Wednesday, May 27, 2009


War on drugs

On Sunday last, I almost thought I was in a war zone as helicopters interrupted the minister's sermon. Mind you I was more than a little glad for the diversion as I was taking issue with some aspects of the morning's message.

However in a way we are at war. War against the marijuana farmers who have made the foothills and inner reaches of our mountains into thriving ganga plantations. Coupled with the ganja eradication is a mission to capture fugitives from neighbouring islands who have apparently been embraced by our nationals and have made the mountains their home. Thus,the sound of helicopters is becoming a regular feature. As if to further drive home the war theme SVG TV's evening news profiled the operations complete with medics and all. For a moment visons of M*A*S*H flashed in my eyes and I thought we are really in business moreso with the news that one Bajan fugitive and two Vincies are casualties. The debate continues as to whether or not excessive force was used.

Call me cynical but this marijuana eradication seems to be an exercise in futility. As has happened before the helicopters would come, do their demolition jobs and as sure as night follows day the plantations flourish again. This suggests to me that rather than surgery some/more emphasis should be placed on preventative methods. What are the factors that drive young men to the hills? Is it just a get rich quick mentality or are there other factors at play? Until we can properly answer these and other questions we will continue to spin top in mud.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Whither the Caribbean

If Prime Minister Gonsalves is serious then St Vincent and the Grenadines could well pull out of CSME if stories of discrimination against its nationals in some Caribbean territories remains unaddressed. Although Pm Gonsalves did not name names it is widely believed that Barbados is one of the countries to which he was referring.

While I have never had adverse treatment in Barbados I've read numerous accounts of harassment and general poor treatment meted out to Vincentians by Barbadian immigration personnel. In fact, when Vincentians speak of the proposed international airprt many express relief at not having to use Barbados as their gateway. This no doubt has as much to do with the long layover as the perceived ill treatment. Somewhere amongst these stories lies the truth.

Nevertheless, this Caribbean is a strange place. We concentrate so much on artificial barriers which ranks us as MDC's and LDC's which in turn attracts the "I am better than you syndrome". Lost in all this is the fact that we are more alike than we are different and as a region we share the same historical experience. It is the reluctance to acknowledge that we are one people which has given rise to the disdain with which we often treat others. OECS citizens are disparagingly referred to as small islanders which is laughable since in the grand scale we are all specks. Small wonder then that many of us get treated as second class citizens by immigration personnel.

Guyanese is now a bad word in many islands where they are viewed as intruders demanding a share of slender resources. Jamaicans come with a reputation as murderers and the list goes on and on. It is all very disheartening to watch and listen the stereotypical nonsense that gets played out day after day. Unlike the leader of the Opposition I have no issue with PM Gonsalves' threats. You see, for all his flaws I believe PM Gonsalves to be a regionalist who most likely was just frustrated that in 2009 Caribbean integration appears to be as distant as ever. Therefore, I would not expect St Vincent and the Grenadines to follow through with its threats. I am more inclined to believe that Gonsalves knows that one way to attract attention to the burning issue of movement of people in this region is to highlight them in a manner that can attract healthy debate. Time for the fragmentation to cease. One Caribbean, One people!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Just musing

Why is it that we women hang on to relationships long after they have died? I look around and see women holding on for dear lives to men who continually abuse and treat them with disrespect and I am baffled. We are all fools when it comes to relationships, but there is a certain point in time where we must each say enough is enough and kick the real fools to the curb! Instead we sit back and find all sorts of reasons to justify or blame ourselves for the men's behaviour.

Now I know that it is not always easy to walk away from a relationship in which time and effort has been invested. Most times it is not even that the we can't see a life without the person but familiarity or fear of the unknown keeps us rooted. Men, on the other hand seem not to have these hangups nor do they let emotions rule their decisions. Societal views are also at play here since the average woman despite all the talk of sexual freedom remains concerned about her number of sexual partners lest she be labelled as loose whereas the man is lauded.

It's all very disheartening but doesn't have to be like this if we would only see our own personal self-value and self-worth in a relationship. For many of us it is a never ending journey.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Those Government Boots

Ever since I was a child I heard stories about people being abused by police officers. In some instances there were reports of persons who died while in police custody. Despite all the press and protests I do not recall anyone being found guilty of any wrongdoing.

Lately, charges of police brutality have again taken centre stage with more public protests. Many of us have a love/hate relationship with the police since we acknowledge their role in keeping order but deplore the excesses some demonstrate. Recently, two men were taken into custody after they were found naked in a vehicle. It is alleged that these men were not allowed to get dressed before they were taken to the Police Station. I would really hope this story is untrue since if true it speaks to an awful lack of maturity by the officers. While some sections of society may applaud that move given our homophobic nature far too many complaints can be read in the newspapers or heard over the airwaves which should make the Police Force look inwards.

If the Police is increasingly seen as the enemy then it's small wonder that the Force often complains about lack of cooperation from the citizens. Therefore,it is important for them to work towards fostering a better relationship and not operate as being above the law.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


To my Grandmother

You helped me form my first letters

You taught me how to sew a button and hem a skirt.

You taught me to wash and iron my school clothes which was not a task I particularly liked.

You impressed upon me the need to save from my allowance.

You introduced me to the stove when I would rather read or be elsewhere doing mindless stuff with my friends.

You made sure I undid my hair before I sat down to have it combed.

You reminded me that even annoying little brothers were to be cherished.

You set curfew hours which at the time seemed unfair as did the punishments.

I didn't know it back then but you were really teaching me some invaluable life lessons such as the importance of family, the need to be self sufficient and discipline. Most of all you taught me that love was more than just words but a demonstration of caring. So for all the tears you dried, the wrongs you righted and the instilling of self belief this woman is forever grateful.

Happy Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 03, 2009


Tough time to be a pig

It must suck to be an Egyptian pig facing slaughter with no court of appeal. The WHO's assurance that the virus formerly known as swine flu is a human to human transmission has fallen on deaf ears. The pigheaded or is it chicken livered Eygptian government seems hellbent on slaughtering around 300,000 pigs in response to the virus.

Around the world other pigs are relaxing since all the bad press is disappearing while their comrades in Eygpt are in a quandry. Unfortunately for them there is no Schindler with a list to save them from certain death so resourceful pigs have been trying to find refugee status in nearby countries. Others have been trying to contact Miss Piggy, the world's most famous pig to highlight their plight.

According to reports from Eygpt some pigs with their last grunt have prayed for their executioners to be afflicted with a flu ten times worse than the current. In other news pigs in Egypt were fruitlessly seen trying to fly.

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