Daily Archives: February 13, 2007

St. Kitts / Nevis As Pimps For Japanese Whalers – BFP Reader Asks, Why?

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About two-thirds of the countries attending the Tokyo meeting have received Japanese fisheries aid totaling 56.4 billion yen (£240m) since 1994 and voted with Tokyo in St Kitts, campaigners said.Attendees today denied claims that their support could be bought. “We are not a whale-hunting country, but the matter of resources within our sea is very important to us,” Cedric Liburd, the fisheries minister of St Christopher-Nevis, told the Associated Press. “No country can buy our vote.”… from Guardian Unlimited Japan Hosts Pro-Whaling Meeting As Clashes Continue At Sea

Some time ago, BFP reader “M” sent us some material on what amounted to an attempt by St. Kitts & Nevis to bring Barbados and other Caribbean countries onside to support Japanese whaling.

M – sorry friend, but in the normal routine your email just kept getting further down the page until it faded from memory.

Nevermind our inability to keep up with emails and suggested stories, we think that the issue is important to BFP readers not only from the environmental aspect, but also because it highlights something about the workings of international politics. St. Kitts / Nevis doesn’t give a darn anymore about whaling from an economic standpoint – so the Japanese have made a side-deal. That’s M’s thoughts and ours as well.

Here’s what M wrote to us…

Esteemed Folks – You did not take me on when I previously suggested the attempt by St Kitts/Nevis to get the rest of the Caribbean to support whaling was reprehensible, and deserved some adverse attention.

A minister of St Kitts was featured on BBC news today again defending his country’s right to join the International Whaling Conference and lobby support for Japan;s move to drop the ban on whaling. This even though there is no whaling in St Kitts waters any more.

This is patently a tit for tat for the handouts St Kitts has received from the Japanese Government. I do not approve of calling our PM a pimp, but in this case, St Kitts’ stand fits the bill.

Respectfully yours,

M

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From GreenPeace (link here)

Japan’s whaling commission scam

Japan is gaining allies by recruiting new countries into the commission which then vote with Japan and help them gain their objective of resumed commercial whaling. This recruitment process involves offering fisheries aid to poor coastal countries in exchange for their support for Japan’s whaling policies.

Japan has secured the help of eight nations at the IWC in this way: six eastern Caribbean states, (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis), the Solomon Islands and most recently Guinea. All of these countries regularly attend IWC meetings and speak in favour of a resumption of commercial whaling, voting with Japan on all occasions.

As a result of this strategy Japan has already assembled a blocking minority within the IWC. Last year this minority prevented the creation of a South Pacific Whale Sanctuary (SPWS), largely due to the votes cast against the proposal by Japan and the eastern Caribbean countries.

Greenpeace believes it is unnecessary and unwise to allow a resumption of purely commercial whaling. It brings no conservation benefits to whales and does nothing to assist the recovery of whale populations, which were depleted by commercial whaling and remain depleted.

Japan has also invested heavily in a public relations offensive designed to convince the public that whaling is culturally and economically important to Japan, and that whales eat too many fish and threaten the conservation of fish stocks – a claim for which there is no scientific basis.

Whale meat is a luxury food in Japan. An opinion poll conducted in 1999 showed that only 11 percent of Japanese adults support whaling, with a similar number of 14 percent of Japanese adults opposing it.

If the present trend goes unchecked, the IWC will once again sanction commercial whaling, putting the world’s remaining whales at risk.

… from GreenPeace (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Politics & Corruption

South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo Coming To Brooklyn Center For The Performing Arts

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Long Walk To Freedom

Please forgive us for posting an item without even an invented Barbados connection, but Shona and I saw Ladysmith Black Mambazo a few years ago when we were visiting some relatives in New York City – and we wish we could be there this year for their upcoming March concert. (music samples here)

How is it that music can transcend thought and intellect so easily?

I am not African. I am not British. I AM BAJAN…

… but the last time I listened to Ladysmith Black Mambazo live, tears fell for a homeland I have never known.

LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO at Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts

Walt Whitman Theatre on the campus of Brooklyn College
(one block from the junction of Flatbush & Nostrand Avenues)
Saturday, March 10, 8PM; Tickets: $35, $30, $20

Online orders: BrooklynCenterOnline.org
Box Office: (718) 951-4500, Tuesday – Saturday, 1PM – 6PM
Groups of 15 or more: (718) 951-4600, ext. 22

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Filed under Africa, Barbados

Adrian Loveridge Explains Reality To Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – But Will They Print His Letter?

To: The Editor

Sydney Morning Herald

Under the banner headline ‘Australian World Cup fans put on alert’ published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 31st January 2007, and carried in several other media outlets, writer Jon Pierik warned about the likely dangers of cricket fans visiting the ICC World Cup Cricket event in the West Indies.

Did Mr Pierik also warn English and perhaps New Zealand fans about the danger of visiting Australia to view the Ashes and Commonwealth Bank series?

Perhaps if he did, then Dean Conway, the English team’s physio and other members of the team could have taken great precaution against being robbed at knife-point in the room of their hotel.

‘Four men entered the Radisson Plaza Hotel and demanded money from the safes, as they forced staff to the ground’.

And what of security!

Mr Pierik has every right to caution cricket fans visiting the Caribbean in March and April of this year, but let us face the reality, it appears nowhere, not even Australia, is absolutely safe.

Adrian Loveridge

writing from Barbados
13 February 2007

BFP Links…

Remember Australia Cautioning Cricket Fans Against Caribbean Violence? . . . England Team Robbed At Knife Point In Australia

Australian Government Warns Cricket World Cup Tourists About “Violent Crime” In Region. Lumps Barbados With Jamaica

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Crime & Law

DLP’s David Thompson Fails To Hold Bostic Accountable

Is There Something I’m Missing Here – Or Does The DLP Leader Just Not Get It?

Why is DLP Leader David Thompson unwilling to bring the Jeffrey Bostic scandal – and Jeffrey Bostic personally – before the reconsituted Public Accounts Committee of Parliament?

Says Thompson…

“What we are interested in is that entities and agencies which have access to Government funds to undertake programmes of this sort are attaining the highest prudential standards. So it is not a meeting at which that specific issue (Bostic) may be discussed, but you have to set standards.”

If Mr. Thompson and the DLP want to set standards, that will take laws – otherwise the “standards” will mean nothing. The DLP deliberately failed to institute integrity and transparency laws when in government, the BLP deliberately failed for the last 12 years and now, once again, by their silence on this matter the DLP shows they are only waiting for a chance at the piggy trough themselves.

Thompson Rattles The Dishes, But Doesn’t Intend To Wash Them

After spewing off about the Bostic scandal for the past few days throughout the media, Thompson and his DLP are once again backing away from actually following up on a corruption investigation – this time by refusing to use one of the few available tools: the Public Accounts Committee.

Why isn’t Thompson demanding that the PAC examine Bostic and audit every little receipt? Why isn’t Thompson demanding the PAC look at where the money went, who was hired, which homes received how much money for renovations and if the renovations as done are reasonable for the amount spent?

All this is in play right now, so there would be no excuse about records missing or not kept. And most important – the public would support a demand for accountability by Bostic and the government. Even many BLP supporters are aghast at the total lack of integrity and ethics shown by the government and Bostic in this scandal – because they know what it means in the long term for democracy in Barbados.

What is the matter with Thompson?

Does he just not get it? Is he too old or just old school? Is he as out of touch with the level of public disgust over Bostic as the Prime Minister seems to be? Is Thompson just going through the motions but doesn’t really mean it?

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Or like so many old tyme politicians, does Thompson fear skeletons in his own closet so much that he has become a eunuch?

Lord help us all. Do we not have a single politician on this island with the courage and integrity to actually do something about the endemic corruption?

Read Albert Brandford’s piece in The Nation News. If Brandford has Thompson and the DLP wrong on this, they had better say so loud and clear…

PAC to check out money matters

by ALBERT BRANDFORD

FINANCIAL IRREGULARITIES highlighted by new Auditor-General Leigh Trotman in his 2006 report will come under the scrutiny of the reconstituted Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament.

This was made clear yesterday by PAC chairman, Opposition Leader David Thompson, following a brief procedural meeting in the Committee Room at the Parliament Buildings.

“We will identify some issues arising out of the Auditor-General’s Report as well as the list of [Government] entities that have not reported and then determine what we are going to look at,” he told reporters.

In his first annual report to Parliament since taking up the job on July 20, 2006, the Auditor-General listed some concerns with financial reporting and record-keeping as well as contracts that had not been put to tender, and noted that reports of missing funds were submitted from nine agencies. totalling more than $2 million.

Thompson said a set of guidelines on interviewing witnesses that had stalled the previous PAC would be resolved when the 13-member body met again on April 2.

The Opposition Leader has been anxious to get the PAC up and running again since he took over the chairmanship following the defection from the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in January 2006 of former Opposition Leader Clyde Mascoll, who is now a Government minister.

The Opposition has accused Government of a lack of transparency and accountability in spending taxpayers’ money – the latest instance being the $3.5 million spruce-up programme for Kensington Oval and its environs in time for Cricket World Cup 2007, which has been placed under the co-ordination of ratified Barbados Labour Party candidate for the City, Jeffrey Bostic.

Specific issue

Thompson, however, appeared to be backing away from having the PAC investigate the specific Bostic issue, which has dominated the news media, radio call-in programmes and was the focus of a DLP mass meeting Sunday night in Eagle Hall, St Michael.

“I am not saying that the specific issue of the appointment of Mr Bostic will be before the committee,” he was quoted in the media as saying.

“What we are interested in is that entities and agencies which have access to Government funds to undertake programmes of this sort are attaining the highest prudential standards. So it is not a meeting at which that specific issue may be discussed, but you have to set standards.”

Attending yesterday’s meeting were: Thompson, Ronald Jones, Reginald Farley, and senators Sir John Stanley Goddard, Lynette Eastmond and Gregory Nicholls.

The PAC has one vacancy – the place vacated by Mascoll – and Thompson said that “oversight” might be remedied today when the House meets.

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

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Tommy Bahama Rum Is Made In Barbados

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Too Bad The Brand Isn’t “Tommy Barbados”

Good for the folks at Seale Distillery for landing a contract with a major lifestyle brand like Tommy Bahama.

I’ll drink to that!

But some of the other fine rum creators on the island might have a problem with the Tommy Bahama marketing slogan for their rum… “The first ultra-premium rum from Barbados.”

It gets to a point where words mean nothing. “Ultra-premium” ? How about “The first SUPER ULTRA-PREMIUM SUPERIOR rum from Barbados” ?

The proof will be in the tasting.

George, can we find a bottle a this for the weekend?

Introducing Tommy Bahama Rum … Ultra-Premium Rum From Barbados

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ — This spring, get ready to taste paradise. Legendary brand builders, Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc., and Tommy Bahama are pleased to introduce Tommy Bahama Rum, the first ultra-premium rum from Barbados.

Tommy Bahama is the purveyor of island lifestyles. For years, customers have been enjoying the Tommy Bahama experience. From luxury sportswear to elegant timepieces, fine furnishings to tropical cafes, Tommy Bahama has complemented the good times with good taste. Now, sip into the good life with Tommy Bahama Rum.

Tommy Bahama Rum is made in Barbados at the legendary R. L. Seale Distillery. R. L. Seale has been crafting rum for more than 80 years and four generations. Their experience shows in every elegant bottle of Tommy Bahama…

… continue reading this press release (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Business

Remember Australia Cautioning Cricket Fans Against Caribbean Violence? . . . England Team Robbed At Knife Point In Australia

Nobody Was Hurt In Sydney Radisson Plaza Hotel Robbery

Perhaps it is time that CARICOM issued a travel advisory to Caribbean cricket fans traveling to Australia – to be cautious about those violent Aussies …

England team rocked by hotel robbery

February 13, 2007 – 5:59AM

A member of the England cricket team’s medical staff was robbed at knife-point in a terrifying attack at a Sydney hotel early on Monday that was witnessed by five other members of the team.

England physiotherapist Dean Conway was robbed of his wallet and mobile phone after four knife-wielding men, who wore balaclavas, broke into the Radisson Plaza Hotel in O’Connell Street about 4.15am (AEDT) on Monday, Fairfax newspapers report.

They forced staff to the ground, demanding money and the location of the safe, then turned their attention to Mr Conway, who had separated from five other team members to take a phone call…

… read the entire article at The Sydney Morning Herald (link here)

Our thanks to BFP readers A, S, K and I for the tip.

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Crime & Law