Archive for October 1st, 2008

Governor denies conspiracy

Governor denies conspiracy

| 01/10/2008 | 4 Comments

(CNS): In a letter to the presstoday, HE the Governor Stuart Jack has said there is no conspiracy, grand scheme or ulterior motive on the part of the UK Government or the police in the UK to harm the interests of Cayman or to influence constitutional talks. “Any suggestion to the contrary is preposterous,” the Governor wrote.

In an unsual move for a sitting governor, Jack has written directly to a local newspaper in response to what he called misconceptions about the ongoing police investigations. Over the last few weeks, aside from the editorial in the Caymanian Compass, there have been numerous letters to all the media houses as well as calls to the radio talk shows raising serious concerns that the investigation is a deliberate attempt to undermine the country.

In a Viewpoint posted today on CNS, a group calling themselves Cayman’s Future Hope states, "Taking all the recent scandals into careful consideration, one can conclude that the UK is beginning to pull out of Cayman." Earlier this week, a commentary by Theresa Lewis Pitcairn echoed what many have been saying: "…if I did not know better I could be led to believe, based on the recent distasteful sequence of events, that there is a deliberate attempt by someone to destabilize our country."

Minister Alden McLaughlin also raised his concerns about the real motivation of the investigation, as reported on CNS yesterday, when he said the investigation amounted to an invasion by foreign police and seemed to be a gross over-reaction to the issues. “What’s at stake here is the international credibility of the Cayman Islands,” said McLaughlin, who added that the timing of the arrest of Justice Alex Henderson as constitutional talks were about to begin was too much of a coincidence.

However, in his letter the Governor insists it is just that. “The coincidence of several serious matters in recent weeks and months is very unfortunate and I am concerned about the cumulative impression this may give to our own community and to people in the wider world. This has literally caused me sleepless nights,” he said.

Once again the Governor asked for people to be patient and not to believe what he described as all the unfounded conspiracy theories, and not to be quick to condemn those under investigation or criticise those who are doing their best to investigate allegations and establish the truth.

“I am sure that the investigation team will share as much as it properly can, and as soon as it can, with the Government, with stakeholder groups and with the public as well as with me. I will do my best to ensure that happens,” he wrote.

The Governor noted that to reveal details prematurely could prejudice the investigations or any legal or disciplinary proceedings. He said it would be unfair to those under investigation who have not yet been found guilty of anything.

However, many people believe that the scant information has already led to Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan being tried and found guilty by the public at large. Comments from some government ministers have also made it clear that Kernohan will no longer be welcome in Cayman if and when the investigation concludes. Many members of the local offshore community have raised their concern that the secrecy is the main problem and that the serious lack of information is fuelling ever more speculative assumptions and conspiracy theories.


Continue Reading

Cubans assisted after landing at Spotts Newlands

Cubans assisted after landing at Spotts Newlands

| 01/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A group of what appeared to be nine Cuban men landed in Grand Cayman yesterday afternoon and then elected to continue their journey. Unconfirmed reports by eye witnesses suggest they were given some minor supplies including food, water and fuel by local people despite the current policy which is not to offer any assistance to Cuban refugees but to allow them to pass unaided.

The immigration Department is yet to officially confirm the arrival of the boat at Spotts Beach and its departure or make comment on what happened when the Cubans arrived.  Not a common landing place for Cubans who normally find themselves near the Brac, their arrival in Grand Cayman reportedly drew a number of onlookers.

According to the current policy of the Cayman Islands government, if the Cubans cannot continue their journey without assistance they aredetained and then deported back to Cuban, despite the fact that each and every one has the right when landing here to apply for political asylum, as stated in the United Nations Refugee Convention. The migrants are rarely if ever advised of this by local officials and when they do they are not provided with legal council or advice from an independent source. Generally Cubans are told they can land and be repatriated or they can continue on with no assistance.

There has always been a considerable amount of sympathy among the local community for the plight of these refugees. Regardless of the policy and the threat of being arrested, many Caymanian residents and visitors still provided assistance to them.


Continue Reading

Coaches win Governor’s Cup

Coaches win Governor’s Cup

| 01/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A team comprised of coaches from the Cayman Islands Sailing Club (CISC) won this year Governor’s Cup sailing regatta. The annual two-day event, held on 20 and 21 September at the Sailing Club, is raced in J/22 sailboats. The Cup was originally presented to CISC by Governor Alan Scott for an annual J/22 regatta and the first regatta was held in 1991. It has been raced every year since then. This year there was a large entry with a total of 10 boats. Three races were sailed on Saturday in light and shifty winds.

After the first day, CISC Sailing Director Mike Weber and his crew of CISC coaches, Alex Lovelock and Stephan Skovgaard, finished with first places in two races and a fourth place in the other race to sit in first place overall.

Sunday saw similar conditions with slightly stronger wind. There were four very close races with each race being won by a different team. The coaches managed to hold on to first place, beating second place Donald McLean by one point and only two points ahead of third place finisher, Mike Farrington.

Weber said, “The shifty wind made for a very tactical regatta. You really had to keep your head out of the boat and play the shifts exactly right or else you quickly fell behind.” He continued, “Despite some boat-speed issues and gear failure, we sailed a smart regatta and are very happy with our performance.”

Farrington the Cayman Islands J/22 representative said, “I was really happy with the turnout for this event. The racing was extremely close and exciting for all the sailors and bodes well for the development of the fleet over the next few years.”

Two second-hand J/22s have just been imported from Long Island, New York bringing the total number of J/22s in Cayman to a record 15.

The combined total weight for individual crews for this regatta cannot exceed 605 pounds. This usually means that only three people can race each J/22. Farrington said, “This often means that there are a lot of worried people at the weighing in at the start of the regatta!”

The races were run by CISC Race Officer, Peta Adams. The next major regatta is the Scotiabank Youth National Sailing Championship on 1 and 2 November 2008.

For more information please contact Charles Grover, Communications Officer at the Cayman Islands Sailing Club, Tel: 946 3200, Cell: 9260099, Email:, Web:

Governors Cup 20th and 21st September – Official Results

Position Skipper Points
1st Mike Weber 15
2nd Donald McLean 16
3rd Mike Farrington 17
4th Mark MacFee 20
5th Stuart Jennings 29
6th Jane Moon 30
7th Bruce Johnson 33
8th Charlie Grover 37
9th Joel Bushfield 53
10th Suzanne St Thomas 59

Continue Reading

New licensing unit for security companies

New licensing unit for security companies

| 01/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A law designed to regulate the security industry in order to ensure the highest standard of service is delivered came into effect on Monday, 1 September. Under the Private Security Services Law (2007), companies and security guards are required to be licensed with a regulatory body.

This measure has been put in place not only to protect the companies and the public but also to enable the regulatory body to ensure that the rights and employment conditions of guards are being complied with, according to police.

In response to the new regulations, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) has created a Security and Firearms Department, headed by Chief Inspector Malcolm Kay, to function as this regulatory body. The department is currently finalising the processes and procedures for regulating the new law.

Licenses will be provided to security companies who are compliant with all laws such as the National Pensions Law, the Health Insurance Law, the Labour Law and the Immigration Law. To date, the majority of recognised security companies in the Cayman Islands have been working with the police to comply with all necessary terms and conditions in order to be a licensed company.

Any person or persons who have not yet been in contact with this department and provide any form of security service should contact Kay immediately in order to avoid being in breach of this Law. Chief Inspector Kay can be contacted on

Continue Reading

“The Tao” of Randy Chollette

“The Tao” of Randy Chollette

| 01/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The latest work of Caymanian artist Randy Chollette will be shown in a private viewing for National Gallery members and the artist’s collectors. The exhibition, entitled “The Tao”, is sponsored by Arch Automotive, Audi’s representative in Cayman, and the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands.

“Be it artistic or technical, excellence comes from a single source: creative passion,” commented General Manager Arch Automotive, Michelle Arch in a release from the Gallery. She said, “This is why Audi is pleased to be a cultural sponsor and continue to grow our partnership with the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands in hosting this very special Randy Chollette exhibit”.

Chollette’s work is a combination of realism and abstract art with subject matters ranging from landscape to cultural artefacts to political statements. The artist is uncompromising and outspoken when it comes to expressing his opinions about our islands and preserving its culture.

Also evident is his love for Cayman’s natural surroundings, honour for his African heritage and observance of brotherhood and humanity. Those convictions are evident throughout his work and can be seen in the piece entitled “Immaculate Conception” in which he touches on the birth of the universe and correlates this to the birth of humankind’s spirituality.

Director of the Gallery, Nancy Barnard, commented, “I am really happy that Arch Automotive has joined us in creating a new atmosphere to display artwork on a whole. They are the only automobile company who partners with us as we have worked with them before. The management and staff are truly supportive of the development of the visual arts in our islands.”

The private members opening and viewing will commence on Friday, 3 October, beginning at 5:00pm at the Arch Automotive show room on North Sound Road. The works will be on display to the public through Wednesday, 17 October.

For more information on the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands call 945-8111 or e-mail

Continue Reading

The pullout has begun

The pullout has begun

| 01/10/2008 | 12 Comments

Over the past year we as a nation have wasted great energy debating the controversies of our day including independence, good governance, reserve powers and conspiracy theories.

In the meantime, the cloud which was once the size of a man’s fist has now transformed into a category 5 storm, battering our reputation and seriously jeopardizing our future prosperity.

History provides many lessons that we should never ignore or be misguided enough to believe we can somehow avoid. One of those lessons is that whenever a colonial power is about to depart a colony, they usually uproot all systems of value to the colony whether they be economic, social, political, educational, spiritual or cultural, leaving behind a legacy of chaos and confusion which eventually leads to pervasive instability and poverty.

So, while we debate what is happening, ‘it’ is happening. Taking all the recent scandals into careful consideration, one can conclude that the UK is beginning to pull out of Cayman.

The final act of our colonial master’s reign here is being played out in almost the identical manner that left India, large parts of Africa and many of our Caribbean neighbors reeling, as evidenced by many of the challenges they still face today.

For while we are not rich in natural resources such as gold, diamonds, oil, cotton, sugar, bananas or grain like many of those former colonies, we still have a vibrant Financial Services industry which our direct competitor the UK would love to eliminate.

And as if they were handed a script from our colonial masters, our politicians on both sides of the house and on the airwaves are blindly playing the role of substitute masters lining up for whatever scraps of power that will be left behind when the pull-out has ended. We, the people should demand that they elevate the national conversation from the politics of personality and defend our nation from the ongoing assault on our reputation and our stability. It is time for them to show visionary leadership and act now to prepare our people and our nation for greater autonomy and eventual independence.

The days of hiding behind our ‘mother country’s’ frock-tail will soon be over for we have become worse than a contingent liability; we are a real competitor.

To all who love Cayman, let us no longer be shackled by fear or the inferiority complex which our colonial masters have used against us for generations to trust them blindly and mistrust one another. This old slavery days’ trick is being used on us now to great affect.

Now is the time to ‘suspend’ campaigning, grandstanding and personal/political party agendas. There has never been a more critical time for us to unite. We must consider all of our options carefully, because while we are thinking that independence is a matter for future generations to decide, our masters are putting in place their contingency plan to ensure that whenever that day comes, we will not have a nub yet alone a leg to stand on.

-We are Cayman’s Future Hope

Continue Reading

The Price of a Mango

The Price of a Mango

| 01/10/2008 | 5 Comments

Before you pick up that juicy, ripe, locally grown fruit perhaps stop to think about its true price: it’s been estimated that hundreds of Cayman Parrots are shot every year by local farmers. They are a crop pest it is said. And this has been happening for years.

In the past Caymans population of this endemic species may have been able to handle it- before Ivan and before massive amounts of development. Recent deforestation and also the destruction of Ivan have destroyed nesting habitats for parrots and also their food sources. I believe these two factors are causing the island’s population of parrots to converge on the local agriculture as a means of food and survival. The farmers will claim they have no choice and no support from the government to solve this problem. So they shoot and they shoot ‘by the bag’. A few of the local farmers, if left to their devices, could possibly cause the demise of this species.

We have two choices: status quo and one day have to create a breeding program such as the Blue Iguana, or try to stop this madness with solutions for the farmers: crop protection and compensation. The public also can choose to boycott local farmers who practice shooting this National Symbol. It is no secret here in Cayman who shoots and we all have the choice of who we buy from. I know that as soon as I learned the truth, I vowed to never visit a certain fruit stand ever again. It’s my choice and I choose not to support this act.

Should it be common practice that Cayman’s National Bird a National Symbol – a National Treasure should be shot for a mango? That the young be stolen from nests to be sold as pets, while the parents are shot for a measly fruit? It is a crime and yet the islands have turned a blind eye for years.

Is it the Cayman Parrot’s future that it should be bound for a cage? That it should not be allowed to grace Cayman skies in flocks of dozens? That this boisterous, intelligent and resourceful true Caymanian is not protected and safe guarded for future generations?

Like the rest of the island, so dear to my heart is the Cayman Parrot. I hope next time you pick up a mango, with the red blush of ripeness – you think of the Cayman Parrot with its beautiful coral-red blush, brilliant green and blue plumage and think of the true price of that mango.

Continue Reading

HRC wants horizontal rights

HRC wants horizontal rights

| 01/10/2008 | 2 Comments

(CNS): As the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) set out their positions at the opening of the constitutional talks with the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office,  the Human Rights Committee (HRC) has said it wants to see consideration of human rights applied horizontally (placing duties on individuals, corporations, and other private actors) as well as vertically (running solely between individuals and the state). 

HRC member Melanie McLaughlin spelled out the argument over why rights should not just be limited to government and citizen: “The current proposals seek vertical application of rights only. However, the HRC believes that direct horizontal application to private bodies should also be considered at a later stage for Cayman, in order to develop a full human rights culture,” she said on Monday, as constitutional discussions began.

Explaining that indirect horizontal application of rights will likely flow through the obligation of the legislature to consider human-rights principles when passing new laws, including those which affect private businesses and individuals, she said considerable care would have to be taken with the definition of “government” to which the bill of rights would apply, particularly in relation to quasi-public bodies, associations and entities which receive government funding.

“The HRC therefore believes that the Cayman Islands would benefit from clearly addressing the issue of horizontal application of rights in its Constitution,” she added. “This is one of the deficits in many Commonwealth Caribbean constitutions and is currently under consideration as part of the reform process in a number of these jurisdictions. It is most sensible for this issue to be properly addressed for Cayman to learn from those experiences.”

The issue of human rights applying horizontally and being superior to domestic legislation has been at the centre of the concerns raised by churches and religious representatives. Throughout the education process, the government has persistently stated that the rights would not extend horizontally. The Cayman Ministers’ Association said in its opening statement, made by Pastor Al Ebanks, that it supported the principle of rights being applied vertically only and wanted to see the bill of rights as separate legislation, not enshrined in the constitution itself.

“The CMA is aware from communications with our government and through the local media that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has instructed the Cayman Islands government that the British government would not agree to a new Cayman Islands Constitution that did not include an up-to-date human rights chapter. We would be extremely disappointed if this position is maintained, as there is strong and growing local support for a separate law,” said Pastor Ebanks. “It appears that if the UK denied us this option from the beginning of the negotiations, the UK would be infringing upon our human rights.”

By contrast, the HRC stated that it supported the inclusion of a bill of rights enshrined in the constitution rather than in ordinary legislation, which could be amended or repealed more easily by the legislature, leading to the possibility that rights could be changed after each election. McLaughlin said that as Cayman does have a written constitution, direct enforcement by the local courts is an available option for the Cayman Islands.

“However, the Government’s proposal is for the courts to only be able to make a ‘declaration of incompatibility’ that a law conflicts with the constitution and the legislature be left to amend the offending law. The disadvantage to this method is that enforcement of our ‘rights’ will be left to the vagaries of the political process,” she noted. “The HRC would prefer direct enforcement of rights by the courts.”

She also spelled out the HRC’s support for the rights to fair trial, to privacy, to freedom of conscience and religion, and the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of race, creed, colour or gender, among others. While agreeing with the right to define marriage as between a man and a woman, she also said if the principle of equality is to be recognised, there should not be discrimination against other types of legal union which may eventually be recognised in Cayman law.

“Any civil rights, such as healthcare benefits or inheritance, to be granted to any form of legal union to be recognised under Cayman law will remain a matter for the legislature, but should not be discriminatory,” she added.

The Mission of the Seventh-Day Adventists reiterated its position that they wished to see the wording of a bill of rights before committing its support to enshrining it in the constitution, and as the Leader of Government Business, Kurt Tibbetts, had circulated a draft of the bill on the morning of the talks, Pastor Shian O’Connor said the mission would study that before offering its thoughts.

The Chamber of Commerce said that its membership supports the concept of a human rights bill enshrined in the Constitution. However, Chamber CEO Wil Pineau spelled out the need for more education.

“While the Constitutional Secretariat’s office did an outstanding job reaching out to the community to discuss many of these issues, we believe that the education process should continue following the conclusion of the constitutional talks. Issues such as whether or not to include a Bill of Rights in the Constitution, Human Rights generally and the United Nations options for Self Determination require in depth discussion and debate,” he said. “The United Kingdom has grappled with the introduction of its Human Rights Act for more than 5 years – and we believe that a similar national education programme is required in our community and we look forward to receiving the support of the United Kingdom in this regard.”

Continue Reading