Town Meeting on the Sale of BTC to CWC set for This Wednesday

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DR. ELWOOD DONALDSON
STATEMENT BY DR. ELWOOD DONALDSON CHAIRMAN -OPERATION NATIONAL RESCUE
WE THE MEMBERS OF OPERATION NATIONAL RESCUE RESPONDING AS CONCERNED AND RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS, ON BEHALF OF ALL THOSE WHO CAN NOT MAKE THEIR VOICES HEARD – NOW PUT OUR SERVANTS (THE GOVERNMENT) ON NOTICE, THAT WE WILL NO LONGER SIT AND WATCH AS OUR HERITAGE IS TRAMPLED AND TAKEN.
WE WILL NO LONGER SIT IDLY BY AS OUR CRIES FOR RELIEF ARE ARROGANTLY DISMISSED, WHETHER THROUGH DISINTEREST OR ARROGANCE, WE  WILL GATHER AT A TOWN MEETING TO BE HELD ON:

DATE: WEDNESDAY 16TH MARCH, 2011
TIME: AT 7:30 PM
PLACE: IN THE BALLROOM OF THE BRITISH COLONIAL HILTON ON BAY STREET
TO CALL FOR AN END TO IT ALL!
THEREFORE, THIS IS A CONTINUATION OF AN ACTIVE PROCESS TO MOBILIZE ALL CONCERNED BAHAMIAN CITIZENS TO DEMAND THAT OUR GRIEVANCES ARE ADDRESSED PROMPTLY REGARDING THE “PROPOSED” SALE OF BTC TO CABLE AND WIRELESS (CWC).
SINCE THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE THAT WE CAN TRULY CALL HOME, AND THE ONLY PLACE WHERE WE CAN BE FIRST CLASS CITIZENS, WE MUST NOT PERMIT THOSE AMONGST US WHO HAVE OTHER ALLEGIANCES AND LOYALTIES TO ROB US OF OUR BIRTHRIGHT, NEITHER BY PROMOTING THEMSELVES AS LEADERS, NOR BY SABOTAGING THE LAW.

39 COMMENTS

  1. @ The End, TRUST and BELIEVE if this deal goes through and I dare say when this deal goes through…..This will not be the end by no means. This will only be the “Beginning of the End.” for the powers that be for selling out the Bahamian people once again to foreigners.

  2. LIME soon come praise GOD! we gon get cheap minutes, 3G n 4G n iphone n crackberry! Silly Union Terrorists and drama queens gats ta go!

  3. Hilton Ballroom holds 400 people. I am one of the students that were asked by Mrs. Dotson to come as a class assignmet for labour relations, great music by Mr. Hanna, didn’t see Steve Mckinney. Thanks Bradley Roberts, Shane Gibson, Fred Mitchell (the guy who wanted us to be part of CSME) Paul Moss. This is too Political, i am now of the opinion to sell it and let C&W run it and the Bahamian people earn the easy 48% of the profits. Then in 3 yrs when Cable Bahamas (a company I own 100 shares of us)jumps into the Telecommunications bid,I will buy more then I will have my own Bahamian pie. I am tired of Rich Politicians/ Union Officials telling me to walk of my job to promote their beliefs

    • @ Derek Newery

      I guess that you are one of the college students who is hoping for some gift from the COB politically appointed Board of Directors! What could they possibly be offering that you could not legitimately earn? Grade points?

      Or are you one of the frightened, reluctant to enter the room group of young people who on Wednesday evening expressed concern over being photographed by the ZNS News cameraman, for fear of being fired from your job at the Treasury?

      Clearly, we have produced a generation of misfits and miscreants whose commitment to country is dwarfed by a greater loyalty to partisan political considerations!

      How sad! Your comments dooms the future of The Bahamas to a day of infamy and rebuke!

  4. @END….If this the same C&W from what I’ve been reading don’t get your hopes up…

    Case of Privatization Gone Wrong Panama’s Wires Crossed Michelle Lescure, World Press Review correspondent, Panama City , Panama , Aug. 1, 2002
    Police disperse students protesting Cable & Wireless’ decision to raise long-distance rates in Panama City , Jan. 18, 2001. The protest was the second in as many days (Photo: AFP).

    As the world continues to absorb the fallout from corporate scandals in the United States , evidence is emerging that raises suspicions that a British telecommunications company may have colluded with the Panamanian government in a sweetheart privatization deal, then mismanaged the company at the expense of customers and employees.
    In 1997, U.K.-based Cable and Wireless PLC (C&W) outbid U.S.¬based GTE by US$232 million to purchase 49 percent of the shares of Panama’s state-owned telecommunications company, INTEL, which had been converted into a Sociedad Anónima (private corporation) shortly before being put up for sale.
    If C&W’s bid seemed a little high, it did not raise many eyebrows outside the next meeting of its board. But as previously unreleased documents—including the contracts for the sale of the company and for the concession to administer and operate the phone company—emerge, they are casting shadows on an already unpopular deal.
    The sale of such a major state asset would seem to be the stuff of which grueling committee hearings and ferocious legislative debates are made. Yet Panama ’s Legislative Assembly never had the opportunity to debate or approve the deal. The contract was signed, sealed, and delivered by the executive branch, acting alone.
    According to the rationale offered to telephone workers and the nation at large at the time, INTEL was privatized because it didn’t have the resources to make necessary structural and technological investments, and because the government was a poor administrator. Private enterprise, it was believed, would be more successful in the company’s management. C&W was touted because it was supposed to be serious about expanding services, had solid capital resources to invest, and had long experience in the telecommunications field.
    Public government records indicate that even through the rockiest periods of Panama ’s recent history, INTEL earned Panama an average net profit of US$150 million yearly. But since the sale, despite increases in the number of customers and raises in rates for calls and other services, the government has only received some US$30 million per year for its 49 percent stake in the company.
    After the company privatized, unpopular measures were imposed. Student protests—dispersed with teargas—followed a 500-percent hike in the cost of phone calls within Panama . Millions of dollars were invested in a call center with dubious prospects for profitability. The company’s purchasing office was moved to Miami , raising costs and adding another layer of intermediaries to transactions. Many qualified workers were laid off, raising unemployment figures just as the Panamanian economy was beginning to stagnate.

  5. @ The End

    It doesn’t END there my friend. For the FNM it begins there. Then comes the bitter pill of down-playing the anti-Bahamian label that the PLP is waiting to tag them with. You seem to think this discussion is about the BTC sale. Nope! It evolved and is about Bahamian empowerment, more precisely black Bahamians empowerment.

    Can’t you see that the PLP is waiting for the FNM to fully commit to the sale, then every FNM candidate who votes “YES” will spend the entire campaign defending his decision. Remember, that decision was made without consultation with the same people he/she will be asking to vote for him/her again. The voters of 2007 will not be of the same mindset in 2012, so roads completion is not an accomplishment to US.

    … TO BE CONTINUED ..(not the end)

    • @ Derek Newry

      I guess that you were looking at your radio, Sir, since the British Colonial Hilton’s Ballroom was full on Widnesday night during the Town Meeting, with persons standing at the back of the room.

  6. I can’t wait for all dis drama is all over wen Cable and Wires takes over. Thats means new technology, better customer services, and lower rates. 4 G is coming to The Bahamas. Yippi

  7. Thank you Dr. Donaldson, for being such a champion, a man who shows love and respect for his fellowmen and his country. You are respected because of your strength even though humble, your wisdom, without appearing pompous. Thank you sir, and keep up the good work as you remain vigilant in your quest to protect all of our interest, our Bahama Land. May god continue to order your steps in everything that you do.

  8. While I might not be able to attend, I support the organizer of this forum in their efforts to inform the Bahamian masses of the destructive path to which the present government is leading our country. I do support the sale of BTC, but to Bahamians only. We have a government that has little regards for its citizens. They must be replace by Bahamians who’s allegiance have not been call into question. Men and women who can say without fear or contridiction and beyond reproach, “I Pledge my allegiance to the flag and The Commonwealth of The Bahamas for which it stands, one people united in love and service”.

  9. @ Alfreda

    Your post not clear. Are you suggesting that C&W is “the perfect fit” for BTC and therefore the FNM government should sell it? If so, then I kind suggest that your thinking is as unclear as your post.

    Some of us are not tied at the hips to political parties. Some of us spend time researching things and assessing things, dear. Frankly, the proposed sale is A TERRIBLE BUSINESS CONSIDERATION FOR SO MANY REASONS (mentioned ad nauseam on this site and elsewhere for those who concern themselves with FACTS).

    I hope you are not a young person. If so, you’re letting the side down with yout thoughtless comment about “complainers”. The days of the “house nigga” are gone, gone, gone. The segregated white communities imposed a social practice on them for application as they went about their chores in the master’s house. That behavior was “niggas should be seen but not be heard” and we have replaced the first word with the word “children”. Perhaps you still function out of that mindset and if you do KEEP THAT FOOLISHNESS TO YOURSELF … PASSIVE NIGGA.

    • @ STORM

      Thank you so much for introducing the subject of Niggas. I just got a book from Mr. Bernard Evans, BCPOU President, titled:”Capitalist NIGGER” written by CHICA ONYEANI, who posits that the failure of Black American businesses to benefit meaningfully from the divestment and deregulation of Ma’ Bell as well as the total monopoly of AT&T over telecommunications on the African continent, are two national tragedies which all persons of colour should lament.

      Armed with the information from the book as well as the accurate statistics provided by the Unions,
      I have moved from the crippling emotion of regret to wholesale OUTRAGE!

      We, Bahamians will STAND and make the difference in The Bahamas!

      No, we will not sit idly by, nor go quietly into that great goodnight, while Hubert Ingraham and his cronies personally profit from the wholesale givaway of the Bahamas’ prized national asset – BTC!

  10. Why sell BTC to a company that has no telecomunication portfolio or equipment to upgrade what BTC already have? You people are just a bunch of complainers, and whiners…….God help you all.

  11. Please rest assured that regardless of the age of the Donaldson photo used by BP, the young Bahamians, many voting for the fist time in the upcoming General Elections, can draw their own opinions after listening and meeting a wonderful man, whose Spirit for speaking up on behalf of the citizens of our Bahamaland has never showed signs of aging. Dr. Donaldson didn’t for a second remain silent when someone had to stand up and speak on behalf of our parents and grandparents, often placing his lucrative medical practice at financial risk. You owe him, so show up at the Sheraton Hilton this Wednesday night. Don’t forget to invite 5 of your friends. Would be nice if the PM showed up unannounced to debate the 51% sale of BTC to foreigners? Would help if BP would publish this on page one to reach more readers about this important event.

  12. It’s amazing how the government is suppose to consist of public servants for the people, yet this goverment seems to care not for what we as Bahamian citizens want. I think they should have a referendum to get a general idea as to where we as a people stand on this sale to C&W. We didn’t vote this present government in to dictate to us, yet they continue to treat us like kids who need Mommy and Daddy to control our thoughts for us.

    Let us ‘the people’ determine the outcome of this situation.

    • May I suggest that you attend the Town Meeting on Wednesday night at 7:30 PM at the British Colonial Ballroom where you may voice your concern live on the microphone provided for attendees. And be early at the next protest March on Bay Street on Monday, March 21, 2011 at 9:00 AM with your placard stating same!

    • @bain this same GOV put to referendum to make p ossible for bahamain women who is marry to foreign men for thier children to be bahamain at birth like thier bahamain brothers an they voted against it , an now they making noise about it .it was the same perry who vote yes for it in the house an came out an tell the voters to vote no. five years ago it was alright for them to make deal with bluewater to sell,now they telling u tosay no,ihope they would win an see what they would do diffrent ,

  13. Recently some one referred to Phillipa as “no Lady” Russell, I just laughed when I read it. “No Lady” Russell’s reaction to it was shocking, calling mother’s name etc.

    Then I said to my self, we all have to agree, Phillpa is “no lady”.

    • @ Serious thing

      I wish that I had the time to properly respond to your growl from the pit! Unfortunately, I am very busy!

      Your opinion of me is irrelevant as I neither sought your approval nor permission to be myselfI,ie TOTALLY EFFECTIVE!

      Signed,

      Phillippa “Lady” Russell

  14. Hey Doc,I am a little disappointed more people have not written in support of this valiant effort you’re engaged in,that really benefits them;perhaps they’re not cognizant of your seniority.So I am suggesting that you replace this picture for one that depicts you today.

    • The business of staging an event leaves little time for conversation. However, it would be most helpfull if each person who agrees with Dr Donaldson and understands the importance of this issue would take the time to add this Press Release Thread to their Facebook account and Share it with their Friends.

      Since BP has more readers on any given day than the all our Newspapers combined, this mass mailout will prove more efficacious than thousands of $$$ in copy advertising.

  15. @ Phillipa Lady Russell

    I watched again (with building concern) last evening, the rebroadcast of the Caninet Ministers promotion of the BTC sale to C&W, on JCN channel 14. In their zeal to “sell” the idea, Minister Laing was playing-up the strength of C&W as a company that can withstand competition when the market is opened to allow other companies, both local and foreign, into it. But is the pendelum going in the opposite direction to an extreme?

    When BellSouth literally owned the telecommunication system in the great USA competitors found it IMPOSSIBLE to effective COMPETE in the industry because Bell South had a strangle hold over the industry. They owned the back bone (infrastructure)that all the other “competitors” used to conduct business from. Realizing that this condition was anti-competitive overall, The Justice Department sued BellSouth on antitrust grounds in 1974 to break the monopolistic hold that they held over the industry. The case was settled in 1982, with the company Bellsouth being divested of it’s hold over the entire system and the system itself being broken into seven (7) regional systems disbursed throughout the USA, commonly called “Baby Bells” today. Before the ink on this court order was dry Bell South (now named At&T) had lost 70% of its value and the competitors were able to gain “real” market share in the industry. Now competition flourishes in the USA thanks to this action.

    BUT THE BAHAMAS IS MOVING IN THE DIRECTION OF MAKING BTC/C&W LIKE BELLSOUTH WAS. Despite the political rhetoric of the FNM about how good it is going to be for competitors, it will not be so for this fundamental reason. Cable & Wireless will have OWNERSHIP CONTROL OVER THE INFRASTRUCTURE. This automatically limits the competitive abilities of other players to being forever much smaller than BTC, or being vendors who sell the services and products (as middle men) on behalf of BTC/C&W. The same logic that applied to the reason for divesting the old South Bell applies in the Bahamas now and if the same step is not taken in the Bahamas NOW, then real competition to BTC/C&W will be only a dream in the mind of fools. THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE REMOVED THE BACK BONE (INFRASTRUCTURE) OUT OF THE SALE CONSIDERATION TO AVOID WHAT IS ALREADY KNOWN TO HAVE BEEN A MAJOR ANTI-COMPETITIVE MISTAKE WHEN LIBERALIZING A TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY – THE MISTAKE IS RECENT HISTORY FROM RIGHT NEXT DOOR (USA). HOW IS IT THAT WE ARE OBLIVIOUS TO THIS. C&W will be able to “gut” any competitor by constantly raising their fees for use of and access to THEIR system … period. This point seems lost on the entire cabinet. We are producing a permanent monopoly (even after the market is liberalized) through the use of the current sale strategy.

    And Cable Bahamas, which was “protected” from competition for 13 years or so until it was able to buy equipment to position itself to become a telecommunications company too is another story of abuse. AN INVESTIGATION TO DETERMINE IF BTC WAS REQUIRED TO PAY CUSTOM DUTY ON THE SAME KIND OF EQUIPMENT THAT CABLE BAHAMAS IMPORTED “DUTY FREE” UNDER SOME EXEMPTION OR CONCESSION IS LONG OVER DUE (hint). The abuses just keep piling up.

    • @ STORM
      You are 100% correct in your analysis of this issue.
      I too watched with dismay, the ineptitude of the jokers we have allowed to hijack our instruments of State, as they attempted to justify the foolish BTC proposal.
      Most annoying of the four Ministers who disgraced themselves on national TV, was the beligerant utterances of Zhivargo “Who Moved My Conch” Laing. I continue to hope that Zhivargo Laing, the plagerist, will soon locate his conch so that he may then tell the Bahamian people Who Moved Our Cheese!
      A Commission of Inquiry will be convened no later than 2012 to assess penalties for the many perpetrators of FRAUD in this BTC fiasco!
      Charges of TREASON must also be brought against Hubert Ingraham for his part in the attempted sale of BTC to “Careless & Wuttless”(CWC) along with Insider Trading and Conflict of Interest.
      The Bahamian people regardless of party affiliation, seek and demand retribution!

  16. @ STORM and others.

    The comment like yours posted here clearly demonstrates the rareness of this man over such a long period in Bahamian politics. Few as Dr, Donaldson have championed so much for the people. You may disagree with him but it’s so darn hard not to respect and like him. Finally, come this Wednesday night, a Bahamian so much respect by Bahamians from across all political afflictions, so much that even the PM. may just show up announced to shake the hand of true giant of a Bahamian. You never know if Papa might take a page right out of Pindling’s early days as Prime Minister, when unannounced the PM would just show up to mix-it-up, regardless whether it was a topic his government favored or opposed. I think he called it a staying in power tactic; unfortunately he too grew too big to follow his own winning advice. Dr. Donaldson is one of the few remaining Bahamian giant’s, which even Papa himself would not dare to belittle among his cabinet colleagues, or the party’s supporters. Hundreds of young Bahamians should show up this Wednesday night and listen to a man from, amongst the handful that would not only stand up to the then powerful Bay Street UBP Boys, he would never sell his soul to the UBP nor others to who rose to seats of power and influence, to tempt his honor by appointing him to position of power and prestige, nor pieces of silver. This man stood up tall for you, your parents and grandparents when few would, so I ask the younger men and women to respect him, by showing up, with your friends, to listen to a man of honor, as he shares his viewpoint on the government’s decision to sell 51% of BTC to foreigners.

  17. Dr. Donaldson is simply ADORED by some many sober-minded, patriotic and intelligent Bahamians because unlike many upon whom we have bestowed prominence, he has an undeniable history of “sticking his neck out” for the benefit of the masses.

    NO SENSIBLE BAHAMIAN WOULD DARE QUESTION HIS MOTIVES BECAUSE “HE WAS THERE” AS ONE OF THE BEGINNERS TO SACRAFICE PERSONALLY FOR ALL THAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED (ON BOTH SIDES OF THE POLITICAL AISLE).

    PLEASE, PLEASE WRITE YOUR BOOKS DR. DONALDSON. YOU ARE A GIANT OF A MAN WHO STRADDLES THE FENCE BETWEEN ALL THE GENERATIONS.

  18. I appreciate all of the efforts of all of the people proactively opposing the sale of BTC to C&W.
    However, perhaps we should rethink some of the start times for the evening events. We still live in New Providence, where most people like to be indoors and barricaded by 7:30. Therefore many well-meaning and well-wishing folks who might desire to join the spartans in attendance, start calculating the return home time. Perhaps 6:00 pm would be a better start time for future evening efforts. But lets continue the fight against tyranny and against the globalists. For sovereignty!!!

  19. Doctor Donaldson is providing Bahamians with a fantastic fresh opportunity for the silent majority to speak up, so Papa gets a clear message that yes there is indeed a growing resentment amongst Bahamians, regardless of political affiliation, to his government’s selling 51% of BTC under questionable conditions. I have not spoken with Dr. Donaldson in years, so I will attend with my friends, PLP’s and FNM’s, and listen to a highly trusted Bahamian. There are more like Dr. Donaldson who until know have selected to remain silent about a lot of wrong steps taken by this PM. This is your time to speak out for your Bahamaland.

  20. Thank you so much Dr. Donaldson. This situation really is heavy on many people’s heart.

    I’m in Freeport so please let me know if there will be something done here….I surly want to support.

    Thanks again

  21. a true Bahamian hero………i will be there….this is much bigger than BTC, we need to purge ourselves of all the corruption……

  22. This issue is not going away we now see that another grouping is involved in the BTC debate.Will the Govt realise that the snowball is getting bigger and back away from this deal?or will they remain intransigent and just go against its people?Too much momenum against the sale has been gained and no wise person will proceed in the face of such challenges.What is the FNM Govt?wise men or suicidals?

  23. where as me and the good doc don’t agree on every thing that goes on in this country i am 100% behind the group that is trying to keep btc and any other bahamian own company in the hands of bahamians.

  24. Dr. Donaldson it is so encouraging to see that you still realize the importance of listening to the people. You’re but one of a handful of Bahamians who have remained silent much to long. A man who has stayed loyal to their convictions. The people that know of you know that you have never sold your soul for a position nor pieces of silver. I encourage Bahamians from all walks of life to show up and listen to a man that has a reputation of telling it like it is. I am pretty sure the FNM will try to do what they did to one of their own, when they just couldn’t stomach that a MP would dare ask his constituents to voice their options over the sale of BTC. Bran was not afraid to invite those for and against the sale of BTC. I encourage everyone to call five people they know and invite them to meet a true and honest Bahamian. Better still email every contact. Dr. Donaldson will make you proud to be a Bahamian. If your friends don’t have a ride tell them they just have to meet Dr. Donaldson in person, so offer to drive them to the British Colonial Holton on Bay Street.

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