Businessman, Michael Chastanet, has taken Vieux Fort Parish Priest Kevin Murray to task, prompting a response from the office of the Prime Minister, Radio Caribbean International (RCI) has reported.
Murray has been part of the protests against the controversial Desert Star Holdings Limited (DSH) project in the South of Saint Lucia.
During its midday news edition today, RCI aired an excerpt from Michael Chastanet’s weekly show on DBS Television directed at the American-born Catholic Priest.
Michael Chastanet, who is the father of Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, said:
“Since you are so concerned about the citizens of the South who are 99 percent black, I would suggest that you educate yourself, you have educated yourself now. You should go back to America and take care of your own country where the slogan is – ‘Black Lives Matter’. “
“Father Murray, let me say to you that some time ago Sir John Compton passed legislation called the David England Act for interference into this country. You are a foreign national, you were brought here to represent the church – stick to your last,” the businessman declared.
In the aftermath of the comments by the older Chastanet, Senior Communications Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Nicole Mc Donald, issued a statement indicating that it was brought to their attention that ‘certain remarks’ were recently made by ‘a television host.’
Mc Donald said the comments were not indicative of the government’s position or philosophy.
“The comments were invalid in more ways than one and in no way represent the government’s position,” the OPM official stated.
According to Mc Donald, the government has at all times maintained that Saint Lucia is a free and democratic country and all are entitled to free speech in accordance with the law.
She said this was evident by the government’s actions.
“Since taking office we have continuously engaged in openness and dialogue with stakeholders and interest groups on issues of common concern,” Mc Donald observed.
She said that the government welcomes continued discussion by the public on matters of development.
Vieux Fort Parish Priest Kevin Murray, in an interview with the Times in December last year when questions were raised about his participation in a protest outside parliament against the DSH project, explained that there are many people who are concerned about how the investment would affect their lives and livelihood.
He said he wanted to stand with them.
The Clergyman expressed the view that the church has a responsibility to stand up for people who are in need and persons who have rights but may not be heard.