Monthly Archives: October 2008

How Screwed Up Is This Place? Barbados Government Workers Accidentally Demolish Last Slave Hut – After Being Informed Not To By Member Of Parliament

Before Anthony Headley

Before Anthony Headley

Barbados’ First Freedom Village Now Ruble – And No One Will Be Held Accountable

What idiocy! At the same time that the government and citizens are putting more emphasis on our roots and bringing clarity to some of the misconceptions of our history, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) demolished that last bit of original history at Rock Hall Freedom Village.

EPD deputy director Anthony Headley was told personally by Member of Parliament Cynthia Forde that the mistake was about to be made. She saw a EPD demolition sign on the hut and called him up – for all the good it did.

Somebody Should Be Sacked

Anthony Headley would be a good place to start, seeing as he has proven himself to be an idiot and incapable of intelligent thought. Under Freedom of Information, it would also be good to examine the entire process – starting with the last government’s spending $1.3 million dollars for the Rock Hall Freedom Village project and accomplishing exactly nothing. Remember all that business about marking the slave route and promoting our heritage? Money is gone, where is the product?

But back to the issue at hand: Anthony Headley was told about the historical significance of the slave hut, and that a mistake was about to be made regarding demolition. He was told by a Member of Parliament that the government had acquired the land and that his records were wrong. He was told to stop the demolition. When that information was passed to him, Headley became a responsible person.

So, SACK HIM.

Then find out who else screwed up and issued the original order and SACK THEM TOO.

We’ll stop short of firing the workers who demolished a historical landmark – but they are unthinking stupid idiots at the very least.

And as far as Cynthia Forde goes, she was a big part of the Rock Hall preservation project and spending $1.3 million, so why wasn’t a sign and a fence put up to protect the hut? Why didn’t she follow up on such an important issue after her uneasy phone call with Mr. Anthony “poop-for-brains” Headley?

After Anthony Headley

After Anthony Headley

Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting For Someone To Be Held Accountable

This is Barbados folks. We don’t do accountability. We don’t even sack people when they steal or misuse their government position. Nope, we make them Senators.

And here is the best part: this is the second time that this has happened. In 2003 government workers knocked down the second-last slave hut “by accident”.

Will somebody please assign some accountability around this place? This slave hut travesty is a micro-example of what keeps Barbados from achieving greatness. Things “just happen” with no one being responsible or being held responsible. We tear down historical buildings, build a wall of condos on the west coast so we can’t even see the water and mismanage the last mangrove forest so badly that even philanthropists who want to give us millions are driven away.

… But no government official is ever held to account for their actions and mismanagement.

From The Nation…

Licks Over Slave Hut

BARBADOS’ FIRST FREE VILLAGE has lost a significant part of its history.

On Wednesday morning, workmen from the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) demolished the only slave hut which was still standing at the Rock Hall Freedom Village in Rock Hall, St Thomas.

A distraught Cynthia Forde, parliamentary representative for St Thomas, who was behind the development of the $1.37 million project last year, said she was shocked and heartbroken when she passed by the village on Wednesday morning and saw only a shell of the slave hut remaining.

She told the WEEKEND NATION that on Tuesday she noticed a demolition sign had been placed on the building and she immediately contacted the EPD and spoke to deputy director Anthony Headley.

“I explained to him that the structure was part of the Rock Hall Freedom Village and that it was going to be renovated and used as an Interpretation Centre. I told him that the hut was integral to the history of the project and I asked him for a stay of demolition so that I could speak to the authorities in the various ministries who were involved in the project.

“He told me that the sign was put there to communicate to the landowner, but I indicated to him that Government was the landowner and that the property had been acquired. He went on to tell me that it was legally entitled to be demolished but at the end of our conversation, I was satisfied that some time would be given to investigate the situation.”

… read the entire article at The Nation (link here)

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Ethics, History, Slavery, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Former Barbados PM Owen Arthur Press Conference In Maldives October 30, 2008

For those wondering about Owen Arthur’s mission as head of the Commonwealth Observer team during the recent Maldives election, the team (presumably with Mr. Arthur present – the online article is unclear on this point) gave a press conference in the Maldives on Thursday, October 30, 2008.

Some were wondering why the former Prime Minister didn’t attend the recent BLP annual conference and this is the reason.

Of course, there doesn’t seem to be any excuse for Mr. Arthur not sending a message to the conference – an oversight or slight that did not go unnoticed by all in attendance.

Perhaps Mr. Arthur was busy. We’ll have to speculate upon that as I can’t imagine any of the regular press daring to ask Owen about it.

Here’s an online article from the Maldives…

Election Credible: Commonwealth

The Commonwealth Observer Team who visited the country to observe the first multi-party presidential election has said the run-off election on 28 October was generally credible although there were minor clashes and some allegations of pressure on government servants and bribery and and other influences.

The Commonwealth Team headed by former Prime Minister of Barbados Owen Arthur was meeting the press yesterday at the Hulhule Island Hotel and revealed there was a high level of transparency and participation in the election noting a high turn out of 86 % which is higher than the first round. They also noted there some irregularies but they were less than in the first round. The team also pointed out there was improved organisation.

Commonwealth Observers’ final report will be published in two weeks. However the team in its press meeting yeaterday said ” the run-off election represented a pivotal moment in the country’s continuing drive for democratic reform, in building on many of the positives from the first round, and addressing some of the negatives.”

… read the rest of this article at Mia Dhu News

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Filed under Barbados, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Adrian Loveridge: Closure of Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary “Absolute Tragedy – We are in a defining moment in our tourism development”

Minister of Tourism
The Hon. Richard L. Sealy, M.P.

Dear Sir,

I believe it would be an absolute tragedy if we allow Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary to close with the loss of a quoted 85 jobs.

I also believe that we are in a defining moment in our tourism development.

We have witnessed the West Coast being turned into a seamless ribbon of concrete condominiums with only rare glimpses of our pristine coastline and sea.

The loss of 29 hotels over the last 15 years has already and will continue to have a profound detrimental effect and consequence on employment in the sector, and its long term sustainability.

As the going gets tougher (and it will) in a global financial meltdown, we as a largely tourism dependent country have to fiercely safeguard the areas of  destination attractiveness that are less likely to suffer in a highly price sensitive marketplace.

Eco tourism is one of those niche areas, where cost is not the paramount decision making factor in choosing (or returning) to a destination.

Once popular walks and hikes along the east coast have now become also impossible due to lack of any planned maintenance or frequent de-bushing.   Even the bridge over Joe’s River close to the Edgewater Hotel has been left unrepaired for months.

Barbados has demonstrated that it can compete globally in eco-tourism, becoming the second most popular destination for the world’s largest walking specialist tour operator, with only New Zealand attracting more clients.

I appeal to our new Government, to sit down with the founder of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and find some solution that will allow the facility to remain open.

Not just for the sake of overseas visitors, but for the generations of young Barbadians to come that Graeme Hall will inspire to adopt more a sustainable tourism development policy.

Adrian Loveridge

Written in my capacity as a private, concerned citizen!

Further Reading

BFP: Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Closing – World-Class Eco-Tourism Attraction, 85+ Jobs Gone – Canadian Philanthropist Gives Up On Barbados

Nation: Trail Ends

CBC: Nature Sanctuary Closing

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Offshore Investments, Politics, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism, Wildlife

Ethically-Challenged Barbados Chief Justice To New Lawyers: “Don’t Steal From Your Clients”

THIS YEAR has been one of tragedy and embarrassment for the legal profession, the island’s top judge said yesterday.

However, Chief Justice Sir David Simmons feels the legal profession can recover its good name and has called upon 22 new admissions to the Bar to do their part.

At a full sitting in a packed Court of Appeal yesterday, Sir David told the new lawyers:

“This year has been one of tragedy and embarrassment for the Bar.

“Nevertheless, I think that the Bar has the capacity and resilience to rise above temporary setbacks and reassert itself to a position of eminence and respect among members of this society.”

Sir David, who is also President of the Court of Appeal, warned the lawyers that an “overweening desire” to “get rich quick” could see them breaching the Legal Profession (Accounts) Rules…

… from the Nation article CJ: Help Repair The Image

Acting Prime Minister & Career Politician One Day – Chief Justice The Next Day

Chief Justice SIR David Simmons just doesn’t get it. Here he is admonishing new lawyers to mind the reputation of the profession and their own reputations – when SIR David himself proved that he valued the prestige and position of Chief Justice more than he respected the independence and reputation of the Office of Chief Justice.

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

How on earth could David Simmons believe that it was ethical for himself – a career politician, Attorney General of the then BLP Barbados Government and Acting Prime Minister – to assume the position of Chief Justice?

As Attorney General and a senior member of Cabinet, Simmons was responsible for government policies and for defending lawsuits against the government. He was also mixed up in various land deals and political backroom antics as any senior politician is.

How was he therefore to appear to be independent to people bringing lawsuits against the government or members of the government? How was he to appear to be independent when political opponents had lawsuits or charges before his courts?

When David Simmons accepted the position of Chief Justice in an engineered resignation and “cooling off” period of only a few months, he disgraced the Office of the Chief Justice.

For David Simmons to be telling new lawyers about ethics is a joke.

Further Reading

Signed Document In Land Fraud Comes Back To Haunt Barbados Chief Justice 18 Years Later – David Simmons And The Phony Company

Barbados Chief Justice Threatened Political Action Against National Park If Personal Lawsuit Against Him Was Not Dropped – Secret Meeting Not So Secret Anymore!


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Filed under Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Closing – World-Class Eco-Tourism Attraction, 85+ Jobs Gone – Canadian Philanthropist Gives Up On Barbados

Click On The Photo To See The New Graeme Hall Video

Click On The Photo To See The New Graeme Hall Video

Goodbye To The National Park & The Last Mangrove Wetlands In Barbados

We’ll have more to say about this tomorrow. We can hardly cope right now. Anger. Sorrow. Despair at what our country has become. There is so much corruption on this island that foreign philanthropists can’t even give it away without a dozen people wanting a piece of the action.

So much for the National Park. So much for all the fine words of two successive governments of Owen Arthur and David Thompson.

Oh well, don’t worry kiddies… they’ll be another sucker of a foreign philanthropist along shortly. Some other factory or joint venture will open and we’ll get those jobs back.

Kiss the National Park and all that green space goodbye though. Too much money to be made so the political elites will have it paved over soon. That is why both the DLP and the BLP just couldn’t let us have a national park on the south coast. Too much money to be made.

Here’s the press release from Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. Read it and weep…


GRAEME HALL NATURE SANCTUARY, INC.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bridgetown, Barbados
Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Contact:                Harry Roberts, General Manager
Telephone:            (246)  426-3610
Email:                    hroberts@graemehall.com
Backup Letters, Art and Archives:    http://www.graemehall.com/press.htm

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in Barbados to Close

[Vancouver, Canada]   Environmental philanthropist Peter Allard announced that the 35-acre Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in Barbados will close on December 15, 2008.

Saying that “no one individual can stand longer than a generation in the wilderness of environmental preservation,” Allard despaired that to preserve the environmental heritage at Graeme Hall for future generations of Barbadians would require “a government-led consciousness.”

“I thank the the citizens of Barbados who came to the Sanctuary to visit, and thank those who signed the petition with the Friends of Graeme Hall for a National Park,” said Allard.   “I believe the Sanctuary would not have been possible without the support of the many eco-visitors, school children and the hard-working employees who put their heart and soul into making the Sanctuary a first class visitor experience.”

Allard went on to say that the Sanctuary would not exist if it had not been for special individuals who helped make it happen  such as Dame Billie Miller and her kind and capable Permanent Secretary, the late Brie St. John, Dr. Lorna Inniss, Dr. Trevor Carmichael, Dr. Karl Watson and many, many others.

Approximately 85 employees and contractors will be negatively affected by the closing.   It is expected that tour companies, taxis and local businesses will lose bookings as well.

In 2007, over 6,000 Barbadians signed a Friends of Graeme Hall petition in favor of preserving the approximately 240 acre green area at Graeme Hall as a National Park.    As the largest green space on the South Coast between the Airport and Bridgetown, the proposed National Park would include the designated 91-acre RAMSAR wetland approved under the international Convention on Wetlands, the 35-acre Sanctuary, and recreational lands.

Saying that that the future of the Sanctuary and the National Park is in the hands of the people of Barbados, Allard believes that the Friends of Graeme Hall and the citizens of Barbados must decide what their priorities are.

“We have great affection and regard for the people of Barbados, and the Sanctuary effort has always been a philanthropic mission.   This has been an incredibly painful and saddening decision, but ultimately it is not for us to initiate or set national goals and long term legacies for the nation.”

More information about the Sanctuary and the proposed Graeme Hall National Park can be found at www.graemehall.com/press.htm and www.graemehallnationalpark.org .

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Disaster, Environment, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism, Wildlife

Barbados Takes Out Yet Another Loan – US$ 35 Million From World Bank

Barbados Government Bragging About Borrowing More Money!

The latest loan is in the amount of US$ 35 million dollars to “fight AIDS”, but it really doesn’t matter what the loan is for because it goes on top of a heap of other loans all purportedly taken out for worthwhile projects by various Barbados governments over the years.

Lets look at what that US$35 million dollar loan really means to a small island like ours.

According to the CIA World Factbook about Barbados, our population as of July 2008 was an estimated 281,968. Accurate or not, that’s good enough for our purposes. For this little exercise we’re going to eliminate everyone under 15 or over 65 years of age…

Which leaves us with 202,040 people of “working age” even though many do not work full time. But we’ll take it that they all work full time and all pay taxes. Nonsense, I know. There’s no way everyone 15 or over and younger than 65 works full time and pays taxes.

But we’ll say they all do.

So divide US$35 million by the number of “taxpayers” on Barbados and that works out to US$172.23 per citizen. Let’s round it off and say BDS$350 per person.

That doesn’t sound like a whole lot now, does it?

Unless you have to pay it tomorrow.

What’s the interest on this loan? Who knows… because the government always celebrates a new loan for some worthy purpose but they never tell us what the interest rate is or when they intend to pay it back. No Sir… you won’t find that information in the “Aren’t we wonderful, we’re fighting AIDS” press release or Nation newspaper story.

And I’ve never seen a media release that says, “Just so you should know, we’ve paid off that US$100 million dollars we borrowed for Cricket World Cup.” Nope, we never see any press release about loans being paid off.

What is our national debt? Who knows! Do you? And even if they do tell us something, you can bet they are hiding operational expenses under capital costs and commiting a number of other sins.

So while the Nation News celebrates another loan from the World Bank, we’re wondering about when and how it will be paid back and whether it will be wisely spent.

You can ask all you want about how the government spends your money, but you’ll never get down to the real details about who received how much for doing what and how their work was evaluated.

Even after the new Freedom of Information law is passed it will take a serious change of culture before those government servants acknowledge that it is our money and our information. Meanwhile, there is no law in place to prohibit government officials from hiring relatives or companies they own to perform the work for this AIDS project. Thompson and his gang could have declared a “no contracts to relatives” policy from day one, but they refused.

Ever wonder why?

Further Reading

The Nation: Multi-million dollar loan

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Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Health, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Blocking UN Efforts To End Child Execution – Human Rights Watch

Barbados Rejects Proposal To End Death Penalty For Children

Last week, the group of Latin American and Caribbean states rejected a proposal from the European Union to call for an immediate suspension of all juvenile executions, pending abolition through legal reform, even though none of the countries in the region has carried out such executions since at least 1990. The group also rejected a proposal for a report from the UN secretary-general on compliance with the absolute ban on the juvenile death penalty in international law. Barbados was one of the most vocal opponents of the proposals.

“It’s simply baffling that Latin American and Caribbean states would block efforts to end the execution of children,” said Jo Becker, children’s rights advocate at Human Rights Watch. “None of these countries have executed juvenile offenders for years. Why would they possibly defend this practice?”

… the above is from a Human Rights Watch press release available at the end of this BFP article.

Barbados Once Again Sides With Iran Against Human Rights!

In December of 2006, Barbados abstained from a UN Resolution citing Iran for human rights violations against women.

We were disgusted and said so in our article…

Gutless Barbados “Abstains” From UN Vote Citing Iran For Human Rights Abuses, Torture, Discrimination and Violence Against Women – AND THEN VOTES TO PROTECT IRAN!

At the time in 2006, Barbados abstained from voting to cite Iran for torture, floggings, amputations as punishment, discrimination and violence against women – and executions of children like Ateqeh Rajabi. THEN… after the vote against Iranian Human Rights Violations passed… Barbados voted to protect Iran from sanctions over human rights violations!

Same Old, Same Old – Thompson & Arthur/Mottley Government Vote For Iranian Torture Of Women & Children

It looks like the change of government in Barbados didn’t make a difference to how we vote at the United Nations. We again sided with some of the most brutal regimes on the planet over their practice of executing children. We just had a big deal in the Barbados papers about “Stopping Violence Against Women” but judging by our latest moves at the United Nations and in staying rape charges – Barbados is all phony talk.

For the love of our country and our women and children, will Prime Minister David Thompson please explain why we once again sided with Iran and refused to say that hanging a 16 year old girl for having sex outside of marriage is a bad thing?

Barbados Supports Child Execution

Barbados Supports Child Execution

Here is 16 year old Ateqeh Rajabi being executed in Iran for having sex outside of marriage.

Owen Arthur & Mia Mottley voted for it.

David Thompson voted for it.

Welcome to Barbados – give us oil and then hang all the children you want. Just give us oil…

Further Reading…

BFP: Peter Laurie’s Plea For Human Dignity, Compassion – We Say Start By Firing Barbados’ United Nations Diplomats

Human Rights Watch: UN Urged To Ban Executions Of Juvenille Offenders

Human Rights Watch media release about Barbados follows…

For Immediate ReleaseContinue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Ethics, Human Rights