I QUIT: Senior Jamaica minister resigns citing several unsubstantiated allegations

first_img Share Tweet Share Share NewsRegional I QUIT: Senior Jamaica minister resigns citing several unsubstantiated allegations by: – May 25, 2011center_img Sharing is caring! 35 Views   no discussions by Kathy BarrettKINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Energy and Mining Minister James Robertson Tuesday resigned from the Jamaica government, citing “recent events which include several unsubstantiated allegations (that) have taken a heavy toll on my family and me”.In a brief letter to Prime Minister Bruce Golding, Robertson said he had decided to submit his resignation with ‘immediate effect” after holding discussions with his wife, Catherine and his daughters.While he did not indicate the “unsubstantiated allegations”, Robertson said he was confident “that this matter will be resolved once given the opportunity and due process.“Under the circumstances, I believe my resignation from the Cabinet is the correct course of action at this time,” he told Golding.Late on Monday, Robertson confirmed that the United States had revoked the visa given to him and his wife. He said the visas were cancelled last Friday. “We readily acknowledge that as a sovereign nation it is the prerogative of the US Government to issue and revoke visas,” Robertson said.“However, no details have been provided as to the basis for the cancellations although we are of the view that this could have resulted from the uncorroborated statements forwarded to various departments of the US Government in support of a failed application for political asylum,” he said.Robertson’s reference to a failed application for political asylum stemmed from a case involving Ian Johnson, a former activist with the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).On December 17, 2010, Johnson filed a claim in the Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit in Broward County, making damning allegations against Robertson. However, in January this year, a Florida court threw out the suit. Robertson said he and his wife have since written to their U.S based attorney in the hope of seeking an audience with the relevant US officials in an effort to ascertain the basis for the cancellations of the visas.He said all appropriate channels will be utilised and expressed confidence that once given the opportunity and due process, the matter will be resolved.The main opposition People’s National Party (PNP), in a statement issued before Roberston announced his resignation, said it was concerned over the decision by Washington to revoke the minister’s visa.“This must obviously be a matter of serious concern. It is very exceptional and unusual for the US government to take this action against a high government official of another country and we will have to assume that it was not done arbitrarily,” said PNP general secretary, Peter Bunting.“Therefore, the question that the Prime Minister must now weigh is can Mr. Robertson continue to function effectively as a minister of government,” Bunting said, adding “it is  going to cast a cloud over him that will affect his ability to perform his function as a minister, particularly functions involved in overseas travel, conferences, negotiations etcetera”.Political commentator Lloyd B. Smith said the move by Washington will have implications for both the government and the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). “Mr. Robertson is not just an ordinary member of the JLP, he’s one of the members of the hierarchy of the party. He’s a Deputy Leader, he’s seen as a very influential party person and he’s a full fledged minister.“Surely this type of high profile embarrassment where his visa and that of his wife have been revoked will put a dent in the JLP,” Smith said.Another political commentator, Martin Henry, said that although the reasons for the visa cancellation have not been made public, Golding will be forced to make an announcement.Meanwhile, the PNP Youth Organization (PNPYO) has welcomed Robertson’s resignation but has also called for the resignation of Prime Minister Golding. In a statement, the PNPYO said the Prime Minister has been tainted by several controversies that have brought into question his credibility and moral authority to continue leading the country.It also pointed to the revelation by the international whistle-blowing organisation, WikiLeaks published by in the  Sunday Gleaner, indicating that the United States Embassy here has labelled the Golding administration as “two-faced”.The US Government document uncovered by WikiLeaks suggested that the Prime Minister was less than truthful on at least two occasions when he first responded to questions in Parliament about the extradition request for alleged drug lord Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.  “In many other countries the Prime Minister or President would have already done the noble thing and stepped down,” the PNPYO said in its statement. The PNPYO said it was now time for the Prime Minister to do the honourable thing by stepping aside and saving Jamaica further national and international embarrassment.last_img read more

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Dancer delivers at Kilbeggan

first_img Press Association The Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old was sent off the 13-8 joint-favourite for her first appearance since last August, when she made a winning debut over hurdles at Tramore. Taking a keen hold, Paul Townend’s mount had led for much of the way but was headed four out by Honey Bach, who still held an advantage over the last. Dysart Dancer left it late but rallied to maintain her unbeaten record over timber in the Bloomfield House Hotel Mares Hurdle at Kilbeggan.center_img But Townend was at his strongest aboard Dysart Dancer and just got his mount back up in the shadow of the post for a neck success. The jockey said: “She was very hard on herself. She pulled very hard and I had to give her a chance. She was very tough to get back up like that.” Elsewhere on the card there was a second career win for 7lb claimer John Tobin on Never A Secret in the Athlone Handicap Hurdle. Tobin’s previous winner had come in August 2011, and he said: “I’ve just been struggling to get rides.” Trainer-owner Hugh Finegan said of the 6-1 chance, who was winning at Kilbeggan for the second time: “I was hopeful today. We’ll see what the handicapper does. She loves this track.” last_img read more

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Badgers, Leuer dominated in border battle

first_imgWisconsin guard Trevon Hughes and the Badgers shot just 30.5 percent for the night in a loss to UM.[/media-credit]MINNEAPOLIS — Physically dominated.Those are not words often associated with head coach Bo Ryan’s Wisconsin basketball team.But the statistics, final score and even bruised egos will bear out that this is exactly what happened to the Badger basketball squad Thursday night in a 68-52 drubbing against Minnesota in Williams Arena.The “U” pounded UW 41-28 on the boards, attempted 21 more free throws than their Badger counterparts and drew 24 fouls against Wisconsin’s 11.Any follower of Badger basketball knows Wisconsin’s goal is to make more free throws than its opponents attempt — a target the team missed by 23 Thursday night.“You have to get a lot more free throws,” senior guard Jason Bohannon stated bluntly.“We certainly haven’t been doing that the last couple games, and it tells us we need to get the ball in the paint, pump fake, get the guys in the air and do a better job of that.”Bohannon had 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including 4-for-7 from 3-point land.Possessing a height advantage nearly across the board, Minnesota consistently attacked the lane with deep post touches and the Gophers dropped in 22 points in the paint while holding the Badgers to a mere 11.Playing as they have every game since forward Jon Leuer was sidelined with an injury, Wisconsin was content to swing the ball around the perimeter against both zone and man defense and fire up 3-pointers. The Badgers attempted 30 from beyond the arc — opposed to 29 two-point shots — and connected on 11. The much more aggressive Gopher offense took merely nine shots from deep, burying five.Ryan, however, is not buying that UW settled for any outside shots.“I would love to have those shots. I would love to have them,” Ryan said.“We didn’t finish on some shots inside.”Having trimmed the Minnesota lead to 45-42 on a Bohannon 3-pointer with 9:40 left in the game, UW seemed poised to come back as they have against Northwestern, Penn State and Michigan this season.Instead, what followed was a nearly eight minute scoreless stretch where the Gophers extended the lead to 16, sealing their third straight victory over the Badgers. During the stretch, UW hucked up three-pointer after three-pointer, coming up empty most of the time.Sucking both the momentum and energy from the Badgers was a series of missed 3-pointers and offensive rebounds just 30 seconds after Bohannon’s deep bomb. In comically sad fashion, The Barn exploded as Leuer missed from deep, was rebounded by Mike Bruesewitz, followed with misses from Bohannon, Tim Jarmusz and Trevon Hughes as well as rebounds from Nankivil and Hughes.Hughes was 7-for-17 from the field, finishing with 19 points. He also added four steals.The empty possession deflated UW and primed Minnesota for a game-clinching run.“We had an open look, and we got another open look and that third one was an open look too,” Bohannon said. “Anytime you get those open shots and keep getting those offensive rebounds you have to make them pay somehow. We got to get some points out of that possession.”Unwilling to criticize his team in almost any facet, Ryan gave away perhaps a hint of frustration in his praise of freshman rebounding fiend, Mike Bruesewitz.On the floor for only 20 minutes, the St. Paul, Minnesota native pulled down four boards — three offensive — and kept numerous other possessions alive with his activity under the glass. Though inconsistent with the ball in his hands (zero points to five fouls), Bruesewitz was the only Badger to match the intensity of the Gopher team digging in for rebounds.In the post game press conference, Ryan made sure his freshman’s hard work did not go unnoticed.“Mike Bruesewtiz was again all over the place,” Ryan said. “If he wasn’t getting the rebound he was getting his hand on it. He is so active. We need more of that.”“He is just hungry,” Ryan continued when asked if others needed to follow Bruesewitz’ lead. “You have to be hungry to be a good rebounder.”last_img read more

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