KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The parliamentary opposition will today ask the government to clarify its position on the Falkland Islands dispute and to say whether it really intends to prevent Falkland Island flagged vessels from docking at this country’s ports.
According to the Order Paper for today’s sitting of the House of Assembly, in his preamble to the question, Northern Grenadines representative Dr. Godwin Friday says the government is “sending conflicting messages concerning its position in relation to the Falkland Islands.”
“… on the one hand, it agreed with other CARICOM governments and the U.K. government at the 2012 U.K.-Caribbean Forum to support the principle and the right to self-determination for all peoples including the Falkland Islanders and, on the other hand, at the ALBA summit in Caracas in February 2012, it agreed to support Argentina in the dispute over the Falkland Islands and, in keeping with that support, agreed to prevent ships flying Falkland Islands flag from entering our ports,” the preamble reads.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has said that this country’s support for the ALBA resolution is symbolic because Falkland Island vessels do not sails to this country.
This question is among 22 listed for oral answers and four bills that will receive their first reading when Parliament meets today from 10 a.m.
Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace will ask Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance, to indicate the fiscal outturn as of Jan. 31 as compared with the same period in 2011.
Southern Grenadines representative Terrance Ollivierre will ask Minister of Education Giryln Miguel to say whether the government will assist parents of students on Mayreau in defraying the cost of a private boat contracted to transport their children daily to Union Island, where they attend secondary school.
Roland Matthews, MP for North Leeward and show minister for agriculture, will ask newly appointed Agriculture Minister Saboto Caesar to say if there has been an improvement in both quality and quantity of banana fruits being shipped to the U.K. so far this year on the heels of the black sigatoka catastrophe last year.
If the quality and quantity of fruits shipped have improved, Matthews wants Caesar to “give an update of this improvement” and to say what is the reason for the decrease, if that is the case.
Meanwhile, Sen. Anesia Baptise will ask Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security to say how many women have been killed and wounded criminally from January 2011 to January 2012; how many of these deaths and wounding incidents have been as a result of domestic disputes; how many reports of rapes against women and children have been reported over the same period; and how many charges and convictions have been made in all cases over the same period.
The four bills slated to receive their first reading are the Public Sector Investment Loan Act, 2012, the Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering (Prevention) (Amendment) Act, 2012, the Interviewing of Suspects for Serious Crimes Act, 2012, and the Co-operative Societies Bill, 2012.