CASTRIES, St Lucia — The political leader of the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM), Therold Prudent, has expressed grave concern over the apparent intentions of Sandals Grande Hotel to expand its accommodation by utilizing portions of the sea to build luxury bungalows in an effort to maximize greater profits for the company.
According to Prudent, while it is understood that the aim of every foreign investor is to derive larger and larger profits on their investments on the island, investing in Saint Lucia should not be interpreted as a green light to overrun the will of the people, belittle their sovereignty and, in the process, destroy their natural coastal structures, which will eventually lead to the demise of their livelihoods and place major restrictions on what’s left of their patrimony.
As one who was born and raised in Gros Islet, and has borne personal witness to the destruction of the local marine life throughout the so-called years of development, and the near elimination of a once proud and thriving fishing industry in Gros Islet, Prudent said, “To remain silent in the face of what seemingly is an attempt at exploiting our natural resources for profit is unconscionable.”
Prudent also added, “Any attempt by Sandals to expand its vast corporation over the sovereign waters of Saint Lucia, which is bound to cause accretion on the up-drift and erosion on the down-drift side of the entire western coastal structures of the island, alter the current movements, dump sediments on the coral colonies and destroy marine habitat, should not only be taken seriously by the Kenny Anthony administration, but should serve as the wakeup call that unifies Saint Lucians across political and ideological spectrums.
“We must demand public transparency in any ongoing talks between the government of Saint Lucia and Sandals. As surely, it would be a travesty to wake up tomorrow and learn that our government acceded to Sandal’s wishes without any serious thought or comprehensive negotiations, which is common play in Saint Lucia and the wider Caribbean whenever weak governments have claimed that they will stand up against foreign incursions into our patrimony.”
Prudent said that he is also deeply concerned about the people of the town of Gros Islet, who seem to have been the primary recipients of a calculated idea to eventually isolate or drive them away from their historic community of origin. He claimed that he intends to keep a close eye on the matter as it unfolds.