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Saturday January 18th 2003                                                                                                                     Saint Lucia   NATIONWIDE                1




    NATIONWIDE
No.11. Saturday January 18th 2003                       A publication of the Department of Information Services



                                            WELCOME
A decisive step                                                                                                                               EDITORIAL
                                                                                                                                              EDITORIAL
 to transform
the penal system
                                                                                                                                                      A FRESH APPROACH




                                            BORDELAIS!
                                                                                                                                              Any effort, which contributes to uniting
                                                                                                                                              St. Lucians in pursuit of common
                                                                                                                                              interests, is worthy of the highest
                                                                                                                                              commendation. Especially at a time
                                                                                                                                              when our quality of life is under such
                                                     Back in 1958, Lord Farrington,          ceremony. “We’ll be tough on crime but,          serious threat from external forces
                                            a visiting British lawmaker, made a most         on the same token, we’ll concentrate on          operating under the guise of
                                            damning condemnation of St Lucia’s               making every inmate a productive and tax-        globalisation. Our banana farmers can
                                            Royal Gaol. As reported by the Voice,            paying citizen.”                                 relate from experience only too well.
                                            he described the Bridge Street prison
                                            as an “abomination” and expressed the            In a moving speech which generated               Unity can be an invaluable source of
                                            view that “the only remedy is to blow            considerable applause, Prime Minister, Dr.       strength in the face of adversity. Through
                                            it up with dynamite”.                            Kenny D. Anthony, described the                  unity of purpose and action, the
                                                                                             investment in Bordelais as “an unfortunate       impossible has often become the
                                            On Wednesday this week, almost half              necessity” brought on by “historical             possible. While it’s impossible for any
                                            a century later, St Lucia finally laid to        circumstances (that) have placed the             country to ever achieve 100% unity, it’s
                                            rest the old Royal Gaol with the official        failures of the past at our feet.” He said it    unity on the really critical issues that
                                            opening of the new $48 million                   will bring St Lucia major benefits.              matter.
                                            Bordelais Correctional Facility in
                                            Dennery. Bordelais also signals a                           Peace and Security                    That’s why remarks made around
                                            fundamental shift in St Lucia’s                                                                   Christmas by both Prime Minister, Dr.
                                            approach towards the treatment of                It will help authorities, for example, to deal   Kenny D. Anthony, and Opposition
                                            offenders, with new emphasis on                  more effectively with crime. It will enhance     Leader, Marius Wilson, give good cause
                                            rehabilitation rather than just                  national peace and security by ensuring          for hope. Their remarks pointed to an
                                            punishment, as was the case in the               dangerous criminals are kept behind bars,        emerging spirit of bipartisanship in the
                                            past.                                            and it will contribute to creating a more        conduct of the nation’s business in
                                                                                             conducive environment for social and             Parliament.
                                            “I want to assure you that our switch from       economic development.
                                            penal to correctional doesn’t mean we’re                                                          It’s an encouraging development,
     Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony Prime
                                            going soft on crime,” Director of Corrections,   “This investment in Bordelais should be          considering the divisive nature of politics
  Minister and Minister of Finance of St.
 Lucia addressing the opening ceremony      Hilary Herman, made it clear to dignitaries      seen as a clear and tangible signal of the       in former colonial countries, which have
  of the Bordelais Correctional Facility    and other guests at the two-hour-long            Government’s commitment to curbing crime         adopted the competitive Westminster
                                                                                                                                              system of government of the old mother
                                                                                                                               see page 3
                                                                                                                                              country. Hopefully, the new spirit of
                                                                                                                                              cooperation between Government and
                                                                                                                                              the Opposition signals too our emerging
                                                                                                                                              political maturity as a nation.

                                                                                                                                              In recognition of the need for a more
                                                                                                                                              inclusive form of governance to confront
                                                                                                                                              the challenges of the time, this
                                                                                                                                              Administration has seriously reached out
                                                                                                                                              to key interest groups and created
                                                                                                                                              mechanisms, like the National
                                                                                                                                              Economic Council, to permit their input
                                                                                                                                              in policy formulation.

                                                                                                                                              Notwithstanding         their     recent
                                                                                                                                              achievement, the very nature of our
                                                                                                                                              politics means there will always be
                                                                                                                                              rivalry between the Government and
                                                                                                                                              Opposition. “All of us here understand
                                                                                                                                              that politics is a competitive business,”
                                                                                                                                              Prime Minister Anthony noted, “ … but
                                                                                                                                              the bottom line is that it is important
                                                                                                                                              that we can say to the people of our
                                                                                                                                              country that we can work together and
  Bordelais, occupying 33.4 acres of Crown lands, is built to house 500                                                                       put differences aside.”This Government
                                                                                                                                              and Opposition have truly embarked on
  inmates. The old prison, for 60 prisoners, currently houses just over 400.                                                                  a path, which augurs well for the future.

                                                                                                                                              Government Notebook
                “Take 2 ” - A fifteen minute news review of the week.                                                                          A fresh news package
                Every Friday at 6.15 p.m. on NTN, Cablevision Channel 2.
                                                                                                                                                        daily
                                                                                                                                              on all local radio stations
2        Saint Lucia   NATIONWIDE                                                                                                                              Saturday January 18th 2003




SHARING PUBLIC OWNERSHIP
Government Guards Against Control of the Country’s Lone Electricity Supplier
The Government of St. Lucia regards                  Government - A Participant
electricity as a strategic national
resource that shouldn’t be left entirely         Dr. Anthony also used the opportunity to
to the dictates of the marketplace.              address a widely held myth about the
                                                 extent of Government’s involvement in
Government’s position was spelt out by           LUCELEC. “Contrary to the popular opinion,
Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony,            while the public sector owns a bloc of
as the House of Assembly passed                  shares, …. the combined shareholding of
legislation last December 17, regulating         the City Council as well as the Government
the ownership and trading of shares              in fact falls below that of CDC,” he
belonging to the St. Lucia Electricity           explained.
Services Ltd. (LUCELEC).
                                                 CDC was originally set up by the British
At the same time, Dr. Anthony made it            Government to support economic
clear that Government has no intention           development in its colonies and other so-
of acquiring LUCELEC. He also                    called Third World countries through
emphasized that Government values                strategic investments. CDC, however, has
public sector/private sector cooperation         moved away from this original altruistic
in developing the national economy.              focus and today is more driven by the profit
                                                 motive.
“In the case of LUCELEC, we cannot allow
the country of St. Lucia to be put into a        The House of Assembly passed the law
vulnerable position,” he said.                   against this backdrop, plus the growing
                                                 trend worldwide in which large corporations
The Public Utilities (Restriction on             have pursued mergers, acquisitions and
Shareholding St. Lucia Electricity Services      other activities with apparent little
Ltd.) Act represents an attempt by               consideration for the impact of their
Government to safeguard the national             decisions on the host communities.
interest by blocking any single entity from
acquiring outright control of LUCELEC, at        The intent of the legislation is to prevent
a time when market forces have virtual free      LUCELEC and, by extension St. Lucia,
reign in global business.                        from suffering such a fate.
                                                                                                                    The head office of the St. Lucia Electricity Services Ltd.
                                                                                                                       located at Sans Souci in the capital city, Castries
“We have got to say that this asset is so               OECS Stock Exchange
important to us, it is so strategic that it is                                                     can keep its 44.8 per cent but can go no         “That vexed question of the fuel surcharge
vital that we have a say in its future,” said    The Act was also prompted by the                  higher.                                          is a matter we really have to come to terms
Dr. Anthony as he piloted the bill. “That’s      establishment of the Eastern Caribbean                                                             with at some point and we have to deal
what is at issue here.”                          Stock Exchange (ECSE) to facilitate the           “We are protecting a national asset,             with. Something has to be done to
                                                 open trading of shares in public companies        avoiding unnecessary speculation and             rationalize that issue,” he added.
The British-owned Commonwealth                   within the Organization of Eastern                ensuring that we continue to have a say in
Development Corporation (CDC) is the             Caribbean States (OECS) sub-region.               the future of LUCELEC,” said Dr. Anthony.        Dr. Anthony also called for the speedy
largest single shareholder of LUCELEC                                                              He indicated that a LUCELEC-related              implementation, by the Ministry of
with a 44.8 per cent stake. The remaining        Under the Act, no new shareholder can             matter which will next occupy the                Communications, Works, Transport and
55.2 per cent is spilt up among the              acquire more than a 20 per cent interest in       Government’s attention, is the surcharge         Public Utilities, of recommendations made
Government, the Castries City Council, the       LUCELEC. However, existing investors can          on electricity bills. “We still have great       by the Government-appointed Review
National Insurance Corporation and several       keep their present shareholding but they          difficulty with the price at which electricity   Commission into LUCELEC.
small investors, including St. Lucian            will not be able to increase it if it’s already   is sold to our consumers,” the Prime
citizens.                                        20 per cent or more. CDC, for example,            Minister said.                                   LUCELEC’s role in supporting the
                                                                                                                                                    development of St. Lucia received
                                                                                                                                                    considerable praise from the Prime Minister.

                                                                                                                                                             LUCELEC - a leader

                                                                                                                                                    Dr. Anthony singled out, for special mention,
                                                                                                                                                    the company’s capital investment
                                                                                                                                                    programme, which has facilitated the
                                                                                                                                                    island-wide expansion of electricity and also
                                                                                                                                                    made St. Lucia a leader in power generation
                                                                                                                                                    in the Eastern Caribbean.

                                                                                                                                                    “We have one of the most modern power
                                                                                                                                                    generating plants in the entire Eastern
                                                                                                                                                    Caribbean and I applaud the vision that led
                                                                                                                                                    to the upgrading of LUCELEC. We are in
                                                                                                                                                    producing electricity at a far cheaper rate
                                                                                                                                                    than some of our neighbours,” Dr. Anthony
                                                                                                                                                    noted.

                                                                                                                                                    He revealed that business interests in
                                                                                                                                                    nearby Martinique and Guadeloupe had
                                                                                                                                                    approached LUCELEC about the possibility
                                                                                                                                                    of accessing its surplus electricity for sale
The power station at Cul-de-Sac has been modernised to provide a relaible supply of electricity to homes and the commercial sector.                 to consumers in their territories.
Saturday January 18th 2003                                                                                                                            Saint Lucia    NATIONWIDE               3


BORDELAIS
                                                                                                   Mrs. Flood-Beaubrun, who has ministerial
                                                                                                   responsibility for the prison service, praised
                                                                                                   her predecessor, Velon John, and the Prime
from page 1                                                                                        Minister for their respective roles in making
in St Lucia,” Dr. Anthony said, noting it will                                                     the new facility a reality.
also bring an end to “the inhumanity and
indignity of the old Royal Gaol”.                                                                  She said the new emphasis on prisoner
                                                                                                   rehabilitation is “testimony of our belief in
Bordelais, occupying 33.4 acres of hill-top                                                        the most important resource in our country
Crown lands, is built to house 500 inmates.                                                        – our people and more particularly, our
The old prison, built in 1827 for 60 prisoners,                                                    youth”.
currently houses just over 400.
                                                                                                   “On average at any one time,” she noted,
Bordelais comprises 18 building blocks,                                                            “the majority of our prison population is
including a female unit, adult male unit,                                                          between the ages of 18 and 35, young men,
maximum security and condemned unit                                                                fathers who should be heading their
with adjoining gallows and cemetery, young                                                         households, building strong families, and
offenders unit, remand unit, and segregation                                                       contributing in a meaningful way to overall
unit.                                                                                              national development.”                           Director of Corrections - Hilary Herman.

            Modern Facilities                                                                      “Lives will be changed and transformed for       The Minister made it clear to the criminally-
                                                                                                   good in this correctional facility,” she said.   minded to expect to serve their full
There is also a courtroom on the compound,                                                         “Something which happens very                    sentences when sent to Bordelais, as early
workshops where inmates will learn various                                                         infrequently at Her Majesty’s Prison on          release which occasionally happened to
skills to help them find gainful employment                                                        Upper Bridge Street.”                            ease the overcrowding problem at Bridge
on their eventual release from                            Hon. Sarah Flood Beaubrun                                                                 Street will now be a feature of the past.
imprisonment, classrooms, library,                         Minister for Home Affairs               Government recruited and undertook an
gymnasium and chapel, among other                                                                  intensive eight-week-long training               He is also hoping that critics of Bordelais,
                                                  “The construction of this very institution was
modern facilities.                                                                                 programme for 78 persons who will serve          who said it shouldn’t be built, will grasp the
                                                  necessitated by acts of inhumanity,” said
                                                                                                   as correctional officers at Bordelais. With      philosophical basis and importance of the
                                                  Home Affairs Minister, Sarah Flood-
Bordelais allows for the separation of                                                             support services from other professionals,       project and give full support to the
                                                  Beaubrun, referring to the “barbarity” of
prisoners which was not possible at the                                                            they will oversee a range of programmes          Government in the fight against crime.
                                                  conditions at the Bridge Street prison.
Bridge Street prison. As a result, young                                                           designed to help offenders turn their backs
                                                  “Conversely, the foresight and subsequent
offenders will no longer come into contact                                                         on a life of crime.                              Possible corruption involving prison officers
                                                  decision to construct this correctional
with and be influenced by hardened                                                                                                                  is suspected to have contributed to the
                                                  facility was motivated and was an act of
criminals behind local prison walls.                                                                “With the construction of this prison, we       indiscipline and other problems which
                                                  singular compassion.”
Under overcast afternoon skies, with                                                               have taken a decisive step to bring to an        plagued the Bridge Street prison. Dr
intermittent rain and chilly gusty winds                                                           end the ridiculous and untenable situation       Anthony said the allegations of wrongdoing
                                                               Changing Lives
blowing in from the nearby Atlantic Ocean,                                                         of a penal system which cannot keep its          will be probed by Government.
Governor-General, Dame Pearlette Louisy,                                                           prisoners behind bars,” said Dr. Anthony.
                                                  She noted that as far back as 1901, the
cut a ribbon to mark the official opening of                                                       “…. it is now more difficult for hardened        When the move from Bridge Street to
                                                  Report of the Gaol and Police Commission
the facility. Prime Minister Anthony unveiled                                                      criminals to simply walk out of jail or scale    Bordelais is completed, the vacant old
                                                  had found the Bridge Street prison to be
a commemorative plaque.                                                                            the prison walls as was the case in the          prison building is to be renovated and
                                                  “unsuitable and inadequate.”
                                                                                                   past.”                                           handed over for police.


GEARING UP FOR                                                                                               CHINESE DELEGATION VISITS
MORE GROWTH AT WASCO
       The Saint Lucia Water and                  The Fifth Water Supply Project
                                                                                                   A delegation from the People’s
                                                                                                   Republic of China this week paid a
                                                                                                   two-day visit aimed at strengthening
                                                                                                                                                    Several renowned entrepreneurs from
                                                                                                                                                    six major Chinese enterprises are
                                                                                                                                                    accompanied the delegation. While in
Sewerage Co. Inc. (WASCO) is                      involves: (a) establishment and                  and deepening friendship and                     St. Lucia they explored possibilities for
inviting sealed bids from                         implementation of an appropriate                 cooperation ties between China and               trade and economic cooperation with
companies for the supply of 17,000                institutional and regulatory framework           St. Lucia.                                       the local private sector.
domestic cold water meters and 150                for WASCO; (b) implementation of
cold water turbine bulk meters. It’s              critical capital works and (c) technical         Invited by the Government of Saint               The visit also featured a friendly but
connected with the Caribbean                      assistance to improve WASCO’s                    Lucia, the official Chinese                      competitive football match between the
Development Bank (CDB)-financed                   operational efficiency.                          governmental delegation was led by               well-known Beijing Guoan Club
Fifth Water Supply Project.                                                                        State Councillor, Her Excellency Ms.             Football Team and the Saint Lucia
                                                  Each bid must be accompanied by                  Wu Yi. They were on island from                  National Soccer Team. The Chinese
Eligible firms, or joint ventures of firms,       EC$27,000 as bid security. Eligible              January 14 to 15. During her visit, the          team won 2 - 0. The football match was
either must be registered, or have their          bidders can obtain further information           Chinese State Councillor held talks              held at the national stadium in Vieux-
principal place of business in any                and inspect the bidding documents                with Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D.                 Fort, which was gift to the Government
member country of the CDB, the Inter              between 9 am and 4 pm at the Project             Anthony on issues such as bilateral              and people of St. Lucia from the
American Development Bank (IADB),                 Management Unit , WASCO’s                        relations, economic and trade                    Chinese government.
or the Kingdom of the Netherlands.                headquarters on L’Anse Road,                     cooperation, as well as other matters
                                                  Castries.                                        of common concern.                               Among the spectators were district
Another condition is that they must be                                                                                                              representative for Vieux-Fort South
more than 50 per cent beneficially                The deadline for the submission of bid           While here, the top Chinese                      Hon. Kenny Anthony and the Minister
owned by citizens and/or bona fide                is 4.15 pm on Tuesday, April 8, 2003.            government official paid an official             of Education, Human Resource
residents of the said countries, or               Bids will be publicly opened the                 courtesy call on Her Excellency the              Development Youth and Sports, Hon.
owned or controlled by a government               following day at 2 pm in the Conference          Governor General, Dame Pearlette                 Mario Michell.
of an eligible country. In the latter case,       Room at WASCO’s headquarters.                    Louisy.
the firm must be legally and financially                                                                                                            Chinese Embassy and Government
autonomous and operate under the                  WASCO does not bind itself to accept             Agreements on economic and                       officials said the visit served to further
commercial law of the eligible country.           the lowest or any other bid and will not         technical cooperation between the two            enhance the existing strong bilateral
                                                  defray any costs incurred by bidders.            countries were signed on January 15.             relations.
4        Saint Lucia     NATIONWIDE                                                                                                                              Saturday January 18th 2003




                              WITH RESP
REPORTING an essential ingredient of
The people’s right to know is
As St. Lucians prepared for end-of-year              through positive reporting; that they want       What the Government has always insisted          be as wide as possible to support nationa
celebrations in December 2002, the One               to see the promotion of more cohesive            on, and will continue to insist from the         development, especially in the less develope
Caribbean newspaper announced it                     societies, instead of the current divisions      media, is that they responsibly exercise         parts in the island; and that the media mus
was shifting emphasis to highlighting                stoked by partisan reporting.                    the freedom they enjoy under the                 respect the law like everybody else.
the positive side of events and issues it                                                             Constitution. Also, Government strongly
covered. Then, in a remarkably frank                 It’s quite a mouthful, which adds a new          believes there must be some form of media             Government-Media Relations
explanation, the controversial tabloid               dimension to the never-ending debate on          accountability, without state intervention,
provided the reason for what it                      the role of the media in a developing country    especially in cases where persons have           It’s a straightforward, uncompromising stanc
describes as a “complete turnaround                  such as St. Lucia. More importantly,             legitimate grievances against the media.         which has occasionally caused some friction i
in policy”.                                          however, the questions provide a timely                                                           the Government’s relationship with the media
                                                     opportunity for the media to take a serious      There have been numerous cases of media          Whenever Government has had cause t
It said Caribbean people, with whom                  look at themselves, in view of a significant     irresponsibility in St. Lucia in recent times.   complain, the media’s usual reaction is to charg
its publisher had come into contact                  criticism coming their most important            Take, for example, an erroneous newspaper        that an attempt is on to muzzle the press. Suc
during recent travel around the region,              ‘public’ – their customers – that they are       report last September suggesting that the        accusations, which sometimes serve to dive
were demanding this type of reporting.               overwhelmingly negative.                         administrator of the Victoria hospital was       public attention from the real issue, stem from
One Caribbean, therefore, was                                                                         being paid at a particular level, not on the     an erroneous view held by the media that the
answering the call.                                   Environment for Press Freedom                   basis of his qualifications, but because he      somehow enjoy absolute freedom when, in fac

“…We constantly meet with persons                    The incumbent administration, may not have
who expressed the belief that                        always agreed with the media’s approach
newspapers around the region are too                 on some issues in the last five years.
‘die-hard’ and identify too closely with             Indeed, it has had reason on more than one
government or opposition and were too                occasion to chide the media for
critical of the side they opposed,” said             unprofessionalism.
the explanation. “These people felt that
our biggest need as far as the media is              Yet no one can seriously question this
concerned, is for a medium which                     Government’s commitment to enhancing
brought good positive news to the                    the environment for press freedom and
people.”                                             facilitating the development of a more
                                                     professional media corps through various
Coming from a newspaper, which confesses             training initiatives for journalists and other
it previously, considered its job was “to find       media personnel. The latest training
fault and criticize”, it’s an explicitly revealing   workshops, sponsored by the Department
statement, which implicitly challenges               of Information Services in conjunction with
several fundamental assumptions, held by             UNESCO, were held last November.
the local media.
                                                     “No one can doubt that the press, the mass
           Positive Reporting                        media, the field of broadcasting, have a very
                                                     important place in contemporary society,”
Tacitly through the One Caribbean                    said Dr. Anthony, the minister for information
explanation, newspaper readers, radio                and broadcasting, at the official opening of
listeners and television viewers are saying          the new HTS headquarters on March 8,
several things.                                      1998.

That they aren’t as interested in a constant         “The press, both print and electronic, are                               Three of the local weekly newspapers with the largest circulation - sou
diet of sensationalism and scandal as                the guardians of the public’s right to           was supposedly related to the Prime              their freedom is limited by law, as is the cas
some journalists seem to believe; that they          information,” he added. “The people’s right      Minister. The allegation was untrue and the      with every body else.
wish the media to play a more                        to know is an essential ingredient of a free     newspaper had to apologize to the Prime
                                                                                                                                                       Notwithstanding these claims, the latest annua
developmental role by inspiring confidence           and democratic society.”                         Minister.
                                                                                                                                                       human rights report produced by the Unite
                                                                                                                                                       States, has given St. Lucia top marks fo
                                                                                                      Then, there was a case last month where
                                                                                                                                                       respecting press freedom and other forms of fre
                                                                                                      a talk show host blatantly misrepresented
                                                                                                                                                       expression. This worldwide report is well know
                                                                                                      the contents of a Government letter,
                                                                                                                                                       for exposing abuses of press freedom and othe
                                                                                                      explaining new operating requirements for
                                                                                                                                                       human rights around the world.
                                                                                                      broadcast companies designed to ensure
                                                                                                      proper management of the local media
                                                                                                                                                                 Human Rights Report
                                                                                                      landscape. Government had to set the
                                                                                                      record straight and show up the                  “The Constitution provides for freedom of speec
                                                                                                      misrepresentation for what it was.               and of the press, and the Government generall
                                                                                                                                                       respects these rights in practice,” the 200
                                                                                                               Extensive Coverage                      edition of the report observed.

                                                                                                      Government is saying, in a nutshell, that        It went on: “There are four major privately owne
                                                                                                      the media have a responsibility to ensure        newspapers, two privately owned radio stations
                                                                                                      that the information they put out is always      one partially government-funded radio station, on
                                                                                                      accurate; that their reporting should be fair,   government-operated television station …., an
                                                                                                      balanced and unbiased by telling all sides       two private television stations. These media carr
                                                                                                      of the story so that readers, listeners and      a spectrum of political opinion and often ar
                                                                                                      viewers can make up their minds                  critical of the Government.”
                                                                                                      independently; that opinion should never
                                                                                                      be presented to the public as fact, as           What may surprise many St. Lucians is that fiv
                Government has continued to provide training opportunities                                                                             years ago, Government considered the fu
                                                                                                      happens fairly often; that coverage should
                    for the improvement of media practice in St. Lucia
       Saturday January 18th 2003                                                                                                                    Saint Lucia   NATIONWIDE             5



 ONSIBILITY
PONSIBILITY
 free and democratic society
                                                                                                         RELIEF FOR BUSINESS
                                                                                                        Government is giving additional support to help certain St. Lucian
                                                                                                        companies to adjust to a challenging new business environment, being
                                                                                                        shaped increasingly by the forces of globalisation. .
   rivatization of state-owned Radio St. Lucia “an       similar mission and provides a distinct St.
   ttractive prospect”. In other words, Government       Lucian alternative to the largely US           Through an amendment to the Income Tax Act, a company, which is a
  was leaning towards getting out of the media and       programming which dominates local              subsidiary of a group, can now claim any losses against the profits of
   llowing an entirely private sector-run industry.      television.                                    another company belonging to the same group.
   t was a time when the Government felt that the        Eastern Caribbean Press Council
                                                                                                        “This bill is very timely because Government accepts and recognizes that
   rivately-owned media was capable of providing
                                                         There was a major triumph for Government       there are a number of companies which are experiencing difficulties of
    quality of broadcasting which would meet the
   eeds of all the people of St. Lucia, particularly     late last year in its campaign for media       one kind or another,” said Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, as he
  he rural folk,” said Prime Minister Anthony at a       accountability. The regional media,            piloted the Income Tax Amendment No. 2 Bill at the final sitting of the
  Radio St. Lucia visioning workshop last July.          including St. Lucia’s, agreed at a meeting     House of Assembly for 2002.
                                                         in Barbados to set up an independent, self-
  Regrettably, the private media did not live up to      regulatory mechanism in a bid to raise the     “I refer specifically to those companies which operate not only on the basis
  hese expectations and Government rethought             level of professionalism in response to the    of a single company but on the basis of a group, meaning that there are
   s position. The administration sees a continuing,     criticism about declining standards.           several companies. In other words, you may have a situation where you
  mportant role for a state-owned RSL, especially
                                                                                                        have a parent company with several subsidiaries…,” he added.
  where meeting the need for community-type;

                                                                                                        An objective of the tax measure is to encourage companies to restructure
                                                                                                        to cope with challenges and position themselves to take advantage of
                                                                                                        opportunities in the present operating environment.

                                                                                                        “(This legislation) is signaling to the business sector that … it would be
                                                                                                        wise for many of them to begin to examine the possibilities of rationalizing
                                                                                                        their own operations internally,” said Dr. Anthony, who is also Minister for
                                                                                                        Finance and Economic Affairs

                                                                                                        He added: “The Government intends to go one step further very shortly. It
                                                                                                        proposes to amend the existing stamp duty legislation to provide relief to
                                                                                                        companies, which, as a result of such restructuring, incur costs.

                                                                                                        “We recognize that this is a challenging period and we would want to
                                                                                                        assist as much as possible,” Dr. Anthony said.

                                                                                                        Companies registered under the International Business Companies Act
                                                                                                        do not qualify for the new tax benefit. “Those companies operate under
                                                                                                        a totally different regime,” the PM pointed out.


                                                                                                                 COMMON RULE
   public opinion formation                               Information Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony                 FOR ACCOUNTANTS
   ublic service broadcasting which can have a           The Eastern Caribbean Press Council is to      As St. Lucia becomes more integrated into a single economic space under
  avourable impact on national development.              scheduled to be launched here in Castries      the banner of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS),
   “I am convinced now more than ever that               on January 25. At the meeting of               chartered accountants on the island will soon be operating under the same
  Government must continue to maintain an interest       newspaper editors where the issue was
                                                                                                        rules and regulations as counterparts in other OECS countries.
  n local broadcasting,” said Dr. Anthony at the         discussed, the Barbados Nation publisher,
  RSL workshop.                                          Harold Hoyte, said: “Self-regulation has the
                                                         potential to strengthen the public service     At its final sitting for 2002 on December 17, the House of Assembly passed
    e then explained why: “Firstly, we need to
                                                         component of publishing, expand civic          into law the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Eastern Caribbean
  maintain a public broadcasting system which will
                                                         media sensitivity, tackle media                Agreement bill, fulfilling St. Lucia’s obligations as a member country of the
   ive extensive prominence to national issues
  without commercially influenced editorial              irresponsibility and identify maverick         Monetary Authority of the Eastern Caribbean.
   ecisions.                                             publications and drive governments away
                                                         from the distasteful trend of media law.”      The law is to be adopted in the other member countries.
  Secondly, our country needs a radio station
  which is sensitive to the information needs and        A draft code of ethics has also been drawn     “The Monetary Authority decided that it is necessary as part of the process
  anguage abilities of all St. Lucians. Thirdly, we      up for the broadcast media.
                                                                                                        of putting in place adequate financial arrangements into the community, to
   eed an institution which will assist in the                                                          enact a single act to govern the work of chartered accountants throughout
   ontinued expansion of our democracy and our           Recent events at least present a glimmer
                                                         of hope of positive change. Whether they       the Eastern Caribbean,” Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony explained as
   vic awareness and responsibilities. Fourthly, we
                                                         are the birth pangs of a more professional,    he introduced the bill.
   eed a national radio station to serve as an
  ncubator for national institutions like the Cultural   responsible media is left to be seen. Only
   evelopment Foundation charged with the                time will tell.                                He added: “As we begin to move even more into an integrated market, a
  mandate to develop the culture industry.”                                                             single financial space, it is really very vital that we begin to create entities,
                                                                                                        organizations, organs that all of us can identify with, with ease.”
  ust over a year ago, Government set up the              www.stlucia.gov.lc                            “It is with accountants today. I hope that in the near future, that it will also be
   ational Television Network (NTN) which is               The Official Website                         with other professional bodies,” he said.
  eaping tremendous success as it pursues a
6       Saint Lucia    NATIONWIDE                                                                                                                        Saturday January 18th 2003



    IMPROVEMENT TO THE MAJOR on major roads
                   US$16 million to be spent
Phase 1 of the Castries-Gros Islet
                                             ROADS
Highway Improvement project and
Phase 3 of the Road Development                                                              in the next two years.
Programme (RDP3) – are scheduled to                                                          Thanks to RDP3, the long-standing pleas          building up its in-house capacity to
come on stream as Government steps                                                           of the community of Trois Piton for a better     undertake more road repairs and provide a
up its effort to improve the national                                                        road will be answered.                           more ready response to the needs of some
road network.                                                                                                                                 communities.
                                                                                             Parliamentary Representative, Menissa
Regrettably, progress always carries a                                                       Rambally, is happy for the residents. “I am      The ministry has on order an additional
price. And, in the short term during                                                         very happy that the residents of Trois Piton     grader, a potholing unit, and other pieces
construction on the various projects,                                                        will get some relief in the new year,” she       of equipment. In addition, the Dennery
road users can expect some                                                                   said.                                            workshop is to be refurbished.
inconvenience. Government is
appealing for the understanding and                                                          14 kilometers of secondary roads                 Finisterre endorsed the self-help approach,
cooperation of the general public and                                                                                                         which some communities are adopting to
is promising to do everything possible                                                       RDP3, being financed by the Caribbean            improve their roads. He pledged the
to minimize the discomfort.                                                                  Development Bank (CDB), involves the             Ministry’s support.
                                                                                             rehabilitation of 14 kilometers of secondary
An outline of road works to be undertaken                                                    roads over an 18-month period. Besides                    Community Self-Help
in 2003, was provided on December 17 at                                                      Trois Piton, other communities which will
the final sitting of the House of Assembly                                                   benefit are Grand Riviere, Monier, Pais          “Micoud North, in fact, was the first
for 2002, in presentations by Prime Minister,                                                Bouche, La Croix, Rich Fond, Grand               constituency to implement its community,
Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, and Minister for                                                       Ravine, Derniere Riviere and La Resource.        self-help project,” the minister revealed.
Communications, Works, Transport and                                                                                                          “That is the kind of approach that we have
Public Utilities, Felix Finisterre.                                                          Other phases of the road project will involve    also tried to implement with respect to the
                                                  Hon. Felix Finnisterre, Minister of        the complete resurfacing of the                  farmer-assisted road programme.”
Phase 1 of the much-anticipated Castries-       Communications, Works, Transport and         Desruisseaux Road, from the highway way
Gros Islet highway improvement focuses                     Public Utilities.                 up to the rainforest, and this will be done      He added: “A number of farming
on the stretch of road from the Choc            The Kuwait Fund is providing some US$8.75    towards 2004-2005.                               communities have each had at least one
junction to the Vigie Roundabout                million towards the project and is seeking                                                    such road done. The approach essentially
connecting to the John Compton Highway.         an additional US$2 million from the OPEC     Dr. Anthony praised the CDB for relieving        is that our ministry would supply the
It involves, among other things, the            Fund. Government is providing the            St. Lucia of the original requirement of         technical assistance, rent the equipment
construction of flyovers to ease the            remainder of the financing for the US$16     having to come up with counterpart               and supply the material. The farmers, once
recurring problem of heavy traffic congestion   million project.                             financing for RDP3, which is benefiting from     they were mobilized, would come in and
at peak time.                                                                                a US$2.8 million loan. CDB relaxed this          get those roads done.”
                                                Meanwhile, the contract for RDP3 – part      condition in light of the economic challenges
To minimize inconvenience for the traveling     of a five-year project involving the         facing Eastern Caribbean countries, which        The additional road projects are coming on
public, Government is improving side roads      improvement of 117 kilometers of primary     have suffered a decline in revenue as a result   stream as the Soufriere to Vieux Fort
in the north – for example, the Corinth Road    and secondary road island-wide — is          of the global recession.                         highway improvement, expected to
– as an alternative means of access to the      expected to be awarded sometime soon.                                                         revolutionize travel in the south, is making
City. Motorists are being encouraged to use     At year-end, tenders for the project were    Communications and Works Minister, Felix         good progress.
these roads wherever possible.                  being evaluated.                             Finisterre, revealed that the Ministry is



    IMF UPBEAT FORECAST                                                                                                                       ECPC                 L A UNCH
                                                                                                                                                                   LA
                                                                                             September 2001 terrorist attack on the
                                                                                             United States,” the PM warned.
                                                                                                                                              St. Lucia will be the venue next weekend for
                                                                                                                                              the official launching of the Eastern Caribbean
       The International Monetary                                                            He added: “There will be a reduction in travel   Press Council (ECPC), a recently formed
Fund (IMF), the global financial agency         far better than we otherwise would,” the
                                                                                             by US citizens and citizens of allied            regional organization established by
which assesses the economic                     PM told the nation in his New Year’s
                                                                                             countries, there will be continued fear of       publishers, editors and journalists from
performance of its member countries             address on January 7.
                                                                                             retaliation from pro-Islam quarters, the         across the OECS and Barbados.
around the world, is upbeat about the                                                        economies of the major production centres                   Established last year in Barbados
2003 prospects of St. Lucia’s economy.          Dr. Anthony warned, however, that despite                                                     following meetings between editors from
                                                                                             already in deep recession may suffer
                                                the efforts being made by Government to                                                       participating states, including St. Lucia, the
                                                                                             setbacks as a result of a war, and most
An IMF delegation was on island late            stimulate economic activity to create the                                                     ECMC will provide, among other things, a
                                                                                             critically, there will be an increase in the
                                                conditions for increased growth, there are                                                    forum to address media standards and
last year conducting what is called an                                                       price of fuel, with its attendant                complaints involving media in the territories
Article IV Consultation. This is a routine      certain factors which could impact on the
                                                                                             consequences.”                                   that have subscribed to its objectives.
exercise in which the Washington-               island’s economic performance that are
                                                                                                                                                         Chairman of the Steering Committee
based organization makes a periodic             entirely out of St Lucia’s control.
                                                                                             “So while we look forward to a year of           for the ECMC is noted Barbadian journalist
visit to take a close-up look at the                                                         improved economic performance, we must           Harold Hoyte, who is President and Editor in
economic policies of member countries           He referred, as an example, to the real                                                       Chief of the well-respected Nation newspaper.
                                                                                             all pray that a war is not unleashed against
and express an opinion to the relevant          threat of a US-led war on Iraq.                                                                          The opening ceremony for the
                                                                                             Iraq, as the consequences of such war will
authorities. St Lucia is an IMF member          “If such a war is unleashed, we will be                                                       launching is slated for the Bay Gardens Hotel
                                                                                             be a tremendous blow to the economic
country.                                        immediately faced with a repeat of many                                                       on January 25 and the feature address will
                                                                                             recovery of St Lucia and the Caribbean
                                                of the difficulties which followed the                                                        be delivered by Prime Minister Dr Kenny D.
                                                                                             region as a whole.”                              Anthony, who is also the island’s Minister of
Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, who                                                                                                      Information. Also slated to address the
is also the Minister for Finance and                                                                                                          ceremony are local attorney Michael Gordon,
Economic Affairs, says the IMF’s forecast                                                                                                     QC and Editor of the Grenadian Voice
that the economy “will enjoy a positive                                                                                                       newspaper Mr Leslie Pierre.
growth rate over the 2002 figure” is                                                                                                                     Members of the local steering
“encouraging”.                                                                                                                                committee for the ECMC include Mr Gordon,
                                                                                                                                              Mirror Editor Mr Guy Ellis and Star Publisher
                                                                                                                                              Mr Rick Wayne.
“. It proves the point that we have often
                                                                                                                                                         Some 40 journalists and media
made – that despite the rigours of the                                                                                                        executives from eight Eastern Caribbean
challenges that we face, the management                                                                                                       territories are expected to attend the opening
decisions of this Government and the                                                                                                          ceremony and the other functions associated
policies pursued have enabled us to fare          External trade and transportation sector provide opportunities for economic growth          with the January 25 launching.
Saturday January 18th 2003                                                                                                              Saint Lucia   NATIONWIDE              7


THE MYTHS AND PREJUDICES about LEPROSITY
The following is the full text of an address                                             designated authority on any disease.        to infect the next vulnerable victim.
delivered by Minister of Health                                                          One of the greatest obstacles we are        For those already affected by leprosy
 Hon. Damian Greaves in observance on                                                    faced with is the fact that many people     and are on treatment, we encourage
Leprosy Month                                                                            who suspect or know that they may           you to continue and remember that the
        The year 2002 marked a                                                           be victims of leprosy, do not seek          battle is soon over. For those who
significant year of mixed changes                                                        medical attention. This is sadly so         have been non-compliant with the
for various sectors of our society.                                                      because of the fear of being ostracized     treatment, we encourage you to return
The health sector experienced its                                                        from a society that conveniently            for treatment. Remember that only
share of opportunity and hardship.                                                       embraces only those diseases that are       treatment can guarantee the
Sad to say, some of our negative                                                         seemingly well understood and are           avoidance of those serious disabilities
experiences included an increase                                                         apparently harmless. When an                like blindness, loss of limbs and
in the number of HIV/AIDS cases                                                          infected individual is not treated, he/     crippled hands or feet.
and the number of individuals                                                            she is capable of transmitting bacteria
presenting high blood pressure,                                                          to    unsuspecting          susceptible     An appeal is going out to the nation to
kidney problems and diabetes, to                                                         individuals.                                embrace those affected by leprosy, to
name a few.                                                                                                                          give them moral support and to respect
                                                                                         Minis santé jafé anpil pou fé asiwé ki      their right as human beings to live as
Although we have so often focused our                                                    poblenm lad anba kondwit, épi pou sa,       every other member of society. We
attention on these diseases, we must                      Minister of Health             nou ka wimésyé toute twavayé santé.         implore you to show support by
                                                        Hon. Damian Greaves.             mwen ka wimésyé             osi, tout       participating in different activities
not forget that our nation is still affected
by one of the oldest, yet curable              The Ministry of Health of Saint Lucia     ogannizasyon entennasyonal kon              designated throughout the month of
diseases to date. This disease is              has been active in sustaining the         paho, carec, ek fon Hollandé kont           January, to mark leprosy awareness
none other than Hansen’s disease or            Leprosy Control Programme. There          maladi lad, ki ka asisté nou wann pou       month. We further urge you not to rely
leprosy, which has its own history as          has been a visible sustained effort       twétman lad, san mandé piblik-la pou        on misinformation.
far back as 600 B.C in China and India.        throughout the different community        péyé pou sévis sala.
                                               health centres and public hospitals                                                   Call the Ministry of Health, your
     Maladi sala épi nou toujou                towards leprosy elimination. For this     La ni an bagay ki ka anbété mwen            community nurse or doctor, to find out
                                               I wish to thank our various health        anpil: zafé moun ki pa vlé vini chaché      more about leprosy.
Lanné pase, nou pousé douvan anpil             centre attendants, community nurses       twétman lad pis yo pé sosyété-a
an zafé santé sent lisi, magwé adan            and health aides. In particular, I wish   widitjilé yo. moun poko kopwann ki nou      Mwen ka mandé tout moun pou sipóté
divés mannyé, bagay pa maché                   to thank Dr. Granderson-Didier for her    sa tweété maladi lad.                       moun anpami nou ki afékté épi maladi
mannyé i té siposzé. nou wé pa                 tireless effort in sustaining the         There are some of us in this society        lad. annou wespékté yo épi si ou vlé
ékzanmp, pli moun afékté épi maladi            programme and now Dr. Joseph who          who think that we have an innate            pli enfómasyon asou maladi lad, eben
kon hiv/aids, pressure, pisadou, épi           has continued in the same vein.           immunity against leprosy and even the       mannyé pou viv épi moun ki ni maladi
poblem nwa. jik an jou kon jodi, an                                                      idea of possibly being at risk of           sala, telefóné minis santé, ében kwiyé
maladi ki té ka afékté nou dépi tan jézi       The country has also received             contracting leprosy is perceived as a       népot nós ében dókté.
kwi, an maladi nou sa djéwi, maladi            substantial technical and financial       huge insult.
sala épi nou toujou. sa sé maladi lad.         assistance from the Netherlands
                                                                                         Due to our negative attitudes, we shun      Thank you for listening, good day and
                                                                                         medical attention when affected and         may God bless you.
   “One of the greatest obstacles we are faced with is                                   are become time bombs just waiting
   the fact that many people who suspect or know
   that they may be victims of leprosy, do not seek
   medical attention. This is sadly so because of
   the fear of being ostracized from a society that
   conveniently embraces only those diseases that
   are seemingly well understood and are apparently
   harmless.”

Unfortunately, leprosy is still prevalent      Leprosy Relief Fund, PAHO and
in Saint Lucia. To date, eighteen (18)         CAREC towards the fight against
more cases have been discovered,               leprosy. Leprosy services and
adding to the already existing cases.          treatment are easily accessible and
This disease has affected a wide               free to everyone, thanks to their
cross-section of our society and it            assistance and that of the Ministry of
dispels the myth that leprosy only             Health.
affects certain social classes, ages,
or geographical locations.                     We are proud of the achievements
                                               made towards leprosy control.
In 1976, the World Health Organization         However, the Ministry of Health cannot
(WHO) estimated that there was a               work in isolation against leprosy
worldwide prevalence of 10.6 million           control. The nation must be proactive
cases of leprosy. By 1995, that                in dispelling the myths and prejudices
number decreased to approximately              against leprosy. One can only better
500,000 cases. This is a healthy               understand a disease when one seeks        Following the successful opening of the Bordelais Correctional Facility, government
indicator that the fight against               correct information from the                officials are looking towards the completion of other major infrastructural projects
elimination of leprosy is effective.                                                                      including the southern police headquarters in Vieux-Fort.
8        Saint Lucia    NATIONWIDE                                                                                                           Saturday January 18th 2003

                                                                                                                                 THE BORDELAIS
    READY TO SERVE COUNTRY                                                                                                            AMILY”
                                                                                                                                     FAMIL
                                                                                                                                   “ FAMILY”
                                                                                                                                PREPARES FOR NEW TASKS
                                                                                                                                They are among the finest St Lucia
                                                                                                                                has to offer, having passed with flying
                                                                                                                                colours the rigorous recruitment
                                                                                                                                criteria and intensive training
                                                                                                                                required by Government for persons
                                                                                                                                seeking employment at the new
                                                                                                                                Bordelais Correctional Facility.

                                                                                                                                Over 300 persons who had applied for
                                                                                                                                appointment as correctional officers
                                                                                                                                didn’t make it. They came up short in
                                                                                                                                various ways.

                                                                                                                                On Wednesday, at the official opening
                                                                                                                                ceremony for Bordelais, the 78 new
                                                                                                                                correctional officers demonstrated
                                                                                                                                their military-like discipline, plus their
                                                                                                                                readiness and determination to get
                                                                                                                                on with the challenging job of
                                                                                                                                rehabilitating the nation’s offenders
                                                                                                                                and making them fine citizens.

                                                                                                                                Describing the officers as “my family”,
                                                                                                                                Director of Corrections, Hilary
                                                                                                                                Herman, says they’re well trained
                                                                                                                                motivated and will aim in everything
                                                                                                                                they do to get it right the first time.

                                                                                                                                “We’ll make sure our inmates stay
                                                                                                                                inside,” Herman promised.


    YEAR
      OF THE
    CHILD
         Government is designating 2003 as
the Year of the Child. It’s a move to mobilise
the nation into taking decisive action to
improve the lot of children.

 It is expected that Governor-General, Dame
Pearlette Louisy, will make the official
designation during her Throne Speech to
mark the official start of a new session of
Parliament for 2003. Amid heightened
concern about a worrying level of child abuse
in the society, Government also intends
during the year to get Parliament to enact a
number of measures aimed at improving
and protecting the rights of children.

The initiative, announced by Prime Minister
Dr. Kenny D. Anthony in his New Year’s
address, will ensure that children’s issues
are kept at the forefront of the national agenda
through a yearlong programme of activities
and sees a major role for the private sector in
                                                   A BRIDGE IN GOOD SHAPE
                                                   The Caico bridge, damaged a few years ago by Tropical Storm Debby, is in good shape again. Much-needed rehabili-
helping to improve the quality of life for the     tation work was carried out last year by contractor, C.O. Williams Construction, under the OECS Emergency Recovery
nation’s children.
                                                   and Disaster Management project, financed by the World Bank and the Government of St. Lucia. The cost of the
“As I drive around St Lucia, I am immediately
                                                   project was $578,427. An almost identical amount — $586,451 –was also spent to rehabilitate the Marc-Floissac
struck by the absence of parks and other           bridge, in Bexon, that was similarly in bad shape. A Nationwide photographer visited the Caico bridge site last month
recreational facilities where our children can     as heavy-duty equipment was clearing the river below as part of the finishing touches on the project. Government has
meet, play and have fun with their peers,          spent millions of dollars in the last five years to improve the island’s physical infrastructure to enhance the general
closely supervised by parents,” he noted.          prospects for economic development and to raise the quality of life for St. Lucians.
                                        Saint Lucia NATIONWIDE is published every fortnight by the Department of Information Services.
          Contact us at: The Department of Information Services, Greaham Louisy Administrative Building, The Waterfront, Castries, St. Lucia, West Indies
                                                Tel: (758) 468 2116; Fax (758) 453 1614; E-mail: gis@candw.lc; http://stlucia.gov.lc

								
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