Daily Archives: April 13, 2008

This Is Barbados Free Press Article Number 2308 (!)

If you go to the “Random” tab at the top, you’ll find a link on the page that will select a random article for you to read. I tried it a few times this morning and was surprised by some of the subjects that we’d covered and then forgotten about.

Pardon the introspection folks, but the last time we updated the “Random” tab at the top we had “over 1200” articles in the archives. Now we have over 2300 articles just waiting to be remembered or discovered.

It is way too early to for me to do the math, but maybe somebody can work out how many articles the BFP team has posted per day since January of 2006 when we started.

Visitor Number Three Million Coming Soon

Oh, it looks like we will welcome our three millionth visitor sometime in June.

I know many other big blogs in America and Europe do those visitor numbers every month – (heck, Drudge Report does a million a day) – but three million visitors in 26 months doesn’t seem too bad to us for a little blog on a little rock in the ocean, especially considering that it took a while for the numbers to ramp up. Even after our third month we were only seeing 100 visitors a day, but then it sort of exploded and the growth went exponential for a while. We’re still growing, albeit at a slower rate, but at a certain point we must reach a saturation level because our primary audience (and this rock) is only so large!

According to the stats, we currently have The Nation News beat all to pieces with daily visitors. Barbados Free Press remains the most popular Barbados website of any kind.

A shame we can’t turn those numbers into some cash, but that would be a bad choice!

So try a few random articles from the archives and you might find a few Gems. (GEMS, get it?) 😉

Sorry… that’s the best I can do for humour on a sleepy Sunday morning.

Now I have to go because it is my turn to make breakfast for my wonderful woman and children.

Thank you Lord for this day.

Marcus

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Filed under Barbados

Reader: Stranded Ghana International Airline Passengers Victims Of Barbados Human Rights Abuses

We understand that the following has been printed in the African news media (link here). It was sent to us by the author with a request to print it on this side of the Atlantic. No problem. It is printed as received with no changes at all…

STRANDED WEST AFRIKANS VICTIMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

Tuesday morning, April 7th 2008,a press conference was held at the Israel Lovell Foundation, My Lord’s Hill, to plead the case for more than 96 West Afrikans stranded in Barbados since February 15th 2008, when their chartered flight did not return to collect them.

The men and women had come originally to Barbados; some wanting to experience the cultural delights of the Trinidad carnival and others had other missions of trade, youth development conferences and just the opportunity to visit family and friends.

It is now more than two months that they are waiting for some resolution to the issue of return home. Most are still fending for themselves; paying rent or being supported by Barbadian families. Some members of the group however are struggling and not eating adequately and are being threatened with eviction. To this end the press conference was held to highlight their need for assistance.

However, the government of Barbados seemed to have a different idea as to why the West Afrikans were here and have chosen to criminalize the stranded with the arrest and interment at the military base Paragon in Christ Church, of 30 people, who reported to immigration as requested Tuesday morning at 10 am. Nothing has been heard from them since, their possessions have not been collected, and there is still no word as to their status.

A local Pan Afrikan organization, the Global Afrikan Congress, has been offering support to some individuals throughout their stay and are outraged at the treatment of these human beings, who have committed no offenses worthy of being treated in this manner. When a delegation, including legal representation, asked to see the people held at Parragon, they were refused access.

It is understandable that the government, with a view to providing a plane for them to return home, would want to have all those in need in a central location, however it is not acceptable that these people be kept against their will. They should be free to come and go. Those who are comfortable with family and friends should be allowed to stay there until news of the planes departure is known.

The lack of transparency and sensitivity by some of the newly elected ministers to this issue is of grave concern to this citizen of Barbados. Even if these people were victims of human trafficking as claimed the United Nations, to which Barbados is a signatory, is explicit on the treatment of victims of it and imprisonment, without recourse to access and support, is a violation of their human rights.

I urge all right thinking people of the world to make their displeasure and disgust at this situation be known, and the governments’ orders to silence the press on this issues needs to be counteracted. Continue reading

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

Does Anyone Know Which Barbados Constitution Is Law?

For 15 years of solid majority, I can’t think of any democratically elected government that accomplished so little worthwhile legislation as the previous Arthur-Mottley BLP administration.

Man, they talked talked talked about laws, but they never put anything worthwhile on the table. They talked for years about a breathalyzer law to stop the slaughter on our roads. Every year for five years they gave the same press conference after some new poor soul get hisself killed by some drunk.

Talk was all we saw. That, and the annual “breathalyzer comin soon” press conference.

They talked about anti-corruption laws, labour laws, Constitutional changes, environmental laws, chemical waste disposal laws, a building code law, a new development plan as required by law… Man, you name it, they talked!

What Barbados received a lot of the time was half-baked quasi-laws like the building code that is a draft with no force of law behind it. When lawmakers don’t know what they are doing, that is what we get: no laws and a bunch of regulations enforced by government employees who have to make it up as they go because the legislators let them and everybody down by failing to make real laws.

Which brings us to our Constitution of Barbados.

There are three versions that we found on line. Each one is different. Two are at Government websites and the third is at Barbados.org.

Is any one of them current and correct? How does a citizen know?

Have a look for yourself..

The official Government of Barbados Website (link here)

Caricom Secretariat Law Website (link here)

Barbados.Org (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

When Your Neighbours Take 3 Years To Build A House…

We are currently dealing with Town and Country Planning and hope to get satisfaction, but we would like to share our problem with any readers here.

We built and occupied our small bungalow eight years ago, on a spot with a view of the sea. Our road is at right angles to the shore. Recently the adjacent spots, both above and below us on our side, have started building large upstairs houses, too large, we think, for the 5000 sq ft of all these spots, and both to be rented out as apartments, one apartment on each floor. Our modest bungalow is going to be totally engulfed, and fresh breezes restricted. The particular problem now is that the owner of the spot below us has decided to extend the original foundations to make the rooms larger, shutting us off even further from our now tiny view of the sea.

Even if it turns out that planning permission has been granted for these buildings in all respects, in accordance with the existing rules for development in this residential area, do we have any redress whatsoever in view of the fact that we have been in residence for eight years now, and these buildings are going to be an encroachment on our established enjoyment of our own small residence?

Other annoying features are that the building of these two houses is taking a long time, two to three years already, one is only at the foundation stage, so we have had to put up with unsightly bush, unattended and extremely untidy building works, and the spot below us has had a workman’s shed now for three years, right at the roadside at the front, totally blocking our view down the road to the sea.

We would be pleased to read anyone’s views on these matters, suggesting whether or not we have any rights whatsoever.

(Name withheld by request)

22 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Island Life