Tag Archives: Malta

Malta President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca Visits Ghana To Strengthen Ties

Malta President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca

Malta President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca is on a three-day visit to Ghana with spouse Edgar Prega to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries and enhance economic cooperation along with exchange of products and services. The couple was welcomed by Ghanian Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia at the Kotoko International Airport on Tuesday. Chief of Staff, Mrs Akosua Frema ...

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EasyJet refused to refund widower’s Malta flight for his dead wife

A British pensioner whose wife died from cancer after he booked EasyJet flights to Malta was refused a refund by the airline, until the matter was taken up by the press. EasyJet ignored Mr Douglas-Woods’ request for a refund for months – until the media stepped in and took up the case Thomas Douglas-Woods, 85, told UK newspapers that he had booked the flights several months before his wife Margaret became too ill to travel. She died before the planned trip in October. Mr Douglas-Woods said the airline ignored his request for a refund for months until the media took up his case. “‘I think it’s absolutely disgusting. This is a genuine case, it’s not someone who’s broken down on the way to the airport,” he told the Daily Star. EasyJet eventually relented and refunded the airfare. A spokesman for the airline said: “EasyJet is a no-refunds airline, however we fully understand that our customers’ travel plans and circumstances may change due to a bereavement. “We can confirm that the refund has now been processed in full.”

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Safarilink set to showcase ‘new bird’ at Tusker Air Show

Safarilink’s 8th brand new Cessna Caravan EX was handed over to Kenya’s premier safari airline yesterday at the Cessna factory in the United States. The state of the art aircraft is presently being fitted with ferry fuel tanks to allow for the marathon journey home to Nairobi’s Wilson Airport, where the bird is expected to land on Independence Day and in time for the Tusker Air Show which is taking off, literally by the way, that weekend too. The single engine aircraft features the latest Garmin G1000 ‘glass cockpit’ which is quite similar to what is today used in jet aircraft and powered by an 825 shp Pratt & Whitney PTA6-140 turboprop engine, which adds an extra 150 shp of raw power to the new bird. Safarilink in their communication to this correspondent highlighted that the new engine type will significantly improve performance out of small fields, into which most of the airline’s flight operate across Kenya’s national parks. Not only will this latest Cessna Caravan fly faster, shaving off up to 15 minutes of flying time to Safarilink’s coastal destinations like Lamu and Ukunda, but also increase take off safety margins when flying out of short dirt strips. The flight home to Kenya will start on the 09th of December in Florida and then route via Bermuda, the Azores, Malta, Egypt’s Luxor and finally reach Safarilinks home hub at Wilson Airport. Flight updates will be available on Safarilink’s website www.flysafarilink.com where regular updates will be posted. Safarilink has also announced the recruitment of additional pilots who will be deployed as first officers on the Caravan fleet, and applications of suitably qualified Kenyan pilots (Hold Kenyan CPL + IR + ME – Hold a Caravan C208B rating – Be 30 yrs of age or younger) can be sent to chiefpilot Happy Landings to the new bird and the ferry crew on the way home and see you soon at Wilson Airport. 

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UN rights expert calls for international protection of Eritreans in their quest for safety

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 25, 2013– The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth, expressed great concern about rampant human rights violations in Eritrea which caused hundreds of thousands to leave their country for an unknown and precarious future. United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea Sheila B. Keetharuth “I call on the Eritrean Government to respect its human rights obligations and to put an immediate stop to human rights violations that are committed in the country”, Ms. Keetharuth stressed after interviewing Eritreans during an official mission* to Tunisia and Malta. The blanket disrespect of fundamental human rights in Eritrea is pushing some 2,000 to 3,000 people to leave the country monthly, although the risks along the escape routes are of a life-threatening nature. In 2012, the total Eritrean population of concern to UNHCR amounted to 305,723. During her ten-day mission, the indefinite national service was quoted as the main reason inciting Eritreans to leave their home country. “The open-ended national service is a system which keeps Eritreans captive in a situation of despair, forcing them to take unimaginable risks in search of freedom and a safe haven,” she noted. Young Eritreans, both women and men, often before reaching 18 years, are recruited into a compulsory national service characterised by severe human rights abuses. Punishment amounting to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment as well as detention in inhumane conditions is routine in the military. Women explained they were particularly vulnerable to sexual abuses by officers. “These violations are committed with complete impunity, without any structures and procedures in place for victims to bring the perpetrators to justice”, she said. Most of those she interviewed described difficult economic and social conditions in their home country; however, they noted that the daily struggle for access to food and water, and lack of adequate health care and electricity had not motivated their departure. “It is the complete deprivation of the freedom and security of the person, a fundamental human right also recognised by Eritrea that drives entire families to leave their country in the hope to find a place where they feel protected”, Ms.

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“Focus on Eritrea’s human rights situation and help people who have fled the country,” UN expert urges the world

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 24, 2013 –The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth, today reiterated her call on the international community to keep the human rights situation in Eritrea in sharp focus and increase efforts to protect Eritrean refugees, in particular the numerous unaccompanied children, during their perilous search for safety. United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea, Beedwantee Keetharuth Ms. Keetharuth described to the UN General Assembly in New York an alarming situation on the ground, with extrajudicial killing, enforced disappearance and incommunicado detention, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, inhumane prison conditions, indefinite national service, and lack of freedom of expression and opinion, assembly, association, religious belief and movement. “All Eritreans should be able to claim and enjoy their human rights, be it civil and political or economic, social and cultural,” she said. “This will require innovative ideas to address those issues perceived by Eritrea as hostile and constructive engagement with Eritrea and neighbouring countries to improve the situation of human rights in the country.” The Special Rapporteur was extremely saddened by the two successive boat tragedies off the coasts of Italy and Malta earlier in October, during which more than 350 refugees lost their lives, including many Eritreans. According to Ms. Keetharuth, the alarming human rights situation in Eritrea was triggering a constant stream of refugees to neighbouring countries and further afield. “Despite a shoot-to-kill policy targeting those attempting to flee, thousands of Eritrean citizens have fled over the past decade,” she said. Last year, 305,723 persons fled Eritrea according to the UN Refugee Agency, and between 2,000 and 3,000 Eritreans are currently fleeing the country every month, among them a large number of unaccompanied children, a sign of the scale of despair they face at home. “Only when the human rights situation on the ground improves will people stop putting their lives at risk by undertaking such dangerous journeys,” the expert said calling on the international community to promote channels of migration from Eritrea and to promote regional cooperation aimed at countering human smuggling and trafficking, while treating victims humanely. In her first report* to the Human Rights Council in June 2013, Ms. Keetharuth was particularly concerned about the excessive militarisation affecting the very fabric of the Eritrean society and its core unit, the family. “The indefinite National Service is depriving the women and men of Eritrea of their most productive years and a coercive apparatus is in place to retain them in conscription, consequently generating an atmosphere of fear and mistrust”. “Extended periods of incommunicado detention for prolonged periods appears to be the norm, and not the exception”, Ms. Keetharuth said, explaining that incommunicado detention seemed to be used in Eritrea as a technique to obtain information or as a punishment. She noted that detainees in Eritrea were particularly vulnerable to abuse in circumstances where legal safeguards and procedures, including access to family members, doctors, lawyers and judges, were lacking. The Special Rapporteur reiterated her call to the Eritrean Government for cooperation with her mandate, which in her view offered the opportunity for a frank and open dialogue on the human rights situation.

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Makerere professor to oversee Maldives polls

Makerere University’s Prof. Sylvia Tamale will constitute part of the 17-strong Commonwealth observer team to the presidential elections of Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean. Prof. Sylvia Tamale The polls are set to take place early next month, a statement from the Commonwealth Secretariat indicated on Thursday. The team which will be led by former Prime Minister of Malta, Dr. Lawrence Gonzi, was put together by the Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma at the request of the Maldives electoral commission. The Commonwealth Observer Group’s mandate will be to observe and consider all aspects of the electoral process with a view to assessing compliance with the standards for democratic elections to which the Maldive Islands – as the island nation is also referred to as – has committed itself. Where appropriate, the group may also make recommendations for the future strengthening of the electoral framework in the island nation. Commonwealth Observer Groups act impartially and independently and conduct themselves according to the standards expressed in the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory. The Commonwealth Observer Group to the 2013 Maldives elections will submit its report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General. From here, the report will be send to the government of Maldives, the elections commission, Maldivian political parties and eventually to all Commonwealth governments. Maldives was forced into a snap election following a spate of resignations from the ruling coalition government led by Gaumee Itthihaad party by a number of smaller parties. Maldives’ 9th presidential polls will be conducted on September 7, with a run-off three weeks later if no candidate garners 50 per cent of the total ballot polled in the first round. By Moses Walubiri, The New Vision

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EU receives Nobel Peace Prize

OSLO – The European Union will receive the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo on Monday, honored by the Norwegian committee for bringing decades of peace and democracy to Europe after the horrors and division of two world wars. A placard of Alfred Nobel is displayed during the Nobel Peace Prize winner media conference, at the Nobel institute in Oslo, Norway, Sunday Dec. ...

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