What a fishy story!

 

Eating fish is as old as time. This subject is mentioned the Old Testament (Ezekiel 47:10)“Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for nets. The fish will be of many kinds — like the fish of the Great Sea.”

If people aligned to the opposition party, Concerned Citizens Movement, have their way, Nevisians will be denied the chance to stand by the shore to place nets. They probably want Nevisians look to St. Kitts or even Dominica for fish.

In the New Testament, Jesus encouraged eating fish by ensuring that fishers hauled large catches. In Luke 5verse 4, Jesus said to Simon: “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon knew the waters well, but rather than be rude to Jesus, verse 5 reports: “Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets’.”

Verses 6 and 7 read: “When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signalled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.”

In the year of our Lord 2012, the Japanese, even after having suffered horrendous loss of life and property in last year’s earthquake and the ensuing tsunami, kept their word to fund a fishing complex in Nevis that will empower people to catch more fish. They gave Nevis a grant (NOT loan) of EC$30 million to put up the complex.

Persons aligned to the opposition party CCM have called it an insane project. They have said that they will frustrate the project. They are claiming that they are not against the project, but are saying that it should not be located in Charlestown. They say that when they were in power they had recommended for it to be at New Castle.

Captain Arthur Anslyn was the Director of Fisheries when the CCM-led Nevis Island Administration negotiated with the Japanese. To shed light on this matter, I interviewed him at the Nevis Television studios on Friday May 4, and what he told me is not what the CCM operatives are saying today.

Who is telling the truth?

According to Captain Anslyn, Nevis was not looking at one but four fishing projects one each for Charlestown on Gallows Bay, Jessups, New Castle and Indian Castle. They looked for donors to fund the projects, and the Japanese answered the call.

“They actually chose the Gallows Bay project to fund and also they did not think the others were as important as the Gallows Bay project,” said Captain Anslyn. “After they did their surveys they chose, as they put it, the metropolis because of the activities that go on in Charlestown.

“They though it beneficial to the island that the people should come into town, do their shopping, buy their fish, vegetables, groceries etc, all in the same area and then go back out of town with everything.

“The one in New Castle that we had planned for that, it was turned down because of the objection from aviation authorities. They thought that it was too close to the runway, number one; and the building itself was too high. So we had to scrap that one. The others we could not get funding for but the Charlestown one that came through.”

Captain Anslyn is not a politician. He was employed by the CCM-led NIA as the Director of Fisheries. Those shouting themselves hoarse, saying that the CCM-led NIA had confirmed New Castle as the site should rebut Captain Anslyn’s statement or apologise to Nevisians and the Japanese.

If the Japanese had agreed to fund the project when the CCM was still in government, why was the signing for the grant done on Friday April 27, 2102? Why the delay?

Premier the Hon Joseph Parry was diplomatic when he said, at the grant signing ceremony: “I must say on his (Prime Minister Rt Hon Dr Denzil Douglas) behalf today that at one time it seemed that we could have lost the project, and he singularly and directly intervened to ensure that Nevis got this grant.”

He was diplomatic because records have it that when the Japanese were negotiating with the CCM-led NIA, members of the Greenpeace Movement, which is hostile towards Japan because of its stand on whaling for scientific research, landed on the beach outside the Marriott Resort in June 2006, where the International Whaling Commission was holding its annual meeting, to protest against Japan.

The protestors were arrested for having waved cardboard markers that were brought into the country straight from the group’s vessel, Arctic Sunrise. Despite the protest Japan got a one-vote majority on a nonbinding resolution in favour of eventual resumption of commercial whaling.

While in the Federation, Greenpeace members were allowed into Nevis schools where they talked against the Japan-funded fisheries project on Nevis.

But after Prime Minister the Rt Hon Dr Denzil Douglas would have straightened up the matter, enabling the Japanese to give EC$30 million for the project, which took Premier Parry by surprise as he was expecting the original amount of EC$24 million, CCM operatives want to scuttle the whole project by insulting the Japanese.

A Voice of Nevis (VON) radio heavyweight Mr Elton Marcus Hull who speaks everything against the NRP but speaks everything for the CCM showed what he thinks of the Japanese generosity when on Tuesday May 1, while on the Let’s Talk programme said:

“Any outside government would come to Nevis at this juncture to say they are signing with this present occupational government that we have, has no respect for our country.”He went ahead to advice Japan what it should have told Hon Parry: “Right now you have a situation in Nevis and we would like that clear up first before we move ahead.”

To call the NRP-led administration an ‘occupational government’, Mr Hull is launching an assault on the nation’s Constitution and the Courts that recognise the NRP-led administration as being properly constituted. Is he suggesting that the Constitution and the Courts are wrong?

Mr Hull was certainly referring to the upcoming election petition appeal case, but he surely has exposed his lack of civic knowledge to the wrong people. There is no democratic nation in the world that sees more elected governments fall as a result of parliamentary vote of no confidence motions than Japan.

Mr Hull should first have found out what happens when a government in Japan is resigns because of lack of majority in parliament or even vote of confidence, before he gave them his skewed advice. Does Japan shut down the country?

Nevis has received this funding from Japan even after the CCM-led government would have allowed Greenpeace into schools. However, Mr Hull opened up the healed wound and rubbed in salt when he said: “They (Japanese) are interested in their whaling vote and that is it.” How unfortunate!

The battle to stop the project had in earnest started days before the Japanese came to sign the grant agreement. On April 23, 2012, Nevis’ most senior solicitor, Mr Theodore L. Hobson, a former CCM chairman, wrote the Cabinet Secretary Mr Ashley Farrell. It was not a ‘thank you’ note.

“My clients will therefore do everything within their power to frustrate and stop this insane idea of placing a Fisheries Complex on Gallows Bay Beach and further to steal their land under the cover of the provisions of the Nevis Land Acquisition Ordinance 1997,” said the letter in part.

Wind blows and the fowl’s bottom is exposed: Solicitor Hobson said that Mr Farrell, as the Cabinet Secretary, had used the Nevis Land Acquisition Ordinance 1997 to acquire the lands. Assuming it was enacted in 1997, was the Nevis Reformation Party in government?

It was okay for the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) when in government in 1997 to pass the Ordinance that would allow it to acquire lands to be used for the benefit of the people. Any other government is stealing lands when it invokes the same Ordinance.

There is something fishy!

To be continued…

END


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