VISITS BRAZIL
St Vincent and the Grenadines is among Caribbean countries whose ministers of agriculture are on a visit to Brazil to focus on access to technology, cooperation and trade diversification .
The ministers and deputy ministers of agriculture of various Caribbean countries began arriving in Brazil today Monday, 12th March as part of a mission led by the Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Manuel Otero. The main purpose of the visit is to facilitate access to new technologies and cooperation and diversify the trade of nations that are vulnerable in terms of food security and the effects of climate change.
The ministers and deputy ministers of agriculture of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, The Bahamas, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Suriname will participate in the event “South-South Cooperation/Brazil-Caribbean” on Monday, 12 March at 15:00 hours at the IICA Delegation in Brasilia with their counterparts from the ministries of social development, Osmar Terra, and agriculture, livestock and supply, Blairo Maggi, and with the President of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), Maurício Antonio Lopes.
Others taking part in the mission include senior representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI).
The event will begin with presentations by the Brazilian ministers of state and the President of EMBRAPA. Otero will then provide details of “IICA’s New Technical Cooperation Model” and Brazil’s National Secretary for Food and Nutrition Security, Caio Rocha, will describe his country’s public policies for family farming and how they relate to food and nutrition security.
On Tuesday, 13 March, the second day of activities in Brasilia, the Caribbean ministers and representatives will visit a unit of EMBRAPA that operates a climate simulation chamber for the production of vegetables under different environmental conditions, and a station where organic fertilizer is produced. They will then attend a lecture on good vegetable production practices for family farming. The officials will also visit the Federal District’s Wholesale Produce Market (CEASA), where they will learn about a food procurement program, an example of a public policy for the purchase, distribution and marketing of the agricultural production of family farmers.
The ministers’ activities in Brazil will conclude with meetings with the Minister of Social Development, the Director General of IICA and Brazilian parliamentary leaders heavily involved.
OECS COMMISSION PARTNERS WITH PAHO AND GF TO ELIMINATE TB AND HIV IN THE EC
The OECS Commission has partnered with the Pan American Health Organization and the Global Fund to implement a program aiming at eliminating tuberculosis and HIV in the Eastern Caribbean.
The US $5 million TB/HIV project funded by the Global Fund will operate in six participating OECS Member States: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint-Lucia, Antigua, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis and Grenada with outcomes and lessons learnt being applied to other Member States.
Representatives of the countries recently convened to provide an update on project progress to all stakeholders.
Dr. Cleophas d'Auvergne, Project Coordinator of the HIV/TB Elimination Project at the OECS Commission introduced newly developed regional TB/HIV Clinical Guidelines.
"We presented the newly developed OECS TB/HIV Clinical Guidelines to be endorsed by the Member States as a document that can be used as a model for others.
"We also aimed to finalize the TB elimination plans of countries, as well as to agree on specific implementation activities for 2018" said Dr. d'Auvergne.
The guidelines aim at harmonizing the processes of prevention, control and treatment of tuberculosis and HIV among all the participating countries.
Dr. Davy, Clinical Care Coordinator for TB/HIV in Saint-Vincent and the Grenadines explained that the guidelines are prominent for medical practitioners.
"The project allows us to concentrate our efforts on major improvements to elimination efforts. "Before we had the guidelines, some health professionals were attaining a diagnosis in an incorrect way. One case of tuberculosis is one too much in this modern day and age" said Dr. Davy.
In the case of Saint-Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Davy concluded by stating that an average of 7 cases of tuberculosis were recorded annually in Saint-Vincent and the Grenadines.
GOVERNMENT OF SVG AND CTU TO HOST ICT WEEK
The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, in collaboration with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) will be hosting ‘ICT Week – SVG’ from 19-23 March 2018, under the theme ‘21st Century Government’.
The main focus of ICT Week will be on emphasising the steps that need to be taken by Caribbean Governments to accelerate the implementation of 21st Century Government, which is characterised as citizen-centric and utilising technology for the seamless delivery of services to its citizens.The activities which will highlight the week of activities are the 36th meeting of the Executive Council of the CTU, the 21st Century Government workshop, the Caribbean ICT Collaboration Forum, the ICT and the Judiciary workshop, training in internet governance, the ICT Road Show – Youth and Innovators’ For a and an ICT for persons with disabilities workshop
The week of activities will be attended by permanent secretaries and chief technical officers of ministries responsible for ICT in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and throughout the Region, regulators, internet service providers, private sector, civil society and members of the Judiciary.
CWSA OBSERVES “WATER WEEK” FROM MARCH 19-23RD
The Central Water and Sewerage Authority CWSA will be observing 'Water Week from March 19th to 23rd.
A number of activities will take place during the week which will include the observance of 'World Water Day' on March 22nd. A half day symposium will also be held on March 20th under the theme ' Nature for Water- Raising awareness for Water and climate change related issues. The symposium will be held at the CWSA's complex in New Montrose
HIGH PRESSURE WEATHER SYSTEM CONTINUES TO AFFECT SVG
A ridge of high pressure will continue to dominate the weather pattern across Saint Vincent and the Grenadines resulting in mostly fair conditions.
According to the Met Office as the week progresses and an east- south easterly wind flow becomes more dominant, a few periods of cloudiness and brief isolated showers are forecast across the country. In addition, a fluctuation in the intensity of the Saharan dust intrusion will be visible throughout the week.
It adds that moderate winds will decrease in speed around Thursday and seas are to remain moderate to rough in open waters with swells peaking to 3.0m today, with an improvement anticipated tonight with swells peaking to 2.5m.