BBC journalists committed ‘immigration offence’ in SVG

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Feb. 25, IWN — The two BBC journalists who Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said accosted him in Barbados on Feb. 17 “committed an immigration offence” here, Gonsalves told journalists on Monday.

Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security, said Paul Kenyon and Matthew Hill made “a false declaration which is punishable in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and in all other civilised countries, by imprisonment.”

In a Feb. 22 letter to Lord Chris Patten, chair of the Board of Trustees of the BBC, Gonsalves said that Kenyon and Hill “declared on their Immigration Forms that they were entering St. Vincent and the Grenadines as tourists.

“As we now know, they had come to my country to work,” Gonsalves said in the letter.

He wrote the letter to complain about the “unprofessional conduct” of the journalists, who, he had said in statements on radio and in the letter, accosted him.

Gonsalves has said that during the encounter aboard a landed LIAT aircraft in Barbados on Feb. 17, Kenyon and Hill put to him an allegation that Dave Ames, chair of Harlequin, went to Gonslaves’ office with a bag of money and left without it.

Gonsalves said the journalists were unprofessional in their approach when they asked him about the allegation, which he has denied. He further said they hindered members of his delegation, which was en route to a CARICOM summit in Haiti, from exiting the aircraft.

“It is plainly wrong for Mr. Kenyon to peddle a wholly unfounded allegation against me and in the process sully my good name and that of my office. His allegation is false. Further, the unprofessional manner in which he accosted me is surely improper,” Gonsalves said in the letter to the BBC chair.

He further reiterated that he deserves the same level of respect accorded to any other prime minister in the world.

“Fairness, common courtesy and respect are eternal virtues,” Gonsalves said.

“I am available to meet with you at any convenient time to discuss this matter further. In the meantime, I place the aforementioned issues into your hands for consideration and action,” Gonsalves said in the letter to the BBC chair.



6 thoughts on “BBC journalists committed ‘immigration offence’ in SVG

  1. Watch out here comes the spite, Gonsalves when will you learn to just shut your mouth and stop threatening people?

    “Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security, said Paul Kenyon and Matthew Hill made “a false declaration which is punishable in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and in all other civilised countries, by imprisonment.”
    In a Feb. 22 letter to Lord Chris Patten, chair of the Board of Trustees of the BBC, Gonsalves said that Kenyon and Hill “declared on their Immigration Forms that they were entering St. Vincent and the Grenadines as tourists“.

    Your letter will not get these guys to lose their jobs, regardless of what you write. And as for threatening them with prison, stop being spiteful, you nasty little man.

    Lets just wait and see if they bring the evidence, lets wait and see the program, we are all intelligent enough to come to our own conclusions.

    Remember every word they and you spoke on the LIAT aircraft at Barbados and also on the tarmac was video’d and sound recorded. Every word they said to you and every word you replied is recorded and will be part of the program.

    According to you Gonsalves they never accused you of taking a bribe.

    Your so great at suing the little defenceless, weak, local men, now lets see if you have overcome your cowardice in suing the BBC. Show us your spunk man.

    Posted by peterbinose | February 25, 2013, 13:35
  2. Where are the lawsuits? There are millions of dollars to be made.
    I guess the all knowing Ralph has never heard of investigative journalism. He need not look any further than his cable TV service to see that BBC has a reputation of getting to the bottom of any issue by any means. The prospects that their country men and women might possibly be swindled by Halequien in collusion with Ralph and the govt makes them all the more anxious to get to the bottom of the matter and uncover the truth involved. Ralph should be welcoming the possibility to absolve himself from any hints of scandal by refuteing/rebuking what he claims are wild allegations. Afterall, he has relations to Ames and if such company is suspect, it is not far fetched for Ralph to be considered a person of interest under the circumstance. Ole people say you are known by the company you keep.
    I just hope that the SVG govt is not held liable in the event that all this proves accurate. The last thing the banana farmers of SVG needs now is to find out that all the assets that they had owned in England that was taken over by the govt is seized as part of any judgement to repay investors in Halequien for their losses due to possible SVG govt collusion.
    I do find Ralph’s obsession with Eastace while not aggessively confronting the BBC very telling. Maybe it is time he invite the BBC back and give them an interview. If there is nothing to hide, why hide?????

    Posted by Ray FitzPatrick | February 25, 2013, 14:51
  3. Ah come off it Ralphie! “Fairness, common courtesy and respect are eternal virtues,” Really? These are three words that you do not commonly associate with Ralphie. Ralphie is arguably the most disrespectful head of state in living memory. One can recall with little effort, the many insults that Ralphie have bestowed upon the Vincentian populace over the years. One such insult embodies the totality of Ralphie’s contempt for Vincy people: Vincentians are the lowest common denominator.

    By the way, on this issue of “immigration offense”, isn’t this the same claim he made with the guys from SCL? Or was it some other foreign entity that came here and frighten Ralphie? Every time some white man barks at Ralphie, he immediately gets on the defense and starts to cry for help. I can’t understand this, when Mathew, EG, junior, and other Vincy people say something mildly provocative about Ralphie, you can bet your last dollar, to see Ralphie running to the courthouse with SUE in tow;and going to the media to lambaste his opponents in the most derogatory manner one can imagine. But here you have some white boys, accusing Ralphie of taking BRIBE MONEY and the only thing he could say, is that they hurt he feelings and he writing a letter of complaint to their boss? What happen, Ralphie like he only get strength for poor black people, or is it something deeper, is Ralphie a racist?

    According to the now infamous wiki leaks,Ralphie made some rather not so subtle racist comments about St Lucia Minister of Tourism; He criticized St. Lucia’s Alan Chastanet as among “a species of brown people in the Caribbean with money”who are “not loyal to anybody”. Gonsalves continued by noting that such people, whom he described as “Castries mulattos”, believe they are “oracles” and represent a “break in the social advancement in the Eastern Caribbean.”…let me summon my inner Kanye…Ralphie don’t like black people?

    Let me reiterate my position on this bribery allegation: I am not jumping on this bribery bandwagon;I do not think these BBC guys have anything substantial to really trouble Ralphie; but then again, why is Ralphie being so timid in his response to these allegations…Am I missing something? Do these white boys really have the true bulwood to rest upon the back of Ralphie? Naah! Ralphie is too much of a clever boy…if Ralphie could give a policewoman a reassuring kiss @4am and then convince the DPP and ULP’s sycophants that nothing happen beyond that kiss; you want me to believe that white boys from a distant land could come here and put a bulwood on the great Ralphie just so? Not buying it….afo see it to believe it.

    Posted by Teacherfang (@Llijame) | February 25, 2013, 20:16
  4. The pressure that Gonsalves has brought to bare on the BBC, its chairman, someone he doesn’t know. Why would he be putting such pressure on Lord Chris Patten, chair of the Board of Trustees of the BBC, when all he has to do is say he is innocent of such an act, and wait until the program airs.

    There are sex tourists, philately tourists, sport tourists, ornithology tourists, sailing tourists, diving tourists, fishing tourists, mineralogist tourists, holiday and vacation tourists, religious tourists, history tourists, storm tracker tourists, and newshound tourists. That is exactly what they were, newshound tourists. They did not take a Vincentians job, there is no Vincention qualified or daring enough to do what they do. They spent money whilst they were here, stayed in hotels, ate in restaurants, drank in bars, and did not bring themselves to the attention of the Police Special Branch, or any other branch, not even the political branch. Whilst in SVG they harmed no Vincentian, financially or otherwise.

    The Panorama program will air world wide and on BBC America. If Gonsalves is innocent [and most Vincentians may believe he is at this time] and there is no smoking gun he can the sue the BBC. Why the big hu-har before the event? Is he trying to stop the showing of the program? If he is innocent, and he may well be, why attempt to change the course of events.

    I may be wrong but I can imagine the pressure Gonsalves put on the DPP, when he was accused and charged with rape and other sexual accusations. If he tries to put the pressure on with such virulence to strangers, just imagine with friends.

    The Director of Public Prosecutions Colin Williams is a long term friend and colleague of Gonsalves. He worked as an attorney from the Gonsalves legal chambers and was one of the leaders in the Unity Labour Party. Appointed by Gonsalves to the position of DPP.

    I find it hard to believe that Gonsalves never put enormous pressure on Colin Williams. I have been thinking about this for some time, more so since he started out with this current matter. I sincerely hope I am wrong. What we do know is that the DPP refuse to allow any of the matters to proceed to court, putting a Nolle prosequi entry upon the record.

    Nolle prosequi is legal term of art and a Latin legal phrase meaning “be unwilling to pursue”.
    The term nolle prosequi is used in reference to a formal entry upon the record made by the prosecutor in a criminal action in which that official declares that he or she wishes to discontinue the action as to the defendant or defendants, on certain issues, or altogether. A nolle prosequi is commonly known as nol pros.

    Posted by peterbinose | February 25, 2013, 21:35
  5. Many people go to the USA, Canada and England and wrote on the immigration form that are ‘visitors’ or’tourists’ for a short period, yet they get a job,and if the authorities find out, yes they can be charged a fine,deported or given a date to leave the country. However,in those extremists,communist and Marxists regime countries they may be punished by imprisonment. Perhaps SVG has become one of the latter state under Ralph Gonsalves leadership!

    Posted by profdasilva | February 26, 2013, 00:26


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