The Director of the Saint Lucia National Trust says the Saint Lucia government cannot be trusted, setting a ‘dangerous precedent’ for the future.
Bishnu Tulsie made the remarks as heavy equipment demolished the former jail on Bridge Street, Castries.
“We all know the history of this going back 18 months ago to September 2018 when the Trust took steps to protect this building,” Tulsie recalled.
He noted that the plan was to have it integrated into the proposed Hall of Justice.
“At that time the Trust got a commitment from the Attorney General that the government will not demolish the building,” he told St Lucia Times.
The SLNT Director said the two sides reached an agreement to work to integrate the building into the Hall of Justice and work towards that end.
“This morning we got a call from someone that the building is being knocked down, so government has gone against the agreement and gone ahead to destroy a building that is one of the oldest in Castries,” Tulsie observed.
“The building is gone – there’s nothing we can do about that,” he told St Lucia Times via telephone.
But Tulsie said what was most troubling was that the government entered into what the SLNT considered to be a legally binding agreement, yet went ahead and pulled down the former Her Majesty’s Prison.
He disclosed that the government did not notify the Trust or come up with any plan for the reconstruction of the site.
“What is the point of breaking the building down when there are no plans to develop it?” Tulsie asked.
“This is senseless, it is downright stupid and dishonest,” he asserted.
Tulsie said the Trust can do nothing about the former prison which is gone, but has to explore whether there are any legal options to ensure in the future that the government sticks to its word.
“If we let this go, then the government could agree to anything and do what it wants – it could agree to pay civil servants COVID-19 relief and then don’t do it. It is a dangerous precedent that is being set here,”the SLNT Director stated.