Caribbean Report 10-12-1991



Table of Contents

1. Headlines (00:00-00:36)
2. Britain’s Privy Council today issued the written judgement ordering the courts in Trinidad and Tobago to hear a motion filed by the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen claiming that they were granted an amnesty. The Trinidad and Tobago courts throughout the Muslimeen’s application, on the grounds that matters related to an alleged amnesty following last year's unsuccessful coup should be heard when the case reached the high courts. But in its judgment, the Privy Council says, no civilized system of law should tolerate the years of delay contemplated by the courts before the lawfulness of the imprisonment is effectively challenged. Comments from the Queen’s Council, Geoffrey Robertson, one of the lawyers who appeared before the Privy Council on behalf of the Muslimeen. The Privy Council also ordered Trinidad and Tobago's authorities to pay unstated costs (00:37-02:00)
3. Caribbean nationals living in Canada have been telling the independent West Indian Commission what they think about the new moves towards regional integration. The immediate reaction from the Chairman of the Commission, Sir Shridath Ramphal who expressed the hope that in the light of recent developments, Guyana was now on its way to improve its image as a parliamentary democracy. However, he said Guyana’s record should not detract from the region’s exemplary record. The West Indian Commission meeting in Toronto, Canada attracted an audience of around 300 and Commission member Rev. Dr. Alan Curtain asked those present to serve as lobbyists in Canada on behalf of the region (02:01-05:36)
4. As elections campaigning moves into its final week in Trinidad and Tobago, the latest poll shows significant increase for the opposition United National Congress. The UNC leader, Basdeo Panday had at one point spoken of holding the balance of power following the keenly fought polls. However, Mr. Pandey is now predicting a possible outright victory and is outlining a plan to bring his political opponents into the Cabinet (05:37-08:26)
5. Guyana’s Election Commission is reporting that it hopes to have a revived voter’s list in place within the next six months. That announcement comes as President Desmond Hoyte prepares to make another national address related to the postponed polls. Sharief Khan reports from Georgetown that it is expected that the Commission’s new timetable could fall in line with a likely extension of the present state of emergency to June next year (08:27-10:50)
6. The private sector within the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States is looking for greater representation of its interest from the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce. There has been some expression of concern from the OECS that there is room for improvement in the level of benefit it derives from its membership in the CAIC. An interim committee is being set up to look into this matter. Coordinator Calvin Cable says that the relationship was not adversarial, and that the CAIC has already indicated its willingness to accommodate an OECS subdivision (10:51-13:40)
7. A group of Haitian legislators are reported to have proposed two candidates for Prime Minister to deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The two candidates are former World Bank official Marc Bazin and Communist Party leader Rene Theodore (13:41-14:12)
8. The British Virgin Islands has launched a firearm amnesty in the hope of collecting illegal weapons. The last time such an action was taken was in 1989, two guns were collected. Police said they received the most help from women who brought in the arms belonging to their husbands and boyfriends. BVI authorities are optimistic about this year's amnesty (14:13-15:00)