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Kalinago people contemplate legal action in Venezuela aid matter – Dominica News Online

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Worrell Sanford on Q95FM’s Hot Seat

The Kalinago people are contemplating taking legal action against government with regard to a US$10 Million gift which was given to them by the Government and People of Venezuela, through the Dominica government and which they say has not been accounted for.

“We are in the process of seeking counsel on the matter and writing to the United Nations Council on Indigenous Peoples, World Council of Indigenous People etc,” United Workers Party candidate for Salybia, Dr. Worrell Sanford said in a statement to Dominica Online (DNO).

At the invitation of the late President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, in 2007, a group of Kalinago university graduates led by Carib Chief Charles Williams wrote that project which sought funding for the development of the Kalinago Territory in areas such as education, tourism, agriculture, housing, health and sports. among other areas.  The people of the Territory have said that they are yet to receive their money and are now demanding that government hand it over.

At a Town Hall meeting in St. Croix recently, a question from a young Kalinago man, Alexander Elizé, about that money did not go down well with Prime Minister Skerrit.

Skerrit responds to Elizé’s question at the meeting in St. Croix

“Let me tell you something, my brother,” Skerrit told Elizé, “I am the first Prime Minister in the history of Dominica to have invested monies in the Kalinago Territory…“I am the first Prime Minster to have given the Kalinago People respect and their rightful place in Dominica”.

An obviously angry Skerrit went on to state that many prime ministers before him believed that the Kalinago people could be bought with a glass of rum and corn curls (a child’s snack)”. He added that with all the development which he has done in the Kalinago Territory, he sees the concern expressed by Elizé as a non-issue.

However, speaking on Q95 FM’s Hot Seat recently, United Workers Party Candidate for the Kalinago Territory, Dr. Worrell Sanford described what some Kalinagos perceive as a lack of accounting for the Venezuelan grant as “the theft of the century.” He accused the prime minister of showing total disrespect and dishonesty in his response to what he [Sanford] considered to be a legitimate question from the Kalinago People.

“The Kalinago People believe that they have a strong legal case against the Government, and want a fair hearing on the matter. When you misappropriate someone else’s property, without their permission, you’ve stolen it,” Sanford declared.

Former UWP Candidate for Salybia, Claudius Sanford, who joined Dr. Sanford on the program, pointed out that a letter was sent to the prime minister about that money but no reply was received.

“He (Skerrit) keeps avoiding these types of interactions with the community, until he was cornered in St. Croix by our brother,” the former Salybia MP said.

“The proposal was well written by some of the top brains in the Territory. But with the divide and rule strategy, we see Roosevelt Skerrit made one of the leading persons on this proposal, move from the Village Council clerk to Permanent Secretary in Government,” he revealed. He said that since Sylvanie Burton was made Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all conversation about the money and committee ceased to exist.

Both Sanfords say that their people are becoming more aware and understand the impact of this money to the Kalinago people and their development.

They say the money would be used to take the Kalinago people out of poverty to sound economic development and maintain that none of the projects which the Government is said to have done in the Territory brought economic and financial independence but were projects used as strategy to continue the “dependency syndrome”.

Some Kalinago people who spoke to DNO about the issue described the prime minister’s response as “arrogant and disrespectful”. One man said, “All we want is our EC$20 Million”.

Some of the Kalinago residents who spoke with us believe that it is the obligation of any Government in office to administer the affairs of the country and bring development. However, they believe that the gift from Venezuela is theirs and theirs alone, and it must be delivered to them.

Elizé’ at the microphone in the St. Croix meeting





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Dominica

Giraudel and Eggleston to take advantage of Community Tourism Enhancement Competition

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Shirley Alexander is 3rd from left in back row

One of the participants in the Community Tourism Enhancement Competition (CTEC), Shirley Alexander, is planning to use the competition to transform the communities of Giraudel and Eggleston.

The competition was recently launched at the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) Building.

She said her group will focus on the transformation of the Giraudel/Eggleston Flower Show site.

“We have started and we will continue and we intend to use the competition to transform our communities even more, our people, our landscape, everything that we have to offer,” Alexander said.

She said the competition will also be used to bring back some past activities with some additions.

“We will focus a lot on our flower show site, 2.6 acres, so you should look forward to exciting activities there in March and April when the competition will be on,” she said.

Alexander believes that the competition is creating more opportunities for community groups.

“We aim to have a more enhanced environment and more sustainable lifestyles. Of course, we are noted for our abundance of flowers and our people so we will be focusing on those. Our talents, our skills, whatever we have to offer,” she said.

She also mentioned that the community had an improved National Employment Programme (NEP) which started in September 2019.

“We have been pressing forward with the NEP, the Ministry of Tourism and others,” Alexander stated.





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Dominican confirmed as Antiguan commissioner of Police

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Dominica’s Atlee Patrick Rodney has been confirmed as Police Commissioner of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda.

Rodney is originally from the northern village of Savanne Paille which is located near Calibishie.

The announcement came Wednesday 19th February, during a Senior Administrative Meeting at Police Headquarters.

Commissioner Rodney met with members of the Police Service Commission (PSC) on Tuesday, where he was served with his letter of appointment, effective November 25th 2019.

Rodney, who has 38 years’ service within the organization acted in the position for a little more than 22 months before his confirmation.

His opportunity arose after the dismissal of the Commissioner of Police Wendel Robinson.

Robinson, who was born in St Vincent and the Grenadines, was on suspension since April 15th, 2018, when the Police Service Commission in Antigua began an internal investigation into complaints of sexual misconduct by male colleagues under the commissioner’s care.

The investigation later led to charges being brought against him and Rodney has been acting in the Police commissioner role ever since.

The newly appointed commissioner used the opportunity to encourage the men and women under his command to remain committed and united in their efforts to make Antigua and Barbuda a safer nation.





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Dominica

Dominican actress shines in the US

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Dominican actress shines in the USAnother daughter of the soil has made her country proud in a field that few Dominicans pursue. Disnie Sebastien, fondly known as Myan to family and friends in Dominica, is the daughter of Riviere Sebastien and Annette Austrie and resided…

The post Dominican actress shines in the US appeared first on Dominica News Online.





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