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8921: 8-18-01 TNH's Summary of the Week's News (fwd)

From: MKarshan@aol.com

The Weekly Summary of the Week's News (Aired August 18, 2001 on National 
Television of Haiti)
Summarized by the Foreign Press Liaison (mkarshan@aol.com)

1.  Solidarity with Religious Sector.  President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and 
the First Lady attended the celebration of Notre Dame at the main Cathedral 
of Port-au-Prince on Wednesday, August 15, 2001.  The mass was performed by 
Monsignor Joseph Lafontant who profusely thanked the President for attending 
and said that in his nine years at the Cathedral, this is the first time that 
a President has attended the Notre Dame mass there.  The Monsignor also took 
the opportunity to point out conditions of the cathedral that merit repair 
and attention and said that he is sure the President may have noticed on his 
other visits to the cathedral that it is extremely hot inside the cathedral.  
On this day the cathedral was packed with thousands of celebrants and at the 
conclusion of the services President Aristide moved through the crowds of 
enthusiastic parishioners, hundreds of who kissed the President and had him 
kiss their children.  Father Gerard Jean-Juste, members of the government, 
and the diplomatic community were present.  Afterwards President Aristide and 
the First Lady, accompanied by Father Jean-Juste, visited the presbytery of 
the church for a       gathering with its clergy.

2.  Reinforcing the National Campaign for Literacy.  On Thursday, August 16, 
2001, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide received 1,200 university students at 
the National Palace for their graduation exercise.  These students recently 
completed training as monitors in the national campaign for literacy which 
has its goal of dramatically raising the literacy rate by 2004, the nation's 
bicentennial.  The Secretary of State for Alphabetization [literacy] Maryse 
Guyteau and other members of the government were present.  The Secretary of 
State for Literacy addressed the 1,200 new monitors, who will work in the 
countryside, saying, “I salute the youth who have volunteered to participate 
in this training and are engaged in the fight against exclusion and to combat 
marginalization…the youth who are interested in developing the country to 
change the situation of illiteracy…”  The national campaign was launched on 
May 28th by President Aristide.

3.  Haitian Government Demonstrated its Capabilities to Combat Polio and 
Receives Grant to Enlarge Efforts.  The Director of the Organization Pan 
American (OPS), Dr. Georges Alleyne, visited Haiti this week and his visit 
coincided with the 15th Annual Sub Regional Conference on Illnesses that can 
be Prevented through Vaccinations, which for the first time was being held in 
Haiti.  This sub-regional conference was attended by medical persons from 
Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Panama, Salvador, Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras, 
and the Dominican Republic.  Dr. Georges Alleyne saluted the Haitian 
government for its quick response to eradicate polio through its recent 
massive campaign to administer the polio vaccination to children throughout 
the country (2,000,000 doses) as well as its public information campaign to 
educate the public.  Additionally, the director of the Rotary Club 
International, Dr. Carlos Candesco, presented the Minister of Health, Dr. 
Henri Claude Voltaire, with a check of $400,000 made out to the government of 
Haiti to enlarge their efforts in combating illnesses that can be prevented 
through vaccination.  

4.  Transforming the Service Plus Bus System into a Cooperative.  At the 
urging of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who has been meeting with various 
sectors and urging them to become cooperatives, the drivers of Service Plus, 
a bus system initiated by the Haitian government, is to become a cooperative. 
 A two day training course for Service Plus personnel, led by Toussaint 
Hilaire, a member of the Presidential Commission, was held at the Aristide 
Foundation for Democracy. Those attending expressed their enthusiasm and 
thanked President Aristide for this initiative. In the cooperative structure 
the bus drivers will be responsible to oversee all aspects of operating the 
bus service such as administration, banking, maintenance, etc.  

5.  Seizure of Heavy Weapons in Relation to the July 28th attacks. The 
Haitian National Palace seized a large amount of weapons at a house in 
Carrefour Marassa in Croix-de-Bouquet on Wednesday, August 14, 2001 and 
arrested four persons at the house in connection with the cache.  At the 
request of President Aristide the police have reinforced their efforts to 
provide security to the nation and to search for those responsible for the 
tragic events of July 28th.  The weapons seized included heavy weapons, 
ammunition (all seen on television), M-16s, machine guns, M50s (which can 
kill a lot of people at once) , T65s, M14s.  According to the police 
spokesperson, the SWAT team participated in this mission, together with other 
police, and a Judge d’Paix was present to legalize the process.  A witness 
said that on July 27th, which was one day before the attacks of July 28th, 
she saw people coming into the area with heavy weapons who were speaking 
Creole and English and  were menacing people. 

6.   Recovery of Combat Materials Shipped to Haiti.  On Wednesday, August 17, 
the police recovered a large quantity of weapons and combat related materials 
shipped to Haiti in a large container at the Maritime International Terminal 
(IMT) located at Boulevard La Saline terminal, including gas masks, gas 
containers, pieces for tanks, camouflage materials, infrared lights, chargers 
for different types of guns including M-16, machine guns, and other warfare 
materials were found.  A representative of Customs and a Judge d'Paix were 

7.  Unibank Presents its Position in its Bid to Purchase the Banque Union 
Haitian (BUH).  Carl Braun, the director of Unibank, explains the commitments 
of his bank and their credibility as evidence of why they merit purchasing 
the BUH.  The consolidation of the two banks would make Unibank the largest 
commercial bank in Haiti.  Mr. Braun said that Unibank will respect the 
decision of the banking authorities as to who will be win the bid.   

8.  Haitian-Japanese Cooperation Brings Papermaking Training to Haiti. On 
Tuesday, August 14, 2001, Haiti's Minister of Agriculture, Sebastian Hilaire, 
and Japan's Charge d’Affair, Kanji Kitazawa, inaugurated a pilot project on 
the grounds of Haiti's Faculty of Agriculture which will transform banana 
leaves into paper. This is made possible by a $72,000 grant from the Japanese 
Ambassador as part of their "Worldwide Campaign of the Banana Paper Project" 
which turns natural resources into products.  This grant represents one of 30 
non-reimbursable grants for small local projects by the Japanese government 
to Haiti for the fiscal year 2000.  Many samples of lovely paper products 
that are made out of discarded banana leaves were on display. Training by 
Professor Hiroshi Morishmima over a three day period teaches how to 
manufacture paper from banana leaves. They expect to exploit 300,000 tons of 
discarded banana leaves. The objective of this project is to decrease the 
demand to import paper, create employment in rural areas, reinforce research 
in training and manufacturing products originating from plants.   

9.  Inauguration of the Banque Republic d’Haiti First Branch in Cap Haitian 
Along with a Museum on Money.  For the first time, the government of Haiti 
has opened a branch of its bank, Banque de la Republic d'Haiti, in Haiti's 
second largest city, Cap Haitian.  The  inauguration was attended by members 
of government, notably the Minister of Commerce and members of the BRH.  This 
large complex was built in the historical European colonial style that Haiti 
is known for and also houses Haiti's first museum on money.  Its vibrant 
exhibit chronicles the history of money in Haiti (coins and paper) in Haiti 
through five cycles starting with the currency used by the Arawak Indians and 
traces its reflection of liberation.  The Minister of Finance, Faubert 
Gustave, spoke of the importance this branch will play in the development of 
the North and Cap Haitian.

10. Haitians Living in France, Together with French Senator and Others, Give 
Town Gift of Electricity.  On Wednesday, August 15, 2001 a new electrical 
plant was inaugurated in Vieux-Bourg d'Acquin which will provide extended 
electricity to hundreds of residents.  This was a gift from Haitians living 
in France, who were originally from the Vieux-bourg d’Acquin area, who had 
formed a committee in France together with many French people and 
organizations and the support of their legislator there, Senator Charles 
Pasqua, successfully raising funds to provide an electrical facility. A 
delegation from the Haitian government was present including Minister of 
Haitians Living Abroad, Leslie Voltaire who pointed out that this is a 
wonderful example for all Haitians living abroad and in the community on how 
they can work together to develop their nation.  The electrical substation 
cost 2 million French francs with 10% of the financing provided by the 
Haitians living in France. The local town people, old and young, thanked the 
Diaspora for their efforts and the realization of this electrical plant which 
will dramatically improve their lives.  "This gives us hope that Haiti can 
improve."  This is located in Vieux-Bourg in the First Section of Masseillan. 
 A representative from the Ministry of Commerce was present as well as the 
Mayor of Aquin, Solon Pean, and other local officials and personalities 
together with the residents of Vieux-Bourg, Masseilian and Aquin. The 
recipients of the electricity will have to work together with local 
authorities to coordinate the maintenance, fueling and the costs of this 

11.  An Organization Questions the Safety Conditions for Drivers on Delmas 
and Urges Changes, Also Placing Blame on Negligent Drivers As Well.

12. African-American Delegation Shows Support for Haiti by Arriving via 
Cruise Ship and Examining Ways to Help Develop the North of Haiti.  On August 
9, 2001, a group of African-Americans visited the historic sites of the 
North, after landing via the cruise ship, Explorer of the Seas at Labadie.  
The group, the Haiti Support Group, which is the grassroots base of the Black 
Caucus, toured the Citadel, the Sans Souci Palace, the town of Milot and 
other important historical sites.  They were accompanied by the Minister of 
Tourism, Martine Deverson, and the Minister of Haitians Living Abroad, Leslie 
Voltaire.  Their excursion trip was a test of the viability of developing a 
touristic route in the North that would eventually encourage others who visit 
via cruise ships to enjoy the historical sites of Haiti.  Both Ministers 
talked of developing the North for tourists in terms of road development, 
restoration of the Cathedral, reinforcing crafts, restoring the Gingerbread 
houses, opening an international airport in Cap Haitian, and urged the 
participation of both the private and public sector, inviting foreigners to 
invest in the development of Haiti.  These efforts are part of the 
development of the country by the year 2004, Haiti's bicentennial. Minister 
Deverson also pointed out that it is important to improve the image of Haiti. 
 Minister Voltaire called Haiti a symbol for African-Americans of their own 
struggle for liberation.  Expressing their solidarity with Haiti, Ron Daniels 
of the Haiti Support Group said, “We are committed to mobilizing massively as 
much support as we can, both at the level of political support in terms of 
the image of Haiti, and culturally in terms of the bonds between our people 
and most importantly at the level of economy, of economics.”  Every week 
3,500 tourists visit Labadi via 2 cruise ships.  

13. Exploratory Trip to the Island of La Tortue in View of Developing it as a 
 Tourism Destination.  The Minister of Tourism, Martine Deverson, and the 
General Director of Culture and Communications, along with others, visited 
the Isle de Tortue via motorboat to explore the feasibility of developing the 
island as a tourism destination. In the footage aired on the news taken from 
the motorboat the delegation rode in, one could see dolphins jumping up and 
down near the boat!  The Director General for the northwest of the Ministry 
of Social Affairs and the Mayor of Tortue, Emmanuel Frederique, made 
presentations talking of the merits of developing tourism there.  Minister 
Deverson delivered a message from the government of their will to help change 
the conditions of the people of La Tortue.  "We thank the government and 
President Aristide who want to work in this department and in La Tortue to 
make things better for us.  We applaud them," was the response. La Tortue has 
an estimated population of 35,000.