our latest news

jicky-in-the-studioOrdrick Samuel, also known as Jicky or Montgomery, operates the MRS Radio Station from his home, broadcasting from noisy speakers on the roof of his house from Monday to Saturday at 7 am and when necessary in the afternoon. He provides Barbudans with his opinion on a range of matters, gives general news announcements, village information and notices, birthday celebrations and contributes widely to local gossip. MRS Radio sometimes features guests including local preachers. Jicky can be contacted on (268) 460-0087 or on his cell phone 721-3239. Jicky is also a Calypsonian, winning the Monarch title three times at Caribana. He has produced four cd's of his music including a Christmas cd and appears on Youtube singing his compositions.  So here on JLN we report some of the latest news as it happens in Barbuda as we have done for over ten years, and you can look back over that time in our archives. We try to feature events relevant to Barbudans anywhere in the world, for example Council news, family reunions or graduations. Use our e mail link to provide information about your activity and we will include it here. You can also post messages and read other bits and pieces on our facebook page.

Scotland's Islands Bill

Scotland's intention to protect the unique way of life of its 900+ tiny island communities is making fast progress towards their Islands Bill. Minister Humza Ustaf said 'Our islands make a significant contribution to Scottish life from both a cultural and economic perspective. We have placed the aspirations and needs of our island communities at the centre of our empowerment agenda. The Bill will provide lasting benefits for all our island communities for generations to come'. This approach is an exciting recognition of those ancient communities that live in isolation and small numbers and after consultation with all residents their manifesto includes -

  • Giving Island communities a stronger voice with a new Islands Bill, and continue the Islands Working Group.
  • Develop a National Islands Plan to ensure our islands fulfill their economic potential.
  • Maintain the Air Discount Scheme at 50 per cent; invest in quality ferry services; keep ferry fares as low as possible, and provide concessionary travel for our older people.
  • Superfast broadband will be extended to all premises by 2021, and island businesses will benefit from the Small Business Bonus too.
  • Record investment in our NHS, supporting health care across our islands with more health care in the community.
  • Free childcare doubled and action to improve attainment in our schools.
  • Ensure Winter Fuel Payments, which are being devolved to Holyrood, will be paid early to people who are “off-grid” – making a huge difference to older people in remote areas.
  • £5 million investment to support island and Rural produce.
  • Support the energy industry on the islands and push the UK Government to deliver the connections that are needed.
  • Ensure island communities receive the full revenues from Crown Estate assets around their shores and have a greater say in how the assets of the Crown Estate are managed.

Sound familiar?

Casino Confirmed

This Australian online gambling site reports that the Packer/De Niro casino will go ahead on Barbuda despite Ambassador Boufany's over-reaction to any opposition to it and subsequent uninformed comments on the Forbes article.  All this highlights is that if you have enough money you could ask for a Noah's Ark full of Albino Animals and the Antigua government would agree if it was on Barbuda... oh, that's exactly what Maria wants for her wedding? Will it include Llama's Mariah?

Gaston seeks supporters for Turbidy/DeJoria

As if the terms of the De Niro project weren't bad enough at least he's A list. Gaston's open door to the queue of other greed-driven billionaires waiting for Barbuda's salt ponds and wildlife to be divvied up for their benefit is looking desperate. DeJoria donated to Ted Cruz' racism-driven election campaign in the US of A - maybe he has just found that out? But as our court case looms Gaston must be wondering how Antigua can claim the fastest economic growth in the Caribbean without securing his income from Barbuda land? That money certainly wouldn't be staying in Barbuda. His ridiculous assertion that Barbudans are 'virtually 100% subsidised by central government' was long disproved by an economist invited here by Council to research accurate data, to put to rest the same backward opinions perpetuated by the Bird government for over twenty years. And most Antiguans know this. This is why we have subsidised, cheaper-than-Antigua cooking gas - to offset the extra transport costs to us for basic everyday things. For a so called twin-island state we are fleeced daily by the Browne government - through airfares (except when they want to come here to party) and other indirect taxes as everything we do outside of Barbuda goes into an Antiguan business; even our money is saved in an Antiguan bank. So none of the Barbuda lobster exported, the fresh fish sold, the small independent family-run businesses, the homes built without mortgages, the sustainable tourism in small locally owned guest houses count, to the men in Antigua (and their friendly facilitators in Barbuda) who are only interested in money.


Barbuda Land Act to be amended

In spite of the clear evidence of the damage done to Barbuda by derelict hotels on long leases, the government that wants to remove the Land Act altogether will now try another approach and 'amend' it, increasing the terms of the leases they are handing out to their friends to 99 years instead of 50. In addition the threshold for 'small' investment will be changed from $5.4m to £40m to facilitate the land give-away by dispensing with the need to have the consultative village meetings on these projects and further removing the democratic right of local people to decide for themselves in an open and honest process, what is done with their land.

Gaston threatens to remove the Land Act

Gaston Browne told the country on ZDK radio that he will repeal the Barbuda Land Act if the BPM stand in the way of Paradise Found and other similar projects that are being given the go ahead by the Antiguan government on hundreds of acres of Barbuda land. In response to this Trevor Walker of BPM told the country that in that case Barbuda would be ready to seek separation from Antigua. The myth that is continually perpetrated that Barbuda is too small to go it alone will no doubt resurface; in spite of the fact that by using the Land Act we could easily provide excellent terms for De Niro and other conscientous, sustainable and approved projects that would generate a permanent income for Barbuda way beyond the imaginations of the current Barbuda Council leaders. Which is exactly what Gaston is after! So again we go backwards - facing more years of the divide, rule and share the spoils approach to Barbuda that the ALP were well known for in the past and are expert at, but with the added interest of increased attempts to stamp on anything that appears to be dissent.

BPM challenge the government in Court

BPM have filed a class action in the court to challenge the unconstitutional Paradise Found Act (which was passed in one day to give immediate access to the lands of Barbuda to Robert De Niro and billionaire James Packer for their 'Paradise Found' project) The action contests that the government has compulsorily acquired and taken possession of the land to facilitate this and other projects. They will be seeking 'compensation to the people of Barbuda for the property, vindicatory damages and discretionary interest'. This is financed by fund raising locally and supported by donations of time, expertise and commitment mostly from local people. If you would like to assist in any way - get in touch.

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We like this...

Now, it's been too long.
Too long, too long in slavery.
Free the people and let them move in liberty
Now, it's been too long.
Too long, too long in slavery.
So the struggle continue.
But while the struggle continue, I'm going to tell you.
We rastaman will set the world free...

Joseph Hill - Culture

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