Compiled, edited and constructed by Russell Dames... Updated every Sunday at 2 p.m.
Volume 10 © BahamasUncensored.com 2013
|15th December , 2013
Welcome to bahamasuncensored.com
|KEEP PRESSING ON BY JALAM|
IT WAS THE PLACE TO BE: anyone who was anyone was in Jo’berg, South Africa on Tuesday 10th December for the official memorial service of Nelson Mandela, the South African patriot and freedom fighter who died and is being buried in his home village Of Qunu as we upload this column today. Mr. Mandela strode the world of human rights and human dignity as a colossus. He was described at the memorial by the United States president as a man who was the last of the freedom fighters of the second half of the twentieth century. The memorial was at times moving, serious, fun, disorganized, prideful and sad. It was clear that the people of South Africa worshipped their late national hero. They saw him as the father of the nation and they seemed a bit lost as to what to do next. White, Black and Asians who make up the rainbow nation gathered with visible tears to mourn his passing. The Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie joined fellow Prime Ministers of Caricom Kamala Persaud Bicessar, Haitian President Michel Martelly, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller of Jamaica and President Donald Ramotar of Guyana for the memorial. The Prime Minister of Trinidad put on a special Caribbean airlines 767 jet to take the Caribbean leaders over for the occasion. It was simply the place to be. Our photo of the week then is that of the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the President of Haiti and the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago as they departed Johannesburg for home on Thursday 12th December. The photo is by Peter Ramsay of the Bahamas Information Services.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
DOES HUBERT MINNIS REALLY THINK?
Sometimes it really is better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and confirm that fact. That is something that Hubert Minnis, the Leader of the Opposition, ought to think about as he makes his next public statement. So anxious is he and the FNM to capitalize on the apparent misfortunes of the government that they end up saying some really stupid things that come flying back in their faces.
No better example of this is there than the latest comment which the Leader of the Opposition Mr. Minnis made when he called for hangings to resume in the face of the home invasion of the home of the Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis. Mr. Minnis claimed that the Prime Minister Perry Christie who was representing the country at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela should have immediately left the memorial service and come back home to deal with that.
Now tell us this: what crisis ensued as a result of the home invasion that crippled or affected the government’s ability to act. Nothing. The Prime Minister was fully brief about the invasion within minutes of the event and so there was no need to come home once the facts were known. The government of the PLP is not a one man band like the government of Hubert Ingraham in which Mr. Minnis worked. Mr. Ingraham made all the decisions and nothing could be done unless he was personally involved.
Mr. Christie is not a police detective and he was briefed extensively on the state of the investigation by the Commissioner of Police and by the Minister of National Security. The police are confident that they will solve the crime.
As for hanging, there was a lot of stupid commentary during the past week on this issue, led by the Leader of the Opposition. The position is clear, no executions can take place in our country unless the courts say that they can take place. That has not happened and it does not appear that this will happen any time soon. So it is fine to talk populist nonsense about hanging for one’s personal aggrandizement but the fact is as a practical matter, the death penalty is a dead issue in The Bahamas.
We think all this talk about the death penalty by people who ought to know better is a special kind of laziness to avoid the situation of correcting the dysfunctions in the young male population. For almost ten years if not more at the University of the West Indies and at the College of The Bahama, women graduates have been outnumbering males by three to one. We know that this is unsustainable. Men will not allow women to run them in this country and unless there is an intellectual fix of this problem, the society will have hell to pay. Those are the cold hard facts: like it or like it not. The result of this deeply held, instinctive position by men is the chaos we now see.
So Mr. Minnis should really think before he puts his foot in his mouth the next time.
Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 14th December 2013 up to midnight:203,655
Number of hits for the month of December up to Saturday 14ht December 2013 up to midnight:393,359
Number of hits for the year 2013 up to Saturday 14th December 2013 up to midnight:7, 354,909
PHOTO ESSAY THE MANDELA MEMORIAL
We present various scenes from the observances in Johannesburg, South Africa to mark the passing of Nelson Mandela. There was the memorial service at the FNB stadium on 10th December and then there was the viewing of the body which took place on 11th December. The Prime Minister of The Bahamas led a Bahamian delegation which included Fred Mitchell, Foreign Minister and Obie Wilchcombe, Tourism Minister.
|Prime Minister Perry Christie with Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada at the time of the Heads of Government meeting in Nassau in 1985 under the Chairmanship of Sir Lynden O. Pindling which was instrumental in crafting the Nassau Accord which saw Mr. Mandela freed from prison.||Prime Minister Perry Christie with President Michel Martelly of Haiti at the Presidential logde in Pretoria prior to the viewing of the late President Nelson Mandela's body.|
|Prime Minister Perry Christie with Thabo Mbeki, former South African president at the presidential lodge in South Africa with Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell and Prime Minister Perry Christie. Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe is in the background.||
The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamala Persaud Bicessar (far left) stops in the back of her chartered 767 jet to chat with the media. Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell at the far rigt looks on.
Prime Minister Perry Christie is shown at the post trip press conference on Thursday 12th December at the Trinidad airport following arrival from South Africa shown with other leaders of Caricom including President Michel Martelly of Haiti and Prime Minister Kamla Persaud Bicessar of Trinidad and Tobago seated third from the left and fourth from the left respectively.
Prime Minister Perry Christie is shown at the post trip press conference on Thursday 12th December at the Trinidad airport following arrival from South Africa shown with other leaders of Caricom including President Michel Martelly of Haiti and Prime Minister Kamla Persaud Bicessar of Trinidad and Tobago seated third from the left and fourth from the left respectively.
Prime Minister Perry Christie with the Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key at the Presidential lodge in Pretoria prior to the viewing of the body of Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa on Wednesday 11 th December. Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell is at the left.
Caption: On board the special Caribbean Airlines flight to Jo'berg with Fred Mitchell, Foreign Minister at left and Trinidad's Prime Minister Kamala Persaud Bicessar and Prime Minister Perry Christie.
Prime Minister Perry Christie with Fred Mitchell on 10th December at FNB Stadium for the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Pretoria, South Africa.
Prime Minister Perry Christie with former President of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia at the presidential lodge in Pretoria prior to the viewing of the body of Nelson Mandela. Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell looks on partially blocked. The President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete is shown at the centre.
|Prime Minister Perry Christie following the viewing of the body of Nelson Mandela on Wednesday 11th December in Pretoria at the Union Buildings with Keith Rowley, the Leader of the Opposition of Trinidad adn Tobago and the Prime Minister of Trinidad Kamala Persaud Bicessar at the centre.||Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell meets former President F. W. De Klerk of South Africa and former President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique outside the Union Buildings on Wednesday 11th December.|
The photos were taken by Peter Ramsay of the Bahamas Information Services.
ENCOURAGING FISCAL NEWS
Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members are aware that the Government is firmly committed to reducing and ultimately eliminating the GFS Deficit and placing the Debt-to-GDP ratio on a downward path back to more desirable and sustainable levels. To that end, in this year’s Budget Communication, we laid out a medium-term fiscal consolidation plan that is comprehensive and multi-faceted, including major reform initiatives in respect of both Recurrent and Capital Expenditure as well as Recurrent Revenue. At this time, I would like to take this opportunity to draw the attention of this Honourable House to the success that the Government is having in implementing this fiscal consolidation plan. To that end, I want to lay on the table of the House the latest report of the Central Bank of The Bahamas on Monthly Economic and Financial Developments for the month of October 2013. In this document, the Bank reports that, during the 1st quarter of the 2013/14 FY, the Government’s Total Deficit narrowed sharply due to a combination of reduced expenditures and higher revenue collections. Specifically, the Deficit was reduced by almost one-half, from a level of $144 million to $78 million in the first quarter of this year. The bulk of this $66 million improvement primarily reflected a $58 million reduction in Total Expenditure, of which $28 million occurred on the Recurrent side and $30 million on the Capital side. Total Revenue during the first quarter of FY 2013/14 increased by almost $9 million. All in all, these are most encouraging developments and they indicate that the Government’s plan to redress the nation’s public finances is bearing fruit. -
ALLYSON LOWE’S CAMPAIGN
Last week, we reported in this column on an ambush by the Business Editor of the Nassau Guardian Alison Lowe on the Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell as he was shopping in Lowe’s Pharmacy in the Harbour Bay Shopping Centre on Saturday 7th December. The column pointed out that what Ms. Lowe did was unethical and that there was a special place for people who do that kind of thing. Her friends are saying that she is smarting from the sharp commentary which was made last week about the matter. There is no apology for it. Ms. Lowe ought to know in the future that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. We believe that public officials who suffer these kinds of ambushes should engage in a scorched earth policy. Her friends are saying that she is seeking to solicit the support of the Crisis Centre to make what happened in last week’s column as an attack on her because she was a woman. That is a lost cause and a silly argument. The only thing that caused what happened on this column last week was the stupidity of her behavior, nothing more or less. Her friends have been reaching out to her employers but if this were the U S she would not still be working at the paper. They say that other papers have been called in to help saying that this is a cause for women. Good luck there. What should happen is that she should examine her behavior and reform her prejudicial behavior before she gets into further trouble. In fact she owes the Minister an apology.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR BY CHARLES DAVID ROLLE
(The letter writer responds to the comments of the Leader of the Opposition Hubert Minnis on the home invasion perpetrated by three men on Monday 9th December at the home of the Deputy Prime Minister in Nassau. Mr. Minnis thought that the Prime Minister Perry Christie ought to have left South Africa where he was attending the observances for Nelson Mandela and come home to deal with the home invasion.—Editor)
A nice home in an upper middle class neighborhood in New Providence suffered a violent break in by criminals. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured though it was a seriously traumatic incident. The home owners deserve our prayers and sympathy as does all those citizens who have suffered similar incidents of criminality. Yes, the homeowners are Philip and Ann Davis - he happens to be Acting Prime Minister but this was not an attack against the Head of State but simply a coincidence of residency. Yes, we have a serious problem with crime and, obviously, not enough is being done but this must NOT be categorized as 'an attack against the State' any more than a similar break in in any citizen's home, horrific though it be, would be considered 'an attack against the State'. When an FNM minister was kidnapped and murdered back in 1997, that was not 'an attack against the State' but, rather an horrific crime. Dr. Hubert Minnis might be trying to score political points but he is not doing The Bahamas any favour nor is he being intellectually honest, though I hesitate to declare him a hypocrite - I just don't know him that well. Right thinking Bahamians should not allow this home invasion to be successfully categorised as 'an attack against the State'. I feel for the pain my friends, Philip and Ann Davis, are having to go through but we owe it to them and to all Citizens to retain proper perspective. For what it is worth.
MISSIONS AT WORK ABROAD
NEW YORK, NY -- The Bahamian-American Association Incorporated (BAAI) in New York, formerly The Nassau Bahamas Association, New York, hosted its 7th annual Christmas Splash on Saturday, December 7, 2013, at the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building in Harlem, New York.
This year’s Splash was held under the Patronage of the Hon. Forrester J. Carroll, J.P., Bahamas Consul General to New York, and Dr. Valencia P. Carroll.
Additional dignitaries included His Excellency Dr. Eugene G. Newry, Bahamas Ambassador to the United States, and Mrs. Francoise Torchon Newry; Vice Consul Mrs. Sandra M. McLaughlin of the Bahamas Consulate General at New York, and Mr. McLaughlin.
“The BAAI is deeply appreciative for the cooperation and support it has received from the Bahamas Government over the years, through the assistance of the Consulate General of The Bahamas at New York and its successive Consul Generals,” BAAI President Dorea Rolle said in a press release. “The Bahamian-American Community was delighted that the Honorable Forrester J. Carroll, J.P., delivered remarks that inspired the Association to keep the Bahamian heritage alive. Our Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening was Ms. Cordell Cleare, daughter of two proud Bahamians and Chief of Staff for Senator Bill Perkins.”
Ms. Rolle noted that “Bahamians, Bahamian-Americans and Friends of the Bahamas, young and old, came from near and far to enjoy the Bahamian culture.”
“A traditional Bahamian Christmas meal was served followed by dancing to the beat of native Bahamian music,” Ms. Rolle added. “The association’s members are aware that our forefathers have blazed a trail like none other -- one of perseverance, tenacity and courage. In May of 2013 a new BAAI Executive Team was elected and the journey over the past few months has been quite rewarding.”
Emphasizing that the rejuvenation efforts started with an all-day Cookout and Fun Day in August, Ms. Rolle said this was “followed by a Bahamian Food Stall at the West Indian Day Parade on the Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn; 101st Anniversary Celebration on September 21st, culminating with a champagne toast and presentation of a Proclamation from Senator Bill Perkins to commemorate the milestone; and the year-ended Christmas Splash.”
She noted that the BAAI, “a fraternal Bahamian-American Association, is proud to be the successor of the Nassau Bahamas Association, one of the oldest fraternal associations in the State of New York.”
The Association was founded September 17, 1912, by 10 Bahamian men, who had made the United States their new home. The Founders of the Association trace their roots to many of the islands of The Bahamas, including New Providence, Andros, Abaco, Cat Island, Eleuthera, Exuma and Long Island. In 1922, Bahamian women took their place as members of the Association.
The Association was incorporated in New York State July 6, 1939, and in 1946, purchased its building at 211 West 137th Street, in historic Harlem, New York City. The building still serves as the Association’s Headquarters.
“The BAAI has a strong historical legacy and we look forward to a bright and progressive future,” Ms. Rolle said.
For more information, contact the via email: email@example.com or see its websitewww.thebaai.org.
|CUTTING THE CAKE – Pictured cutting the cake at the BAAI Christmas Splash from left are: Vice Consul Mrs. Sandra M. McLaughlin; Mr. Joseph Wendell Bain, BAAI Treasurer; Mrs. Carolyn Young-Miller, BAAI President-Emeritus; the Hon. Forrester J. Carroll, J.P., Bahamas Consul General to New York; Dr. Valencia P. Carroll; Justice Kenneth Thompson; J. Machelle Sweeting, Esq.; His Excellency Dr. Eugene G. Newry, Bahamas Ambassador to the United States; and Mrs. Francoise Torchon Newry|
Pictured from left at the BAAI Christmas Splash are: Dr. Gerald White-Davis; Mr. Craig Powell; Justice Kenneth Thompson; His Excellency Dr. Eugene G. Newry, Bahamas Ambassador to the United States; Mrs. Francoise Torchon Newry; the Hon. Forrester J. Carroll, J.P., Bahamas Consul General to New York; Mr. Eric Wiberg, Esq. and Mr. Frank Minaya, who as a businessman in The Bahamas for many years was owner of the popular Banana Boat nightclub in Nassau. — with Forrester J Carroll.
Pictured from left at the BAAI Christmas Splash are: Dr. Gerald White-Davis; Mr. Craig Powell; Justice Kenneth Thompson; His Excellency Dr. Eugene G. Newry, Bahamas Ambassador to the United States; Mrs. Francoise Torchon Newry; the Hon. Forrester J
The Hon. Kenred Dorsett M.P., Minister of the Environment and Housing at the United Nations Human Rights Settlement Programme Meeting in New York City.
Minister Dorsett is seen with Bahamas UN Ambassador His Excellency, Elliston Rahming
NEW YORK, NY -- The Hon. Forrester J. Carroll, Bahamas Consul General to New York, on Friday, December 13, signed the book of condolence to the late South African President Nelson Mandela, at the South Africa Consulate in New York. In the book, Consul General Carroll wrote the following: "On behalf of the government and peoples of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas -- having had a substantive role (under the leadership of Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling) in leading CARICOM’s fight to have this great freedom fighter released from his 27 year imprisonment -- I am proud to sign this book of condolences on the passing (from this scene) of this giant of a leader. Mr. Mandela was one, among the likes of Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who fought tooth and nail to the end for the rights of peoples, too long, oppressed."
WASHINGTON, D.C. ( 9 Dec.) -- His Excellency Dr. Eugene Newry, Bahamas Ambassador to the United States, this afternoon signed the book of condolences to former South Africa President Nelson Mandela at the South African Embassy, 3051 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. Mr. Mandela, who died on Thursday, December 5, was loved and revered in The Bahamas. Indeed, former Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling was chairman of the 1985 Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting held in Nassau when Commonwealth Leaders signed The Nassau Accord that, among other things, called on the “authorities in Pretoria” to declare that the “system of apartheid will be dismantled and specific and meaningful action taken in fulfilment of that intent; Terminate the existing state of emergency; Release immediately and unconditionally Nelson Mandela and all others imprisoned and detained for their opposition to apartheid; Establish political freedom and specifically lift the existing ban on the African National Congress and other political parties; Initiate, in the context of a suspension of violence on all sides, a process of dialogue across lines of colour, politics and religion, with a view to establishing a non-racial and representative government.” After serving 27 years in prison, Mr. Mandela was released on February 11, 1990, and was elected President of South Africa in 1994. Ambassador Newry is pictured signing the book of condolences.
NEW YORK, NY -- While at the South African Consulate in New York to sign the book of condolences to the late Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, Bahamas Consul General to New York, the Hon. Forrester J. Carroll, had the honor of meeting the Hon. George Monyemangene, Consul General of South Africa in New York.
Bahamians and Friends of The Bahamas are invited to a Bahamian Carol Service and Reception at the Grosvenor Chapel, 24 South Audley Street, London W1K 2PA on Thursday, 12 December 2013 at 7pm.
Individuals interested in attending are kindly requested to RSVP in advance to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A TRIBUTE TO P. ANTHONY WHITE BY GG
(The following tribute to the late writer P. Anthony White was penned by the Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes who regarded Mr. White as a friend and colleague. Mr. White died of complications from surgery. He was buried following a church service at St. Agnes Anglican Church on Sunday 8th December, Archdeacon Ranfurly Brown presiding. The tribute first appeared in The Tribune and then in bahamasweekly.com –Editor)
Sir Arthur Foulkes' Tribute to Paul Anthony White
By Sir Arthur Foulkes
In 1682 John Sheffield, an English soldier, nobleman, adventurer, politician and poet, wrote a fairly long poem entitled Essay on Poetry. Centuries later, the opening lines of that work used to be carried frequently by Time Magazine as a filler. It goes like this:
“Of all those arts in which the wise excel,
Nature’s chief masterpiece is writing well.”
Paul Anthony White was many things, but above all he was a writer, devoted to the art with a passion approaching divine addiction.
As a fellow practitioner of the writer’s art, I enjoyed a friendship with Anthony better measured in decades rather than years, and I was privileged from time to time to collaborate with him in the political arena.
Everyone who is serious about the art of writing must also be a reader, a lover of language, with an insatiable appetite for literature. Anthony was all of that. He was well-read from the ancient classics to the modern masters.
His restless love affair with writing drove him to test his skills in every genre. He was attracted to wherever there were writers or a printing press: from The Herald to The Tribune to The Guardian to Punch.
He was at various times reporter, feature writer, publisher, political polemicist, speech-writer, poet and playwright.
But I believe he made his greatest contribution to Bahamian letters as a story-teller. He was a most talented short story writer, and his tales of Over-the-Hill -- and in particular his beloved Grants Town – were as rich as any ever written.
Like all good writers, Anthony wrote about what he knew, and he knew Grants Town, its history and its people. This knowledge was infused with a combination of a keen sense of observation and at the same time an ability to convey a sense of identification with the narrative.
There was, of course, always more to be told. About two weeks before his passing he sent me by email his column for the week, which was really another delightful short story about Grants Town.
I pointed out to him what I thought was a very obvious omission. Contrary to popular belief, good journalists are the best keepers of secrets in the world outside the confessional, and all of us have confidences that will go with us to the grave.
This omission was not in that category at all, although it was about a rather sensitive matter. But I knew he never allowed that to deter him before. His reply to me was simple: “You write some – and you keep some!”
He did not want to overload or detract from that particular narrative but he would undoubtedly have returned to the missing piece at some other time -- with the degree of attention it deserved.
He was, indeed, a chronicler par excellence of what Thomas Gray called “the short and simple annals of the poor” in one of Anthony’s favourite poems, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.
In Anthony’s expert hands these tales of Grants Town may have been short, but not so simple, and not so poor. In fact they were rich with the content of the hearts and souls of a colourful people.
I trust that it will be possible to have a collection of these wonderful stories of Grants Town published in one volume.
There was more than a little of the adventurer in Anthony. That is why he was able as a young man to seek knowledge, fortune and excitement in the great metropolis of New York.
That is why, too, as an older man he found himself in the middle of a coup d’etat in another country thousands of miles away from home.
Anthony was as colourful and quite as interesting as the people he wrote about, and with his passing The Bahamas has lost one of its finest practitioners of the writer’s art.
Joan and I extend our deepest sympathy to his children and relatives, and to the St. Agnes family to which he was so devoted. We share in your loss.
Now, may he rest in peace in “the bosom of his Father and his God”.
HOME INVASION OF THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER
(The home of the Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis was invaded and robbed at 7 a.m. on Monday 9th December. Crime is clearly out of hand. The Deputy Prime Minister was robbed, his driver hurt and his wife shaken up but unharmed. The public is so immune to it that it will probably be forgotten just like people no longer remember the details of the murder of a Cabinet Minister by common criminals back in 1997. The usual suspects were out and about calling for hangings to resume and on and on with a load of nonsense. The organization that gets a black eye on this one is again the Royal Bahamas Police Force that could not protect the second highest public officials in the government from common thieves. We will wait to see what happens beside a lot of chat. We show the police report and photos of one of the robbers who was caught on the security camera of the Davises at their home. –Editor)
Police are seeking information that will lead to the identification of three (3) suspects who are involved in an armed robbery that occurred at the Deputy Prime Minister’s Residence earlier this morning. Video Images of suspects and Vehicle will be posted shortly... STANDBY....
Reports are that shortly after 7:00am on Monday 9th December 2013 three armed men drove into the Deputy Prime Minister’s (DPM) yard in a silver Honda vehicle and accosted the DPM’s chauffeur at gunpoint. The men then robbed the chauffeur of cash and took him into the house where they demanded more cash.
The armed bandits subsequently accosted the DPM and his wife inside the residence and robbed the DPM
The suspects then fled the property in the Honda vehicle they arrived in.
POLICE ARE ASKING THE PICTURED SUSPECTS INVOLVED IN THE THIS INCIDENT TO TURN
THEMSELVES IN TO THE CENTRAL DETECTIVE UNIT IMMEDIATELY.
Photo of senior police and media outside the compound of the ACTING PRIME MINISTER THIS MORNING. COP Ellison Greenslade speak with members of the media in the Bahamas. Photo by www.tribune242.com
MINISTER NATIONAL SECURITY ON HOME INVASION
As you are by now aware, shortly after 7 am this morning, three armed bandits drove into the yard of the home of the Deputy Prime Minister in a silver Honda vehicle and accosted his chauffeur at gunpoint. The chauffeur was assaulted and robbed by one of the felons who demanded cash.
I am happy to report that we have a break in the case and we expect to have an early resolution with the help of the public.
The bandits led the chauffeur into the house where they subsequently accosted the DPM and his wife and robbed him of some money but did not assault them.
The bandits fled the scene in the silver Honda in which they arrived.
It is suspected that the vehicle may have been stolen in a robbery, which took place in Western New Providence earlier this morning.
I am pleased to inform you that the police are following significant leads which include the faces of at least one of the robbers and an image of the vehicle which was used.
I wish the public of our commitment to ensuring the safety of all of our citizens and visitors alike but we will only succeed if there is a strong partnership between the police and the general public.
Anyone who has any information that will help in the early resolution is encouraged to inform the police by calling 328TIPS or police emergency at 919.
I am happy to report that the DPM has been going about his duties without interruption.
THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER ON THE HOME INVASION
9th December 2013
I want to assure the public that both I and my wife, Ann Marie are okay following this morning's incident at my residence. Unfortunately my aide was hurt during the episode. He is recovering from those minor injuries.
The distressing events this morning prove that we all are in this together, and therefore must do even more to help stem the tide of crime and violence in our society.
We all must lend our voices to building a better nation and remind our youth especially that, through hard work, education and service to others, we together can build a better and more peaceful society.
I want to thank everyone for their concern and prayers. Today, I am presently carrying out my duties on your behalf. While in Exuma today, I am joined here with the Minister for Education Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald and officials from my ministry as we continue to work together to build a stronger Bahamas.
Once again, I thank you all and ask for your continued prayers for our country.
JOHN COX BAGS A GOOD GIG
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Baha Mar names Bahamian artist John Cox as the Creative Arts Director for the $3.5 billion luxury resort fast rising in Nassau, The Bahamas.
In a unique step for a destination resort, Baha Mar has committed to the extensive use of Bahamian art as an inherent component of the guest experience. "As an art lover and collector, some of my favorite pieces are by Bahamian artists. They embody the characteristics which inspired the vision of Baha Mar – the colors, the culture and the warmth of the people of The Bahamas that I know; I want to share this creative experience with our guests," said Sarkis Izmirlian, Baha Mar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
As the Creative Arts Director, Cox will drive the creative experience at Baha Mar and oversee the resort's Art Gallery, which will showcase the largest collection of Bahamian art in the country. Bahamian art, some of which will be produced in on-site artist studios, will also be featured in public spaces and in the guest rooms.
A preview of Cox’s artistry was offered Friday, December 6, during Art Basel Miami, where Baha Mar co-sponsored Art of The Party, an event hosted by Niche Media and leading Miami Beach publication Ocean Drive Magazine, whose VIP guest list consists of influential art collectors, curators and art media. Art of The Party exclusively exhibited artwork by Cox, including an installation from his progressive this is how much I love you series, which features an endless sequence of the phrase printed in high contrast on hundreds of yards of industrial canvas that will weave through the party supported by sculptures of wood and found objects.
Known for his contemporary aesthetic in mixed media and paintings, Cox brings a strong, modern voice to Bahamian art. In addition to working closely with the Baha Mar's local art alliances - The D'Aguilar Art Foundation, The Dawn Davies Collection and the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, Cox's experience as an internationally exhibited artist and chief curator of the NAGB will be an integral part of building collaborative efforts with the creative community.
Overlooking white sandy beach and pristine turquoise waters, the luxury lifestyle destination will offer more than 2,900 hotel rooms and residences across its refined complement of distinguished, international brands - Rosewood Hotels& Resorts®, Mondrian, Grand Hyatt, and Melia, all anchored by its impressive centerpiece, The Baha Mar Casino & Hotel.
World-class amenities include the 100,000 square foot casino, an 18-hole, 72-par Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, and ESPA at Baha Mar spa and more than a dozen stunning pools. The diverse amenities also include 50,000 square feet of high-end retail and shopping over 30 restaurants, bars and lounges.
"Baha Mar is changing how the world sees The Bahamas. We have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world but we also offer a destination experience that speaks to contemporary culture which is valuable to both business and leisure travellers," remarked The Honorable Obediah Wilchcombe, Minister of Tourism for The Bahamas.
"Baha Mar is essentially a curator of meaningful experiences," said Denise Godreau, Baha Mar Chief Marketing Officer. "Art is a universal language and allows us to redefine luxury in The Bahamas in an unexpected and authentic way."
GOLDEN ISLES RECEPTION
GOLDEN ISLES MIN-MICHAEL & DR TRACY HALKITIS' FINE WINE RECEPTION. Pictured from left to right are the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Michael Halkitis and his wife Tracy with the Prime Minister Perry Christie at a Wine reception on 8th December in the Minister’s constituency.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR ON MARCO’S LAW
(The House of Assembly passé a law last week which will call for sexual offenders to register following their conviction and sentence. The Opposition supported the bill but as with all of these things they had to find a way to impugn the PLP’s motives and suddenly there was this false controversy about marital rape. The law was passed at the instance of the Minister of National Security who was instrumental in supporting the family of the murdered 11 year old boy Marco Archer who had been sexually assaulted by a serial offender and killed.—Editor)
This allegation circulating in the public domain that the government is embedding a marital bill into the Marco Amendment is absolutely untrue.
The current Sexual Offences Act already lays out in detail in Section 15 that sexual intercourse with a spouse without consent under certain conditions is an offence. Under the existing twenty-three year old Sexual Offences Act, an offender can be imprisoned for fifteen years for sexual assault of a spouse under the following conditions:
· If there is an existing divorce decree at the time of the sexual assault;
· Legal separation;
· The existence of a restraining order or a court order against cohabitation or molestation of the spouse.
Further, sexual assault by a spouse pursuant to the conditions in the amended Sexual Offences Act can result in the offender being placed on the proposed national sex offenders register; this has absolutely nothing to do with the controversial Marital Rape Law. This Act has been on the law books since 1991 and to date this law has not changed.
Editor, without coming across as trite, I find it necessary to once again quote our local thespian, Dr. Cleveland Eneas: “if you want to hide something from Bahamians, just put it in writing.” The referenced bills tabled in Parliament are now a permanent fixture of the Hansard and fully accessible to the public, and yes it’s all there boldly in writing.
POLICE SAFETY TIPS FOR XMAS
POLICE ISSUE CHRISTMAS SAFETY TIPS
The holiday season is in full swing. That may equate to any number of joyous things but to the Police, it means an increased focus on criminals looking for easy targets.
Most criminals perform illegal acts out of the opportunities they are given. Some of these opportunities are extremely simple, such as a car door being unlocked and a purse or wallet sitting in plain view.
Here are a few tips on keeping yourself safe from criminals who wish to take advantage of you:
• Keep all your windows and doors locked when your house is unattended
• Don’t leave your Christmas presents on view
• Dispose of empty goods boxes discreetly, as these are a giveaway of the type of valuables you have in your home
If you’re shopping in person, follow these safety tips:
• Try not to take your eyes off your debit or credit card when someone else is handling it
• Make sure store employees only swipe your card once
• Keep watch of your personal belongings at all times - don't leave your purse unattended
If you see anyone acting unusual or taking part in illegal activity, be a good citizen and report the situation to police. If you can safely do so, gather suspect info, clothing info, any associated vehicles (including a license plate number), and turn that info over to police.
Police appealing to anyone with information regarding any crime, no matter how small or insignificant (the tip) may seem, to anonymously call Police at 919 or CRIME STOPPERS at 328-TIPS (8477) (New Providence) or 1-242-300-8476 (Family Islands)
INFORMATION WILL BE KEPT STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
Season’s Greeting from the Royal Bahamas Police Force
KEEP PRESSING ON BY JALAM
13th December 2013
Minister Mitchell responds to opposition claims of profiling
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration
If the opposition spokesman for immigration matters has a specific name or names and complaint or complaints about profiling and the violation of civil liberties, then he should bring them to the attention of the Director of Immigration.
There is no policy of profiling.
The constitutional standard is clear that there must be reasonable suspicion of violating immigration laws. It is the policy of the Department of Immigration to be sensitive to the civil liberties implications of their work. That said, immigration is a law enforcement exercise and is a blunt instrument. Further, illegal immigrants are assimilated into the general Bahamian population.
The public was previously advised that they had to be mindful of the possible civil liberties implications of that when demanding aggressive enforcement. The idea of a national identity cards has been mooted. The idea of making birth certificates more secure by requiring footprints of newborns is also mooted. The opposition cannot have it both ways.
The spot check conducted on the 11th December 2013 yielded the following results: 105 people were arrested and 22 released; $37,000 in outstanding fees were collected and 83 people were committed to the detention centre. Of that number, there were 6 Venezuelans and 9 Ecuadorians, all males. Further, there were 2 Peruvian females, 6 Jamaican males, 2 Jamaican females, 54 Haitian males and 2 Haitian females. Clearly spot checks are effective and will continue. We must get a handle on this burgeoning problem.
The Department of Immigration is committed to ensuring that it protects the borders and the territorial integrity of The Bahamas within the law.
Kings And Queens Anyone?
They were lining up for instructions as to which buses, yes you got it buses to get on to go and view the body of the revered South African leader Nelson Mandela. At the presidential guest lodge, the South African Foreign Ministers announced that Royalty would go first, followed by Heads of State and Government to their respective buses. She said: “ Is the King of the Netherlands here?” He raised his hand and stepped forward and was directed to the bus. “ Now, “ she said: “ are there any other kings and queens here?” We wonder where Elizabeth was?
Ryan Pinder In Bali
Ryan Pinder, the Minister of Trade, represented The Bahamas at the World Trade Organization talks in Bali, Indonesia on 5th December He is shown at the podium and with the Bahamas Ambassador to the WTO Rhoda Jackson.
The day was supposed to be his big role on the world stage. President Jacob Zuma had representatives from 190 countries there from around the world, many of them heads of state and government including the US president Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameroon. As he walked to the stage he was loudly booed by the crowd. The newspapers in South Africa went wild. It seems that he has been involved in one corruptions scandal too many. The latest spending over 1.2 million pounds on improvements to his private home which were paid for by the state in the name of security.
Ingrahamites Say His Work Is Not Done
Wes Bastian was the host of the Lunch Bunch on Tuesday 3rd December. He had as a guest Hubert Ingraham, the former Prime Minister. People asked the former Prime Minister why he has not written his memoirs. His friends said that memoirs are for those whose work is not done. “ His work is not done, ” they said. No word on what the former PM had to say.
PM With Bahamian Students In South Africa
Prime Minister Perry Christie is pictured with Bahamian doctors in training in Johannesburg at a reception on Wednesday 11th December Dinner was hosted by the PM of Trinidad. From left are Dr. Akin Minnis, Dr. Eddison Thompson, Dr. Delecia Wood-Thompson, Prime Minister Christie, Dr. Valron Grimes and Dr. Olu Tinubu. The photo was taken at the home of the High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago to South Africa and the reception was hosted by the Prime Minister of Trinidad on Wednesday 11th December.
(BIS PHOTOS/Peter L. Ramsay)
Una Curtis Dies
We send our condolences to Progressive Young Liberal and Customs Officer Randy Curtis who lost his mom Una Bowe Curtis on 11th December, pictured in the red dress at her son’s wedding.
Netherlands Ambassador Comes Calling
Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Philip Davis, right, greets Rudolf Bekink, non-resident Ambassador Designate of the Royal Netherlands to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, during a Courtesy Call, December 11, 2013.
The Ambassador Designate is schedule to present his Letters of Credence at Government House on Thursday December 12.
National Progressive Institute Of The PLP
The list of NPI Executives elected to office on 10th December. This is the organization founded by Perry Christie that is meant to be the repository of new ideas from amongst young professionals for the party:
1st,Vice Pres.- Lisa Major
2nd,Vice President-Anton Thompson
Treasurer- Andrew Edwards
Chaplin- Carlos Spencer
Public Relations- Shelly Sweeting
NGC Representative- Jamal Davis.
North Korea And Bangladesh
Both North Korea and Bangladesh have executed leaders in the past week. In North Korea, the former number two man in their government was unceremoniously hauled out of a meeting and accused of treason and then executed within seven days of the accusation. This is a special form of barbarism and craziness for which they ought to be condemned. Similarly in Bangladesh, it appears that the government hanged an Opposition leader trying to settle old scores from the war of independence in 1971. Again this ought to be condemned.
Barbados In Deep Do Do
Barbados has announced that it will lay off 3000 civil servants next year, two thousand in January and one thousand in March. Their fiscal problems are so dread that drastic measures have be taken. The Bahamas needs to thank its lucky stars.
Phil Keeping Of Cable Bahamas Dies
The man who founded Cable Bahamas in The Bahamas has died in an accident in Canada. His name is Phil Keeping and this was announced by Cable Bahamas on 9th December. . No love lost, even though the company was crowing about what a great guy he was, the back chat for us is that an obscure individual came from Canada and took a licence that should have been given to Bahamians and made a mint here. The deal approved by the Hubert Ingraham government over Bahamian investors was widely believed to be corrupt.
Debbie Ferguson Threatens A Boycott
The Olympic gold medal winning athlete Debbie Ferguson has threatened to boycott the IAAF relays to be held here in The Bahamas next year over a row in the local Bahamas Athletic Association the BAAA. In a letter published on Bahamas Press, she said that the BAAA should drop its fighting or face a boycott.
Nelson Mandela Buried
The South African national hero was buried earlier today in his home town of Qunu in South Africa.
Last Week's Column