Government accused of suppressing free speech

The opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has accused the Allen Chastanet administration of appearing to pursue a policy of  suppressing free speech, while demonstrating a lack of transparency.

SLP leader, Philip J. Pierre in making the accusation during a news conference Tuesday, recalled an incident involving HTS News Reporter Rehani Isodore last year when Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet ‘berated’ Isidore.

Pierre also made reference to Chastanet’s recent comments regarding University of the West Indies (UWI) lecturer, Doctor Tennyson Joseph.

Joseph had spoken out against the rise of businessmen-politicians in the Caribbean, asserting that Chastanet and US President, Donald Trump, were examples of why businessmen as politicians were bad for society.

Pierre said Chastanet had openly called for the dismissal of the UWI lecturer.

The opposition leader went on to mention the ‘Miguel Fevrier situation’.

It was a reference to a testy news conference Monday during which Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Dominic Fedee, refused to be drawn into a response despite  relentless questions from HTS News Reporter, Miguel Fevrier,  regarding duty free  vehicle concessions to Sandals Resorts.

At one point Fedee accused Fevrier of asking a ‘joke question’ and devaluing himself as a journalist, while the reporter responded that it was Fedee who was devaluing himself as a minister by refusing to answer a simple question.

“Miguel Fevrier is exercising his right to ask questions. The simple thing for the minister to say was that there is no truth,” Pierre declared.

He asserted that the situation highlighted a disposition of the current administration towards vindictiveness and suppression of free speech.

“This is very worrisome,” the SLP leader stated.

He said that he  would not get involved in the merits or demerits of the claim in relation to Sandals, asserting that any investor has a right to ask the government for what they want to run their business.

“Investment is for profit,” Pierre, a former Tourism Minister, declared.

However the SLP leader said his concern is the seeming lack of transparency in the situation.

Pierre noted that Dominic Fedee was a Sandals employee and should have removed himself from any issue involving the resort because perception of bias would be clear.

He said the prime minister should have advised Fedee to not only recuse himself, but try as far as possible not to make statements that seem to favour Sandals.

 

 

16 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    August 22, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Pot calling kettle black. I am tired of SLP making fuss over every damn thing. Just remember the party lost by a large margin. Tired of SLP.

  2. Anonymous
    August 22, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Up to now these guys cannot come to grips with their loss. Lucians open your eyes to reality.

  3. Melody
    August 22, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Let the people enjoy and defend the slavery they voted for.

    1. Anonymous
      August 22, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      Enjoy the slavery they voted for. They voted out the slave master. Now they looking forward to a hopeful future

  4. Serious
    August 22, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    The Labor Party’s mantra is “throw all ” on Chastanet and the UWP government. This is a despicable strategy from a desperate party. Labor Party is a failure and it’s members and supporters are have no real interest in developing the country but themselves alone (Word deleted)

    1. Anonymous
      August 22, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      Similiar to the UWP mantra of “It’s Kenny fault” it worked so well people are still blaming the country’s failures on Kenny even after he was booted out over a year ago

  5. Anonymous
    August 22, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    I wonder what inside there have so much that these men not realizing people don’t want them governing. They have no message and no leader. Just a bunch of fault finders who have nothing better to offer

  6. Anonymous
    August 22, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    For any government of these small islands to give any business entity duty free concessions on 90+ vehicles is stunningly ridiculous. The country is being deprived of mega dollars. These foreign investors already ‘extradite’ most of their profits to their countries of origin. For Mr. Pierre to assert that he’s not really concerned about concessions to Sandals (I’m paraphrasing) but more about lack of transparency, shows that Pierre’s only intention is to politicize the confrontation for political expediency. Both the SLP and the UWP are equally bad for St. Lucia. There is a dire need for a new crop of politicians. Ones of unblemished character, unquestionable integrity and who are fervently patriotic. These two ‘tried & failed’ parties are the chief architects of the polarization gripping the country.

    Vibz

  7. Anonymous
    August 22, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Lucian’s like to much he say she say..twop pbl

  8. Anonymous
    August 22, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Philip Pierre are you a [email protected]@$$ for interpreting that as muzzling free speech.

    1. Anonymous
      August 22, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      Shameful hypocrites your former boss actually still your boss called a well respected journalist a media terrorist how are you quick to pretend to forget

  9. Anonymous
    August 22, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Pip… Enough. Just try and move the country forward. Haven’t you realised no one wants to hear from you. Everytime i see your face i think of them old dogs that barking in the yard at everything. Be useful. For once. Just try it. Stop polluting the media with your noise

  10. Curious
    August 22, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Pip Pierre, if a fowl walk in town and (Word deleted) on the street you all will say its Chastanet’s fowl

  11. What???
    August 23, 2017 at 11:37 am

    4 vehicles …. 90+ vehicles. I will have to investigate myself. I do not see how 4 can be mistaken for 97. I have tried writing it in many ways. This is not a 6 for a 9. This is misleading.

  12. Anonymous
    August 23, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Lol…remember Clause 361…lol.

  13. mac
    August 23, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    What’s this talk of free speech? Dr. Joseph has a right to his opinions of Chastanet, Chastanet has his right to express his opinions of Dr. Joseph… that’s simple. The journalist, in your opinion, has the right to question the Minister on a rumor, the Minister has that right to decide if he wants to respond or not. Should one’s free speech be ‘SUPPRESSED’ just because he is a Minister???

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