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Dominica’s participation in CARIFESTA 2019 said to successful – Dominica News Online



Dominica contingent in CARIFESTA 2019 opening parade. Facebook photo

Dominica’s Chief Cultural Officer, Raymond Lawrence has said CARIFESTA IV was a great success and tremendous experience for Dominica’s delegation.

“I thank the government of Dominica for giving us the opportunity to be able to represent Dominica at such a prestigious and important festival,” Lawrence said told DNO in an interview.

He also thanked the Trinidad and Tobago government for successfully hosting the event.

“All in all, we got some very excellent reviews from people who saw and heard Dominica’s presentations, especially the performances and our country nights, which is an evening where each country displayed what they had to offer,” Lawrence explained. “Every country night was shared by four countries and each country had an hour and on the country night of Dominica, we shared the stage with Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Lucia. Our presentation was very well received and was a resounding success.”

He added that Dominica was also chosen to be part of the six CARICOM countries among 20 Caribbean counties to perform in Tobago.

Lawrence said in addition to performances, great art from Dominican artists was on display. Two Dominican films by Alwin Bully and by Michael Lee were shown and a country booth and three craft booths were showcased which included promotional material, various products of Dominica and Kalingo craft which were very well received.

In terms of the future, Lawrence hopes for a larger delegation to represent Dominica as well as more aspects of the culture represented in cuisine and fashion, among others and to even host a CARIFESTA once the government can afford it.

He said he, personally, was highlighted at CARIFESTA and said he is humbled by this recognition as he continues to try to do his best in representing his country. He added that he is grateful to his team of delegates for forming part of the contingent to represent Dominica.

Meantime, Dominica’s Lady of Song Ophelia Marie, who performed at the event said she was pleased to have been part of the festival.

“This was a task that Trinidad and Tobago took on and Dominica was pleased to have been part of it. We were a contingent of forty persons because Dominica wasn’t making any joke this time and everybody played his part,” Marie stated.

“The first aspect that I witnessed was the opening and when Dominica came on that stage that community just lit up because they were looking so neat, so organized and so serious about their resilience. Following that, we had several shows. We were supposed to have four in all; two in Tobago and two in Trinidad itself and every time the feedback was really very good. “

She said she was pleased with the young Dominican representatives as they showed energy that can bring anybody to a ‘positive place’.

Marie said although there were a few difficulties, this year’s CARIFESTA was the best, adding that Dominica was placed on the show’s highest level of performance.

The show was held from August 16 to August 29,  2019 in Trinidad and Tobago.

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Project to strengthen disaster management capacity of Dominican and Guyanese women launched




Participants at the launch

A project aimed at strengthening the disaster management capacity of women in Guyana and Dominica was launched on 11th November 2019 at Fort Young Hotel.

The project, entitled “Strengthening Disaster Management Capacity of Women in the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Commonwealth of Dominica” is funded by the Government of Japan and is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Barbados & OECS Office.

It will benefit small farmers, women’s groups and other vulnerable persons in agriculture located in three parishes across Dominica specifically, St. David, St. Paul and St. Patrick.

Dominica’s vulnerability to the shocks of climate change post-Hurricane Maria is more greatly understood by international counterparts.

KanayaToshihide, second Secretary in the Japanese Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago

In his address, Mr. KanayaToshihide, second Secretary in the Japanese Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago noted that Japan’s commitment to support Dominica is based on the appreciation of the impact of natural hazards; as an island themselves, they are annually affected by typhoons, earthquakes and other natural phenomena. Japan has a long history of extending developing support to the Commonwealth of Dominica across various sectors to include fisheries and agriculture. He expressed his enthusiasm for the project and expects a successful implementation through the UNDP.

“This project supports small farmers and women’s groups. It connects with other work of UNDP in Dominica on Early Warning Systems, Community Emergency Response Teams, as well as post-disaster needs and building damage assessments.  The initiative will also support the recovery to resilience programme on the island which the UNDP Dominica Office is implementing,” said Mr. Magdy Martinez-Soliman, Resident Representative, Head of UNDP Barbados and the OECS.  Additionally,

Mr. Martinez-Soliman further stated that the project contributes to the advancement of four (4) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) namely: SDG2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG11(Sustainable Cities) and SDG 13(Climate Action).

Head of UNDP Barbados and the OECS, Martinez-Soliman and Minister Joseph Isaac

In his brief remarks, Minister Isaac, pledged the commitment of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Resilience, Disaster Management and Urban Renewal to support the implementation of the project initiative given that one of the main components of the project focuses on Early Warning Systems.  The Minster in his speech acknowledged the importance of the role of the Office of Disaster Management and the MET Office and expressed enthusiasm for the opportunity to develop capacities in these areas to better serve and support an initiative that will further strengthen national resilience.

The Permanent Secretary Dr. Reginald Thomas, representing the Minister, expressed gratitude to both the Government of Japan and the UNDP for the initiative which, “fits into the Ministry’s plans and programs to build resilience, in keeping with the Government’s desire to be the first climate-resilient country in the world”.

Dr. Thomas further emphasized that the impact of climate change on the agriculture sector cannot be underestimated particularly given its far-reaching consequence in terms of food security and livelihood for the island.

“Rural communities are, therefore, in the forefront to battle the impacts and contribute to food security,” Dr. Thomas noted.

Dr. Thomas (r) with Mr. KanayaToshihide

During the ceremony, the Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan and the Resident Representative of the UNDP Barbados and the OECS presented tablets to the Government of Dominica to support the work of the Agriculture Extension staff.

The project launch coincides with the commencement of a Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA) scoping mission to conclude on 15th November 2019. The PICSA initiative is spearheaded by the University of Reading and supported by the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology.

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Bishop pre-election message – Dominica News Online




Bishop of Roseau, Gabriel Malzaire

Reverend Fathers, Deacons, brothers and sisters in Christ, I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ the universal King.

We have all learnt form the Honourable Prime Minister that Polling Day for the upcoming General Elections will be on Friday, December 6, 2019.  It is the day when all eligible voters in the Commonwealth of Dominica will have the privilege to exercise their franchise by electing the leaders who will govern for the next five years. It is indeed a sacred duty and a noble responsibility entrusted to all.

Past experience has taught us that in such a period of intense competition between contending parties, the desired levels of civility among citizens can be compromised.  In that regard, therefore, I wish to reiterate my advice and challenge to the Clergy and to all the faithful as regards our role in the pre-Election period. Quoting again the Election Code of the Dominica Christian Council, I wish to remind you that:

As citizens we are:

  1. To recognize that every adult citizen has the privilege to vote according to his or her conscience, and therefore the duty, not to neglect to exercise this precious right;
  1. To make an effort to know the parties, their aims, objectives and policies in order to make a reasonable choice;
  1. To vote as free persons and not to debase ourselves by selling our votes for money or any personal favour;
  1. To oppose and reject any candidate who use bribery, intimidation or threats of violence to win votes;
  1. To reject any invitation to join in the harassment of those whose political views are different from ours;
  1. To consider that integrity, impartiality, good character and sound judgment are qualities required of those to be chosen;
  1. To remember that no political or economic system is perfect; and
  1. To accept the verdict of the majority, even if this differs from how one has voted in accordance with one’s conscience.


As Clergy, we are:

  1. To recognize that our basic obligation is to promote unity in our communities, and therefore to refrain from saying or doing anything likely to be interpreted as partisan politics; and
  1. To recognize our responsibility to give, at all times and especially during the period before and up to election time, moral and spiritual guidance to our flocks.

I invite all Catholic, all other Christians and all peoples of good will, to join me in making this pre-election period one of intense prayer and fasting for ourselves and for the nation. I invite all Catholics to pray the rosary daily and when in attendance offer the Sacrifice of the Mass so that justice, love and peace will reign in our land.

And may the peace of Christ which is far beyond all understanding, reign in the heart of each one of us.


Sincerely yours in Christ,


Most Rev. Gabriel Malzaire

Bishop of Roseau

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Undocumented Dominicans in US allegedly involved in sourcing voters for DLP being reported to US immigration authorities




Trevor Johnson

Dominicans living in the US who are allegedly involved in sourcing people to come and vote for the DLP in the upcoming general election, should be mindful of their status in that country before engaging in such activity.

Trevor ‘Tossy” Johnson, a Dominican who lives in Trinidad, said during an interview on the QFM show ‘Talk on the Block’ with Matt Peltier, that he believes that there are Dominicans who are in the US illegally and are participating in that activity.

“I have made 52 reports to ICE (the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement),” he revealed. “I have had a list of people who are engaged, there are operatives of the Dominica Labour Party who are there illegally and are assisting the Dominica Labour Party in putting [together] a list of names to come to Dominica for the upcoming general election.”

According to Johnson, the telephone numbers and addresses of these people were also presented to ICE.

He said many people are upset; they are unhappy about that and want the election to be run fairly.

“If the Dominica Labour Party wins the election freely, that is my government and I will have to respect my government,” he stated.

However, Johnson said if he believes that if the DLP is doing this illegally, “I’m going to do what I am doing and I am going to continue.”

 “The people on the list who have been reported, they know what they are doing, because there is one, in particular, I called her…and as soon as she recognized my voice she hung up,” he remarked.

He stated that if one is doing things illegally they have to pay the consequences.

 “You are living the United States illegally, why are you engaging in illegality,” Johnson argued. “I am reporting them and if they are in the United States legally, well, they have nothing to fear. Why are they crying? Why are they calling you Matt?” Johnson asked

Johnson pointed out that he is getting ICE to go after such people because, “this is wrong.”

“The part I am handling is to report the people who are sitting down in the US who are not doing anything good for themselves, who don’t want to see a better Dominica where the Dominicans at home are doing a lot better than them…a lot of them are seeing ‘mizeh’ in the United States. They cannot return to Dominica and they do not want to see a better Dominica where the Dominicans living in Dominica will improve their lives even better than them.”

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a federal law enforcement agency under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, principally responsible for immigration enforcement, with additional responsibilities in countering transnational crime.

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