COP Thompson assaulted

Commissioner Willan Thompson – allegedly accosted by a Junior Officer

Commissioner Willan Thompson – allegedly accosted by a Junior Officer

Commissioner of Police, Willan Thompson has confirmed reports that he was allegedly assaulted by one of the officers under his command during the recent Police Sports Day held at the Sir Roy St. John playing field at Tanteen, St. George’s.

The Commissioner has been at home for over three months ever since he was forced to take leave following the February 19 victory at the polls of the New National Party (NNP) of Dr. Keith Mitchell.

In his first encounter with Dr. Mitchell, the newly elected Prime Minister expressed concerns with Thompson’s leadership of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) and raised some specific issues including the COP’s failure to provide him with personal security as Leader of the Opposition.

In speaking to THE NEW TODAY newspaper on Monday, COP Thompson told this newspaper that he has sent in a written report on the incident to the man now acting as Commissioner, Winston James for him to deal with the matter.

He declined to give specific details about the confrontation since he would like to treat it as “sub-judice” in order to allow James to do his own investigation without prejudice.

However, he identified the police officer who accosted him two weeks ago at Tanteen as #526 Rickel Hosten who is attached to the Drug Squad.

Police sources told this newspaper that Hosten allegedly pointed his finger repeatedly and in a menacing manner in Thompson’s face.

No one could ascertain if there was any bodily contact between the Commissioner and the low-ranking officer.

In commenting on the incident, a senior Police Officer with over 30 years experience as a member of the force said that Thompson should have arrested Hosten on the spot.

“Mr. Thompson is still the Commissioner of Police and should be so treated by all police officers. It is wrong for anyone in the force to try and disrespect him. He (Thompson) should have arrested the man”, he remarked.

Commissioner Thompson identified #526 Hosten as someone who was brought before him in the past for disciplinary action on allegations of misbehaviour as a police officer.

He spoke of the officer being tried and found guilty by a senior member of the Police High Command for using insulting and filthy language to a top ranking officer.

According to COP Thompson, he was inclined to dismiss Hosten from the force but decided to give him a second chance based on representation made on his behalf by his divisional Head, Superintendent Roderiques James.

He said that initially he was not fully aware of the police officer who had approached him at the sports.

“It was after the incident that someone reminded me that the officer (Hosten) was brought before me sometime ago on a disciplinary charge. It was then that I remembered everything about him and the case”, he added.

Under the police regulations, the Commissioner of Police is empowered to bring internal disciplinary charges against members and institute punishment against those found guilty of an offense.

Commissioner Thompson said that he is looking forward to see how James would handle the Hosten matter.

WESTMORLAND TOPS CPEA

Fadia Fakhre topped the 2013 CPEA – “Honestly, I was very, very excited”

Fadia Fakhre topped the 2013 CPEA – “Honestly, I was very, very excited”

“Lots of hard work”.

Those were the words issued by eleven-year-old Fadia Fakhre, the top student in this year’s Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) examination, the replacement for the Common Entrance Exams as she reacted to the news on Monday about her success.

She is a student of Westmorland Junior School, which secured the top three positions in the exams that seeks to give automatic entry for primary school students into the secondary school system.

Fadia who copped the top position with 498 points spoke to THE NEW TODAY on Tuesday in an exclusive interview attributed her success to hard work by the teachers and her parents and lots of past papers and papers that the teachers put together.

“Honestly, I was very, very excited”, she told the paper, adding that she was surprised with her accomplishment even though she knew she worked hard and expected good results.

Zoei Alice Olivierre placed second - “I was almost crying, I couldn’t believe it”

Zoei Alice Olivierre placed second – “I was almost crying, I couldn’t believe it”

Fadia is also known for her outstanding achievements in tennis as a national player.

Her goal is to become a heart surgeon and encouraged students preparing for the 2014 exams to “stay focused, study a lot, get as much information as you can and keep up the good work.”

The second position in the exams went to Zoei Alice Olivierre (492) points and closely on her heels, two points less was Enya Kay Noel (490 points).

All three 11-year old students will continue their education at Westmorland Secondary when the new school year begins in September.

First Choice Junior secured the fourth and fifth positions in the examinations through eleven year olds Thabo Antoine (488) and Ayana Taylor (486).

According to Zoei, she was also surprised with the results but was excited with her position as the second top student on the island.

“I was almost crying, I couldn’t believe it”, she remarked. She said that despite her parents knowing the results before her, they were also extremely excited.

Enya Kay Noel placed third – “I just wanted to scream for joy”

Enya Kay Noel placed third – “I just wanted to scream for joy”

Zoei believes that her hard work and putting in extra studies were responsible for her success in the exams.

Her goal is to become a musician, and already has a distinction in piano under her belt.

Third place finisher, Enya whose mother is Supervisor of Westmoreland, Dr. Jane Noel, was greeted with the news by her mother who fought hard to contain her excitement and joy.

She told The New Today, “I was really, really happy. I just wanted to scream for joy.”

She believes that her success was due to the assistance from her parents, teachers and the hard work that was put into studying.

Enya who wants to become a Veterinarian encouraged students to study hard but mix it with other activities so that they do not ever get bored.

Westmorland entered 18 students in the exam and received 100% pass with eight students placing in the top 50 on the island.

Principal of the School, Victor Ashby held a ceremony with the students on Tuesday morning in which he congratulated them on their achievements and highlighted their accomplishments in the various subject areas in which several of them achieved perfect scores in a number of areas.

First Choice Junior student Thabo Antoine placed fourth

First Choice Junior student Thabo Antoine placed fourth

First Choice Junior top students were also surprised and excited with their accomplishments.

Thabo Antoine will move onto Presentation Brothers’ College and Ayana Taylor will attend St. Joseph’s Convent, St George.

A total of 15 students from the school sat the exam with a 100% pass of which three secured positions within the top 50.

Beacon Junior, which has created history in the past, settled for the sixth position with Christian Chow Chung scoring 484 points. He will continue his education at Beacon Secondary School.

Ali G. Noel of St Andrew’s R.C. also placed sixth with 484 points and will attend Presentation Brothers College in the new school year.

The CPEA exams was opened to all students who were eleven (11) but not yet fourteen (14) years of age on September 1, 2013.

A total of 1699 students were assigned to secondary schools.

The ministry explained that the 41 students who were not given places in secondary schools will be retained at the Grade 6 level in the primary schools and “will experience special ‘Diagnosis and Intervention’, leading to an individualised plan being developed for each child”.

In 2012, 1,722 students sat the CPEA, and all were assigned to a secondary school.

LIME moves to regain lost market share

Customers of LIME can now enjoy a new flat rate of $0.40 to call across networks as part of the telecommunication’s provider drive to regain market share that was lost to its competitor, Digicel.

In its quest to secure that lost market share, LIME’s Country Manager Angus Steele challenged his competitor to do likewise by reducing rates.

Steele admitted that when the company’s monopoly was broken in 2003, it recorded a lost in market share. LIME’s current market share is placed at forty-four percent.

According to the local LIME boss, some of the profits obtained by the telecommunications provider is used to support families, communities and events.

He said LIME is a technology company that is committed to moving and improving telecommunications in Grenada as part of national development.

“It is our intention to regain the market share lost, to regain the trust of our customers who still sit in the past to talk about what our rates were, to demonstrate to them now that we’re giving them the best rates, and it is our intention to let our customers know it is time to come back home,” he remarked.

Steele indicated that a request to the National Telecommunication Regulatory Centre (NTRC) to have rates reduced has not been forthcoming so his company has taken the bold step in starting the process.

He also described the $0.25 interconnection rate being too expensive.

“If the Regulators are not going to go forward in the market and do what they need to do in reducing the rates and offering the public the best rates, we are going to take the step,” he said.

The new $0.40 rate was unveiled before the media during a breakfast hosted by LIME on Monday at the Annex of the Grenada Trade Centre in Grand Anse, St. George’s.

Head of Consumer Sales at LIME, Loraine Mitchell disclosed that customers calling a third party mobile phone no longer have to worry about what the rate will be.

With the permanent offer of the new rate, LIME customers calling a LIME fixed line will now be paying $0.40, customers calling LIME to LIME will also pay $0.40, while customers calling LIME to third party mobiles will now pay the same $0.40.

Mitchell indicated that customers should no longer worry about whether they are making a call during the day, evenings or weekends. “It is $0.40 across the board, she said.

In addition, a customer making a call to any of LIME’s regional destination would be subjected to a flat rate of $0.65.

The mobile market in Grenada is placed at eighty-nine percent pre-paid, and eleven percent post-paid.

 

Terrorism (AMENDMENT ) Bill should be reviewed, says Alexis

Dr. Francis Alexis, QC – the Bill is  offensive

Dr. Francis Alexis, QC – the Bill is
offensive

The Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2013 should be reviewed because it seeks to give too much power to the State, at the expense of the liberty of the individual.

Dr. Francis Alexis draws attention to the part of the Bill which would put into law the clause which says that: ‘The Attorney General if he believes that an organisation is engaged in committing terrorist acts may by order- (a) add an organisation to the Fifth Schedule ; or (b) amend the Fifth Schedule in some other way .’

There are two objections here, Alexis points out. First, the clause needs to qualify the belief, which the Attorney General should have, as by saying that he might act if he ‘reasonably believes’ what is stated.

So too, Alexis adds, the Act cannot simply leave it to the Attorney General to amend the Fifth Schedule ‘in some other way’; the Act must spell out expressly what is the way in which he may do so.

Further, Alexis contends, the Bill should not enable the Court to make an order freezing a person’s property on application by the DPP ex parte, behind the back of the person concerned, without more.

The Bill should say that such an order may not be made unless the DPP satisfies the Court that there are reasonable grounds for concluding that the person cannot be reached or is avoiding the law.

On all such grounds the Bill is offensive, and should be overhauled, Alexis argues.

Grenada to host three ODI’s

Troy Garvey – come out in your numbers

Troy Garvey – come out in your numbers

Grenada has been given the green light to host three international cricket matches at the Grenada National Stadium.

The three One-Day International (ODI) Matches between West Indies A and Sri Lanka A takes place on June 23, 25 and 27.

Event Manager for the games Troy Garvey said the hosting of the games in Grenada is a continued effort by the Grenada Cricket association and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to have international cricket be returned to the Grenada national Stadium.

Garvey said they hope to have the matches be played at a very high standard as expected by the WICB and the International Cricket Committee.

He made an appeal to locals to come out in their numbers to enjoy the three ODI’s.

The Event Manager said an appeal has also gone out to the Ministry of Education to permit students to attend the matches.

Southern Pros Athletic Club Launched

Conrad Francis – initiated the formation of the club

Conrad Francis – initiated the formation of the club

An avenue has been provided for athletes who are no longer within the school system to be grouped in a sports club.

Southern Pros Sports Club which would encompass athletes in the St. George’s Parish was officially launched last week at the Grenada National Stadium.

Southern Pros Track and Field Club which now has 18 members was conceptualized in September 2010.

It is governed by an interim four-member committee. They are Conrad Francis who serves as President, Vice-President Jennifer Walters, Secretary/Treasurer Gennel Gill, and Ray Mitchell as Marketing Manager.

Walters said the club has accepted the challenge to guide the young athletes on a successful path in track and field.

Walters said Southern Pros is committed to providing an avenue for young athletes to train and develop to their fullest potential.

President of the Track and Field Coaches Denise Williams who graced the ceremony with her presence welcomed Southern Pros into the grouping of local athletic clubs.

Williams said it is nice to finally see coming from St. George’s an athletic club has emerged.

The athletic coach encouraged the parents to be the main support base of the athletes.

She indicated that the fact that a high level of performance is seen coming from the St. David’s Catholic Secondary School where she is the coach and a teacher, and also from the St. David’s Track Blazers Club is due to the involvement and support of the parents.

Williams also spoke of the need for the athletes to engage in their spiritual development as a means of developing the whole person.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Veda Bruno-Victor reiterated the call for the parental support.

Bruno-Victor said the role of the parent in a club is fundamental and extremely important.

She urged the parents to ensure that their children use some of the time for study purpose.

She said athletes must combine their academic performance with how they develop as an athlete.

“The parents role is to support the athletes in school and their club,” she said.

Beacon Insurance has embraced the club by providing sponsorship to the tune of $16,000.00.

Fresh elections are needed!!!

Vulgar, offensive and repugnant.

These are the words which THE NEW TODAY can only muster at this time to describe the charade which recently took place during the so-called elections that were held to appoint new Executive members to serve on the Grenada Olympics Association.

This newspaper has no choice but to give full support to the call made by former President of the local athletics association and member of the local Olympics body, George “Goaty” Robinson for fresh elections to be held to correct a very questionable act that took place at the last elections held on May 25.

A letter penned by Mr. Robinson to this effect is getting international airplay and putting Grenada once again in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

The likes of Royston La Hae, Veda Bruno, and Returning Officer, Victor Ashby et al must not be allowed to get away with the illegal and wrongful act that took place at the national stadium in the good name of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IOC supports fair play and no cheating by athletes at its competitions and the same should apply to executive members of IOC affiliates in holding their elections for office holders.

On February 19, 2013, the people of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique went to the polls in a national election which was free and fair and gave the nod to the New National Party (NNP) to replace the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to take charge of the government and to look after their affairs.

All candidates who took part in the elections had to file their nomination papers in accordance with the stipulated rules laid down in the People’s Representation Act.

This newspaper challenges Mr. Ashby, the Returning Officer, as well as Royston La Hae and Veda Bruno and the others to point to any section within the GOA Constitution that could have prevented Mr. Rae Roberts from challenging Mr. La Hae for the Presidency.

Where did Mr. Ashby get the authority from to bar the candidacy of Sen. Roberts on the grounds that his Nomination Papers were out of Order and did not meet the requirement of having the support of at least two of the sporting bodies affiliated to GOA?

THE NEW TODAY has looked at the Constitution of that national sporting body and no where can it find anything of the sort.

This is what the GOA Constitution states in respect of the holding of meetings of the body to elect a new executive.

 

Special Quadrennial General Meetings for Elections

 

1.1 There shall be a Special Quadrennial General Meeting called specifically for purpose of holding elections for officers to serve on the Executive Committee.

 

1.2 In attendance at this meeting shall be delegates nominated by affiliate National Associations for this purpose; members of the retiring Executive; members of the IOC; active or retired athletes in accordance with Article 6.3 of this Constitution; a Returning Officer and a Recording Secretary, both nominated by the Executive and approved by the Council.

 

1.3 The Notice and Agenda shall be served on members no later (than) one (1) month prior to the Special Quadrennial General Meeting.

 

1.4 Written nominations of prospective officers for election to the Executive must be received by the General Secretary no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the Special Quadrennial General Meeting.

 

1.5 The meeting shall be chaired by the Returning Officer who shall adhere to the following Agenda:

 

– Call to order

– Prayer

– Roll call

– Election of officers

– Installation of new Executive.

 

1.6 Copies of the minutes of the Special Quadrennial General Meeting shall be sent to the IOC. All documents must be certified as true copies by the President and Secretary of the Committee.

 

THE NEW TODAY calls on La Hae, Bruno and company to do the decent thing and refrain from sending any report to the IOC on the outcome of the charade that took place in electing new members to serve on the body.

As Mr. Robinson said there is need for new elections to correct a wrong and this newspaper goes further to state that this illegal act ought not to take place in the name of the IOC.

THE NEW TODAY calls on affiliated sporting organisations of the GOA to challenge the outcome of the elections in court and to allow for a judge to give a proper ruling on the legality of the procedures that were used in holding the elections.

Too many people in this country are only concerned with protecting their vested interests by seeking to maintain their stranglehold on organisations like GOA.

It is a known fact that some of the GOA executive members whenever they go out on IOC business are given VIP treatment that in some cases far supersede that which accorded to some Prime Ministers and Presidents in these small, poor and struggling Third World countries that they represent.

The GOA is no little, ordinary or poor sporting body but one that has a multi-million dollar budget comprised of funds from the IOC itself and monies given as donations from members of the private sector and others to conduct their business on behalf of our athletes.

Fresh elections are needed to bring some sanity to the GOA especially on issues such as integrity, morality, transparency and accountability.

World blood donor day

BDonor 1A call has been made for the establishment of a Mobile Blood Transport service in order to go out into the rural areas of the country to obtain greater quantities of blood for the island’s health needs.

The call was made by civil servant, Ann Dufont, the current Chairperson of a newly formed group known as “Friends of the Blood Bank Grenada Inc”, whose primary role is to donate blood to the St. George’s General Hospital.

The organisation held a ceremony last Friday at the National Stadium as the members joined countries worldwide in raising awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank and award voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life saving gift of blood.

In her address at the ceremony, Dufont said the main objective of the newly formed body is to promote the development of a national blood transfusion service based on voluntary non-remunerated donation of blood and to assist the hospitals on the island with blood procurement efforts.

She also said that another key role is to assist in providing the best environment for blood donors before, during and after the actual process of blood collection.

BDonor 2Some of the activities planned include a recruitment drive for new members, the holding of workshops as well as visits to schools and work places visit, and a Logo competition, which is scheduled for September in the new Academic School year.

Dufont told the gathering, “we also look forward to the day when we would be able to lobby with the Ministry of Health, so that, certain mechanisms would be in place for our donors who one day may not be able to be a donor anymore. Such persons should be able to get certain benefits from the hospital services”.

Digicel’ s Marketing Manager Kirk Seetahal represented his company, which played a major role in sponsoring last year’s Blood Donors event that was held at its head office at Point Salines to mark the worldwide celebration.

Seetahal spoke of being moved by the impressive turnout of people for the event and said, “We have to keep getting the word out in terms of education and awareness about blood donation because there are still a lot of things people don’t understand about voluntary donation”.

“Some people are still afraid of the process”, he told the gathering as he congratulated all the blood donors on their life-saving act of solidarity and pledged Digicel’s continued support of the Friends of the Blood bank.

Minister of Health, Clarice Modeste-Curwen told the gathering that Grenada needs more voluntary blood donors and she would like to grow the figure from 33% of all blood donors to 100%.

Certificates were presented to some of the blood donors of yesteryear like Evelyn Ross, Delano Gibbes, Lennard Hughes, Julien Rapier, George Rapier SR, Geoffrey Thompson, as well as current donors, Kenneth Moore, Jeffrey Byer and Thaddeus Frazer.

The Digicel sponsored Florida Steel Pan entertained the crowd at the World Blood Donor Day event that was held under the theme, “EVERY BLOOD DONATION IS A GIFT OF LIFE”.

Deportee prefers to stay in US jail rather than deportation

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden meet with Caribbean Heads of Governments in Trinidad and Tobago (photo compliments images.politico.com)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden meet with Caribbean Heads of Governments in Trinidad and Tobago (photo compliments images.politico.com)

A Grenadian deportee wants Grenada to forcefully lobby the U.S Government of President Barack Obama to put facilities in place to better prepare deportees with criminal records for integration with natives before sending back to the Caribbean.

Mark Anthony of St David visited the office of THE NEW TODAY last week Wednesday to voice his concerns about the U.S policy of just sending back to the Caribbean some of its nationals after serving time in American jails for engaging in criminal activities.

The 45-year old man complained that in most cases, the deportees have lived almost all their lives in the U.S and have great difficulties integrating in an unknown society.

According to Anthony, he was born in Grenada but migrated at the age of two

with his parents to live in the United States.

He said that having lived almost his entire life in the US, he ran afoul of the law for engaging in Illegal drugs, served four-and-a-half years imprisonment until his release in 2000 and his subsequent deportation.

The St David’s resident told The New Today that he was deported back to Grenada with very little and had to beg for accommodation from family members whom he only knew through long-distant contact.

In addition to both his parents remaining in the US, the deportee was separated from his two teenage daughters who were also temporarily displaced from their home with their mother, as the bills were not paid following his arrest and jail sentence.

Anthony said that since his return to Grenada, he has been forced to beg for accommodation at family members who are ashamed of him due to his past and no longer want to be affiliated with him due to the stigma attached with being a deportee.

He also pointed out that his attempts to seek gainful employment resulted in him being taken advantage of by some employers.

He spoke of at times being subjected to receiving little and sometime no pay after completing a job and sometime being forced by some big business owners to do their dirty work.

“I already did my time, but I would have preferred to remain imprisoned in the US rather than be deported here,” Anthony told this newspaper.

He charged that being in Grenada makes him feel that he is serving another prison sentence as the stigma attached to being labeled a deportee makes it impossible for him to be gainfully employed and with very little contact with his children.

The St. David’s man stated that as a result of the hardships faced due to his plight, he was forced to return to selling drugs, which resulted in him being arrested and charged by the local police.

He said that he was found guilty by a law court which imposed fine on him but to date he has not been able to do so.

Anthony is hopeful that Grenadians would become more educated on the issue of deportation from the U.S after running afoul of the law.

He expressed a willingness to be part of an organisation in Grenada that would seek to deal with issues facing deportees and helping to change the mentality of locals on the issue.

The deportee stressed that he wants to do the right thing and refrain from engaging in illegal activities to survive but is now mentally drained without getting the necessary family or government support.

Grenada Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell raised the issue of deportees earlier this month when the US Vice-President, Joe Biden, visited Trinidad and Tobago for discussions with Caribbean Heads of Government.

Dr. Mitchell, a former U.S citizen himself, informed Biden that the region “cannot continue to have more lip service” from Washington on the critical issue of just deporting these people without preparing them for a life in their new environment.

One of the requests made of the US Government is for the medical, and criminal records of deported criminals to be supplied to the country to which they are being returned.

The regional leaders explained to Biden that many of the deportees had left their places of birth as infants and therefore had spent most of their lives in the U.S. and hardly know anything about the countries to which they were being returned.

The leaders are concerned that with little or no family connections, some deportees can once again easily become involved in criminal activity.

 

Burke: NNP is not in a position to deliver

 Kenny Lalsingh “we would have aborted the last government's child”

Kenny Lalsingh “we would have aborted the last government’s child”

The sitting of the Senate last Friday ended with laughter as former Finance Minister Nazim Burke and Leader of Government Business, Kenny Lalsingh clashed bitterly on the issue of party abortion.

Abortion, an act that is illegal on the country’s law books, was repeatedly used by Senators representing both the governing New National Party (NNP) and main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in making reference to the first 100 days in office of the Keith Mitchell-led administration.

The debate on the Adjournment of the Sitting kicked off with Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Ministry with responsibility for Information, Senator Winston Garraway, informing the House that the NNP has not been walking on “velvet” since taking office following the February 19 General Election.

He explained that since taking charge of the nation’s affairs, the NNP has paid out millions of dollars in outstanding debts including more than $10 million to get the controversial Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) Feeder Road Project back after the company packed up its equipment and shipped them out of the country under the NDC watch.

Sen. Garraway announced that $3 million was paid to the Kuwait Fund, $5 million in arrears to CCC and $1.2 million to DIWI Consultant to ensure that the second phase of the Agricultural Feeder Road Project began.

He said that a further $6.5 million was paid to the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the financiers for the Greater Grenville Project, to avoid the institution being further downgraded, while $3.6 million was paid to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and US$500,000.00 was paid to the World Bank every month after receiving a “stinging letter” of warning from the financial institution.

“It (hasn’t) been a bed of roses, not walking on velvet all the time, but the government … is experienced and mindful of what needs to be done … the platform has been laid, and the plane is about to take off, higher and higher, that’s what we want to do for this country”, Sen. Garraway told the Senate meeting.

In his response to the statements, Sen. Burke asked a favour of President of the Senate, Lawrence Joseph.

“Mr. President I would want to ask the Honourable Senator (Garraway), when the plane take off please remember us on the ground, throw some crumbs for us”.

The former Finance Minister under the 2008-2013 Congress government urged the NNP administration to refrain from giving the Grenadian people a false sense of hope.

In making specific reference to the Mitchell government’s first 100 days in office, Sen. Burke said that the boastings of the NNP administration about its achievements are quite laughable and not the way to go.

The debate descended into humour after the Number Two Man in Congress accused the NNP of being pregnant after the General Election but terminated the pregnancy on May 30.

“We went into the election, we came out of the election pregnant with hope and pregnant with expectation, all what has happened is that on the 30th of May, Grenada had an abortion”, he told the Senate.

“You (NNP) can’t deliver anything; you had an abortion that’s really what happened. …You see, you can’t give birth to no baby because you have nothing to give, you had an abortion on the 30th of May, so don’t come and tell the nation you delivering and you delivering and delivering and everybody could see your belly flat. What you delivering?” Burke asked.

In response to Burke’s stinging criticisms of the NNP-led government and its 100 days achievements, Sen. Lalsingh accused the former Finance Minister and his Congress government that was headed by former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas for being responsible for moving the country’s debt from $1.7 in 2008 to $2.3 billion in 2012.

Lalsingh said the new NNP government since taking up office in February has been paying several outstanding debts left unattended for the past four years by Congress.

“If there was an abortion, probably that might be true, we would have aborted the last government’s child, because this child was pregnant with debt and all kinds of foolishness happening so we had to abort the child”, he added.

“We have to bring good children into this world, we can’t continue with children with poverty, bad pay … all kinds of stigma attached, we cannot continue with that, we have to come with something proper,” he said.

During an earlier stint in office, Prime Minister Mitchell was often accused of embarking on a spending spree by taking the national debt from EC$373 million in mid-June 1995 to a staggering EC$1.7 billion by July 2008 when he was voted out of office.

A number of questionable loans and government guarantees that were often pointed at the then former Prime Minister involved an estimated $75 million to failed projects like the Garden Group of small hotels in the south of the island, the Call Centre involving family members, and the MNIB fiasco in the Lagoon road area of St. George’s.

According to Sen. Lalsingh, while the NNP government had been able to achieve several accomplishments within the first 100 days in office such as the return of CCC, one of its biggest challenges is the country’s debt situation.

He conceded that it is an unprecedented challenge to get the Grenadian economy on a path of high and sustainable growth in the shortest time but his administration is determined to turn the country around so that a sustained economy can be developed.

“It has been a very embarrassing situation. Every time a Minister attend(s) a meeting they (are) told well, Grenada is at the top of the list as it relates to your contribution, and because we were at the top of the list in default, Grenada is unable to get any kind of support whatsoever,” he said.

Prime Minister Mitchell has announced plans to approach creditors to do a comprehensive restructuring of the island’s debts following Grenada’s failure in March to make a payment of EC$19 million to some major foreign bondholders.