News Stories - August 25th, 2011
Last Updated Thursday, August 25, 2011 8:02 PM

  Donation to farmer Story by Desmond Collymore
  Dengue education in South Story by Desmond Collymore

  NDM back in the game
Story by Winston Springer

Political Organization the National Development Movement has officially launched its bid for the next general election. With Party Leader Ausbert D’Auvergne leading the charge the party’s election campaign is well underway in the east coast constituency of Dennery. He says the NDM will contest the polls as a full fledged party with a number of candidates despite not having received its official symbol from the electoral department.


However, Ausbert D’Auvergne says the party has written authorization from electoral officials granting permission for the organization to proceed on the campaign trail island wide.

Meanwhile - the NDM leader has accused the Prime Minister of holding up the application procedure for parties seeking approval of symbols that signify their political legitimacy. Another political hopeful Andre de Caires of the Saint Lucia Greens Party whose bid for recognition was turned down by the electoral office has expressed similar frustrations with the process. D’Auvergne calls the alleged delays a black eye for democracy.

When contacted by HTS news for response on the allegation - officials at the electoral department declined comment and referred us to Electoral Committee Chairman Kenneth Monplaisir QC who also refused comment.
However a meeting with the aggrieved parties and electoral officials has been scheduled for early September.
The former Economic Affairs Minister in the Stephenson King administration says his NDM is running on a platform of economic growth and prosperity

D’Auvergne and the King administration parted ways in 2008 after an alleged rift in the government amid differences in economic policy and behind the scenes political maneuverings. Recently the former cabinet minister gave the King administration a failing grade on the conclusion of major projects. He contends the completion of local projects driven by the largesse of the Taiwanese cannot compensate for what he claims are too few achievements by the King administration at the national level

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  -Robert Lewis on university
Story by Sarah Peter

The Attorney General, Health, Education Ministers and the Prime Minister remain silent but that has not stopped the main opposition SLP from continuing to ask questions about Atlantic University: a medical university located inside the Mental Wellness Hospital. Dr Robert Lewis – the SLP Castries South MP: who first discussed the University during his April budget presentation says the UWP government gave permission for the new medical school to operate in clear violation of the Education Act


Dr Lewis has also raised concerns about the corporate registered address for the university being that of the private law firm of Attorney General Rudolph Francis.   He is also questioning if Cheryl Francis – the Attorney General’s wife - is a signatory to the certificate of incorporation of Atlantic University.

Dr. Lewis further questioned why the university is housed in a public building designed to house mental patients.  
He is calling for clarification from the Attorney General – his political opponent in Castries South – or the Prime Minister on the issue.

Earlier this week – SLP spokesperson Jadia Jn Pierre argued the educational institution at the Mental Wellness Facility was fully operational and posing a threat to patient’s health. She further pointed out the learning institution is compromising the comfort of mentally ill patients being treated there.

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  -CSA wants debate
Story by Lovely St.Aime Joseph

The Civil Service Association has written to Saint Lucia’s two main political parties requesting they debate each other ahead of the upcoming general elections. General Secretary, David Demarque, says the CSA’s National Executive Committee and its General Council both felt it was important to hold debates on the serious issues that affect people’s lives. By parties putting forward their plans and policies, Demarque says the electorate will be properly informed when making a decision at the polls.


Demarque is hopeful both the SLP and the UWP will recognize the need to elevate the level of saint Lucian politics. He is hoping the debates will also impact how the parties and candidates choose to run their campaigns.
The CSA General Secretary says the body has also called on the media to join the campaign to get real answers to issues.

The call from the CSA comes on the heels of a similar request from NYC President, Jonathan Chalon. The head of the youth lobby group wants politicians on both sides to debate on a youth platform ahead of the upcoming general elections. Neither the CSA nor the NYC has been notified of a willingness on the part of the parties to accept the invitations to debate each other.

  -Update on St Jude
Story by Winston Springer

The reconstruction of St. Jude will not be completed before the second anniversary of the devastating fire that destroyed the Hospital. Four people were killed when the primary health care facility in the south of the island was gutted by an inferno on September 9th 2009. Government officials explain the target date for completion has been pushed back by unforeseen circumstances. The St Jude Hospital Reconstruction Project is being coordinated by a Project Management Unit in the Ministry of


Finance, Economic Affairs & National Development.Speaking during an official tour of the construction site on Wednesday Project Manager Shanta King explains that despite the delays considerable work has been done especially on the ultra modern surgical wing.

Prime Minister Stephenson King has expressed disappointment with the delays on the multi-million dollar project.
However he says the action plan for the reconstruction process is well thought out and should result in a modern health care facility which will meet the medical needs of the populace.

The Prime Minister praised the Taiwanese who have provided financial and technical expertise on the construction of the surgical wing. Since the blaze in 2009 the St. Jude Hospital has been operating from the George Odlum National Stadium. The government says despite not meeting the reconstruction deadline, September 9 is a significant date. Therefore various options are being explored for an appropriate way to remember those who lost their lives in the tragic fire.

  -Francis on registry
Story by Lovely St.Aime

Coordinator of the National Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights, attorney Mary Francis, has called on the government to put an end to what she calls the “slackness” at the High court Registry. Francis acknowledges both the civil status and high court registries are problematic. However as an attorney she says it is of paramount importance to address the issues at the High Court Registry in order for justice to be properly administered to the public.


Francis says the issues at the High Court have been allowed to fester for far too long.  She has accused the government of resorting to unlawful behavior by violating Section 63 of the Supreme Court Act which states the opening hours of the High Court Registry are to be 9AM -2PM Monday to Thursday and 9AM -3PM on Fridays.
She has called on the Minister of Justice to rectify this issue for the new court term. The attorney is also very critical of the management style at High Court Registry noting staff there lack sensitivity.

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  -Tolyn on go slow
Story by Carmy Joseph

Production line employees of Tolyn manufacturers’ ltd based in Vieux-Fort are on a go-slow. The action by the workers is sanctioned by the national workers union – the representative body for employees of the paper company. Negotiations between the company and the union had reached an impasse and were reported to the department of labour in a latter dated July 26 in which the union also requested an intervention.


The NWU in a press release says it cannot “sit idly by” awaiting a response from the officials of the department of labour. The union held a lunch time meeting with the workers on Thursday to decide the way forward in the matter.

  NCOPT on rebate
Story by Sarah Peter

On Wednesday bus drivers from the Monchy and Gros Islet Mini Bus Associations lashed out at the President of the National Council on Public Transportation. At issue was rebate funds paid out by government to help bus drivers cushion the high cost of fuel. The drivers accused the Council’s President of not distributing the funds owed to them. They said also that Godfrey Ferdinand was forcing them to invest their funds rather than explore alternative options for the money.


Ferdinand has rebuffed the allegations saying the decision about what happens to the money is not totally up to him. He further added money has not been allocated to the Monchy and Gros Islet Association’s account because scheduled documents have not yet been submitted.

The president of the Monchy Mini Buss Association, Aniset Paul maintains there are procedures to follow when allocating the rebate funds.    He echoed some of the assertions made by Ferdinand and called on drivers – including his members - to be more patient and understanding. However, like his drivers - Paul does not support the rebate dollars being invested and would prefer using the funds in alternative ways.  

The NCOPT president maintains each Association will receive its money by the end of the week. He added each association will get its payment based on the number of gallons of fuel they have used. 

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  -Taking example from Barbados
Story by Lovely St.Aime Joseph

With the move by Barbados to invest heavily in the growth of the music and entertainment industry the cry has come for St. Lucia to demonstrate a similar commitment to its music and entertainers.   Not only has the Barbados government mandated 60 percent local content by radio stations; it has also made a 50 million dollar investment to promote, market and distribute local entertainers’ products and services. St. Lucian musician Ronald “Boo” Hinkson laments while countries like


Barbados are leading the pack – Saint Lucia is failing to harvest the potential of the music industry. ECCO General Manager Steve Etienne says in the battle for more local content on local radio stations, DJs more often than not want the autonomy to play what they feel their audience want. But he says its bad business for a country to ship out its revenue by paying royalties to foreign based entertainers. In Saint Lucia he says the local music content on radio pales in comparison to the foreign based music content.

Hinkson believes an investment in the local music industry will only benefit the country and its people. He notes that much of the music being produced is by young people especially youth at risk who use music as an outlet.
He worries Saint Lucia is being left behind when it comes to creating opportunities for its talented young people.
Hinkson has also expressed concern because advocates for local music continue to be criticized.

Local musicians contend the quality of music coming out of St. Lucia is now on par with international standards. They argue then that there isn’t a conceivable reason for stations refusing to increase local music content.

  -CSA scholarships
Story by Sarah Peter

The St. Lucia Civil Service Association has handed several scholarships to its member’s children to help cushion the high cost of books and other education supplies.  The seven scholarship recipients were each successful at this year’s common entrance exam. The presentation was held at the CSA center in Sans Souci.
The initiative to help CSA members deal with the rising cost of books and tuition fees has been ongoing for some time.


Fewer students received scholarships this year; a factor Issac attributed to the CSA’s budget. Last year over ten students were given scholarships compared to seven this year.

  -Comedy troupe
Story by Carmy Joseph

The final leg of the comedy caravan will pull into the Rex Saint Lucian hotel this coming Saturday August 27th from 9PM. Organizer Russel Lake has promised an entertaining evening loaded with local acts accompanied by ex-tempo artistes like Invader and Ezi Hall. This is the final show of the local tour that began at the Big Bamboo in Vieux-Fort and last week was held at Club Whispers in Soufriere. Lake says while comedy is not new to Saint Lucia – the premise presented at the Comedy Caravan is.


It allows a local audience to appreciate a comedy set reminiscent of professional shows in other countries like the US. One of the featured comedians is Augustin “AJ” Jeremy. While new to the national stage – Jeremy has performed at a number of events this year including the Radio 100 Anniversary show and as a host of the 2011 Calypso Finals. He says the Comedy Caravan is an opportunity to see Saint Lucian comedians at their best.

Tickets for the Comedy Caravan can be purchased at various outlets including Steve’s Barber Shop, Hardest Hard restaurant and Sunshine Bookshop. There is an extra incentive to attend the comedy showcase; organizers say the ticket stub is a guaranteed $10 off the cover charge at the old school event taking place that evening at the Upper Level nightclub.

  NDM back in the game
  Robert Lewis on university
  CSA wants debate
  Update on St Jude
  Francis on registry
  Tolyn on go slow
  Donation to farmer
  NCOPT on rebate
  Taking example from Barbados
  Dengue education in south
  CSA scholarships
  Comedy troupe

The Medical and Dental Council is the body responsible for certifying medical practitioners in the country. They do so in accordance with the Medical Practitioners Act. When a Filipino man – now wanted for two crimes – applied for a license from that body he was denied. That did not stop Alzacar Jadjuli from practicing at a local eye care company where he is alleged to have botched an eye operation on Mary Goodman.
While the Council investigated and subsequently filed a report with the Police following a complaint by Goodman – should they have followed up to ensure that the Filipino doctor was not practicing after he was denied his license despite being in possession of a work permit.

Are you satisfied the Medical and Dental Council practiced the necessary due diligence with respect to the application of Filipino doctor Alzacar Jadjuli?

I don't know
I don't care
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