Daily Archives: January 24, 2007

Cricket World Cup – Head Of Caribbean Tourism Organization “Alarmed” As “Projected Visitors Might Not Materialize”

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Oh Oh…

Excerpts from Radio Jamaica…

Tourism Official Alarmed At Low Bookings For CWC 2007

With less than 50 days left before for the start of Cricket World Cup a leading regional tourism official is expressing alarm at the low number of bookings for the tournament.

According to Head of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Allen Chastenet the number of visitors projected for the event might not materialize.

Speaking on Beyond the Headlines Tuesday Mr. Chastenet said several factors have contributed to the fall-off.

“Numbers that we were expecting have not manifested themselves especially in the opening rounds, secondly the CARICOM visa and now the US passport,” said Mr. Chastenet

… “World Cup Cricket was moved from a summer period to a winter period which is the highest time for prices in the Caribbean. People were complaining about the hoteliers and saying it is gouging, I just think it’s a difficult time,” he added.

He added that with several regional countries participating in the tournament, the cruise shipping industry stands to profit more from Cricket World Cup than hoteliers.

… read the full article at Radio Jamaica (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, CARICOM, Cricket, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

The New Bridge At Bridgetown, Barbados – How Much Was Paid To Whom?

We found this story in the Yorkshire Evening Post – about the main engineering company for the new Chamberlain Bridge…

YORKSHIRE engineering skills have been building bridges – literally – in sunny Barbados.

Sherburn in Elmet heavy engineering company, CIC Omec, was the main engineering contractor on the new Chamberlain Bridge in the island’s capital, Bridgetown. The moveable bridge forms the central feature of a major redevelopment project in the centre of the city.

IC Omec provided and installed key components including large steel fabrications, the hydraulic operating system and the electrical controls of the cutting edge design. CIC Omec managing director, John Beardsley, said: “It proves that we have the ability to tackle new markets and to deliver world class results.”

… original story link here

We heard some rumours here and there around the time of the 2006 Barbados Piggies At The Trough awards, so we’ll put this article on the record just in case something comes up in the future… if you know what we mean! 😉

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Filed under Barbados

Caribbean Star Airlines Still Not Telling Passengers That Luggage Will Follow In Several Days

Isn’t This Fraud By Any Definition?

Back in December, we wrote Caribbean Star Airlines Not Telling Passengers That Luggage Will Follow In Several Days, but those dishonest folks at Caribbean Star Airlines are still at it.

Here is how this fraud works…

You purchase an airline ticket with Caribbean Star Airlines and at the time they sell it to you, Caribbean Star KNOWS that they will not be putting your luggage on board the same aircraft – because they would rather carry high-value contract packages like courier mail.

Days later, you and the other suckers are at your destination and still waiting for your clothing or tools.

Is anyone accountable for this? Do we have a government minister responsible for this?

Is There Anything That Can Be Done?

Auntie Moses says “Sure you can do something. Don’t fly with Caribbean Star.”

From Stabroek News…

Caribbean Star passengers in Barbados without luggage

A number of Guyanese who travelled to Barbados last Wednesday and Thursday on Caribbean Star are still awaiting their luggage, which they learnt was left at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri.

Several checks by the affected travellers at the airline’s office at the Grantley Adams International Airport over the past five days provided no answers.

Two passengers who requested that their names not be mentioned told Stabroek News via telephone from Bridgetown yesterday that they were not informed that their bags were not on the flights when they boarded at Timehri.

According to the locals, some people arrived in Barbados only with their hand luggage and were told by airline officials at the airport that the problem was caused by employees at Timehri’s baggage department. Those affected are reportedly from communities across the country including East and West Berbice, who travelled to the island for various reasons including vacation, business and employment.

One man who lives and works on the island told this newspaper that he and several others have been seriously affected by the situation since most of their carpentry and other tools were left behind in their luggage and as a result they have been unable to work since their return…

… read the entire article at Stabroek News (link here)

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados Death Boat Victims To Be Buried Soon

Burial At Last For Senegalese

Published on: 1/24/07 in The Nation News

THE BODIES of ten of 11 men discovered last April in a small boat off the island’s east coast, will be buried next Wednesday at Westbury Cemetery.

Last Saturday, one of the bodies positively identified as 29-year-old Diao Souncar Dieme of Senegal was flown back home for a Muslim burial.

The 11 were all believed to be Senegalese. The burial here will be done according to Muslim and Roman Catholic rites, reliable sources told the DAILY NATION yesterday…

… read the rest of the article at The Nation News (link here)

Previous BFP “Barbados Death Boat” articles (link here)

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Filed under Africa, Barbados

Barbados Selling Offshore Oil Drilling Rights – But Has No Pollution Laws Or Transparency Rules

From EarthTimes.Org…

Barbados Seeks Western Firms For Drilling

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Jan. 24 Barbados has said it will begin offering offshore blocks to international companies to look for oil.

Energy and Environment Minister Elizabeth Thompson told the House of Assembly Tuesday a British company was preparing the blocks that may be offered for public tender by the end of the first quarter of 2007.

Exploratory offshore wells drilled by Conoco five years ago were promising, she said.

We have had a number of visits and inquiries from oil moguls, big, small and aspiring and we have been able to get a feel for the level of keenest which exists on the part of these countries to pump into Barbados and get into our oil industry because the seismic data yielded by Conoco looks so promising, she said. The comments were reported by the Caribbean Media Corp…

… read the entire article at Earth Times.Org (link here)

Oil Is Big Money, Big Environmental Risks

We will point out again for about the millionth time…

1/ Barbados has no environmental laws that set any sort of standard for this project or any other potentially polluting activities by a corporation.

2/ Barbados has not been able to force Shell Oil to clean up or pay for the pipeline spills that happened in 1994. (link here) What makes the Government of Barbados so sure that they are competent to supervise offshore oil drilling now?

3/ The Government of Barbados has deliberately failed to introduce any laws requiring transparency in the tendering process or otherwise enabling citizens to hold public officials accountable. As a matter of fact, there are no laws in Barbados that prevent a public official from profiting through selling influence or government contracts.

AND THE BIG QUESTION…

How much will the oil companies pay government officials in secret bribes “facilitation payments” or “consulting fees” that are neither illegal nor discoverable in the absence of transparency and conflict of interest laws?

Where is the Opposition Party on this? Hello? I can’t hear you!

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Environment, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

An Open Letter To The Royal Barbados Police Force – About Duty and Honour

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We Have Been Sitting On A Story For Six Months

For six months, Barbados Free Press has not published a story about how Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) personnel were trained in the interception of private phone calls, mobile communications and email by IST Inc. – a Florida company that is alleged to have made improper payments to law enforcement officials in the United States. During our investigations, we were able to confirm much of what our source told us with just a few simple phone calls to Florida – calls that anyone could have made at the time.

As well as the training of RBPF electronic communications technicians by IST Inc., our unpublished story also related that the Royal Barbados Police Force had received modern interception equipment and had more on order. Our source told us that the equipment wishlist included a sophisticated “digital spectrum analyser” used to locate and identify radio and cell phone transmissions. We were also aware that meetings had been held with communication industry representatives to establish liaison channels for the legal interception of private communications by police at various relay centres. This, it was explained to us, is all rather standard procedure between police and communications companies everywhere – and especially during major events like Cricket World Cup.

We did not publish the story at the time because we did not want to interfere with the RBPF’s ramp up of security and electronic surveillance capabilities in preparation for Cricket World Cup 2007.

Although little if anything has been written in the Caribbean media about electronic surveillance of potential Islamist terrorists by law enforcement, even without our story it doesn’t take too much guesswork to speculate upon some of the capabilities being used by the men and women who protect us all. The terrorists and other nasties like drug dealers are of course already well aware of police capabilities and routinely try to avoid electronic surveillance.

So by writing this story, we aren’t by any means letting the cat out of the bag or telling our country’s enemies anything they don’t already know… and there is far more detailed information available on the internet than appears on this blog. We wouldn’t even bother writing this story – except for one thing…

We have been told that on at least two occasions, persons have discussed using Royal Barbados Police Force personnel, resources and technical interception capabilities to identify the publishers of the Barbados Free Press blog. These persons want to use the police for a political purpose.

BFP believes there is a high probability that this information is accurate as the previous information provided to us was shown to be true. Certain police personnel may, or may not, have been approached already. We are not in a position to know.

And so, we write this open letter to each member of the Royal Barbados Police Force…

To Each Member Of The Royal Barbados Police Force:

As we are sleep in our beds in the middle of the night, you and your companions are on patrol protecting our homes and our families. You deal with the worst our society can offer: the violent, the hopeless, the innocent victims who cannot be helped. We can walk away from unpleasant situations when you have to stay and deal with the worst.

And when there is real trouble, real danger – when all of us run away in fear, you stand fast. You cannot run and you do not – no matter that you must at times be as frightened as any sane person would be. Duty compels you to master your fear and you do.

All this must take it’s toll on you personally and upon your family, yet you and your companions continue to protect and to serve Barbados for far less money than is paid to police personnel elsewhere in the Caribbean and abroad. You do this out of a sense of duty and commitment. This must be so because you could easily find higher paying employment with another police force or in a different career.

For all of that, we thank you – and if it were in our power to pay you as you should be paid, we would do it tomorrow. There are many other national expenses that should be secondary to a well-equipped and fairly-paid police force. As we have said many times before…

The Royal Barbados Police Force should be the highest paid, best trained and best equipped policing organization in the Caribbean. The police are the true guardians and promoters of the most important segment of our economy. If the tourists don’t feel safe in Barbados, you can kiss goodbye to about 80% of our gross national revenue… (original BFP article link here)

But the police are also guardians of something much more important than our economy.

You and your companions are guardians of our democracy and of our freedoms – which you protect every day that you remain impartial and go about your duties without fear or favour. There are always those in any society who – for their own purposes – attempt to use and misuse the authority and power of individual police officers or policing organizations.

The citizens of Barbados rely upon each police officer to be true to their duty, true to the rule of law and honourable in all things. Without this sense of duty and honour by you and your companions, our society would be quite different.

We have trusted you in the past and we continue to trust you to be true to Barbados, to the rule of law and to yourself.

When they ask you to be otherwise – you know what to do.

Yours truly,

Marcus, Robert, Shona, Cliverton, George & Auntie Moses – and all the rest of your fellow citizens who read Barbados Free Press.

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption