Another case of police brutality?

THE NEW TODAY welcome the decision taken by the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) to launch an immediate investigation into an incident which occurred last Sunday night in which political activist, Sheldon Monah of the Carenage, St. George’s was allegedly beaten and brutalised at the South St. George Police Station.

Persons from this newspaper have seen the wounds on Mr. Monah and are greatly disturbed to think that this could have happened at a police station.

All police officers have taken the oath to uphold the motto of the force which is primarily to protect and serve. There is nothing in the motto which speaks of brutality against the public.

Mr. Monah alleged that he was taken from the NDC rally at Morne Rouge to the nearby police station, locked up in a cell and later on the lights were taken off and at least two police officers came into the darkened cell and gave him a good beating.

This newspaper has taken the unusual step of printing a photograph as part of its editorial in order to show the graphic marks around Mr. Monah’s neck and the bruises from a badly swollen face.

He told us that while in the cell something was placed around his neck by the police officers to help subdue him. It is this something that caused the clearly visible bruises in the area of the neck. The officers kept pulling it and insisting that he stop bawling or else they will tighten it and kill him.

Did this thing really happen at a police station? Who did it and why? Who authorised it? Were others inside the station aware of what was happening and did nothing to stop it?

If police officers are found to be culpable in causing harm to Mr. Monah then those responsible for such acts of brutality should face exemplary punishment.

Our police force can do without these kinds of elements from within the ranks. This is our police force and not a force that is willing to harbour undesirables, criminals and law-breakers.

One year ago, the image of RGPF suffered tremendously in the international media over the Oscar Bartholomew beating and subsequent death arising from an incident involving police officers at the St. David’s Police Station.

This incident resulted in the public once again focusing their attention on the old bogey of police brutality and those persons in the past who suffered at the hands of rogue cops.

As far as THE NEW TODAY is concerned, no citizen who infringed on the law – regardless of the crime committed – should suffer such bodily harm as allegedly done to Mr. Monah.

This newspaper has every confidence that Prime Minister Tillman Thomas who is the Minister of National Security and responsible for Police, as well as the Commissioner of Police, Willan Thompson and other members of the High Command will do whatever is necessary to get to the bottom of this issue.

However, THE NEW TODAY would be monitoring the development rather closely to ensure that no attempt at any cover-up by the police takes place as this would not be tolerated and accepted.

The country is entering a critical period with the 2013 general elections just around the corner, and the police ought to do nothing to compromise the integrity of our elections.

If Mr. Monah broke the law then he should face the consequences of his actions and if police officers did commit an illegal offence by engaging in acts of brutal force then they too should be dealt with.

All those who are under suspicion of taking part in the alleged beating of Mr. Monah should be suspended immediately or transferred to another posting in order for the investigation to be conducted in a free, open and transparent manner.

The chips should then be allowed to fall in their rightful places.

 

G’da urged to take action

The United States government has given the Tillman Thomas-led government in St. George’s a stern warning on the Derek James issue.

Derek James – performed as Consul General in New York

James was reportedly appointed to perform duties as Consul General in New York in the aftermath of the July 2008 victory at the polls by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Prime Minister Thomas.

He was offered the post by his close friend, then Foreign Affairs and Tourism Minister, Peter David.

The U.S government is now claiming that it has no records to show that James who is believed to be a U.S citizen or legal permanent resident of New York was accredited to perform the diplomatic job.

THE NEW TODAY was able to obtain a letter dated November 29, 2012 that was sent by a high-ranking U.S government official to Grenada’s Ambassador to Washington, Gillian Bristol on the Derek James issue.

As a public service, this paper has decided to reproduce the letter:

 

 

Ambassador Gillian Bristol – received the letter from the State Department

United States Department of State

Washington, D.C. 20520

 

Dear Madam Ambassador:

 

It has come to the attention of the Department of State that Mr. Derrick James has been representing the Government as its Consul General, in New York. Department of State records reflect that the Government of Grenada has a career consular post in New York, but that there are no personnel accredited to that mission.

Records further reflect that the last Consul General notified to the Department of State was Mr. Allen Morgan McGuire who was terminated by the Embassy on July 31, 2008.

Please be reminded that persons may not perform consular functions or portray themselves to be consular officers without having been accepted and recognised by the U.S. Government. Therefore, it is requested that you inform Mr. James to cease further representations as Consul General or any consular representative of Grenada.

The Department of State further understands that Mr. James may be a legal permanent resident of the United States. If this information is accurate, please be reminded that the Department does not accept American citizens or legal permanent resident as diplomatic agents or career consular officers.

Although Department policy precludes American citizens and legal permanent residents from serving as diplomatic agents and consular officers, the United States will accept persons holding such status in certain capacities.

An embassy may employ American citizens or legal permanent residents in the capacity of Administrative and Technical staff or service staff. A consulate may employ American citizen or legal permanent residents as consular employees or consular service staff.

Any individual who is an American citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States may also be eligible to serve as an honorary consular officer if the Government of Grenada determines that it would like to open an honorary consulate.

The Embassy is requested to advise the Department of State, Office of the Chief of Protocol whether the Government of Grenada intends to formally request recognition of Mr. James. As there are no career consular personnel at the Consulate General in New York, the Department would assume that the Government of Grenada will close this post.

The Embassy is also advised that U.S. law provides for the fining and imprisonment of any individual who, “with intent to defraud within the United States, falsely assumes or pretends to be a diplomatic, consular or other official of a foreign government duly accredited as such to the United States and acts as such, or in such pretended character, demands or obtains or attempts to obtain any money, paper, document, or other thing of value.”

We trust that this information is helpful and we look forward to receiving communication from the embassy with regard to Mr. James and the Consulate General.

 

 

Sincerely

 

Gladys Boluda

Assistant Chief Protocol

 

Randal’s endorsement is delayed

The incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) has decided to push back the public endorsement of its Caretaker for the St. George South East Constituency, Randal Robinson due to legal wranglings.

Karl Hood – making a desperate attempt to block his replacement

Robinson was scheduled to be among the five Caretakers in the parish of St. George’s to be presented at a public meeting of the Congress held Sunday at the Morne Rouge Playing Field in St. George’s.

His presentation was delayed due to a court matter that has been instituted by the current Member of Parliament for the constituency, Karl Hood who has expressed interest in getting the nod for a second time.

Chairperson of the meeting, Senator Ann Peters alluded to the principles of the party to respect institutions as part of its core values.

Sen. Peters, the current Minister of Health, said the NDC was led by Prime Minister Tillman Thomas who believes in law and order and that once a process has to be unfolded, the 25-year old party has to abide by the law.

The female chairman of the meeting recalled that at a meeting of the St. George’s South East Constituency Branch at the Marian Community Centre on September 24, the members nominated and elected Robinson as their Caretaker.

Randal Robinson – favoured by the St. George South East Constituency

Robinson who is a Service Provider in the Tourism Industry was recommended by the Executive Body of the Constituency Branch to the National Executive Council of the NDC to serve as their Caretaker which was accepted.

Sen. Peters said all these decisions took place before the September 30 National Convention which took a decision to expel Hood and four other Members of Parliament who won their seats on an NDC ticket in the July 2008 elections.

In the aftermath of his expulsion from the party, Hood retained the services of his brother, Cajeton Hood, an attorney-at-law to take court action aimed at preventing Robinson from representing Congress as the candidate in the area for the upcoming general elections.

The court action filed by Hood was directed to the NDC Political Leader, Deputy Political Leader, Nazim Burke, Chairman of the party, Sen. Franka Bernadine, as well as Deputy Chairman, Kent Joseph, and General Secretary Bernard Isaac.

The motion is asking the court to prevent the NDC from taking any action that would prevent Hood from participating in activities of the party.

Sen. Peters told the NDC public meeting that Hood is also asking the court to prevent NDC from taking any action in the name of the party aimed at selecting, announcing, registering, or identifying any candidate for the upcoming general elections in the Constituency of St. George’s South East.

The matter was scheduled to come before the court for a decision on Wednesday.

“Our decision… (from preventing Randal) is based upon respect for the institution,” Sen. Peters stressed.

“There is no order of the court preventing us from going ahead and presenting Randal to the Grenadian people as the party’s Caretaker for the Constituency of St. George’s South East,” she added.

Earlier this year Hood who was at the time serving as Foreign Minister resigned his ministerial portfolio based on what he termed as dissatisfaction with the leadership of the government.

Hood had also stated publicly on a few occasions that he was not interested in seeking a second term as MP for St. George South-east.

Derek James: ‘My purpose is in the service of others’

Following is a Thank you letter from Derrick James whose service with the Government of Grenada in New York came to an end last week in the wake of questions being asked about his diplomatic status by the U.S State Department in Washington.

 

Appreciation and Thanks to all Grenadians

 

December 6, 2012

 

Dear All:

 

Thank you so much for the opportunity to be your Consul General for the past four years. It was a wonderful and rewarding experience. This experience affirmed that my purpose is in the service of others.

Over the course of this journey, I was able to spend many hours with individuals and groups listening to them, and talking with them about how we can better serve our community and work in harmony for the development of our homeland Grenada.

It was incredibly fulfilling to be able to put structure and focus to the many plans for nation building, national unity and strengthening the bonds between national at home and those in the New York Diaspora.

The ideas, talents, religious and political suasions brought to the table were wide and varied; but, we all shared the same ultimate vision. Your advice and experience were tremendously helpful to me – and Grenada as a whole – throughout these past four years. We all are better for it.

I truly appreciate and will never forget the confidence shown in me by the Government and People of Grenada. My thanks and heartfelt gratitude are also extended to the Permanent Secretaries and the team I worked along with at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; as well to the Staff at the Consulate, the Community Organisations, the Community of Consuls General in New York with whom I worked very closely, my family and friends.

I must say thank you to MP Peter David for believing in me. He identified in me the personality traits required for the position when he first proposed to the government leadership in 2008 that I should be appointed Consul General. Upon my appointment, I dedicated myself to selfless service at the best of my abilities.

I embrace my departure as Consul General as a new beginning strongly rooted in my commitment to service; I shall remain a community activist and a voice and an advocate for the disadvantaged. There is much to be done in the Diaspora and at home. I avail myself to continue full representation of my people and country.

 

Yours in Service,

Derrick James

 

 

The La Diablesse

I remember it like it was yesterday.

It was a beautiful full moon night, under a Caribbean sky. The sky was clear and bright with the silver reflection of the moon everywhere. I was attending a house party in Grenville. It turned out to be quite boring, and at around 12:30 a.m., I told my host I was leaving.

“Clyde it is so late. Why don’t you spend the night and leave in the morning?”

I politely declined the offer, citing that I had obligations later that morning. The truth was that I was disappointed that there were no single ladies at the party.

I headed out for the town of St. George’s, driving over the Grand Etang Mountains. As I accelerated, I could feel the power in the car as it pushed me back against the seat. The corners came fast and it was proving to be the highlight of my evening. In ten minutes, I made quick work of the hills while rocking to the music of DMX. At the bottom of the mountain lies a bridge before you enter Vendome village. As I approached the bridge, I saw a woman sitting on one of the walls. I slowed down as I came closer, wondering, what is this lady doing out here with her cute self?

I pulled up next to her and said, “Hey, pretty, are you okay? What are you doing out here at this ungodly hour? Would you like a ride somewhere?” My first two questions brought no response from her. I concluded that she probably had a fight with her boyfriend and he had left her there. However, my offer of the ride brought a huge smile to her face. It was there I noticed her eyes – shining and reflecting the moonlight.

There was almost a hypnotic effect. I felt myself being drawn into them. Something inside of me pulled me back. That something was a sense of danger that not all was well here. Anyway, I brushed the feeling off and asked, “Would you like the ride or not?”

She shook her head, signaling “yes,” got up, and began making her way to the car. I expected her to cross in front of the car so that I could get a good look at her, but she walked to the back of the car instead. Now, the car is a two-door, so she had to come around to the front.

As she walked past me, I noticed that her dress reached all the way to the road. I also noticed that the dress was one you would wear to church. I felt that sense of danger in my stomach again, this time stronger. I looked in the side mirror as she passed me. There was no reflection of her body!!! I floored the accelerator and took off like a bat out of hell.

I heard a screeching laughter in the background. “Hahahaaaaaa aaha!”

I made it home in less than ten minutes; to me it felt like two. In my yard, I turned off the engine breathed a sigh of relief. I found myself trembling and thinking, what the hell just happened? I was about to open the door when I turned around and saw her sitting in the back seat. I tried to scream, but no sound came out, and her face transformed into a hideous mask. Her eyes locked in on mine and I started falling into an endless pit.

At that moment, I uttered a prayer that arose in my mind and the hold was broken. Her face returned to normal and she said to me, “Be careful; not everything that glitters is gold! “With that, she vanished into that slivery night.

 

(Clyde Viechweg, the son of Arthur Viechweg of Mt. Moritz, presently resides in Brooklyn, New York. He is the author of ,” Caribbean Twilight, tales of the supernatural”, and the author of a recent collections of short folklore tales set in the Spice Isle)

State Assets transferred to NIS

Gemma Bain-Thomas – the people of Grenada are not loosing their assets

Secretary to the Cabinet of Government Ministers, Gemma Bain-Thomas has sought to bring some clarity to the sale of a number of State properties by the Tillman-Thomas-led Government.

Bain-Thomas who met with members of the media last week Thursday during a press conference at the Cabinet Room at the Ministerial Complex disclosed that as a means of meeting its recurrent expenditure, Cabinet took a strategic decision during the month of September to consider the revenue collection of the State by utilising some State assets.

Negotiations were entered into with the State-owned National Insurance Scheme (NIS) to obtain the necessary revenue to finance the recurrent expenditure and some of the capital projects that are now taking place.

Bain-Thomas said government compiled a list of existing State assets with a total value of $10m that could be sold to NIS in order to obtain the necessary revenue.

The properties identified included the old Electoral Office on Woolwich Road, St. George’s, the old television station at Morne Jaloux, St. George’s, the old Drill Yard on Young Street, St. George’s that once served as the base for the Ministry of Works, the old St. James Hotel on Grand Etang Road in St. George’s, and the Doctor’s Quarters at St. David’s, Maran and LaDigue.

“These things (government assets) are being transferred to another State entity, and so the people of Grenada are not loosing their assets. They are in another State entity,” the Cabinet Secretary explained.

Headquaters of the National Insurance Scheme on Melville Street, St. George’s

According to her, as part of the arrangement government can repurchase those assets at a later date.

Bain-Thomas also disclosed that 4.5 million of the 11 million government shares in Cable and Wireless that has a net value of $15m were sold to NIS.

Government shares of less than one million dollars in the Grenada Breweries Limited were also sold.

Government’s decision to sell State assets was raised by Opposition Leader, Dr. Keith Mitchell during a public meeting of the New National Party two weeks ago in Crochu, St. Andrew’s.

During his tenure as Prime Minister, Dr. Mitchell and his NNP government were often accused of engaging in mismanagement and corruption.

A recent report submitted to the Congress government chided the NNP for raising the national debts by 58.4 million dollars in 2006 due to “speculative” undertakings in three projects including the guaranteeing of millions to the Garden Group of Hotels in the south of the island and the Marketing & National Importing Board (MNIB).

 

Government offered WRB Shares

One of Grenlec’s prize buildings at Dusty Highway

The four-year old National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas is currently considering its options in purchasing the shares in the lone electricity company, that is owned by the Florida-based WRB Enterprises.

Secretary to the Cabinet Gemma Bain-Thomas who addressed members of the media last week Thursday at a post Cabinet Meeting about the issue said government has been informed by Grenada Private Power (GPP) Company that it would be selling its fifty-one percent majority shares in the Grenada Electricity Services Limited (Grenlec) that is valued at about one hundred million dollars.

Bain-Thomas said government has 30 days that comes to an end on December 26 by which to make a final determination.

Notice of WRB’s intention to sell the shares was given to government by letter dated November 6.

Grenlec was privatized in 1994 by the previous NDC Government of Sir Nicholas Brathwaite.

Bain-Thomas said should government be unable to repurchase the shares, GPP can proceed to offer it to another interest.

WRB has already sold its shares in the Dominica Electricity Services Limited, and is also expected to sell it’s shares in the electricity company in St. Lucia.

The Grenada Government currently owns ten percent shares in Grenlec.

Under the share purchase agreement that was signed in 1994, once WRB decides to sell its shares to another private company government has the first option.

Who is Mark Felix?

Mark Trevor Felix is a son of Grenadian soil originally from Spring Garden, St. Paul’s.
Born on April 17, 1966 to Mr. and Mrs. Walter & Veronica Felix (both deceased), Mark left Grenada in 1987 to work for Carnival Cruise Lines. He returned home briefly in 1997 to represent Grenada in the Natural Bodybuilding Competitions held in the Caribbean.
On the Cruise Lines he met his wife Denny and they were married in 1996, and subsequently moved to England in 1997. Together they raised three sons aged 14, 9 and 7. Despite his busy career Mark is a wonderful husband and dedicated father to his children.
He is a plasterer by trade but has also found employment with HSL Group (The Largest Sound & Lighting Company in the U.K) since 2008.
Mark continued on as a bodybuilder in the United Kingdom and moved into Strongman events after making up numbers in an event for a friend in September of 2002. He had never heard of Strongman before then nor had he any experience/training with the equipment. Amazingly, he placed third (defeating some of the top competitors in Britain) and after being invited to compete in international competitions he came in 2nd place in his first international event which was held in Ireland in 2003. By then he was hooked.
Undoubtedly, Mark was born to be a man of power and throughout the years his accomplishments in the sport of Strength Athletics have proven to be outstanding. With his tremendous grip skills and achievements, he has successfully conquered many international grip competitions and tournaments.
In 2004 Mark Felix represented Grenada in the Bahamas at his First World’s Strongest Man competition and he placed seventh.
In 2005 there was a split in the sport and he competed for I.F.S.A in 2005 and 2006 representing the Spice Isle.
Mark became British in 2007 largely due to the inability to travel without a visa on his Grenadian passport. He has been representing Britain since 2006 under IMG (the production company) and he has been sponsored by Met-Rx for the past five (5) years to present. However, he still represents both Grenada & Britain when he competes depending on where the organizers choose as he has passports for both countries.
The World’s Strongest Man Competition is an event organized by I.M.G (International Management Group), a global sports and media business owned by Forstmann Little & Company. This event usually occurs around the end of December every year. There are five heats in the competition and approximately 30 contestants. Of the five heats, the top two men qualify and are entered into the 10-man final. Mark Felix has entered this competition in the years 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Giants Live is a Multi-Event Competition established in 2009. It is normally held at different locations and is the Official Tour that qualifies strong men like Mark Felix for the famous World’s Strongest Man ESPN show. Once again Mark prove himself by securing second position at the Poland event in 2009,  third position at the London event in 2010, fourth position at London again in 2011 and 3rd position at the Giants Live event held in Ukraine in 2011.
At the I.F.S.A (International Federation of Strength Athletes) World Team Championships in Scotland, Mark managed to finish in 3rd place in 2005. Another Multi-event strongman competition, the Jon Pall Sigmarsson Classic, has felt the weight of Mark when he participated in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2010 and finished once again in 3rd place.
The W.S.F (World Strongman Federation) is an organization for strength athletes created by Vlad Redkin. With its headquarters in Ukraine, the W.S.F has staged many national championships and it is on this very platform Mark was again able finish in 3rd place in Uzbekistan in 2012.
The All –American Strongman College is another well-known Multi-event which is held in Los Angeles, California. Mark took part in the years 2010 through to 2012 and finished second, third and eight consecutively.
Under his championship belt, Mark holds the 2008 & 2009 title of the Ironmind Rolling Thunder Competition. On January 18, 2008 at the Mohegan Sun Grand Prix he lifted 300lbs with Rolling Thunder, a fifteen-year challenge he was able to conquer which crowned him champion. He defended his title on January 6, 2009 at Quebec and was once again successful in his attempt.  A new Rolling Thunder World Record was set by Mark this year on May 22, 2012 in Birmingham England at the Body Power Expo when he successfully lifted 332lbs (31lbs heavier than his previous world record of 301).
Mark has managed to gain many other titles in his career as a Strong Man from 2011 and 2012 Champion of the Vice Grip Viking Challenge to fourth and third position at the Europe Strongest Man Competitions in 2008 and 2010. He also secured second, and third position at the British Strong Man competitions of 2006, 2007 and 2008.
It is safe to say that Mark has done exceptionally well and continues to do so while maintaining humility and showing good sportsmanship in and out of the spotlight (a quality we hope all of our Grenadian athletes on the international front will continue to display).  It is my hope that this detailed article will provide Grenadians with some insight on the question; “Who is Mark Felix?” A question I am sure many people may have asked within the past few weeks.
Mark will be appearing at the3rd annual Grenada Strongest Man Competition which will be held at the Morne Rouge Playing Field on Saturday December 15 from 9am. The Grenadian public is asked to come out and see for themselves, what the Grenadian-born King of Grip is really capable of!

Done by Ebony K. George-Charlery

Nuf failures on the prowl for power

By Stone Crusher

 

With all the confusion within the NDC, which was obvious from the time they admitted the gang man and his infidels into the party leading to the rapid departure of founding stalwarts, to the time when petty jealousy erupted between those who were obviously intent on committing wrongs within the government and the few who were intent on towing the PM’s line of accountability, transparency and good governance, one could never have expected the manifestation of hardness on the political ground for the opposition – since the NDC should have been done and finished! But that did not happen.

Regardless of the outcome of the upcoming polls, one thing Stone Crusher is totally satisfied about is that the splintered gang and the ‘frock ooman’s’ Nuf  #h*t are nowhere under consideration.

When the “all-in-one frock ooman” and she spark-plugless political father, not to mention the ‘dotish’ Herbert Squires reincarnated lawyer who speaks like he ate a scatter shot (all over the place not making any sense at all) appear on television, someone said they could hear the simultaneous clicks of televisions being turned off – fuss people mad at them for destabilising the government she (in particular) was elected to be part of.

No one must ever forget that this glorified secretary (who rightfully ought to have been an aide to the Cabinet serving refreshments, making photocopies and running errands between ministries) was integral to the original gang of four. It was she, the gang man himself, the box head casino man and the career drunkard who are responsible for the sabotage of NDC.

While they were making “mange puppot” thinking a particular way and feeling that they could have unseated Uncle Tilly, God was on the side of the righteous.  A communist will always be a communist. No amount of going to church on Sunday will change a communist.

The “frock ooman” did not understand the true intentions of the gang man. This only goes to show the shallowness of the glorified secretary who always like to talk about God, forgetting that not all who shout Lord, Lord, will enter his kingdom.

By now she and the other split-up gangsters (no pun intended) must realise that the kind of spiritual protection Uncle Tilly comes to the table with must be for a reason.  Stone Crusher is convinced that good will always triumph over evil.  Look at how the union clown disappeared from the scenes.  His intolerable nature has him like chopped liver to the majority of his constituents.

Stone Crusher has been reliably informed that workers in hot spots where their livelihoods are now on shifty soil don’t want to see him. He knows the truth about the matter and without anywhere to turn, he is now rendezvousing with the enemy in case they win.  What this guy does not know or fails to remember is that KCM is no fool.  With all his character flaws, no one can say he is not politically savvy. He will chew him up and very early he will spit him out violently so that he is crushed for life.  Stone Crusher is confident that he cannot match up to the strength of KCM.

The lawyer who turned against Stone in 2008 is trying to make his way back into the camp but KCM is too smart for him. He is getting him to do some dirty work against NDC but will not forget those things that he wrote about him during the last general elections. Let the lawyer man go down on his knees and beg and beg Stone for forgiveness.

Over the weekend, Stone Crusher was by a popular bar in the south when certain operatives close to the opposition NNP were discussing how fast the party has managed to regain their confidence, after thinking that their 2008 defeat could have kept them out for at least two and at most three terms.

They felt that that was enough time to rid themselves of their current leader, and to tidy up their act with a purge of Dumbrod, Bowen and Boatswain, bringing in new talents to take the party forward. Instead, they received a bonanza when the gang man and his infidels rattled the cage of the government putting them off track with their vision and mission for the country.

One of the operatives was quite clear that the acts of destabilisation worked well for the NNP and re-energised the leader.  In the same breath, the man mentioned that the NNP needs to be careful because of the arrogance of their leader because people in the party know that a lot of people are not in favour of a return of “him” at the helm of the country as its Prime Minister.

The man and the two other NNP’ities say that the man start behaving cocky as if he win the thing already. However, he sounded a warning to the maximum to remember that the same intelligent “un-decideds” who came out and threw him out in July 2008 are the same ones who are waiting to vote against him again.

At least some of the smart NNP people realise that the party’s biggest threat is their own leader since a large number of Grenadians do not want to see the Stone back in government. The fear factor worked against Eric Gairy after the Revo and will work against Stone in 2013.

Stone Crusher was amazed to learn through this NNP operative that his party is privately nervous about the likely outcome of the polls when even among their ranks so many people are dreaming of a very close 9–6 result in favour of Uncle Tilly and the NDC.

The chap went into detail to show his party’s scare stating that the current registration process, though very fair, does not favour them at all.

Stone Crusher gathered that even with most of the employees of the electoral system allegedly sympathetic to the NNP, the system is so full proof that they cannot tamper with it to influence any outcome to favour the NNP.

He admitted that the party can no longer get operatives in the Electoral Office to take names from Brizan and send them up to St. John’s to vote. In other words, he was saying that the NNP is not in a position in the 2013 elections to do any voter-padding.

In case some people forget, the NNP used to get their point man in New York to round up people, send their names down, get them registered and fly them in to vote on Election Day. This cannot happen under the new system since the person has to be on the ground to get registered. This will be a very fair and free election and the best since 1995.

The NNP cannot boast about doing a Forbes Burnham on the people of Grenada any more. The slogan used to be if we control power then no one can beat us. God gave them long rope and decided that it was time up in 2008.

This candid NNP operative who spilled his guts in speaking with close friends said that the party really expects a close race, which could preclude them from winning the following seats:

*St. Andrew North West,

*St. Andrew South East,

*St. Andrew South West,

*St. David,

*St. George South,

*St. George North East,

*St. John,

*St. Patrick East,

*Town of St. George

In the same breath he said the rest which include –

St. Mark, St. Patrick West, St. George South East,  St. George North West, St. Andrew North East, Carriacou  –   that the NNP is prepared to put bets on  only three since St. Andrew North East, St. Patrick West and St. George South East are too close to call.

Of course the NNP with all its access to campaign funds from the private sector suffers no inability to conduct their polls, the findings of which seem to be worrying to them. The NNP poll in 2008 had the party winning 14 of the 15 seats. Do you remember that poll – a few days before the elections?

When the campaign starts in the New Year, the picture will become much clearer as to who is man and who is little boy. Take NUF out of that because they are only spoilers in this race of big men. No room for little boys and the little girl that calls herself Interim President.

The people ain’t stupid. Many have said that the NDC would have been hard-pressed in 4-5 years to bring up all the ‘bubbul” and corruption of the NNP and its leader during his entire thirteen years in office.  Hard pressed because many would have said we heard them already in 2003 and 2008 and are not so interested again.

However, because of the NDC style of governance to leave the DPP and the Police alone to do their work, and not bring in any Jamaican legal hatchet man to harass citizens like the NNP did, the NNP leader feels he can venture into areas like opposing the sale of state assets by this administration to meet its monthly obligations to public servants especially.

His brazenness to venture there has opened the ball field for the NDC to take him apart with all his wrongs, which caused the state to be almost bankrupt today.  Who is Keith Mitchell to complain of the sale of national assets?  Just look at the dilapidated buildings the state managed to get the National Insurance Scheme to purchase – the Drill Yard, GBN/GIS old site on Scott Street, the old Electoral Office at Woolwich Road, St. James Hotel.

All of them are fire hazards. Come on KCM! Stop the stupidness. Is the NNP waiting to get into office and use the Tender board to sell these old buildings to their supporters? Government ought to count itself lucky that the NIS agreed to pay them for these after-Ivan eye sores when the same KCM was in office and did nothing about them with all the millions that passed through his administration’s hands in the early aftermath of Ivan.

The same way sane people in Grenada cannot believe NNP would address the sale of national assets when they did so much wrong to ours when they were in office, is the same way Stone Crusher heard Boatswain cannot believe the NDC could bring up all their wrong doings on their platforms.  Mr. Boatswain, you made them relevant once more.

While you are at it, could you explain your main fear of getting into office again in these challenging times when the formally inclined Minister of Finance would have sewn up things in a professional way, and your informal way of managing will not be able to stand the test of time?

Is your party vexed that if “all-you” come into office you are not likely to meet anything else to sell and so no corruption could govern the way NNP does business? What is it Mr. Boatswain?  What is it? But Tony, who tell you that KCM wants you in any Cabinet. The man remembers the way you behaved when he had the 8-7 government between 2003 and 2008.

And talking about KCM, many of us would like to know which of the many faces of Mitchell was talking when he addressed the sale of national assets?  After all this is the same man when he was asked about the Call Center deal – he jumped up out of his seat in the Parliament and said he was glad that his family were getting involved in business with the government and that the money will be paid back.

Another time when Dr. Francis Alexis appeared in a televised debate with Dr. Mitchell and NDC Leader Tillman Thomas in the 2003 election campaign and he raised the issue of his family and the Call Center – Dr. Mitchell denied that his family was involved in any Call Center Project with the government.  Which face was he speaking with then?  Was it Keith’s or Claudius’? KCM is a man with many faces.

To show how this man likes his family to get involved in business with the state – do you recall Emerging Technologies?  Our laws were changed to facilitate business between another member of Dr. Mitchell’s family and the Postal Corporation.

The Stone Crusher remembers the former Opposition Leader, Michael Baptiste making frequent mention of the Emerging Technology thing.

Imagine this man wants to now talk about the sale of national assets – when this decent administration is merely exchanging the assets with yet another state entity for hard cash to pay civil servants.

The Stone Crusher challenges anyone to name one local administration since independence which prostituted state assets as has been done under the NNP. Shame upon KCM and NNP. In last week’s issue of THE NEW TODAY, mention was made of NNP squandering EC$58.4 million in bad deals involving MNIB and the Garden Group of Hotels in the south.

Some people are predicting a terrible dry season in 2013.  Look at it this way – if the NNP had properly used the millions on the three desalination plants, we would not have one in Carriacou as a monument without a pint of water ever having passed through it, and one in the South which is a home for rats, roaches, centipedes and other rodents.

The only reason why the one in the South is not vandalised is because it does not have any copper tubing/wire in it for thieves to strip and sell to Trinidad.

There is a recycling business in the south and just now the old iron from the desalination plant at Woburn will soon be taken down and shipped overseas.

If NNP had only put those millions wasted on the ‘desal’ plants with the other millions thrown away in the Garden Group, Marketing Board, The Call Center, Levera, Poultry Farm in St. Mark, among others – this country would have absolutely no problems paying civil servants and possibly giving them a deserved increase today.

Today KCM wants to talk about investors and how he has them lined up to come in as soon as he wins. Have they all been released from jail yet?  Are new ones lining up to fly into Grenada because they know what will happen with NNP in office. It is possible that Eric Resteiner (the $US500, 000.00 briefcase provider) might be out of prison or in some half-way home waiting to be a free man.

It is unfortunate that the fly-by-night investors got caught and sent to jail for their illegal activities in Grenada but no one from the NNP who aided and abetted them did not end up in Richmond Hill prison.

People, do not forget Van Brink, Rita Ragale, Larry Barnabe, David Rowe, and the host of other degenerates who came in through the NNP open door policy to mash up Grenada’s good name.  Is this what Dr. Mitchell is referring to when he says that he is a changed man.

The Stone Crusher has to ask the question since KCM keeps asking for our forgiveness but is not telling us about his sins.

It would appear that every time these NNP people speak, they put their foot in their mouths.  Did you see their recycled PRO recently on television talking about BAICO pay out when he said that the NDC government should have been more proactive so that people could have gotten their money sooner.

The collapse of BAICO and British American should be blamed on NNP. They were the ones who appointed a man in the post of Supervisor of Insurance when he was already holding down a big and demanding job in the Ministry of Finance. How much money did the man collect for the two jobs. Did he do the work to see to it that BAICO complied with our laws or was he given a job because he had a big mortgage to pay?

When this administration put things in place to regulate the Insurance companies the same NNP voted against it in the Parliament.

It was also the same NNP who went against the ECCB’s advice to allow a former General Secretary of their party to open a bank and when the bank “buss” – poor people money got lost.  But poor people are the same people Dr. Mitchell says he is for continuously.  Is he saying so for their votes only?  How come he did not protect them from that illegal bank which “buss” with their money tied up in it?

These are the things which our people need to open their eyes to before voting and to choose properly for fear that Grenada becomes the failed state that NNP was taking us into prior to July 2008.

As a matter of fact, most of the CARICOM Prime Ministers would hate to see KCM walking with them on the big stage once again since this would remind them of Grenada’s ugly past under his watch.

 

Merle Byer: I make a pledge to you

Merle Joycelyn Byer – I will not tell you any lies

St. George’s businesswoman Bernadette Merle Joycelyn Byer has indicated that she is not seeking personal gains by entering the political arena.

Byer who was among four St. George’s-based Caretakers to be presented by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) during a public meeting in the south of the island last Sunday pledged not to rely on the public purse for her survival.

“This evening I make a pledge to you, my dear people, with the exception of one dollar I will donate the rest of my salary towards the general improvement or enhancement of South St. George,” she said.

Byer would be seeking to replace the current Member of Parliament Glynis Roberts as the Representative for the South.

Byer who managed Roberts’ campaign said five months ago if anyone had whispered to her that the political arena is in her future she would have said no.

Having had a dim view of politicians, she said circumstances and situations have caused her to reflect and re-examine of what politicians used to be and what they have now become.

The female Caretaker said after Roberts sudden resignation from the Cabinet of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, and having had numerous encouraging requests from ordinary concerned citizens of the country and some party members, she decided to put country before self and joined the political arena.

“I decided to do what I can do to help restore our nation to the days when all of its people had a sense of national pride and patriotism,” she said.

Byer promised to be honest to the people, and to put the views of her constituents first.

“I will not tell you any lies. I will not tell you only what you want to hear. I will tell you the truth as it is, even if it hurts,” she said.

The female Caretaker also used the occasion to project her stability in life.

As a widow she said she is the mother of three boys, and among them having given her five grand-children, and operates her own family business for the past 28 years.

“I know how to listen, how to take orders, how to execute them,” she said.

Byer said she is entering into service for the community and the nation, and together with her constituents they would do as much as is humanly possible and realistic.