MARCH 2005
Compiled, edited and constructed by Russell Dames   Updated every Sunday at 2 p.m.
Volume 3 © BahamasUncensored.Com
While material on this web site can be used freely by other sections of the press, as a courtesy, journalists are asked to attribute the source of their material from this web site. Click here for the law on copyright as it applies to this website.
13th March, 2005
20th March, 2005
27th March, 2005
Columns From 2002 - 2003
6th March, 2005
Welcome to
  How do you do today?  It's great to have you as a reader.  We have the most incisive political news about and from The Bahamas! 
Please tell all your friends about us.
The Official Site of the Progressive Liberal Party... The Official Site of the Free National Movement...
PLPs On The Web... Interesting Places...
Bradley Roberts / PLP Grants Town Bahamas Government Website
Neville Wisdom / PLP Delaporte Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links
Alfred Sears / PLP Fort Charlotte Bahamians On The Web
Melanie Griffin / PLP Yamacraw Bahamian Cycling News
John Carey / PLP Carmichael FredMitchellUncensored.Com ARCHIVES...
Grand Bahama PLP
Click on a heading to go to that story; press ctrl+home to return to the top of the page.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK - The Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell travelled to Washington DC, the capital of the United States of America for the purpose of a meet and greet with Congressional Representatives and two Senators, all with ties to The Bahamas or with constituents in Florida.  The visit took place on Wednesday 2nd March.  From all accounts, the visit went swimmingly well, not least because of the presence of The Bahamas Ambassador to Japan and UNESCO Sidney Poitier.  He wowed the ladies even at his tender age of 78, and the men were gratified to be in his presence.  There was also an impromptu session with members of the Congressional Black Caucus.  The visit was the idea of John Rood, the new U.S. Ambassador to The Bahamas.  He did a great job and the Minister thanked him for his help in organizing the visit.  The photo of the group with Minister Mitchell, Ambassador Poitier, Ambassador Rood and Members of the Florida Congressional Delegation is our photo of the week.


It now appears that all the voices of reason in the society are silent, have been silenced or have been discredited.  We say that in response to the policy of rounding up illegal migrants, putting them in detention centres and packing them off to Haiti.  It is obviously the right thing in law to interdict illegal migrants, detain illegal migrants and to send them back home.  It is quite another thing though to operate in manner that may lead to the violation of the human rights of the individuals concerned, whether legal or illegal.

Let us be clear, there is no evidence that in the recent raids, round ups and repatriations that there has been any violation of the rights of the individuals.  What concerns us here is the potential for unreasonableness and hysteria, given all that we hear on the streets and read in the media.  Strangely enough, the only voice of reason in the whole debate is that of The Tribune which has gone to great pains in a series of editorials to point out the dependence that this country has on the labour of Haitians and other migrants, and the fact that children in The Bahamas, whether here by means of illegal migration or by right of law, are entitled to receive schooling.

Dr. Ian Strachan, a panellist on a Love 97 Town Meeting at St. Agnes on Tuesday 1st March went even further by telling his audience that the wealth of The Bahamas was in fact built upon Haitian labour.

Most people don’t want to hear reason on this point.  They want the Haitians out.  They may add a Jamaican or they may say Chinese but they want the Haitians out.  The most outlandish and unlawful proposals have been advanced.  Some would strip those who are born here of the right to apply at age 18 for Bahamian citizenship, even though Bahamian governments are notoriously slow in recognizing and acknowledging that right and obligation.  They want everyone who has even a hint of Haitian blood excluded from the country.

Dr. Nicolette Bethel, the Director of Culture, reminded the country of the fact that all of us came here as migrants.  It simply depends on what generation you were talking about.  She listed in her column the names of those persons who have Haitian ancestry that are very much part of the fabric of our society today.

The Prime Minister when speaking to students at the University of the West Indies at Mona last Sunday told the students the story of Hester Argot and her three children who were interdicted on the way from Haiti to Cuba in 1804 and set down in Nassau.  One of the children turned out to be Stephen Dillette the first man of colour to be elected to the House of Assembly in The Bahamas.  A school is named after him.  He had children and one of them had a son whose name was James Weldon Johnson, the writer of the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing”.  So when Bahamians say that Haitians are taking over, they fail to realize that a Haitian was the first Black Member of Parliament.

But as we say, no one wants to hear the rationality.  Too many people just want to row.  They want to pick up the Haitians, shame them publicly, treat them inhumanely as a kind of vengeance and send them back propertyless and abjectly to their homeland.

This cannot stand.  To that we will not agree.

Yes, the illegal migration must stop.  Yes, there must be an orderly system of repatriation.  There must not however be any degradation.  Everyone must be treated humanely.  The property of the individuals should be protected.  There are already some unconfirmed reports of the property of those interdicted being stolen by persons breaking into the homes of those under arrest.
Hysteria must be avoided at all costs.

The Bahamian people must now know that their country does not exist in isolation.  We are already the subject of extreme pressure on the subject of Cuban migrants in The Bahamas.  There is a significant Haitian Diaspora in Canada and in Florida.  All we need now is for the ire of those communities to be raised because of the treatment of their fellow Haitians in The Bahamas.

Then there are those amongst us; the first generation Bahamians who are citizens of The Bahamas in everything but in law.  The saying: “You Born There! You Born There!” applies to them but they do not have but a right to apply for citizenship at age eighteen.  They lose that right on their 19th birthdays.  It is pernicious.  The law needs to be changed so that anyone born here is Bahamian at birth as of right.  The refusal to even consider the thousands of applications in a timely fashion has led to a serious problem of anger amongst a class of Haitians in the Bahamas.  It is no good to remind them that they have Haitian citizenship at birth.  They do not feel that they are Haitian and do not want to claim that right.

Our guess is though that the voices of reason will not be heard anytime soon.  Fred Smith, one of their principal advocates is thoroughly discredited because of his constant hyperbole.  The human rights activist lawyers are now in the Government and so are silenced effectively.  Others simply choose not to bother.  So the voices of round 'em up and send them home right now are winning the day.

Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 5th March 2005 at midnight: 72,421.

Number of hits for the month of February up to Monday 28th February 2005 at midnight: 282,767.

Number of hits for the month of March up to Saturday 5th March 2005 at midnight: 47,692.

Number of hits for the year 2005 up to Saturday 5th March 2005 at midnight: 647,671.


    On Wednesday 2nd March, The Tribune led with an alarmist headline: HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS (Bahamas slammed in annual US Report).  The Tribune was reporting the fact that U.S. Government had published a report mandated by its Congress on the human rights situation in every country every year.  The report goes to the U.S Congress.  Many countries object to the report as an unlawful interference in their internal affairs.
    The interesting thing about the report is that if the United States were to do one on itself, they would not pass muster either.  But it was the commentary by The Tribune and Fred Smith that was the problem.  This was typical foolish Tribune propaganda.  Then when they could find no Government spokesman to comment (or perhaps even before), they went scurrying for Fred Smith, the Freeport attorney, who used to be an activist for human rights.  He obliged them by talking utter tripe.
    Here is what Fred Smith had to say:
    “The record of The Bahamas in human rights is abysmal.  The Bahamas continues its decline in human rights.  The judicial situation is dysfunctional, there is very little respect for due process or respect for the constitution, there is arbitrary and unlawful arrest and disrespect for the rule of law.
    “As for discrimination in The Bahamas, be it as against women, be it as against foreigners, as against Haitians or as against any member of society that thinks differently that is the order of the day.
    “Bahamians have come to accept that foreigners can be mistreated, that women can be abused and that persons can be incarcerated for up to seven years while awaiting trial.
    “The conditions in Fox Hill prison are amongst the worst in the world.”
    Upon his return from Washington D.C. on Thursday 3rd December, Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell answered both The Tribune and Fred Smith.  He called the report “alarmist and hyperbolic”.  We report the full statement below.

    Fred Mitchell, the Foreign Minister of The Bahamas, read The Tribune report of what the U.S. had to say about human rights in The Bahamas over the last year.  At a news conference at the Nassau International Airport on Thursday 3rd March, he was quoted as saying the following in his own words.  The report of what he had to say comes from the Nassau Guardian:
    “The headline in The Tribune was brought to my attention yesterday but I believe that the headline in The Tribune was really alarmist and hyperbolic.
    “The characterization really is that of The Tribune and not that of the U.S.  The Human Rights report is actually an annual report, one that recites facts in the public domain with regard to the prison, the judiciary and the conduct of our national institutions.
    “Now anyone is entitled in an open society like The Bahamas to make comments and report what they find.  In fact, we make such reports ourselves.  Our request, of course, is that all of the facts are reported.  It seems to us that The Tribune and its analyst Fred Smith, an attorney, conveniently forgot to point out that nowhere is there an attack on the institutions of Government in the sense that they are accused of being ineffective or corrupt.  Nowhere is that allegation made.
    “The Bahamas ought to be proud of the fact that it has an open and transparent Government with systems that respond to any allegations of inhumane treatment and conduct.
    “There are no policies of inhumane treatment.  Nothing is hidden and the systems to address allegations of misconduct are in place and they work.
    “In my view, Mr. Smith’s [Fred Smith, the attorney] credibility was lost with the Government and people of The Bahamas when he made his outrageous and unfounded allegations that the Prime Minister had given the Cabinet the licence to rape.  The opinions of Mr. Smith, therefore, are thoroughly discredited and should not be taken seriously.  All of the issues put forth in the U.S. State Department report have the potential of being addressed or are being addressed.
    “One could look at any society, including the United States and make a similar report in the United States, but no one would suggest that the United States, as a result of the facts of various things going on in the U.S. in that way, is engaged in officially sanctioning inhumane treatment or the conduct of persons in prison or those who are subject to their various systems.
    “As you know Bahamians are now complaining about their treatment in a correctional facility in Georgia as we speak.  No one said that this is officially sanctioned by the U.S. Government.  What we do know is that there are systems in place in the United States, in an open, transparent society like The Bahamas, to go and investigate it and make sure that there is some redress if what is being alleged turns out to be true.
    “Two consular officers are now at the McCrae Correctional facility to investigate the allegations made against the prison facility.  If their allegations are determined to be true, there will be a formal note sent to the United States government to have the matter investigated.  That is how democratic systems work.”
Foreign Minister Mitchell is pictured addressing the press during a news conference at Nassau International Airport's VIP Lounge on his return from Washington DC in this Bahama Journal photo by Omar Barr.

    Since leaving office Lester Turnquest now safely back in banking, has made some sensible interventions into the realm of public debate.  He has always been a hardliner on crime, and a true patriot of The Bahamas.  This week his nationalism came to the fore when he announced in The Tribune on Friday 4th March that he was incensed by the comments of Fred Smith, the Freeport attorney, whose remarks were reported in the story above.  Here is what Mr. Turnquest, the former FNM MP for Malcolm Creek said:
    “The Bahamas is literally under siege by criminals and it is inevitable from time to time, that you will hear complaints by [offenders] and those who defend them.
    “I absolutely condemn Fred Smith for joining hands with an external entity to undermine the reputation and sovereignty of The Bahamas and he has consistently done this…
    “I do not accept that the US can presume to comment on violence against women when in the US violence against women is a fact.  Just as it is a fact in The Bahamas.  The report is condescending, patronizing and I think it was not properly evaluated before it was released.”

    The Nassau Guardian published during the week a story about the Hon. A. Loftus Roker, the former Minister of National Security, who is revered amongst many Bahamians for the strong stand that he took on Haitian migration in 1986.  He led the campaign to rid the country of illegal immigrants.  There was plenty of criticism of him then but now his policy is seen with great fondness and many people are saying that they should bring back Mr. Roker.  Mr. Roker is now retired and lives in Acklins, an island in the southern Bahamas.


    The press has been reporting that the Government may soon have another decision to make with regard to the bankrupt MP Sidney Stubbs who has been unable to sit in Parliament since 31st March last year when he was declared a bankrupt.  The Registrar of the Supreme Court has finally started to gather the creditors together to see whether or not the matter can be settled by either selling off his assets, making compromises with creditors or settling the debts. The deadline before a new resolution is needed is said to be 25th March 2005.


    After days of wonderful midterm basketball competition amongst male high school students, the winner is declared to be the C.I. Gibson High School, returning the Hugh Campbell trophy to Nassau.  Of the 24 versions of the Hugh Campbell Championship, 16 of them are said to have been won by Grand Bahama Teams.  This time C. I. Gibson defeated former Champions Tabernacle High of Freeport for the prized trophy. Most Valuable Player for the C.I. Gibson Rattlers Jason Collie holds the Championship trophy as he celebrates with team mates after they defeated the Tabernacle Falcons 72-66 in the championship game of the Hugh Campbell Basketball Classic Monday, Feb. 28, 2005 at the Kendal Isaacs Gym. (Vision Photo/Tim Aylen from The Bahama Journal)


    Prime Minister Perry Christie was in Jamaica last Sunday to visit with the Bahamian students in Jamaica for Bahamas Week at the Mona Campus of the university of the West Indies.  Joining them there were students from the University of the Northern Caribbean, the Seventh Day Adventist University in Mandeville.
    The Prime Minister promised last year when the students were airlifted from Jamaica before Hurricane Ivan that he would come to visit them on the occasion of the Bahamas Week celebrations.  The Prime Minister kept his promise.  Mr. Christie was accompanied by the Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell, the Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe and the Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna Martin.  The photo is by Peter Ramsay of Bahamas Information Services.


    The Government this past week signed a Heads of Agreement for the development of a 400 million dollar tourist resort on Guana Cay in Abaco.  The Government also concluded a deal last week on the 76 million dollar Gold Rock Creek film studio investment in Grand Bahama.  The films ‘Pirates of the Caribbean II and III’ are to be filmed there, and casting calls have already gone out for the films.
    Two Government Ministers were also in Chub Cay in the Berry Islands to turn the soil for an extension to the Chub Cay development there.  It looks like one deal after the other.  We think that this will mean a booming economy for The Bahamas where there are lots of job opportunities but more importantly we hope investment opportunities for Bahamians.  A group on Guana Cay in Abaco called the Save Guana Cay Lobby has said that they will tie up the deal on that Cay in litigation because they are unhappy with the Government agreeing to a project that they think will damage the environment.  Both representatives for the island of Abaco Hubert Ingraham and Robert Sweeting (both FNM) have signed off on the agreement and the Prime Minister has said the environmental concerns have been met.
    Fred Smith, the politically discredited Human Rights attorney, has come to the rescue of the Guana Cay lobby and says he thinks that the Heads of Agreement was signed without the leave of Parliament, and without consultation with the public on Guana Cay.  He is of course wrong on both points.  No leave of the Parliament is required in law and the people were consulted.  But that would never stop him from accepting a retainer.  TOP PHOTO: Ministry of Financial Services & Investment expert Dr. Tyrone McKenzie (standing at right) looks on as the lease agreement is signed allowing the $76 million dollar movie studio project set for east Grand Bahama.  Seated from left are Paul Quigley COO, Bahamas Film Studios; Prime Minister Christie and Financial Services & Investment Minister Allyson Maynard Gibson.  BIS photo - Peter Ramsay

    It has not taken long for the euphoria of the decision to appoint Dr. Elliston Rahming, Superintendent of the Prison, to wear off.   There are real live security issues that come with being a Superintendent of a Prison, not just the philosophy of prison reform, and the joy of programmes of rehabilitation.
    A well known and dangerous criminal has now escaped from lawful custody.  The escape took place on Thursday 3rd March.  He broke out of the medium security prison.  The man Barry Porcoi, is a well known figure in Fox Hill where he was raised.  He was serving part of a life sentence and a concurrent 20 year sentence for forcible detention with intent, in jail.  He is a well known rapist.  He is forty three years old.  And now after serving 21 years in jail, and when he was just about to be trusted to go on a licence scheme that would allow him to go out and work in the day and return to prison at night, the idiot escapes.  This must be a nut case.  That sets back his whole prison life, and may even get him killed.
    Superintendent Rahming said that he had asked for the police to conduct a thorough investigation into the escape.  Six prison officers are to be charged before an internal tribunal for dereliction of duty.  In the meantime, Fox Hillians are hunkered down, afraid that until he is captured there may be mayhem in the village.  Mr. Porcoi is pictured.
    The Government needs now to consider whether some people are also trying to undermine Dr. Rahming.  He is new, and the fact that you have a major breakout just as he comes on the watch should put the PLP on its guard.  Maybe, more than change of Superintendent is necessary.

    The Royal Bahamas Police Force is celebrating 165 years as a Force.  The Force was started in 1840.  There will be a special celebration beginning today as we upload at St. Francis Xavier’s Roman Catholic Cathedral.  Commissioner of Police Paul Farqhuarson described the Force as having progressed from an institution of watchmen to a multifaceted modern organization.  Its brother Force the Royal Bahamas Defence Force is celebrating 25 years as Force this year.


    Bahamas Diplomat Eugene Torchon-Newry at left, Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell, Ambassador Sir Sidney Poitier and Ambassador Joshua Sears, second from right are pictured with the entire Bahamas delegation in Washington DC last week for a series of meetings with US Senators and the Florida Congressional Delegation.  The meetings were hosted by the United States Ambassador to The Bahamas John Rood and were aimed at ensuring continued awareness of the importance of bilateral co-operation in the fight against drugs, smuggling and economic crimes.

    The Comment of the Week speaks to the complexities of the Haitian issue on which the voices of reason seem to be silent.  But one of the voices of reason is there battling in an interesting play called ‘Dairy of Souls’, a reprise of an original work by Ian Strachan.  He has changed a few things and lines but the play is very relevant to the times.
    The action in the play is built around the drowning of 39 Haitians in 1990 on 10 July.  The RBDF was towing an overcrowded boat of Haitian migrants when they reported that the tow line broke and the Haitians in panic caused the vessel to capsize.  Thirty nine persons drowned.  They were buried in a mass grave on Bitter Guana Cay, an uninhabited cay in the Exuma Cays.  Mr. Strachan does not believe the story.  He says that none of the survivors testified at the Inquest.  His play supplies the answer in that it decries the treatment of Haitians in The Bahamas and condemns the way Bahamians speak of and deal with Haitians.  It keeps asking the question: “Why do they hate us?”  The answer supplied is because “We are very Black”.
    Plays tend to simplify and therefore are sometimes simplistic to make a point.  We do not believe that Bahamians hate Haitians.  We think that there is a fear of the Bahamian culture and way of life being swamped by undocumented aliens.  We believe that the leadership has to be provided to guide the country through this complex issue.  We believe that it is going to get worse before it gets better.
    The play has one more weekend to run, including tonight at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts and it is well worth seeing, if you can stand the cell phones going off in the theatre and the annoying cackling by adolescents at scenes that are supposed to be serious and moving.  Do not let that deter you.  Go see it!  Actor / playwright Dr. Ian Strachan and Demerta Rolle are shown during a scene in the play in the photo by Peter Ramsay.

    Former Education Minister under the Free National Movement seems to be attempting a comeback.  Over the past week, he wrote a three part series in The Tribune talking about the Free National Movement’s record on education over the ten years they were in office.  No word on why, if they did so much during the ten years for education, the infrastructure of the schools is crumbling all over the country today three years after their term is over, and why the Education Loan Scholarship scheme was in such disarray when the PLP took office.  Nevertheless for those who are the pundits, Mr. Foulkes re-emergence shows that it is beginning to be political season once again.

    Reports are circulating that Hubert Ingraham has all but decided that he is to launch a campaign to retake the leadership of the Free National Movement, and once again seek the Prime Ministership.  Mr. Ingraham believes that he can take on Perry Christie by attempting to portray his collegial leadership as weak and indecisive.
    The talk is that the launch of the campaign will be in earnest when the budget debate takes place this year.  The pre launch is a supplement being produced by the Nassau Guardian, which will describe the Ingraham Years.  This is The Guardian’s way to make amends for leaving out any reference to Hubert Ingraham in the 160 year supplement that they did, celebrating their 160 years as a newspaper.
    The talk is that Mr. Ingraham is seeking to negotiate with Brent Symonette, the MP for Montagu to become his Deputy, thereby sidestepping the issue of whether Brent’s race makes him unelectable as Leader of the FNM.  The talk also is that the so called “White Knights” (the remnants of the rich Bay Street Boys group that once controlled the country) have gone to see Tommy Turnquest, the present leader, and asked him when he intends to step down for the good of the party in favour of Mr. Ingraham.  Oh well!  Let Mr. Ingraham come.  He’ll know what’s waiting for him in a hot minute.

    Some called him Bill, others Ali, but whatever they called him, he struck most people as a no-nonsense, dapper person who at the age of 53 died too soon.  Ali was a victim of diabetes, and it killed him.  He was a contemporary of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell who stood in Mr. Moultrie’s wedding in 1978.  The two had met during the time when Fred Mitchell was the Chairman of the Centreville Branch of the PLP and was seeking the PLP's nomination for that area.  The nomination was eventually gained by now Prime Minister Perry Christie.  Mr. Moultrie was a big part of the campaign of 1977.  Both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister attended the funeral on Saturday 5th March.
    Vera Darling went to her rest at the age of 83 knowing that she had done her very best during her years of service.  Her proud accomplishment was the rearing of a Minister of the Government the Hon. V. Alfred Gray and nine other of his siblings.   Minister Gray cared deeply for his mother and struggled along with her as she fought her illness.  Ms. Darling was buried at Lakeview Cemetery on John F. Kennedy Drive following funeral services on Saturday 5th March.  We send condolences to the minister on the passing of his mother.

    The reports are conflicting.  Some say he is improving and others say not.  The Tribune reported that the first Bahamian Anglican Bishop Michael Eldon at 73 fell into a coma after having suffered respiratory failure.  The Bishop has been suffering from the flu for sometime before being hospitalized.  His last public address was delivering the homily at the funeral of Nancy Oakes.  He was noticeably laboured in his breathing on that occasion, and went into hospital soon thereafter.  We pray for the best for the Bishop.

    Our poetry feature returns this week with three new selections by Bahamas recording and literary artist, Giovanni Stuart (  The first verse, ‘An Orphan Cries’, is a heartfelt look at tragedy as viewed through the eyes of a child.  Please click here.

    He is one of the country’s bright stars in the making, Serfent Rolle.  He recently was unsuccessful in his bid to become Student Union president at his university in the United Kingdom.  But hey, good try and the real deal is here in The Bahamas one day.

Bahamian Student in South Africa
I read your column every week to keep abreast with the happenings in our Islands.  I am very much enjoying studying here in South Africa and would encourage lots more of our people to venture to this part of the world for the experience.  Often we see only North America as ‘the extent of the world’, almost like the way people thought the world was flat and that life couldn't exist beyond Europe before Columbus proved them wrong.

I see that the Governments of The Bahamas and South Africa are trying to forge a strong relationship, as our two countries share the position of being the “leading economies” in the Caribbean and Africa respectfully.  What would help to make this happen is for our Governments to establish scholarships / fellowships for persons to cross-train in the two places.  I am sure that many eager Bahamians would love to travel here for studying, yet there are limited specific mechanisms in place for this.  Personally, I have had to self-fund my post-graduate training here despite numerous correspondences to many Government offices in Nassau.  Though a challenge, it has only served to strengthen my resolve to return home when I am completed and lobby for such opportunities for future students.

I hope other potential students get excited about the possibility of studying here in the near future.  Feel free to browse the listed webpages:,  Maybe, we can get more Bahamians over here so we can get a true cultural exchange going as our Governments propose.  Oh yeah, we could treat them to some guava duff while we're at it.  They love it so far!

The letter writer is a medical doctor among this group (he provides no identifications) mugging their new protective eyewear for the camera. - Editor

LAND REFORM COMING - Prime Minister Perry Christie in the House of Assembly this week tabled a resolution seeking the approval for Government to borrow $3.5 million for the comprehensive aerial mapping of The Bahamas as a start to rigorous land reform.  The Prime Minister is shown (at left) arriving with aides at the House.

FIDUCIARY BANK & TRUST - During the week, Mr. Christie officiated at the official opening of Lyford Cay's newest financial institution.  The Prime Minister is pictured below during the ribbon cutting ceremony with the principals of the bank.


EARLY MORNING JOG? - THESE WELL-KNOWN POLITICAL OPPONENTS TOOK OFF THEIR GLOVES FOR A QUICK AND FRIENDLY CHAT EARLY ONE MORNING LAST WEEK.  PRIME MINISTER PERRY CHRISTIE (left) IS  PICTURED WITH OPPOSITION LEADER ALVIN SMITH (second left), former FNM MP Dion Foulkes (second right) and former prime minister Hubert Ingraham (right).  The men were exercising in the pre dawn on the Cable Beach median when they ran into each other and stopped for an impromptu chat.  Veteran photographer Peter Ramsay. whose camera is never far, caught this curious meeting on camera.

Bahamas Information Services photos by Peter Ramsay

13th March, 2005
Welcome to
  How do you do today?  It's great to have you as a reader.  We have the most incisive political news about and from The Bahamas! 
Please tell all your friends about us.
The Official Site of the Progressive Liberal Party... The Official Site of the Free National Movement...
PLPs On The Web... Interesting Places...
Bradley Roberts / PLP Grants Town Bahamas Government Website
Neville Wisdom / PLP Delaporte Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links
Alfred Sears / PLP Fort Charlotte Bahamians On The Web
Melanie Griffin / PLP Yamacraw Bahamian Cycling News
John Carey / PLP Carmichael FredMitchellUncensored.Com ARCHIVES...
Grand Bahama PLP
Click on a heading to go to that story; press ctrl+home to return to the top of the page.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK - We publish this week yet another example of what not to do.  We have been on the rant for some time now, and this will be the second occasion in this column that we have written about the inadvisability, the stupidity, the sheer wastefulness of the actions.  We are talking about the dead twelve foot shark that was displayed on the front page of The Tribune on Thursday 10th March.  What, pray tell, was the specialness in that?  It is feeding to the prejudice and ignorance of a group of people who still see these fish as some kind of harmful evil in the sea.  Sharks are seldom eaten as food in this country.  It is not a saleable commodity here.  Why was this shark speared and killed?  The answer is probably because it was being a nuisance to the fishermen in the sea.  With respect, that is no reason to kill a shark, nor is it acceptable that you catch a shark because you can get your picture on the front page of the newspaper.  This is pure in indulgence and wastefulness, and we again urge the fishing community to stop it.  These are beautiful creatures.  They belong in the sea.  They do not interfere with people, unless you interfere with them.  If a shark comes along, move away to another area and begin fishing there but for God's sake leave the shark in the sea.  This shameful photo of the week was taken by Mario Duncanson.


The Colina Insurance Company, the Seventh Day Adventist Church and the Ministry of Health announced during the week a partnership on health matters.  The issue one supposes is to tackle the increasing number of cases of hypertension, diabetes and sexually transmitted diseases that are inflicting the population.  The need for health education is necessary. Notwithstanding all of the evidence to the contrary, the Bahamian diet has stubbornly remained meat based, fat based, with an over abundance of a starch.

You will find leaders in the political community (members of parliament among them), who should know better, some of them young men and women sitting down, wolfing down meals laden with fat and cholesterol.

One is reminded of the saying by a famous photographer in the country that so and so is “as fat as an FNM Cabinet Minister”.  The phrase was an observation that during the ten years of the Ingraham Cabinet, the girths of the Cabinet Ministers grew and grew and grew, a consequence no doubt of not turning down any meal anywhere and everywhere during the good times that they were in power.

The evidence has been developing for years that the diet ought to be based more and more on vegetables, fruits, grains, and not on simple sugars and fatty meats.  It does not really take much discipline to do it.  It simply takes a decision of those who are in their twenties and thirties who are raising the little children of today to change their own eating habits, and influence what their children eat.  The world of fast food dependence means that parents take the easy way out, and go get the KFC, Burger King, McDonalds and Wendy’s for the kids.  Inevitably, the kids are allowed to choose the greasy, salty fries, laden with the dread transfat, the sweetest drinks they can find, and lots of beef or chicken laden with fat and bread.  Not a vegetable in sight.

It is no wonder then that with the sedentary lifestyle of Bahamians that we are seeing the same disease pathologies in this country that we see in the United States.  There is a great rise in hypertension, high blood pressure, an increase in diabetes, and younger and younger people simply cropping out because of the way they live.  This is entirely preventable.

Then there are those young men who are dying because of their own stupidity.  Rushing up and down on motorbikes and in cars, getting in fights where there is no need to get in one and ending up dying as a result, engaging in daredevil activity that can only be described as self inflicted harm.

Add to this AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases that result in deaths and days lost from work.  These too are entirely preventable.

The initiative by the Ministry of Health, the Seventh Day Adventists and the insurance company should therefore be applauded.  They have a long way to go to stop these beautiful svelte, shapely young Black women who are in their late teens from helping themselves to huge heaps of potato salad, macaroni and plenty of slurpy gravy every day at the luncheon buffets, and then wonder why their bellies are hanging over their skirts by the time they are twenty five.  One theory is of course that the men in the country like it that way, and until the standards of beauty change, the fat women will get fat to please the fat men.

The result of the fat though is early and premature death, and a lesser quality of life in the main.  Now one must make allowances that all people cannot be thin.  Indeed it is recognized in many cases, the high profile example is that of Oprah Winfrey that there is a life long struggle with weight.  But the important thing is to struggle.  There is clearly a need for national restraint, and a changed diet and other habits.  The initiative is a good first step.

The Jamaican artist sings: “Jah will lick you with diseases”.  Indeed he will, anyway, in the long run.  It is true that you will die of something.  The thing is how long can you keep the body going and maintained in pretty good shape so that you can enjoy a pretty good quality of life, to enable you to take care of yourself and your family?  It is simply a selfish decision to say, “Something is going to kill you!”  While that may be true, the something should not be yourself.  It leaves families distraught and distressed and broke in too many cases.  Let’s see if we cannot make a national effort to improve.

Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 12th March 2005 up to midnight: 83,122.

Number of hits for the month of March up to Saturday 12th March 2005 at midnight: 130,814.

Number of hits for the year 2005 up to Saturday 12th March 2005 at midnight: 730,793.


    Tommy Turnquest, the Leader outside of the House of Assembly of the Free National Movement, made a serious ‘faux pas’, which brings into question his fitness for leadership.  On Friday 11th March, Mr. Turnquest was surrounded by his colleagues, no elected Members of the House were there, when he launched a broadside at the Progressive Liberal Party because he claimed that the U.S. had branded The Bahamas as a money laundering jurisdiction of primary concern.  The United Kingdom, Canada and the United States itself are also such countries.
    The fact is the report the U.S. State Department’s International Narcotics Control Strategy Report was misread by Mr. Turnquest.  What it simply did is repeat information which everyone knows that in a major banking system like The Bahamas, there is bound to be some dirty money coming through.  The fact is that there is however a regime to keep as much of it out of the system as possible.
    Mr. Turnquest sought to turn the advantage by saying that the regime in place was one that was put in place by the Free National Movement and that the PLP was being hypocritical by touting the regulatory regime.  There you go again Mr. Turnquest trying to have your cake and eat it, too.
    The fact is that the FNM went too far, and the PLP was never against the regulation of the industry just against the extent to which this country's laws were changed which adversely affected the jurisdiction.  There are lots of issues on which the FNM can hang its hat against the PLP, but unfortunately for Mr. Turnquest that is not one of them.  One must be clutching at straws for the Opposition to try and hang its hat on the United States’ supposed criticism of The Bahamas.  Those criticisms do not exist, and the U.S. should not be brought into this matter.  Nassau Guardian photo by Patrick Hanna

    If this society does not act quickly to restore the loss of confidence that the young people in the country have in it, we will lose them.  Their complaint is in every sphere that things just take too long in the country to happen.  They go away to school, they come back with their degrees and their training and then they sit at home for months and months, even years and cannot get the kind of job that they were trained to do.  Even if they get a job, they have to accept second best, and something out of their fields if they are not to simply sit at home and waste away.
    The Government is in a position to do something about this problem, if only general hiring would begin in the public service.  The problem is that after three years of a moratorium on hiring, the moratorium continues.  The fiscal exigencies in the country continue to exist, it is argued.  But is the public service cutting its nose to spite its face, with the lack of recruitment hurting the ability of the service to keep current with the times.  The private sector is no better since they are now engaged in firing people at will.  The latest in the saga is the Nassau Yacht Club and the fact that when 11 people tried to get the Union contract signed, they decided to simply fire the whole group of employees rather than negotiate a wage packet with them.
    In the private sector, they want to deny you any benefits, and they want to pay you a low wage.  When you seek to get a Union to help you, they engage in the most egregious union busting tactics.  This then is a plea for the young people of the country, to look to our future; otherwise, we will end up a country like Jamaica or Haiti with too much of its young talent living overseas.

    Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell was in full flight during the week with two important interventions.  The first was in his capacity as Minister of Foreign Affairs.  The Cabinet of The Bahamas has now decided to move to the next stage in the debate on The Bahamas’ participation in the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) by outlining in a white paper what it proposes to do.
    In speaking to the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, the Minister gave a comprehensive review of the state of The Bahamas’ economy as the Government saw it, and where we ought to be going for the year 2020.  In the Minister’s address, he predicted that the reserves of the country could reach one billion dollars before the end of the year.  You may click here for the full address.
    Also in the week, the Minister contributed to the motion for new rules in the House of Assembly as reported below. Nassau Guardian photo of Minister Mitchell by Donald Knowles

    The Committee on the rules of the House of House Assembly has reported.  The House has been operating on the existing rules since 1962.  Amongst the more vexing was the fifteen minute rule which limits the time for speeches which the PLP has widely ignored since it came to office in 1967.  The rule was the cause of Arthur Hanna and Milo Butler being lifted out of the House of Assembly in April 1964 and later that same month on 27th April 1964, the Mace (the Speaker’s symbol of authority) was thrown from the window by the late Sir Lynden O. Pindling, followed by Sir Milo throwing the Speaker’s Hour Glass that used to time the speeches.  The Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell said that he would be seeking to organize special observances to mark the fortieth anniversary of the day on 27th April 2005 of this year.
    Now the House is to implement new rules that call for a limit on speeches, which members have agreed simply take up too much time of the Parliament.  Most members spoke of the habit of Hubert Ingraham, the former Prime Minister of coming to the House and monopolizing the time of the House by speaking sometimes for two days or more.  If it is agreed, then that the practice should stop once the new rules are in place.  The mover of a motion will have two hours.  The seconder will have one hour and all other speakers will have thirty minutes.  The Speaker will have the wherewithal to say whether or not you can continue after your allotted time is up.  The House can also agree to allow different time limits.  The Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell was the Deputy Chairman of the Committee.
    There will now be a space for question time, including oral questions, put formally in the rules.  In addition, there will be time for Members to make a statement on matters in their constituencies.  The statements can last up to five minutes each.  The Committee was chaired by Attorney General Alfred Sears.  Other House Members were Tennyson Wells (Independent), Frank Smith (PLP), Pleasant Bridgewater (PLP), Brent Symonette (FNM) and Neko Grant (FNM).
    The debate on the new rules began in the House of Assembly on Wednesday 9th March and continues this week.  It seems the House was defeating the whole purpose of the new rules to bring more efficiency to the process by stretching out this debate on the new rules.  No need for two Parliamentary days to be spent on this debate.
    One disappointment for the Opposition is the fact that the Public Accounts Committee does not have the power to examine all accounts of the Government whether audited or not.  The rule only permits audited accounts to be reviewed.  Given that the Auditor General is some three years behind in the national accounts, this means effectively that the Committee will not be able to do its work.

    Barry Parcoi who had Fox Hill in terror when he escaped from his life sentence in jail two weeks ago, is now back in the custody of the police and the prison.  Mr. Parcoi was found hiding out in Andros.  Some say he was waiting for transport to Haiti but his trip was delayed because of the bad weather.
    The new Superintendent of the Prison Elliston Rahming has been tested in his first few weeks at the prison by series of breakouts or attempted breakouts from the prison.  We congratulate the police on the recapture of Mr. Parcoi but we also repeat the sentiment we expressed last week that the PLP would be foolish to leave Dr. Rahming to sink or swim without some human resources help and without some financial assistance to make the changes necessary in the prison.  Escaped prisoner Barry Parcoi is carried to court after being brought back to Nassau on a US Coast Guard helicopter following his capture in Fresh Creek, Andros - Bahama Journal photo by Omar Barr


    The Minister for Immigration and Labour Vincent Peet officially opened in his North Andros constituency the Heritage Festival on Friday 11th March.  Present with him on that occasion was the Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell.
    The opening of the Heritage Festival also marked the 15th anniversary of the building of the International Square in Nicholls Town, Andros that is the seat of the government in North Andros.  The idea of the square’s construction was that of now Administrator and Under Secretary Everett Hart who serves in the Exuma district. A special award was given to Mr. Hart for his contribution to the idea.  The square flies the flags of the several nations whose citizens live in the community of North Andros.  It was also an occasion to honour the winter residents of North Andros.  TOP - Ministers Peet (left of centre in jacket) and Mitchell (right of centre) with participants in the National Youth Service Pilot Programme.  The group of the young men took part in the event, singing a medley of gospel songs.  AT RIGHT - Minister Peet (right) is pictured presenting Mr. Hart with the plaque.  Also pictured is Chairman and Co-ordinator of the event Dr. James Sweeting.  Mr. Hart, who was instrumental in the creation of the square during his tenure in Andros, received the honour for also “promoting goodwill between visitors and residents of the nations of the world.”  AT LEFT - Second-home owners Ron and Muriel Spencer receive a plaque from Minister Mitchell commemorating their long and continuous support of the community.  The Spencers, have lived in Andros for 27 years.  BIS photos: Eric Rose.

    Neville Wisdom, the Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture told his audience on the Immediate Response programme of ZNS that there are gangs of lesbians operating in the schools.  He made the statement on Thursday 10th March.  The Minister said that the initiation process that the girls had to go through to join the gangs in the school was disturbing and troublesome.  There were no details of these gangs or their initiation processes provided.
    Carlos Reid, who is a social activist and former gang member himself, told The Tribune in its story of Friday 11th March that he had reviewed reports of female gangs in the schools and that the matter was under investigation.  He did not confirm the story about lesbian gangs.
    Up in Grand Bahama, seven male students of the St. George’s High School between 14 and 17 were arrested and taken into custody following a violent altercation on Monday 7th March.  The incident left one student suffering from a stab wound to his thigh and another a laceration to his finger.  They were all charged with causing harm and unlawfully carrying arms.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt has been touring schools, encouraging students to use their time positively by joining clubs and youth groups, instead of gangs.  Speaking on March 10 to students at C. C. Sweeting Junior High School during a special assembly in honour of her visit, Mrs. Pratt said that she has a special affinity for the school because she was a teacher there during her career.  “C. C. Sweeting is very dear to me because I had the opportunity to share my life with the students here,” she said.
    The Deputy Prime Minister is shown passing through a “colour guard” arch formed by the students for platform guests during the assembly.  Also pictured, from top of line, are Aide to Minister Pratt Corporal Jerry Butler, Minister Pratt, North western District Superintendent of Schools Mr. Howard Newbold, School Principal Ms. Angela Rolle and Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of National Security Ms Blanche Deveaux. BIS photo: Derek W. Smith


    This young man, dancing at centre, is one of the students of the Temple Christian Pre and Elementary Schools who enjoyed a performance by the Royal Bahamas Police Force Band during the opening of their school’s Celebrate National Pride Week on March 7.  The event, held under the theme ‘Celebrating Tings Bahamian’, also included students singing, dancing and reading poetry.  Senior Cultural Affairs Officer at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Ms. Patricia Bazard was the guest speaker for the opening event.  We thought it a good excuse for this entertaining shot of the Police Band in action.  BIS photo: Eric Rose


    The Central Bank of The Bahamas is currently hosting a major show by artists Chantal Bethel and Claudette Dean.  The show was officially opened Friday by patron of the arts Mrs. Bernadette Christie, wife of the Prime Minister.  Mrs. Christie, centre, is shown with the artists Mrs. Bethel, left, and Ms. Dean at right in this photo by Peter Ramsay.

With this week’s poetry selection ‘7 Violets’ comes news that poet Giovanni Stuart ( is set to film a new video for the selection, which is from the CD album of poetry, muse and spoken verse, ‘Psalm Bird’.  The set will feature a surprise appearance by a special guest artist as his co-star (he hints that she is a beauty/queen?).  Please click here for ‘7 Violets.


    Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell, on the right in the photo above, is shown conferring with Luigi Enauldi, Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) during a recent trip to Washington DC.  Minister Mitchell headed a Bahamas delegation to the US capital for a series of meetings with US Senators and the Florida Congressional Delegation.  The meetings were hosted by the United States Ambassador to The Bahamas John Rood and were aimed at ensuring continued awareness of the importance of bilateral co-operation in the fight against drugs, smuggling and economic crimes.  The Minister is also pictured (at right) with members of the US Congressional Black Caucus, including Congressman John Lewis and (at left) with Ambassador Rood and with the US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roger Noriega.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that The Bahamas is sending a delegation of Bahamians to a conference in Jamaica on relations between the African Diaspora in the Caribbean and South Africa.  The delegation is to be led by Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell and will attend the Kingston conference 16-18 March.  The conference is being jointly sponsored by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of South Africa and Jamaica and will bring together persons from across the Caribbean region.
    Travelling with the official Government delegation will be six persons from Bahamian Civil Society, sponsored by the Government of South Africa.
    In addition to Minister Mitchell and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Bahamas Government has invited representatives from both the governing Progressive Liberal Party and the Official Opposition Free National Movement together with trade union representatives from the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the National Congress of Trade Unions (NCTU).  The delegation will also include representatives from The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and The Bahamas Christian Council.

    I find your commentary to be partisan instead of informative.  At least try to consider two points of view.  Leave it to the reader to decipher the information.
Gloria Strachan

You are absolutely correct, we are partisan.  We support the PLP.  Presumably that fact does not mean that what you get on this site is not informative.  You may disagree with what is written but hey, that's life! - Editor

Thoughts from A Bahamian Living Abroad
    I am a trainee barrister, in London.  I am a keen reader of this online newspaper.  I am one of the former Presidents of the PLP Young Liberals and I am pleased with what the government of The Bahamas is doing as it relates to the development of the country; socially and economically.  In addition I am pleased to see that this online newspaper reflects the true facts, objectively of what is going on in the country.  I wait in anticipation every Sunday to read  This online newspaper is a medium in which Bahamians living abroad can see what is going on in the country and also express themselves.
    There was a recent article which reflected how British people look at The Bahamas in relation to crime.  I must say that it does reflect how British people on the whole view The Bahamas.  In addition a suggestion was made to revamp the current bus system and subscribe to the current system in Britain.  This bus system I must say works well for Britain but I don't think that it would be a good idea for The Bahamas.  This is my 2 cent.  Keep up the good work.
Darron Pickstock

REVENUE $50 MILLION AHEAD - This enigmatic photograph (right) of Prime Minister Perry Christie by The Bahama Journal's Omar Barr made headlines in that newspaper this past week in a story highlighting the fact that Mr. Christie's tightened revenue collection measures are having a positive effect.  Quoting the Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Michael Halkitis, the Journal noted that Government revenues are fifty million dollars ahead of last year's numbers at this time.  But, said Mr. Halkitis, revenue collection continues to trail “a little behind” what had been anticipated up to this point in the 2004/2005 fiscal year.

SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS HELP STUDENTS IN THE CONSTITUENCY  - During the week, Mr. Christie joined the Seventh Day Adventists (below, left) for an announcement of their assistance with the Farm Road effort by the Urban Renewal Project.  Mr. Christie was joined for the announcement at the church in Centreville by Minister of Social Services Melanie Griffin.  The church has procured several computers from IBM and has set up a supervised computer lab upstairs in the church for homework and other research by students in the Prime Minister's Farm Road constituency.

BISHOP DAWKINS' ANNIVERSARY - In this photo (above, right), taken at church with Bishop Dawkins, Prime Minister Christie is joined at an anniversary celebration service by Minister of Financial Services & Investment, Allyson Maynard Gibson.
Bahamas Information Services photos by Peter Ramsay (except where noted)

20th March, 2005
Welcome to
  How do you do today?  It's great to have you as a reader.  We have the most incisive political news about and from The Bahamas! 
Please tell all your friends about us.
The Official Site of the Progressive Liberal Party... The Official Site of the Free National Movement...
PLPs On The Web... Interesting Places...
Bradley Roberts / PLP Grants Town Bahamas Government Website
Neville Wisdom / PLP Delaporte Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links
Alfred Sears / PLP Fort Charlotte Bahamians On The Web
Melanie Griffin / PLP Yamacraw Bahamian Cycling News
John Carey / PLP Carmichael FredMitchellUncensored.Com ARCHIVES...
Grand Bahama PLP
Click on a heading to go to that story; press ctrl+home to return to the top of the page.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK - The President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki and his Foreign Minister Nkosasana Zuma and the new South African nation are engaged in the most extensive African outreach to the new world.  Mr. Mbeki who is serving his second and final term as President of South Africa decided that in these last five years he wants to have significant ties with the Caribbean Diaspora of Africans and the new world.  In pursuance of this the Diaspora of the Caribbean was gathered at a Conference in Kingston, Jamaica, jointly sponsored by the Jamaican Government and the Government of South Africa.  It was a feel good time with topics that reviewed the history of Pan Africanism to how Africans could co-operate for the betterment around the world; how the nations of the continent can uplift themselves with the help of the Caribbean peoples.  The Bahamas a sent a delegation headed by its Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell.  The group is shown as they gathered for a photo on Wednesday 16th March at the National Conference Centre in Kingston, Jamaica.  Sitting rom left are Selwyn McKenzie, Bahamas Hotel Catering & Allied Workers Union; Patricia Bazzard, Bahamas Cultural Commission; Senator Sidney Collie, Free National Movement; Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service; Senator Rev. Dr. C. B. Moss, Bahamas Christian Council and Philip Miller, Under Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Standing from left: Loretta Smith, Bahamas Hotel Catering & Allied Workers Union; Ricardo Moncur, Progressive Liberal Party; Eleanor Campbell, Bahamas Conference of Methodist Church Women; Nicole Martin, Bahamas Hotel Catering & Allied Workers Union; Cleola Hamilton, Trade Union Congress; Akin Minnis, Bahamas Student Association UWI; Ordette Wells-Simms, Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Lynnith Braynen, Senior Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Philip Simon, Bahamas Chamber of Commerce.


The photo shows the sons and daughters of Africa, the Heads of Delegation at the Conference of Diaspora held in Kingston, Jamaica.  They are sons and daughters of Africa both in biological fact and in spirit.  We say that because Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of St. Vincent featured prominently in the conference.  He is clearly not phenotypically Black which is what you would expect an African to look like.  He explained that his fore parents came to St. Vincent from Madeira as indentured servants in 1845.   The indentured servants were the group that were hired as virtual slaves themselves after slavery was abolished and the freed slaves left the plantations and moved into the towns.  His fore parents were indentured for two years, and they stayed.  Today, he presides over an African nation in St. Vincent.  But he is an African in every sense of the word except his skin colour.

Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell was head of delegation for The Bahamas at the conference and gave this address.

Pallo Jordan who is the Minister of Arts and Culture for South African and a History Ph D gave a brilliant address at the start of the conference on the Pan African movement and its relevance to the 21st century.  In his extemporaneous remarks after his speech, he said that it was important not to “racialize” the concept of Africanness, since Africans came in all kinds of hues.  He said that there were even white Africans.  If you remember, that is the politically correct thing to say for South Africa, because the Afrikaners always insisted that they were Africa’s white tribe.  The history is that both the white and the black tribes arrived in the fertile lands in and around Cape Town at the same time.

The Rastafarian Community complained to the Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaica’s leading paper that they were not being allowed to contribute as fully as they should in the conference on the Diaspora.  Theirs was considered an idle complaint since their fancy headdress and locks, and their calls for reparations and return to Africa were heard loudly throughout the conference, in addition to their drums and chants.  In the final declaration, there was an acknowledgement of the role that the Rastafarians played in the development of the African movement around the world.  At the end the Jamaican Foreign Minister K.D. Knight acknowledged the role that Rastas had played in carrying the banner.

What is indeed the value of all of this?  Some countries did not send their Foreign Ministers, instead sending their Ministers of Culture or a Minister of State.  They seemed to fob it off as important because the South Africans wanted it but not central to the work of Governments.  We think that if that is the view then that is a serious mistake, because the Pan African movement which began in the mind of Selwyn Williams, the Trinidadian, in the 19th century was a response to years of oppression and racism against Black people. It was a survival mechanism that Black people invented as a response to discrimination.  The question to be asked is whether it is still relevant to the times.

Before answering that though, there was another dimension to the conference which is quite apart from the socio cultural feel good factors and that is the question of state to state relations.  The conference recognized that at the end, there has to be some mechanism to carry out all of the aims of the movement toward unity.  The mechanisms chosen are the African Union (AU) and the Caribbean Community (Caricom).  The two regional bodies are to work together to plan how the movement goes forward.  There is to be a follow up conference in South Africa two years hence.

The fact that there are state mechanisms with which to execute this indicates the progress that has occurred in the 20th century.  Black people now actually have nations, the last of those to come on stream was South Africa and perhaps it is the most technologically advanced.  South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt are all vying for a permanent seat on the proposed expanded Security Council of the United Nations.  South Africa is the future Black superpower, and no doubt from a state to state point of view the start made here at wooing the support of Black nations around the world is a first stab in that direction.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves made a plea for the inclusion of Brazil where the largest population of Blacks lives in the Americas.  We make a plea for the inclusion of Black Americans as well.  They certainly have the largest spending power and political clout in the world of any Black people at the moment.

Now for the answer to our question.  Pan Africanism, the Black Movement, Negritude are all still as relevant as the day when at the second Pan African Congress in 1903 W.E.B. Dubois indicated that the problem of the 20th century would be the problem of the colour line.  The power relations that existed when the Portuguese first went to Africa in the 15th century still exist.  It is still a powerful Europe, America being simply an outpost of that power, against the underprivileged and deprived African world and others.  The survival mechanism of Pan Africanism, Black Power, has to be there as a continual reminder like the Jews that we must never forget the affront to the dignity of millions of Black Africans who were enslaved, the millions of displaced persons who suffered because of colonialism, the continued negative which is attached to Black.  Pan Africanism and all the Black movements are a reaffirmation of the humanity of Black people, a reminder of that humanity despite what the world may say.  It lifts the self esteem.

And so we think that the South Africans and the Jamaicans were on the right track with their conference in Kingston, and we hope that the plan of action they adopted moves forward by embracing the young people in the quest for racial justice and salvation.

Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 19th March 2005 at midnight: 83,857.

Number of hits for the month of March up to Saturday 19th March 2005 at midnight: 214,671.

Number of hits for the year 2005 up to Saturday 19th March 2005 at midnight: 814,650.

The photo shows leaders of the delegations posing for a photo during their lunch break in Kingston on Thursday 17th March


    The Progressive Liberal Party through its Chairman, Raynard Rigby, has responded to an attack on the Prime Minister in the Nassau Guardian over the new touristic development scheduled for Guana Cay in the Abacos.  A lawyer for the protest against the development – Fred Smith - is quoted in the newspaper headline accusing the Prime Minister of “lying” about having met individuals from Guana Cay.
    In his statement, Mr. Rigby says “No one in his right frame of mind could have arrived at the conclusion that the Prime Minister has not spoken the truth on the Guana Cay Heads of Agreement and the process that led to it.  It must have been a moment of weakness in Mr. Smith’s mind for him to rush to such an irresponsible and reckless judgment.”
    Chairman Rigby counselled the public that “These are not matters for brazen and silly commentary.  Reasoned and well-balanced minds must prevail.
    “It is an irrefutable fact that the Prime Minister consulted with the opposition members of Abaco to discuss the proposed development prior to the execution of the Heads of Agreement. Further, it is also a known fact that the Prime Minister also met privately with a resident of Guana Cay to discuss the view of those opposed to the development. What more could have been expected?
    “The selfish and unjustified opposition of a minority should never stand in the way of progress.  Notwithstanding that the Government has already said that it is not going to force development where it is not wanted.”
    The PLP statement hoped that “Fred Smith will search out the facts before he utters another silly and unreasoned word on this issue.”

    Just before the General Election of 2002, C.B. Moss, the former President of the Bahamas Christian Council and the now Senator and Executive Assistant to the President of the Bahamas Christian Council, learned that Hubert Ingraham, the Prime Minister, was through the Constituencies Commission abolishing the Bain Town seat that he had been nursing, and was creating a new seat called Bain and Grants Town.
    It was clear as day what would have to happen with Perry Christie’s Centreville seat also abolished, and Bradley Roberts’ seat abolished, and both of them incumbents and senior members of the party.  C. B. lost his nomination to Bradley Roberts for the new seat.  It is not clear when the exchanges took place and what took place (and you cannot rely on the public dance that is performed for the crowd) but ever since that time, C.B. Moss has claimed that Bradley Roberts agreed to serve for a period of time during the term and then step down in favour of C.B.
    Political deals are of course notoriously difficult to enforce.  Rev. C. B. Moss was unable to enforce the deal, and Bradley Roberts, the incumbent, decided that he would stay on for the full term at the request of the Prime Minister.  The country was largely ignorant to all of this that went on behind the scenes but for the public promises; now it has all come to light.  Rev. C. B. Moss still slighting from being overlooked for the nomination, given a Senate seat pittance in his view, and then feeling ignored, told his followers in Bain Town by letter that Bradley Roberts had broken his promise to him to step down after two and half years.  You may see the full text of the letter here.
    The whole affair turned into a theological battle in a sense when the biblical story of Laban and his relationship to Jacob who stole his brother’s birthright became part of the debate.  Laban made Jacob waits seven years to marry his daughter and then to work yet another seven after tricking Jacob.  Bradley Roberts must have had his own theological adviser at work.  He reminded Rev. Moss that you never know what God has in store for you, because though Jacob was punished for stealing Esau's birthright, in the end God cleaned up Jacob's record by making him the inheritor to all of Laban’s wealth.  You may click here for Mr. Robert’s letter.
    The next move in the battle of the political theologists is Rev. C.B. Moss’.  Photo montage with Bradley Roberts (left) and C.B. Moss, from Bahama Journal.

    Sidney Stubbs is apparently in danger of not being able to meet the deadline of 23rd March.  That is the date when the authority of the resolution passed in October of last year which allows him to keep his seat while prosecuting an appeal runs out.  The fact that he has no right to appeal, and therefore the sub stratum of the resolution does not exist, has apparently not crossed anyone’s mind yet.  Now it looks as though the PLP will have to go back to the House pronto if it wants to avoid a bye election.
    The incredible fact is that for one year the Registrar of the Supreme Court did nothing to advance the matter of advertising for creditors.  Now she has advertised for creditors to come forward on 5th April, but oops the 5th of April is just past deadline of 23rd March.  The Government has to ask itself whether the public officials are not deliberately involved in a game of stall, delay and defer, for other reasons.
    If the resolution is not passed, it is clear that Mr. Stubbs seat becomes vacant by operation of law.  We wait and see.

    The garbage dump fire in New Providence has been on again and off again since at least 1979.  The smoke envelopes the city, and it is choking to the lungs, stinging to the eyes, and it stinks.  In the winter when the air is heavy, the fog causes the whole thing to settle not just in the environs of the dump but also over the city itself, all the way to Paradise Island.  Imagine that you come into a city on holiday, in what is supposed to be a Paradise, only to breathe in stink, smoky air.  Imagine the poor residents, particularly those around the area who can’t seem to get out of the stench.
    Each Government seems helpless and incompetent to do anything about the incessant garbage dump fire.  No Minister of Health has lost his job because of it, even though the fires continue to burn from one administration to the next.  There must be the most shocking neglect and inattention to cause these fires to continue to burn, unabated.  There is always plenty of explanation as to why the fires continue to burn, but no solution in sight.
    It is clear that the dump needs to be privatized, and that one of the raft of proposals presented to the Government to use the rubbish dump as a source for gas for fuel needs to be accepted, and the whole thing taken off the hands of the Government.  What is clear is that heads should roll at the dump site for this happening.  There are constant rumours that the persons who run the dump believe that they are a law unto themselves, and may have in the latest incident taken valuable equipment and removed it themselves from the premises, causing the latest fire. Whatever it is, the time has come for the Government to get on top of it.  It is clear that if we don’t get on top of this situation, the people will find some government that is able to do so.  Bahama Journal file photo by Omar Barr shows the dump ablaze.

    The debate on the ongoing problem of illegal Haitian and Cuban immigration continues.  So far this year it appears that the special round ups by the Department of Immigration have netted some 800 odd Haitian migrants.  On Tuesday last, the Department of Immigration deported the last of the troublesome 29 Cuban migrants back to their homeland.  There were the predictable threats from the Miami Cuban community but so far all appears well.
    The fact is we are going to continue to have the problem of illegal migration so long as the political and economic conditions obtain in the countries around our region.  This includes Jamaica, Cuba, and Haiti.  It will probably also mean U.S. citizens as well, although because of their skin colour and the type of jobs that they take, they will not be a political problem.  The country is at a fever pitch over illegal migration, with every day the newspapers carrying more and more outlandish suggestions about migrants.
    The Roman Catholic Archbishop Patrick Pinder is the voice of reason in the midst of all of this and he spoke at the service on Sunday 5th March, marking 165 years of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.  He said that while the law must be enforced, the illegal migrant is a human person and must be treated with dignity.  It is a theme he repeated when he spoke to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force on Sunday last.  Please click here for Archbishop Pinder's address.

    Edward St. George, the former Chairman of and the genius behind the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the architect of the success of modern day Freeport, died late last year.  At the time of his death Freeport was full of unsubstantiated reports that he was looking around for a successor and a new Bahamian to lead the Grand Bahama Port Authority.  After all, the leadership of the Port was in its seventies and some attention had to be paid to a transition.
    Now comes word from the Nassau Guardian in its edition of Monday 14th March that Julian Francis, the Governor of the Central Bank may be taking over the Grand Bahama Port Authority.  It is believed that Mr. Francis’ contract comes to an end this year and he has been wanting to get out given the relations between the Bank and the Ministry of Finance during his tenure.  The two institutions have disagreed over monetary and fiscal policy.
    Albert Miller, the Co-chairman of the Port who was called in from retirement to hold on while Edward St. George was in hospital told The Guardian that he has been in talks with Mr. Francis with a view to filling a post made vacant by the passing of Mr. St. George.  He told Mindell Small: “There is some discussion going on and I saw Mr. Francis yesterday (Thursday 10th March). Possibly next week, we would be in a position to give a statement but not yet.”
    This would be an interesting appointment.  Mr. Francis would have to use all the skills he possesses to run this gauntlet of a company still smarting from the loss of Mr. St. George, with Albert Miller dedicated to going back into retirement, and with some Bahamians who thought they might get the job most unhappy about the prospects of a stranger coming in at the top, add to that the changing nature of Freeport and the need to attract more capital.  But there is no doubt that change is in the air.


    What in the world were they after?  On Tuesday 15th March, Paul Adderley, the former Attorney General and now Chair of the Constitution Commission, was on the front page of all of the daily papers showing how his office has been broken into while he was away on a weekend trip and thoroughly trashed.  It appears that the person did not take anything of value save for a piece of jewellery that Mr. Adderley had purchased for his wife as an Easter present.  But we know what the violation feels like, what the senselessness of it all is.  Bahama Journal photo of Mr. Adderley pointing out the damage by Omar Barr.

    Fred Smith is so busy trying to get the FNM’s nomination, a nomination for any seat and any party (for that matter), that he must have forgotten that he is an FNM and should not really be demonstrating against his own party.  But that is what he did.  As Cabinet members gathered for their Tuesday meeting last week, Mr. Smith and the demonstrators from the Save Guana Cay group gathered with placards calling for a stop to the development deal that the Government agreed, with the necessary safeguards should take place in Guana Cay.
    Robert Sweeting (pictured) and Hubert Ingraham who are the Members of Parliament for the Abacos were both consulted by the Government and the Government thought the project had their support.  But lo and behold, Robert Sweeting has now turned tail and said something quite different.  As he landed in Guana Cay, the people there were engaged in a demonstration against him.  He cracked and said that he was not consulted by the Government.  Politics is a difficult business.
    The Prime Minister was sanguine insisting that Mr. Sweeting was consulted but he indicated that if the people of Guana Cay don’t want the development they can continue to campaign against it.  The Government is not going to force development where it is not wanted.  But the Government has done its part to help the economy of the island, now if they want to stop it, that is between the people and the investors.


    Prime Minister Perry Christie is a fan of the L.A. Lakers, so much so that he is often kidded by his colleagues that he stays up late to watch those games out in L.A. and to coach them from his TV armchair.  The Florida Power and Light group and the Miami Herald both invited the PM over for a stop in their sky boxes to watch the Miami Heat and L. A. Lakers come head to head, with Kobe Bryant meeting archrival Shaquille O’Neil.  The Heat won the game.  The PM must have been mortified.  Prime Minister Christie and his son Steffan watching the game - Bahamas Information Services photo by Peter Ramsay.

    Fred Mitchell, the Foreign Minister leaves The Bahamas today for his annual physical at the Mayo Clinic.  This has been an annual practice since 1995.  He will return to the country on Holy Saturday.

    The long holiday weekend comes up this weekend with the early Easter Sunday.  Today is Palm Sunday, and the Christian community will have the traditional marches and the presentation of the palms commemorating the march of Jesus in Jerusalem.  One week later, he was dead, by the hands of the same people who had proclaimed him king.  The holiday is quite an important one in The Bahamas, with fried fish, mainly goggle eyes served everywhere on Good Friday and baked lamb for Sunday dinner on Easter.  Easter Sunday is the first Sunday, after the first full moon, after the Equinox.  Easter Monday is the start of the traditional swimming season in The Bahamas.  Before that most Bahamians say it is too cold to go in the water.

This week’s verse, ‘Bahama Brilliance (ReVisited)’ by recording and literary artist, Giovanni Stuart (, is what the poet calls "a utopic-aquatic phantastic perspective of The Bahamas plus, her golden and glory-filled pole position in our Global Village." Click here for Bahama Brilliance.  ‘Bahama Brilliance’, is the last Poetry Feature of this month.  The column will return Sunday 2 April.

    The Bahama Journal reported in its weekend edition that Senator Cyprianna McWeeney is to resign her seat in the Senate to take up a project with the Government.  No comment from the Government on the matter.

    The Punch, the rag and scum newspaper is lying again on the Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell.  They apparently were not satisfied that they had to apologize for lying once on the Foreign Minister under threat of substantial damages.  Now they are back again with the specious claim that he has spent one million dollars on travel abroad.  The headline is written in such a way as to make people think that in this year alone one million dollars have been spent and that applied to his travel alone.  Well you know what they say: if it is in The Punch it is a lie.  Its editor was once called the “lyingest” reporter in the western hemisphere.  The Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that the entire story was a tissue of lies and a complete and utter fabrication.


    We extend our condolences to the family of the late Mamie Astwood, a retired teacher and well known social activist.  Mrs. Astwood was 76 years old. She is survived by her brother Louis Hanchell, sister Helena, daughter Patrice McDonald and son Colin. The funeral service took place at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church on Saturday 19th March.  The celebrant was the Archdeacon James Palacious. The sermon was preached by Rev. James Moultrie. Tributes were delivered by Sir Arlington Butler, Sir Clement Maynard and Rev. Fr. Sebastian Campbell, the latter of whom is the Chairman of the National Heroes Day Committee.  The Committee had previously declared Mrs. Astwood a national hero for her work in education.


    Bahamen singers will be the headline performers this Thursday evening, 24 March, in their first local concert of the year to be held at Worker’s House on Harrold Road  The three are pictured (L-R) Leroy ‘Sweet Boy’ Butler, ‘Dreddy’ Rick Carey and Ryan Andrews aka ‘Friday’.  Proceeds benefit The Bahamas Children’s Emergency Hostel.

    On behalf of the Bahamian Student Association at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad, we are writing in regard to an article that was published on 27th February 2005 referring to the visit by Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
    In the article there was a reference made stating that the medical students visited by Mr. Mitchell were students of the ‘Mount Hope Medical School’.  The purpose of my letter is to inform you that the medical students that you referred to are not medical students of the Mount Hope Medical School, but are medical, dental, veterinary and pharmacology students of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies, studying at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex located at Mount Hope as well as students from the Main Campus of UWI St. Augustine and the Roman Catholic Seminary.
    We, the Board members of the Bahamian Student Association, became aware of this error, and found it necessary to contact Bahamas Uncensored to correct the error as to avoid any future confusion as to what medical school the students here in Trinidad attend.  Thank you for your co-operation in correcting the printed information.
    Thank you in advance,
President  Shivargo S. Rolle
Vice President  Jiamara Campbell
Treasurer  Shanique McHardy
Assistant Treasurer Terrel Humes
Secretary  Honora Swain
Assistant Secretary Shara McIntosh

Thank you for your correction. - Editor


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY FAIR -  The Prime Minister officially opened the Ministry of Education's annual Science & Technology Careers Exposition Monday at the Crystal Palace Hotel.  This year, the expo was under the patronage of Mrs. Bernadette Christie, wife of the Prime Minister, and honoured several local leaders in various areas of the scientific and technological fields.  The honourees are pictured above with Prime Minister and Mrs. Christie, Ministers of Education Alfred Sears and Culture, Neville Wisdom, along with the expo organiser, the Assistant Director of Education Mrs. Beverly Taylor (standing at right in turban).  Please click here for remarks prepared for Mr. Christie's opening address.

FORMER MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE – Mrs. Bernadette Christie, Patron of the Science & Technology Careers Exposition and Prime Minister Christie, a former Minister of Agriculture learn how to propagate pineapples at the Ministry of Agriculture display at the Ministry of Education's Science & Technology Exposition. Pictured from left is Deborah Abang-Ntuen, Senior Agricultural Information Officer, Basil Miller, Senior Agricultural Officer; Prime Minister Christie and Mrs. Christie and Dr. Maurice Isaacs, veterinarian.  In opening the Exposition, Prime Minister Christie told the assembled students that their participation in science and technology is “of vital importance to the future” of The Bahamas.

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT ( - This is the name of a new small hotel in Stafford Creek, Andros that was officially opened Saturday by Prime Minister Christie.  The PM is pictured with Minister Vincent Peet, Member of Parliament for the area; Ms. Sheila Blatch, Owner; Vanessa Scott and (at right) Berkeley Colebrook and Hazel Johnson.

Bahamas Information Services photos by Peter Ramsay

27th March, 2005
Welcome to
  How do you do today?  It's great to have you as a reader.  We have the most incisive political news about and from The Bahamas! 
Please tell all your friends about us.
The Official Site of the Progressive Liberal Party... The Official Site of the Free National Movement...
PLPs On The Web... Interesting Places...
Bradley Roberts / PLP Grants Town Bahamas Government Website
Neville Wisdom / PLP Delaporte Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links
Alfred Sears / PLP Fort Charlotte Bahamians On The Web
Melanie Griffin / PLP Yamacraw Bahamian Cycling News
John Carey / PLP Carmichael FredMitchellUncensored.Com ARCHIVES...
Grand Bahama PLP
Click on a heading to go to that story; press ctrl+home to return to the top of the page.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK - In every generation there is a set of political activists that you cannot decide whether they are class clowns or whether they are the genuine political article.  That is the category in which Cassius Stuart, Omar Smith and Sidney Carroll Jr. now find themselves.  They were detained by the police according to Senator Tommy Turnquest, the leader outside the House of the Free National Movement.  The day was Wednesday 23rd March and the Government decided to call the House back into emergency session to save Sidney Stubbs (see comment below) the MP on the PLP side who allowed himself to be declared a bankrupt last year on 31st March.  The House was not scheduled to meet until Wednesday 6th April.  The FNM was leading a protest against the Government, which is their right, and they stood on the steps of the Assembly to read their press release.  The troika of Stuart, Smith and Carroll from the Bahamian Democratic Movement thought to go one better.  Given their penchant for getting arrested, they blocked the access of the Prime Minister to the House and also prevented the Clerk of the House Maurice Tynes from leaving.  That is against the law.  So they were bundled off by the police.  Later they were visited by the Opposition Leader outside the House Tommy Turnquest who told the press that the troika was not under arrest but merely in the protective custody of the police.  Thanks for that info Tommy.  We thought whether they are class clowns or the genuine article, that was the photo of the week, the troika grandstanding in front of the House of Assembly, trying to outshine the FNM.  The Bahamas Information Services photo is by Peter Ramsay and was published in the Bahama Journal.


By Sharon Zoe Smith*

You are very welcome Neil Hartnell, the editor of the Tribune’s Business page, and part of the latest chapter in the on going propaganda war against the PLP in The Bahamas.  If not the usual racist claptrap that utters forth from their Insight page, where last week they said that the Government’s chief advisor on the environment, Dr Livingston Marshall had better not go to Inagua, implying that he would find himself at physical risk, or the elitist nonsense from Eileen Carron in the publisher’s note, now comes the Tribune’s business page into the fray.  The irony of the threat to Dr. Marshall by John Marquis, an Englishman abroad, who it is believed writes the Insight column is that Mr. Marquis is a fellow traveler to The Bahamas and how dare The Tribune threaten a Bahamian about where he can or cannot go.

In the process of trying to piece together a story where there was none, The Tribune tried to impugn the credibility of the spokesman for the Government Al Dillette.  The reason: The Tribune said that they read in this site last week that the Prime Minister was invited to sit in the sky box of Florida Power and Light to watch a basketball game.  Mr. Hartnell and his fellow travelers claim that this meant that the statement was true, and also claimed that this site was the semi official voice of the PLP.  That was their story on Tuesday 22nd March.

One has to agree with the government’s spokesman not to get caught in these foolish machinations.  The Tribune is in the business of selling newspapers.  And ever since the down market Punch started stealing their readers, they have had to become more and more outlandish in order to keep their readers.  And so they have become a caricature of a newspaper in too many ways.  All their talk about freedom of the press and expression and they booted first Nicki Kelly for her opinions being adverse to theirs and then Stan Burnside the cartoonist got the boot because his opinions were contrary to theirs.  Their motto now seems to be, the same as Ivan Johnson, never let the truth interfere with a good story.

The Tribune’s analysis on this matter is flawed.  They argue that there is some embarrassment to the Government and Mr. Dillette because of what appeared on this site last week.  Hogwash!  In another story they editorialized saying that the Prime Minister was ridiculed.  It is clear that the only ridicule came from The Tribune.  Not even Zhivargo Laing, their only named source, said anything that would approximate to ridicule.

The only person embarrassed would be Neil Hartnell, the writer and the inventor of the story.  He still does not have the answer to his question and that is because according to reports reaching London, The Tribune's reporter was not there for the press conference when the PM himself answered the question.  What did we say: never let the truth interfere with a good story.  And it is understood that when the Prime Minister was asked about the matter at the press conference which The Tribune left instead of waiting for the answer, the Prime Minister simply said that the invitation was at the behest of the Miami Herald, the partners of The Tribune in The Bahamas and that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had urged him to go in the name of improving relations in the Florida area.  The Florida Power and Light box is also there, and he did also visit the box.  Suddenly that becomes a big crisis on the question of conflict of interest.

There is no conflict of interest that is readily apparent.  But it is always interesting how the first thing that happens, people read a negative where there is none.  One can expect that from the likes of fellow travelers like Neil Hartnell, Eileen Carron and John Marquis at The Tribune, always looking for evil where there is none.  But one expects from other intelligent people looking on much better than that.

The story has no natural legs, so to help keep it going, it is always easy to solicit some FNM has-been and ask them to manufacture a quote for the matter.  True to form and predictable as the rains in the summer, Zhivargo Laing was able to fill the spot, saying that serious questions had been raised about the PM’s commitment to the conflict of interest standards.  That was Wednesday 23rd March.  Hogwash!

Serious questions by whom?  So far only Zhivargo Laing and Neil Hartnell.  The other faceless, nameless sources of The Tribune don't count.  If they do exist, they are not even brave enough to give their names.

The manufactured story had run two days in The Tribune.  Now Mr. Hartnell needed a third go at it.  This story had to live and so on page five of The Tribune Thursday 24th March, there was a story with no byline, and not properly identified as commentary but as fact.  The comment claimed that there was a rewrite of the story on this website, different it claimed than the one that appeared last Sunday.  No wonder the hits on this site are increasing every week.  It must be Neil Hartnell and his crew busy pressing the left click button on the mouse over at The Tribune.  The story claimed that following The Tribune’s expose, the spin doctors of the government were embarrassed.  Who was embarrassed?  What spin doctors?   The latter story described the story as a mega-blunder.  Mega blunder for whom?  The only mega blunder is that of Neil Hartnell and The Tribune running off half cocked with a story that was not true.  They are the only ones who see this site as a semi official voice of the PLP, not this site.  The Government’s spokesman was entirely right, not to comment on web sites, there are so many of them going around.

It is important that Neil Hartnell and The Tribune first get their facts straight.  This is not a Government site, nor the semi official or official site of the PLP.  This is a site that supports the PLP.  We are unabashed about it.  And that is all.

No doubt, The Tribune will manufacture another story on this matter come Easter Tuesday.

Neil Hartnell, go get a life!

(*Sharon Zoe Smith, is the non de plume of a Bahamian living in London who writes for this column from time to time --Editor)

Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 26th March 2005 at midnight: 76,232.

Number of hits for the month of March ending Saturday 26th March 2005 at midnight: 290,903.

Number of hits for the year 2005 up to Saturday 26th March at midnight: 890,882.

The caricature 'Sideburns' is by Stan Burnside from The Nassau Guardian of Saturday 26th March

    For those of us who work on this site, there is no more glorious time to be in The Bahamas than at Easter time.  It has come very early this year but it has not stopped the memories flooding back.  “Goggle Eyes, five for a dollar!”  Hey, that has been a long time ago, but it is still a time when the fish sell more than at any time in the year.
    On Maundy Thursday, there is a frenzy out on the docks as people rush out to buy their fish and their conch.  The smell of the hot cross buns being picked up at the home bakeries is a reminder that it is that time of year again.  Then there is the frenzied shopping for the new Easter clothes.  Somewhere, some little boys are being bought their new white suits for Easter, a new pair of shoes.  Somewhere, a little girl will get her colourful frock.
    You will really know its Easter when the white of Queen Ann’s Lace pushes up through the ground, the lilies are in bloom in their red and in their white.  But nothing, nothing tops the weather.  The wonderful weather of spring in The Bahamas.  There is a full moon, the temperature is just right between 70 degrees and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.  There is no humidity.  There is a slight wind, the air is clear.
    On Easter Monday, children will be brought with their families for the first forays in swimming.  It is the start of the swim season.  Yes indeed, it is Easter.  Happy Easter to you all!  A table of fish for sale on Good Friday from the deck of the motor vessel Lady Roberts in this Nassau Guardian photo by Patrick Hanna.

    It was the Bahama Journal that broke the story that the Jamaican police, a certain Corporal in Mandeville told the Journal that the death of Julius Burrows, the son of Stephen Burrows of Freeport and from most accounts a student of impeccable credentials was not what it seems.
    There was some story they said that the younger Mr. Burrows who was murdered in Jamaica after leaving his wife to go and get KFC in Mandeville was involved with some questionable people, something about a scheme to sell used cars gone bad.  The police also said that they thought that the family was not being as forthcoming as they should be with the police.
    This week, the father of the murdered boy struck back.  He was incensed that his son’s reputation was being sullied.  He said that the Jamaican police were simply trying to sully the name of his son and the family because they wanted to hide their incompetence.  He said that they had provided a name to the police in Jamaica and they had done nothing about it.

    The Tribune in its own inept way may have stumbled on to something.  The paper claims that this site sees itself as the semi official voice of the Progressive Liberal Party.  We are no one’s voice save our own.  We support the PLP and wish them to be able to stay in office to continue the things that the PLP stands for.  The funny thing is that we don’t even know whether PLPs read this site or whether the PLP cares whether the site is there to help and to protect its interest.
    Truth be told from the public reactions, we believe that it is the PLP’s political enemies that seem to have a greater love for this site than the PLP itself.  Case in point, until Senator Edison Key resigned from the PLP, he had never even read this site.  But as soon as the site commented in a balanced way on his predicament, he resigned in a huff saying that it was this site that caused him to do so.  As we said at the time, he didn’t even understand what he was reading since the site actually supported him.
    Now we have the ridiculous situation where The Tribune claims that this is the semi official voice of the PLP, and we doubt anyone from the official PLP or the Government even saw what was written here until The Tribune itself printed it.  So the question then must be asked: can the official PLP use this site to greater effect, given all that people believe?  We think they can, but of course we have no illusion that the PLP will.  This is one of those situations where you have to do what you believe and try to help even if the help is not wanted.

    The Tribune was having a slow news week last week and so sought to manufacture a story based solely on information contained in this website last week about the Prime Minister Perry Christie sitting in the sky box of Florida Power and Light.  They sought to denigrate Government spokesman Al Dillette for his response.  Here is what they said in their own words in the story Tuesday 22nd March 2005:
    “The Prime Minister’s spokesman last night insisted that “sensible people should not draw any conclusion” from claims on an Internet Website that Perry Christie was invited to an NBA basketball game and given hospitality by an energy company seeking governmental approval for a controversial LNG terminal and pipeline in The Bahamas….
    “A spokesman for Mr. Christie told The Tribune that the Prime Minister was in a series of meetings all day, and added: “It is not his usual practice to comment on web logs or this sort of unofficial information.”
    “However, the report on Mr. Christie and FPL’s hospitality came from the website which was started as by the now Foreign Minister, Fred Mitchell, and still acts as his semi official mouthpiece.
    “The site in question also makes no attempt to hide its support and bias for the governing Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) which makes it unlikely that it would have printed erroneous information on the PM…
    “When it was pointed out that the report on Mr. Christie was produced by a pro government website, the Prime Minister’s spokesman stuck doggedly to the line that it was merely a web log and had minimal credibility.
    “In this day and Internet age, there are bloggers and blogs all around, the spokesman said.  Sensible people should not draw any conclusions from it.
    “The spokesman in question used to run the website in its previous incarnation,, so he is now effectively disparaging the credibility of something he helped to create.”
    In a story on Thursday 24th March, The Tribune continued:
    “Embarrassed government spin doctors have had to do a quick rewrite of a website picture story showing Prime Minister Perry Christie accepting hospitality from a US company in Miami…
    “This [press spokesman Al Dillette’s statement] according to critics effectively dismissed ‘’ as unreliable and of no importance, even though it sees itself as a semi official source of pro PLP propaganda…” (See Comment of the Week above)
The Tribune is simply full of it.  The only one who sees this site as a source of semi-official information is The Tribune.  We never said it.  In each case, everyone reading information anywhere has to weigh the truth or otherwise of its content.  From what we read, Mr. Dillette only seemed to be saying simply that and nothing else.  That apparently was a point too sophisticated for Neil Hartnell and the Tribune.  Oh well! ---Editor)

    When The Tribune was looking around for someone to keep up its propaganda barrage against the PLP over the alleged infraction of the PM sitting in the Florida Power and Light Skybox (remember the invitation according to the PM was from The Miami Herald), the one quick and ready with an answer was Zhivargo Laing, the former Minister as we used to call him of ‘uneconomic development’.  He made the front page on Wednesday 23rd March and printed this in his column of Thursday 24th March, 2005 in his own words:
    “Prime Minister Christie should not have been using Florida Power and Light’s skybox to watch the Miami Heat play the Los Angeles Lakers, if that was what happened.  The PM must make a very controversial decision involving this wealthy company’s application to establish an LNG plant in The Bahamas; it is not unreasonable to suppose that the PM’s decision could be influenced by the company’s pandering to his recreational desires, whether solicited or unsolicited.
    “Perhaps it is time to adopt a law similar to the 1996 Conflict of Interest Act of British Columbia in Canada.  This law defines ‘conflict of interest’, provides various prohibitions against it, prescribes procedures on conflict of interest, addresses how ministers should perform their duties in order to avoid conflict of interest, provides for a commissioner on conflict of interest, provides for public disclosures, provides for inquiries and prescribes penalties for the violation of the law among other things.”
(On the face of it this seems eminently reasonable, but reasonable minds should also ask the question, given the Prime Minister’s emphasis on integrity, whether the premise of the statement at the start of Mr. Laing's exposition is in fact correct.  As we say, check your facts before you act.  Notice, Mr. Laing predicates his assertions on the conditional statement “if that was what happened”.  Notice The Tribune left out that part.  Hmmm!  –Editor)

    Every day that you open your newspaper in The Bahamas over the past two weeks, there is Fred Smith, the desperate Freeport attorney, trying to get the nation’s attention.  Well what he is really trying to do is to get the FNM’s attention.  He wants a nomination.  He is getting old now, and time is running out so the desperation is setting in.  That makes him do and say dangerous things.  He has called the PM a liar.  He has crossed the line from lawyer to client when he led a demonstration of people from Guana Cay, saying that they don’t want the Government approved investment there.
    The problem we have with this is why the PLP continues to telescope its blows while dealing with this guy.  He is a nuisance.  He lacks credibility.  Yet, it appears that those that have power are reluctant to use the sledgehammer to crush the worm so to speak. His latest foray was a report carried by the Nassau Guardian on Monday 21st March in which he said that the Heads of Agreement signed by the Government for the Passerine project on the Cay prostitutes the area.  So he has all the buzz words; giving away the land, lying, prostituting.  All designed to push buttons.  The problem is that he does not believe a word of it.  All grandstanding!

    Joan Sawyer, the Dame that heads the Court of Appeal must have been mortified by the Judicial slap in the face to the Court of Appeal with regard to her Court’s decision to set aside the decision of Justice Jeanne Thompson to grant bail to Austin Knowles and his fellow defendants who are wanted in the U.S. on drug charges.
    The Court of Appeal made some rather unusual remarks about Justice Thompson while making its ruling (click here for previous story).  This incensed the members of the Bar who started the circulation of a petition for the removal of Dame Joan Sawyer.  No one has heard of what happened to that effort but the Privy Council has ruled that the Court of Appeal had no right to interfere with the decision of Justice Thompson to grant bail, although they said that Justice Thompson should have taken into account other matters in making her decision, but the right to make that decision was affirmed.
    In the another part of the decision, the Privy Council rejected the arguments of the lawyers for Austin Knowles that the entire extradition proceeding was null and void because the orders had been signed by the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcus Bethel, when Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell was out of the country.  You may click here for the full decision.


    George Meerabux used to be a Magistrate in Freeport.  He left The Bahamas quickly and without ceremony after some time as magistrate in Freeport.  From The Bahamas it appears that he went to Belize where he served as a high court justice.  The Privy Council ruled this week that he is fired.  He was removed through the constitutionally prescribed process after being accused of being corrupt and of fraternizing intimately with persons connected to cases before him.  He appealed his dismissal to the Privy Council.  This week the Privy Council ruled that the dismissal stands.  You may click here for the full judgment.

By Sharon Zoe Smith
    No one should pretend that the PLP is a monolith as it is being suggested in the press.  Everyone knows that on the PLP side, there are many who are embarrassed by Sidney Stubbs, the MP for Holy Cross, who allowed himself to be declared a bankrupt, and now it appears in the face of all common sense and decency is intent on dragging his party down with him into this fight.
    Everyone knows that there are those in the PLP who have mixed emotions on the matter when you have the Free National Movement and other class clowns getting involved in this matter, pretending that their interest is in the integrity of our institutions, instead of just plain politics, and which PLPs will simply rise to defend one of their own in the face of that.
    Everyone knows that there are some FNMs who while out there supporting Senator Tommy Turnquest and the others to get rid of Sidney Stubbs, do not want a bye election, knowing that with the chance of Carl Bethel becoming an MP again it will destabilize their party, and who feel that the court itself acted improperly in bankrupting Sidney Stubbs.  The former group of PLPs is really supposed to be FNM then; the latter group of FNMs is really supposed to be PLP.  Not necessarily so.  It is just politics and there are different views even within sides about what to do.
    The Nassau Guardian in its editorial of Thursday 24th March asked the Prime Minister how much longer was he going to allow this Sidney Stubbs matter to drag on when it was clear that Sidney Stubbs for a number of reasons ought to have been let go long ago.  The reason is that it is against the very basic instinct of the PLP to let one of its own go.  There is of course a time when one has to say enough is enough.
    The system clearly contemplates that the Leader of the party should not have to tell one of its Members of Parliament when it is time to go.  It should be apparent on the face of it.  But throughout this matter of the self-inflicted Sidney Stubbs ordeal, it has been said that this is a young man who does not have a sense of convention or shame, nor it appears any concern about what he is doing to his party and his family.  The action to save Sidney Stubbs has brought about too many negatives.  It is perhaps time for Mr. Stubbs to think the unthinkable.
    Many Bahamians in London agree with the Prime Minister that there is no doubt that the PLP is unafraid of a bye election.  The PLP can win a bye election.  What it does not want, however, is death by a thousand cuts.  It must remember that it was the middle of the road voter that helped to get it elected, who was convinced that in the face of the arrogance of Ingraham and in the face of the fact that the FNM had lost touch, the PLP was going to remain in touch, and always do the right thing.
    On Wednesday 22nd March, the PLP called the House back into session, and had to suffer the embarrassment of being deflected from its aim of passing the resolution to save Mr. Stubbs for 24 hours after a noisy Opposition made the case that the rules called for 24 hours notice.  The Opposition’s objections should have been ignored and the power used to simply pass the matter and be done with it.  It simply looked to the public as if the PLP were unprepared for what it had to do, just as it must have known that the time was running out for Sidney Stubbs and they should have done the resolution as a precaution before breaking for the Easter holidays.  However, all of that is history, the facts now before us are what should Sidney Stubbs do for his party?  The Bahamians in London who speak to me think that they know!

    The Minister of State for Finance told The Tribune that Value Added Tax may be as little as two or three years away. The Bahamas Government has the British company the Crown Agents looking at replacing the present tax structure as The Bahamas moves toward the Caribbean Single Market and Economy and the World Trade Organization.  The story appeared in the Business Section of The Tribune on Tuesday 22nd March.

Update from Johannesburg
    I had forgotten to identify myself on the piece on bahamasuncensored.  I'm the one in the back left row.
     The programme that I am in is through the University of The Witwatersrand whose webpage is  The specific unit that I am attached to is  We are frequented by elective medical students and doctors particularly from Europe.  The Unit's contact details are on the webpage and anyone wanting further details can contact them or me directly via any of the listed means below. Also useful sites would be:, College of Medicine of South Africa (the examing body);, Health Professions Council of SA (the licensing body);, University of The Witwatersrand (proper);, Johannesburg Hospital Trauma Unit;, Jo'burg General Hospital;, ‘Bara’ Hospital (the world's largest hospital);, The City of Jo'burg
    Anyway, feel free to browse these sites and to recommend them to


PLANNING THE NATIONAL STADIUM -  A high level team of technical officials from the People's Republic of China is visiting The Bahamas this month.  The officials are here to begin the final planning for a national track and field stadium, a gift to the country from the Chinese people.  Prime Minister Perry Christie was joined by Minister of Sports Neville Wisdom in officially welcoming the delegation.  The two are pictured above at the Office of The Prime Minister with the Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas and the Chinese technical delegation.  Immediately following the courtesy call on Mr. Christie, the delegation met with their counterparts at the Ministry of Sports.

NO EQUIVOCATION AND NO RETREAT - This was the Prime Minister's position in the House of Assembly debate on a resolution to ensure the guarantee of the constitutional right of appeal by the Member of Parliament for Holy Cross Sidney Stubbs, now declared bankrupt.  In a rousing call to support of the resolution, Mr. Christie invited members to "rise above petty, partisan politics and see the wisdom, the good sense, the decency and the honour" in supporting the resolution.  Please click here for the substance of the Prime Minister's 24 March presentation in the House.

EXTENDING THE INTERESTS OF THE BAHAMAS  - During the week, Mr. Christie fielded questions about his appearance in Miami at a game of the US National Basketball Association's Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers.  "As Prime Minister, I am a promoter of The Bahamas and it was just another night in the life of a Prime Minister extending the interests of the country" said Mr. Christie.  The Prime Minister told the press that he had been invited to the game by the Miami Herald newspaper and urged to go in the interests of building relations with the South Florida community.  The Prime Minister is seen below, left with Minister of Sports Neville Wisdom and members of the press.

ANNEX BAPTIST PALM SUNDAY - The Prime Minister joins in the spirit of the occasion on Palm Sunday at Annex Baptist Church in this photo (above, right), taken at church, Mr. Christie celebrates one of the most significant days in the Christian calendar.
Bahamas Information Services photos by Peter Ramsay