Louisa John, mother of the mentally challenged teenager who was allegedly sexually abused by two men.
Police have confirmed one of the two alleged perpetrators is a police officer.
The brutal incident is said to have occurred Monday evening near a river in the Canaries community. Two men reportedly lured the mentally disabled boy to the area where they sexually abused him.
A Canaries resident heard the screams of the alleged victim and summoned the police. That male is presently at the Victoria Hospital nursing injuries.
His mother, who is unemployed and also mentally challenged was inarticulate, choked by tears and unable to express her dismay upon initially hearing the news .
Resident, Rana Lucien has blasted police officers who act contrary to their profession. She added the alleged incident brings disgrace to the St. Lucia Police Force.
Lucien has called on Police Commissioner Vernon Francois to investigate the case speedily and to ensure the perpetrators face the full brunt of the law.
Although expressing doubt - Canaries residents hoped Justice would be served and something substantial would come out of the matter.
Francois and MP on assault Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
News that a young boy had been allegedly sexually assaulted by two men including a police officer quickly spread on Tuesday.
When we caught up with Police Commissioner Vernon Francois he had just finished reading to preschoolers.
The Commissioner was disturbed that in light of the community outreach which the police is undertaking one office was sullying the image of the force.
He was while he is still gathering the facts about the case, one thing is certain - the matter will be handled like any other. He says a thorough and impartial investigation will be conducted.
Francois says misdeeds or wrongdoings on the part of some officers are inevitable. Notwithstanding - he is determined not to let the actions of a few officers tarnish the reputation of the entire police force.
He says if there is evidence found against the officer in this case then he will, like any other member of the public, face prosecution.
HTS news also spoke to Member of Parliament for Anse La Raye/Canaries Dr Desmond Long following Tuesday’s session of Parliament on the alleged buggery incident.
The MP called the news disturbing and said the reports have prompted him to travel to his constituency where he will assess the situation and offer his sympathies where needed.
VAT delayed Story byWinston Springer
The implementation of the Value Tax System has been delayed by one month. Instead of the September 1st target date, the tax will be introduced on October 1st 2012.
Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Dr. Kenny Anthony made the announcement on Tuesday during the second reading of the VAT bill at the first sitting of the house of assembly since the budget presentation in May.
Speaking to Video Journalist Jeremiah Joseph after the sitting, the Prime Minister says the purpose of the postponement is to prepare the populace physiologically and otherwise for the tax system albeit the possible loss of revenue during the period.
Leader of the Opposition Stephenson King claims the announcement is testament to his contention more time is needed for the VAT office to crystallize issues in the VAT bill, the administration of the tax regime and the wide ranging public education campaign.
King backs calls allegedly made by members of the Chamber of Commerce for a six month implementation process.
He argues the intricacies of the system and meticulous accounting requires detailed planning.
But Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony says despite some unease the private sector supports tax reform.
He says the Chamber’s anxieties have been addressed and the business community has been co-operating with the state on the implementation process.
The Prime Minister went through the germane and salient parts of the legislation. He reveals 778 thousand dollars has been allocated to provide training and technical assistance under SEDU for medium small and micro enterprises which are eligible for VAT.
The Prime Minister says an oversight committee will also be appointed to carefully monitor the possibility of price gouging.
The VAT bill which was passed in the House will be debated in the upper house at the next scheduled meeting of the Senate on July 10th 2012.
Media association on broadcast rights Story byCarmy Joseph
The Stakeholder Committee charged with managing Carnival 2012 has some explaining to do. That’s the word from the Media Association of Saint Lucia whose Vice President Delia Dolor is asking a number of questions in relation to that Committee’s selection of one media house to exclusively broadcast Carnival events.
She says a number of unknowns surround a process that should be transparent. Dolor has also taken issue with the blasé manner the Committee sought to defend its Choice in an issued statement on Monday afternoon.
The Stakeholder Committee is currently facing a legal challenge to its selection of Media Zone as the exclusive broadcaster for Carnival.
Dolor says the decision has pitted media houses against each other in a manner that could have been avoided.
She has also taken umbrage with what “exclusive broadcaster” could mean. Dolor says Carnival is an income generating festival that should be open to all media houses.
Further – she expects that with the re-introduction of the Media Association this year – what happened this year will not reoccur.
The Stakeholder Committee is in charge of a number of national events for Carnival including the Groovy Soca Monarch, the Power Soca Monarch and the two day Parade of the Bands.
Saint Lucia Carnival 2012 is expected to culminate on Tuesday July 17th.
Commerce consultation Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
Tuesday’s Forum brought together officials from various ministries including Commerce, agriculture, finance, tourism and planning.
They came together to examine the existing fiscal incentives regime across the productive sector ministries in order to complete the process of fiscal incentives reform.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce and business development, Titus Preville, says the team will spearhead the reform process for incentives.
Preville says as it exists there are a number of sector specific incentives including the tourism incentives act and the small and micro enterprise business development act.
He says incentives reform will determine the way forward, whether we adopt an umbrella incentives approach to the sectors or work with what we already have implemented.
The meeting was facilitated by Jacky Charles, investment coordinating officer in the Ministry of Commerce.
The process of fiscal incentives reform is in keeping with the Prime Minister’s 2012/2013 budget.
Qualifiers released Story byCarmy Joseph
Thirty competitors have been chosen for the power soca monarch preliminaries which will be held this coming Friday June 29th from 5:30PM at the Spinners nighclub.
Predictably the NG Soca Stage has the most qualifiers with 15 – they are Mysterio, Exodus, former two time party monarch Kakal, Sedale, Mongstar, Sergie, Jay-Budz, Soca Princess, D’Sean, Q-Pid, Superman HD, Sir Lancelot, Illah Man, Crocrodile and former Groovy Monarch Teddyson John.
From the Soca Village International is Orion, Shep Dawg, Jah Jah Rade, Top Cat and Skinny. De Revue has qualifiers Brownsman, Soca Syco, G I Fox and RK Sonny – while TOT has Ambi, Damaze and Alpha.
The remaining three competitors are from three separate tents – South Tent’s T-Girl, Julianna from Ambassadors and Mubarak from the Spectrum calypso tent.
Fourteen of the qualifiers will be selected to compete against reigning Power Soca Monarch Ricky T.
The Stakeholder Committee has also released the 18 calypsonians who qualified from the quarter-final round of competition that ended on Monday evening with the Ambassadors tent.
Topping the list with the most qualifiers is two year old tent De Revue with Ally Kat, Blaze, Patience, Sherpard and Taker.
The Ambassadors and Soca Village International both have four semi-finalists. From the Ambassadors is Bingo, Davis, former calypso monarch Educator and first time semi-finalist Kendal John, a former two time Inter-commercial Monarch.
The Soca Village International qualifiers are former calypso and power soca monarch Invader, newcomer Julie B, Ti Caro and former calypso monarch Walleigh.
Journalist, Mary G and Nintus will represent the South calypso tent and from TOT will be former calypso monarch Ashanti and former calypso and groovy monarch Herb Black.
The calypso semi-finalists will be held on July 1st at the National Cultural Centre – nine calypsonians will be chosen to compete against reigning monarch Menelle.
Fire in the south Story byDesmond Collymore
Guardsman presentation Story bySarah Peter
The National Community Foundation has expressed its sincere gratitude to Guardsman St. Lucia Ltd, for the donation of an alarm system and free monitoring services for a year. The initiative follows a recent break in at the organization where equipment and cash was stolen.
The robbery has had a major impact on the work of the organization which has undertaken charitable work for the last ten years.
Deputy General Manager of Guardsman St. Lucia Ltd, Jeanine Henry says she is happy to have provided assistance to the National Community Foundation.
Executive Director of the National Community Foundation, Juliana Alfred says the donation will provide workers at the NCF with a sense of security.
The National Community Foundation is a non profit, non governmental organization that seeks to raise funds through contributions from donors be it private citizens, local corporations and governmental agencies.
The organization functions primarily as a grant making institution and supports a wide range of charitable activities.
Travel agents Story byWinston Springer
Saint Lucia is playing host to approximately forty key travel agent partners from principal gateway cities in the UK
The grand familiarization visit comprises agents who specialize in lucrative niche sectors including weddings and honeymoon; nature and adventure; luxury; and family oriented excursions.
Tourism Officials say the British travel agents remain frontline
advocates for Saint Lucia in swaying public opinion in the key source market. Caribbean Wedding Specialist Nicolla Wharton says the trip enables the agents to grasp the marketing concepts of the various resorts on the island.
The travel agents say the unique insight into the inner workings of the hotels is invaluable when selling the destination to clients.
Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist, Stacy Olley was impressed with plans from the various hotels
The United Kingdom which is Saint Lucia’s second largest tourism market recorded a 16 percent increase in stay over arrivals for the first quarter of 2012.
During that period Saint Lucia recorded over 20 thousand visitors from the UK.
Canaries youth assaulted
Francois and mp on assault
Media association on broadcast rights
Fire in the south
Saint Lucian artistes have never been paid for broadcast of their live performances.
There was one year when a token offer was made to performers – and another when a number of artistes refused to have their performances aired. But nothing has been set in stone that says exactly how much artistes will be paid to media houses that stand to make commercial and other revenue from broadcasting Carnival events. Islands like Trinidad where the competition is private and Antigua where Carnival is managed by the State as in Saint Lucia both pay artistes for use of their competitive performances. Artistes and their management have already made it clear that while the Stakeholders Committee faces a legal challenge to its granting of broadcast rights to a media house – their issue is not over who will broadcast but rather who will pay them to broadcast
Should artistes be paid for broadcast of their live performances during Carnival events?