Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 28th 2013 Contents UNITED NATIONS---The United
Nations has "a moral responsibility"
in the deadly cholera outbreak that has
killed more than 8,500 Haitians and
sickened another 600,000-plus, the
head of Haiti s government said Thurs-
day in his debut before the global body.
With President Michel Martelly among
a list of world leaders shirking off an
appearance at this year s UN General
Assembly, Prime Minister Laurent
Lamothe used his appearance in the
global spotlight to call on the UN to do
more to help Haiti eradicate what experts
are calling the world s worst cholera out-
"We would like to propose the estab-
lishment of a joint commission,"
Lamothe said, "to study the ways and
means of finding and definitively erad-
icating this illness in Haiti all together."
Lamothe s criticism is the most public
pronouncement by a Haitian official yet.
After refusing to blame the UN, the
Martelly administration is increasingly
joining the ranks of human rights
activists, cholera victims and their fam-
ilies, and even some UN-hired experts
that accuse the organisation of respon-
sibility for the outbreak. Despite mount-
ing evidence linking Haiti s cholera to
Nepalese soldiers deployed to the country
soon after its January 12, 2010 earth-
quake, the UN has refused to take
UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said
that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is
committed to helping the people of Haiti
overcome the cholera epidemic. Last
year, Ban launched a $2.2 billion, 10-
year cholera eradication plan to help
Haiti and the neighboring Dominican
Republic fight cholera.
Lamothe acknowledged the UN s
commitment but said it "is far from
being enough." (AP)
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, September 28, 2013
SANTO DOMINGO---The Dominican Republic s
top court on Thursday stripped citizenship from
thousands of people born to migrants who came
illegally, a category that overwhelmingly includes
Haitians brought in to work on farms.
The decision cannot be appealed, and it affects
all those born since 1929.
The Constitutional Court s ruling says officials
are studying birth certificates of more than 16,000
people and notes that electoral authorities have
refused to issue identity documents to 40,000 peo-
ple of Haitian descent.
The decision, which gives the electoral commis-
sion a year to produce a list of those to be excluded,
is a blow to activists who have tried to block what
they call "denationalisation" of many residents.
"This is outrageous," said Ana Maria Belique,
spokeswoman for a nonprofit group that has fought
for the rights of migrants children. "It s an injustice
based on prejudice and xenophobia."
Until 2010, the Dominican Republic followed the
principle of automatically bestowing citizenship to
anyone born on its soil. But the court ruled that
all Haitian migrants who came to work in Dominican
sugarcane fields after 1929 were in transit, and thus
their children were not automatically entitled to
citizenship just because they were born here.
The Economy Ministry recently calculated that
some 500,000 migrants born in Haiti now live in
the Dominican Republic, but it gave no estimate
for the number of people of Haitian descent living
in the country. The Dominican Republic s total
population is a little over ten million.
The office of Haitian Prime Minister Laurent
Lamothe declined to comment.
The Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic and
Creole-speaking Haiti share the island of Hispaniola
and have a long, troubled history.
"This ruling cuts against the rights of thousands
of people born in the Dominican Republic, and
could immediately undermine their access to edu-
cation and health services," Reed Brody, counsel
and spokesman for Human Rights Watch, said in
"It s also likely to discourage an entire community
from seeking help when they suffer abuses, for fear
of authorities learning their status." (AP)
In this August file photo, a youth of Haitian descent
holds a sign that reads in Spanish "I'm Dominican"
during a protest demanding that President Danilo
Medina stop the process to invalidate their birth
certificates after authorities retained their ID cards,
in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. AP PHOTO
Haiti PM: UN has moral responsibility in cholera outbreak
Laurent Salvador Lamothe, Prime Minister
of Haiti, speaks during the general debate
of the 68th session of the United Nations
General Assembly on Thursday at UN
headquarters. AP PHOTO
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