Saint Lucia police have defended a decision not to grant permission for a planned protest on Monday by the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT).
SLNT Director Bishnu Tulsie told St Lucia Times that the activity was planned for outside the Greaham Louisy building on the Castries Waterfront.
The intent of the activity was to express disagreement with the government’s decision to lease the Queen’s chain to Cabot Saint Lucia for 75 years.
“Especially now, I must indicate that the country is under the state of emergency and we are being governed by the emergency act,” Acting Police Commissioner Milton Desir told reporters.
He explained that one of the provisions of the act is that social activities and events would be allowed involving 200 persons.
However Desir noted that matters including the space provided would have to be considered.
He disclosed that the application the police received from the SLNT was for a protest near the Greaham Louisy building.
But he observed that based on the legislation, the structure is a ‘scheduled building’ under the public order act.
“It states that there shall be no protest – the Commissioner of Police who is the authority shall not grant permission for any protest within 200 yards of any of the scheduled buildings,” Desir told reporters.
He said the list of buildings includes the court house, parliament and any office of a minister.
“When we assessed the situation, 200 yards, we have a stretch of buildings – all of them are government buildings. Two hundred yards would put you somewhere in the sea,” Desir declared.
He said as a result permission for the protest was denied and it was explained in a letter to the SLNT.