Saint Lucia Citizenship Investment Programme makes top three in the 2022 CBI Index

Castries, Aug. 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — St Lucia took third place in this year’s instalment of the CBI Index – which ranked 13 countries with operational citizenship by investment programmes.

Seen as an industry voice and reliable source for those looking to vet CBI programmes around the world, the CBI Index is published annually by the Private Wealth Management magazine, a publication of the Financial Times, and in partnership with CS Global Partners.

This year, St Lucia was ranked alongside Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Cambodia, Dominica, Egypt, Grenada, Jordan, Malta, Montenegro, St Kitts and Nevis, Turkey, and Vanuatu.

The CBI Index ranked these jurisdictions across nine pillars including Freedom of Movement, Standard of Living, Minimum Investment Outlay, Mandatory Travel or Residence, Citizenship Timeline, Ease of Processing, Due Diligence, Family and Certainty of Product.

Having recently welcomed Mc Claude Emmanuel to the position of Chief Executive Officer of its CBI unit, St Lucia was recognised its affordable minimum investment outlay, reasonable mandatory travel or residence requirements and ease of application processing.

“This recognition means a lot to us. The CBI Index is a globally recognised report that has been assessing CBI programmes for the last six years and not only will investors gain insight into our programme but it also gives us an opportunity to improve aspects of our programme to increase our scores next year,” said notes Mc Claude Emmanuel, CEO of St Lucia’s CPI Unit.

Investors can become a citizen of St Lucia in as little as 90 days by investing only a minimum of US$100,000 through its National Economic Fund, and busy entrepreneurs are not required to stay in the country for prescribed periods of time.

There weren’t many significant changes in the minimum investment outlays since the 2021 CBI Index, this was reflected in no change in the order of the final scores.

There were also no changes from the 2021 CBI Index to scores under the Mandatory Travel or Residence Pillar – Caribbean nations continue to rank highly in this area.

The country scored 87% overall.

St Lucia scored 9 out of ten for Due Diligence, Citizenship Timeline, and Family.

A very important aspect of any CBI programme is its ability to vet applicants and ensure that only honest individuals who can account for how they make a living are accepted into the programmes.

“We are on an ongoing drive to continuously enhance the due diligence processes of our programme as we are very keen to protect its integrity and value,” noted Mc Claude Emmanuel.

With ongoing geopolitical tensions, special attention is now being given to jurisdictions that offer CBI programmes. The international community is concerned that these programmes may offer boltholes for suspect characters looking to evade the law.

International respect is vital for any CBI programme to thrive, and a layer of ongoing monitoring is becoming a key pillar of reputable CBI Units such as that of St Lucia. Caribbean nations are setting global best practices when it comes to advancements in due diligence processes.

The Citizenship Timeline Pillar looks at the average time taken for citizenship to be secured by the applicant. One of the key merits of CBI programmes is their ability to provide a rapid route to second citizenship; St Lucia was awarded top points for its short turnaround times, which takes three months for citizenship to be granted from the date the Authorised Agent is notified that the application has been accepted for processing.

The CBI Index recognises that the rise of increasingly complex family relationships is driving investors to seek programmes that allow for a more diverse range of family members to be included under a primary application.

As an additional layer of nuance to its scoring system, this year’s CBI Index also draws a distinction between family members who are allowed to apply with and obtain citizenship at the same time as the main applicant and those who can apply at a later stage and because of the main applicant has already received citizenship.

Multiple family member categories were considered, with points being awarded for adult children, parents, grandparents and even siblings. Additional merit was also given to programmes with provisions for family members of the main applicant’s spouse. Additionally, the degree of flexibility within each of these categories can differ radically from programme to programme.

St Lucia scored 8 out of 10 in the Certainty of Product pillar. This pillar encompasses a range of factors that measure a programme’s certainty across five different dimensions: longevity, popularity and renown, stability, reputation, and adaptability.

Longevity measures the age of a given programme while Popularity and renown evaluate the number of applications and naturalisations under each programme per year, as well as a programme’s eminence in the industry.

The reputation of a programme was determined by the amount of negative press or the number of scandals it has been linked to, affecting investors’ broader perceptions of the countries in which they invest. Just as important, however, is evidence that programme funds are being utilised for social good. Points were awarded for a jurisdiction’s transparent use of CBI funds, for example for the development of domestic healthcare, education, tourism and other infrastructure. One of the main ways that investors can become citizens of St Lucia is through its Economic Fund which Mc Claude Emmanuel has said will “benefit all St Lucians by investing in social interventions and assisting the country to be food secure as assistance will be given to local farmers.”

Lastly, adaptability reflects a programme’s ability to rapidly respond to, and sometimes even predict, the needs of applicants and the industry.

St Lucia continues to offer a popular programme with consistently high application volumes, stability with no caps on the number of applications or specific calls to end the programme, and adaptability both in respect of changes to keep the programme functioning during Covid-19 and its swift response to the Russian invasion.

St Lucia, along with Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada and St Kitts and Nevis scored seven out of 10 in the Freedom of Movement pillar. St Lucia has access to 15 of the 20 key business hubs assessed in the 2022 CBI Index.

Lastly, St Lucia scored six out of 10 for its decent freedom, GDP growth and GNI scores.

Download the full CBI Index here, to get further insights into the CBI industry and a full evaluation of the CBI programmes of the 12 other jurisdictions in the rankings.

PR St lucia
Saint Lucia
+1 758 458 6050
mildred.thabane@csglobalpartners.com

Wike’s A-level Political Elevation

The personalities and qualities of political pioneers are known to completely influence political sentiment and leadership.

Nyesom Wike, Rivers Governor and one of the political leaders of recent times, exemplifies three qualities voters should expect in leaders: competence, fairness, and legitimacy.

A political leader must be seen as someone who has a connection with the lives and thoughts of ordinary citizens in order to be considered genuine.

Since Wike is undoubtedly dogged in political matters, some politicians strongly dislike him, while others consider him the ideal political accomplice for any adult public servant if they are looking for a posh political personality to take care of their family’s political presence.

Affirming its meeting with Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the official competitor of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as part of the conference cycle for a superior Nigeria, Wike said the meeting also met new officials of the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar and Labor Party (LP) Peter Obi, along with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in London.

This was expressed by Wike shortly after demonstrating this spirit from London on Friday August 26, 2022, at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Ikwerre Local Government Area, with the participation of the main representatives. Principal representatives: Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia). Wike said the meeting they had goes beyond tough government issues, adding that it’s only intended for a better country.

Wike said: “I can say that this is the first time we have met new people officially. We have met the official rival of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and we met with our leader, former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo. We met the official competitor of the Labor Party. We also caught up with our official newcomer, Atiku Abubakar.

“All other things being equal, the discussion is ongoing. Everything we discussed benefits Nigerians. It is not relative and tied to an individual or a group. We accept that what is happening will ultimately help the people of Nigeria.”

However, it has been found that the overt enemies of opinion are constantly increasing in Nigeria, and this is accompanied by an adjustment of assumptions for politicians.

While the people always accept “a decent politician” with characteristics related to integrity and competence, politicians are expected to gradually become “human”, “ordinary” or “in touch” for easier, more authentic individual wellbeing. Political bigweight, de Wike, is a term that is saved when unmistakable traits of vision, authenticity, and credibility are found.

Existentialist writings by rationalists like Jean-Paul Sartre and Michel Foucault, concerned with the pain of self-disclosure and invention, show how extraordinary A-level politicians and government issues are and what government affairs mean to us, breaking the deception that we are separate from them.

Wike’s new political elevation has allowed us to look beyond our basic belief that we have no real say in running our country. It really shows us an essential component of society and helps us understand that, if we participate in political cycles, using pressure axes built into the framework, each individual really has a chance to impact the world.

Wike has shown us that in government affairs, reading political materials are forever out of date when they are distributed. Why? Politics is changing day by day, with new models constantly appearing in the society. Choosing which guidelines to use in your responses to the exposure questions is really intriguing because something happened the day you considered the new political tie.

It is a remarkable improvement that thoughts that were once reserved for peripheral groups now appear in the age-old press. In its latest report, Wike has more than once voiced the importance of majority government, pointing out that some basic needs need to be addressed.

It is a pity that in Nigeria, a system of majority rule is not, in fact, synonymous with opportunity. It’s, however, a skewed majority rule system here, where voting continues, but liberal elements, such as an autonomous legal operator and a free press, have been ignored.

Source: Modern Ghana

Growing support globally to end HIV medicine stockouts in India

Several networks of people living with HIV are pouring in support to the ongoing indefinite sit-in (since 21st July 2022) outside offices of India’s AIDS programme, to demand an end of stockout of HIV medicines, and ensure minimum one-month dispensation of these medicines nationwide.

The government of India’s guidelines of 2018 state that those persons stable on the HIV therapy should get three-months’ supply of these medicines. But ground reality is that people in several states are getting 3-10 days supply, or children getting medicines for adults or vice versa.

This indefinite stir began on 21st July 2022 with Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP Plus) activists leading the crusade to end stockouts of essential medicines. These networks who have written support letters for DNP Plus and submitted to the Government of India include the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP Plus), National Coalition of People living with HIV (NCPI Plus), Manipur Network of Positive People (MNP Plus), Global Alliance for Human Rights, among others. National professional association of HIV medical experts and researchers (AIDS Society of India – ASI) have also written to the Government of India’s Prime Minister, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, and National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), supporting the above demands.

Since the first HIV clinic was opened by AIDS Society of India (ASI) co-founder and President Dr Ishwar Gilada when first case got diagnosed in India in 1986, India has come a long way in reducing number of new HIV infections, as well as scaling up lifesaving (and lifelong) antiretroviral therapy to around 1.6 million people.

“The gains made by India in fight against AIDS can be lost if drug supplies are not stable. There is ample scientific evidence to show that when a person is stable on antiretroviral therapy and virally suppressed, she/he/they will have the same life expectancy as an HIV-negative person of the same age in similar context. Antiretroviral therapy prevents HIV-related illness and disability and saves lives. Antiretroviral therapy also has a prevention benefit. The evidence is now clear that people living with HIV with an undetectable viral load cannot transmit HIV sexually (undetectable equals untransmittable or UequalsU). According to the UNAIDS and WHO, HIV treatment works best when taken as prescribed. Missing doses and stopping and re-starting treatment can lead to drug resistance, which can allow HIV to multiply and progress to disease,” wrote Dr Ishwar Gilada, national President of ASI and Governing Council member of International AIDS Society (IAS).

Continuous supply of ARVs is non-negotiable

Sbongile Nkosi, Co-Executive Director of the Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP Plus) wrote: “The ARV treatment is our one and only lifeline and its continuous supply is non-negotiable as the first tier of our rights to health as a human being and therefore the situation currently faced by our people living with HIV friends in India is unacceptable and undermines people’s rights to accessing the care they need.”

She added: “It is extremely disappointing to see the lack of effective actions taken by NACO in handling the antiretroviral medicines’ shortage crisis, noting the danger of replacing the antiretroviral regimens for thousands of people living with HIV without considering HIV viral suppression, antiretroviral uptake history as well as adequate treatment counselling. These actions have brought additional risks for persons with HIV to achieve successful treatment outcomes and will jeopardize investment from Indian government and donors in saving the lives of people living with HIV in India.”

Sbongile Nkosi also warned that “moreover, once antiretroviral medicines’ supply resumes fully, there will be chances of people developing drug resistance due to inability to access antiretroviral combination regularly.”

Naresh Chandra Yadav, President of National Coalition of People living with HIV in India (NCPI Plus) wrote: “Since last few months, community is witnessing the stockout or shortage of paediatric and few adult antiretroviral medications. The quality of life of people living with HIV and treatment outcomes are only ensured when uninterrupted supply of antiretroviral medicines is ensured.”

NCPI Plus leader Naresh Chandra Yadav also offered “We also request NACO to form a committee (which should include people living with HIV) to meet every quarter to oversee and ensure smooth and timely supply of all essential commodities.”

L Deepak Singh, President of Manipur Network of Positive People (MNP Plus) wrote to Indian government that the life of people living with HIV who are human beings, “depends on regular dose of antiretroviral medicines taken every 12 or 24 hours on-the-dot without fail. They are being denied their fundamental right to health, and being pushed to the jaws of death by no less than NACO and State AIDS Control Societies which are flouting their own guidelines and rules.” Government guidelines recommend dispensing 3-months’ supply of medicines every time a person visits an antiretroviral medicine dispensing centre.

L Deepak Singh added: “Some people living with HIV are being handed out just 5-10 days of antiretroviral medicines, forcing them to visit the antiretroviral therapy centres, 3-6 times a month. On the other hand, some or almost majority of the persons living with HIV have had their regimens changed – without following any scientific protocols and without undergoing any prerequisite test like viral load etc – due to the unavailability of certain antiretroviral medicines, which were out of stock.”

L Deepak Singh rightly said that despite pouring in reports from different states of India of stockouts or shortages of antiretroviral medicines, “the official response of NACO and State AIDS Control Societies is that, ‘there is no stockout of antiretroviral medicines. We demand justice for the marginalised people living with HIV whose lives hang in balance.”

Hari Singh, Vice Chairman of Global Alliance for Human Rights, India, wrote to the government: “Due to the stockout issue, lives of many persons living with HIV including children are in danger as they cannot afford these drugs, and due to this, many are added to the ‘Lost to Follow Up (LFU)’ list and many are facing serious life-threatening illnesses. This will also affect the prevention efforts.”

As on 27th August 2022, it has been 38-days and nights non-stop sit-in that people living with HIV have steadfastly staged outside the offices of national AIDS programme of government of India in national capital Delhi.

Keep the promise

Government’s own promise to end AIDS and 95-95-95 goals of 2025 will not be met if the basic demands of people living with HIV are not met. Uninterrupted supply of HIV medicines is one of the essential cog-in-the-wheels to help people adhere to the lifelong and lifesaving antiretroviral therapy, stay virally suppressed, live fully and healthily, and become untransmittable as undetectable equals untransmittable. But if supplies are intermittent or supply chain issues continue to plague India’s AIDS programme, then how will we deliver on the promise to end AIDS in next 100 months (by 2030)?

Source: Modern Ghana

Clashes erupt in Libyan capital, amid fears of a return to civil war

Rival groups exchanged gunfire in the Libyan capital, Tripoli overnight Friday and into Saturday, raising fears of all-out conflict in the country which is struggling to end a grave political crisis.

The fighting reportedly broke out in various districts of Tripoli between groups armed with both heavy and light weapons, as two rival governments yet again vie for power in the oil-rich but impoverished North African country.

Gunshots and explosions rang through the darkened streets of Tripoli overnight. At least one person is believed to have been killed and several civilians injured.

The crisis pits groups that back the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity – led by Abdulhamid Dbeibah – against supporters of a rival government led by former interior minister Fathi Bashagha.

Deepening divisions

According to local media, two influential armed groups faced off against one another in the Libyan capital, where divisions have deepened among militia on opposing sides of the political divide.

Bashagha was appointed in February by a parliament elected in 2014 and based in the eastern city of Tobruk, but has since been unable to impose his authority in Tripoli.

Initially ruling out the use of force, the former minister has more recently hinted that he could resort to armed conflict.

Last week, he called on “Libyan men of honour” to drop their support for Dbeibah’s “obsolete and illegitimate” administration.

• France urges rival parties in Libya to find political solution to end violence

• Rival factions clash in Libya’s capital Tripoli as PM Bashagha forced to flee

UN calls for calm

Bashagha is supported by eastern-based military strongman Khalifa Haftar, who launched an unsuccessful offensive on the capital between 2019 and 2020.

Dbeibah – appointed last year as part of a United Nations-backed peace process to end more than a decade of violence in the country – has refused to hand over power before elections.

On Tuesday the United Nations voiced “deep concern” over growing tensions between the rival Libyan forces, calling for “immediate” moves to calm the situation.

In July, the most deadly clashes between rival groups in Tripoli since 2020 left 16 people dead, including a child.

Source: Modern Ghana

Official Angolan result gives ruling MPLA wafer thin win. On the streets the outcome isn’t believed

Angola’s elections were, for the first time, a tight race between the governing People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and a coalition led by its historic rival, National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). The coalition, UNITA-FPU (United Patriotic Front) included independent candidates from other opposition parties and formations.

Preliminary results from civil society parallel counting, led by the Civic Movement Mudei , have given a landslide victory to the UNITA coalition, at least in urban centres. For its part, the government-controlled National Electoral Commission announced provisional results that gave a thin majority (51%) to the ruling party.

Members of civil society , as well some analysts , believe the electoral commission is a partisan body. This means that it will not give the MPLA under 50%. But the mood in the streets of Luanda, Lobito, and other major cities is that UNITA won.

Citizens and analysts alike knew this poll was going to be highly contested. President João Lourenço’s popularity has been at an all-time low while the opposition had been galvanised by a charismatic leader, Adalberto Costa Júnior . And, for the first time in Angola’s history, there’s an almost united opposition front.

Moreover, with 60% of the electorate younger than 25 years old, new voters had come of age for whom neither the MPLA old slogans, nor the spectre of the civil war (1975 -2002) held much sway. Moreover, for the first time, Angolans living abroad could participate.

At the same time, given its historic trajectory as the party that ruled Angola since independence, it was clear that the MPLA would not accept any result lower than 50% of the votes for itself. Nor would João Lourenço want to go down in history as the president who lost power for the ruling party.

Yet, even with a thin majority, the loss of the absolute (two-thirds) majority in parliament – and of the capital, Luanda – has to be seen as a significant defeat for the MPLA.

A ruling party holding on tight

During the electoral campaign, not once did the sitting president raise the possibility of a defeat and transition. Instead he chose to treat the opposition and his civil society critics as paid stooges of mysterious outside forces and enemies of the Angolan people.

UNITA, on the other hand, grew increasingly confident in its victory in the past months, making it also more difficult for the opposition and its supporters to simply accept the official results, as the party did in 2017, much to the dismay of its adherents.

Given how tightly the MPLA controlled the electoral process – from the partisan composition of the electoral commission to control of the judiciary (including the crucial Constitutional Court and the media – to the organisation of vote-counting, a fabricated result giving the MPLA above 50% of the vote was to be expected.

Voting day was nevertheless calm and ordered across the country, with a fast and easy voting process overall. This, despite complaints that some polling stations opened late, and that opposition delegates to the stations did not get access to the voter rolls. Moreover, in some stations, the police stood closer than the 100m required by law.

Civil society mobilisation

Civil society – led by the Civic Movement Mudei – organised parallel counting of results across the country, as did UNITA.

Scores of chiefly young voters stayed outside polling stations until the evening. They insisted that, as decreed by law, results of the station be posted outside the station.

Results were photographed by phone, and sent on to Mudei at provincial levels to collate. However, there were reports of polling stations refusing to post the results. Some staff spoke to reporters saying the electoral commission had barred them from doing so. At the Lisbon consulate, captured on video , the consular staff fled among insults of incensed voters.

Nonetheless, first results from Mudei’s parallel count on election day gave UNITA a significant lead of 53% across the country, with 43% for the MPLA. The same evening, the electoral commission hastily called a press conference (with no attendees) and declared a 60.6% lead for the MPLA, with UNITA trailing at 33.8%.

It, however, did not explain where these results came from. This was similar to the results announcement in the 2017 elections . Yet even in the hastily presented official results, UNITA carried the capital Luanda — where one third of the population live — by a wide margin (63%).

In the meantime, provisional official results published on 25 August evening – a day after the vote – gave 51.07% to the MPLA and 44.5% to UNITA. However, on the evening of 26 August, UNITA called a press conference, where Adalberto Costa Júnior announced the party would not accept the results published by the electoral commission.

UNITA presented the results from its own, slower, but more complete parallel count . These showed substantial discrepancies to the official tally, with Costa Júnior calling for an independent, international commission to check and reconcile the results of the two counts.

Tense times ahead

Angola’s young voters are awaiting developments with hope and fear. For the first time in history, an opposition win seems possible, but it is highly doubtful whether the regime will accept it. Much will depend on the rural vote, where the MPLA is strong — or more in control — and where a parallel count will be more difficult.

Yet, excited by the projections of the parallel counts, the urban youth are demanding transparency, and are unlikely to accept any official result that is not verifiable by publicly posted polling station results. At the same time, is also doubtful whether security forces, hitherto loyal to the ruling party, would remember their “republican duty” and support a transition, if confirmed.

The coming days will be tense and decisive, and the result is yet unclear — yet regardless of the ultimate outcome it is clear that Angola has irrevocably changed.

Source: Modern Ghana

Malta: safe haven for white South Africans

South Africa was popular with many white people as the climate is comparable to the climate of Europe. History of today sees a trend of many Whites leaving the country and settling down on the little island of Malta, besides retiring in other countries.

Many arrived in South Africa as adults with great hopes. Going into various types of business alongside the already over generations established white families. Many made a fortune in farming or the tourist sector.

The end of apartheid has changed the clock and circumstances. A significant number of white farmers have come of age. Some of them have no children or children unwilling to run farms or game reserves. They feel the heat and consequences of a 45% unemployment rate which means 12 Mio. unemployed -mostly black South Africans- with a population of around 40 Mio. citizens.

The white South Africans consider the overall situation of the country. They see the crime rate, and murder cases and look into the future areas. The outcome of their analysis makes a significant number of them leave back to Europe with the help of a busy consultant on the island of Malta.

The Rainbow nation of Nelson Mandela loses gradually one vital color that could stand for economic growth and political prosperity, instead seeing a brain drain right before history. People who have no certainty that their future is secured by a nation and its politics have no ambition to contribute to the development of the nation but rather silently move away with their hopes and dreams.

On the other hand, it can be observed that another set of white people enter the country of South Africa with fresh new ideas. Time will tell how this is changing the nation.

Source: Modern Ghana

Samuel Atta Mills Is the Buffoon Here, Not Koku Anyidoho

I have already written and published several columns about the alleged desecration of the tomb of the late President John Evans Atta-Mills and had not intended to follow them up with the present one, that is, until I recently came across another news story captioned “Why Should IGP Who Was President Mills’ ADC Sit for His Grave to Be Desecrated? – Brother” Classfmonline.com 7/21/22). The caption of the article rather presumptuously presupposes that, somehow, it is the bounden duty and/or religious obligation of Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, the current Inspector-General of the Ghana Police Service, a distinguished scholar of considerable intellectual weight in his own right, to maintain a 24-hour surveillance on the burial site of the late President, the murky circumstances surrounding whose abrupt and seismic demise continue to baffle a remarkable number of the very Ghanaian taxpayers who employed him as their President and the highest elected official of the land, whose salary and perks they generously paid around the clock but whose death, 10 years on, Mr. Samuel Atta-Mills, rather scandalously and obtusely claims is none of our frigging business.

We shall shortly be taking up and discussing the news story in which the younger brother of the late President reportedly made such a morally benighted and asinine remark. Now, it is not clear to me precisely what Mr. Samuel Atta-Mills, who is also described as the National Democratic Congress’ Member of Parliament for the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem Constituency, in the Central Region, describes Dr. Dampare as the former Aide-De-Camp of the late President. I suppose what the Edina-MP is referring to is the fact that Dr. Dampare once served as the Private and Confidential Secretary and an Official Attendant to the then Vice-President Atta-Mills. Or perhaps even while the latter was the substantive President of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana. Even so, wasn’t that position a contractual obligation and taxpayer-underwritten that ended at some point in time over a decade ago?

So, why does the younger Mr. Atta-Mills suppose for even a split-second that Dr. Dampare has been professionally frozen in time and never moved on with his life and right up on the professional ladder? You see, it is not as if Dr. Dampare was ever the privately bought and owned slave or even the privately hired butler of the late President. Rather, the present Chief of the Ghana Police Service was a bona fide public servant salaried by the Ghanaian taxpayer just like his civilian boss or superior at the time. Which, of course, is not to imply that having served as an Aide-De-Camp to the late President Atta-Mills also makes Dr. Dampare either the classmate or the professional peer of the Edina NDC-MP, as to cause Mr. Atta-Mills to suppose that he could play a condescending game of familiarity with Dr. Dampare. At any rate, what I really wanted to enlighten Mr. Atta-Mills about is the fact that, ordinarily, the cemeteries or burial grounds of the most prominent leaders of any country comes under the administrative purview of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board or, perhaps, the Department of Parks and Gardens, which may very well be subsumed under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, or whatever ministerial portfolio the government of the day so decides.

Even so, for a man who has been widely reported to have retorted that the circumstances under which his late brother and extant Sitting-President of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana met his death is absolutely not the business of anybody else, that is, other than the kinsfolk and the clansmen and women of the late President to be huffing and puffing over what Mr. Atta-Mills claims to be virulent desecration of the tomb of his late brother, constitutes the very height of hypocrisy of the most heinous criminality. I mean, if, really, the manner of death of the late President Atta-Mills is nobody’s damn frigging business, why should the fact of the purported desecration of the tomb of such a personality matter to any straight- or forward-thinking Ghanaian citizen?

Source: Modern Ghana

5 Years of the Rohingya Influx: The ‘Call of Duty’ for the International Community

25th August marks the 5 years of the Rohingya crisis. On 25th August 2017, Myanmar Military launched its inhumane ‘Clearance Operation’ against the Rohingya with an intention of ethnic cleansing. The Junta destroyed village, inflicted torture, raped women and killed many. The operation was so brutal that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights described it as a ‘textbook example of ethnic cleansing’ and many later findings confirmed that Myanmar has committed crimes against humanity, genocide and atrocities. As the fear of persecution grew, the Rohingya were forced to exodus to neighboring Bangladesh. 745000 Rohingya came to Cox’s Bazaar as Bangladesh opened its border on humanitarian Ground. Since then, 5 years have passed without any viable solution to the crisis. On the fifth anniversary, let’s take a look at the current scenario and concerns of the crisis.

During the last five years, the international attention decreased drastically. The conflicts around the world have diverted the priority and funding. Declining funds also put pressure on the host, Bangladesh as it had to increase allocation in its national budget also. Regional and Global politics is also responsible for decreasing attention. Since the exodus, great powers didn’t play proactive role because of their geopolitical calculations. It even failed the UNSC resolution also.

The declining international attention is also protracting the crisis. The Rohingya are well-aware of it and their recent ‘Go-Home’ campaign also addressed it. Through the ‘Go-Home’ campaign the Rohingya have demonstrated their declining trust upon the international community and called for reinforcing it.

The camp situation is also deteriorating as the Rohingya are becoming frustrated without any viable solution and uncertainty. Young Rohingya are becoming victim to gang rivalries and transnational crimes such as extremism and drug and arms peddling. Frustrated and aimless Rohingya will be more vulnerable and may become a threat to regional stability. Quick repatriation is very crucial in this regard.

Safe and dignified repatriation is the prime concern in the crisis. Even though Bangladesh signed bilateral agreement with Myanmar back in 2017, the repatriation process is still lingering. The February coup of last year halted the process indefinitely. It has been established that Myanmar is not willing to repatriate them. Repatriation process requires strong pressure on Myanmar from international community.

The only positive development that took place for the Rohingya is the legal processes. The legal processes are also showing symptoms of ensuring justice for this persecuted community. The latest ICJ ruling paved path for further prosecution against Myanmar. perhaps it is the most significant development of this year. ICC is also building its case against the individual perpetrators. An Argentine court has also agreed to investigate under universal jurisdiction. However, the effectiveness of these cases is also dependent upon the efforts of the International community as the enforcement mechanism is weak.

The US stance on Genocide has also changed positively as the US acknowledged the genocide recently.

However, the acceptance about the Rohingya is also increasing in Myanmar. Since the coup the pro-democracy front- National Unity Government (NUG) is fighting against the Junta. NUG has acknowledged Rohingya as the Myanmar nationals and pledged to provide legal status to them. Another stakeholder of Rakhine- the Arakan Army has also acknowledged Rohingya rights. Hence, the acceptance is also increasing in Myanmar.

As the crisis already passing its fifth year, the time for International community is decreasing. Without practical effort, there is a high chance that the crisis will be forgotten and protracted which is the last thing the Rohingya wants. There is still time for the international community to renew their effort to end the crisis before its too late. The priority should be on two things, safe and dignified repatriation and ensuring justice for unspeakable crimes committed against the most persecuted community of our time. It is the duty of the world community for their fellow Rohingya, and the call must be heard.

Source: Modern Ghana