Monthly Archives: September 2013

Bold-faced thieves, reckless public officials will destroy post-independence Caribbean

Once again our old friend Afra Raymond does his research and sounds the clarion: Everything Caribbean nations have achieved is at risk because of crooked politicians, bad lawyers and corrupt judges…

The Threat to Integrity – part 4

by Afra Raymond

by Afra Raymond

I am fully in support of a vigorous and conscientious Integrity Commission (IC).  I do not want to see the IC abolished or sidelined.  The IC must realign its limited resources to ensure a decisive impact on the conduct of Public Officials.  The proposals contained in its 2012 Annual Report show clearly that the Gordon Commission has started to seriously grapple with that challenge.

The derailment of the IC between 2004 and 2009 is a clear example of what can happen to an Independent Commission if we do not maintain vigilant oversight.

This matter is of the greatest interest for those of us campaigning for Public Procurement reform so as to get effective control over all transactions in Public Money.  The arrangements we are proposing include new Independent Commissions/Officeholders.  It is therefore critical that we learn the lessons from this debacle so as to safeguard the bodies we are proposing.  The stakes are very high for our nation’s Integrity Framework, which must be strengthened, with swifter resolution of allegations.

To continue in the current manner is to drag the system into further disrepute, encourage even more bold-faced thieves, more reckless public officials and we can expect complete loss of the residual respect for the post-independence civilization we have tried to grow.  That would be an ugly and violent future for our society, so this episode requires stern and conscientious examination. Continue reading

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Filed under Corruption, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Barbados porn-industry profiteer takes moral position against same-sex marriage laws

Barbados Sex Trafficking

“One of the saddest things I’ve ever seen is Orgasm.com’s pregnant woman porn section. How does Donville Inniss feel about these desperate young girls – making money for him like this?”

… from BFP’s Barbados Health Minister Donville Inniss: King of Pregnant Women Porn?

Inniss profited from Orgasm.com and OrgasmLive.com

Minister of Industry and International Business Donville Inniss made it clear yesterday that he is not in favour of same-sex marriage laws in Barbados, but the internet porn-industry pioneer and profiteer also seemed to indicate that Prime Minister Freundel Stuart might not share his views.

Inniss, a DLP Democratic Labour Party Cabinet member, told Barbados Today “Government is within its right to look at everything. We can even consider same sex marriage, it doesn’t mean we will do it… well I hope we wouldn’t do it,”

Here at Barbados Free Press we don’t know what to think about Minister Inniss. How does a person come out with a moral position against same-sex marriage laws while having profited from pregnant women porn, teenagers performing sex acts live on the web, and people having sex with horses, goats, dogs, snakes and other assorted creatures? Inniss profited from websites with names Orgasmlive.com, Kinkfarm.com and many others.

On the rare occasion when the local press raises the question of his porn business background, Inniss turns cowardly aggressive and refuses to discuss the subject.

“We just don’t understand your moral compass, Minister Inniss. It’s okay for you to have profited from pregnant women porn and people having sex with animals, but it’s not okay for two men or two women who love each other to live together in a legally recognized marital partnership?”

No matter what position one has on same-sex marriage, Minister Inniss doesn’t seem to be in any position to provide any moral leadership or guidance to Bajans until he comes clean in a very public manner about his own sordid history with internet porn, how much money he made, what he did with the profits and whether or not he is still involved.

george with Cliverton

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Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Human Rights

American visitor: Barbados gun licensing shows a class-based system with the police favouring elites

barbados-shooting-football

An American who loves Barbados left this thoughtful comment on our September 8, 2011 post No jail sentence necessary for Johan Bjerkhamn, but larger issues ignored

by Patriot from Idaho

“No Police Commissioner has the right to act as a tinpot dictator and not tell the nation what the nation needs to know in order to form an intelligent and thoughtful set of solutions to commonly held problems.”

I have read many of the comments here, and I am aghast at the many misinterpretations of common law terminology. I am also, as a Life Member of the NRA here in the USA aghast at the apparent lack of openness and complete honesty of the Bajan Police. I am shocked and actually angered on the behalf of the entire Bajan nation that this situation of a lack of complete honesty about such an important body of law has not been corrected.

I have been visiting your beautiful and precious nation for over 20 years now and I have observed with relish the wonderful dialogue that comes with every election. A more literate and thoughtful populace anywhere cannot be found. And I respect the Bajan Nation for this in a way that I do not respect my own, sadly enough. I am very protective of the rights we Americans enjoy, and the differences between us and other nations. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Police

Why is Dengue Fever up 300% so far this year?

Mosquito dengue Barbados

Dengue is serious business, and a secondary infection can be a disaster shutting down the liver or damaging the heart.

That’s serious business alright.

Epidemic Dengue is also serious business when it comes to tourism and the economy.

So what is the government doing about a spectacular 300% increase in cases?

It should be a national emergency, but all I see is the same old, same old.

Some things never change.

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Filed under Barbados, Health

Allard Prize for International Integrity – Live broadcast to Barbados and the world

UPDATED: Anna Hazare wins $100,000 Allard Prize for International Integrity

The University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Law at Allard Hall presented Anna Hazare, one of India’s most influential social activists, with the inaugural Allard Prize for International Integrity at a special ceremony last night.

The $100,000 prize is one of the world’s largest awards recognizing efforts to combat corruption and to promote human rights.

“My lifelong mission to fight corruption and promote transparency is stronger for having received this award,” said Mr. Hazare. “I have never been attracted to money and wealth, but the Allard Prize will help me and all those that are working towards the same cause to continue the fight. I am hopeful that this international recognition will promote a movement for change that will endure beyond my lifetime for generations to come.”

more about Anna Hazare and the Allard Prize.

Original Story published September 25, 2013…

Allard Prize Barbados

Who will win the inaugural prize?

The Allard Prize for International Integrity is awarded to an individual, movement or organization that has demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in combating corruption, especially through promoting transparency, accountability and the rule of law.

Established by UBC Law alumnus Mr. Peter A. Allard, QC, the $100,000 Allard Prize is one of the largest awards in the world recognizing efforts to combat corruption and promote human rights.

“Our outstanding finalists exemplify the values of the Allard Prize through their extraordinary courage and leadership in promoting transparency, accountability and the rule of law in opposing corruption and promoting and protecting human rights,”

“In celebrating these achievements and remarkable stories, the Allard Prize strives to inspire others to take up the fight against abuses of power and the suppression of human rights, wherever they arise.”

Peter Allard (Allardprize.org)

allard prize finalists

The 2013 Allard Prize finalists are:

Global Witness – Based in London, U.K. and Washington, D.C., Global Witness has initiated trailblazing campaigns against natural resource-related conflict and corruption and associated environmental and human rights abuses.

Anna Hazare – One of India’s most influential and renowned social and political activists, Mr. Hazare has led popular movements to enhance government transparency and investigate and prosecute official corruption.

Dr. Sima Samar – Dr. Samar is an internationally celebrated advocate for human and women’s rights. Dr. Samar has worked to raise global awareness about the detrimental impact of corruption on the promotion and protection of Afghan human and women’s rights.

The winner of the Allard Prize will be announced on September 25, 2013 at a ceremony at the UBC Faculty of Law at Allard Hall in Vancouver, British Columbia.  The other two finalists will each be given Honourable Mention recognition and a $25,000 cash prize. These three finalists were selected from a short list of six nominees, which also included: Peter Eigen, John Githongo and Chen Guangcheng.

“UBC Law has a deep and longstanding history of advancing human rights,” says Dean Mary Anne Bobinski. “Faculty members have been pioneers supporting the human rights of women, indigenous communities and the rights of victims of crime around the world.”

“Government Corruption Is Death To Philanthropy And Foreign Investment”

The sad tale of Peter Allard and Barbados… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Ethics, Human Rights, Politics & Corruption

Barbados tourism: How deep does this hole go, and how much money will government waste?

“I cannot recall, at least in my 25 years actively involved in tourism on Barbados, that we have ever endured 17 consecutive months of visitor decline under any Government.

Simply put, could ‘we’ be spending more, to harvest less?

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner - now selling!

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner – now selling!

If I had to make a short list for our tourism policymakers in an attempt to influence positive change, it probably might end up as quite a long list, but two pleas would be right at the top…

Number One is to avoid making heady predictions when even at the outset any informed opinion indicated there was very little, if any, possibility they would become true.

Secondly, please do not use the word ‘success’ when referring to a promotion or initiative before there is at least clear evidence that it is, or will become one.

The second booking deadline of the Barbados Island Inclusive (BII) programme has just passed since it was originally launched on April 29, 2013. Just to refresh your memory, $11 million was allocated for BII to ‘bring an additional 15,000 tourists to our shores, with a total spend of BDS$30 million’ by issuing ‘free spending vouchers’.

The critical phrase is ‘additional tourists’.

In July it was ‘revealed that more than 5,000 tourists had taken advantage’ of the offer. However, since the BII became effective in early May, we have experienced a fall in long stay visitors during every month so far this year.

May was down 29 persons, June down 2,965, July down 3,318 (the lowest arrivals for that month in eleven years) and August* down 2,591.

So a collective decline for the four months of 8,903 people.

Therefore to boast ‘5,000 tourists’ have used the voucher may be true, but that does not in anyway reflect an accurate and fair picture of the current state of the industry.

One of our most senior tourism policymakers was quoted in the media on March 12 as stating ‘We are putting some programmes in place that we should end the year flat’. Even though the numbers were already down by over 10,000 long stay visitor arrivals at that stage when compared with 2012.

Well, here we are in the latter part of September and that number has climbed to over 26,000. Or, I should say ‘fallen’. I cannot recall, at least in my 25 years actively involved in tourism on Barbados, that we have ever endured 17 consecutive months of visitor decline under any Government.

And the very thought of ending the year ‘flat’, either reflects a massive disconnect with reality or a severe attack of wishful thinking, which only may end in tears for some, but potential insolvency for others. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados

Resignation of Scapegoat Ian Brunton doesn’t redeem LIAT Airlines

LIAT Airlines Crash

“There has never been a more appropriate time to end LIAT’s vicious cycle of operational and financial instability and to reconfigure an airline which can serve the Eastern Caribbean’s vital needs on a sustainable basis.

The damage inflicted has been immense, the financial outlook is grim, the time for change has arrived and the need is urgent.”

Tourism expert Robert MacLellan tells some hard truths

by Robert MacLellan

Some might believe that for the second time in only three years Captain Ian Brunton has been made a scapegoat by the board of directors of a Caribbean airline company – fired as CEO of Caribbean Airlines Limited in late 2010 and, this week, he resigned as CEO of LIAT. Indisputably, the overall operation of LIAT has continued to be disastrous during the last four months but so has the marketing / P R / communications function and yet the senior management there appears unchanged going forward. More importantly, the chairman, Jean Holder, and the LIAT board – which has authorised the strategy, business plan, operating budget and bank loans underlying the recent chaos and financial uncertainty – also appear unchanged going forward.

While Captain Brunton has resigned, Mr Holder is reportedly on vacation in the midst of the crisis. The chairman has been in position since 2004 and submitted his own resignation two years ago, although this was not accepted by the LIAT government ownership group at that time. Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism