In our previous article, we reported on the outcome of high-level talks held in Jamaica between the Secretary of State and CARICOM foreign ministers. We reported that an allocation of US$77 million to the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) to tackle the full range of security and criminal threats to the Caribbean basin. We pointed out that we were not sure that our Foreign Minister was in attendance. Today, we are happy to report that he was at the meeting.
|HILARY CLINTON AND CARICOM'S FOREIGN MINISTERS|
Today, we are also happy to inform you that the 2010 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Saint Lucia is now available on the US State Department Website. The report which is dated April 10, 2010 was compiled by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.
Some of the issues highlighted in the report are issues persistently raised by the POWERHOUSE. Consider Section 4 Official Corruption and Government Transparency:
“Corruption continued to be viewed as serious and was widely discussed by the media, the business community, and opposition politicians. Observers expressed concern that the country was moving backwards in terms of transparency and accountability. There was also concern that some foreign assistance programs went through the specific offices of parliamentarians, providing the opportunity for graft. There was an increasing public perception that certain politicians were wielding undue influence over the law enforcement community to shield them from investigation for corrupt practices.”
The above extract looks exactly like an excerpt in a POWERHOUSE editorial.
We remain very worried about the corrupt practices associated with our foreign minister and its impact on the image of our country abroad. Just this week, the Choiseul fishermen were pointing an accusing finger at him over monies donated by the Japanese to purchase equipment (namely an excavator and a dump truck) to help in the de-silting the pond.
An undisclosed amount was presented to him on behalf of the fisherman and all they were told is “the cheque is with the Village Council”. Similar stories were also told for the Moroccan donation of almost a million dollars and other donations from Portugal etc. Those monies which were initially deposited at the credit union have now been removed and nobody knows about their whereabouts.
The Choiseul/Saltibus constituency is very curious about the whereabouts of those monies procured on its behalf. Speculation is rife that the District Rep may have, among other things, loaned those monies to one "Mr Smith" to help him purchase the 2-million dollar condo at the Landings, with a promise repay upon the receipt of Libyan funds promised to him.
But the question is: Suppose the Libyan funds never materialise - and indications are, they won't - then what become of those funds? The State Department may have solved some of the puzzles; but the people of Choiseul/Saltibus need answers.
CORRECTION: JUST LEARNED ON HTS THAT TUCKER DID NOT ATTEND THE MEETING. THE NATIONAL SECURITY MINISTER ATTENDED ON BEHALF OF ST. LUCIA. THE PHOTO WHICH ACCOMPANIED THE NEWS STORY WAS AN OLD ONE. APPARENTLY, KING IS VERY UNCOMFORTABLE WITH BOUSQUET ATTENDING THOSE MEETINGS WITH THE US. IS IT A CONDITION LAID DOWN BY THE US: THAT BOUSQUET IS DEBARRED FROM MEETINGS WITH US OFFICIALS?
Rufus Bousquet, Bruce Tucker And Mr. Smith are one and the same. Didn't you know? It's the three of them who bought the condor.ReplyDelete