Lawyer Calls on Humphrey to Resign as Senate President

Female Attorney-at-law Claudette Joseph has called on trade union leader, Chester Humphrey to do the decent and honourable thing and resign as President of the Senate.

Joseph made the charge in light of the two hats being wore by Sen. Humphrey in the saga involving workers at the state-run Grenada Postal corporation (GPC) who are facing retrenchment under the current Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government.

She said there will come a time when the trade unionist who heads the powerful Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU) will have to take a side either on behalf of the workers or his role as President of the Senate.

The attorney-at-law questioned why Humphrey is not understanding that he “can’t be President of the Senate and an active trade union leader at the same time” because it is a clear case of conflict of interest.

THE NEW TODAY publishes in its entirety the position of Attorney-at-law Claudette Joseph on the Chester Humphrey dilemma:

Sen. Chester Humphrey – called upon to resign from the top post in the Upper house

Sen. Chester Humphrey – called upon to resign from the top post in the Upper house

The Parliament is the highest institution in our land and next to the Constitution, the most significant symbol of our democracy. The Parliament consists of two Chambers: the House of Representatives (lower house) and the Senate (upper house). You are the President of the Senate. That means by well established Convention, you are the number three man in Grenada behind the Governor General and the Prime Minister. In fact, until your appointment, the Convention was that in the absence of the Governor General, the President of the Senate would act as Head of State.

The Postal Corporation is a statutory body, i.e., a creature of statute passed in the Parliament of Grenada, that statute being the Grenada Postal Corporation Act, Chapter 130G of the 2010 Revised Laws of Grenada. Any restructuring of the nature and construct of the Postal Corporation is almost certainly going to involve some kind of amendment to that Act. As President of the Senate, you will have to oversee that process.

You are required as President of the Senate to be utterly impartial and to faithfully execute the functions of your office without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. In other words, in the office of President of the Senate, you must NEVER find yourself in a position of conflict of interest.

Conflict of interest involves among other things, a situation where a person has a duty to more than one persons or organisations whose interests are in reality or perceived to be adverse to each other. A person who has a conflict of interest is in fact or is perceived to be unable to impartially carry out his duty to the two conflicting interests.

Attorney-at-law Claudette Joseph – sees conflict of interest

Attorney-at-law Claudette Joseph – sees conflict of interest

Viewing the GBN Television News last evening, I became irate when I saw the story dealing with the Government proposed changes to the Grenada Postal Corporation. There was our esteemed President of the Senate, wearing his trade unionist hat, lambasting the Board of Directors of the Postal Corporation, calling for their removal or resignation because he is unhappy with the apparent decision to retrench some 130 workers at the Corporation. Of course, these workers are unionised with his union, TAWU.

Now, first of all, why is it so hard for you to understand that you can’t be President of the Senate and an active trade union leader at the same time? That puts you in conflict, actual or perceived. Senator Humphrey Sir, you have to choose. It is as simple as that!

If the Government proceeds to amend the Postal Corporation Act to make provision for the proposed changes to that body, what would be your stance in the Parliament if the proposed amendments do not make provision for the workers in a manner that you think they should or at all? Whose interest would take precedence then, the people of Grenada or your union members?

Looking at the news report, I couldn’t help but notice that the reporter doing the piece didn’t even make the connection between the ranting trade unionist and the high and esteemed office that the same gentleman occupies. I remember when Mrs. Margaret Neckles was made President of the Senate in 1990, she was then a mere employee at Grenada Cablevision (now FLOW). She didn’t immediately resign her position there.

The late Leslie Pierre immediately jumped on that. He published an article in his Newspaper calling on her to immediately give up either her job or the Senate appointment. He argued, quite properly, that even a job as disconnected as hers appeared, could land her in a position of conflict. Mrs. Neckles had to resign from CableVision. Where are our journalists now? It seems like we have absolutely no replacements for the late Alister Hughes and Leslie Pierre. What an absolute shame!

I watched the news and I wondered, what is wrong with us? Isn’t there something instinctively wrong with this picture or is something wrong with me? Isn’t this demeaning our Parliament and the office of President of the Senate?

Please people, give me your feedback. Tell me if I am wrong. Otherwise, I beg you, start waking up and speaking up. This is about country. Our country. Not party politics or politicians. For the sake of the country, please let us stop allowing these things to slide. Let us stop settling for impropriety and mediocrity. One day we will wake up and it will be too late!

The million dollar question!!!

Grenada is far from being out of the woods financially.

THE NEW TODAY is making this pronouncement in light of statements made by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Keith Mitchell at a recent meeting of the so-called Group of Social Partners that was set up to meet on a monthly basis to review the performance of the island’s economy under the Structural Adjustment Programme.

This newspaper understands that Father Sean Doggert of the Roman Catholic Church, who is a member of the committee, asked the Prime Minister whether government had started to make payments on the outstanding millions of dollars owed to the international creditors.

The Prime Minister indicated that no agreement was signed as yet and he expected it to be done in a month or thereabout because of a few hiccups on mainly legal issues.

It was earlier announced by government that as part of the deal worked out with the Washington-based International Monetary Fund, an agreement was struck to start making payments to the creditors from the first half of next year..

What was not said then and even up to now is where will the money come from to fulfill these obligations with the international creditors who were very reluctant in the first place to agree to a “hair cut” on the repayments of millions in outstanding loans?

As far as this newspaper is concerned this is the key question that ought to be addressed by government in light of the already burdensome taxes placed on the backs of the people of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique as part of SAP.

How does the government intend to raise the additional millions to meet its debt obligations to these creditors? Are we in for a new barrage of taxes on the backs of the workers of the country?

It is also our view that government’s ability to honour the repayment of the millions due to the creditors would have some bearing on the date to be set for the holding of the next general elections.

The current Prime Minister and Minister of Finance is the one who contracted if not all but the vast majority of the commercial debts of Grenada during the earlier 13 year period in government of his New National Party (NNP).

The millions were borrowed to make payment on the EC$180 million plus that were contracted for the first national stadium which was a financial disaster for the country, as well as some other debts.

The NNP lost the 2008 general elections and it was left to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Tillman Thomas and his Finance Minister Nazim Burke to grapple with the repayment of these commercial loans that were borrowed at the very high interest rates of around 9%.

The arrangement with the creditors called for payments of close to EC$19 million to be paid every six months on the huge and unfortunate loans that Grenada took from the international creditors.

Congress found difficulty in making the first payment in February/March 2012 and civil servants were paid their salaries late. Another payment to the creditors was due in August/September 2012 and again Civil Servants did not get their salaries on time.

It is extremely difficult for an economy the size of Grenada to find $20 million dollars in the first half of any given month and within a ten day window soon after come up with another $30 million to pay salaries and do the other things that a government is duty bound to do like meeting medical expenses, upkeep of the prison among others.

Congress did a very poor public relations job of explaining this predicament to the people because of its pre-occupation with the split among its ranks as a group of dissidents led by ex-Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter David who is now part of the NNP set-up was battling for political leadership.

One of the first acts of Dr. Mitchell when he took office following the February 2013 general elections was to default on the payments of millions to the same international creditors because Grenada did not have the monies to fulfill its obligations.

However, as past of the SAP deal with the IMF, the country is coming around full circle in terms of having to face the creditors and the ball is now in the hands of the NNP administration to make good on the promises.

But the million dollar question is this: Where are the additional millions coming from to pay the creditors once an agreement is signed? If the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance can make the payments then that will be good news for the country.

However, if something happens and payments cannot be made then Grenada will once again be back to square one in which the NNP administration will find itself in the same predicament as Tillman Thomas, Nazim Burke and Congress back in 2012.

The Prime Minister and the virtually defacto Minister of Finance, who happens to be PS in the Ministry of Finance, Timothy Antoine need to inform the country about the source of funds to make these huge payments to the international creditors beginning in 2016.

Already, there are reports circulating in the country that most of the monies picked up from the sale of Grenadian passports primarily to Chinese nationals are being diverted through the state-owned NAWASA to do the infrastructure work at the so-called Silver Sands project on the Grand Anse beach.

This newspaper calls on PM Mitchell to give an account to Parliament and the people of Grenada on the status of the funds received from the sale of our passports and the source of funds to make good with the international creditors.

No retrenchment without severance payment

“Tell Oliver (Joseph, the Minister of Economic Development) we want we money”, “It’s home we going and we want we money and we want it now”.

Those were some of the chants coming from workers of the Grenada Postal Corporation (GPC) as they protested outside their head office at Burns Point on Monday morning in the wake of plans to retrench over 100 of them.

The workers came out dressed in their Union T Shirts, with placards and banners and accompanied by officials of the Grenada Technical and Allied and Workers Union (GTAWU) and the Public Workers Union (PWU).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOver 130 GPC workers are facing retrenchment by September 30 as the loss-making state-owned body continues to grapple with a Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) initiated by the Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) administration.

During the protest action on Monday, the two Unions  indicated that retrenchment will not be part of the discussion at the moment unless the authorities address a number of burning issues.

1st Vice President of GTAWU, Andre Lewis and President of PWU, Adrian Francis, indicated that they are seeking resolution in matters of increments, pension and salary increases due to workers.

According to Lewis, the protest action relates to the outstanding issues and not retrenchment.

“This is an initial show of public protest over the failure of the authorities to address a number of outstanding matters – certainly increments for workers who are due”, he said.

“The question of salary increase, that has not been addressed for a while now, the question of pension has been outstanding for quite a while now, the Corporation has agreed to pension and for a number of years they have not made any contribution towards that, so we want these matters addressed and we need them to be addressed urgently,” he added.

In June, GPC wrote to TAWU and PWU notifying that several workers will be retrenched in three months.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe union officials confirmed that a meeting was held to facilitate discussions between the Postal Corporation and the Union but government has not given any plausible reasons for possible retrenchment.

Lewis is adamant that retrenchment will not be discussed unless the workers are given what is due to them like severance payments.

“As far as we are concerned there is no issue of retrenchment until all of these matters have been dealt with. So in our mindset the Government and the IMF have nothing to do with us – they can have their own plans, there would not be any discussions on retrenchment unless these matters that I’ve identified here have been addressed”, he told reporters.

“…So we are here (protesting) simply for our pension issue to resolve, our salary increases to be addressed and the outstanding increment matters to be addressed,” he said.

When asked what could be the reason for Government’s delay in making the payments, Lewis’ said: “(I) just think that they’re inept, just as usual, I mean it’s Government, what do you expect?”

President of the PWU, Adrian Francis feared that too many persons would be affected if the authorities do not address these matters of increments. “There is no plan, now if you haven’t addressed the problem with the increases, the increment and the pension…we are saying to the Government address these issues before you come to that date (September 30) but a lot of things have to take place before”, he said.

“The workers are in a quandary, they don’t know who will be staying, who will be going and this sort of uncertainty is not good for the workers here. Productivity has dropped, the Postal Corporation recognises that their workers are in limbo,” he told THE NEW TODAY.

The Unions indicated that the protest action which was also held in Grenville was going to be one day in the first instance as they seek an immediate resolution of the outstanding issues.

The unions sent a letter dated August 14, to the head of the Board of Directors of the Postal Corporation, Veda Bruno-Victor, which was signed by both Presidents Adrian Francis and Chester Humphrey to warn of the consequences of the impending retrenchment on the livelihoods of the workers.

The letter reads in part: “Madam Chairman, it is important to bear in mind that the subject at hand is the termination of employment of over 130 workers occurring in an economy where there are little or no prospect for employment, and where the majority of employees are women.

“…There may be no need to detail the socio-cultural impact of this unfortunate development as it is well known that $10.00 of a woman’s salary positively affects the family more than ten times of its value, conversely, the loss of salary of a woman has a concomitant negative-effect on the family”.

KB annoyed over sand mining

Kennedy Budhlall – a one-time army officer who was jailed by his own revolutionary comrades

Kennedy Budhlall – a one-time army officer who was jailed by his own revolutionary comrades

Political activist, Kennedy Budhlall, who is once more associated with the ruling New National Party (NNP) has accused the Eastern Division of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) now under the command of Superintendent of Police, Godfrey Fleming, of not taking measures to curb sand mining in the Tivoli, St. Andrew’s area.

Budhlall who is commonly called KB, appeared on a radio morning programme last week Friday to urge the police to take a more hardline approach to curb an alleged increase on sand mining in the country.

He said that Agriculture Minister Roland Bhola who resides at Tivoli informed him that he was seeing on a regular basis truckloads of sand coming from the beach where he lives.

“He (Bhola) tell me he (is) seeing it. He tell me KB, I seeing the trucks pass in front my door most time,” he added.

Budhlall said that Bhola indicated to him that he has consistently been bringing up the sand mining problem at the highest level and it is now in the hands of the police to do their work.

The former Army Officer in the disbanded People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA) of the ill-fated 1979-1983 Grenada Revolutionary of late Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, said the Revolutionary leaders would have moved swiftly to stop sand mining.

“If it was the Revolution, I bet you we (would have) stopped it, we putting all those Militia on the beach,” he remarked.

According to Budhlall, sand mining has already badly affected the beaches in the northern section of the country.

“You’re talking about the whole beach being mashed up, from La Potrie to Pearls (St. Andrew’s),” he said.

Two months ago, police arrested and charged Jennie Samuel, a businesswoman of Conference, St. Andrew’s with unlawful possession of sand.

The construction aggregate was reportedly found stockpiled at the home of the 43 year-old Samuel on June 22.

Section 2 of the Beach Protection Act, Chapter 29 of Volume 2 of the 2010 Continuous Revised Laws of Grenada prohibits the removal of sand from the seashore.

Budhlall, who is the Assistant Manager of the Grenville Market, has also called for fish vendors in Grenville, St. Andrew’s whom he said have abandoned the fish market to sell their fish on the roadside to be stopped in their tracks.

He said it is an unsanitary practice to see the fish being cleaned “almost in the gutter.”

“I don’t know why the authorities (are) taking that long to fix this thing because we sell fish over $35, $40M to Europe every year,” he told the programme host.

Budhlall fears that if the European market is lost because of bad hygienic practices in Grenada it will affect over five thousand families who depend on the fishing industry.

He said he cannot understand why the authorities are so slow in moving those fish vendors from the roadside and have them return to the sea coast where they were previously located.

Budhlall said he has already shared his concern with an official at the Fisheries Division in St. George’s encouraging him to bring the issue to the attention of his Division, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Works, and the Police Force with the hope of having the place cleaned up.

“Is either you surrender to a handful of delinquent (people) and go along with the place to continue in a state of anarchy,” he added.

Police officer seen kicking out at woman

The Communication Relation Department (CRD) of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has confirmed that an investigation has been launched into what can be described as inappropriate actions taken by a police officer against a female reveler during the Sauteurs, St. Patrick’s J’ouvert celebrations last week Tuesday.

An approximately 5 seconds long video went viral on social media during the course of last week on the incident.

Viewers could see what appears to be a fully uniformed officer pushing and kicking a woman in the crowd.

Eyewitnesses told this newspaper that the altercation, which led to the police officer, receiving a hot slap in his face, occurred after the young lady proceeded to dance on him while he was on duty.

This newspaper understands that the woman involved and the police officer in question are from the village in St. Patrick and are often involved in small arguments.

Speaking with THE NEW TODAY last week Thursday, Head of CRD, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvan Mc Intyre, acknowledged that some members of the Force have seen the video.

Without revealing any personal information about the police officer, ASP Mc Intyre confirmed that an investigation into the incident is currently taking place.

THE NEW TODAY understands the police officer is assigned to the Grenville Police Station.

Andre Garvey retains Band of the Year title

AGarvey“We have won again. We would like to say a very special thank you to all our masqueraders who have been a part of the process to bring victory.”

That was the declaration made by Troy Garvey, Public Relations Officer with the 2015 Band of the Year, Andre Garvey and Associates when he was approached by THE NEW TODAY newspaper.

“We must also say a special thank you to all our sponsors and all who would have contributed directly and indirectly to the 2015 presentation and portrayal,” he said.

With an exquisite portrayal of the 2015 theme, “Drink In,” the 8-section mas band from the Carenage retained the Band of the Year title for the 3rd consecutive year scoring a total of 1591 points.

The PRO heaped praise on the masqueraders who helped to bring home the coveted title for the mas band.

“Our interest is that for our masqueraders, the persons who bring the whole concept alive – that they are satisfied that they are a part of what we are trying to do and we are in fact elated and at this point”, he said.

“We just want to tell them thank you very much for being a part of the family and being able to roll out a portrayal the way we intended it to be,” he added.

Andre Garvey and Associates have been presenting mas on the roads for more than 20 years.

This year’s portrayal was carefully selected from some of the well-known cocktails including “Blue Lagoon”, “Campari Orange”, “Rum and Coke,” “Mojito”, “Rum Punch”, “Sex on the beach” and “Vodka orange”.

St Paul’s-based, Commancheros & Associates placed 2nd with 1583 followed by Helen Marie & Associates in 3rd position with 1497 points.

AGarvey 1Andre Garvey and Associates and Commancheros & Associates mas bands tied for the 1st position in the Pageant category on 274 points with Helen Marie & Associates following in 3rd with 262 points.

Andre Garvey & Associates topped the Parade of the Bands category with 800 points, 29 points ahead of Commancheros & Associates (771) in 2nd, and Helen Marie & Associates 3rd on 699.

The 2015 King of the band title went RKD & Associates, which amassed a total of 277 points.
Helen Marie & Associates placed 2nd on 275 points, while Commancheros & Associates came in 3rd with 263 points.

The 2015 Queen of the band title was won by Commancheros & Associates, which also won the title last year.

The St. Paul’s band amassed a total of 271 points, and was followed closely in 2nd position by Andre Garvey & Associates on 266 points with RKD & Associates finishing 3rd on 265 points.

In the Ole mas category, Glenroy Steele won with his portrayal of “White in the Moonlight” while AJ and Associates copped the first spot in the individual category with a portrayal of “Faces of Life,”.

House of Justice placed 1st in the Shortknee category and the Telescope Apache  placed 1st in the Wild Indian category.

Carib won the Monday night category, followed by Guinness in 2nd and Amazing Colours in 3rd.

The Grenada Breweries won the J’ouvert, followed by “J’ouvert ova dose”  in 2nd and Digicel in 3rd.

The Lucozade King of the Road March went to Synnah with his “Jab on Sesame Street”, which, according to the judges, played the most this carnival season.

Waggy T protests damage to stadium ground

The square in front of the National Stadium at Queen's Park was left in a deplorable condition  (Photo courtesy Chenny Joseph)

The square in front of the National Stadium at Queen’s Park was left in a deplorable condition (Photo courtesy Chenny Joseph)

Local promoter and small businessman, Wayne “Waggy T” Redhead, is upset over the damage that was done to a section of the grounds at the Grenada National Stadium during the Groovy and SMC Power Soca Monarch competition on August 7.

Patrons who opted to remain on the grounds during the duration of the show that ended just after 6:00 a.m. the following morning stayed there despite the consistent showers, trampling through the mud as they reveled and leaving the grounds in a terrible state.

“I am mad, I (am) really vex,” was the response of Redhead when he spoke to The New Today Newspaper.

Redhead, who visited the stadium and saw first hand the damage to the playing area, felt that it could have been avoided.

He recalled that last year he brought into the country some rubber flooring that could be used on grass surface to avoid damage to the field.

He said it cost him EC$35,000 to have the flooring brought into Grenada out of New York.

The flooring that could be placed down on grass surfaces was used during last year’s carnival season to help protect the grounds since Grenada was preparing to host a One-Day International Cricket Match between Bangladesh and West Indies days after the Carnival activities at the stadium.

According to Waggy T, the makeshift flooring was tested for 21 days without any damage being done to the grass hence the reason why the cricket match was able to be successfully played on August 20, 2014.

Redhead said he is baffled as to why none of the flooring that is sitting at his warehouse in Frequente, St. George’s, was used this carnival season.

He said he contacted the National Stadium Authority to remind them of the availability of the flooring, but no one expressed interest in having it used.

“I called them (the National Stadium Authority) about it (the use of the flooring), they said yes it is on the contract that the people (show promoters) must use it, but nobody called me about it and watch at the state of the stadium,” he remarked.

“If they had the flooring that would have never happened because the flooring protects the grass…. If they had used the flooring the damage would not have been like that because the flooring is specially designed to protect the tuff,” he said.

According to the small businessman, makeshift flooring is used at international stadia to protect the field.

While not wanting to point fingers at who should be blamed for the damage to the field, Redhead said the National Stadium Authority should make sure that people use the protective flooring when they rent the stadium.

He voiced concern over the upcoming women’s cricket games that begin on October 22 between West Indies and Pakistan, and the football match between Grenada and Haiti which is scheduled for September 4 at the stadium.

The football match is the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier for Russia.

Grenadian making her name in music on the international stage

Apart from Soca, Grenada may just have an international music ambassador in Pop/Dancehall in 23-year old Zhavier, an American with very strong roots in Grenada.

Pop/Dancehall Artiste Zhavier

Pop/Dancehall Artiste Zhavier

The Pop/Dancehall artiste visited the Spice Isle for the Carnival season as she felt it was time she knew where she came from and also to get a firsthand experience of Spicemas.

“I am here for promo reasons and also I just had to come here, my mother is from here and I had to just see where mom from. Also, I had to come during Carnival so I can experience that because I’ve only experienced Carnival in New York and I know it’s way better here and I am excited to be here and experience that for the first time,” she said.

The young talent, whose mother is a Grenadian, has been in the music business for over three years and is hoping to gain much success and to represent Grenada and, by extension, the Caribbean as best as she can.

One of her biggest songs, “Gimme that love” was collaborated with Dancehall artiste, Jamaican Beenie Man who was also in Grenada recently for one of the Spicemas shows.

Zhavier spoke with The New Today Newspaper about her journey as an upcoming artiste, “I have been doing it for about four years and I first started out as doing R&B/Pop music and I decided back in 2013 that I wanted to kind of incorporate Dancehall music because I am West Indian and I wanted more of a different unique sound so I decided to put those influences into my music”, she said.

“…Last summer I did a collaboration with Beenie Man, I recorded it in Los Angeles where I live and we wanted to get an artiste on it and we were kinda thinking who should we put on it and then we thought Beenie Man and so I went out to Jamaica for the first time last summer. We met up with Beenie Man and he got on the song, we did the video and now it’s you know number one,” she added.

According to Zhavier, the song has been number 1 in Jamaica and on Tempo for a number of weeks during the summer.

Her new single called “Johnny” was released a few weeks ago and she explains the details of the songs: “As you know sometimes when you go out on a date, there is a kind of a guy who kind of cheap and doesn’t want to pay for your bill. He is the one that you’re wanting, he is everything you wanted but at the same time it’s a cute guy and you don’t know what to do because you still love him…”.

She said the chorus is saying even though the guy is broke “(I) still want him and even though he can’t give me everything I want, I still love him”.

Zhavier stated that she has been receiving heavy support from the Caribbean and it is a driving force as she envisions greater success for herself.

“I just want to make it big and just be everywhere from the West Indies to America, the UK, just wanted to spread and keep my music worldwide,” she said.

Jhadel Perry, mother and also Manager to Zhavier, spoke to The New Today newspaper saying that she never expected Zhavier to go this far but attributes it all to her hard work.

“It’s a little breathtaking because she went from performing in small venues but she went from those to doing major concerts. It is a steady progress and then having the number one song with Beenie Man in Jamaica for 29 or 30 weeks and in the Caribbean it has been number one for four weeks.

“It’s just overwhelming you know, she is getting a lot of love all over the Caribbean, a lot of fans, so hopefully she can set her marks in Grenada.
Perry said she sees really big things for her daughter as she puts her everything into what she does.

“She is a full on performer…when she performs it’s more like a show with dancers and the costumes so we see in the future that if things continue progressing the way it is, we’re seeing and people are saying she is going to be the next big thing coming out of the Caribbean and it will be really great to have an artiste you know that can get to that caliber coming out of Grenada because we don’t have that.

“…The thing about Zhavier is that her music is clean, she has a lot of little kids that are fans and can listen to her music without their parents going, “oh my God”. She has sexy music but it’s not vulgar which you know a lot of the music nowadays seems to be gravitating towards being vulgar.

“…We want to keep her on that track where she can be a role model to little kids, teenagers, people to show them you can still make good music, you can still succeed. So we’re hoping that with this steady progress that she can really pave the way in the industry and be a name that people in Grenada can say, “hey, she is one of us,”.

TATEMENT ON BEHALF OF MR. GEORGES COHEN IN RESPONSE TO ARTICLE “THE DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT BUSINESS” PUBLISHED IN “THE NEW TODAY” ON 31st. JULY, 2015

Since the publication of this article in “The New Today” and its website, I have been asked by several friends in Grenada and overseas whether there is any truth in the potentially defamatory allegations made against me therein. My answer is “NO”.

1. In 2006, I became a naturalised Citizen of Grenada, and in 2008 I was honoured to accept the invitation of the Government of Grenada to be appointed as Ambassador of Grenada to the United Nations Organisation in Geneva, and that position has been confirmed by two successor Administrations.

2. I have never offered or given any money or other reward to any Minister of the Government of Grenada or other Public Official or to any political association as a bribe or a reward in return for my citizenship or appointment as Ambassador.

3. A Swiss taxpayer who is appointed by another country as its diplomatic representative in Switzerland is entitled by right to certain tax benefits. At the time of my appointment I made it clear to the Swiss Government and to Government of Grenada that I would not apply for or take advantage of those benefits. I have not done so. The Department of Finance for the Republic of Geneva has confirmed this in an official statement.

4. The Embassy of Grenada to the United Nations Organisation in Geneva is housed in offices and living quarters at my house in Vandoeuvres is and has been at the disposal of Ministers and Senior Officials of Grenada. I have borne the cost of setting up and maintaining the Embassy facilities and intend to so continue. I do not draw any emoluments as Ambassador.

5. I have never taken advantage of the diplomatic immunity provided by the Swiss
Government on behalf of myself or any family member or domestic staff, and I intend to so continue.

6. I do not know and have had no dealings with the other gentlemen described in your article, whose conduct – and by implication my conduct – is deprecated.

7. Neither the publisher of the “New Today” or any of his staff, made any attempt to contact me prior to publication.

8. I make this statement in order that the potential damage to my own good name and reputation may be ameliorated.

Mr. Killa & ShortPree – Digicel Brand Ambassadors

Shortpree – being kept on by Digicel

Shortpree – being kept on by Digicel

Two of the biggest names in entertainment in Grenada have renewed their contracts to represent the Brand of Digicel – Mr. Killa of Gouyave in St. John and Shortpree of Belmont on the sister isle of Carriacou.

Mr. Killa, whose real name is Hollice Mapp, has been a household name in Grenada for many years, from since his beginnings with a first place win in a Grenada Talent search competition to multiple Soca Monarch and Road March titles.

He has a track record for electrifying performances on the big stage and events all over the English-speaking Caribbean, US and Canada.

In recent years, he will be remembered as the first non-Trinidadian to get as close to the crown as second place in the International Soca Monarch of Trinidad and Tobago with his “Rolly-Polly” hit.

Another of Grenada’s finest, holding multiple Carriacou Carnival Road March titles, one Soca Monarch title and two Grenada Groovy Monarch titles, Finber Andrews also known as Shortpree, remains on the Digicel team.

Mr. Killa – staying with the Digicel brand

Mr. Killa – staying with the Digicel brand

Shortpree has always been known to deliver well written songs on various topics that are both catchy and entertaining, such as “Summer Time”, “For The Sake of the Country” and this year’s Grenada Groovy Monarch entry “This Mas’”.

Both artists have proudly represented Grenada in foreign territories and have songs in their repertoire that show their patriotism to the diaspora, while marketing Grenada to potential visitors.

The local and international appeal for such talent make them both valuable assets to the Digicel Brand.

“Digicel is proud to have both of these entertainers – Shortpree and Mr. Killa, once again, as brand ambassadors, not only for their entertainment value and popularity, but we are certain that they can connect with and relate to the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique, and that is what is most important to us.” said Ciaràn Burke, CEO Digicel Grenada