Open letter to Civil Society leaders

Open letter to Civil Society leaders

Open Letter to:

 

His Grace The Archbishop

President, St Lucia Chamber of Commerce

President, St. Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association

Chairman, St Lucia Christian Council

 

Dear Civil Society Leaders

I am constrained to address you because of my concern for what is likely to happen to this country if we allow what is currently taking place to continue.

I address you because during the period 1981/82, Saint Lucia was in turmoil and the above organisations (may be not all or more) came together to knock some sense into the political directorate.  Mind you I am not for one moment suggesting that we are anywhere close to what transpired during that period.

But the removal of the subvention from the 2017/18 Estimates to the National Trust got me thinking, and more particularly the manner in which it was done.

I served as Permanent Secretary to four Prime Ministers, none of whom displayed any tendency to take such dastardly and vindictive action against an organization created by statute; all because of the organisation’s objection to certain aspects of Government’s projects.

The National Trust was established as guardians of our heritage and patrimony and has always objected to aspects of development projects perceived as dangerous to our heritage or environment.

According to mandate prescribed in the National Trust Act, it is expected that it will ensure that our environmental and historical sites are protected and not desecrated.  More so, it is expected to do so on behalf of the people of Saint Lucia and not on the whims or fancies of any Government of whatever political complexion.

At first I found the Prime Minister’s explanation devoid of logic in context of the provisions of the National Trust Act and the retention of the subvention to all other organisations.  But when I heard the National Trust Chairperson’s account of a meeting with the Prime Minister, his actions appear more ludicrous and damming.

I worked with Sir John Compton for a period of twenty years (8 as Comptroller of Customs and 12 as Cabinet Secretary).  I will vouch for him that despite all the criticism levelled at him over an extended period, he would never have stooped to such, “the lowest of lows”.

Any leader with such a vindictive trait spells disaster for the organization, which he leads and more so if it is a country.

During my years with Sir John I witnessed him dialogue with some of his foremost critics even in some instances when help was sought on a personal matter.

The political directorate must develop a culture to listen to our technocrats/professionals, particularly to those who have the interests of this country at heart.

Failure to heed their advice has resulted in untold damage to Saint Lucia.  One such example which stands out is that of deceased Gabriel “Coco” Charles’ warnings which went unheeded to our detriment.

My missive to you is in the same light of Dr Marie Louise Felix – Marine Biologist, wherein her closing remarks at a Talk Show, she pleased with the Prime Minister to consult the many experts which we have locally and utilize their expertise when negotiating with investors.

 

VICTOR E. GIRARD

PATRIOT

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6 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    May 3, 2017 at 1:34 pm Reply

    My heart is bleeding for my country. Lord please let good sense prevail. Please Mr. Prime Minister cool down the rhetoric and stop staring battles that could end up hurting our image, future, economy and citizens of our country.

    Please listen to the Catholic Church and this man who said he served with the same Prime Minister you want to be like. Please listen to the people like Dr. Chase who never came out political but has been serving this country. Listen Prime Minister because it makes no sense for us to be at war with ourselves.

    When Politicians making noise you can ignore but when civil society rises up we have a problem sir. Please listen. We have enough problems already. Let’s go back to the drawing board and start fresh as you promised us.

  2. Anonymous
    May 3, 2017 at 9:53 pm Reply

    The entire style of Government needs to change. The Prime Minister needs to retrace his steps and fashion a Governance structure that will produce positive results. The present situation with “clusters” of Ministers is now productive, and the current state of affairs in the House of Assembly cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely. If the Prime Minister does not wish to listen to the Voice of reason, then his Cabinet colleagues need to withdraw support for him as Prime Minister, and throw their support behind another elected colleague. This happened in Australia, with Bob Hawk, and in England, with Margaret Thatcher. If this does not happen here, and if the present rigidity of the Prime Minister prevails, then the entire UWP administration must take the blame for what is to come in the future.

  3. Anonymous
    May 3, 2017 at 9:57 pm Reply

    Error: The present……..with “clusters” of Ministers is not productive…….

  4. Anonymous
    May 4, 2017 at 6:55 am Reply

    If there was unaccounted for monies then my question would be…. where did it go? Talks of missing boats and millions of money gone. Where? Is this true?

  5. Calvin
    May 8, 2017 at 11:06 am Reply

    Comments as follows:
    .
    — The addressees of the letter, according to the author, are leaders of “Civil Society” — who, in his seemingly small and jaded mind, are limited to religious and business leaders and no one else.
    .
    — The author asserts that he has serviced four former Prime Ministers. Congratulations, he knows how to play the political game, say “yes” as necessary and be two-faced when he needs to cover his butt for the sake of his career. He is not fooling anyone who has ‘been in the know’. Nor does that make his views and opinions any more or any less valuable than **any** other citizen of St. Lucia.
    .
    — Having serviced four Prime Ministers and the most compelling example he can twice raise is John Compton? Oh, please, the author’s choice of words and examples merely shine a light on his level of bitterness and regret, and fails the smell test of being truly bipartisan, the hallmark of the integrity of a true public servant. Clearly, he was not. That is sad, and it is unfortunate for the public whose trust he was responsible for serving and upholding.
    .
    — The author’s contribution, sadly, does not contribute to a measured, constructive, and inclusive discussion of the issue.

    1. Anon1
      May 10, 2017 at 7:52 am Reply

      You’ve chosen to disregard the message and attack (attempt) the authors character!

      “Knows how to play the political game”… you clearly don’t know anything about the author.

      The author has never held a political post in his career, yet he served under four PMs.

      And you claim “he knows how to play the political game”

      Your comments are absolutely nonsensical.

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