Daily Archives: March 9, 2007

DLP MP Kellman Calls For Cricket World Cup Mutual Assistance Bill To Be Withdrawn Over Police Search

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Foreign Soldiers & Police In Barbados Now Acting Illegally!

The Democratic Labour Party MP for St. Lucy has called for withdrawal of the Mutual Assistance Bill that gives foreign police and soldiers authority while on Barbados soil for Cricket World Cup.

Member of Parliament Denis Kellman also points out that the bill has not yet passed the Senate – which means, if I am not entirely incorrect – that it is not yet law, and therefore the foreign police and soldiers on our soil are now acting illegally. (Hey – I’m no lawyer, but if it is necessary for the bill to be passed for foreign police and soldiers to assume duties in Barbados, and the bill has not been passed into law, then foreign troops and police on Barbados are now operating outside the law. Correct me if I’m wrong here, BFP readers!)

Did Dr. Duguid Misspeak? 

Meanwhile, the question of whether or not the DLP Opposition supported the bill in the first place has been re-opened by a Barbados Free Press reader who says that there was a vote taken, and that MP Dr. William Duguid was not present.

Dr. Duguid informed BFP readers that no division was called for by the Opposition, but BFP reader Vezlo stated…

“When the vote was taken (Dr. Duguid was) not even in the House of Assembly two weeks ago! (Duguid’s) name was not even called for a vote… The debate was led off by Mr. Kellman, who was followed by Dr. Estwick and then at the end a division was called for and five Opposition members (including the Opposition Leader) voted against it. 14 government members voted for it.” (See BFP article UPDATED: Opposition DLP Approved Cricket World Cup Security Legislation – Source: Dr. William Duguid)

Hopefully, we can get the real story out of someone, somewhere. It is almost unbelievable that no public voting record exists about what happens in the legislature – but, that’s Barbados!

MP Kellman’s Letter… 

MP Kellman’s writing appears in the Barbados Advocate (link here), but we are printing the letter in it’s entirety because the Barbados Advocate has no archive system and regularly deletes it’s stories so they are not able to be found in the future.

Noble Profession – Police Force

by Denis Kellman
MP, St. Lucy
Barbados

LESS than one week after the Mutual Assistance Bill was passed in the Lower House, policemen from Barbados were subjected to searches by guards who are not spoken for in Law. I have to check to see if we have passed any laws giving the ICC authority over our security forces. I always thought that the Visiting Forces Bill had to do with working along with the local police. Can anyone tell me what charges these guards can bring against an offender? Do they have to request the police in order to get someone charged? Or, is it that we are now a Banana Republic without knowing?

As I write this article the Senate has not met yet, and one would expect this Bill to be withdrawn in light of what occurred on Monday. The passing of this Bill will give two contracting states certain privileges. This right should be withdrawn and a wider consultation sought in such a serious matter. I think that a matter that has the slightest charge against its constitutionality should have been discussed by the constitutional experts. I do not claim to be a lawyer, but I think I know when someone is interfering with my constitutional tights, by requesting of me something that I did not have to do before. When I leave Barbados I expect authorities in other countries to protect their law, but I do not expect them to come into my country and have the same authority.

This incident has occurred at a time when young people are not gravitating to the Force, and clearly this matter will not be the best example for the Force. I was at pains to tell the members of the House how to ignore an amendment that subjected the Commissioner and his Force to the dictates of the Ministry of Education on how to be a suitable candidate in order to be a policeman. This means that the Regional Police Train-ing Centre, with its wide experience in delivery to the discipline forces, now have to wait on theoreticians to dictate to practitioners, who are not able to practice their readings.

We must understand that respect was one of the main features that caused persons to be police officers. I was schooled at a place where policemen were seen as honourable men and nearly every student gravitated to that institution. A closer look at the intake will show that the north of the country provided the main numbers for the Force. We have now changed the demographics of the north and we have to ensure that the changes do not continue to urbanise the north. This has interfered with the numbers joining the Force and we have to find the solutions to the problems.

As it now stands, the Police Force has been able to highlight some factors that are attractive. These are the attractiveness of their personnel, the opportunity to improve their education and the right to be compensated for their advancement.
The Police Force must now seek to have lower rank officers with the same pay as senior officers. We have to be careful that we do not promote persons who are specialist and place them in positions with which they are not happy. Too often we promote persons to positions and end up doing them a disservice.

Society must continue respecting the Force and stop judging the Force based on a few persons who can be found in all organisations. Society, instead of focusing on the positives, tends to point to the too few, and this is used as the factor by which the others are judged. The Commissioner of Police can be assured that we as a Government will do everything possible to ensure that the Police Force is respected and not be subjected to subordinates. This must start with the other disciplinary forces and religious groups.

The time is right for us to look at the opportunity cost of our disciplinary forces. Our country can no longer continue to live in hope. We must have a marriage between our forces and the heads must be increased. We need a Coast Guard service and the demands for this service is great. When we had the Cold War we needed a strong Defence Force, now that we do not have this threat we need to divert personnel from within the disciplinary forces. We must now train multi-talented persons who are capable to be seconded.

I have over the years believed that every person has the same capabilities as myself. I am now realising that good qualities are not found freely. Trust is something that I have given to everyone, only to realise that it must be earned and not given anymore. Those to whom it has been given freely previously should cherish it because based on the abuse all persons now have to earn it. I honestly believe that this is a step in the right direction.

I have been proven wrong in treating trust in the top down method. One should always provide an opportunity for someone to build goodwill, instead of destroying goodwill. The assumption that because you were a good worker, that all others will be good workers is folly. Employers must create opportunities for workers to prove themselves and stop assuming that by providing good wages and salaries, that it will be an incentive for increased productivity. Employees should be proud to know that an employer is prepared to pay for what he wants up front.

No employee should expect upward mobility until they honestly believe that they are delivering the goods. Employees must appreciate that the employer provides the capital, but they must provide the labour to create a good or a service. This combination must be seen as equal partners. The same way workers get returns on a weekly or monthly basis; the capital provider is expected to receive a return on his investment. Too often I have witnessed that workers believe that even though they are well looked after, the capital provider is now seen as a replenishing well without a contribution from labour. Capital is seen as a source for labour.

Government has shifted its taxation policy, which will impact 100 per cent on the masses’ disposable income. The belief that workers at the bottom should not seek higher wages and salaries is nonsensical. This has shown that persons do not understand that this argument can only be accepted if the Reverse Tax Credit is upgraded. The $500 paid to compensate this group must now be upgraded and expanded to persons who will be affected by Indirect Taxation.

Peace, love, unity, humility, common sense, wisdom and understanding.

(Denis Kellman is the Parliamentary Representative for St. Lucy.)

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

Caribbean Airlines – Higher Fares, Stranded Passengers And Already-Paid-For Tickets That Turn Into Worthless Scraps Of Paper

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Caribbean Airlines Is Making News – But In The Wrong Way

Here are three stories about Caribbean Airlines – the successor to BWIA (formerly known as BWIA – Better Walk If Able)

The first little blurb comes by way of our Robert, who occasionally hears the odd rumbling within the local aviation industry. The second is a letter from our old friend Adrian Loveridge, and the third is a letter from a Caribbean Airlines stranded passenger – Renee Pilgrim.

Any airline memorabilia collectors out there? Now might be a good time to make sure you’ve got a complete set of Caribbean Airlines odds and sods. Hey… you never know when this limited time offer might end!

What About Those Hot Section Inspections?

When an airline starts to fall behind, one of the first things to be pushed back are major inspections of airframes and powerplants. The bosses are always reluctant to take aircraft off line for maintenance – and especially so in the busy season. (And Cricket World Cup is certainly a busy season for Caribbean Airlines)

A little sparrow tells us that one of the Caribbean Airlines’ birds is approaching time for hot section inspections of powerplants and that some of “the boys” have been discussing whether or not this can be “put off” for a bit – until the aircraft goes back off lease.

We have a feeling that the folks in charge will do the right thing – now anyways. We’ll let you know if anyone decides that hot section inspections aren’t that important!

… submitted by Robert

Higher Regional Airfares

Some weeks ago, the media highlighted the very high airfares being offered by the carrier that has emerged out of the closed BWIA, Caribbean Airlines.

The Barbados Minister of Tourism was quick to respond and seek to assure the public that lower fares would be made available, as he appreciated the vital role Intra Caribbean travel plays in the viability of the tourism industry, especially in the long eight summer months.

Well guess what?

Not only have the fares not gone down, but they have actually risen!

Barbados/St.Maarten/Barbados is a distance of 840 miles return.

The cheapest, non-refundable fare with Caribbean airlines for travel in mid-May is US$729.10, when booked online.

An amazing BDS$0.87 cents per mile!

This compares with a cost per mile with British Airways or American Airlines of around BDS$0.22 per mile.

In fact since Minister Lynch’s assurances the lowest airfare on this route has risen by $55.

I wonder if this amount is purely co-incidental or relates to the 140% increase in the Grantley Adams departure tax or now called a service fee.

How much longer do we have to wait before we see the benefits of the Minister’s pronouncements?

Adrian Loveridge

Open Letter To The Directors And Staff Of Caribbean Airlines

Dear Mr Davies,

This is an open letter from the people of Trinidad and Tobago to you and your staff because it is quite apparent after the Carnival fiasco that there lies a serious discrepancy between the image of Caribbean Airlines and the actual product. When your new airline was launched, there were many misgivings and fears that it would turn out to be just as sordid as its predecessor BWIA, which was fondly given the acronyms of Bound to Wait In Airport, But Will It Arrive, and Better Walk If Able.

We feared that Caribbean Airlines would follow in the footsteps of BWIA and gather its own acronyms, Choose Another, Charlatan Airlines, Combative Aggression and the list can go on indefinitely. There was much apprehension but we, the citizens gave your airline a chance but now it seems that we must reconsider this decision and determine if we wish to make the same mistake twice.

How does this airline expect to make a favorable impression and even profit, from alienating the very same people it wishes to attract? Why must a paying passenger put up with service that is totally devoid of respect, common courtesy and hospitality? We, the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, want to support our national airline but incidents like this make it extremely hard for us to actually do so as by repeatedly putting up with substandard service it appears that we are accepting of the treatment meted out to us by the employees of Caribbean Airlines. When we use the term “employees” we include the top echelons of the establishment as those at the bottom rung represent those at the top; every gruff retort, display of hostility and snide remark by the visible staff represents the entire body of employees that work for Caribbean Airlines .

This situation is quite frankly, unacceptable. Passengers were stranded for days at the Piarco airport, without monetary compensation or any form of accommodation whatsoever; many of them wondering if their jobs would be there when they returned to their resident countries. Why was this? Was this because they were mainly returning nationals and as such, your company felt that we, non-tourists, were not worthy of the respect that would be given to foreign passengers? Is that what we are to deduce from this blatant lack of respect ?

Did anyone at your airline, take into consideration that there are Trinidadians and Tobagonians who return for the carnival season and stay at hotels and not with friends and family so when these passengers are stranded, they must now dip into their pockets to finance extra nights at their previous places of accommodation. From the looks of things, it appears that there was no forethought given to this Carnival season at all as by principle, when the airline overbooked, and passengers became stranded, the onus fell on the airline to provide accommodation for those who were forced to stay longer than expected at the airport…

… continue reading this letter from Renee Pilgrim at Caribbean Net News (link here)

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados Free Press Will Welcome One Millionth Visitor In A Few Months

A Special Welcome To Our Thousands Of International Visitors

Our stats have been going off the chart lately with new readers in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean – so a big Bajan welcome our new local readers and the thousands of international visitors who stop by every week at Barbados Free Press (BFP). This blog is receiving way over 100,000 visitors a month and it looks like the growth will continue for the time being.

We are rated in the “Top 100” out of 750,000 WordPress.com blogs and are often in the Top 30 or Top 50 daily statistics. If you first arrived here through a Google search, you are probably aware that BFP consistently appears on the first page of major search engines where the topic has anything to do with Barbados. Also for some reason many international academic and investment websites have chosen to link to our blog. (A big hello to Harvard Law School’s Global Voices project and the Euromoney Caribbean Investor Private Forum)

We invite you to have a good look around while you are here. The Hot Issues and Features sections at the top contain some excellent and controversial articles about environmental issues, political corruption and land expropriation abuses here in Barbados – and you can also stumble upon very interesting pieces simply by choosing one of the monthly archives at random. If you have a specific interest, try the search bar at the top, or select one of the Categories on the sidebar. Don’t be shy!

Our Mission 

The writers and faithful readers of Barbados Free Press believe that knowledge, transparency and accountability are fundamental to a healthy democracy, and that our country lacks these qualities at present, or that they are in danger.

Lately though, we feel a new mood in Barbados. People having conversations on the street are starting to say words that had fallen into disuse – words like transparency, conflicts of interest, integrity, accountability and other like terms.

Barbados Free Press will continue to shine a spotlight on those dark corners of our island that need some cleaning. Many of our readers send us tips and story leads, for which we are grateful. We write anonymously and will never reveal a source – so if you have something to say, email us at barbadosfreepress (at) yahoo.com.

Thanks for stopping by!

Marcus, Robert, Shona, Cliverton, George & Auntie Moses

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging

Rape Of A National Treasure Continues At Greenland Dump

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Photo: Typical Overnight Landslip In Greenland Dump Area

Let’s Re-Name The Project – The Liar Liz Thompson Dump

Construction work has shifted into high gear at the site of the Greenland Dump in the Scotland National Park area. I haven’t been up there for a few months, but according to some friends and a CBC article the place is looking more like the surface of the moon than the paradise it once was.

For those unfamiliar with the issue, the area where the government is building the new dump is one of the most unstable areas on the island and has been the scene of many massive land slips throughout recorded Barbados history. Roads in the area are under constant repair as the unstable ground shifts and tears road surfaces apart – often overnight. Vertical sand fingers poke through the area and are ready to wick away chemicals and garbage leachate into the water table and the sea.

Experts Say There Is No Worse Location For A Barbados Dump

Independent experts like University of Alberta professor Hans Machel (and even the silenced government experts) state that they can’t think of a worse place to put a garbage dump on the island. (See Greenland Fiasco Dooms Barbados – Professor Machel Names The Liars, Thieves & Incompetents)

Nonetheless, the Government of Barbados continues the Greenland Dump fiasco and refuses to consider other more modern waste disposal technologies such as vapourization. Nope, we’re going to dig a hole, pretend to line it with materials that are supposed to keep the foul liquids and chemicals from getting to the water table – then we’re going to fill it with garbage and cover it up. When the land shifts and slides underneath and tears the liner, it won’t be visible or repairable. Sooner rather than later, folks and wildlife downstream will get the message of an unfolding environmental disaster as their water turns into poison.

The Barbados Government has indemnified the contractors building this disaster, so the people of Barbados are unlikely to have any recourse when the inevitable happens. Don’t worry about the involved politicos… all those responsible will be counting money in their offshore bank accounts and sipping margaritas in Miami when the next landslip happens.

Our thanks to all the BFP readers who alerted us to the CBC article: R, K, J, A and I.

Greenland Landfill Re-started

Government is going ahead with plans to have the Greenland land fill fully operational by next year.

Mike Goddard says the site in St. Andrew is being transformed as construction continues.

Less than a year ago Greenland was like a paradise…lush green vegetation accentuated by two small lakes with water lilies,…..swimming ducks and all.

Today the landscape has been completely changed, to the point where it may not even be recognisable to those who have been there.

Bulldozers, excavators and other heavy earth moving equipment have taken over the site, tearing away the natural surroundings and leaving the bare ground exposed.

It’s all part of the retrofitting and completion of the new multi million dollar facility, which is to replace the Mangrove Pond landfill.

The first phase of the new Greenland plan to clear the site, is nearing its end, and management of the Sanitation Services Authority is advertising in the press for companies to construct a leachate and liquid waste treatment facility.

Leachate is the liquid formed when water soaks into and through a landfill, picking up a variety of suspended and dissolved materials from the waste.

Potential contractors have until April 16 to submit their bids but before this, and on March 29 to be exact, they will have the opportunity to visit Greenland for inspection and test hold digging.

The Greenland landfill is part of a 40 million dollar solid waste management programme and involves what is being termed the retrofitting of Greenland, the construction of a transfer station at Vaucluse St. Thomas to separate garbage, the establishment of a chemical waste storage facility and the setting up of a composting facility.

The project is being financed by the Inter-American Development Bank.

… read the original article at the CBC (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Environment

Barbados Has More International Cricketers Per Square Mile Than Anywhere Else

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Brothers Fidel Edwards & Pedro Collins With Mum At Boscobelle Home

According to CricInfo Magazine, Barbados has produced more international cricketers per square mile than any other country: 1.93 Cricketers per square mile.

Writer Siddhartha Vaidyanathan has an interesting way of looking at cricket in the West Indies and compares our cricket culture to that of his home country, India.

If you are a cricket fan or a student of culture, head over to CricInfo Magazine for a good read.

CricInfo Magazine: Men Of The People

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket

New Zealand Journalist Writes Of Heavy Security At Cricket World Cup Barbados

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“At one stage I was the only person going in the gates at the 3Ws Oval on Tuesday.

Five security guards swarmed around me. Everything was taken out of my three bags, all my recording equipment was opened and tested for bombs. My pen was unscrewed then tested on my notebook.

I was scanned and rescanned.

I applied my sunscreen, my nail varnish, my lip gloss, my leave-in hair conditioner and my moisturiser. I took a sip from my water bottle and my ginger ale bottle and two sips of the small bottle of top quality Barbadian rum that somehow had got into my handbag.

After all that, some 15 minutes later, I was finally free to go, exhausted, but happy in the knowledge that I was no terror threat.”

… Journalist Monique Devereux for The New Zealand Herald (link here)

Welcome To The New Cricket World Cup – Post 9/11

It is a shame that folks can’t get together for any kind of major world event without having to worry about Muslim terrorists bringing liquid explosives into the crowd – but that’s the world we live in for the foreseeable future.

It is good to know that our security people are being thorough and professional. Perhaps that little incident when the former Barbados Tourism Authority Chairman was exposed breaching CWC security for perfect strangers smartened up everyone.

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Journalist Posts Daily Blog From Barbados CWC

Monique Devereux is posting daily from Cricket World Cup in Barbados. She writes well and it is interesting to read her impression of how we’re doing in Barbados. So far, Monique is having an exciting and generally positive experience at CWC.

Check her out daily at Monique Devereaux At The Cup (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket, Crime & Law, Traveling and Tourism

International Women’s Day – Shona Writes Of The TWO THINGS Bajan Women Can Do To Progress

The Nation News carried an editorial today about International Women’s Day. Progress In Women’s Equality talks about the UN Declaration of the day and of ending all forms of discrimination against women.

In some areas, women are doing better than fine: for instance, they account for 70 per cent of university enrolment in Barbados. In other areas such as overall income and poverty, and in being able to determine their own lives and futures without fear, women are far behind men.

Lots of folks in government have big long term plans to “empower” women, but over dinner we came up with TWO THINGS that Bajan women could do tomorrow that would immediately improve the overall position of women in Barbados…

1/ Don’t Have Children Without Getting Married

That old tale about why buy the cow if the milk is free is true. Even if a woman wants to give her favours to every tomcat that prowl around – to have children outside of marriage is the easiest way for a woman to give herself and her children over to a substandard life. Foolish young and not-so-young women often think that if they have a baby, the man will stay. Foolish, foolish girls.

Once those children start coming with no man around who is committed enough to be a true husband – that’s it. Girl, you better get ready to meet your new best friend: which is poverty.

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Men are not going to take the leadership about this so it is up to us women. For sure the political leadership in this country is no example as more than a few of the men politicians have been seeing more than one woman at a time. We can’t expect leadership from men when even the most high up politicians go from woman to woman to woman and have children by different women even if they don’t marry any of their lady friends.

If the young girls would not have children without marriage, and would stop thinking that “equality” means climbing into bed with every man that looks good, women might progress in this society. If they keep giving away everything for free, they will continue to feel used, and end up in poverty.

2/ Muslim Women Should Remove Their Veils

For the most, women are property of men in the Islam culture. In Saudi Arabia which is the birthplace and center of Islamic thought, women cannot drive or vote. They cannot go out of their homes without being escorted by a male family member. They have no rights at all. Honour killings of women are common throughout the Muslim world and in western countries by Muslim men. I cannot think of any other religion and culture that treats women so badly.

In quiet talking with the Muslim women I have known here and especially in New York City, I know that most who wear veils are forced to do so by the men of their family. It is part of the Islam culture to blame the women for any sexual affairs, so the women are veiled to keep from tempting the men – who always blame a rape victim for “tempting” them. We saw proof of this again last year with the Uncovered Meat comments by the “most respected” Muslim preacher in Australia.

The Muslim treatment and view of women must change. Not all Muslim women wear veils, but those who do need our help to find their freedom. The police gave special rules for Muslim women wearing veils at the Cricket security checkpoints and this sent the wrong message to the Muslim men. The message was “It is ok to keep women as property, and we will help you do that.”

Speak to any veiled Muslim woman quietly if you can. You will see that what I say is truth.

Shona (with Marcus)

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Religion