Thursday, 11 April 2013 14:26
Identical twin sisters, Louise Pierre and Louisa Danzel, from the fishing village of Blanchisseuse celebrated their 100th birthday on Wednesday. The twins also celebrated the birthday of their neighbour Richard Morgan, who will turn 101 on May 25.
All three were honoured by Member of Parliament for Arima, Rodger Samuel, and Minister of State in the Ministry of the People and Social Development and Department of Ageing, Vernella Toppin, in a ceremony which was attended by various Ministry officials, friends and family of the centenarians.
“There is so much to learn from the elderly...they have so much to impart. I want to encourage young people to sit at the feet of our elders and ask them questions. Learn from them because there is an enormity of history that is embedded in them. We cannot afford to allow our nation to be robbed because these people pass away without imparting their knowledge to us. We are living in a time when people are passing away at a tender age, but now we can celebrate and be proud that we have three people who are living long,” said Samuel.
Louise Pierre, who has one son, 80-year-old Hercules Pierre, has eight grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.
When asked how she felt about reaching this milestone she said “I feel very good. I thank God.”
There is no electricity in Pierre’s home, which she shares with a caretaker, but she won’t want it any other way.
Her sister Louisa Danzel, lives about two miles away but was unable to attend. But she was surrounded by her children and grandchildren at home.
Louisa said while she wanted to be a part of the celebrations she couldn’t make it down the hill. She said turning 100 feels good.
“I thank God for making another year. I feel good. I am happy.”
Richard Morgan also thanked God for blessing him to see that age.
Thursday, 11 April 2013 14:24
Head of Communications at Caribbean Airlines, Clint Williams has confirmed reports that the airline will be cutting back on the number of flights to Jamaica.
For several weeks it was rumored that flights to Jamaica would be reduced and on Tuesday during a sitting of Parliament's Standing Finance Committee, Transport Minister Dr. Omar Davies, told the committee that no information was forthcoming from Caribbean Airlines.
However, Williams told Radio Jamaica in an interview on Wednesday that the decision had been made to reduce the flights and this becomes effective April 16.
He stated that it was made based on the travel patterns observed, and as part of the move for the airline to become more efficient.
“You will see that the schedule which comes in effect April 16 reflects a reduction in some flights where we saw that there was excess capacity in the load factors. We are not high now we will consolidate it to one where there will be a higher load factor,” Williams said.
He said some of the scaling back had already started.
“We have reduced frequencies on a number of routes where we see that there was excess capacity, where loads were not as full.”
Caribbean Airlines, which began operations in 2007, acquired Air Jamaica in 2011. The Jamaican Government has a 16 per cent stake in the Trinidadian air carrier.
Meanwhile the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has raised concern about the reduction in flights.
Spokesman on Transport, Karl Samuda, said the decision is contrary to the deal which was reached for the airline to acquire Air Jamaica.
“At the time of the divestment we certainly did it on the basis and had the clear understanding that not only would Caribbean Airlines continue to service, but hopefully in the near future expand the number of flights to Jamaica and from Jamaica. To hear now that they are cutting back, in addition to being disappointing, may well indicate the extent to which the airline is under financial pressure,” Samuda said.
Thursday, 11 April 2013 09:24
Former corporate secretary of CL Financial (CLF) Gita Sakal is being sued by the Central Bank and insurance giant Colonial Life Insurance Company (Trinidad) Ltd (Clico). The suit against Sakal was filed in an amended claim in the Port-of-Spain High Court last Wednesday and seeks to recover millions of dollars.
Sakal now joins her former CL Financial bosses, Lawrence Duprey, Andre Monteil and three companies—CL Financial Ltd, DALCO Capital Management Ltd and Stone Street Capital Ltd—in the claim filed by the Central Bank and Clico. Evidence in the case will not be made public, following an application by both Duprey and Monteil’s attorneys last year, in which the men sought the protection of the courts to have the matter heard in camera.
Judicial sources say when the matter came up for hearing before Justice Mira Dean-Armorer in the Port-of-Spain High Court, legal counsel for both Duprey and Monteil argued that their clients were currently the subjects of an ongoing criminal probe, and should the proceedings of the civil trial be made public, such exposure could possibly prejudice their case. The lawyers asked for the proceedings to be sealed and Dean-Armorer granted the request.
Duprey and Monteil are accused of mismanagement of Clico, and misapplication and misappropriation of the prized insurance giant’s income and assets to the detriment of its policyholders and mutual fund investors. Sakal is being accused of placing her personal interests above Clico and its policyholders, as well as assisting in breaching various procedures, protocols and mismanaging the assets and mutual funds held in Clico.
Last December, Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard, SC, in a media release, said the police had started a criminal investigation into the conduct of individuals and corporate entities involved in the collapse of Clico and related companies. Gaspard warned that the media “should not publish or broadcast anything which might jeopardise, hinder or otherwise prejudice the investigation or any possible proceedings which might result from it.”
He also wrote to Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and Sir Anthony Colman, QC, who is currently overseeing the Commission of Enquiry into Clico and the Hindu Credit Union, over the public hearings, saying if the enquiry went on or continued to be held in the public domain it was likely to delay a prosecution and jeopardise the police investigation.
Both Colman and Ramlogan refused to stop the enquiry or have the proceedings held in camera. Ramlogan also refused to advise the President to vary the enquiry’s terms of reference. Colman said it was ultimately up to the Government to decide whether the enquiry should continue in light of a police probe.
Duprey and Monteil were initially slated to give evidence at the enquiry. However, they subsequently indicated to Colman that following consultations with their legal team, they would not be appearing owing to the criminal probe against them. Sakal has appeared before the enquiry on several occasions and during her testimony admitted to earning a multi-million-dollar salary and bonuses. The Government has so far spent some $20 billion on bailing out Clico.
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 16:24
The three week old strike by Civil Servants has cost the country well over EC$3 million, according to Cabinet Secretary Darryl Montrope.
The Government started to assess the financial cost of the work stoppage, when the strike came to a halt on Tuesday.
According to Montrope , preliminary figures for the Customs Department alone indicate that the Government lost over EC$2 million in revenue at an average of EC$200,000 a day.
The Cabinet Secretary said apart from Customs - the Inland Revenue Department, the Ministry of Commerce and the Registry were the worst affected by absentism during the strike period.
He said with respect to the Inland Revenue Department while government was able to meet the revised fiscal target for the month of March it was clear that more funds would have been collected had the full work force been present.
In addition Montrope said it must be noted that despite the fact that the workers were away from their jobs they were still being paid.
"The fact that the workers were paid even while off the job should also be part of the calculus of the impact of the strike.
We have not arrived at the final value on the impact of the strike because some workers were in and out of work during the three weeks.”
He said the government would also assess the impact of the strike on the business community.
The Cabinet Secretary said while the strike did not have a crippling effect, the government is pleased that Civil Servants have returned to work, adding that it was in no one's interest for there to be industrial unrest especially at this time.
The Civil Service Association and the Government Negotiating Team are expected to resume negotiations before the end of the week, with the Association hoping that a settlement can be reached on new proposals for allowances for Public Servants.
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