Comment of the week
Bahamians have a problem with Haitians it appears. Notwithstanding that the history of this country shows that the country has been in fact built on their labour, there are many who would wish to have all Haitians expelled from The Bahamas. That is not the position of The Bahamas government, nor should it be.
This is a difficult point even for PLPs to understand. The PLP who has been the protectors of the African ethos in this country, who should realise what it is to be despised because you are poor and Black, seem not to understand the issue. The issue which The Bahamas now faces with immigration, is not an issue of Haitians but an issue of anyone who is undocumented coming into this country without permission. That has to stop. The fact that it is driven by Bahamians should not also escape us.
It is an economic fact that all the labouring jobs which pay the minimum wage are occupied by Haitians. It is clear then that it is not the Haitians that are driving this but they fill a void which is not filled by Bahamians. They are not a drag on the country but they help develop the country. The issue is: they or no one should come in illegally.
Fast forward then to the recent event where last week a jackass by the name of Anson Alley decided that he would say some rather unfortunate words which seemed to invite an us and against them war. The Foreign Minister intervened and asked people, Bahamians who were running right out on social media seeming to want to go out an attack Haitians, to calm down. He appealed for calm and asked Bahamians not to take the law into their own hands and allow the police to work on the matter.
The police did. They referred the matter to the Director of Pubic Prosecution and it was decided not to charge the man. The Minister defended the decision. That does not mean the government agrees with it or the minister. What it means is that our system says that there was not sufficient evidence to charge the individual . The government does not decide charges.
That also does not mean that we should not be concerned. We should be concerned and we must work to eliminate this sort of implied threat to our society’s wellbeing.
In our view sometimes we have to make an example out of a case, even if you may not be able to succeed in a prosecution. Mr. Alley should have been charged and prosecuted and allow the courts to pronounce on his guilt or innocence in the matter. But that is the past.
What do we do now?
Young PLPs in particular have to get over this hysteria about Haitians. There is no us or them. The fact is as long as The Bahamas sits where we sit, and as long as we have a relatively prosperous economy, we will be a magnet for illegal migration from the south. It behooves us to be vigilant so that it is not done illegally. That is what the new changes are seeking to do in immigration.
All this hate talk must stop.
The Bahamians of Haitian descent themselves should stop the panic which they are spreading. Another jackass was on Facebook talking about voting against the PLP because of the new immigration policies. He is a fool. The FNM will not change these policies, silent though they are at the moment. People of Haitian descent in this country must join with the Haitian Ambassador who deplored the stupidity of Mr. Alley’s statement. They must demonstrate that this man does represent their thinking. We do not think that he does. He claimed that it was said in anger because the landlord where they paid rent to build their shanty town had just collected the rent and then the tractors came and knocked the houses down. We say again Bahamians are driving this.
All of us ought to take deep breath and support the new policies which are being implemented as of 1st November.
The photo shows Anson Alley, a self-described Haitian-Bahamian, apologizing to the Bahamian pubic for his stupid remarks made last week.
Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 25th October 2014 up to midnight: 459,603;
Number of hits for the month of October up to Saturday 25th October 2014 up to midnight: 1,605,324;
Number of hits for the year 2014 up to Saturday 25th October 2014 up to midnight:10,480,539.
Renward Wells, who was unceremoniously fired last week as a Parliamentary Secretary, was summoned before the National General Council of the PLP on Thursday 23rd October to explain himself. From all accounts, he did not. He simply stuck by his explanation given in public including the fact that he would leave if Andre Rollins, the other rogue MP were expelled from the party. As for Andre Rollins, well he is before a disciplinary committee of the party. He is represented by the former party Chair Raynard Rigby before that Committee. It appears that everyone is on a collision course. Of course many PLPs are now having buyer’s remorse about these two fellows and Greg Moss, the other rogue MP, up in Freeport. The fact is they should have thought about all of this before they bought them. The maxim is buyer beware. You could well have been the buyer of a bill of goods. The point is this party has to do what is necessary to win. We had to win that election in 2012, and we found allies in Mr. Rollins, Mr. Moss and Mr. Wells who could help us win. They agreed to join the party. The fact that they no longer seem to be on the same page is neither here nor there We won the government and that is what political parties do.
When election time comes again we will do again what is necessary to win. So expel them if you must , whatever to get equilibrium in the party if people really think they have destablised the party. Our guess is that they have not and while they can create exciting headlines, the fundamentals remain undisturbed. So our guess is we should just get on with the business of governing. Mr. Wells said he will be communing with God ; he his wife and six children. Andre Rollins well we know not what he will do but look for another explosion down the road or maybe his lawyer will give him wise counsel and he will listen. Whatever! A great time will be had by all.
Diplomatic Week began on Sunday last and ended last night with a reception and Junkanoo Rushout on Saturday 25th October at Government House. You may click here for the full address by the Foreign Minister which opened Diplomatic Week.
Prime Minister Perry Christie with Fred Mitchell, Foreign Minister with the dialogue with Bahamian Heads of Mission on Thursday 23rd October at the Melia Cable beach. The photo is by Peter Ramsay of the Bahamas Information Services.
(THE PRIME MINISTER’S POLICY STATEMENT)
Andrew McKinney is awarded the Lynden Pindling Medal for Excellence by Dame Marguerite Pindling, for his service in protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Prime Minister’s dinner at the Balmoral on Friday 24th October. The photo is by Peter Ramsay. Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell at left made the announcement.
Marilyn Zonicle, retired Ambassador at Large for The Bahamas is presented with the Distinguished Services medal from her years of service in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Dame Marguerite Pindling at the Prime Minister’s dinner at the Balmoral on Friday 24th October. The photo is by Peter Ramsay of the Bahamas Information Services. Fred Mitchell Minister of Foreign Affairs at left made the announcement.
Dame Marguerite Pindling presents Dr. Patricia Rodgers with the Janet Bostwick Medal for Leadership of Women in the Foreign Service on Friday 23rd October at Balmoral at the Prime Minister’s dinner as part of Diplomatic Week. The Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell at left made the announcement. The photo is by Peter Ramsay of the Bahamas Information Services.
The impromptu choir sang the song Little Nassau, led by the Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell and the daughter of the late Freddie Munnings who popularized the song. The song says “ we had a wonderful time in Nassau.” The diplomats seemed to agree. From left Picewell Forbes MP, High Commissioner to Caricom; High Commissioner to Canada Calsey Johnson Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell, Andrea Munnings Major; High Commissioner Ed Bethel; Ambassador Rhoda Jackson and Ambassador Elliston Rahming. Peter Ramsay of the Bahamas Information Services took the photo at the Prime Minister’s dinner on Friday 24th October at Balmoral.
The Prime Minister address the diplomats at a dinner hosted by him at the Balmoral as part of diplomatic week. The photo was taken on Friday 24th October by Peter Ramsay.
You may click here for the Prime Minister’s full statement.
(Photos by Peter Ramsay of the Bahamas Information Services)
Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell was joined by the Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis to host visiting diplomats accredited to The Bahamas at a reception at Luciano’s on Wednesday 22nd October. The photos are by Raymond Bethel Sr. of the Bahamas Information Services.
|The principals of The Bahamas – European Union bilateral talks held on Thursday, 23rd October 2014 during Diplomatic Week in Nassau, Bahamas are pictured. They are all ambassadors to The Bahamas. From left are H.E. David Fritton, High Commissioner of the United Kingdom; H.E. Joachim Christoph Schmillen, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany; H.E. Paola Amadei, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and the Cayman Islands; Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Fred Mitchell; Philip Miller, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration; H.E. Dr. Ray Bassett, Ambassador of Ireland; H.E. Claes Hammer, Ambassador of Sweden and H.E. Philippe Casenave, Ambassador of France. (BIS PHOTO/Elcott Coleby)
On 25th October, as part of The Bahamas Diplomatic Week, the Government of The Bahamas and the European Union held their first ever Cotonou Agreement Article 8 dialogue. The talks were led by the Honourable Frederick A. Mitchell, MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration for The Bahamas, and Ambassador Paola Amadei, Head of the European Union Delegation to The Bahamas.
The talks covered a wide range of topics including discussions on the future of ACP-EU relations and the ongoing implementation of the Joint Caribbean-EU Partnership Strategy which was established in 2012. Both sides welcomed the opportunity to also discuss pressing global issues including climate change, crime and security, migration, and human rights.
Minister Mitchell welcomed the European delegation comprising also all non-resident Ambassadors attending Diplomatic Week – France, Germany, Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom – and conveyed The Bahamas’ privilege and honour to be hosting this inaugural meeting. He noted that The Bahamas’ relationship with the European Union is a high priority for the country. The two parties are bound by a history of mutual cooperation in the areas of good governance, sustainable development, trade and finance, among others, as reflected in regional initiatives established through the longstanding Cotonou Agreement, the EU-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement and the Joint Caribbean EU Partnership Strategy. This first dialogue represents a positive step in further developing these relations.
Ambassador Amadei described the talks as very productive and said that the dialogue, which will now be held every year, will serve to underpin the EU-Bahamas relationship going forward and will provide a platform from which both parties can forge an even closer partnership to help address the bilateral, regional, and global challenges we all face.
Prime Minister Perry Christie watched over with the Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis, the signing of the agreement for the sale of the British Colonial Hilton in Downtown Nassau to the China Construction Company on Friday 24th October. The hotel is to remain Hilton and will be expanded to create a cinema, condominiums, a marina, a shopping centre and theatre.
The China Construction company that has thus far been unable to finish their project at Bahamar on Cable Beach on time has ventured into another development project in Nassau. This time they have bought the British Colonial Hilton. The Hilton which sits in the heart of downtown Nassau and is largely a hotel for business people, is to be further developed and will they say with their new plans create 500 permanent jobs and 200 construction jobs. We think that is a good thing. You would think that the commentators would think so too, except all you could read about was that the Chinese are taking over. Contrast that to the news earlier in the year that a Russian had bought the Ocean Club at Paradise Island, not a negative peep. Only goes to show. The photos show the artists rendition of what the new development will look like. The hotel will continue to be branded as a Hilton. It will create a hotel condominium, shopping centre, night club, cinema and Marina.
Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, standing centre, presented an award to Olympic Gold Winner Sir Durward Knowles, seated, during a gala luncheon celebrating the 50th Anniversary since the winning of The Bahamas’s first Olympic Gold Medal — in 1964 at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan — by Sir Durward Knowles and the late Cecil Cooke. The gala luncheon was held October 23 at the Imperial Ballroom of Atlantis, Paradise Island.
Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie addresses the Statoil Expansion Ground Breaking audience.
PM Speaks at Statoil Expansion;
Mentions GB Ebola Procedures
By Simon Lewis
Bahamas Information Services
HIGH ROCK, Grand Bahama – Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry Gladstone Christie was in Grand Bahama Thursday morning to participate in Ground Breaking ceremonies for the new Statoil South Riding Point, LLC Administration Building.
During his address at the ceremonies, the Prime Minister took the opportunity to inform the public of a Task Force that is in place to deal with Ebola and other health issues. He also advised that Mr. Greg Bartlett, a former Chief of Staff at the Rand Hospital has been recommended to head the Task Force of Grand Bahama, and that the Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville, being an engineer and a medical doctor is among the First Responders.
Firstly touching on the proposed Statoil Administration Building, which will be constructed at Statoil terminal in east Grand Bahama and is expected to cost in excess of $3 million, Mr. Christie noted that it also comes as the company continues with further upgrades to its oil storage facility.
Mr. Christie on Thursday also took note of the company’s good reputation as being environmentally friendly and a good corporate citizen.
Addressing a gathering of top level Statoil management, members of his own Cabinet, and business persons and residents from throughout Grand Bahama the Prime Minister told Statoil owners that just by reputation alone, it was a good fit for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas when they purchased in 2009, the oil transshipment facility.
On the subject of being environmentally friendly and using best practices that nation’s leader added that “I have no doubt whatsoever the kind of commitment that you bring to this island of Grand Bahama and our country, through your own reputation for performing at a very high level, when it comes around to environmental promotion and environmental protection.
“It is clear that you play a very vital role in the economy of Grand Bahama, and the fact that you are a leading European petroleum conglomerate, representing the largest Scandinavian investment in our country, augurs very well,” he stated.
Continuing, he told the gathering that the firm has a wonderful reputation and is said to be the third largest crude oil seller and the second largest gas/oil exporter to Europe operating in 35 countries worldwide.
GROUND BREAKING – Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie visited the Statoil facility on Grand Bahama Thursday where he participated in Ground Breaking ceremonies for a new $3million administrative building. Left to right are: the Hon. Khaalis Rolle, Minister of State for Investments, Office of the Prime Minister; the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville, Minister for Grand Bahama; the Hon. Philip Brave Davis, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development; Bent Pedersen, President Statoil Marketing and Trading; Prime Minister Christie; the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald, Minister of Education, Science and Technology; Jeffrey Munrow, Asset Manager and President, SSRP; Peter Symons, South Riding Point; Delton Russell, Terminal Manager, SSRP; and Arnold Forbes M.P., Executive Chairman, BAIC.
Mr. Christie said that having spoken with the company president, he understands that the firm is now re-inventing how they function, looking at cost containment, etc., but nevertheless committed to expressing confidence in their investment in The Bahamas by the addition of a major $3 million dollar facility. He pointed out that the company currently stows at its facility both light and heavy crude from various parts of the world with a storage capacity of some 6.5 million barrels.
The Prime Minister also informed that Statoil has spent some $250 million in upgrades, all with a view to ensuring that the east Grand Bahama plant has maximum efficiency and effectiveness in the operations on Grand Bahama. He also took note that during the upgrades, the company had as much as 300 persons working and that the current staff includes some 70 employees.
“This new administration building is being constructed at a cost of over $3 million and I am told, using local contractors. That means that they will benefit from this project, ensuring that much of this expenditure is injected into the Grand Bahamian economy,” he said.
Mr. Christie was also pleased to note, “Statoil’s approach and record on training has been progressive and commendable. Such an approach augurs well for the future of the company, creating an environment of stability and growing productivity.
“I am advised that over the next three years Statoil will carry out another $60 million worth or upgrades, which will bring more life into the Grand Bahamian economy and enhance the global business being conducted at what has become a state-of-the-art crude oil blending and transshipment facility.
“It is also of economic importance, so the Public Treasury benefits significantly from through-put phase at this facility and the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation benefits from lease rentals,” he informed. Further, the country’s leader said that was pleased to observe that Statoil is committed to a safe, reliable and efficient import and export operations of worldwide crude.
Shifting his topic, the Prime Minister mentioned: “As a result of this global concern and critical concern over Ebola, we have assembled the Task Force in New Providence which embraces all islands of our country, with specific reference to Grand Bahama, because of the nature of the businesses here in Grand Bahama, that includes and involves the importation of oil from country or countries in West Africa.
“Necessarily we want to be seen to be partners with Statoil as we work with any of the shipping companies here in Grand Bahama. But, a partnership that involves a very close understanding on the part of the Government, that Statoil being aware of the sensitivity and sensitivities of the possible fears of people, would help us to demonstrate beyond all reasonable doubt that we have put in place maximum safety provisions for the people of Grand Bahama and the people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
“In so saying, it was clear to us that the ordinary way of clearing boats with Immigration and Customs ought now to be supplemented by health officials. Health officials who are sensitized, prepared and trained on this issue of how to protect the country,” he said.
Mr. Christie said that companies like Statoil and others must now inform the Government and its agencies well in advance on where a ship is coming from, who is on the ship, to be able to share with the Government the provisions they are making from the point of origin with respect to the ship and even after that, when the ship arrives in The Bahamas it has to be cleared by the Ministry of Health before there is any contact with Bahamian officials.
“That is a necessary feature for protecting the country and being seen to do so,” he stated.
In that regard the Prime Minister said he wish to advise this morning that the Task Force has agreed to appoint Dr. Greg Bartlett, a former chief of staff, to be the person in command of the Task Force and its works here in Grand Bahama, and to ensure that all the necessary time that will be dedicated to this would be done by him because they did not want to over burden the current chief of staff on an operational basis at the Rand Memorial Hospital.
The Prime Minister also made it clear that all companies, be it shipping, air passengers or others must have an understanding and are working together on these new procedures necessary for the protection of the Bahamian people. (BIS Photos/Vandyke Hepburn)
Minister of Transport Glenys Hanna Martin as she addressed visiting diplomats at Graycliff on Friday 24th October.
Ministry of Transport & Aviation
HON. GLENYS HANNA MARTIN
MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND AVIATION
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR THE ENGLERSTON CONSTITUENCY
Official Launch Of The Campaign Of The
Commonwealth Of The Bahamas For Re-Election To The Council Of The International Maritime Organization (IMO), Category “C”
Friday, 24th October 2014
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is my pleasure to welcome you today at this event to launch the campaign of the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas for re-election to the Council of the International Maritime Organization, Category “C”.
The Commonwealth of The Bahamas has served on the IMO Council from 1991 to 1995 and from 1999 to the present, and has decided to seek re-election to the Council under Category “C”, at the forthcoming Assembly in November 2015. It should be recalled that the Council membership is made up of three groups of States, designated A, B and C. Category C is open to those twenty (20) States that have special interests in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world. The Bahamas exemplifies the highest credentials in each of these areas.
The Bahamas has over fifteen hundred ships, consisting of some fifty-eight (58) million gross tons on our shipping Register and is the fifth highest contributor to the IMO budget, representing 4.39% (£1.3m in 2014). The Bahamas remains the flag of choice for 140 passenger ships, with the world’s largest cruise ships, the “Quantum of the Seas” (GT 168,666), the Royal Caribbean’s “Oasis” and “Allure of the Seas”, flying its Flag.
The synergy created by such a dynamic fleet portfolio has led to an enhanced knowledge and understanding of the maritime industries and the associate challenges faced and in particular challenges experienced in difficult economic times.
It is this critical knowledge base and tested experience, combined with our commitment to advocacy for regulation that is timely, proportionate, clear and practical which informs our active membership in the International Maritime Organization.
Why does The Bahamas place such importance on Council membership? To understand this you need to understand the reasons for our significant interest in the dealings of the International Maritime Organization. You may be aware of our responsibilities as a regulator of one of the larger flag State fleets: but we enjoy an important strategic location – bounded by the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. We have a maritime geography which is unique in the world and we champion the stewardship of our beautiful Bahamian waters, reefs and cays for the benefit of the world.
This is why we hold the work done by the IMO in extremely high regard and why we consider it an unavoidable obligation to be actively involved in its work. We aim to facilitate sustainable, safe and secure shipping on clean seas through active cooperation with the IMO and other States and organizations which share our philosophy and views.
But how does this translate into fitness and a desire to serve on Council? It is a matter of our core beliefs:
We believe that Council membership obliges a higher responsibility to observe the discipline associated with participation in the Organization. We do so without complaint: we expect and exhort everyone to follow suit.
We believe that the Council should provide Committees with the leadership necessary to produce Regulations that are clear, implementable and proportionate – Regulations that deal properly with the risks and hazards without jeopardizing trade or the equitable development of nations. Our keen interest in the implementation of the Guidelines on the Organization and Methods of Work is evidence of our drive to ensure the avoidance of regulatory overload for seafarers and ship-owners.
The Bahamas was honoured to have been one of the small group of Member States selected for the Secretary-General’s Steering Group on the Reduction of Administrative Burdens and our delegation has worked assiduously to assist the Group in meeting its objectives. Our delegation is currently engaging with other Council members in the Correspondence Group on revision of the Guidelines on the Application of the Strategic Plan with the objective of ensuring that the revised guidelines are simple, rational and efficient.
If we are successful with our bid for re-election I can assure you that we will continue to participate actively with goodwill and openness. We will continue to support efforts to improve working methods to facilitate efficient delivery of modern regulations. We will continue to adhere to the discipline required of Member states and to encourage others to do likewise. We will continue to be proactive, imaginative and responsive, and to work for simplification and rationalization of Regulations and Guidelines.
Council membership is not a right – it is a privilege. We are keenly aware of that fact and The Bahamas is sincerely honoured to have received your support in recent times. We hope that we have met your expectations in our service but we believe that there is still more to do. We retain our desire to serve and to continue to contribute, and we humbly ask for your continued trust and support at the election of Council members when Assembly 29 meets in November 2015.
Toronto – Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchombe poses with members of the Canada Bahamas Tourist Office in front of an impressive Bahamas ad on the concourse digital monitors at the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Canada.
Toronto, Canada: The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (BMOT) hopes to further infiltrate the Canadian market with the launch of an aggressive media campaign to promote The Islands of The Bahamas brand and several direct flights into the archipelago.
The campaign comes just in time to support the introduction of two new Sunwing Airlines direct flights into Grand Bahama from Calgary and Vancouver beginning November 1, 2014, bringing the airline’s total number of Canadian cities with direct flights to The Bahamas to eight.
BMOT also wants to promote Air Canada’s direct flights to Exuma and Nassau, and West Jet’s non-stop service to the capital.
“It is really important that we market aggressively to the Canadian consumer and the travel trade to let them know that all of this inventory is available to The Bahamas from Canada,” said Deputy Director General Ellison Thompson.
The campaign began on October 21, 2014 when the Behold television advertisement aired for the first time in Canada during an episode of the popular romance reality television series The Bachelor Canada.
Eight versions of the ad featuring Bahamian NBA star Rick Fox and model Shakara Ledard will air on the most watched TV stations in Canada including: HGTV, Dtour, Showcase, Food Network, Discovery, The Weather Network, CBC Newsworld, SportsNet, Travel and Escapes, and Cottage Life.
Communications Manager for the Bahamas Tourism Office Canada Ambrose Morris says, “It’s a national campaign that extends from sea to sea – from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. This is the coming out, so to speak, of Bahamas television ads in Canada. It has been many years since we have done that.”
Sunwing is taking The Bahamas brand to eight cities in Canada with an aircraft wrapped with the Islands of The Bahamas and Grand Bahama logos.
In Toronto, images of The Bahamas will dominate the Air Canada Center (ACC) through a 360 monitor display, exterior superboards, InSuite monitors, and concourse digital monitors throughout the center. The Bahamas brand will be displayed during all ACC events including the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey games, and the Toronto Raptors basketball games for the duration of their seasons.
Posters of The Islands of The Bahamas also adorn the interior walls of the Toronto Transit Commission subway. Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe and a team of tourism officials viewed the ads in Toronto during the recent Media Blitz.
In Western Canada, two large murals in the Burrard Street Station in Vancouver entice thousands of TransLink subway commuters to visit Grand Bahama Island via Sunwing Airlines’ new non-stop flight. Above ground, the SkyTrain wrapped with The Bahamas logo and imagery will be a moving advertisement for the country’s brand.
Over in Calgary, Bahamas ads will run every 60 seconds on digital boards throughout the city for the next 10 weeks.
“As soon as the weather starts to get bad in places like Canada you have to make sure that your message is where the consumer is going to be,” Thompson said.
“So for those persons who are commuting in the morning, it’s cold it’s grey it’s snowy, and they’re already thinking that they need to get away, then they see these wonderful islands of The Bahamas and we’re there in front of them saying this is the place you need to go and it’s convenient to get there.”
The Bahamas Tourist Office in Canada has also launched an aggressive Social Media campaign complete with Facebook contests and Twitter parties.
The campaign ends on June 22, 2015.
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
The Prime Minister Perry Christie hosted a group of the country’s leaders in National Security and Health to a press conference at his office on Thursday 23rd October to show the country that the government was in a state of readiness to fight any possible onslaught by Ebola. There is no ban on people from the affected countries: Guinea, Sierre Leone and Liberia but there will be denial of entry where people have been to those countries within 21 days of their visit there.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From: Bahamas Information Services
October 23, 2014
Ebola taskforce plays “Meet the Press”
Prime Minister Christie on Wednesday announced Under Secretary in the Ministry of Transport Peter Deveaux-Isaacs as Administrator and Retired Chief Medical Officer Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis as the Chief Medical Coordinator of the National Ebola Taskforce – an inter-departmental government body assembled to lead the charge in protecting The Bahamas from the threat of Ebola.
“We have taken all reasonable steps to protect our country” said Prime Minister Christie, referring to the work of the taskforce – a grouping he referred to as “the right team.”
He went on to say that “we (The Bahamas) have had experiences with communicable diseases before. We have combated them in terms of our professional people who are involved in these matters professionally. We have combated successfully all of them and this (Ebola) is no exception.”
Mitchell responds to Shantytown comments
“Most people want to be law abiding citizens of a country and have no concern really - despite whatever politicians think – have no concern about politics as such, they just want to get on with their regular lives. And so our role, or the politician’s role and shapers of public policy in those situations in my view is to ensure that people see things in context and in scale and to say ‘let’s not get carried away here and remember the larger picture here which is this is the Commonwealth of The Bahamas – there is nothing which was said which undermines the integrity of our state.’ We have agencies of the government who are responsible for dealing with threats to the state if there are such threats and let them deal with it.” Mitchell appealing for calm, reason, balance and the rule of law instead of public hysteria in the wake of the unfortunate shantytown comments. These comments were made during a press briefing at the Foreign Ministry on Sunday.
Minister Dorsett defends government’s shantytown policy
Also on hand at the briefing was Environment and Housing Minister Kendred Dorsett who told reporters that notwithstanding the emotive nature of the demolition exercises, it is the government’s policy to systematically rid the Bahamas of illegal and unsanitary shantytowns and with Friday’s demolition exercise, his ministry was following and enforcing with the law.
“While it is a highly emotive issue, we are following the law and enforcing the law, but even in doing so I think that the government has been incredibly reasonable”…”we work together with communities and the Ministry of Social Services and the Minister in particular has taken a hands on approach in dealing with these issues because we know how sensitive it is and we want to make sure that we do as best as possible to ensure that we would not have these sort of reactions from persons who reside in The Bahamas.”
Haitian Ambassador “deeply deplores” shantytown comments
In a press release on Tuesday, the Haitian Ambassador to The Bahamas HE Antonio Rodrigue condemned the inflammatory remarks made by a shantytown resident late last week in the wake of a demolition exercise at a shantytown off Joe Farrington Road.
The statement said “the Embassy of Haiti has learned with dismay the inflammatory comments made by a Bahamian national of Haitian descent following the destruction of illegal makeshift homes in a village off Joe Farrington Road, mainly inhabited by Haitian nationals.”
The statement went on to say that the embassy “deeply deplores and vigorously condemns such irresponsible rhetoric, which is totally unacceptable and would not be tolerated.”
Further distancing both the Haitian embassy and the local Haitian community from the controversial remarks, the statement went on to say that “those statements are not shared in any way and at any moment by the Haitian community as a whole; they engage the sole responsibility of the individual who expressed them.”
Diplomatic Week in full swing
Heads of Missions and Consuls General converged on Nassau for a week of activities to commemorate the inaugural Diplomatic Week. On Wednesday, Mission Heads and Consuls General met with the Foreign Affairs Minister and Permanent Secretary at a breakfast meeting at the Melia Resort to discuss the future plans and strategies for the Foreign Service.
At this meeting, Minister Mitchell reiterated the fundamental role of the Foreign Service:
“Your business is to interact with the international community because our job ultimately is to enable Bahamians traveling around the world – whether for tourism, business or education – to have a seamless experience as they cross from one border to the next” said Mitchell.
In addition to a speaking tour at Holy Trinity and various Family Island schools on Tuesday, a public forum at the College of The Bahamas on Wednesday, a Bahamas – European Union dialogue and the official opening ceremony at the Melia Resort on Thursday, Prime Minister Christie will deliver the keynote address later tonight (Friday, 24thOct) at a dinner at the Balmoral Club.
Family Island tourism up
More good news for Tourism as foreign air and sea arrivals to the Family Islands have improved by 10 per cent between January and July 2014, compared to the same period in 2013, according to the latest data from the Research Statistics and Scanning Units in the Ministry of Tourism.
In 2014 according to the press release, air and sea arrivals increased every month except March, which saw a decrease of 7.5 per cent compared to 2013.
“Air arrivals increased to Andros, Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Cay, Exuma, Inagua, Long island and San Salvador between January to July 2014 compared to the same period of 2013,” officials said.
According to officials, stopover visitor arrivals to the Out Islands between January to May 2014 were better than when the financial meltdown occurred in 2008.
“Stopovers arrivals to the Out Islands grew by nine per cent between January to May 2014. In May YTD 2014, stopover visitor arrivals were up from the United States, Europe, Latin America, Australia, Africa and the Middle East,” officials said.
Sunwing increases flights to Grand Bahama
With over 25,000 new visitors to Grand Bahama as a result of the Sunwing partnership, the Ministry of Tourism announced this week that a significant increase in airlift to that island from western Canada.
The introduction of new direct flights from Vancouver and Calgary by Sunwing increases the number of direct flights into Grand Bahama from Canadian gateways to eight. The airline currently offers direct flights from Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Halifax.
Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe, the Director General of Tourism Joy Jubrilu, and Director of the Grand Bahama Tourist Office Betty Bethel made the exciting announcement during a special luncheon for the Canadian press at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver on Tuesday, October 21, 2014.
Sandy Bottom project already paying dividends.
Officers at the Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF) are crediting the recent success in the apprehension of illegal poachers and migrants in Bahamian waters to the acquisition the new vessels under the Ministry of National Security’s Sandy Bottom project.
Defense Force Operations Officer Senior Lieutenant Ricardo Barry said “I definitely think we are on the upswing. The addition of the new vessels is helping a lot and so definitely I think we are being positive with it and the numbers are encouraging.”
These encouraging numbers Lieutenant Barry are referring to include the capture of nine Cuban Nationals on Saturday; the arrest of eleven Dominican poachers on Monday and the capture of 96 Haitian migrants on Tuesday of this week. Keep up the good work guys.
Public Service Week kicks off
The 15th annual Public Service Week officially kicked off with a church service of thanksgiving at Bethel Baptist church on Sunday, 19th October. This year, the actual week of celebrations was preceded by a seminar for retirees, a float parade and a volleyball tournament.
At the launch press conference, Minister for the Public Service Hon. Shane Gibson reasoned that democracy and successful governance are built on a competent public service and therefore they should be celebrated.
“Too often our public officers are castigated and not celebrated. This is their time to celebrate and be celebrated under the theme, ‘charting the course, serving the nation and securing the future’ because the government recognizes that democracy and successful governance are built on the foundation of a competent Public Service” said the Minister.
It was in December 2002 that the United Nations ratified Resolution 57/277, declaring the 23rd day of June of each year as PUBLIC SERVICE DAY.
Prime Minister Christie lauds Statoil
Prime Minister Christie lauded the economic impact of Statoil on the local Grand Bahamian economy during the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of its new $3 million administrative complex in East Grand Bahama this past Thursday.
“Over the past three years, Statoil has spent over $250 million in facility upgrades to ensure that they have the best running operation here in East Grand Bahama. I am told they employed some 300 persons during these upgrades and the staff now includes some 70 permanent employees. This new administration building is being constructed at a cost of over $3 million using local contractors who will benefit from the project, ensuring that much of this expenditure is injected into the Grand Bahamian economy” said Prime Minister Christie.
Statoil purchased the 6.7 million barrel crude storage and blending facility from South Riding Point Holdings Ltd in 2009. It remains the third largest seller of crude oil, the second largest gas exporter to Europe and operates in 35 countries worldwide.
Prime Minister Christie in action
Fresh from his trip to Grand Bahama to break ground on the new Statoil building, Prime Minister Christie joined well-wishers in paying tribute to two sporting legends in the names of Sir Durward Knowles and the late Cecil Cooke. They won the first ever Olympic medal for The Bahamas when they struck gold in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, some 50 years ago. The 50th anniversary celebration was under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and the Bahamas Olympic Association.
On Friday morning the Prime Minister chaired another Ebola Taskforce meeting; the members were joined by Drs. Ward and Bartlett from Grand Bahama who will lead the taskforce and strategy on that island.
Later today (Friday) at 5:30pm Prime Minister Christie is scheduled to host a press conference to announce the purchase and expansion of the British Colonial Hilton Hotel on Bay Street. Having transformed the tourism product on Cable Beach, the government of The Bahamas is turning its attention to downtown Nassau with a view to reviving a commercial district that many believe is dying a slow economic death. Representatives from the China Import Export Bank and the China Construction Company will also be on hand.
From the Hilton Hotel the Prime Minister makes his way to the Balmoral Club where tonight he will host Heads of Missions, Consuls General and foreign diplomats to a dinner meeting as we bring the inaugural Diplomatic Week to a close. The Prime Minister is expected to deliver the keynote address on the country’s foreign policy to that body.
The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture officially opened the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival 2014 art exhibition on Monday at the Pro Gallery, College of The Bahamas. Youth, Sports and Culture Minister Dr. Daniel Johnson delivered brief remarks. On Thursday he launched the culture magazine BAAM (Bahamas Ambassador Magazine) at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas.
Under the auspices of the School of Chemistry and Environmental Life Sciences, the College of The Bahamas (COB) launched science week at the Harry C. Moore Library Auditorium on Monday evening. Delivering the keynote address was the head of the BEST Commission, Philip Weech. The purpose of Science Week is to stimulate greater interest in the value and relevance of science to our everyday lives and by extension, national development.
Australian swimmer Chloe McCardel and The Bahamas together made history when in the early hours of Wednesday morning, 23rd October Chloe arrived on Montague shores in east New Providence from South Eleuthera. The 29 year old completed a continuous swim in the ocean for 79.5 miles, breaking the old world record of 67.1 miles held by fellow Australian Penny Palfrey when she successfully swam between Little and Grand Cayman Islands. Well, the legend of Eleuthera continues to grow internationally.
The Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (CCEC) announced the appointment of Gowon Bowe as the new chairman on Tuesday of this week. He replaced Robert Myers who tendered his resignation late last week after a ZNS exclusive revealed that he made a false customs declaration of some $22,000 on an imported 2013 Porche and failed to declare some $4,000 worth of clothing in the car.
The now infamous Public Hospital Authority (PHA) audit was formally and finally accepted by the PHA Board of Directors after a March 2014 completion date. PHA Chairman Senator Frank Smith claimed that during the interim, the board wanted the Authority’s internal auditors to verify some of the findings submitted by external auditor UHY Bain and Associates with specific frames of reference.
Education Minister Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald called the day historic as he proudly commissioned the pre-school and day care council on Monday of this week. The Council will serve as a regulatory body for early childhood education and daycare. The Council will ensure that children at both public and private pre-school and daycare centers receive a structured education during those formative years.
The Nassau Guardian reported that Grand Bahama based Okyanos Heart Institute has performed five stem cell procedures last week and according to CEO Matthew Feshbach, the institute is capable of performing 1,000 procedures per year.
The following statement was issued by Fred Mitchell MP for Fox Hill and Minister for Immigration at the Fox Hill Branch of the PLP on the new immigration rules to be implemented on 1st November:
I wish to give a brief statement in response to the feedback on the administrative measures announced by me in the House of Assembly on Immigration.
I said that there would be certain changes expected on 1st November following a period of feedback. Nothing that has come back by way of feedback on the policies indicates that there is a need to change that administrative starting date. The date will therefore stand as the commencement date of the policy.
The policy is not aimed at any national group in The Bahamas. It is generic in nature. It seeks only to better ensure that the people who live and reside in The Bahamas have the lawful authority to do so, either because they are citizens of The Bahamas or they have permits to reside or work here.
I repeat that with immediate effect, we are no longer accepting applications for first time applicants for residence or work permits from those who have no legal status in The Bahamas. Those persons also will no longer be able simply to demonstrate that they have departed The Bahamas. This is in response to the increased suspicion of fraud in connection with these applications. In order for such a first time application to be processed, where the individual has no legal status in The Bahamas, the applicant must be seen and certified as having been seen by an officer of the nearest Bahamian embassy if there is no Bahamian embassy in the applicant’s home country. The embassies are in a position to process these certifications.
Secondly, all those who are not nationals of The Bahamas who live in this country beginning 1st November will be required to have the passport of their nationality and evidence that they have permission to live or work in The Bahamas.
This may represent a broad class of people. I wish to remind the public that the constitution of The Bahamas does not give citizenship at birth to those born here of foreign parents. Those children have a right to apply at their eighteenth birthday and before their nineteenth birthday for citizenship of The Bahamas. Up to the time they are granted citizenship, in law they are not Bahamian citizens. This means that these people will be required to have a residence permit to reside lawfully in The Bahamas.
This is a requirement for which there will be no exceptions, save and except where someone is stateless. In the case of a stateless individual, the Government will provide an identity document but otherwise the practice of issuing certificates of identity is to cease on 1st November. When the currency of existing certificates of identity expires, they will not generally be reissued or renewed.
We will speak with the all embassies in The Bahamas and we anticipate that embassies will be able to meet that demand for passports.
We anticipate also that in the case of one national group it may take administratively some three months to meet and process that demand and for the Department of Immigration to process the volume of applications for resident permits.
In any event, we expect that by 15th January 2015, most people will have complied with this requirement and certainly that children will have complied for the start of the school term in 2015. If any citizen has a difficulty, they should contact their local embassy for assistance with particular problems.
These measures are for the general good and will provide a more secure form of documentation for all who work and live in The Bahamas. I would therefore urge all citizens residing lawfully in The Bahamas to comply with these new measures.
Those who are not here lawfully should expect increased vigilance and enforcement on the part of the law enforcement authorities in The Bahamas.
I wish to thank the public for their support of the measures, and for the responsible manner in which these have been accepted.
In particular, I would wish to commend the continuing dialogue with leaders of the Haitian community and for their efforts to ensure compliance with these administrative measures.
The door remains open for continued comment and dialogue as we seek to make The Bahamas a more secure place to live.
Letters to the editor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sebastian Alliance Group LLC
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Tropical Storm Damages Bahamas Phone System
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. October 24 2014. – On August 18 2014, a tropical storm damaged telephone lines in the Bahamas impacting the phone system of Sebastian Alliance Group LLC. Cable Bahamas has yet to resolve the issue.
“We humbly apologize for any inconvenience that this disruption may have on our customers. We are currently determined to find a new solution for our customers in the Bahamas so that we can continue to provide exceptional customer service. We are currently looking into partnering with a new provider so that we can resolve this issue quickly,” Sebastian Curry, Chief Executive Officer.
Due to the politics between Batelco and Cable Bahamas, only 50% of the telephone lines have been restored. “Sebastian Alliance Group LLC is still unable to receive any telephone calls as Batelco refuses to allow telephone calls to the offices, as we were a former Cable Bahamas client. Customers looking to contact any Sebastian Alliance employee are recommended to do so at 1-877-268-4779,” Curry.
Sebastian Alliance is the industry leader in providing professional services ranging from I.T. to marketing to investment solutions. For more information about Sebastian Alliance Group, please visit www.SebastianAlliance.com
A delegation from the Bahamas headed by the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Sen. Allyson Maynard-Gibson is currently attending the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Busan, Republic of Korea, which is scheduled to run from 20th October to 7th November. The ITU is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs and the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference is the key event at which ITU Member States (193 countries, including the Bahamas) decide on the future role of the organization, thereby determining the organization’s ability to influence and affect the development of information and communication technologies (ICTs) worldwide. The Plenipotentiary Conference is the top policy-making body of the ITU. Held every four years, the Conference sets the Union’s general policies; adopts four-year strategic and financial plans; and elects the senior management team of the organization, the members of Council, and the members of the Radio Regulations Board.
A highlight of The Bahamas’ participation in the Conference was the Policy Statement address by the Head of Delegation to the Conference, Sen. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, outlining The Bahamas’ vision for ICT connectivity. A video of the presentation can be obtained at http://www.itu.int/en/plenipotentiary/2014/statements/Pages/countries.aspx and the full text of the Policy Statement can be obtained at http://www.itu.int/en/plenipotentiary/2014/statements/file/Pages/bahamas.aspx.
The Bahamas delegation is playing an active part in the deliberations and decisions at the Conference, particularly on key issues of importance to The Bahamas which include issues relating to developing enhanced ICTs access and capacity in developing states with vulnerable economies, fragile environments, and limited resource bases. The Bahamas delegation is also working to encourage and support the inclusion of more ITU initiatives related to Consumer Protection and monitoring matters pertaining to the ITU’s work in relation to the Internet and International connectivity.
While at the Conference the delegation met with key officers of the ITU for discussions regarding the role the ITU can play in the development of ICT in The Bahamas, including meeting the outgoing Secretary General, Dr. Hamadoun Toure, the current Deputy Secretary General and new Secretary General elect, Mr. Houlin Zhao, the current Director of the ITU’s Telecommunications Standardisation Bureau and Deputy Secretary General elect, Mr. Malcolm Johnson, and the Director of ITU’s Telecommunications Development Bureau, Mr. Brahima Sanou. The delegation also met with the delegations from various other regional and international delegations, including ongoing coordination with other delegations from the Caribbean region.
The Bahamas delegation to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference 2014 in Busan, Republic of Korea, headed by Senator Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, meets with Brahima Sanou, newly re-elected Director of ITU’s Telecommunications Development Bureau to discuss ITU’s assistance for development of The Bahamas’ ICT sector. From left, Mrs. Kathleen Smith, Chief Executive Officer, URCA, Mr. Randol Dorsett, Chairman URCA, Brahima Sanou, Director ITU BDT, and Allyson Maynard-Gibson Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, and Bruno Ramos, Regional Director, ITU Regional Office for the Americas.
The Bahamas delegation meets with Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary General elect of the ITU and the current Director of ITU’s Telecommunications Standardisation Bureau, at the Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, Republic of Korea, to discuss ITU’s role in the use of ICT and telecommunications to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the benefits of participation of Universities and tertiary institutions in the ITU, and increasing and enhancing the support of the ITU for the development of ICT in The Bahamas and the Caribbean region. From left, Mrs. Kathleen Smith, Chief Executive Officer, URCA, Mr. Randol Dorsett, Chairman URCA, Brahima Sanou, Director ITU BDT, Head of Delegation Allyson Maynard-Gibson Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, and Mr. Stephen Bereaux, Director of Policy and Regulation, URCA.
The Bahamas delegation has bilateral discussions with the delegation of the United States of America at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2014 in Busan, Republic of Korea, to discuss matters of mutual interest relating to telecommunications and ICT. From left, Mrs. Kathleen Smith, Chief Executive Officer, URCA, Mr. Randol Dorsett, Chairman, URCA, US Head of Delegation, H.E. Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda, US Coordinator, International Communications and Information Policy, US Department of State, Bahamas Head of Delegation, Sen. Allyson Maynard-Gibson Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr. Christopher Painter, Coordinator for Cyber Issues US Department of State, Mr. Stephen Bereaux, Director of Policy and Regulation URCA, and Mr. Anthony Teelucksingh, Senior Counsel, Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, US Department of Justice.
The annual celebration of United Nations Day by the Zonta Clubs in The Bahamas was held at Christ Church Cathedral this morning. Fred Mitchell MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs, is shown with Club Members and the Dean of the Cathedral Patrick Adderley following the mass this morning. Mr. Mitchell used the opportunity to announce the awardees of the Foreign Service medals. They are: Distinguished Foreign Service Officer Medal
Lynden Pindling Medal for Leadership (Service to GG or PM)
Paul Adderley Medal for Excellence
Clement Maynard Medal for Innovation
Janet Bostwick Medal for Women in the Foreign Service
Dr. Patricia Rodgers
Foreign Service Bravery Medal
Sgt. Michelet Merunard
Here is an excerpt from a letter to the Nassau Guardian published on 21st October by the brother of the Prime Minister, Gary Christie:
My brother MP, you still have a lot of work to do. Daddy always scolded me to keep his yard clean. I once left some wood in the yard for my Junkanoo costume and he berated me to clean it up, telling me that it will be the same wood someone will “lick” him in his head with when he came home from taxi driving at night. Your political backyard remains littered with crime, unemployment, absence of sufficient entrepreneurial initiative for Bahamians. The same pieces of “ wood” you beat the FNM in their heads with, they will use to come back at you full force unless you clean up that yard. I know you can. I know you will.
This image was captured at the Junkanoo Rushout at Government House on Saturday 25th October at the Governor General’s reception to end Diplomatic Week.
The High Grove singers under the direction of Adrian Archer treated the country to its annual concert for the fall. The guest of honour was the Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell and also joining for the occasion was Sir Arthur Foulkes, former Governor General and Lady Foulkes, shown in the second row. The pictures of the event at the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Kirk on Sunday 19th October are by Peter Ramsay of the Bahamas Information Services.
High Commissioner to Caricom Picewell Forbes MP and Fred Mitchell MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs is seen speaking with the Prime Minister outside the Melia Cable Beach Hotel, the venue for Diplomatic Week on Thursday 24th October. The photo is by Peter Ramsay of the Bahamas Information Services.
NASSAU, Bahamas — His Excellency Joachim Christoph Schmillen, Ambassador Designate of Germany to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, presented his Letters of Credence to the Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling at Government House on Wednesday, October 22, 2014. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)
Minister of the Environment Ken Dorsett visited Clifton Pier on Friday 25th October to assess the progress being made with remediation efforts in the wake of the oil spill that occurred there. The Services of Overseas Marine Group Ltd. based in Freeport, Grand Bahama has been retained to aid in the clean-up efforts as well as international consultants.
The following was released by the Bahamas Information Services on 24th October:
The headline in the Tribune this morning about a three month grace period in connection with the new immigration policy is not accurate.
The public is fully advised that the effective date for the full implementation of the new immigration policy is still 1 November.
Senator Michael Pintard (FNM) says that he is running for Deputy Leader of the FNM and he had some things to say about the other candidate in the race to the Nassau Guardian. He didn’t call his name but since there is only one other announced candidate, he could only have been talking about Dr. Duane Sands. He said this quoted on 25th October: “ anyone who has a position and does nothing should be seeing elevation.” Them’s fighting words and Dr. Sands said he would not response to the comments save that they were unfortunate. He said he will deal with Mr. Pintard in private. Oooh!
As part of Diplomatic Week, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell hosted the Honorary Consuls who represent The Bahamas abroad to a dialogue at the Ministry’s headquarters on Saturday 25th October.
The public wants to know where the FNM is on the new immigration policies of the Government. They have been silent. The word is they are calculating that they can be silent on this, hoping that they can have the best of both worlds. The PLP will take the negative heat from the Haitian community and have them vote against the PLP at the next election. The FNM will quietly support the policies in the Bahamian community, while giving the view to Haitians Bahamians that they will change them, although they intend to do no such thing but they will encourage Haitian Bahamians on the basis of their silence to vote for the FNM in the next election.
Prime Minister Perry Christie at the dinner hosted by him at Balmoral with the Heads of Mission overseas for The Bahamas and the Consuls General. From left at front row: Ambassador to Washington Eugene Newry; High Commissioner Calsey Johnson in Canada; the Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell MP; the Prime Minister; Consul General Paulette Zonicle in Washington D C; Ambassador Alma Adams in Cuba. On the steps from left Shelia Carey, Charge in Beijing; High Commissioner to London Ed Bethel and Consul General in New York Forrester Carroll. The photo taken on 24th October is by Peter Ramsay of the Bahamas Information Services.
The scene at Government House in the ballroom on Saturday 25th October, the farewell reception of the Governor General for the end of diplomatic week in The Bahamas.
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