Category Archives: Social Issues

National Students’ Council calls for support for student in #BlackmailFriday controversy

Standard
National Students’ Council calls for support for student in #BlackmailFriday controversy

PRESS RELEASE
(Castries, Saint Lucia, Tuesday 24th January, 2017)
The National Students’ Council is an advocacy group aimed at strengthening the voice of students island-wide while ensuring that the right programs are available to look after student welfare and development. It is in regards to this that the NSC is very taken aback by recent developments involving the Minister of Finance and student of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. As a body which serves to bridge a divide between government and students, can we not expect a better example from our leaders?

In a time where there is an evident search for identity, young persons must  have sound role models to lead them in savory directions. Regardless the situation Students deserve their peers and government to support them emotionally  as opposed  to  further  tearing  them down. Hence the NSC calls for government services to aim at providing  support and guidance to the student in this time of evident need.

In recent months the use of social media to embarrass and disgrace young persons has become a rampant trend with an ever expanding range of victims. We can only hope and pray that the life of this young woman will not be greatly affected by the negative attention this unfortunate situation may attract. The NSC urges the public and fellow students to refrain from further hurtful remarks about the student as we would not want them for ourselves. If we as students and young people do not decide on our own, to elevate our thinking and our mindsets, we become simply statistics, destined only to the harsh realities of society. We need to continually embody the change we wish to see in order to inspire change from those who observe us. This is not a call only for peace or justice, it has become a call for lives and change. If we are a kingdom divided against ourself how can we stand?

Our hearts go out to the families of the individuals implicated who themselves have been the subject of ridicule. We urge students, leaders and all Saint Lucians to rise above our circumstance and accept the challenge to change.

Contact:
Keyanna Marcellin
Public Relations Officer,
Saint Lucia National Students’ council
1 (758) 713-8815

(Photo courtesy of the Saint Lucis Star Newspaper)

Advertisements

Join the celebration of Lucian womanhood

Standard
A not to be missed cultural and artistic showcase celebrating women presented by she.lc, for International Women’s Day.
she lc celebrates womanhood in all it's joy and pain

she.lc celebrates womanhood in all it’s joy and pain!

Curator of she.lc Kentillia Louis has worked tirelessly over the past few months to bring the internal and varied insight of womanhood to the public.
Join she.lc on Tuesday March 22nd, from 7pm at the National Cultural Centre, to revel in the expressions of the Lucian woman through poetry, dance, theatre, music and art.
MF

Petition Submitted!

Standard

The petition for a Sex Offender Registry in Saint Lucia was submitted today to Honorable Alvina Reynolds, Minister of Health by our Communications Director, Mr. Norbert Williams.

Source: Petition Submitted!

Protest March on Hold

Standard

The Chakadan Daniel Planning and Organizing Committee have taken the decision to observe a “tactical retreat” with respect to the staging of the peaceful Silent March and Mini Rally in memory of Chakadan Daniel. The Committee considers the late formal approval by the Police for the planned event disrespectful and has severely compromised its organizational efforts towards the staging of the peaceful Silent March and Mini Rally.
The committee notes the following:

Chakadan Daniel

Chakadan Daniel

1. That two individuals (which included the Mother of Chakadan who is a member of the Committee) dispatched to collect the necessary approval from Police Headquarters at Chesterfield were (as late as 2:50 pm) unable to secure the required document.
2. That following a combination of phone calls to the hierarchy of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force and a visit by a member of the Committee to the Ministry responsible between the hours of 2:52 pm and 3:34 pm there was verbal indication (via telephone) that approval was granted. These indications were provided first by the DCP Responsible for Operations and Crime at 3:47 pm and the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and National Security at 4:10 pm. The actual envelope containing the approval was eventually collected from Police Headquarters at Chesterfield at approximately 4:40 pm.
Given the delay in approval from the Police for the staging of the peaceful Silent March and Mini Rally, the Committee has taken the decision to observe a “tactical retreat” and as such will not go ahead with the staging of the planned event. The Committee will examine its options in the month of January next and determine a new approach towards representing the concerns for justice in the Chakadan Daniel case.
Finally the committee expresses its dissatisfaction with the fact it has had to combat systemic obstacles which has negatively impacted its ability to conduct this event despite its determined efforts and the rights and guarantees enshrined in the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the Constitution of Saint Lucia. We will nonetheless continue our crusade in the pursuit of justice in this case. The committee thanks all sources of support to date at the local and regional levels. We look forward to working with other citizens/families who have been similarly affected and who share concerns for the upkeep and preservation of human rights in Saint Lucia. This includes the police who we expect to take full advantage in the future of opportunities to act in good faith and to demonstrate goodwill as a matter of principle and integrity.

22-year old Chakadan Daniel of Micoud, was reportedly found dead while in custody at the Micoud Police Station on Wednesday, October 23. Police announced that Daniel was found hanging from his cell after he had been arrested two days prior for escaping lawful custody, assaulting a police officer and damaging property. His death was labelled “A grave human rights violation”, amidst accusations of police brutality from his family and community.

LIME Teams Up To Support The Elderly

Standard

Two of Saint Lucia’s iconic institutions have received support from LIME this week, in collaboration with Mr George Theophilus, the cover subject of the telecommunications company’s 20 LIME GM Chris Williams presents to Adelaide & Frances Memorial Home founder and director Augustus Justin whilst Mr Theophilus looks on13 Services Directory. The two institutions, both of which cater to the needs of the elderly, are the Marian Home and the Adelaide & Frances Memorial Home. Chris Williams, General Manager of LIME Saint Lucia, visited the two east Castries homes along with Mr Theophilus on Wednesday of this week to make cheque presentations to the respective administrators

LIME has been a consistent supporter of the elderly, having made similar presentations last year to St. Joseph’s Villa and the St Lucy’s Home, as well as doing work at Comfort Bay in Laborie and providing previous financial assistance to the Marian Home. On this occasion, the presentations were made on Mr Theophilus’ behalf to two of his favourite charities. Mr Theophilus is a pioneer in the field of finance in Saint Lucia. Among his many achievements in that sphere is his creation of Financial Investment & Consultancy Services Ltd, FICS.

“We at LIME are delighted that we are able to contribute to these two fine institutions, both of which do such valuable work in our community,” said Chris. “It is timely that we take a step back and recognise and pay tribute to those who have truly stood by us through the years. As a nation we must care for our elderly, those who have paved the way for us, and to whom we owe such a great debt. The donation that we are making shows the esteem in which we hold our forebears and we are proud to stand with Mr Theophilus to support these organisations.”LIME GM Chris Williams and Mr George Theophilus flank Sisterr Olivia Oculien of the Marian Home

Marian Home was represented by Sister Olivia Oculien, whilst founder and director Augustus Justin received the cheque on behalf of the Adelaide & Frances Memorial Home.

Saint Lucia/Republic of Korea bridges cultural gaps

Standard
Mr. Sang Hoon Lee makes donation of Korean books to the Director of Central Library, Ms. Brenda Paul

Mr. Sang Hoon Lee makes donation of Korean books to the Director of Central Library, Ms. Brenda Paul

As Saint Lucia and the Republic of Korea advance their bilateral relations, the island was recently the recipient of a donation of books on Korean history and culture.

During a short presentation on Thursday 11th July 23, 2013 at the Ministry of External Affairs, the books were donated for use by the people of Saint Lucia and it is expected that this gesture will bridge the cultural and social gaps between the two countries.

Ms. Brenda Paul, Director of the Central Library conveyed gratitude on behalf of the users of the Central Library for the latest addition to their existing complement of books. Further, it is expected that the books will help the Saint Lucian public gain a better understanding about the history and culture of the Republic of Korea.

Mr. Sang Hoon Lee, Second Secretary from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Trinidad and Tobago expressed his delight to be part of this educational and cultural drive which seeks to draw two distant lands even closer.

A collection of these books were also donated to the Hunter J Francois Library of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College.

IPI / ACM Caribbean Press Missions Begin April 15

Standard

Delegation to advocate for journalist safety and the repeal of criminal defamation laws

VIENNA, April 9, 2013 – As part of its flagship campaign for the repeal of criminal-defamation laws in the region, the International Press Institute (IPI) will again conduct an official mission in the Caribbean, visiting six countries from 15 April to 6 May 2013.

Image

Wesley Gibbings, president, ACM

The IPI delegation will consist of: Alison Bethel McKenzie, IPI executive director; John Yearwood, The Miami Herald’s national and world editor and president of the IPI North American National Committee; Wesley Gibbings, president, Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM); Scott Griffen, IPI press freedom adviser for Latin America and the Caribbean; Bert Wilkinson, ACM executive member from Guyana; and Kiran Maharaj, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association.

“IPI’s mission to the Caribbean is very timely in light of the continued challenges faced by regional media and demonstrates IPI’s tremendous commitment to safeguard press freedom in the Caribbean,” said Dawn Thomas, group chief executive officer of Trinidad’s One Caribbean Media Ltd. and a member of IPI’s Executive Board.

“There are just too many existing laws that can impede the work of journalists and expose them to criminal sanctions. I look forward to co-operation from the regional governments on this mission so that real and significant progress could be made in the pursuit of a free and responsible press in the region,” Thomas added.

In visits to Antigua and Barbuda, the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, and the Republic of Suriname, delegates will seek to win support among journalists, editors, civil-society organisations, and both governmental and inter-governmental officials for the repeal of criminal defamation and insult laws. Delegates will also discuss the safety and protection of journalists.

In the Dominican Republic, the delegation will follow up on IPI’s successful visit to the country in June 2012 and congratulate government officials on removing prison penalties for defamation from the draft penal code.  IPI will also advise on changes to Law No. 6132, which regulates press activities in the Dominican Republic and which maintains criminal punishments for defamation and insult.

During the mission, IPI will seek to gain further support for the Declaration of Port of Spain, which calls for the abolition of ‘insult laws’ and criminal defamation legislation in the Caribbean.  The Declaration has already been signed by numerous regional and global media groups.

In the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the delegation will encourage further progress on efforts to modernise the country’s defamation law, as well as consolidate partnerships, including training initiatives, with both the Trinidadian government and national media houses that began with IPI’s 2012 World Congress in Port of Spain.

“IPI and ACM look forward to continuing their important advocacy work on the issue of criminal defamation in the Caribbean.  While press freedom is already relatively strong in many Caribbean states, we believe that the repeal of criminal defamation is critical to ensuring that no journalist is pressured to self-censor, or faces the threat of prison for doing his or her job,” Bethel McKenzie, IPI’s executive director, stated.

Wesley Gibbings, ACM president, added: “This round of Caribbean missions is singularly important as an effective intervention to promote the value of press freedom as a vital component of the development process. IPI’s leadership of the process brings valuable international perspectives to the table together with credentials earned over many years. The ACM is proud to have such a partner in a project of immense value to the people of this region.”

The mission occurs in the shadow of the continued imprisonment of independent Cuban journalist Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, who has been accused of criminal insult under Article 144.1 of the Cuban Penal Code.  A recent IPI investigation revealed that all 16 independent states in the Caribbean retain some form of criminal defamation law and that six had prosecuted journalists under such a law within the last 15 years.

As part of its commitment to promoting the highest standards of journalism, IPI will lead training workshops for journalists in both Guyana and the Dominican Republic, focusing on journalistic ethics and techniques of investigative journalism.

Following the mission, Bethel McKenzie will deliver the keynote speech during World Press Freedom Day observances in Willemstad, Curaçao on May 3rd, at the invitation of the Curaçao National Commission for UNESCO.  Her remarks will focus on criminal defamation and journalist safety in the Caribbean.

Bethel McKenzie added: “IPI is grateful for the invitation extended by the Curaçao National Commission for UNESCO to participate in this important regional gathering, which we view as a chance to reinforce our commitment to defending and promoting independent and professional media throughout the Caribbean.”

IPI, based in Vienna, is a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists dedicated to the furtherance and safeguarding of press freedom, the protection of freedom of opinion and expression, the promotion of the free flow of news and information, and the improvement of the practices of journalism.

Created in 1950, IPI today has members in more than 120 countries.  It is a politically neutral body and holds consultative status at the United Nations and the Council of Europe.
———————
Inquiries to: Scott Griffen, Press Freedom Adviser for Latin America and the Caribbean, International Press Institute (IPI), Spiegelgasse 2, 1010 Vienna, Austria. Tel: +43 1 512 90 11. Fax: +43 1 512 90 14. E-mail: sgriffen(at) freemedia. at