The leader of the Lucian Peoples Movement (LPM), Therold Prudent, has urged his countrymen to help accommodate Dominican nationals who have been displaced as a result of the passage of Hurricane Maria.
Prudent told St Lucia Times that any effort aimed at offering relocation to some of the affected citizens of Dominica cannot be left to the government alone.
“Therefore, it’s incumbent on all Saint Lucians of goodwill whom God has bestowed with ways and means, to help in the effort of accommodating the victims of Maria into our homes,” the LPM leader stated.
“The churches must also play their part . As religious leaders who purport to be the custodians of Christ-like virtues, this is their monument to shine and put their beliefs of love and compassion into action,” Prudent declared.
He appealed to all Saint Lucian ‘brethren’ in the diaspora to do all within their power to contribute to the ongoing efforts of aiding the people of Dominica.
The LMP leader commended Trinidad and Tobago and Antigua for reaching out to the people of Dominica.
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Doctor Keith Rowley, recently announced his government’s decision to waive immigration regulations for a period of six months, to allow Dominicans to stay in the twin Island republic while their country rebuilds.
Rowley also urged Trinidad and Tobago nationals to open their homes to Dominicans.
Antigua meanwhile, is preparing for an influx of Dominican nationals.
Prudent told St Lucia Times that the LPM would have no problem with the government here following suit.
But he asserted that authorities here must ensure that those who are brought to this country are not among those disposed to criminal behavior.
“We already have our own serious issues of crime which we are unable to contain, so stringent guidelines must be implemented to ensure that we do not offer passage or accommodation to anyone who does not respect the rule of law,” the LPM leader told St Lucia Times.
According to Prudent, priority should first be given to little children and their law abiding parents who were affected, and depending on the quota which is set by the government, others , based on the severity of their affliction should be given the opportunity.
“In fact, while we are expected to reach out to our brothers and sisters in times of calamity, which we must, considering our own vulnerabilities to the ravages of the elements and other natural disasters, the sad reality is, our region in no longer immune to destructive criminal behavior which seeks to wipe out peaceful societies- so caution must always be exercised,” Prudent noted.