Foreign policy lessons from the resistance of the Rastafari

The use of force is still very much a part of the foreign policy and diplomatic considerations of all states, even small ones. In the latter case, what they consider is not using force themselves, but force being used against them.

Force is seldom military in today’s world; it is more often economic. The wide and liberal use of sanctions, particularly by the member countries of the Organisation for Co-operation and Development (OECD), is ample evidence of how other nations are coerced into submitting to the will of the powerful.

The OECD’s actions against Caribbean countries in relation to taxation and the provision of financial services are good examples of the use of economic force by powerful countries to get their own way.

If small countries could individually resist these coercive economic measures, they would. But, since each of them is powerless to do so on their own, each surrenders its sovereignty, believing that resistance would lead to unbearable consequences.

The notion that they might substantially overcome their powerlessness by joining together to resist coercion is hardly entertained by many developing countries, small ones in particular.

Driven by a lack of faith in alliances among themselves, and practical experience of betrayal and disunity within their own ranks, each small country surrenders to the demands of the powerful. The result is that the powerful succeed in their policies by the threat of economic coercion.
Representatives of some small countries even brazenly trumpet their surrender as a victory, fooling no one, including themselves.

The role of power and fear in the colonial history of the Caribbean came into sharp focus at the Organisation of American States (OAS) on May 14. The occasion was an historic one at which, my ambassadorial colleague, Franki Tafari, a leading representative of the Rastafarian community in Antigua and Barbuda and the wider Caribbean, and I reported to the OAS Permanent Council on the apology made by the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, for the ancient wrongs done to the Rastafari.

Resisting the economic and military power of the British colonial administration in the Caribbean, the Rastafarian community refused to relinquish their African culture and heritage. They were also obstinate in rejecting every attempt by the British administration to coerce them into giving up their identity by adopting European values and traditions. For sure, others did. Not because they desired it, but because the use of force overwhelmed them. The many slave rebellions and pre-independence movements were met with violent oppression that wore-down resistance.

Regrettably, as Prime Minister Browne pointed out in his public apology, “Even as the colonial establishment retreated from whence they came and people born in Caribbean countries replaced them in authority, the Rastafari continued to be marginalised. That discrimination went on for decades, preventing the Rastafarian community from escaping the confines of poverty, and denying them the right to explain who they are, what they believe and what part they wish to play in the homelands that are now our collective heritage.”

This historical reality is all the more reason for admiring and respecting the Rastafari community. They were strong in their resistance, preferring poverty, marginalisation and discrimination to losing their identity, their culture and their religious beliefs.

Out of a dark colonial past of their forebears, and the indignities they endured, Rastas have risen-up to affirm their self-dignity, their African heritage and their worth as human beings. Today, they are the best-known Caribbean figures, internationally, in the performing arts. They also occupy respected positions in medicine, law and academia while retaining their pioneering role in healthy eating habits and in farming.

The Rastafari are living testimony to the value of unity in the preservation of identity.

Diplomacy is bargaining. It seeks outcomes that might not be ideal for either party but are better for both. If Caribbean countries could bargain together on all external matters, they might not get everything they want in their dealing with the powerful, but they would get more than they do individually.

Regrettably, that sense of justice and willingness to sacrifice for its preservation, which characterises the Rastafarians, is not alive in the broad political and economic leadership of Caribbean countries today. There is also no trust in unified action. Fear of betrayal from amongst their own ranks, coupled with a perception of their powerlessness to stand-up to the mighty, paralyses representatives of Caribbean governments.

In their struggle with the OECD in the financial services sector, the political elite of Caribbean states, who treasure and proclaim their sovereignty in relation to each other, compromise that sovereignty so regularly with powerful countries that it is now an expectation.

Yet, it is only by pooling their individual sovereignties to bargain with the powerful that they have a ghost of a chance to preserve any semblance of independence.

Troublingly, there appears to be little willingness for such collective bargaining. The dangerous and unrealistic notion by some countries in the region that they can go it alone and get what they want from the powerful has infected policy-making. Thus, in the international community, some Caribbean countries forego the utility of their collective strength for transient individual gain.

The trials of the Rastas in their resistance, and the triumph of their success despite their marginalization, should teach all Caribbean countries a lesson.

The song of the iconic Bob Marley has long summoned the Caribbean, but while it is heard, it appears not to be absorbed:

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
‘Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Some say it’s just a part of it:
We’ve got to fullfil the book.
Won’t you help to sing
This song of freedom.”

(Sir Ronald Sanders is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the US and the OAS. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London and Massey College in the University of Toronto. The views expressed are his own)

Francois prepared to share knowledge in Diesel Technology

As the world is moving to adopt measures for climate change and a cleaner environment, small businessman, Kent “Bauxton” Francois is willing to offer his expertise in Diesel Technology to help Grenada save money through the adoption of the right technology in using diesel.

Kent “Bauxton” Francois – proudly holds his
diploma qualifying him as an expert in Diesel Technology

In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY newspaper, Francois who operates an automobile parts selling business at Grand Mal in St. George’s proudly showcased his diploma after completing a one year course in Diesel Technology at the Florida campus of Universal Technical Institute (UTI).

He said that he was offered job opportunities to remain and work in the United States but decided to come back home to assist any company that was seeking to save money from their spending budget on diesel usage.

According to Francois, a major company in the U.S came on campus to hire the best students in the classroom but he turned them down.

“They came … they interviewed about 80 of us. I got hired but to make a decision between the states and Grenada, it’s not a hard decision to make in my case because I’m set up here and here needs that type of technology…”, he said.

Francois stated that he is prepared to assist government and any private sector entity that is prepared to put systems in place for better use of diesel technology.

The small business operator believes that if the right people on the island are prepared to listen to him then he can play a role in fashioning the appropriate legislation for the industry.

He said the island is already a heavy user of diesel given the amount of heavy equipment and trucks in Grenada but nobody is monitoring the emissions like in other more developed societies.

Saying that emissions is “a big thing in the US”, Francois noted that truck drivers can easily be pulled over on the highways by a State Trooper who is allowed by law to “put a test on the exhaust and charge him $5000 (fine) just so…”.

He said: “In terms of the emissions, they take that serious and it has to be taken serious anywhere now because with all the pollution and so forth, we have to make sure especially heavy equipment, tyre trucks, all them big heavy equipment meet the requirement.

“I don’t know what Grenada standard on that is but at least…I am not going to interfere with that to say they should do that but I am telling you they have to take care of that because if they’re signatories (to international agreements on emissions) and they’re getting monies from countries and they talk about pollution, they suppose to show that (they are doing something to ease emission levels).

Francois spoke of making contact with government at the highest possible level including Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell on his willingness to help in providing his knowledge on diesel technology.

“I want to be in the field. I want to be anywhere that deals with the industry, diesel trucking, the whole works, anything that deals with that. You can put programmes in place, set it up where they can set up a Preventative Maintenance Programme, where they can check on the vehicles and keep (up) the standards.

“It’s a money saver because with a proper PM Programme, down time in equipment is money. You cannot afford to have a Lorry Truck or a Trailer Truck, Fire Truck and all these things down for months. If you could plan ahead, not to put cost on them but to tell them in so and so time, you need to take care of that, to change this, to be on track – you have to check on the safety too of the equipment…

“I had a meeting with the Prime Minister on that and he said that anything that could save the government money he is on board with it. If you telling me you spending a million dollars a year in maintenance and I set up maintenance programme for you and I show you how to work with that, it’s big saving.

That’s not just for Government that could be for GRENLEC – that could be for anybody who have fleet that want to save.

Francois disclosed that the world is now in a computerized aged and although the technology offered in the Florida course was very advanced it can be adopted in Grenada.

“It’s not too advanced for us – you cannot enact everything from out there here but the mere fact that you are part of the system and you sign on to (agreements) that want you to be more environmentally friendly, it forces you to adopt the technology because you want a clean air act to make sure that it (is) not just a guess thing…”, he said.

He stressed the reality is that countries adapt to changes in technology and one “can bring in changes but changes don’t mean cancelling all that you have”.

“We announce that we going and get oil so diesel and gas will be part of Grenada for a long while but the technology is a money saver,” he remarked.

Crisis in the Judiciary

“Radiation” at Lime building result in closure of High Courts

A number of lawyers in Grenada have expressed grave concerns over what they called “a crisis in the Judiciary” with the closure of all high courts due to alleged radiation and continued environmental and infrastructural challenges at the High Court Building on The Carenage in St. George’s.

Registrar of the Supreme Court, Alana Twum-Barimah

The Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government is known to have spent millions during the 2013-18 term in office to take over the building from Lime and turn it into a High Court of Justice.

The alarm bell was sounded last week by experienced criminal defense attorney, Anselm Clouden when he told reporters that some judges are refusing to sit in the building and as a result all scheduled civil and criminal matters were put on hold.

THE NEW TODAY understands that the search is on for a new facility to conduct court proceedings in the interim and that South City Plaza at Grand Anse is high on the agenda.

High Court Judge, Raulston Glasgow has reportedly refused to go back into the Lime building after falling sick weeks ago and is currently doing only Chamber matters at the Mediation Centre on Scott Street.

Supreme Court Registrar, Alana Twum-Barimah on Tuesday confirmed to THE NEW TODAY that the LIME Building, which houses 2 criminal courts – High Court No. 2 and High Court No. 5, and 2 civil courts – High Court No. 3, and High Court No.4 is not in proper working condition and “will not be utilised for court hearings for this week” or at least until a new facility is located or the problem at the LIME building is rectified.

“At the moment we are looking for a new facility,” said the Supreme Court Registrar, who disclosed that she had notified the relevant persons on Monday of the situation at hand.

Twum-Barimah indicated that a team from the Grenada Bureau of Standards (GDBS) was called in approximately one month ago to access the situation with the building.

During a previous interview with THE NEW TODAY, the Registrar said that the Ministries of Health and Works were called following medical complaints from some users of the court.

She revealed on Tuesday that “allergens were found in different chambers (and) there is a spike of radiation in one particular area of the building” but the actual cause is yet to be determined as “investigations are ongoing by the GDBS to determine whether or not the building is safe for occupation”.

Discussions to turn the Lime Building into a High Court of Justice started under the 2008-13 Tillman Thomas-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime.

However, it was not completed with a major stumbling block being an insistence by then Attorney-General, Jimmy Bristol that the telecommunications  provider should remove all electronic equipment from the building.

Speculation is rife that some of the equipment that were left on the compound could be related to alleged radiation leak in the building.

A well-placed legal source said that when Lime was using the building that a number of its own staffers frequently fell sick.

THE NEW TODAY understands that only 12 criminal matters were completed since the April 2018 Assizes opened at the Lime building from a total of 139 matters to be shared between the 2 criminal courts on the compound.

Information has not been forthcoming as it relates to the status of matters before the civil courts.

Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Brendon La Touche, who had an ongoing sex-related trial and another matter of a similar nature down for sentencing on Monday at High Court No.2 , confirmed to this newspaper that he had received notice the day before (Monday, May 21) that “basically everything is on hold until further notice.”

President of the Grenada Bar Association, Lady Anande Trotman-Joseph

THE NEW TODAY also spoke with President of the Grenada Bar Association (GBA), Lady Anande Trotman-Joseph, who pointed to the obvious inconvenience posed with the unexpected closure of the courts for not only lawyers but their clients as well.

“What would happen is that we will be building up a backlog.

“Some of the attorneys have reported to me that they are very concerned especially where the matters are urgent, such as injunctions and breaches of property…but more importantly I have also had concerns shared about elderly clients, because some of them, when backlogs begin to build up, they may pass on and leave their matters unresolved…and a lot of people towards their latter days, they want to know that all of their affairs are in order,” she added.

Speaking specifically to the impact on persons before the criminal court, Lady Anande acknowledged that the situation is a “major concern for the accused, because of course there is a certain obligation on the part of the justice (system) to have matters heard in a timely manner and of course it’s prolonging the agony for the victims as well.”

However, she was quick to point out that while “timeliness” in dispensing justice was important to any accused person before the criminal court, the fact of the matter is that “individual interests” as it relates to the health of persons should be seen as “the greater good”.

“I think that in this case we have to put the greater good above and beyond the specific interests of individual litigants or accused persons,” she remarked.

This is not the first time that court proceedings were halted at the Lime building.

In July, 2017, then presiding civil high court judge, Madam Justice Wynante Adrien-Roberts had to be relocated to High Court No. 4 as a result of rain water leaks observed in a section of the roof, following constant heavy rainfall with the passage of tropical cyclone Hurricane Bret.

Legal sources told THE NEW TODAY that the current impasse poses another major challenge for the planned sitting of the Court of Appeal from this coming Monday to Friday.

There are unconfirmed reports that the Justices of Appeal are giving thought to hearing matters through video conferencing.

However, the Supreme Court Registrar expressed optimism that a suitable location will be found soon to resume normal court proceedings of cases and I think this is the greatest inconvenience,” she said.

Who will bring Peace? Awake! Awake!

More than likely, we all desire to have peace!

Recently, the US, North and South Korea, along with China, have been talking about “peace.” It sounds great that they are talking of peace. However, people, we really need to pay attention to what the Most High, the God of everlasting Strength, Jehovah, (Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 26:4) inspired the Bible writer to write at 1 Thessalonians 5: 2, 3.

It states: “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”

This Scripture is plainly showing us that the nations will NOT be able to bring true peace and safety. Who will? Of course, Almighty God! Psalm 37: 10, 11 assure us that it is God who will destroy the wicked and give an “abundance of peace” to the meek, righteous ones.

(Psalm 37:29) We cannot say exactly when the world will end for as 1 Thessalonians 5:2 shows, the Lord’s Day comes as a thief – suddenly, unexpectedly, catching many by surprise! (See Mark 13:32 also) Now is the time to awake spiritually! Get to know God and His Son quickly. John 17:3.

The following Link provides more useful information on what God will do by means of his Kingdom that is mentioned in the Lord’s Prayer. Matthew 6:9, 10. https://www.jw.org/en/bible-te

Simeon James

Jamaican-born American on Drug Trafficking Charge

A Jamaican-born American citizen was last week Friday remanded to the Richmond Hill Prison on a Drug Trafficking charge.
33-year-old Photographer, Keeno “Kamboy” Taylor, who resides in Brooklyn, New York, found himself in trouble with the law after attempting to leave the island with 1.3 kilos of cocaine, carrying an estimated street value of EC$131, 818. 16.

Keeno Kamboy Taylor – remanded to the Richmond Hill Prison for drugs

THE NEW TODAY understands that the Jamaican national was apprehended last week Tuesday by members of the Drug Squad of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) and the Financial Investigation Unit at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA), after a check of his suitcase unearthed a false compartment, where 2 packets of the illegal substance was discovered.

The young photographer was preparing to board a JetBlue flight number 950 for New York.

“No pictures,” the drug accused told photographers, who were outside the court taking pictures of him as he was being escorted by prison officers to the holding cell inside the court building last week Friday, along with other persons who found themselves in trouble with the law.

The drug-accused, has retained the services of Attorney-at-Law Derick Sylvester, from the law firm of Derick Sylvester & Associates, who requested full disclosure, when the matter came up before Chief Magistrate, Her Honour Tamara Gill at the No. 1 Magistrate’s Court in St. George’s.

Clad in a white t-shirt and blue denim jeans, Taylor who, sported a Rastafarian hairstyle, is scheduled to reappear before the Chief Magistrate on May 29.

The Drug Squad has been making a number of arrests in recent months with foreigners attempting to carry illegal drugs out of the country.

This newspaper understands that elements in Jamaica are increasingly trying to use Grenada as a transshipment point for drugs earmarked for North America and Europe.

Grenadian Voice: Must the CCJ be commended on a simple case?

It is mind-boggling reading, via the internet, the various news headlines regarding the ‘breaking story’ on the so-called unprecedented court hearing by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in its appellate jurisdiction and in trying to make sense out of the hot-air of the case, or trying to unfold any disgraceful conspiracy.

The urgent hearing of the application made on Friday 11 May 2018 for leave to appeal and of the prompt judgement delivered by CCJ’s retiring President Sir Dennis Byron, took place on Sunday, 13th May 2018 on the verge of the Thursday, 24 May 2018 general elections in Barbados.

The case involves St. Lucian Professor Eddy David Ventose v. Chief Electoral Officer of the Barbados Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EBC), and affects the rights of thousands of non-Barbadian resident Commonwealth citizens who are qualified to vote in the elections, but are barred from registering due to a long-standing policy of the EBC.

It is more inquiring when reading the Editorial of The Grenadian Voice newspaper (Vol. 38 No. 20 edition for the week ending Friday May 18, 2018) entitled “CCJ must be commended!”.

The editorial was written by Dr. Wendy C. Grenade who is a Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of the West Indies in Barbados, where Ventose (a Professor of Law) also lectures.

Dr. Grenade writes in part, “Importantly this landmark judgement is most timely for Grenada as that country seeks to reopen the conversation on another referendum to facilitate Grenada’s accession to the appellate jurisdiction of the CCJ, replacing the UK-based Privy Council as Grenada’s highest Court of Appeal.”

She concluded the editorial by stating that the case highlights several benefits of the CCJ, which should be the catalyst of a YES campaign going forward.

Whilst the CCJ could be commended, it must be seen as self-serving for anyone to limit the catalyst or the reason for voting for the CCJ, exclusively to its recent unprecedented hearing on Ventose’s case. Moreover; it would be disingenuous for anyone to capitalise this case without presenting proper and broad perspectives and without seeking to encourage that the background and judgement of the case be ascertained and that the pertinent lessons be adopted for enhancing the local institutions of governance.

Indeed, the Ventose case reaffirms the invaluable role of the judiciary for the rule of law in any society, especially when that role is executed in an independent, expeditious and compelling manner prudently; but no person must be made to believe that access to justice begins and remains with the CCJ and that CCJ monopolises or has all authority on judicial reviews, knowing that the CCJ is (or would be) the third of the established three-tier justice system.

Even if the Ventose case highlights several benefits of the CCJ and that there is nothing wrong with the CCJ, should the Grenadians people blindly vote for the CCJ, without first determining if there is any extraneous and detrimental proposals concealed in the CCJ Bill?

It must be acknowledged and applauded that voting for the CCJ as a regional institution can only be possible in Grenada (and should have also been only possible for all of the other Caricom countries) via a constitutional referendum on the ‘construct and content’ of a CCJ Bill.

Dr. Grenade needs to advocate emphatically for this principle of genuine people’s participation and endorsement for achieving Caribbean Jurisprudence, Caribbean democracy and regional integration; as a reasonable mark of respect for the people, who in-turn will behold themselves as stakeholders.

The Voice newspaper is therefore also challenged for a pronouncement on the question which was posed in the previously internet-circulated article “Grenada Informer: Is Nothing Wrong with the CCJ Bill Also?”, in response to a similar attempt on irresponsibly promoting a yes vote for the CCJ.

As featured in a previous circulated article, “Caricom CCJ Agreement and Grenada CCJ Bill”, it must be of grave concern for the local people as to whether or not the CCJ Bill would realise the entrenching of Caricom’s Chaguaramas Treaty and its CCJ Agreement into the Constitution of Grenada.

By so doing, the Grenadian people may then be marginalised and disadvantaged by having constitutional protection given to large foreign corporations, the ‘more developed nations’ of Caricom and the Citizenship By Investment recipients.

It is imperative that the CCJ Bill be studied within the context of Jamaica’s reservations on its continued participation in the trade obligations of the Revised Treaty and of the sentiments by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart during his political campaigning that the judgements coming out of the CCJ are not reflecting positively on Barbados and thus threatens to abandon the CCJ.

Since Barbados’ 1966 independence and the holding of a number of elections thereafter, an erroneous, unlawful and ultra vires policy of interpretation, which denies qualified citizens from registering to vote in the elections, has been allowed to take precedence to the parliamentary laws and regulations, and nobody was aware and active on this controversial practice before 2018, when individuals of legal fraternity, professional clout and financial status sought judicial relief on their rights to vote – Ventose himself living and working in Barbados from 2006.

It should also be of interest to ascertain the reason/s for the resolve of the EBC on its interpretation of the statutory requirements for registration as an elector; when considering EBC’s refusal to morally accept and apply the virtually same ruling of the two lower courts, High Court and Appeals Court, that non-Barbadian citizens of the British Commonwealth who were legally resident in Barbados at least three years are entitled to vote.

Is it about to protect national sovereignty, despite the provisions of reciprocal rights of Barbadians in other Commonwealth countries and the preaching of regional integration with a common Caricom passport?

A more direct and meaningful application of Ventose’s case for Grenada is in the area of electoral reform and of the policy of interpretation based on the ‘outrageous exercise’ of discretion and determination by the Supervisor of Elections especially in light of the many irregularities which have been alleged to occur in the 13 March 2018 general elections, including the apparent illegal registering and voting of Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth persons, and which have been also highlighted in the internet-circulated article, “Could Grenada’s 2018 Voting be declared Unethical and Illegal?”

Moreover finally, could Dr. Grenade and the other luminaries please also advise the powers-that-be in Grenada to welcome the CCJ’s unprecedented hearing as an excellent instrument or opportunity to induce moral and legal realities in its conscience, so as to cease the blatant constitutional abuses and disobeying of court judgements?

Just to mention two grievances: from February 1974 the people of Carriacou and Petite Martinique are yet distressed about the non-implementation of local government as constitutionally provided, and from April 1983 public officers are being dragged into social and economic deprivation due to an unconstitutional pensions law and related unconscionable policies.

J.K. Roberts

Upgrade to Constituency Offices to come soon

After one day of advocating for an increase in stipend to Parliamentary Representatives in an effort to better serve their constituents, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Labour, Peter David has announced that a decision was taken by the Cabinet of Ministers to upgrade constituency offices around the island.

Minister David told reporters at the weekly post-Cabinet Briefing at the Ministerial Complex that a review is currently taking place to give the offices a facelift for better service in the next five years life of the government.

He said: “Many people are well aware, constituency offices, meaning Parliamentary Representative Offices are the places where people go for assistance – be it, housing assistance and other forms of assistance. That is where some people first engage with some of these issues, they are being in many cases, working quite well and in other cases working not so well”.

According to the senior government minister, several community organisations which he did not identify are being engaged to ensure that the correct decision is made on sprucing up the constituency offices.

“So that is being undertaken and we hope that at the end of that process, whatever the outcomes are that we are better able as Parliamentarians – and remember this is not only going to cover Parliamentarians who are currently in the office, it’s going to include Parliamentarians later. It is just coincidence that the government now has 15 seats but were it any other parliamentarians, the offices are available…”, he said.

“So, whatever structures and systems are put in place at the moment will benefit whoever wins the seat in Parliament in the future. So, the government is currently seeking to solve the problem by engaging and in the process engagements have taken place with several community organisations”, he added.

Speculation is already rife that the contracts to do the work on the Constituency offices will be given only to political operatives of the ruling New National Party (NNP).

Spice gets Six Star Diamond award again!!!

NEW YORK, NY – Accolades continue for Grenada’s premier all-inclusive luxury Spice Island Beach Resort (www.SpiceIslandBeachResort.co) as the family-owned and operated retreat was honored for the fifth consecutive year with the prestigious Six Star Diamond Award by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (AAHS).

The Spice Island Beach Resort family led by Sir Royston Hopkin KCMG, chairman and managing director, pictured with the Six Star Diamond Award

The Six Star Diamond Award is the most prestigious honor of true excellence in service, hospitality, gastronomy, attitude, quality and cleanliness. The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences specializes in reviewing hotels, resorts, spas, airlines, cruise lines, automobiles, products, restaurants and chefs, and is most notably known for its Six Star Diamond Award.

“We are extremely proud to be honored for the past five years with the Six Star Diamond recognition as it is a direct reflection our commitment to upholding service levels that transcend guests’ expectations,” said Sir Royston.

“For over 30 years we have worked to perfect our guest experience. Awards strengthen our belief in our service-oriented philosophy,” added Sir Royston, who is pictured right with the award plaque.

AAHS receives a large number of possible recipients for the award from respectable sources around the world. The selection is then refined by the Board of Trustees and the final evaluation is a visit by an anonymous inspector to review the destination and its services”, he added.

The presentation of the AAHS Six Star Diamond Award follows the resort’s receipt of the AAA Five Diamond Award for the second consecutive year in March.

NNP ACTIVIST EXECUTED IN TELESCOPE

Police have not made any breakthrough in the weekend slaying of a St. Andrew’s man described as a key political activist for the ruling New National Party (NNP) in the St. Andrew South-east constituency of Education Minister, Emmalin Pierre.

Cainisaac Edwards – gunned down in Telescope

Cainisaac Edwards, an ex-police officer, was gunned down sometime around 2.30 a.m Sunday morning by a lone gunman dressed in a white overall suit who then fled the scene on foot through some nearby bushes.

A police source told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that the lawmen have not come up with any positive clue for the slaying of the controversial Edwards but believes that he could have been killed by one of several persons whom he had run afoul of over the years.

He said that the executed man is known to have had “many enemies” due to his shady dealings which saw him kicked out of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) over a decade ago.

Edwards had served as a Police Prosecutor at the Magistrate level until he was sacked from the force.

According to the police source, Edwards was in the company of another male person when he was shot and that person has been quizzed by police investigators on what transpired at the time of the killing.

He said the deceased had just came out of a birthday party with his girlfriend and was making his way to a vehicle when he was called out by another man who he was familiar with.

“The two of them were speaking, the girl was already in the car waiting for him to return when a man came up from no where and shot him at close range and then run away”, he said.

Two persons were held within hours of the shooting by the police and questioned about the execution.

According to the police insider, the lawmen had picked up information that there was a quarrel between the NNP activist and another individual in the area over a sex-related matter.

The source said that the slain ex-police officer had a number of matters pending in court on the day that he was executed in an area that he was considered to be a “strongman” for the ruling party.

“I know him pretty well. We had charged him for all kinds of things over the years – some matters were already completed and he was found guilty and he still had a number of other matters before the court”, he said.

The police insider confirmed that the executed NNP political activist was under the radar of RGPF for many years for engaging in a string of illegal activities since he was thrown out of the force.

“He (Edwards) was not a good person at all. He was engaged in too many sh..t”.

Speculation is rife that Edwards might have served as the unofficial Campaign Manager for Minister Pierre in the March 13 general election in which she held onto the seat by defeating former school principal, Patrick Simmons of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

A source close to the NNP confided in this newspaper that after the elections, Edwards’ name was being bandied about for a lucrative government contract to maintain national parks around the island.

The source referred to the executed man as “a real conman and drug dealer” with tremendous influence in the Telescope area of the constituency.

“A man that was selling poison to our youths is not someone that you keep close”, he quipped.

The source pointed out that Edwards was known in the St. Andrew area as the “main man on the ground” for the NNP.

THE NEW TODAY was not able to contact Minister Pierre by telephone for comment on her alleged political relationship with the executed Telescope man.

Another underworld figure in the St. Andrew area charged that Edwards’ killing could be a “rival NNP drug fight” for influence in the constituency as a war was known to be “brewing” among some of the NNP blocks in the South-east area.

The name of another alleged drug baron in the constituency was provided to THE NEW TODAY as one person who was running a rival gang to the executed man and might have feel threatened by his own state-paid contract under the NNP regime.

The Authority of China’s Taiwan Region Should Bear Full Responsibility for not Being Invited to The 71st World Health Assembly By H.E. Dr. Zhao Yongchen Chinese Ambassador to Grenada

The 71st World Health Assembly (WHA) will be held from 21 to 26 May 2018 in Geneva and the authority of China’s Taiwan region isn’t invited to the Assembly as an observer. The Taiwan Authority should bear full responsibility for this since it refuses to recognize and abide by the one-China principle, which is a part of resolutions of the United Nations.

H.E. Dr. Zhao Yongchen

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a United Nations (UN) specialized agency composed of sovereign countries. As part of China, Taiwan is not a sovereign country and it is not eligible to participate in the organization and has no right to be an observer of the WHA. Since 1997, the WHA has repeatedly rejected the proposal to support Taiwan’s participation in the WHA.

There is only one China in the world and the Taiwan region is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The one-China principle represents the universal consensus shared by the international community.

The WHA must adhere to the one-China principle which has been endorsed by the UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 and the WHA Resolution 25.1 when handling the Taiwan-related issues.

The Taiwan Authority claims that its absence from the WHA will lead to a gap in the global disease prevention network. This is utterly inconsistent with reality.

Then central government of The People’s Republic of China always attaches great importance to the health and welfare of Taiwan people and has established proper arrangements for the Taiwan region of China to participate in global health affairs while following the one-China principle.
Medical and public health experts from the Taiwan region may attend technical activities organized by the WHO in their appropriate capacities, and when necessary, WHO staff members or experts may be sent to Taiwan region to investigate the public health or epidemiological situation there, and the WHO may provide medical and public health assistance to the Taiwan region.

The People’s Republic of China also makes arrangements through negotiations with the WHO on the application of International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) to the Taiwan region. Under these arrangements, an IHR Focal Point has been set up in the Taiwan region, and the region has an account to log onto the WHO event information site, which gives it prompt access to WHO information on global public health emergencies.

In the event of an outbreak of a local public health emergency, the Taiwan region can also immediately report to the WHO through its IHR Focal Point and publish such information on the WHO event information website. In 2009, the Taiwan region reported to the WHO 24 confirmed H1N1 cases. In 2016, 2014 and 2017, it reported a total of five cases of human infection with the H7N9 virus.

All relevant information was published on the WHO event website and thus accessible by all IHR State Parties.

Moreover, experts from the Taiwan region can participate in relevant IHR technical activities in an appropriate capacity and WHO Technical Expert Groups can also go to the Taiwan region to provide technical guidance and assistance.

These measures mentioned above show that the central government of China is sincere in its efforts to address health concerns of Taiwan people and the measures it has taken are viable and feasible, and that the channel for two-way communication between Taiwan and the WHO is unimpeded.
These arrangements allow the Taiwan region to make timely and effective response to public health emergencies both on the island and in other places around the world.

Taiwan people’s right to health is well protected. One must not confuse the health of Taiwan people with Taiwan Authority’s participation in the WHA. The Democratic Progressive Party’s assertion that denial of Taiwan’s WHA attendance is tantamount to ignoring Taiwan people’s right to health and creating a gap in global epidemic prevention efforts is utterly groundless.

The Taiwan region attended the WHA in the name of “Chinese Taipei” as an observer for eight consecutive years from 2009 to 2016.

This was a special arrangement made by cross-Strait consultations based on mutual adherence to the 1992 Consensus which embodies the one-China principle.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s refusal to acknowledge the 1992 Consensus embodying the one-China principle undermines the political foundation for the Taiwan region to attend the WHA.

If Taiwan does not receive the invitation this year, the DPP is the one to blame.

Under the current situation, the leaders of the DPP in Taiwan should reflect on why it still can’t attend the assembly rather than shirking responsibility, shifting focus and misleading the public in Taiwan and the international community.

The solemn position of the Chinese Government on the Taiwan Authority’s participation in the WHA has been understood and supported by the international community, which firmly endorses the one-China principle.

And the WHA shouldn’t become a stage for the Taiwan Authority to promote the so called “Taiwan independence”. Abiding by this political principle has actually become an international custom. The WHO’s decision is correct and commendable.