MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING …….CARICOM AND THE 21ST CENTURY – Mike Singh

The Rt Hon. the Baroness Patricia Scotland of Asthal QC This week the usual suspects that constitute the leadership of the Caribbean Community & Common Market (CARICOM) will be gathered for a weekend of deliberations, musical chairs, fun, frolic and self aggrandizement compliments of the overburdened CARICOM tax payer at some chic locale that the proverbial ‘Island in the Sun’ (Barbados) has to offer. In the meantime, close to 300,000 persons of Haitian heritage will be facing the gruesome reality of being kicked out of the Dominican Republic whilst The Commonwealth of the Bahamas continues relentlessly in forcibly repatriating hundreds of Haitians (born in The Bahamas) back to poverty stricken Haiti. Haiti can ill afford to absorb any more persons because it is still struggling to get on its feet following the disastrous earthquake that struck in 2010. In fact, it is an absolute disgrace and an insult to humanity that whilst Haiti is a full-fledged member of CARICOM – Haitians do not enjoy the full privileges of free movement under the Caribbean Single Market & Economy (CSME) and the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. The following are some important issues that the leaders and decision makers of CARICOM need to be asking themselves: (A)    Cuba is about to get a boost with projected strong investments in the local tourism sector with even a report that a group of institutional investors from the United Arab Emirates are interested in building a new airport in Havana. The thawing of relations with the United States seem to be moving quickly apace under Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere – Roberta Jacobson and her...

MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE: LEARNING FROM GANDHI AND MARTIN LUTHER KING IN THE CONTEXT OF GUYANA’S FUTURE – by Mike Singh

    On June 7th., 1893 –  Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi ,  the father of the modern Indian independence movement was unceremoniously kicked off the first class section of a train whilst travelling from Durban to Pretoria in present day South Africa.  Gandhiji  or ‘Bapu’ as he was later on affectionately called was asked to move from the first class cabin to that of the van compartment because a white man sitting in the first class section objected to an Indian person sharing his same space.  Gandhi refused to budge on the basis that he was holding a first class ticket which he paid for and secondly having been admitted to practice as an Attorney in The British Commonwealth (South Africa was still a British colony) that he was therefore a subject of the British Realm and entitled to the same privileges and civil decorum he had come to enjoy years  earlier as a law student in Great Britain. Regrettably, that right was not realized until Mandela became President of South Africa more than 100 years later.  That event was start of South Africa’s long walk to freedom This epochal event in Gandhi’s life is what ultimately shaped his outlook on life thereafter because as he was kicked off that train in Pietermaritzburg – he chose to spend that cold and shivering winter night in the train station’s waiting room where he decided to stay in South Africa and wage the struggle against socio-economic and human injustices not just for persons of East Indian heritage but for the local black community as well. It is out of his principled stand that his policy of non-violent resistance or “Satyagraha’ emerged as the most potent and powerful force known to mankind in the fight...