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Government to bring McAlpin’s body home

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Government to bring McAlpin’s body home

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Mar 05, 2010


Government to bring McAlpin’s body home
By Clint Chan Tack Friday, March 5 2010

GOVERNMENT will pay all of the expenses needed to bring the body of TT national Gregory McAlpin home from Haiti. McAlpin, an employee with the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority, died at the Hotel Montana in Port au Prince which was destroyed when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on January 12. Foreign Affairs Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon made this announcement at yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s.

“Cabinet has agreed to assist in bringing the body back to Trinidad and Tobago. We don’t have all the details of the expenses yet. Liat and Caribbean Airlines have agreed to do their legs (of the trip) gratis (from the Dominican Republic to TT). I believe there will be a cost of taking the body from Haiti to the Dominican Republic, from where it will be taken commercially into TT,” she said.

Gopee-Scoon said Government will cover that cost and there may be another cost attributed to the search and rescue. “Cabinet has agreed to the funding of the repatriation (of McAlpin’s body),” she added. Gopee-Scoon also revealed Cabinet approved a request for troops from the Haitian government and will send 43 soldiers to Haiti to assist with the reconstruction efforts. Noting that TT has already committed US$6 million in financial aid to Haiti, Gopee-Scoon disclosed Government has pledged a further US$ 5 million to assist with relief efforts.

Asked whether Government would repatriate Haitians who enter this country illegally in the aftermath of the earthquake, Gopee-Scoon replied, “There is no particular policy with regard to Haitians and we have taken no decision on any further policy with regards to Haitians.”

Explaining that TT and other Caricom nations all have immigration policies, Gopee-Scoon said, “Caricom has not taken a decision with regards to the deportation of Haitians. This is really a matter for individual governments.”

Government also agreed yesterday to donate US$1 million in financial aid to Chile to help relief and reconstruction efforts in that country following an 8.8 magnitude earthquake on February 27 which killed 723 persons and affected two million. Gopee-Scoon said an energy memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between both governments when Chilean President Michelle Bachelet visited TT on February 23 remains in effect.

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