Police Say Gang Guns Handed-In To Be Destroyed After Process

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 16th August 2019) – Police have indicated that the thirty (30) guns handed in by gang members choosing to do so will be destroyed after undergoing a process and will be acted upon accordingly if there are results.

Chiming in on the point made by ACP Browne, he stated: “In all of these initiatives with the police, they are in consultation and seeking appropriate legal advice and they act of the basis of provisional advice available to them and the advice comes from persons who are trained and capable to give that advice to them as to how they proceed.”

In sharing information regarding the Peace Initiative, Acting Police Commissioner Hilroy Brandy pointed out that said since February, groups in the Federation have been part of the Peace Initiative.

 “These members have decided that they would further demonstrate their level of seriousness to the peace effort by relieving themselves of their weapons. Working through a third party, they have been doing so. To date the police have received 30 firearms and 73 rounds of sorted ammunition. Such an exercise has never taken place in the history of the police force or our country. These weapons will undergo a process and will subsequently be destroyed. When combined with the 13 firearms that the police have been able to take into custody through various operations, we now have a total of 43 firearms that have been recovered from the streets of our communities.”

According to him, “an examination of the period January 1st to August 12th over the past three years show a steady decline in non-fatal shooting and robberies. Where homicide is concerned, there was one incident in 2018 that was over 2017. However, the decline has been more noticeable over the past nine months in all three categories.”

A firearm turned into the RSCNPF

“Any firearm whether handed in or recovered by police goes through a police process and anything derived from that process, the DPP [Director of Public Prosecution] would provide his advice and we’ll follow whatever advice he provides,” responded Assistant Police Commissioner McCarter Browne at the police press conference on Tuesday this week (13th August) at the Police Training Complex in Newtown surrounding an update on the government’ s Peace Initiative launched earlier this year, credited for those gun hand-ins and overall connected to a decrease in homicides in the Federation since February.

He was at the time responding to questions by local journalists concerning what is expected to happen accordingly when the weapons undergo processing if certain criminal information is revealed.  

In adding his voice to the matter, Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. Timothy Harris claimed “We are for justice we are for law and order and nothing we have done or we will do will compromise justice so let us be clear on that.”

The top cop said that to date, there has been a 25% reduction in homicide with the last gang- related one having occurred in February.

“There were 16 homicides for the same period in 2018 while in 2019, we have a record of only 12. Non-fatal shootings have decreased by 30%, that is, from 23 in 2018 to 18 this year. A decline of 7% in robberies has also registered.”

ACP Brandy highlighted that “Considering the period in which the initiative has been ongoing, that is, from 1st March to August 12, we see that homicides have reduced by 71%. There were 15 homicides in 2017, 14 in 2018 and four in 2019.”

February this year has been described by many people to be an alarming bloody month in the nation’s history with seven recorded homicides for the shootings deaths of 33-year-old Musa ‘Ziggy’ Warner and 22-year-old ShakeemStevens killed 8th February, 28-year-old Eric ‘Jun Jun’ Thompson murdered on 11th February, Vere ‘Stiff Money’ Amory (said to be in his 30s) killed on 13th February,Joel ‘Bouyaka’ Phillip (in his 20s) and Gavin Rogers (said to be in his late 20s to early  30s) both killed on 14th February  and is 30-year-old Shavaughn ‘Chronic’ Hendricks gunned down on 25th February.

More SKN Nationals Off To Taiwan For University Schooling

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Shawn Richards and Resident Taiwanese Ambassador to St. Kitts-Nevis Tom Lee seen at center flanked by 12 of 14 scholarship recipients-right to left- (Tronnicia Flanders), Ruan Tonyce , Alicia Ajah De Silva, Xavier Smith, Kendale Liburd, Javio Felix, Yazim Leader, Nezrene Roberts,  Trefasana White (Nevis), Kareem Parry (Nevis), Dakeza Samuel and Denrick Jeffers during the 2019 scholarship ceremony. The two other Nevisians Jovelle Lawrence and Brandon Frederick were unable to attend.  (Spokesman Snap)

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Thursday 15th August 2019) –A combined total of 14 nationals from the Federation-four from Nevis and 10 from St.Kitts- are slated to depart the Federation later this month to pursue academic studies in the Republic of China (Taiwan) having been successfully selected as the 2019 recipients of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Taiwan Scholarship and the International Cooperative and Development Fund (ICDF) Scholarship.

A luncheon awards ceremony, organised by the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Ministry of Education of Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, was held yesterday (Wednesday) at the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI) located at Fortlands in Basseterre.

Under the two programs, students’ airfare, housing, tuition and credit fees, textbook costs and monthly allowance will be covered. For MOFA, students are expected to undergo a one-year study of Mandarin language at different universities collectively before pursuing their academic interests.

The nine MOFA (9) awardees along with the respective language universities and their areas of interest are: Denrick Jeffers (China Medical University-Occupational Safety and Health), Kareem Parry (Center of Chinese Language, FuJen Catholic University-Computer Science), Nezrene Roberts (Chinese Language Education Center, National Taipei University of Education-Architecture), Xavier Smith ( Chinese Language Education Center, National Taipei University of Education-Criminal Justice), Dakeza Samuel (Chinese Language Education Center, National Dong Hwa University-Computer Science), Trefasana White (Chinese Language Education Center, National Taipei-International Business and Trade), Tronnicia Flanders (Finance), Javio Felix (Computer Science) and Jovelle Lawrence (Center of Chinese Language, FuJen Catholic University).

The five (5) ICDF awardees are: Brandon Frederick (National Pingtung of Science and Technology Undergraduate Program in Tropical Agriculture), Yazim Leader (Kun Shan University International Bachelor Program in Mechanical Engineering), Ruan Tonyce (Kun Shan University International Bachelor Program in Mechanical Engineering), Kendale Liburd (Yuan Ze University International Master’s Program in Industrial Engineering and Management) and Alicia Ajah De Silva (Ming Chuan University Undergraduate Program in Journalism and Mass Communication).

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Shawn Richards in addressing the scholarship recipients commented: “You are the most recent beneficiaries of the favourable diplomatic relations between our Federation and the Republic of China (Taiwan).”

“The Republic of China (Taiwan), through its embassy, has partnered with us in so many ways especially in the realm of education. Our nation’s development agenda continues to be supported by the Republic of China (Taiwan). Today’s ceremony is yet another way,” he also remarked.

According to the Education Minister, with respect to scholarships for undergraduate and post graduate studies, there is an average of twelve Taiwanese scholarships given annually.

“Undoubtedly, this is a very substantial investment by the Republic of China (Taiwan) in our young people. What makes this so tremendous is that while the overall cost of further education continues to rise, these are full scholarships which cater for such things as housing, tuition, insurance, text book costs, return airfare and credit fees and the awardees also receive a monthly allowance. What a tremendous opportunity these scholarship recipients are receiving,” he said.

Resident Taiwanese Ambassador to St. Kitts-Nevis Tom Lee spoke about the importance of education.

“Education is the key not only to your personal success and gains but also to your country’s development. That’s why as a strong ally of St.Kitts and Nevis Taiwan is very willing to make our contribution in this area…”

He pointed that more scholarship promotions will be carried by the embassy.

“This year, our embassy has done a lot of promotions and I myself also attended a radio talk show to promote our scholarship programme and this year we have 14 students compared to last year [13 students], we have one more. If you ask me whether I’m satisfied  or not… of course my answer is not and you can be rest assure that our embassy next year  will work even harder and make sure that we will have more students here.”

The Taiwanese ambassador congratulated all recipients and encouraged them to do their best in their home away from home.

“Taiwan is known for our generosity and hospitality so basically very soon you will find Taiwan your home away from home so I want to encourage you to make the most of your stay in Taiwan and study as hard as you can so when you come back to St.Kitts and Nevis, you can start making your contributions to your country.”

Police: Teenager Who Murdered Eric Thompson Used Gun Next Day

Eric ‘Jun Jun’ Thompson (Police Photo)

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (Wednesday 14th August 2019) – A teenager blamed for the shooting death of Ponds Pasture resident 28-year-old Eric ‘Jun Jun’ Thompson has also been charged with using a gun the day after the February 2019 murder.

Police say 18-year-old Denny Harris of McKnight was charged for Thompson’s murder on Monday this week (12th August). 

Additionally, he was charged for the offence of Discharging a Firearm in a Public Place which was committed on February 12, 2019- the day after Thompson was killed.

Reportedly, at about 10 PM on Monday 11th February, Thompson had arrived at his home when he was shot several times about the body by a lone gunman. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dr. Terrance Drew Renews Sponsorship Of Longest Running Community Football League

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Wednesday 14th August 2019) – Over the past weekend, the annual community football league sponsored by well-known community activist Dr. Terrance Drew kicked off with much enthusiasm and readiness from all eight (8) participating teams, including the defending champions- Douglas United.

On Saturday 10th August, the opening ceremony was held at the St. Peter’s football grounds featuring the different squads of the yearly tournament which has been the longest running community football league in the Federation of St.Kitts-Nevis  in partnership with the St. Peter’s Football Association.

Athletes present at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Dr. Terrance Drew Community Football League

“I really want to give credit and acknowledge all the teams that are participating in this league; you have done splendidly well! To the 2018 champions…I’m already hearing that the other teams are ready to take you down. That is what the competition is about, and so may the best team win!” remarked Dr. Drew as he applauded the teams for making the league a success.

He encouraged the footballers to use sports as a means of developing themselves as athletes, teams and individuals.  

“The discipline that you get from sports, you can apply it to different areas of your lives. Some of the best leaders that we have known were good sportsmen and it’s because they translate all the skills and capacities that they would have gained over the years as sportsmen and sportswomen and translated those into their personal and professional lives.”

Dr. Drew, who hails from the community of St. Peter’s, spoke about the importance of giving back to one’s community and admonished others to do likewise.

“It takes all of us to work together to build a community…and so my giving back is really to help the community so that we can live well as Kittitians and Nevisians. This community means a lot to me like any other community throughout St.Kitts-Nevis. I really believe in giving back. From what you have gained from a community, you can never really give back all but giving back what you can is important for the continued development and upliftment and I really believe that most of you believe in that and so I want to challenge you to give back something to you community…give back something to you team; no matter how small it is – it could be helping an old lady across the street or buying a book for a young man who’ll be going to school this year…”

Since the 1990s, Dr. Drew has been investing in the league which includes having coached the first championship youth team in 1998 of which present professional football star Atiba Harris was a team member.

 “Watching Atiba play at that stage and he has become one of the most prolific champions from St.Kitts-Nevis tells me that any young man from this community and from St. Kitts-Nevis who participate in leagues like this in building themselves up can reach far.”

To date, Dr. Drew’s financial contribution amounts to over EC$ 60,000 (sixty thousand) dollars.

First Vice President of the St.Kitts-Nevis Football Association (SKNFA) Don Grant thanked Dr. Drew for his continued contribution.

Similarly, such sentiments of gratitude were expressed by President of the St. Peter’s Football Association Shannoid Bass as well as organising committee member Kimba MaClean. 

Young Business Photographer Focuses On Youth Development At Summer Camp

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Monday 12th August 2019) – A summer photography camp put on by Eqnoxx Multimedia Productions got underway today as business owner 21-year-old Noel Nicholls zooms in on knowledge and skills sharing with other young like-minded individuals.

The opening ceremony for the five-day workshop (12th to 16th August) was held this morning at the office location at The Circus in Basseterre featuring participants ages 12 to 19.

Participants listen attentively during the opening ceremony (Spokesman Snap)

Today’s interactive session saw the topics of Introduction to Photography, Parts of The Camera as well as a hands-on challenge of assembling a camera.

Other subjects of the camp are expected to cover Taking of IDs-passport and Visa photos, Editing and Printing IDs, Parts of the Drone, Assembling of Drone, Flying of Done, Taking Outdoor Pictures and Printing of Outdoor Pictures among other areas.

Nicholls gave the focus behind his inspiration to put on a workshop of this nature during a chit-cat with this reporter in saying: “I find that children are very intrigued by photography but there are not much opportunity for them to basically get a step into the door so I decided that it’ll be a good opportunity to take a bit of time out of their summer at a younger age to give them basic introductory into the photography world.”

Additionally, two participants highlighted what they are looking forward to.

 Ayahna Herbert (17)

“Since I was thirteen I’ve always liked to be behind the camera taking pictures of people; I just love to see people smile and capture the moment so. At the age of 15, I told my mom this is something that I want to do but she kept saying that it can’t be a full time job because it is a bit tough; St.Kitts is a bit limited and there is a lot of competition. I recently got my first camera that somebody bought for me with lenses and everything so I’ve been taking photos as a hobby. I really like it (photography); it is something that I want to do in the future and to get into the video area as well but I really came to this camp to learn because I did my research on Eqnoxx and Noel seems to be a good photographer and I’m familiar with him having seen him around and I’m looking forward to learning a lot from this camp.”

Hiten Samtani (17)

“My mom found out about this camp online and she said she thinks it’s a good thing to go to and so I’m here. She doesn’t know that I have an interest in photography but think it’ll be a good opportunity for me to acquire some skills in photography.”

At the opening ceremony, the guest presenter on the course overview was the Director of the National Entrepreneurial Development Division (NEDD) in the Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce & Consumer Affairs, Philip Browne who talked about the exposure for business ownership grooming.

“Noel is giving back. Hence, the reason for doing this is that so that some of you young people can acquire some skills, learn the art and perhaps one day become an entrepreneur… There are two words [I want to share] associated with entrepreneurship. There’s creativity and there’s innovation.”

He highlighted some of the planned learning aspects of the workshop as it relates to the opportunity presented to camp attendees.

 “Drones- What was that while I was growing up? So what it means is that someone was creative in this world… and it means someone was innovative too. I am now learning that a drone is a [device] that flies around like a plane…and it takes pictures and videos…”

“You have the opportunity to get into something maybe a bit down the road but a foundation is being built now…You are going to be delving deep into this fancy field that can perhaps take you around the world..,” he admonished.

Browne also urged the youngsters to pay close attention to what is expected to a quite detailed, intensive and interactive workshop.

Well-known entrepreneur and media personality Unoma Allen who chaired the event, commended Nicholls for his vision to give back to others.

“I think this company is a shining example of how we should live life. We should give back; share our knowledge so that others can grow and leave a legacy. So what this course is about, it’s about sharing information. Noel and the staff here, they are leaving a legacy in every one of you.”

Sponsors and contributors of the photography camp include St.Kitts-Nevis Carib Brewery Ltd., Mountain Top Water, Mac Pennies, TDC and Koscab (St.Kitts) Ltd.

Tips for a good entrepreneur pitch to investors

Gillian Charles-Gollop, CIBC First Caribbean Executive Director, Corporate Investment Banking and Advisory, third right, with the six Tobago finalists and the judging panel.

Trinidad and Tobago, July 31st, 2019 — An entrepreneur looking to boost or expand her business needs all the support she can get and this includes opportunities to woo investors.

Regardless of what great story is told or presentation made, investors need specific items for consideration, said Gillian Charles-Gollop, CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Executive Director, Corporate Investment Banking and Advisory.

Speaking at the Caribbean Women in ICT Power Lunch and Pitch hosted by Canto on July 23, Charles-Gollop offered the audience tips on best steps to attract an investor. CWIC is the culmination of a women’s entrepreneurship programme facilitated by SmartTerm, a Caribbean e-learning solutions provider. Its aim is to share candidly with six young Tobagonian women entrepreneur finalists what investors are looking for in a business pitch.

Charles-Gollop’s presentation included important check-list items. First, she said, you have to get the investor see the business as a good opportunity, with clear, concise delivery in the first five minutes of the conversation. “However, there are key fundamentals that prudent investor will look for,” she said.

Return on Investment (ROI) and payback are just as important as the initial pitch, she said. A business plan and financial projections would provide support to presenting positive ROIs and payback, she added. In addition, an investor would like to see the uniqueness of the product – that special element that would make it stand out from the competition.

“Keep in mind that investors will be assessing whether your product or service is worth consideration and whether the opportunity is a financially viable one,” said Charles-Gollop. A really seasoned, experienced investor will be able to determine very early on whether a pitch is worth further effort or consideration.”

Preparation of the pitch should focus on key areas that would provide context and framework to keep the investor engaged as he or she is considering a strategic fit and potential benefits.

But most of all, she added, an investor seeks proof of success. Data was very crucial in this part of the deliberation, Charles-Gollop said.

“You have to show the ability to demonstrate your product acceptance in the market or the demographics of your customer base as good reasons for an investor to pay attention,” she said. “If you are offering solutions – whether a product or service – can you demonstrate to an actual problem solved?”

She noted the entrepreneur must also be aware of the possibility that the investor may consider the competitor that has less risk and better returns. But a business plan, if it’s worth its salt, should factor key elements that would answer such concerns.

Even with the check-list noted and executed, the most important element of wooing the investor is trust. “Character and creditability are fundamental factors,” Charles-Gollop said.

Citing Stephen Covey’s The Speed of Trust, she outlined the importance of trust in business interactions.

Integrity in business as an entrepreneur is important to build trust with partners. Integrity is being honest, authentic, telling the truth and leaving the right impression. For example, are you overselling your product or service? Are you aware of your product limitations or your skill sets?

Intent allows the entrepreneur to ensure there is clarity in motive/objective and her actions demonstrate the same.

Capability presents the opportunity to demonstrate how the entrepreneur is driving this business to success and have the prerequisite skills needed. Results show what has been achieved. These four elements, she said, are the ideal traits that are reflected in the business pitch may convince an investor to put his (or her) money where it deserves to be.

At this event, CIBC FirstCaribbean also awarded prizes for the top three pitches.

Also part of the Canto experience, Charles-Gollop presented at the forum “How technology is transforming business – A look at transformation in the Energy, Health, Finance and Aviation Industries.”

May to June 2019 Examinations Results Soon to Be Available Online

CXC Logo

Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 12, 2019 (SKNIS): Candidates who wrote the May-June 2019 Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) examinations will soon be able to access their results online.
 
Results will be available on Tuesday, August 13, for CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations); Wednesday, August 14 for CCSLC (Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence) and Thursday, August 15, for CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) at www.ors.cxc.org/studentportal  or www.results.cxc.org  
 
CXC wishes to announce a new system for the release of results in order to alleviate access issues that candidates have experienced in the past due to the high volume of traffic received on CXCs website.
 
Beginning this year, CXC will release results at varying times throughout the day.  Students who miss their territory’s window will have to wait until after the release window for all the other territories has elapsed in order to access their results.
 
All CCSLC results will be released at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday August 14, 2019. The release times for both CAPE and CSEC are from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. 
 
In addition, Mr. Solomon Claxton, National Examinations Registrar in the Ministry of Education, advises that candidates in St. Kitts and Nevis, who may have misplaced their registration number(s), can call for 467-1877 or visit their Facebook page SKNexams to request same and after verification will have their number(s) issued to them.
 
Also, if you registered at the school and also privately that will require two separate logins in order to access your results and the corresponding center number applicable to same, which is the first six digits of your registration number. 
 
Mr. Claxton said that it is hoped that when persons gain access to the results portal the results received will be favourable. 

SKELEC Electricity Supply Interruption Schedule 12th – 15 th August 2019

SKELEC ELECTRICITY SUPPLY INTERRUPTION SCHEDULE

Monday 12th August 2019 to Thursday 15th August 2019

DATETIMEAREA(S) TO BE AFFECTEDPURPOSE
Monday 12thAugust 20199:00am to 3:00pmHill Burroughs, West Farm Maintenance
Tuesday 13th August 2019 9:00am to 3:00pm Winsor University, Brighton Estate, Cabbage Tree Extension, Ottleys Village, Lodge Project and Ottleys Plantation. Maintenance
Wednesday 14th August 2019 9:00am to 3:00pmCedar Grove, Milliken, Green Acres, and Gundo Field Maintenance
Thursday 15th August 2019 9:00am to3:00pm Main Road Bird Rock, Hobson’s and Bird Rock Housing Maintenance

Home Makeover: Diamonds International Fix-Up Brightens Sandy Point Community

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (Friday 9th August 2019) – Like an episode from a popular home makeover TV show, residents of a housing compound in the community of Sandy Point were recently able to occupy their renovated homes compliments of the management and staff of Diamonds International St.Kitts who spearheaded the project in partnership with other contributors.

This media house recently had a sit-down interview with the company’s General Manager Na’ama Omry Amir about the six-day outreach project which kicked off in late June (25th), aimed at improving the lives of families as the company continues to give back to the communities around the island.

“We rolled our sleeves up and we said instead of one house, we have ourselves three houses. We cried at the end because we were so happy and pleased to see them. It was really hard to see before and we were satisfied after. We have told them please, ‘We did what we could do and now it’s you to keep it’.”

She labelled the home fix-ups  “our biggest project of all.”

According to her: “We thought it was going to be two or three days but during the work sessions, we found so many things to improve that we didn’t stop and so we did more and more. We were so happy and the people were so pleased.”

As gathered, initially it was intended that assistance would have been provided by to a family in need but after the small housing area was discovered, plans were changed to facilitate such at that home area provided by government over 11 years ago.

“The first day was challenging but day to day, we fixed the floors, we fixed the windows, we built stairs, we built closets, we built a small kitchen and so much more,” Amir shared excitedly during the interview.

Fixed beds, building new shelves and constructing a small kitchen equipped with appliances were included on the to- do list also.

“If you go to Sandy Point, your first turn up the road after passing National Bank, you’ll see the Blue Hood project by Diamonds International, you’ll see the blue painting… and they (the residents) loved the name (Blue Hood) so we’ll keep it,” she added with a broad smile.

As understood, the Diamonds International crew wanted to move the residents somewhere else so that the work could have been done faster but there was some objection by because of a routine clinic trip by one of the occupants who had to get her insulin shots.

Notably, the Diamonds International crew assisted with those medical visits.

Apart from being in work mode, the workers sang while carrying out the daily tasks and also mingled with the residents there.

“We sat in the shade… We shared food with them, “Amir disclosed about moments while taking breaks.

On the subject of tossing out old clothes during the fix-up period, she pointed out: “We taught them why it is important to get things out in order to get in, you know? So, we let them keep the ones that they love.”

All of the clothes that needed washing were handled free of cost at Elite Laundry located in the St. Johnston community.

Amir, while reflecting on the emotions of the home owners, expressed gratitude to her staff and colleagues.

“To go to the toilet and bathe, it was a big deal for them! To see them sleeping on their new sheets and everything that was everything for us. We were so pleased and happy! It really was the biggest project. We didn’t predict it to be so long and over budget but we did it with all our hearts and souls. It was something like I always knew the team is incredible but I had no words for them at the end of it how everybody did so well collectivley. They were sitting for 10 mins and you think that they are done and they were continuing…sitting and cleaning non-stop. It was six days of non-stop work.”

“Look at my WhatsApp; see our group chat. See what I call them? ‘The Incredibles’ because they are! It’s amazing! When were are doing social work, they are like ‘Yeah!,’” she said while showing this reporter her phone.

Amir applauded the Owner, Chief Executive Officer and President of Diamonds International Albert Gad for his passion of giving back to communities.

“He always say like after hurricanes, we rebuild houses on all the islands we live in. We are rebuilding houses and schools and we are helping the environment like we helped to clean the beaches so it’s coming from our CEO who encourage us to do it and he says even though he has so many stores, we are so fortunate to be number one but we never forget where we come from; it is very important that people remember and that we give back wherever we are. What I like about this company is the people; we are not just donating and saying ‘ok take this money’…we are in the field and we are making it happen by our own hands and that’s the satisfaction and that’s giving back and that’s the value that we are engaged in.”

One of the Blue Hood Project resident Andy E. Anderson Hendrickson said he has been living at that area since 2009, and the family, made up of his wife and mother-in-law, had been looking assistance since last year.

“I’m very glad for what Diamonds International company has done. I’m very grateful for it. I appreciate what they have done for us …I realise that God has sent someone in our way to help us and we are very glad and grateful for it and I hop and trust that they would  get to go elsewhere to help others because others would need it also.”

Ulrica Fleming Payne- Williams, caretaker of her mom 91- year- old Mary Payne commented: “I must say that I appreciate what Diamonds International has done for us. It was a big task for them putting things together so nicely…it feels like a little hotel; everybody who comes they just love it and I dressed it up with these beautiful curtains and make it nicer so we say thanks to Diamonds international for your great contribution to our home to the Fleming/Payne family.”

She also said that her mom “feels good” about the home make-over while adding “It’s a big change to what it was.” Other partners and contributors of the Blue Hood project include Dwyer Astaphan, Bicknell Thompson of Universal Building Maintenance, TDC, Horsford and Company Ltd., NAGICO, Elite Laundry and Hobson Enterprise.

Gov’t Talks Ganja Health Harm, Health Benefits

An officer and Rastas seen in a face-off situation as they question why one of their brethren was placed inside a police van following the annual marijuana march and rally organised by the Organisation of Rastafari in Unity in August 2017. That Rasta man was later released that night without being charged as the incident did not stem from anything criminal or violent on his part. Seen at the forefront is Ras Sankofa Maccabbee who has expressed disappointment concerning the government’s overall handling of the amended (Prevention and Abatement of the Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) Bill 2019. Notably, the move to change up the Bill stemmed from a civil suit he won resulting in a 90-day ruling for changes to be. (Spokesman Snap)

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (Friday 9th August 2019) – The government has pointed to the act smoking of marijuana as being harmful to the human body as supported by medical science while on the flipside recognizes the health benefits through medical use as the hot topic continues on the subject of decriminalisation.

Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. Timothy Harris, during last week’s second reading of the Drugs (Prevention and Abatement of the Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) 2019 Bill before it was passed, addressed the two areas.

“We all know what smoking is even if we play smart about it but it is define and gets to the peculiarity that the act of smoking in a consistent way as outlined in that report National Commission on Cannabis Report ) as substantiated by medical science does great harm to persons. In fact, I remember engaging one doctor and the doctor said to me smoking regularly for at least three times per week will do significant harm to young children. I don’t know if three times is universally accepted but that was one view put forward.”  

As defined in the Bill, he said smoking deals with “Inhale, exhale, burn, combust, vaporise, [carried] on any heated device or pipe and so on and so on.”

“And I think for the first time there is a definition of smoking as opposed to use, recognising coming from the science, it is the smoking of cannabis more than any other form of intake that creates the greatest danger to people and to health and so in this particular part of legislation that we bring, we have provided a definition of smoking …”

On the topic of medical marijuana, PM Harris pointed out that: “The case has been accepted in several international treaties to which we are signatories that there are health benefits attributed to the use of cannabis, particularly the curative properties in relieving pain and restoring wellness to some persons.”

Also, he talked about views stemming from such information that “We should decriminalise the use of cannabis, marijuana for health and scientific purposes.”

He continued: “We may want to review this body of views as the public good view…the health benefits transcends each and every one of us and beyond national orders and the view if there is some good that can come out of this and the science seems satisfied that there is some good that we should move it from a regime where it is considered a serious crime, a dangerous crime to one that is more reflective of a regulated approach and the decriminalisation of its use this view was captured well on National Commission on Cannabis Report which was submitted early this year.”

PM Harris highlighted that it was the only subject matter in which there was consensus among that broad base committee in stating that the country should move to decriminalise for health medicinal reasons.

 Speaking to smoking in public, he remarked: “Public places, we’re saying, that smoking of cannabis will not be tolerated. It [the Bill] says bars, drinking places, restaurants and clubs, the use in those areas not being tolerated and that is in keeping with what is in vogue now that usually in those places there is special areas created for those who want to smoke their cigarette for example.”

The National Security Minister explained that public place means and indoor or outdoor area whether privately or publicly owned to which the public has access whether by right or invitation expressed or implied whether by the payment of money or not and it includes all commercial, agricultural industrial zone lands and properties.

Reading specific sections of the Bill, he said such “does not apply to a person found smoking cannabis or cannabis resin in a public place not including a registered place of worship of the Rastafarian faith.”

PM Harris stated that the 20th century view regarding drug use and misuse is no longer in vogue in the 21st century St.Kitts-Nevis and in the indeed in the changing Caribbean area.

“… and that is why we have seen the debate has come to the floor again regarding the matter of cannabis its role in society and what should be an appropriate legislative framework.”

He added: “We have seen Jamaica for example move enact legislation to decriminalise of the use of cannabis. We have seen Antigua and Barbuda follow suite followed by St. Vincent and the Grenadines, reflecting a new sort of new ethos on this subject matter. The truth Mr. Speaker is that everything is being impacted by the emergence of new science; new concepts about life, human rights, the changing views about religion…”

According to the National Security Minister: “Every country must carefully and progressively find its own pathway for determining their expressed will of the majority of the citizens and inhabitants without being oppressive to the minority. In other words how do we maintain a constructive cohesiveness in our country?”