Monthly Archives: December 2012

Man Shot in Attempted Robbery

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On Monday 31 December 2012 about 12:20am, Officers attached to the Criminal Investigations Department responded to an incident which occurred at Bocage, Castries.

On arrival, they received information that a police officer had parked his motor car registration number PJ 4652 near the SDA Church at Bocage. Upon returning he found a male individual seated in the front of the vehicle attempting to remove the car’s stereo set. In attempting to apprehend the male individual, the police officer was assaulted. A scuffle ensued resulting in the suspect being shot in the leg. The suspect then fled the scene. A search was conducted of the area but he wasn’t found.

About 4:00 am, Officers were summoned to the Accident and Emergency Room of Victoria Hospital. They received information that Shan Lamontagne of Bocage was treated and admitted for gunshot wounds. Shan Lamontagne is currently in a stable condition at the said hospital. Investigations into the matter are ongoing.

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Teenager Found Hanging

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On Wednesday 26 December 2012 about 2:00 pm, officers attached to the Vieux Fort Police Station responded to a report which occurred on Bridge Street, Vieux Fort.

On arrival, they received information that 15-year-old Jasma Josephine Lubin was found suspended by a rope from her bedroom ceiling. She was discovered by her father Andy Lubin.

Jasma Lubin was transported to St. Jude’s hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

A note from the deceased to her love ones was also discovered by the police.

A post mortem examination is scheduled for Thursday 27 December 2012.

Investigations are continuing.

Shoot out leaves two inc. police officer injured

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On Thursday 13 December 2012 about 4:45am, Officers attached to the Rodney Bay Police Station responded to a shooting incident which occurred outside a night club at Rodney Bay, Gros Islet about 4:30am.

RSLPF appeals to anyone with information  to contact the Major Crimes Unit

RSLPF appeals to anyone with information to contact the Major Crimes Unit

On arrival, Officers observed a gold Nissan 4 door Pickup registration number PE 7176 attached to the Gros Islet Police Station parked on the side of the road riddled with bullet holes.

They also received information where a white and grey Diahatsu Terios SUV registration number 6888 had driven by and opened fire in the direction of the police vehicle. The assailants are unknown at this time.

At the time, Police Constable 412 Starzwin Dantes attached to the Gros Islet Police Station was the lone occupant on board that police vehicle. He was engaged in a conversation with an individual when he suffered a gunshot wound to the right side of his waist near his abdomen.

Also shot was 18 year old Manducichi Mangal of Bonneterre, Gros Islet who was approaching the police vehicle.

Both individuals were transported to Victoria Hospital. They were both treated and admitted in a stable condition at the said hospital.

The owner of the Diahatsu Terios which was recovered in the Gros Islet area has since reported that the vehicle was stolen between 6:00 pm on Wednesday 12 December and 10:45 am on Thursday 13 December 2012. He is currently assisting police in their investigations.

No one has been arrested in relation to this incident. The Major Crimes unit is conducting an investigation into the matter.

The RSLPF is appealing to anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Major Crimes Unit at 456 3754/56 or the nearest police station.

Agriculture Stakeholders Advance Skills in ICT

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OECS Agriculture Web 2.0 Graduates Saint Lucia

OECS Agriculture Web 2.0 Graduates Saint Lucia

(Castries Wednesday  December 12th, 2012), Agriculture stakeholders in Saint Lucia have advanced their knowledge and application in ICT through the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation EU-ACP (CTA), funded first OECS Web 2.0 Learning Opportunities workshop.

The recent training course, from November 26th to 30th 2012, introduced participants to selected Web 2.0 applications in a hands-on approach on how to use innovative applications and to assess their adoption within the context of their work and organizations. The first leg of the five day Web 2.0 learning opportunity workshop for St. Lucia climaxed with a graduation ceremony.

Speaking on behalf of the graduates Jeanelle Knight expressed delight in the improved level of awareness and enthusiasm among her colleagues regarding the viable connection between ICT and Agriculture: “In the past the integration of ICT and Agriculture was not seen as something that was a big deal. Overtime, the perception changed because of the evolution of technology and how it is utilized….The goal of the workshop was definitely achieved. Many of us will leave here … with a better understanding and appreciation of these applications and we vow to extend our knowledge to others.”

In compliance with course guidelines seventy percent of the participants were from the fields of Agriculture and Rural Development as well as Natural Resource Management, in the domains of information and communication. Special consideration was given to participants with a mandate to train others. Thirty percent of the participants were women.

The training programme was hosted by CTA  in collaboration with the OECS Secretariat and the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Food Production in St. Lucia, with support from the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI). Course participants represented regional and national organizations as well as private consultancies.

George Alcee

George Alcee

Commending the graduates, George Alcee, Agricultural Economist at the OECS Secretariat noted the effectiveness of the learning opportunities course in facilitating enhanced access to and sharing of information:I was very impressed with the presentations and I know that it’s now your time to expand on what you have learnt and to improve your organization and yourself. I am sure that your appreciation of the benefits of ICT, the Facebook pages and blogs you have created, your new competence in the use of open source online interactive tools, your knowledge and strategies, tips and tools for efficient online research and your newly acquired knowledge and understanding will greatly improve your capacity as well as add to and improve the current processes at your respective organizations. I now challenge you as you return to your organizations to make that change…”

The training programme comprised several modules such as: How to develop content remotely using wikis and Google Docs, Online mapping, voice over internet and Professional / corporate social networking (LinkedIn and Facebook). The best group presentation during the course was entitled “Kids in Agriculture”

The Deputy Permanent Secretary at Saint Lucia’s Ministry of Agriculture Sonia Monrose welcomed the novel ICT course as an opportunity to attract or return many young people to the agriculture industry: “For young people today it’s all about technology, computers and social networks.”  Monrose also advised the participants to be wary of issues such as cyber crime, as they advance their skills in strengthening the nexus between ICT and Agriculture.

The recent Web 2.0 and Social Media Learning Opportunities training programme was the first undertaken in the OECS. The second Saint Lucia leg of the course will be held in February 2013 after which the training programme will then be rolled out in other OECS Member States during the course of that same year.

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United and Strong Calls for Constitutional Reform Reports

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In recognition of Human Rights Day, United and Strong Inc pays tribute to all human rights defenders, advocates and activists in Saint Lucia, the region and globally.Today’s celebrations belong to all of US – men, women and children because we all have rights; EQUALLY.United & Strong logo

As Human Rights Day is observed around the world December10, we remember the creation, 63 years ago, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This declaration is today one of the fundamental texts establishing respect for human rights as a guiding principle in international relations. However much more remains to be done to make every citizen aware of the impact of this declaration and allow its full potential as an empowerment tool to be achieved.

Principles of equality and non-discrimination of all persons are enshrined within the constitution, but are regrettably not applied. In 2011 at the 10th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), (a Human Rights peer review monitoring tool established by the United Nations (UN) in 2006), St Lucia and 15 other countries were reviewed, and accepted a number of recommendations. We call on our government to honor its commitment to “Ensure that thorough investigations of allegations of acts of violence committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation or identity are promptly conducted.”

It was appalling that our government was unable to fully accept the recommendation to “Take the necessary measures to ensure that the constitution guarantees the same rights to all inhabitants of the country, without distinction based on sexual orientation”. It was further disheartening to hear our government reject the recommendation to “Repeal any legal provision that criminalises consensual relations between adults of the same sex”, and was unable to respond to the recommendation to “Combat the discrimination against LGBT persons through awareness-raising and education campaigns to begin at school.”

How can we even talk about equality when we discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation? “Respecting human dignity requires us not only to erase such archaic laws, but to ensure legal protection for all of us, whether straight or gay, from ridicule, oppression and those crimes that have their basis in discrimination because of gender, race, class, religion, health status, sexual orientation or other distinguishing differences.”

The law, however, is the easy part. More difficult is culture, and infinitely more challenging and urgent are the attitudes that culture can breed.

Even inside families, the protective circle of unconditional love is broken by fear and embarrassment of the gay family member, sometimes with repercussions that are so damaging and soul-destroying that the very will to live is lost. Out in the cruel world, survival reduces loving, wonderful, beautiful people to lives of secrecy and lies, warping relationships and causing needless pain. In a world already short on love, why should it be denied?

It is time to open our closet of skeletons and allow the light of truth in. Denial is far more damaging to the state of our souls and the fabric of our nation than the truth that sets us free of doubt and ignorance.

We remind our government that the rights of the minority must not be held hostage by the tyranny of the majority.

As we continue towards equality for all, we call on the Constitutional Reform Commissioners to publically release their final report and recommendations, to ensure that this process remains accountable and transparent to the people of Saint Lucia.

–ENDS–

First Arrival for ARC 2012

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After a journey of over 3,300 nautical mails Class 40 Vaquita has taken line honours at the ARC 2012, having sailed from Gran Canaria in just over 12 days; a truly magnificent performance for a 40 footer. Vaquita looked superb as she blasted across the finish line at 14 knots with the crew pushing the boat as hard as ever in front of the local and international media in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia, today (07 December). The Austrian crew of six crossed the line at 10:22 local (14:22UTC) on 7 December 2012, giving them an elapsed time of 12 days, 1:37hours.
 
Image Once across the line and sails down, the entire crew dived into the warm Caribbean water to celebrate their success, to the delight of those cheering from the spectator boats alongside.
 
Skippered by Christof Petter, Vaquita, had a crew of leading Austrian sailors aboard, including Andreas Hanakamp, former Team Russia Volvo Ocean Race skipper and two time Olympic star. The yacht sailed an extreme northerly route from Gran Canaria, clocking speeds of up to 25 knots during the crossing. This is the team’s third consecutive year racing in the ARC, each time favouring the northerly passage, and each time paying off. 
 
Speaking to Andreas on the dock with a cold rum punch in hand, he explained how they had a great trip, and are happy to be here again. This will be the final Atlantic crossing Andreas sails on board Vaquita, as he has plans to build a new Class 40′ and Vaquita will be put up for sale. When talking about the northerly passage taken, he explained how it makes perfect sense for him to take the route they did. He feels the northern route is the more logical with the availability of modern weather and routing information.
 
Vaquita has not only crossed the finish line first, but has done so in style, with the next arrival, Swan 80′ Berenice approximately 20 hours behind. This does not mean that Vaquita is guaranteed to win overall on corrected time, as she holds the highest handicap in the RORC IRC Racing Division.
 
 Meanwhile., the cruisers, which make up the majority of the ARC fleet are getting some very mixed weather on the rhumb line route where the wind has be rather contrary … too much at the beginning and now not enough! Logs in week one were full of tales of watches spent wearing foul-weather jackets, cold nights and rain; lots of rain.
 
Not an isobar to be seen…
The winds have abating and calmer seas are now the norm, especially for those boats leading the fleet. On Surfing Petrel, one of the racing fleet, Miranda wrote “Not an isobar to be seen for hundreds of miles on the synoptic chart. Light and fluky breeze on the menu for the next day or so. There are a few large clouds around, but we have been left in peace so far today. It’s quiet in the midday heat, the crew keeping movement to a minimum, and occupying patches of shade.”
 
Whilst the racers are becoming frustrated, for the cruisers the lighter conditions mean an easier and more relaxing life at sea. Dan Bower, captain of Skyelark of London wrote in his blog “We have just set full main and cutter rig, all plain sail, for the first time since we set off, and the first time we have seen true wind under 20kts. The first week saw average F6-7, 25-30kts wind and we had several spells of 30-35kts, F8; two-reefs in the main by day, and three at night. Whilst not uncomfortable, we all welcome the smoother seas and the ability to move about with just a steadying hand instead of having to lurch around with a vice-like grip on something solid.”
 
Wind causes damage to some
As can be expected, strong winds, particularly early on in the passage often result in breakages aboard the fleet. Farr 585CC Spock has had to retire to the Cape Verde islands following a dismasting; all now safe ashore in Mindello. Dag Rorslett and his Norwegian crew of 4 aboard Modus Vivendi, have had a tough few days coping with a lost rudder. For the past four days, the crew have been steering the 50ft steel yacht using just their small Hydrovane rudder and balancing sails. Not an easy feat in F6 and 4m swells constantly pushing the boat sideways The boat and crew are now all safely docked in Mindello. To date, 8 boats have retired from this year’s ARC, mainly due to mechanical problems.
 
ENDS

Volunteer Saint Lucia on International Volunteer Day, 5th December, 2012

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Volunteer St. LuciaVolunteer Saint Lucia joins the International Community in observance of International Volunteer Day (IVD).  This Day was designated by the United Nations in 1985 as one to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism. It is an opportunity for volunteers, and volunteering organizations, to raise awareness of, and gain recognition for, the contribution they make to their communities.

In this vein, Volunteer Saint Lucia seeks to add value to national events and community life in Saint Lucia through an elite pool of skilled, trained and experienced volunteers, whose attitudes, skills and knowledge will be tapped to support these experiences. The mission is to create a renewed spirit of volunteerism in the country by recruiting, training, certifying and celebrating volunteers, while encouraging and organizing challenging volunteer opportunities through strengthened coalitions with the private sector and civil society.

Cyril J SaltibusNational Volunteer Programme Coordinator

Cyril J Saltibus
National Volunteer Programme Coordinator

The act of volunteering is found in all cultures, languages, and religions. Every year, hundreds of millions of people volunteer their time and skills to help make the world a better place. When they volunteer, they help to improve the lives of others. And when they volunteer, they also gain a greater sense of belonging to their communities.

On December 5th people around the world will celebrate International Volunteer Day with rallies, parades, volunteer fairs, group clean ups, blood donations, conferences, exhibitions, fundraising, workshops and volunteer recognition events.

To play our part on this occasion, Volunteers and volunteer organizations are urged to start collecting photos and stories of acts of volunteerism by Saint Lucians both at home and abroad. The idea is to develop a mural in tribute to volunteerism along with the stories of volunteers, to be unveiled on the occasion of Saint Lucia’s 37th Independence celebrations in February 2013.