PRIME Minister Allen Chastanet held his first press conference of the year on Thursday evening, addressing a wide range of issues. During the 90-minute briefing held at GIS Studios and carried live on NTN, Chastanet fielded questions from the media, including many related to the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) and the Desert Star Holdings Ltd. (DSH) project…
IT is now cheaper to acquire St Lucia citizenship by way of investment. This follows changes to the regulations governing the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) just announced by the government. The qualifying contribution for an applicant for St. Lucia citizenship is now US$100,000 or half what it was when the programme was announced at the beginning of last year.
A Saint Lucian couple who left the island for Cuba in October to pursue medical treatment there now find themselves stranded and at their wits end. Valence Emmanuel and Joanna Joseph’s saga began sometime last year after Emmanuel began experiencing a tingling sensation in his toes which eventually made its way up his legs. Soon after that, he became paralyzed.
DESPITE promises by both the former and current government to open the doors to the newly-refurbished main courthouse on Peynier Street in Castries in the quickest time possible, the building remains closed. Since undergoing a lengthy period of refurbishment after the court went into recess in July last year, the courthouse has been a hot discussion topic among members of the legal fraternity who were promised that the building would have been opened for the commencement of the new law year by mid-September last year.
WITH crime being one of the major factors making the headlines this year, much more is being expected of the police than is currently being done to reassure citizens that things can change for the better next year as far as their safety is concerned. Homicides, burglaries, rapes and drug offences are just some of the issues law enforcement have seemingly failed to keep under control, prompting many to suggest that a real paradigm shift needs to be implemented rather than just being promised.
THE House of Assembly met on Tuesday to debate bills and move motions, including seeking permission for government to borrow funds to finance its operations. However, a public protest over the Desert Star Holdings Ltd. (DSH) project overshadowed the day’s proceedings.
THE event known as ‘St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival’ will no longer carry that name, however the primary activities staged under that banner have not been abolished, contrary to reports that may have given the impression this was the case. The misunderstanding lies in a move by government to group all national festivals under one banner which is loosely being called the Summer Music Festival to be managed by a Festival Commission. This Commission is expected to be established hopefully within the first week of next month, according to Donovan Williams, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture.
THE Royal St. Lucia Police Force has unleashed its strategy for combating criminal acts this festive season with a major component focusing on community assistance. Police Commissioner Severin Moncherry is appealing to the public to get involved in the fight against crime by reporting suspicious characters to the police and acts of criminality they have witnessed or are witnessing, whatever the case maybe.
NEW concerns about the impact of the Zika virus in St Lucia were raised yesterday in a statement from the Ministry of Health which announced “heightened surveillance” of pregnant women confirmed with the disease.
The Ministry said presently, it is monitoring 50 pregnant women who have tested positive for the Zika Virus Disease. All of the pregnant women confirmed so far have recovered from the illness. However, given the concerns regarding pregnancy outcomes in Zika positive pregnant women, they are being monitored closely through antenatal care services.
WITH Human Rights Day being observed today, attorney and human rights advocate, Mary Francis, is renewing her call for citizens’ rights to be respected. As such, she is urging the political directorate and citizens to ensure that measures are in place to aid in facilitating that objective. Francis, who also serves as Coordinator of the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights Inc., a non-governmental organization established in 1998 to promote and advance the importance of human rights through education and legal representation, is concerned that people’s rights are not being treated as a priority.
THE National Housing Corporation (NHC) is bankrupt, broke and unable to honour its debts. Chairman Timothy Mangal made the announcement Tuesday at a press conference. He puts the Corporation’s insolvency squarely on the shoulders of the previous administration and the house and land deals it made with foreign companies such as Bau Panel Systems, the Levity Group and other contractors.
ARCADE vendors in Castries are asking on the Castries Constituency Council (CCC) not to introduce the value added tax to their monthly rental fee which is $120. 00 as this would be going against an exemption they say was given to them by the previous government. The Council recently informed vendors that the monthly rental of booths at the arcade would be moved to $138 as a result of a sales tax effective this month. This was the first time vendors were being billed by the Council hence the introduction of the sales tax.
THE Director General of the St. Lucia Red Cross Terrencia Gaillard has expressed concern about the serious lack of education and awareness of the HIV/AIDS that continues to claim thousands of lives across the globe. Gaillard spoke exclusively to The VOICE, expressing her dismay and frustration over the glaring fact that the topic of HIV/AIDS has seemingly become a dormant issue to the respective bodies and institutions charged with disseminating information and educating the masses about it..
THE Castries Constituency Council (CCC) has downplayed claims of tension between itself and the Vendors Association headed by Peter ‘Ras Ipa’ Isaac. At the heart of the matter is a letter from the Association to the Council that Isaac claimed the CCC ignored. This, Isaac asserted, was a snub and showed a level of disrespect.
POLICE officers who have been fingered in a report by a team from the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) investigating fatal shooting incidents six years ago will soon know their fate. The entire police force has been asked to assist in bringing closure to the matter which has been hanging over its head for several months.
SAINT LUCIANS are being urged to support local businesses in an effort to spur employment opportunities and the sustainability of the entrepreneurial spirit. The call was reiterated at yesterday’s opening ceremony of the 9th Annual Saint Lucia-Taiwan Partnership Trade Exhibition being held this weekend at the Johnsons Centre in Rodney Bay.
ST. LUCIA’S appreciation of the English Monarchy will be tested today when, Prince Henry of Wales, familiarly known as Prince Harry touches St. Lucian soil to start a short visit. It is part of a 14 day official engagement in countries of the Caribbean in which the Queen is Sovereign, except Guyana which is a republic but is part pf the Commonwealth of Nations. It is also to mark the occasion of Antigua and Barbuda’s 35th Anniversary of Independence and the 50th for Barbados and Guyana.
AT least eight persons sustained gunshot wounds to various parts of their bodies following two shooting incidents in Dennery and Gros Islet, less than two hours apart over past the weekend, resulting in three of them being hospitalized.
Unemployment Slips To 20 Percent. SAINT LUCIA’S economy came under scrutiny this week during the annual general meeting of the …
‘PULL UP YOUR SOCKS.’ THE Government of Saint Lucia yesterday was reminded that its efforts at improving the country’s ranking …