Caribbean News In Brief – January 20-10

HELP FROM JAMAICA

Port-au-Prince, Haiti: A team of Jamaican health volunteers has been providing much needed medical and health support in Haiti following last week’s earthquake.

Health Minister Ruddy Spencer said the team, which arrived last Saturday, has also been able to assist with the re-establishment of an Operating Theatre at a Polyclinic in Port-au-Prince.

The team is working alongside doctors from the United States and has conducted surgeries and other procedures as well as numerous patient consultations.

The medical team includes orthopedic surgeons, general surgeons, anesthetists, emergency medical technicians, emergency and intensive care unit nurses, nurse anesthetists, public health doctors, nurses and inspectors, an orthopedic technician and a health education officer.

SEEKING INVESTORS

Kingston, Jamaica: Prime Minister Bruce Golding will be travelling to both the Far East and the Middle East during the year to “sell” opportunities in Jamaica.

Making the announcement during a national broadcast last week, Golding noted that the prospects for investment in Jamaica were good and that he intended to improve the way in which the nation attracted international investment.

“The way forward is exciting,” Golding said. “It will not be without its challenges but if we make this fundamental shift in how we conduct our business, we will meet those challenges and we will be victorious.”

Golding will visit China in February and the Gulf States later in the year for discussions with business and government leaders on a number of investments.

MEDIA CRITICISED

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: Prime Minister Patrick Manning has criticized recent media reports speculating about the ongoing negotiations relating to the merger of Caribbean Airlines and Air Jamaica.

Manning said Jamaica’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding had made a statement on the project, but due to a confidentiality clause, he was unable to comment further.

Manning said negotiations had reached a “sensitive point” and he did not want to disrupt the process and lose an opportunity to benefit the airline and tourism industries for both countries.

Manning added that the government saw the merger as an important development for the Caribbean region and he was giving the process every opportunity to succeed.

OBSERVER TEAM

Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis: The Commonwealth has confirmed that it is sending an expert team to observe next Monday’s general elections.

Director of the Political Affairs Division at the London-based Secretariat, Amitav Benerji, said the three-person team will be chaired by New Zealand MP, Chris Carter, a former minister and Labour Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs.

The other members are former Indian Foreign Secretary and Commonwealth Secretary-General, Krishnan Srinivasan and Lorna Simon, Supervisor of Elections in Antigua and Barbuda.

The three-member mission is expected to act impartially and independently.

Benerji said the group will submit its report to the Commonwealth Secretary General, who will forward it to the government of St. Kitts and Nevis, the election management bodies, political parties, and other Commonwealth governments.

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