News Stories
November 4th 2011
Last Updated Friday, November 4, 2011 8:38 PM


ONE questions diplomat’s actions
Story by Sarah Peter


The Chairman of the Organization of National Empowerment, Peter Alexander has expressed his dismay at what he says is the continued disrespect and disregard for diplomatic protocol by Taiwanese’s Ambassador Tom Chou.

Alexander made the statement in light of the presence of Tom Chou at the United Workers Party launching of the UWP Soufriere/Fond St.Jacques Candidate, Allen Chastanet.  


Alexander says that while the island appreciates the assistance that has been rendered by the Taiwanese, diplomatic principles must be followed. Alexander further added that other foreign governments adhere to diplomatic principles and do not align themselves in island’s politics.  He claims Ambassador Chou’s behavior contradicts his role as a foreign diplomat.

However, on Thursday Ambassador Tom Chou responded to the opposition criticism claiming he was invited by the Soufriere Town Council to co host a Lighting Ceremony and not a political activity. He says it was only when he arrived at the event that he realized that there was also a political rally.  When questioned as to whether he believed he was misled by the Town Council into attending the rally, Chou said he did not what to speculate as to the Council’s intention.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) established diplomatic ties with Saint Lucia months after the United Workers Party assumed in office. The Ambassador, Tom Chou has received severe criticism from several quarters including the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party which accuses the foreign officer of demonstrating scant regard for diplomatic protocol.


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  -Town council defends ambassador Chou
Story by Sant Justin

The Soufriere Town Council has sought to clear the air on the issue of the Taiwanese Ambassador’s appearance on a political platform on Tuesday. Chairman Soufriere Town Council- Kenneth Cazaubon in his remarks defended the Taiwanese Ambassador. The Taiwanese Embassy released a statement on Thursday- justifying the Ambassadors visit to the event. Cazaubon says just as Tom Chou indicated on Thursday- he was invited by the Town Council to


attend a lighting ceremony- a project which was funded by the government of Taiwan.Cazaubon believes the judgment passed on the Taiwanese Ambassador by the main opposition was unfair. He says Tom Chou got caught up in the situation because of the late start of the lighting ceremony- which was slated to be the first event for the evening.

Chairman Soufriere Town Council- Kenneth Cazaubon. Cazaubon says he even escorted the Taiwanese Ambassador back to his vehicle after the ceremony was done.He says other guests were invited- such as the District Rep for Soufriere Harold Dalson- who did not turn up.

  -SLP claims visa bombshell
Story by Winston Springer
  The Saint Lucia Labor Party is again alleging to have information on the reasons for the revocation of former housing minister Richard Frederick’s US visas. SLP candidate Stanley Felix who is seeking to unseat the incumbent Castries Central MP at the upcoming polls made the claims at a political meeting of the opposition SLP. Felix says he recently visited a reputable immigration law firm in the US and had a consultation with an attorney

with vast knowledge and experience in the field. The political hopeful alleges the lawyer offered an explanation for the possible revocation of a high ranking government official’s diplomatic visa Felix claims the he was also presented with an official US document by the immigration law firm which sheds light on the visa revocation controversy. He claims both Prime Minister Stephenson King and Richard Frederick from the outset were aware of the reasons for the revocation of the former housing minister’s visas by the state department.

Felix also called on Prime Minister Stephenson King to disclose the findings of his investigations in to the Richard Frederick US visitor and diplomatic visa issue. The SLP Castries Central Candidate also launched a scathing attack on the character of the incumbent MP citing what he says is a long list of allege transgressions by the former government minister.

  -Police commissioner legal saga
Story by Sant Justin

Minister of Home Affairs and National Security Senator Guy Mayers, says he is anxious for the outcome of the Ausbert Regis case so government can move on with the business of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force.
In 2010, Police commissioner Ausbert Regis took the government to court following his transfer from the post of police commissioner to director of special initiatives in the Prime Minister’s office. In January this


year the matter was reserved for judgment by the court, but so far that judgment has yet to be handed down. But acting Police Commissioner says while he understands the degree of anxiety and speculation which always surrounds the renewal of his 6 month appointment – it does not affect the execution of his duties.

Vernon Francois has served two terms as Acting Police Commissioner since the transfer of Ausbert Regis in May 2010 to the office of the Prime Minister as the head of special initiatives. It is a post Regis has not assumed while awaiting judgment in his civil suit against the government over his transfer.

  -Fire arm amnesty
Story by Sarah Peter

Acting Police Commissioner, Vernon Francois is worried about what he says is a notable number of legal gun holders who have not renewed their firearm licenses. In light of this the island’s top cop’s has announced an Amnesty until November 30th so individuals who have not been forthcoming will be not prosecuted. 
Francois further expressed concern with the practice of the transfer of firearm licenses.


The Acting Police Commissioner, Vernon Francois explains that the initiative is not in response to any particular case or suspected criminal activity. Francois emphasized that the failure to renew a firearm license is a serious offence under the firearms act of Saint Lucia. The top cop added that the police department already has a record of the names of the individuals who have not renewed their firearm permits. Every three years legal firearms holders are required by law to pay a total of Three hundred dollars to bring their licenses up to date

  -Castries vendors huts
Story by Desmond Collymore

Friday, Parliamentary Representative for Castries Central, Richard Frederick officially handed vendors from the Castries basin the keys to their newly acquired huts.
The brief handing over initiative took place during a small ceremony on St. Louis Street. Former Minister of Housing and Urban Renewal Richard Frederick says that the huts will make a significant contribution to the enhancement of the Castries

  area. He further added that the initiative makes the place a much more appealing. Vendors were elated with the move which they say will make their work environment and life much easier.
One vendor who spoke to HTS news expressed her sincere gratitude to parliamentary representative, Richard Frederick for implementing for the structures.

Castries Central, MP Richard Frederick says that the creation of the huts for vendors in the area is part of his vision to transform Castries into a more tourism friendly city.

  -Vulnerable survey
Story by Sant Justin

The Ministry of Social Transformation is in the final stages of the implementation of a general survey- focused on vulnerable groups on the island. Research and Development Officer- Augustus Cadet says Wednesday’s gathering saw participation from various social sector agencies and ministries. Cadet says the survey will focus on groups such as woman as well as children.


Cadet says UNICEF is also onboard the project- providing much funding and technical support to the survey.
He says the implementation phase also received support from UN Women and other Agencies.
Cadet says the information gathered will also assist in monitoring the progress of the groups targeted.

Cadet says the findings will also assist in advising on policies. He says Wednesday’s meeting allowed participants to conduct a final revision on the instruments going into the field within the next week or two.
Cadet says the survey consists of sixteen pages- and includes questions which are quite extensive. The Ministry of Social Transformation is seeking public cooperation when the survey commences- due to the importance of the information gathered. They say the information gathered will remain anonymous.

  -Giraudy scholarship fund
Story by Lovely St.Aime Joseph

The widow of former Barbadian Prime Minister, the late David Thompson-Mara Thompson, Jeanine Giraudy McIntrye and Donna Peter Foster are the daughters of Henry Giraudy. On Friday they presented a young student of the South with the Henry Giraudy Scholarship Fund. Henry Giraudy Q.C., was a prominent Saint Lucian lawyer and politician, who served as the President of the Senate of St. Lucia at one point.


Jeanine Giraudy McIntyre says the fund is made available to students who excel but come from humble backgrounds. Donna Peter Joseph says the scholarship now ongoing for three years has made a positive impact on the lives of the recipients. This year’s recipient is Nick Jacob who received eight CXC passes.Jacob, the scholarship recipient, was awarded five thousand dollars to meet the cost of his A Level education.

  -Youth fest auditions
Story by Sant Justin

Songwriters and artistes from the North of the country were all invited to the 2011 annual Youthfest auditions.
The auditions took place on Wednesday 2nd November at the Police Restaurant where organizers say they were astounded by the turn out. Stephen Edmund says the Southern edition of the audition will take place during the coming weeks- in order to complete the line up for the final competition.


The show is currently in its eighth year and according to the long time promoter it has grown tremendously.
Artiste Andrew ‘Yardie’ Haynes wants greater participation on the part of Government bodies and private organizations- in order for further development. Haynes says although this year’s participation from new sponsors was not ideal the show will go on with the help of long time corporate backers.

Haynes says the annual event is one which is highly anticipated and as a positive impact on the youth.
The final event is set for the month of December at the Tennis Courts in Bean Field Vieux Fort.

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  -SOL enhances customer service
Story by Andrew Mondesir

It is called People Make The Difference Real - PMTDR for short, and is designed to maintain, measure and reward Shell retailers and members of their sales force for their continued success. The program empowers retailers and their sales forces to deliver consistent operational excellence at all of Shell’s service stations. The business program re-launched by SOLas the Licensee holderfor its Shell service stations, has


been systematically rolled out world-wide. This is the third year they are participating in the exercise.Shell has been utilizing the servcies of an International visiting  ‘mystery motorist’ to visit and rate the level of service offered at each of it’s stations – a very effective way of getting accurate data on how customers are treated. According to General Manager, Eugenie Dalson, the PMTDR program also helps the business’ bottom line.

Motivational Speaker Thecla Deterville was invited to make a presentation to the dealers to inspire them along the path to providing excellent customer service through Shell’s PMTDR program. Shell’s PMDTR is attempting to make excellence in service provision an everyday, every visit occurrence for customers of their global business.

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  ONE questions diplomat’s actions
  Town council defends ambassador Chou
  SLP claims visa bombshell-
  Police commissioner legal saga
  Fire arm amnesty
  Castries vendors huts
  Vulnerable survey
  Giraudy scholarship fund
  Youth fest auditions
  Sol enhances customer service

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has threatened to withhold funding from governments that do not reform legislation banning homosexuality. Ending the bans on homosexuality was one of the recommendations of an internal report into the future relevance of the Commonwealth. Country’s like the United Kingdom mandate that the recipients of aid adhere to rules which respect human rights.
However, According to the BBC, Cameron's threat applies only to one type of bilateral aid known as general budget support, and would not reduce the overall amount of aid to any one country. The National Aids Program Secretariat worries that possible cuts in funding from donor countries could have an impact on the important work of the agency and he has called for a concerted effort to find alternative sources of funding. Director Nahum Jn Baptiste argues that the country is not prepared for a legislative debate on Homosexuality. 41 nations of the 54-member Commonwealth have laws banning homosexuality.

Do you agree with the UK government’s threat to cut aid to commonwealth countries with laws banning homosexual acts?

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