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Commentary

COMMENTARY: National priorities defy convention in St Lucia

Melanius Alphonse

The key issues of political change, socio economics and preservation of the environment will return to Saint Lucia’s House of Assembly on Tuesday, June 20, as debate resumes on the appropriation bill 2017/18. However, far from Machiavellian schemes, hopefully, policymakers and the legislature would have perhaps gained more positivity on the key metrics that measure the outlook for future growth ...

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COMMENTARY: We can’t change the world, but we can change a few people

Nimi Princewill

The world will hardly ever be as peaceful and conducive for living as we imagine or hope for it to be. Therefore, changing the world will continue to be exactly what it ought to be: ‘A Utopian Dream!’ We’d continually need to readjust ourselves to cohabit with fraudsters, terrorists, kidnappers, armed robbers, rapists, domestic abusers, corrupt politicians, extortionist preachers, promoters ...

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COMMENTARY: Why do men take long to get help?

worried-black-man-450x330

Here’s a fact that’s plain to see: When a couple is going through a crisis, usually it is the woman who makes the first move to get help. In fact, even before the crisis begins, any little issue she is confronted with in the relationship, she’ll probably mention it to her best friend at the first opportunity. Her hope is ...

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COMMENTARY: Time for national unity in St. Lucia

mel

Over the years I have been accused of being too critical of the government of the day in Saint Lucia, without offering a new direction.  In this regard I would respond that this is a false assertion. However, while I have been critical, it is within my civic obligation; I have had every and within reason to be and, further, ...

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COMMENTARY BY MICHAEL CHASTANET: Timely responses – crucial

Michael Chastanet

For years on end, the nature of politics here at home has continually disintegrated in terms of perception but more importantly, the world at large seems to be experiencing a similar malaise with little or no change on the horizon. On the other hand, it is sometimes said that things have to grow worse before getting better, but the big ...

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COMMENTARY: St Lucia’s Prime Minister – a paradox of translating precarity

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Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet’s actions before his policy position and now accompanied by the 2017/18 appropriation bill demonstrate clear intentions to wield power and administrative direction. Nevertheless, it would be immoral for me to pretend otherwise. I’m afraid that I cannot be pollyannaish about this government. There will come a time when we have to think about recovering ...

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COMMENTARY: Fighting for imperial dominance: ‘execute, execute, execute’ everything St. Lucian

ac

In the fight for imperial dominance, and under great pressure to convey a policy proposition (budget address) on May 9, with fewer missteps, prime minister and minister of finance Allen Chastanet delivered “austerity measures” calculated to execute and delegitimize everything Saint Lucian. Time and again the enormous credibility and ‘executable plans’ of Prime Minister Chastanet are notoriously unreliable. The ethos ...

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COMMENTARY: WannaCry – A Caribbean cyber security perspective

cyber-crime

“Organizations who continue to run Windows XP, software which cannot adequately detect and protect your information assets, and obsolete software, will make your systems easy targets for hackers and cyber criminals, as these systems will be hardest hit as the level of vulnerabilities and exploits are high and easily available.” This is an extract from the Cyber Security Predictions for 2015 ...

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COMMENTARY: Our current knowledge will be a lie in the future

Nimi Princewill

Knowledge is an easily acquired unreliable asset! The continuous reliance on whatever portrays an individual as “knowledgeable” can likewise, portray the same individual as clueless and outdated in the long run. Every knowledge is vulnerable to inferiority when a superior knowledge is diligently dug out of it’s mystery. In other words, whatever we currently know and believe to be true, ...

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Cyber security – can Caribbean governments defend theirs borders alone?

cyber-security-credit-shutterstock

COMMENTARY –  The dangers of cyber threats in the Caribbean continue to evolve and spike at a rate never seen before. As the telecoms providers in the Caribbean seek opportunities to increase their revenues through increase internet penetration across the region risks mushrooms.   The risks are further compounded as societies transcend geographical and physical borders, and realtime communication and business ...

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St Lucia finance minister’s ‘Judo budget’ was predictable (commentary)

2017-05-08-09_37_00-st-lucia-finance-ministers-judo-budget-was-predictable-docx-google-docs

COMMENTARY – The second session of the eleventh parliament of Saint Lucia got under way on Tuesday, April 25. However, much the same as the first, lying and deception was even more confounding and self-serving, with a EC$1.5 billion Judo budget, namely, the 2017/18 estimates of revenue and expenditure. The political Judo After all, the handwriting was on the wall. Throughout ...

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Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t belong with the rest of the world! (commentary)

Nimi Princewill

  The “Good News” as presented by our smooth-talking, modestly dressed and frequent unexpected guests, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who by the way, always tend to show up at the wrong time, isn’t as particularly exciting as it sounds. Asides the willingness of Witnesses, who are always equipped with materials to engage you in either brief or extensive debates (depending on ...

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St. Lucia sliding into ‘economic terrorism’ and ‘treason’ (commentary)

unnamed-7

COMMENTARY – To the extent that Prime Minister Allen Chastanet invokes the terms ‘economic terrorism’ and ‘treason’, it seems clear that this administration is consumed by an atmosphere of distrust and disquiet, manifested by suspicions of subterranean plots and bizarre surveillance tactics that are wrongheaded. Nevertheless, the outward signs of this paranoia, as regular readers know, were disclosed by Caribbean ...

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St Lucia’s strategic realignment (commentary)

Melanius Alphonse

For Prime Minister Allen Chastanet’s impressive amount of ineptitude, immense lack of credibility and thin covering of respectability, one would have thought, after ten months in office, he would perhaps smarten-up a bit on the institution of democracy. Avid readers will remember my article, Enablers of ‘steering’, ‘kleptocracy’ and ‘ignorance’ in St Lucia is reliant on patronage and clientelism, the ...

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Is the devil in the details? (commentary)

Maria Islands

Response to article: Government and DSH committed to preservation OK, to the writer (Office of the Prime Minister) of the article to which I am responding, please forgive me for nit-picking. However, allow me to point out that there is no hyphen in “ECOSYSTEM”. Now that this is out of the way, for fear of being labelled a “party hack” ...

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Chastanet: “Making money is not a bad thing!”

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It comes as no surprise that Prime Minister Allen Chastanet—who served as the island’s Tourism Minister from 2006 to 2011—is head-over-heels for the industry, but during a candid meeting on Friday with Saint Lucia’s Manufacturers Association, he reassured local stakeholders that he is equally as committed to developing a growth-oriented environment for the island’s manufacturers as he is to attracting ...

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Arrogance, ignorance and hypocrisy confront governance in St. Lucia (commentary)

Melanius Alphonse

Tomorrow is never assured but, while we endeavour to supercharge our life against adversity, increased dangers loom, knowing our future was handed over to the characteristics of arrogance and ignorance, and Prime Minister Allen Chastanet’s emerging format of narrow-minded nationalism that claims “Government is a business”, “Patrimony is the credit rating” and “the world is a selfish place”. The widening ...

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Corruption at the CCJ?

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COMMENTARY – “Hostile, emotional and irrational…” are just some of the unsavoury adjectives used by Emile Ferdinand QC to describe me in a recent interview. Indeed, the senior Caribbean jurist came out swinging in defence of Sir Dennis Byron, and his colleagues at the CCJ, in defence against corruption allegations levelled against them by me in a recent WINFM interview. In ...

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Proposal to build Maria Island causeway in St Lucia is disturbing (commentary)

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COMMENTARY – Not long after the general elections, it become clear, at least from my realism, what would become of an Allen Chastanet-led administration – the hidden consequences of change. Recently, the state of affairs has come full circle, with similarities between the Dolphin Park, citizenship by investment (CIP), the “Pearl of the Caribbean” project by Desert Star Holdings Limited ...

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St. Lucia government plans to build a dolphin park expose conflict of interest (commentary)

2017-03-20-09_06_26-st-lucia-government-plans-to-build-a-dolphin-park-expose-conflict-of-interest-do

COMMENTARY – Ever since June 6, 2016, there has been chaos, surprise and disruption, including subverting the constitution, political and economic atrocity, foreign-policy derailment, frail nation security and public health, paralyzing Saint Lucia.  English historian, Lord John Acton (1834-1902), known for his famous remark: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” appropriately describes Prime Minister Chastanet’s mode of governance ...

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Derek Walcott was a “poetic giant” – Ralph Thompson

derekwalcottb

JAMAICA GLEANER – With the death of Derek Walcott last Friday, the West Indies and the world have lost a poetic giant. I first met Walcott at the wedding of one of John Figueroa’s daughter’s. Dressed in a white sharkskin suit, he was sprawled in a lounge chair under a mango tree surrounded by admirers. I remarked that Figueroa, always ...

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Village of Brilliance and Excellence: Tribute to Hon. Sir Derek Walcott

Derek Walcott

The current global economic crisis has exposed the weaknesses in the structure of our tourism industry and also the weaknesses in the expert knowledge of those charged with the responsibility for managing this industry. As a result, we are witnesses to a plethora of expensive “smoke and mirrors” aimed at distracting us from analyzing our tourism leaders objectively. Therefore, we ...

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St Lucia government ‘wasn’t minded’ to facilitate renewable energy (commentary)

test-tower-wind-energy

There isn’t much elevate the Allen Chastanet-led administration’s credibility in claiming that “Government wasn’t minded to do a compulsory land acquisition to facilitate the project” – a $37 million investment, by US-based firm WindTex Energy, for a 12MW wind farm in Anse Cannot, Dennery, that commenced in 2015. Notwithstanding, Steve DeWolf of WindTex’s presentation to the cabinet of ministers on December ...

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The implications of Trump’s immigration orders for Caribbean citizenship programs (commentary)

unnamed

COMMENTARY – On Friday, January 27, 2017, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order “Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States” instituting restrictions on travel to the US and suspension of visas from seven Muslim-majority countries, namely, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The aim of the order (citing authority from the Constitution ...

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Alternate reality hampers governance in St Lucia (commentary)

Melanius Alphonse

COMMENTARY – The “alternate reality” seems odd, in particular when “the vulnerable” are very much over the edge, the “reality gap” widening, misinformation on political and economic issues based on “alternative facts” and crony capitalism is just fine as long as it involves the right cronies. Experts reaffirm that self-dealing by government officials has become standard procedure, conflicts of interest ...

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As Soleil burns… McDoom (commentary)

2017-02-05-08_05_47-as-soleil-burns-word-docx-google-docs

COMMENTARY – The tourism mavens who curated “Soleil” have once again failed to capture the current growing trend in the global hospitality and tourism industry. In the process, they have failed to engage the unique talents of a Saint Lucian who has Global Name Recognition: Fashion Tourism and Vincent Mc Doom. The decision to eliminate Fashion from Soleil must have ...

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St Lucia government’s ‘alternative fact sheet’ (commentary)

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COMMENTARY – It took seven months for the prime minister and minister of finance Allen Chastanet to sort out his administration’s economic ethos and principles.  However, the message is: “The economy is broke, Saint Lucia is in trouble.”  “The government was focusing on three primary areas in terms of building a new Saint Lucia, finance that deficit, the re-engineering of ...

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Cyber laws and individual rights (commentary)

Felicia Browne

COMMENTARY – With racy photos and screenshots circulating the internet like wildfire and political temperaments are rising, many users are now concerned with the privacy of their conversations, texts and video chats while using the web. The internet has remained one of the most inexpensive modes for modern communication. Its evolution has allowed us to reach to the further ends ...

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Re-enslavement by another name: The ‘expropriation’ of St Lucian lands -Part 3 (commentary)

Alphonse

COMMENTARY – Many moons ago Sir John Compton’s mantra echoed – “Lucians, watch your bread.” But never in his wildest dreams would he have imagined Saint Lucians would be exploited in such a manner by the United Workers Party (UWP) and government he once led. This is, of course, actually regressive, short of a revolt, to allow Prime Minister Allen ...

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Re-enslavement by another name: The ‘expropriation’ of St Lucian lands -Part 2 (commentary)

Melanius Alphonse

COMMENTARY – In the aftermath of the June 2016 general elections in Saint Lucia, the approach by the Allen Chastanet-led administration has been geared towards change, except is reality tells a far different story. Saint Lucia is blessed with Nobel laureates Sir Derek Walcott for literature and Sir Arthur Lewis for economics. Their influence spans the globe, their mental astuteness, ...

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COMMENTARY: Re-enslavement by another name: The ‘expropriation’ of St Lucian lands – Part 1

PM Allen Chastanet at Micoud South constituency Christmas party, December 2016

COMMENTARY – Life beyond the Allen Chastanet-led administration’s honeymoon has serious repercussions in regard to the governance of Saint Lucia, heading into its first full year in power. On that new basis, comrade Stevaco Joseph’s conscious New Year’s messages defined and reaffirmed the state of affairs: “It is vividly evident that we live in a broken world. A violent world. ...

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COMMENTARY: ‘99 years for the consideration of US$1 per acre’: Everybody needs to chill out – Part 2

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By Melanius Alphonse Notwithstanding the final session of the House of Assembly on Tuesday in an usual sitting, the “substance” of the 2017 session and DSH Caribbean Star Limited framework agreement will re-define Saint Lucia for 99 years Plans for the new session of the parliament of Saint Lucia, commencing April 1, 2017, are afoot for major government agenda and ...

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COMMENTARY: 99 years for the consideration of US$1 per acre’: Everybody needs to chill out – Part 1

Melanius Alphonse

By Melanius Alphonse The malevolence broadside against Saint Lucia set on believing the government of Saint Lucia, namely, that a press conference would be held (over two weeks) based on anonymous sources and leaks of the DSH Caribbean Star Limited framework agreement, everybody needs to just chill out – but that hasn’t happened. Quite the reverse, from the pattern of ...

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COMMENTARY: Fidel is dead!

Fidel Alejandro Castro

By EricSimon Horsford It took 90 years, 3 months and 12 days to do what the CIA could not do. 90 years, 3 months and 12 days to silence a fixture of the socialist movement in the Americas. He was the champion of Marxist- Leninist socialism in the western hemisphere, the father of modern day Cuba, the consummate villain who ...

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Asian thoroughbreds to bankroll St Lucia (commentary)

2016-12-08-11_05_02-asian-thoroughbreds-to-bankroll-st-lucia-docx-google-docs

COMMENTARY – Financial perspectives are crucial; as such, theorists ought to be knowledgeable in thought and action, particularly when coupled with authority for public policy.  According to minister in the ministry of finance, Ubaldus Raymond’s economic theory, and most recent remarks on Bank of Saint Lucia [BOSL]: “A quarter of all loans are bad, approximately EC$300 million, the Eastern Caribbean Central ...

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The folly of avoidance (commentary)

2016-11-14-10_00_53-the-folly-of-avoidance-docx-google-docs

COMMENTARY – There is still a wide view and pretty confident that the symptom of weirdness in Saint Lucia today, adds to the old Chinese proverb: “May you live in interesting times.” And why is this? After Prime Minister Allen Chastanet’s poorly recorded and delivered message broadcast “Live” on November 7, that barely lasted ten minutes, average persons benefitted nothing ...

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St Lucia government’s naked self promotion (commentary)

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet of Saint Lucia addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s 71st session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

COMMENTARY – If it is completely uncomfortable that “we are overtaxed” and “basically the country is in a mess”, the government of Saint Lucia certainly highlighted this by the compulsive utterances of at least two cabinet ministers, aided by the silence of cowardly institutions. At a very rapid pace, our national identity, the land, the people, the light continue to erode; ...

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St. Lucia’s spiral to happy Vat reduction (commentary)

Melanius Alphonse

COMMENTARY – Last week, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet referenced The Fiscal and Structural Reforms in Saint Lucia: Towards a comprehensive agenda prepared by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) as “very telling” and “gives a more detailed picture of what is taking place in the economy”. “The report measured the collection of taxes as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for ...

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COMMENTARY: St Lucia government severely handicapped

Alphonse

COMMENTARY – It is long proven that governments can’t function effectively when citizens are not working or paying their fair share of taxes, resulting in decreased national revenue, especially when coupled with a lack of capital investment and devoid of any serious policies to tackle real economic issues. In these circumstances, the scheme of “Five to Stay Alive” is hell ...

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COMMENTARY: Can incompetence fill a vacuum?

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet

COMMENTARY – A “lame duck” in politics describes an elected official continuing to hold high political office pending the inauguration of a more recently elected successor. The official is often seen weak and loses the ability to achieve anything, having less influence with the legislature and the public at large. Regrettably, however, in Saint Lucia, newly elected Prime Minister Allen Chastanet ...

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Other than snobbery, what else is at stake? (commentary)

2016-09-29 10_51_10-Other than snobbery, what else is at stake_ - slunewsonline@gmail.com - Gmail

COMMENTARY – Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, in his first address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), said, “I sincerely hope that our efforts during the early decades of the 21st century will help to create a new world order”. My immediate thought was of the accepted wisdom of the theological virtues of faith, hope and love, as ...

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St. Lucia’s vulnerability a growing concern (commentary)

2016-09-19 09_04_00-St Lucia’s vulnerability a growing concern.docx - Google Docs

PRESS RELEASE – There can be little dispute that Saint Lucia’s economic and fiscal policies are generally unstable, along with the latest crisis of governance exacerbated by new Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.  In fact, the first 100 days of the United Workers Party (UWP) administration have been a combination of useless and pretentious theatrics that have bordered on, if not ...

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Trans-colonial collaboration in St Lucia’s political system (commentary)

2016-09-08 08_23_49-st lucia politics - Google Search

COMMENTARY – The title is meant to be deliberate and thought-provoking, in particular, to the sensationalist spectre of seeing Saint Lucians as subjects and objects, rather than as a people and agents of radical, hemispheric, economic, and social change. However, whether one understands or not, there is a common interpretation of alarm that is invoked by a persnickety political leader, ...

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St Lucia walking a tightrope (commentary)

2016-09-05 07_43_11-St Lucia walking a tightrope.docx - Google Docs

COMMENTARY – Recent reports pertaining to trade and investment, and long standing drug trafficking and money laundering issues, have implications for Saint Lucia, amid a stagnant economy (rising corporate debt, capital outflows increasing the national debt of EC$2.9 billion, 15 percent VAT, 24 percent unemployment, 45 percent youth unemployment) and a newly elected Allen Chastanet-led administration with no clue as ...

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A country in denial; pie in the sky (commentary)

pearl_of_the_caribbean

COMMENTARY – Abraham Lincoln said, “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” The US$2.6 billion investment project titled “Pearl of the Caribbean” framework agreement signed between the government of Saint Lucia and Desert Star Holdings ...

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The King is dead, long live the King

2016-08-22 12_30_30-The King is dead, long live the King.docx - Google Docs

COMMENTARY – What should have been the serious business of the Saint Lucia House of Assembly on August 16, 2016, descended into farce as former prime minister Stephenson King tried valiantly but in vain to guide his successor Allen Chastanet, who looked more like a blundering French-born dauphin than the new king of Saint Lucia. Chastanet’s defiance of the constitutionally ...

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St. Lucian youth need to RISE!! (commentary)

KENIER BARTHELMY

COMMENTARY – Young people must be passionate about helping others .I see our brothers and sisters die everyday and yet we have no clue , on how we are going to solve this situation. I believe that family condition leads to Violent Crime in St. Lucia. Parents hostility, physical and emotional abuse towards their children, shapes their future in being delinquent ,because they feel ...

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St Lucia PM’s semantics and incompetence: A toxic mix (commentary)

Allen Chastanet

COMMENTARY – The current crisis of governance in Saint Lucia, orchestrated by new prime minister Allen Chastanet, is perhaps more serious than the setbacks that occurred in the 1979 leadership crisis. The thinking of the current administration led by Chastanet has its origin in 2009 when as minister of tourism he did nothing to preserve the wellbeing and dignity of ...

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COMMENTARY: WICB out of control

Wayne Cadogan

COMMENTARY – The time has come and has been long overdue for the revamping of the West Indies Cricket Board and its band of myopic nomadic members, whose only purpose is to splurge off of West Indies cricket for their own personal gains and to keep West Indies cricket it submerge state in the cricketing world. It is quite clear ...

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Enablers of ‘steering’, ‘kleptocracy’ and ‘ignorance’ in St Lucia (commentary)

2016-08-03 08_18_36-Enablers of ‘steering’, ‘kleptocracy’ and ‘ignorance’ in St Lucia - slunewsonlin

COMMENTARY – Actually, it’s no surprise that three words: “steering”, “kleptocracy” and “ignorance” occupy my mind while monitoring political operatives maneuver in an attempt to neutralise political observers, critics, select media outlets, civil society’s democratic norms and international systems from reporting factual analysis of questionable individuals, associates and a cabinet of ill-defined intentions in Saint Lucia. Through the technique of “steering”, proxies ...

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Lies, damned lies, statistics or terminological inexactitudes? (commentary)

2016-07-25 07_52_03-Lies, damned lies, statistics or terminological inexactitudes_ - slunewsonline@g

COMMENTARY – After various claims of “taken out of context”, “deliberate buffoonery to provoke the US”, “never before published statistics” and other excuses, Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet evidently decided last week to retreat from his blatantly false claims of the number of criminal deportees to the country from the US and offered an unflattering apology. So what name ...

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A plea for more efficient regional air transport (commentary)

Caribbean-Airlines-ATR-72-500-fsx11

COMMENTARY – While the air transport industry is complex, the challenges in the region are not insurmountable; many of the solutions are there to be implemented. Unfortunately however, often times the political will does not ensue. In this light, a regional petition has commenced to amplify the voice of, and demand by Caribbean citizens for improvements to the regional transport ...

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Trump 2.0: The Saint Lucia edition (commentary)

Allen Chastanet

COMMENTARY – It didn’t take long for Saint Lucia’s newly elected prime minister Allen Chastanet to get caught in one of his frequent faux-pas, which brings to mind US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s recent description of Donald Trump: “He is a faker. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego.”  Chastanet returned ...

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Allen Chastanet’s dilemma (commentary)

2016-07-13 09_10_52-Allen Chastanet’s dilemma.docx - Google Docs

COMMENTARY – In the same way that many British voters are regretting their support of Brexit in the recent UK referendum, many Saint Lucians are showing signs of buyer’s remorse following last month’s election of new prime minister Allen Chastanet on substantive matters that impact sovereignty, integrity in public life, security and the rule of law. First, the rollout of the ...

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Election financing: Who bought whom? (commentary)

Felicia Browne.

Electoral fraud and vote rigging are illegal practices in the electoral process. In many democratic states, such practices carry severe punishment, including imprisonment. In many Caribbean societies, there have been several post-election claims electoral fraud and vote-rigging. This has continued to plague various administrations as such actions are contrary to the principles of democracy. As a result, many electorates contend an overwhelming sense of betrayal and ...

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COMMENTARY: The irony of campaign finance reform in St Lucia

Melanius Alphonse

President Gerald Ford said: “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” The general elections in Saint Lucia included political promises every bit as illusory as Donald Trump’s slogans, which has renewed concerns to do something about campaign finance reform, massive bribery and political kickback schemes. ...

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