Ricardo Blackman’s Caribbean Headlines News 08/10

By Ricardo Blackman | CDN Barbados

Dateline Bridgetown, BARBADOS:

Forty-eight hours after the shooting incident on Spring Garden Highway which left Barbados on edge, the country’s political leaders have condemned the violence.  On the evening of the climax of Crop Over 2017, when thousands of revelers and spectators converged on the highway, one man was killed and 200 others injured in the shooting incident which police said was linked to a gang conflict.  Both Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Opposition Leader Mia Mottley, in separate statements last nite, have spoken out condemning the violence of Grand Kadooment.  Stuart promised that there will be no surrender to an underworld system led by gun-toting youth.  Mottley, though critical of the government for not having a clear strategy for dealing with the crime issue, said the Barbados Labour Party was willing to play its part.

The current spate of violence rocking Barbados has driven church leaders to their knees as they seek a practical response.  Officials of the Barbados Christian Council met yesterday to discuss possible action by the body, whose Chairman, Anglican clergyman, Canon Noel Burke told the Daily Nation churches were being encouraged to “get more involved with community activities as an outlet for evangelism”.  Burke said consideration was given at yesterday’s meeting to convening of a consultation between the police, school principals, social workers and other stakeholders involved in youth development.  There was also discussion on a possible 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. “chain of prayer” across the various denominations that make up the Christian Council, as well as expanding church involvement in communities, utilizing the church’s outreach and evangelism groups as well as the clergy to more effectively engage communities and the youth in particular.

Tourism officials are giving the assurance that Barbados remains a safe destination, in light of the shootings that marred Grand Kadooment this year.  Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI), William Billy Griffith told Barbados Today while the shooting was regrettable, Barbados remained a very safe place for a holiday.  Another tourism official, who did not wish to be identified, said the entire country should be concerned about the shooting, although it was an unusual occurrence.

Neither the trade unions nor the island’s private sector have anything to hide.  And once tomorrow’s scheduled meeting of the Social Partnership is productive, the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) and the island’s four major trade unions have no issue with that meeting being televised live.  That assurance was given by BPSA Chairman, Charles Herbert following a two-hour meeting on Tuesday involving Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, the BPSA and officials of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU), the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) and the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union (BSTU).

Dateline Castries, ST. LUCIA:

The St. Lucia Citizens by Investment Board has announced the appointment of Nestor Alfred to the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Citizens by Investment Unit, effective Monday, August 8th, 2017.  Alfred holds a BSc, Management Studies from the University of the West Indies (UWI) and an MBA from Henley Management College/Brunei University.  Prior to his current appointment, his former roles include executive director of the Gaming Authority, financial management consultant, banker in the jurisdictions of St. Lucia, Barbados and the Cayman Islands, senior executive with the Eastern Caribbean Financial Holding Group, director of the St. Lucia Financial Sector Supervision Unit, Registrar of Insurance and Assistant Comptroller of Inland Revenue, St. Lucia.  Regionally, he serves as Commissioner to the CARICOM Competition Commission.

Dateline Port of Spain, TRINIDAD:

Opposition MP, Dr. Dhoe Tewarie, yesterday called for the distribution of land, homes and shares in public and private sector companies, as he spoke before a packed auditorium at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mt. Hope Campus of the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business.  An employee share ownership plan (ESOP) for both the public and private sectors, would empower the “working class” and reduce the gaps among members of Trinidad and Tobago’s social strata, Tewarie said.

Dateline Kingston, JAMAICA:

The Jamaica government intends to amend the Gun Court Act to allow for all capital murder cases involving the use of the gun, to be tried by a judge only.  Non-capital murder cases refer to those where the particular offense is not punishable by death.  Currently, capital murder cases which involve a gun must be tried with 12 jurors, while non-capital cases can be tried with seven jurors.