Thursday, November 14, 2019

Former Diplomat Cites ‘Corruption Of EDF Resources In Saint Lucia’ In Open Letter

Ambassador Daniella Tramacere
Head of Delegation
Delegation of the European Union to Barbados,
the Eastern Caribbean States, and CARICOM/CARIFORUM

Dear Ambassador Tramacere,

I am a former Saint Lucian diplomat, whose most recent engagement on EDF financed activities was in my capacity as a member of staff of the CARIFORUM Directorate of the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana.

After more than a decade in the indirect employ of the European Union, I am fully conversant with the PRAG (Practical Guide) in particular and with the Financial Regulations of the European Union’s European Development Fund (EDF) in general.

As a result, I am also fully conversant with the requirements of European Union taxpayers when they generously allocate their scarce financial resources to assist the development programmes of Third World States.

As you may be aware, the European Union taxpayers generously allocated about €20 million some years ago for the construction of a new national hospital in Saint Lucia, a tiny island in the Eastern Caribbean.

My country is a typical constituent of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) cohort of countries in the Caribbean, confronted by the typical problems endemic to poor SIDS worldwide.

The above referenced hospital has since been completed, but after three years of its completion, it is yet to be put into operation by the present ruling regime in my country. The hospital has been named the Owen King EU Hospital, in honour of the memory of Dr. Owen King, an outstanding pioneer in the provision of medical services to the people of Saint Lucia.

Tragically however, three years after the completion of this significant gift of the European Union’s taxpayers to the people of Saint Lucia – and while our country’s health sector faces very grave challenges – the government of Saint Lucia has obstinately refused to make available to the people, this gift of the European taxpayers to the taxpayers of Saint Lucia.

Instead, the government is busily making arrangements to place the OKEU Hospital, the People’s Hospital, an EDF financed institution, a product of the hard work of the workers of the European Union, into the hands of a private businessman, and to add further insult to ridiculous injury, the company involved is a foreign business, the so-called Cayman Health Corporation.

The people of Saint Lucia are aware of the recent site visit of a European Commission delegation to the OKEU Hospital. We are aware that the Delegation was absolutely unimpressed and deeply disturbed with what it saw.

There are many Saint Lucians who were left with the impression that while the head of the visiting delegation had no choice but to show diplomacy and a brave face as he confronted this grave disappointment, he was quietly crying inside.

After all, your head of delegation was aware that this investment in the people of Saint Lucia is by far the largest single investment ever by the European Development Fund in Saint Lucia.

Excellency, may I highlight here Article 2 of European Union Financial Regulation 1905/2006 “Establishing a Financial Instrument for Development Cooperation”, which clearly stipulates that “the primary and overarching objective of European Union cooperation shall be the eradication of poverty in partner countries and regions”. Under Regulation 1905/2006, aid is designed to support actions in a number of critical areas of cooperation, including, among others: (a) eradication of poverty and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); (b) focusing on essential needs of the local population, especially primary education and health; (c) promotion of democratic governance and Human Rights.

Excellency, nowhere in Financial Regulation 1905/2006, or in any other Financial Regulation of the European Union’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) programmes, have I ever seen a provision for the handing over of European Union funded development projects into the hands of private businessmen!

And the actions of the government of Saint Lucia in this matter not only contradict the intention of the European Union taxpayer to provide a new national hospital to the needy people of Saint Lucia, they also contradict all the European Union development cooperation principles mentioned above.

The government’s actions in this matter contradict EU principle (a) above, the eradication of poverty; the hijacking of the OKEU Hospital for a business to make profits will not contribute to the eradication of poverty, it will increase poverty in Saint Lucia. This EU gift therefore, will contribute, inadvertently, to greater poverty in my country.

This is why it is such an urgent matter! The government’s actions also violate EU principle (b) above, the provision of primary healthcare to human beings. These are all violations of the Memorandum of Understanding underpinning the OKEU Project, and the development cooperation principles of the European Union.

The government’s actions in this matter also contradict EU principle (c) above, the principle of the promotion of democratic governance and Human Rights. It is particularly high-handed and deeply undemocratic for the government of Saint Lucia to casually take away the People’s Hospital and hand it over to a businessman. And this action is not only undemocratic and high-handed, it is also a slap to the collective faces of the people of Saint Lucia, as well as to the faces of the people of the European Union, and it cannot be, must not be, tolerated!

It is stoking extreme tensions and very profound anger in the people of Saint Lucia, nearly 200 thousand people. The situation is now a potentially very explosive one, and I wish to request, most fervently, that Your Excellency bring this matter to the urgent attention of the taxpayers of the European Union, whose finances paid for the design and construction of this vital element of our health sector infrastructure, the OKEU Hospital.

I also avail myself of this opportunity to inform you that this dastardly action by the present ruling regime takes place in a particular context. It is a context marked by an extraordinarily blatant and deeply unprincipled departure by the ruling regime from all the most basic and enshrined management principles that have traditionally guided the implementation of the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) in Saint Lucia.

The present regime has brutally kicked aside, unceremoniously, the basic standards, precepts and conventions of international competitive procurement in the proper conceptualization, preparation, design, negotiation, approval, implementation and appraisal of development projects.

The overwhelming public perception in Saint Lucia – supported by solid evidence, anecdotal and factual – is that these departures from the norm are deliberate actions by certain top level officials to divert hundreds of millions of dollars of the National Treasury and international donor resources, to their hastily and opportunistically concocted and registered construction companies, in the benefit of what Saint Lucians now refer to as the FFF (Family, Friends & Foreigners) Fraternity.

It is the popular understanding among the people of Saint Lucia that the privatisation of the OKEU Hospital has one purpose and one purpose only: the injection of the corrupt, crooked, incestuous, rapacious and greedy tentacles of the FFF Fraternity, into the management and provision of healthcare services in Saint Lucia, compliments the very generous European taxpayer!

Feel free to acquaint yourself, Excellency, with the absolutely mind-boggling details of the Hewanorra International Airport Redevelopment Project, for a truly classical case of the FFF Fraternity at work in Saint Lucia.

One of the more fundamental tenets of European Union development cooperation is the principle of respect for Human Rights. The actions of the government of Saint Lucia in this tragedy constitute a most flagrant and blatant violation of the Human Rights of my people, the people of Saint Lucia.

Their attitude also represents serious disrespect for the Human Rights of the people of the European Union. The taxpayers of the European Union, based on their legitimate Human Rights as taxpayers, allocated 20 million Euros for the construction of a hospital in Saint Lucia.

The intention of the government of Saint Lucia to hand over this hospital to a businessman is therefore also a violation of the Human Rights of the European Union taxpayer to decide how their gifted hospital should be utilized. And the European Union must make known its utter rejection of this reprehensible behavior which violates the will of the European Union taxpayer.

I am quite certain that the EU taxpayers will definitely not countenance that their investment in the people of Saint Lucia, should be handed over to a businessman for his private profit.

The European Union is on recent record for its support for Juan Guaido’s self proclaimed ascendancy to the seat of President of Venezuela, on the basis of what the European Union has described as “political corruption” by the government of President Nicolás Maduro.

Well, I am inviting the same European Union, on behalf of the patriotic taxpayers of Saint Lucia and the hard working taxpayers of the European Union, to likewise indicate to the incompetent government of Saint Lucia, that their attempts to divert a €20 million European Union financed hospital destined for the benefit of poor Saint Lucians, to greedy private sector interests, is not only “political corruption”, it is also grave financial corruption as defined by the European Union Practical Guide and European Union law.

As I write, Saint Lucia’s health sector is in crisis. National Health Sector planning for the next several decades, had envisaged the opening of the Saint Jude Hospital in the south of Saint Lucia, around December 2017.

The SJH is the principal hospital in the south of Saint Lucia, serving well over 80% of the southern population. After the SJH burned to the ground in 2009, ten years ago, patients have been accommodated at a stadium near the Hewanorra International Airport.

Needless to say, the old stadium facilities are hardly the place for Saint Lucia’s principal southern hospital, for a decade now. The new SJH should have been completed two years ago, but the present regime, incredibly, arbitrarily stopped construction of the 90% completed hospital on their assumption of office in 2016, concentrating instead on the establishment of a horse racing facility in the south of the island.

In the meantime the government takes great pride in the near completion of the horse racing facility, while neglected human beings continue to die needlessly in the near-derelict, inadequate and sub-standard Stadium hospital facilities, two miles away from the elegant horse racing facility!

Similarly the opening of the Owen King EU Hospital was on target for the Summer of 2016, around July 2016. The present government, whose principal top level officials are obsessed with raking in every dollar that can possibly be had from private and public sector business – an ugly conflict of interest phenomenon we call official corruption – is engaging a private sector company to take ownership of the People’s Hospital (OKEU) constructed by the European taxpayers.

The man on the street in Saint Lucia believes that behind the scenes, the principal shareholders at OKEU will be some of those top level officials, and that the Cayman Health Corporation outfit is only a front to conceal the corruption. One of those top level officials is on record, in an incredible public retort to the people of Saint Lucia, saying: “if I can give my wife twenty schools, I would happily give my wife 20 schools.”

Saint Lucia is therefore short of two entirely new hospitals that should have been operational three years ago! The result is that thousands of Saint Lucians flocked to the wharves recently, when an American Hospital Ship docked in the Castries Harbour, offering free healthcare in several areas.

This flocking of human beings, like birds flocking during a storm, in desperate numbers on the waterfront, tells a shocking story of the pathetic situation of our health sector. In the meantime Saint Lucians continue to die needlessly in the few operational facilities available, while top level officials and the Family, Friends & Foreigners Fraternity, shuttle off to Martinique, New York and Miami, for specialized healthcare procedures financed by the proceeds of their unholy and unprecedented corruption.

In my condition as a citizen of Saint Lucia, who has a right to benefit directly and indirectly from this generous European gift to the people of Saint Lucia, I look forward to your urgent attention in this matter, because the reality on the ground in Saint Lucia where this matter is concerned is quite urgent and is a potential tragedy in the making.

The peace-loving, democratic citizens and other residents of Saint Lucia, have been marching the streets of Saint Lucia, demonstrating their rejection of the callousness, corruption, ineptitude and incompetence of the government of Saint Lucia in this matter, as we together confront the grave deterioration of healthcare in our country. Every patriotic Saint Lucian citizen and resident feels deeply slighted and insulted in this matter.

Thank you for your urgent referral of this grave concern to the taxpayers of the European Union, who deserve to know of these developments, and who deserve better for their investment in their brothers and sisters in Saint Lucia. I am also interested in your referral of this matter to the European Parliament, where an opinion on the same should be solicited and relayed to the people of Saint Lucia.

Sincerely,

Peter Lansiquot
Development Consultant
Former SPO
CARICOM (CARIFORUM)

22 COMMENTS

  1. What bull**** is this. This ia an embarrassment to St Lucia having a former ambassador write all this s***. Wasn’t a PPP the recommendation of the the EU through its representative at the naming of the hospital on February 21 2016? Stop bull******** educated St Lucians. Your egoism should be stuff where we can’t see.

    • No the EU did not recommend a PPP for the Hospital. It was clearly stated that the hospital was donated to provide affordable primary and secondary health Care for St. Lucians. It was also said that he need a timeline where this could be accomplished. The EU never agreed as to how the hospital should be run
      So please stop trying to twist words to suit the non caring agenda of your UWP. Landiquot is withing his right to write the above letter on behalf of all of us. And the latter is a well written piece there is nothing embarrassing about this letter

      • Do not say what you do not know. I do have a copy of the Eu representative speech and wish I could post it here.

  2. This is the exact reason why communist countries arrest idiots like these and accuse them of espionage, try them and then execute them. This guy is parading as a political aspirant for the Castries Central seat. His intention is to impress the SLP sufficiently, with such hogwash, that they will be misguided in their selection process for a candidate. I have news for him. Kenny Anthony will never approve his candidacy. Mondesir tried this corrupt strategy but it did not work. He lambasted the UWP left, right and centre, but in the end, Kenny single-handedly chose Wayne Girard as the SLP’s candidate for the Anse-la-Raye/ Canaries Constituency. A novice with less political capital and much less skeletons in his closet. than Mondesir. So PEL, you can continue with your political masturbation, it certainly will not get you anywhere. It will only convert you into a politically hated individual whose next move would be as a TV show host to spew venom on a weekly basis and become public enemy for life.

    • Well said….I will not vote in any election as long as I live. But the I d 10 t takes the cake. He is hungry for power but he will fail.

  3. Lol.. I agree with the guy. We need to pressure this government to open the hospital;however, where was this guy pre this year. All of a sudden he developed a conscience now that he wants to run a seat.

  4. The letter is very intresting , and not all are lies .That the Europeans are pissed off,yes very. And its going to be the end for us,no more money from them.Remember we live from donations,like to admit it or not ?

  5. EXTRACTED FROM PG2 OF THE SPEECH MAKE BY THE EU REPRESENTATIVE ON THE NAMING OF THE OKEU ON FEBRUARY 21 2016

    “The economic viability of the Owen King EU Hospital is central to the sustainability of the hospital and quality of services available. The EU is currently supporting the government to develop strategies and policies for the sustainable financing of the health sector, and I know that the issue of the economic viability of this hospital is foremost on the minds of bureaucrats and lay persons a like. The health sector is often viewed as a burden on a given country, as it requires too much from the government’s treasury while contributing little or nothing to the fund. However, the quality of the facility, equipment and staff of the Owen King EU Hospital holds enormous potential for the hospital to earn a considerable income and be self-sustaining. I encourage the government to be creative in its approach to income generation of the hospital. Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and Service Level Agreements have proven successful in other countries to open up the health care market and make it attractive also for insurance companies and tourists. In my view, whatever options government choose should not add an undue burden or restricts access to secondary health services to those most in need.”

    • The Private Sector is strictly motivated by profit. Privatizing the hospital that was financed by the EU taxpayers and meant to improve the shabby healthcare system is heartless. It is wrong and unconscionable for this health facility to be in the hands of a private entity. Governments are there to provide certain basic services for its people and healthcare is one of these, it’s one of the top priorities. One MUST become ill during his/her lifetime and need medical services. Medical insurance is out of the economic reach of the mass majority of St. Lucians. Most can hardly buy the right , nutritious foods. So they purchase the cheapest cholesterol laden foods that their paychecks can barely afford. They then become victims of many NCDs ( diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, etc.) especially later in life . Here is where the public healthcare system should become accessible to all, especially the working poor, the elderly and the bed ridden. To prop up the government’s coffers, from money derivesd from the least among us, is tantamount to cruelty. Truth Be Told, apparently everything for you is about making a profit at every opportunity you get. Where is the humanity in you? What is sadly lacking in this world presently is empathy, compassion, love, sympathy and caring for one another. Some human beings have become robots. They have no human feelings. This is just disconcerting.

      • JUST SHOWED THAT THE MIGHTY EU RECOMMENDED PPP TO THE GOVERNMENT. WON’T DEBATE SOMETHING I DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT OR I HEAR FROM THE SLP. I WILL STAND WITH THE EU RECOMMENDATION.

    • Hey dumbo. So I take it you are in agreement with the procrastination with the opening of the OKEU and likewise priority with the opening of the Horse Pital.

      Is s*** heads like you that have where we are.

  6. This guy actually thinks he is impressing anyone? He comes across as a political operative that has been butt burnt and he is using his position to masquerade and prostitute himself. The fact is, I dont really blame him, when you have furnished people with high positions who either use certain posts to further themselves and their agendas, there is a likelihood that those types will eventually bring disrepute wherever they go. He belongs well with the labour ilk, all cut from the same cloth; lies , maypwee, ro-ro, ego and arrogance.

  7. I hope this Pel KaKa will sued. It is treason also at the highest level. Also if an ex Prime Minister can ask investors not to invest in the country where he was born, do you expect any better from a follower like Pel Kaka, the King of propaganda. Not today mate trying to contest the Central Castries Constituency under labour.

  8. Pel, you are a very sick man. You more than anyone else appear to be in urgent need of psychiatric care , perhaps this explains the tirade of junk you have posted here. It would take someone as sick as you to cast a vote in your name at the next election, that’s if Phillip Pierre is also sick enough (which I doubt) to endorse your candidacy.

  9. How Mr. Peter Lansiquot, can be so sure that the Eurpean Union doesn’t welcome the idea of a private management? Usually private sector manage better and at lower cost compare to governments.
    It’s very ironical that Mr Lansiquot speaks of Venezuela. The venezuelan government did exactly what Mr Lansiquot wants to do with our OKEU hospital.
    It kicked out the private companies producing oil in Venezuela and the venezuelan government took over. The result is that today the little bit oil produced is not even enough to pay the civil servants and the army.

  10. It is good for us to stand up and speak out in this time that we are living in and for our rights. Whether he is spilling the truth or not, he is standing for us all who cower for fear of reppurcussions.

  11. Mr Lansiquot it is not only three years since this Hopistal have been completed. The Truth is your party SLP when it won the 2011 elections the Hospital was completed and was being equipped. Your then gov’t had ample time top open the Hospital for the people of St. Lucia and introduce your so-called health care for all which you have been promising. But as usual you failed because the condition of the EU funding was that it had to be run to their standards not Caribbean standards which means an additional 100m to the health expenditure budget which our country can not spare given the many other competing priorities.
    Politicians from both sides yellow and red refuses to inform we the people of all the details why they were not or not able to do things because they continue to make promises to win elections knowing they have not means of fulfilling these promises.
    Concern citizen Venezuela issues are not comparable with this as you know very well America and Britain and so call capitalist western world has frozen all the countries billions across their banking system. Yes there is some element of miss management of resources which every government across the globe is quilts of. America is fighting Venezuela socialist agenda and we are easily fooled with their propaganda. Please wake up.

  12. Dem ‘a’holes not tired of ‘f’*** up the country with letters to foreign powers,causing them to impose all kind of bull s*** on us?! Smh
    Elections getting close…we just start seeing nonsense!!!

  13. Why not call Lansiquot by the title he really is ? Former Diplomat? Whats that? I thought diplomats were appointed along party lines. So whats the use of calling people like Earl Huntley, Peter Lansiquot and Ernest Hilaire former diplomats? All these people are POLITICIANS and have taken part in the electoral process at one time or another for the SLP. When they were diplomats they could have done so much to help St. Lucia however when out of power the only way they can use their pen is to create mischief in writing all international entities to sully St. Lucia’s name. If I was PM all these people would be calling Armnesty International help cause I would have jailed them without a Court date in sight. Let them be victims of the same vicious penal system that they have perpetuated against the poor of this country. Allen should be thinking of jailing these people for treason before the situation gets much worse and these idiots get embolden. Strengthen your patriotic laws, Its time hat we make patriotism our number one priority and not political opportunism.

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