DSH Project: A hasty, high-handed, horrendous deal of exclusion

By Vieux Fort Concerned Citizens Coalition for Change

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(PRESS RELEASE) – It is now public knowledge that construction work on the DSH racecourse at Beausejour has resumed, based on a Teo Ah Khing revised plan.

This followed certain recent pronouncements by the PM Chastanet and subsequent to these pronouncements Teo Ah Khing made yet another presentation on his vision plan for his Pearl of the Caribbean Project. The new plan shows that the town of Vieux-Fort will be choked all around by various glossy, artistic renderings of the structures apparently intended for accommodating Asian tourists and the new citizens of Saint Lucia.

The Vieux-Fort Concerned Citizens Coalition for Change (VF4Cs) wishes to repeat and make it abundantly clear that from the outset it expressed very serious concerns about the terms of the agreements for the DSH Project, the tangible benefits for local residents and the country at large, the perceived significant negative environmental impacts on the landscape, the undue haste with which the PM was pushing ahead with his project in the absence of wide public consultation and the contemptuous disregard for sound technical and professional advice from the relevant state agencies, in particular Invest St. Lucia and the CIP Unit.

Obviously, the PM is bent on having it his way with this DSH Project inspite of the many concerns expressed by citizens of this country through letters to parliamentarians, a petition signed by over 3000 persons, a public protest march, numerous discussions on radio and TV.

Doubts about the details, financial viability and success of this DSH Project have been raised by both Invest St. Lucia and the CIP Unit and they have rejected the proposals for this project about eight times. The Prime Minister himself, unconsciously or otherwise, added his doubts about the project when he told the nation that the race course will not be a profitable undertaking. Then followed the shocking revelation that while Teo Ah khing would spend some money up front on the racecourse, the people of St. Lucia would refund him every penny from CIP funds! The DCA is yet to give the thumbs up for this project.

The VF4Cs will continue to say to the PM that this DSH Deal is a travesty of economic reasoning and common sense, a brutal rape of the island’s scarce assets and fragile patrimony and a frightening prescription for recolonization, dispossession, dislocation and alienation of the local population.

What else can it be when Teo Ah Khing (the so-called Master Developer) puts in only US$10 million in a US$2.6 billion investment, has the option to lease over 1000 acres of prime investment land at US$1 per acre per for 99 years, ends up owning all the race course, touristic and port facilities built from the sale of St. Lucia passports, gets exempted from all existing taxation and any future taxation, provides no guarantees of employment for St. Lucians, and excludes partnership or profit sharing arrangements with any other party, including the people and government of St. Lucia.

To add to St. Lucia’s potential monumental loss in this DSH balance sheet, the PM has now confirmed that the George Odlum Stadium, the meat processing plant (or Abattoir), the Beausejour Agricultural Farm, present infrastructure, a range of traditional livelihoods and residential, agricultural and business enterprises will have to be sacrificed or relocated for the sake of Teo Ah Khing’s Pearl of the Caribbean grand scheme. The total cost of these will run into hundreds of million of dollars.

This DSH Project is being handled like an intimate, exclusive tete-a-tete between PM Chastanet and Teo Ah Khing.

There is a great deal more to be divulged about the nature, purpose and financiers of this DSH Project and the glittering images pictorials of Teo Ah Khing followed by brief pronouncements of the Prime Minister are clearly not sufficient.

The VF4Cs is once again appealing to the Prime Minister to engage the residents of Vieux-Fort and other citizens of St. Lucia in a respectful, serious and continuous dialogue so as to provide essential information for discussion and debate and to highlight the specific benefits of the project to St. Lucia. The PM cannot simply continue to display contempt for the genuine concerns of citizens. Such behaviour can only be summed up as a cynical affront to the basic principles of democracy.

(15)(10)
This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

12 comments

  1. SLP development plans for Vieux Fort:

    Brand new public toilet timber shed on Sandy Beach, value EC$8,000
    Employment opportunities: 1 lady attendant

    (3)(1)
  2. " inspite of the many concerns expressed by citizens of this country through letters to parliamentarians, a pitition signed by over 3000 persons, a public protest march, numerous discussions on radio and TV."..............CORRECTION!!...................SLP SUPPORTERS!!!!!!!

    (3)(1)
  3. SLP development plans for Vieux Fort:

    Brand new public toilet timber shed on Sandy Beach, value EC$8,000
    Employment opportunities: 1 lady attendant

    (1)(0)
  4. I do not understand why the Prime Minister is selling St Lucia to foreigners under the guise of foreign investment. Who will benefit? Not the St Lucians. Who will get the financial benefit of this deal? Not St Lucians. Their money will be in off shore accounts and their high society patrons will not be going anywhere near the rest of St Lucia to share their dollars, as they will pay overseas into overseas accounts.
    Why not develop an industry that will create export revenue, develop skills that keeps the island blooming and attract our skilled people to return to the island.
    Why do you keep approving tourism for all inclusive hotels, when the guests pays outside the country. If you so badly want to be a hotelier, resign and go do that. It is great when hotels do not have to spend money on marketing their properties as we have our very own government tourism board that advertises for them with St Lucian tax dollars.
    Stop making the people believe their survival depends on foreign visitors to our soil. Create an environment of manufacturing and get the education department to start developing the skills for all to be trained and be conducive to the growth of the whole island.
    Your job and your only job is to uplift every citizen, not the foreign hoteliers and foreigners. I think it is time you refocus or depart.

    (4)(1)
    • I think one has to look at the Greek and Spanish islands and what other opportunities exist for their residents apart from tourism.
      The answer is basically not a lot, perhaps on a very small scale.
      The same is applicable across the Caribbean and SIDS in the Pacific Ocean.
      The other earner, agriculture, is underdeveloped. If fully developed would ease the unemployment situation.
      Each country should embrace its potential. In St Lucia, this potential is still tourism.
      However it should not go beyond its critical mass, which is what happened in the Canary Islands in the 70's, with disastrous results.

      (3)(1)
  5. vf4c after all those yrs you suckers filled you'll pockets and left the vf people penniless u continue to talk shut about a project that would benefit the same people left without a job even when the Rep was PM.
    you guys had no vision to develop the South and still don't have. JJ you forget they kick your ass out now u go back kissing Behinds.
    STFU you'll worthless selfish piece of crap.

    (1)(2)
  6. New Testament Verse of the Day:
    When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, "This man truly was the Son of God!"

    –Mark 15:39

    (0)(5)
  7. Wow wow wow I want to be like Teo Ah King when I grow up. Even Trump would be envy with green of this deal. Imagine I get to invest ONLY 10 million US Dollars in a 2.6 billion deal, I lease prime lands for $1US for 99yrs . I get all sales of the country passport CIP for the project and all the facilities. I am exempt from all taxes and FUTURE TAXES, but the people that I will employ (no guaranteed in writing that I have to employ them) will have to pay VAT. I don't have to profit share with anyone not even the people or the government of St Lucia. I get to mash down a stadium wow wow wow and I wont guaranteed you another one much less you much needed hospital. Deal of the century, if those who are saying this OK they should be tied up in the public square and flogged.

    (16)(7)
  8. What more can we say? whether we cry out or not, are there any checks or stop points in place to prevent any prime minister from making such a move?

    Do you think any US president could give up US$36 trillion (2 years worth of US GDP) for one investment without mercilessly being shot down in Congress (even tried for treason)?

    Yet now, one St. Lucia prime minister is about to give up US$2 billion (2 years worth of GDP) for one investment because he "feels" it will be successful, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

    While we were busy defending/attacking under flambeau and labour, did no one realize that the prime minister was being given too much power? Juffali...Greenburg...Rochamelle...ORC...DSH...STILL we cannot see there is a glaring inefficiency in our system! We busy arguing about every bobol without addressing the core problem. There is a significant governance problem in Government and it results in an inefficient and exploitative government. Every. Single. Time.

    This is a conversation no one wants to have because it will forever change the way politics is done in this country and it is in the interest of both parties NOT to have this conversation.

    If you refuse to address the problem, then stop complaining.

    (19)(4)
    • These are the same people KNOWN for their high-handedness. They have had a very LONG history of riding ROUGHSHOD over the will and rights of the people, with their careless and SECRET DEALS for years and years, when they were given power.

      Take for instance, GRYNBERG.

      Take too, the DECEITFUL CONSTITUTIONAL FARCE they called REFORM committee. It was designed to give the reigning PM the power of the the DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS.

      This piece is very deceitful and draws guffaws if you can see through its designed political deceit. Do some politicians expect to fool all of the people all of the time? If so, then they are very, very stupid.

      (1)(0)
    • not forgetting LAMBIRDS ACADEMY

      (0)(0)

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