National Perspective August 22, 2010

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National Perspective August 22, 2010

Transcript of National Perspective August 22, 2010

  • Edition104 Vol. 2 - Week 53

    Bias Towards NoNe!!!

    See story on page 17

    See story on page 3 Continued on page 3

    Over a year ago the N a t i o n a l Perspective broke the news of C h u k k a C a r i b b e a n Adventures advent in Belize. The company is J a m a i c a n owned and o p e r a t e s in Belize through its subsidiary, B a k a b u s h Tours in which Chukka has two-thirds of the shares. This is the slow-season in tourism and therefore only Caribbean Cruise Line is calling on Belizes Port. This has raised the level of competition amongst tour operators for the small number of tourists that come on shore. Carnival Cruise Line, however, has made its own tour arrangement with Chukka Caribbean Adventures Bakabush Tours disregarding the majority of smaller operators and tour guides.

    A c c o r d i n g to the Federa t ion of Criuse T o u r i s m Associations of Belize (FECTAB), t h e arrangement has put them at a disadvantage and rendered m a n y B e l i z e a n s unemployed and threatens s m a l l e r operations in

    the industry.On Tuesday FECTAB held a meeting at the Biltmore Plaza to discuss the current disadvantageous situation. The arrangement with Chukka Caribbean Adventures resulted after an American tourist, Linda Linan 50, drowned while cave-tubing in the Caves Branch River while on a tour with Bel-Cruise with whom Carnival had initial contractual arrangements. Troy Gabb, Manager of Renaissance Towers and Crocland

    "No Improvement of Accountability" says

    Auditor General

    By Rhenae NunezBelize City, Mon. Aug. 16, 2010

    In light of the present structure of the finance sections and the inadequate internal controls that exist within the ministries, it was the view of the Audit Office that the system being implemented would be open to collusion and potential

    fraud. Edmund Zuniga, Auditor GeneralIt was politically expedient and strategic for the United Democratic Partys government to selectively release findings from the Auditor Generals Special Report on the Issuance of National Land, Leases and Titles during the meeting of the

    Chukka Cove/Bakabush

    Tom Greenwood

    Micheal Singh Hon. Manuel Heredia

    BTB SELLOUTSINGH DISRESPECTS BELIZEANS

    Niam Wi Suppa

    Edmund Zuniga, Auditor General

    Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

  • Sunday, August 22nd, 2010PAGE 2

    Tourism Board that many of the standards that they as Belizeans have to adhere to are being violated by the Chukka/Bakabush outfit. They stated that the guide-to-guest ratio was not being adhered to and that many of the guides used

    might not possess valid Tour Guide Licenses. They also complained that Carnival is accepting school buses and buses without bathrooms to transport guests; in the past they requested higher quality buses from the Belizean Tour Operators. Michael Singh tried to argue that it is about competition. This publication has no difficulty with competition, as long as that competition is between Belizeans and with a level playing field. Reports are that Belizean Tour Operators knew nothing about the bidding process which Chukkas spokesperson, Guy Martin spoke about in his Tuesday television interview. He also stated that local operators do not have essentials such

    as insurance coverage and operation manuals; everyone knows that he is speaking bulls_it by the ton loads. Every single operator is scrutinized by the Belize Tourism Board to ensure they meet all the criteria otherwise

    their Tour Operators License would have been revoked a long time ago. The call by FECTAB to rid Belize of Chukka is supported by this publication. It is advisable that the Ministry of Tourism do what is right by

    The United Democratic Party (UDP) was swept into office on February 7, 2008 on the platform that they would take care of Belizeans bread and butter no matta what. Today, thirty months later, Belizeans are worst off. To make matters worse for poor struggling Belizean businessmen and women, foreigners are now being given preferences in the Cruise Tourism Industry. On Friday August13, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Tourism seriously offended Belizean Tour Operators and Tour Guides, so much so that these persons had to call a meeting of their association FECTAB (Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize) to express their disgust with the statements of CEO, Michael Singh (brother of the missing Minister of Police Doug Singh). Singh was commenting on the complaints made by the Belizean tour representatives that the Jamaican outfit called Chukka being disguised as Bakabush Tours is enjoying an incestuous contract with Carnival Cruise Lines; a contract none of the major operators were allowed to bid for, and as a result, are not getting a fair share of the Belizean pie. They also complained to the Belize

    Belizeans otherwise the Cruise ship industry will be in utter disaster. The CEO of the Ministry of Tourism needs to shut his mouth to avoid getting into more trouble before he gets fired by Hon. Manuel Heredia

    who despises him. Michael Singh is the same as his brother Doug; they both suffer from a severe case of foot in mouth disease. We ask the Prime Minister (Mr. Frequent Flyer Miles) to put a gag order on Michael Singh similar to what was done to

    his brother Doug. We say to the FECTAB members, dont stop until the foreigners are out this country; stay strong and stay united. Belize for Belizeans.

    25 Nanche St. Belmopan

    oPEn your EyEsthE PEoPlE ArE AwAkE!

    The call by FECTAB to rid Belize of Chukka is supported by this

    publication. It is advisable that the Ministry of Tourism do what is right by Belizeans otherwise the Cruise ship industry will be

    in utter disaster.

    UDP, BTB & MIKE SINGH ALL FOR FOREIGNERS

  • Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 PAGE 3

    Continued on page 11

    Continued from page 1 Continued from page 1

    SELLOUTA d v e n t u r e and Eco Park, e x p l a i n e d the sequence of events that lead to C h u k k a s arrival to Belize. Previously C a r n i v a l had all its arrangements with Bel-Cruisethey disrespected that tour o p e r a t o r , s u s p e n d e d their operations with them subsequently they contracted with Cruise Solutions for a short period of time and Cruise Solutionswas providing them top notch serviceand then lo and behold something popped up on the internet where an interview was being done by John Byles, one of the managing directors for Chukka Tours out of Jamaica. Byles said that, Carnival contacted them even though Carnival was locked into a contract with Cruise Solutions of Belize.Subsequently Chukka Cove may have approached Bakabush. Bakabush may have been struggling. I was told by the then owner of Bakabush that Chukka bought two-thirds ownership of Bakabush.and thus the advent of this relationship of the foreigner actually doing all the tours. Everything is stamped

    by the Jamaican standard. Were not saying that we have anything against the Jamaicans but I believe that we are Belizeans and Belizeans must be first, Gabb emphasized. Gabb who is the Secretary of FECTAB went on to say, Im not attacking the people that initially owned majority share of Bakabush either I know one of them is a born Belizean. I dont want them to think that we are doing anything that is considered personal Tour operators have made investments in Belize. You all have invested in your buses, infrastructure, offices, you have trained staff, website millions of dollars invested - mortgages that you are paying to the bank. Lo and behold somebody from outside who has a philosophy which they

    House of Representatives on Friday August 6th. The released finding created quite the excitement that the UDP thrives on however; the real story of the UDPs first year in office which was characterized by extravagant spending was contained in the Annual Report of the Auditor General for the Year 1st April 2008 to 31st March 2009. The latter was one of five documents that were presented to the House of Representatives.A number of ministries and departments were examined and the findings were presented to House in the Annual Report. What was expected to have highlighted the new governments will to deliver on their promise of good governance and accountability turned out to be a disappointing tale of rampant UDP corruption and ineptitude. We note that the Auditor General did not peruse the files of the Ministry of Works or the Ministry of Education where most of governments money is expended. The stated objective of the Annual Report is to call attention of the Public Accounts Committee and by extension that of the National Assembly to cases of (a) where

    accounts have not been properly kept, (b) where any public money was not duly accounted for, (c) where checks against irregularity and fraud were inadequate or ineffective (d) where the laws directions and instructions relating to finance and accounts appear to be inadequate or where adequate have not been carried out, (e) where there has been apparent neglect in the assessment or collection of revenue, (f) where any disbursement of public money exceeded the proper authority or was not applied for the purposes intended by such authority or was not properly vouched or certified and (g) where there has been apparent waste of extravagance in the administration of government property. The Auditor General went on to say that, the report has had no effect on the improvement of accountability in the public service. In his view this can only be remedied when the Public Accounts Committee takes accounting officers to task in addressing the issues in the Auditor Generals Report. One such accounting officer with whom the Auditor General took issue

    No Improvement of Accountability

    Continued on page 13

    Local Tour Operators and Guides