Tag: 一品楼南京论坛

Prime Minister Breaks Ground for More Houses for Sugar Workers

first_imgPrime Minister Portia Simpson Miller broke ground on Wednesday, February 6 in Springfield, Clarendon for the construction of 88 houses to accommodate 209 persons currently living in barracks. This is part of the Barracks Relocation Project being funded by the European Union to the tune of $161 million. “Today represents yet another step towards the positive transformation of Jamaica and the transformation of the lives of an important group of Jamaican workers. The building of modern housing, infrastructure and amenities for sugar workers is one of the most satisfying and heart-warming programmes I have presided over, in my entire political career,” the Prime Minister said. According to the Prime Minister both rural and urban housing development must be approached in accordance with the principles of planned development which means that communities built should also have access to recreational and social facilities. “This is why another $50 million dollars is being invested in critical social projects, including improvement of school and clinic facilities. We are currently spending some $20 million to improve the Toll Gate Sport Complex and also preparing to put to tender the comprehensive improvement of the Waterwell Sports Complex in Race Course,” she said. Mrs. Simpson Miller acknowledged that cane production is a seasonal activity and as such during the out-of-crop-season, life is particularly difficult for many families dependent of sugar cane. In response, the Government is working towards an economic transformation of Southern Clarendon through strategic investments in agriculture. This includes an investment of $65 million to rehabilitate the irrigation system in the Vernamfield area, and the development of two agro-parks in Spring Plains at a cost of $145 million and Ebony Park at $114 million. “The agro-parks development initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is a key element of my government’s growth inducement strategy in the medium term,” said the Prime Minister. Under the Barracks Relocation Project, a total of 385 houses will be provided for sugar workers across the island including Masemure and Bahram in Westmoreland, Spicy Hill in Trelawny and Stokes Hall and Hampton Court in St. Thomas.last_img read more

Read More

RollsRoyce Finferries to Optimise Ship Safety Efficiency

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Rolls-Royce UK-based Rolls-Royce and Finnish shipowner Finferries will jointly develop strategies and solutions to optimise the safety and efficiency of marine operations.This will be undertaken through developing the technology for decision supporting systems, the companies informed, adding that they would also demonstrate remote and autonomous ferry operations.Under the collaboration agreement, the parties said their key focus will be to consider a new research project, called SVAN (Safer Vessel with Autonomous Navigation), whereby Rolls-Royce and Finferries will look to implement the findings from the Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications (AAWA) research project, which formally ended in late 2017.Funded by Business Finland, AAWA brought together a number of stakeholders from a myriad of shipping industry sectors to research the commercial and technical viability of a next generation of advanced ship solutions. Both Rolls-Royce and Finferries were involved in the project.“This new collaboration agreement could take safer, cleaner shipping to the next level. Rolls-Royce will develop solutions to enhance the safety and efficiency of marine operations in the ferry sector, which will be demonstrated in the test platform provided by Finferries,” Karno Tenovuo, Senior Vice President, Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence, said.last_img read more

Read More

Gustafsen Lake warrior granted political asylum in US wants return home to

first_img(A screen grab of the truck James “OJ” Pitawanakwat was driving on Sept. 11, 1995, moments before it hit an RCMP IED during the Gustafsen Lake standoff. YouTube)Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsA Wikwemikong man who was given political asylum in the U.S. following the 1995 Gustafsen Lake armed standoff in British Columbia wants to return to Canada.James “OJ” Pitawanakwat, 44, has lived in the U.S. since August 1998 when he crossed the border while on day parole in Canada.The U.S. Federal Court for the District of Oregon denied Canada’s extradition request for Pitawanakwat in November 2000 on grounds his actions in B.C. were “of a political character” and qualified for an exemption under the extradition treaty between Canada and the U.S.“I would like to go back home to live and come and go throughout Canada and come and go throughout the U.S. without this harassment,” said Pitawanakwat, who is originally from Wikwemikong on Manitoulin Island in Ontario.He said there is still an active warrant out for his arrest in Canada.Pitawanakwat was convicted by a B.C. court in 1997 of mischief and possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public peace in connection to his involvement in the summer standoff which saw more gunfire exchanged between warriors and police than during the 1990 Oka Crisis.He was sentenced to three years in prison, but was released on day parole after one year. Nine days into his day parole, Pitawanakwat, who was in Surrey, B.C., at the time, said he “just walked right across” the U.S. border. As a First Nation man, Pitawanakwat can legally live on both sides of the border.“I eventually started going across American and showing people the video of the truck explosion,” said Pitawanakwat.(John “Splitting the Sky” Hill describes explosion triggered by RCMP IED. YouTube)The video of the truck explosion is one of the most striking images of the Gustafsen Lake standoff.  It was Sept. 11, 1995, and Pitawanakwat was driving with a woman activist, an AK-47 along with a rifle inside the pick-up truck, his dog Idaho in the back. They were roaring down a logging road when they hit an RCMP installed improvised explosive device (IED). The truck flipped in a plume of dirt and smoke, Pitawanakwat and the woman managed to escape the vehicle, but Idaho was shot by an RCMP sniper.“I remember driving down the road and then an explosion just rocked my world and disorientated me for a quick minute and my combat senses kicked-in and survival set in,” he said. “I relive that moment every day of my life.”Pitawanakwat said he and the activist managed to cross the lake where a cache of weapons was hidden. Some of the other warriors also arrived and began to open fire on the RCMP’s Bison armoured personnel carrier, borrowed from the Canadian Forces.“When I reached the treeline I armed myself and returned to the guts of the conflict on the battle field. The armoured personnel carrier was disabled by small arms fire and by the trees. It knocked out the steering column,” he said. “We just put suppression fire on the other Bison when it started roaring out of nowhere and was shooting people. It was straight out war.”James “OJ” Pitawanakwat during the Gustafsen Lake standoff in 1995. YouTubeThe Gustafsen Lake standoff centred on land leased by the province to a rancher near 100 Mile House, B.C., that was used for Sundance ceremonies. The land, which was never surrendered, was reclaimed by the Ts’Peten Defenders in 1995 who refused to leave despite attempts by the rancher to evict them.The RCMP intervened, and, with support from the Canadian Forces, faced down the Ts’Peten Defenders, who numbered between 30 to 40 people, according to the U.S. Federal Court record.Things escalated in mid-August when Defenders spokesperson William “Wolverine” Jones Ignace said if the RCMP moved into the camp it would be “clearly war…We’re not going to go peaceful. Body bags or do a hell of a long stretch…Nobody is going to tell you to put your weapons down,” according to the court record.The RCMP and the Canadian Forces, working through Operation Wallaby, set up a base camp called Camp Zulu which included armoured personnel carriers, helicopters, a field hospital, communication centre, military assault weapons and a tactical unit of about 400 “heavily armed militarized police,” according to U.S. court records.After several incidents, which saw tens of thousands of rounds exchanged between both sides, the Defenders’ camp surrendered by Sept. 17, 1995.There were 18 people, 13 men and five women, at the camp by the stand-off’s end. All 18 were convicted by a jury following a 10-month trial, according to the U.S. court record.Despite Canada issuing a warrant for his arrest shortly after he fled across the U.S. border, Pitawanakwat managed to evade capture for a little less than two years.He was finally arrested in Lincoln City, Ore., in June 2000, after he went out to buy pizza on his bicycle.“I found out U.S. Marshals were on my tail. One morning they swooped in and got me,” he said. “They converged on me, on my bike and I fled into the thorns. They arrested me and took me to Portland, Ore.”James “OJ” Pitawanakwat, 44, in Mount Pleasant Michigan. He wants to come home to Canada. Photo courtesy of family.U.S. Federal Court Judge Janice Stewart, however, denied Canada’s request for extradition, ruling that Pitawanakwat’s activities at Gustafsen Lake qualified for exemption under the extradition treaty for activity of “a political character.”“The Lake Gustafsen incident involved Indigenous people rising up in their own land against the government of that land. Although the crimes were committed while trespassing and occupying private property, the type of property occupied makes this case unique,” said Stewart, in her ruling. “(The rancher) acquired title to the land through the Canadian government, but this land included tribal land over which Native people believed they had a valid legal claim. Thus, the protest by the Ts’Peten Defenders was directed largely against the Canadian government which had granted (the title)…In addition, the violence was aimed…at the Canadian government and its military forces.”Pitawanakwat was preparing to find a lawyer to help build his case for a final return to Canada earlier this year, but tragedy struck his life in Mount Pleasant, Mich., when his step-son attacked both his mother and Pitawanakwat with a knife.Juan Romero, 22, is accused of stabbing his mother in the face. Pitawanakwat said he was stabbed seven times. Local reports say he was flown to hospital with multiple stab wounds.Romero is currently undergoing a psychiatric assessment and his case is on hold, according to an Isabella County court official. Romero is facing two counts of assault with intent to murder, among other charges.Pitawanakwat was also hit with a sexual assault related charge shortly after the incident, but the case was dismissed on Sept. 10, 2015, according to a court official.“The prosecuting attorney was not ready to proceed with the case,” said the court official.The prosecutor Robert Holmes did not return a call seeking comment.Pitawanakwat’s desire to return to Canada is getting support from one of the most prominent members of the Gustafson Lake standoff, Secwepemc Elder “Wolverine” Ignace.Wolverine recently wrote Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould a letter requesting they call a public inquiry into the events of the 1995 standoff.“Such an inquiry would expose the Canadian government’s genocidal relationship with Indigenous peoples,” said Wolverine, in an emailed response to questions from APTN. “Specifically, the cover-up of the genocidal actions of the federal provincial government during the Ts’Peten-Gustafsen standoff of 1995.”Wolverine said he hoped an inquiry would help allow Pitawanakwat to return home.“James has been in exile for 20 years,” he said. “As an Indigenous man, he has the right to come home. He is an adopted member of (Wolverine’s family), of the Secwepemc Nation as a whole.”Wolverine has also called for a gathering of “Allied” Tribes to meet on Sunday in Secwepemc territory to discuss the recent call for a national inquiry into the 1995 standoff and Pitawanakwat’s return.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

Read More