Gov’t rejects criticism of its handling of the Lambirds scam

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Gov’t rejects criticism of its handling of the Lambirds scam
Dr. Kenny Anthony.
Dr. Kenny Anthony.

PRESS RELEASE – In customary fashion, the Leader of the Opposition, Hon Dr. Gail Rigobert, has waded into the debate on the Lambirds’ Academy issue, without careful thinking and without putting the interest of this country at the forefront.

In her usual confused and contradictory posture, the Leader of the Opposition accuses the Government of Saint Lucia of returning students “to their native lands while a police investigation is underway” yet says in the same breath that it has taken the Government a month to respond to this matter. Which is it then?

The Leader of the Opposition and the UWP spokesman on this matter, Hon Guy Joseph, need to understand that when a criminal investigation is underway, it is a matter for the police and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The Government cannot behave in any manner that would compromise the actions of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Police. It is not for the Government to make decisions about how the interests of the students will be represented in a court of law in a criminal matter.

Likewise, it is for the Director of Public Prosecutions to determine whether all of the students can return to their homeland or some can return while others remain to testify.

Where the Government has a responsibility is to assist those who have been cleared by the DPP to return to their homelands. This, the Government of Saint Lucia is in the process of doing.

Why is it that the Leader of the Opposition and Hon. Guy Joseph want the Government to direct the Police and the DPP in this matter?

“Unquestionably”, said Prime Minister Kenny D. Anthony, “there are some very troubling aspects of this matter. Indeed, even before the utterances of UWP spokesman Guy Joseph last night on HTS television, the Cabinet of Ministers had already taken a decision to conduct an independent inquiry into this matter to determine, among other things, how the investors were granted approval, how the students arrived here and what were the arrangements made for their studies and welfare. Such an inquiry cannot, however, compromise ongoing investigations by the police or the filing of charges by the Director of Public Prosecutions”.

From the onset, the welfare of those affected has been a priority for the Government of Saint Lucia. As stated by the Ministry of Home Affairs and National Security in two previous statements, Government is in contact with the UN International Organization for Migration “to secure the welfare of the affected individuals and to being decisive closure to this matter”.

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29 COMMENTS

  1. I see people lambasting Dr. Anthony for what? He is sending the folks home because the school is not trustworthy, what else would you do! Once is Kenny some of you losing your minds.

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  2. I very much like the ideas from "Anonymous". The cabinet inquiry must be fair representing all sides. They must look into what police has against Lambirds, and also must sit with Lambirds Attorney to see what defense they have. That Academy had licenses, students came with proper immigration and were attending classes until the police shut it down. So they must have a powerful defense to any charges. Under U.S. Pressure, we do not need to show that we are doing enough for human trafficking using Lambirds as a scapegoat or try to make an example out of this case. This is clearly not a human trafficking case. This Iclearly backfired. Depending on the findings of the independent inquiry, if the findings do not support a strong case against Lambirds, the charges should be dropped immediately for them to resume limited operation for those Nepali students to finish their classes in a year and go home. Nobody will get hurt that way and we will get a chance to prove that international investors in our country are welcome and treated fairly.

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  3. I am sitting here reading the comments and I am happy that many of you can see though this pm. Instead of addressing the matter at hand he attacks the messanger.

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  4. The PM has all his ministers subservient but they accept that because it is their path for continued employment. So he simply expects all St. Lucians to be subservient also and so the onus is on us to show every politician that we have a brain and we can think and see deception when it raises its ugly head.

    A group of four men come here set up shop and dupe the whole government machinery into facilitating them. But Dr. Anthony in opposition did tell investors not to come to St. Lucia and so they have all listened and stayed away. So now he is in office St. Lucia is left to get the bottom of the barrel

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  5. Get rid of those people. They are already weighing too heavily on us. DPP, The Police or government , I don't care.

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  6. Dr. Anthony, I understand your predicament. On one hand you are under pressure from the locals to do something for the stranded students, on the other hand as a sitting PM, you are under watch from the whole world to ensure that no injustice is done to a foreign investor. While the oppositions job is to blame the government for everything, but I do believe that it is impossible for a foreign investor who set foot in this island only few months ago, to bribe every department of the government. Not to forget, Lambirds is a baby institute only 45 days old with only 60 students. Any department would need a bigger fish than that to sell their soul. The whole saga started when a stupid officer from the mighty St. Lucia Police Force decided to shut down a running institute and stranded it's students. The college was giving out the education they promised. Please call the officer before the government and opposition lawyers to show them the proof he has so far. Ask him why he shut the college down without any solid proof and why he keeps going back to the court asking for more time to investigate. He should have had more reason to shut the institute down in the first place and have the common sense of the huge repercussion to follow. It means, he is trying to save his face, while an investor is rotting in jail while the world is watching us. I have two simple solutions to this problem.
    1. This case will take more than a year to finish. Why not, allow lambirds to resume limited strictly monitored operation for the students to complete the degree they came here for (12 months). Lambirds CEO and bank account to be strictly monitored by Government and opposition appointed officers. No additional students or visas to be allowed. Immediately after that, the students and Investor to leave the Island.
    2. Ask the Govt and Opposition appointed attorney to meet in closed doors with Lambirds attorney to see if they wish to do a plea bargain to divide whatever money Lambirds has in their bank account here, amongst the displaced equally. They must prove how much each paid to Lambirds. Legally, it does not matter how much they have spent so far. Their demanded loss is growing leaps and bounds every day. The students have to cut their losses and leave immediately. The investor must leave immediately as well after they pay the students.
    Dear opposition leaders, please ponder on these and see if you can come up with any better solutions.

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  7. Kenny ANTHONY describes Dr.RIGOBERT as usually confused and contradictory in her statements.Most St.Lucians presently use such a description to describe him.Look at St.Lucia today.Kenny Anthony does not know what to do to stop the social and economic decline this country is facing.His ministers helplessly look at a clueless and visionless leader and none of them have good ideas to offer him.Poor St.Lucia
    let's look at the timeline.Gail's comments were issued late last week or early this week.The story broke more than a month ago.Persons including the press kept asking Robert Lewis for clarification for many weeks to no avail.
    News surfaced that students were being sent home,still no word from the government.When KENNY finally responds, instead of telling us what he he intends to do to make that wrong right and how he will un-tarnish St.Lucia's name overseas he attacks Dr.Rigobert,as usual trying to deflect attention away from his incompetence.
    Gail is correct.You do not deport witnesses before the case is called.And yes,it took the government over a month to respond to the questions raised by the press(INCLUDING THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS)the students who are affected and the general public.
    And yes,the response was pathetic,stupid and childish.
    only a confused mind would separate two comments which have to remain in the same paragraph to understand the context in which they were used and then ask WHICH IS IT THEN?
    yet he describes other persons as being confused.POOR JAB KENNY.

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  8. Dear Dr. Anthony, I understand your predicament . It is much tougher to be a sitting PM, than to be a opposition leader whose job is to blame the Government for everything. It is impossible for an overseas investor (owner of Lambirds, a 45 day old baby academy with only 60 students), who set foot in this Island only few months ago to bribe every department of the Government. The mighty St. Lucian Police Force displaced the students from a running academy. Here are some solutions to this problem that got blown out of proportion by the media:
    1. The whole world is watching. You must also ensure fairness to the international investor who invested his million in this country. Call the investigating officer and ask him if he has any solid proof against the academy. He shut down the Academy and went to court twice asking for further time to find evidence, while an investor is rotting in Jail for the last 45 days without just cause. It will not go down well with foreign investors including British Caribbean investment Forum.
    2. The best solution is to allow Lambirds to resume operation again only for a year under strict scrutiny to complete the degree for this 60 displaced students. The case will take more time than that in the court to finish. Lambirds operation and accounts should be strictly monitored by a Government officer and an officer from the opposition. Upon completion, students must go back home with the degree they came here for and the investor goes back home with whatever he has left from his investment. No further student must be given visa or enrolled. OR,
    3. Lawyers from Government and opposition meet with Lambirds lawyer to see if Lambirds want to do a plea bargain to give away the money they have in their bank account here as compensation to be divided amongst students. All students came with return tickets, so we should not be paying for that. All students and the accused must leave the island immediately after that.
    All of the politicians, please give these a thought. Whats not coming in the newspaper is the pressure the government is under from the world to ensure fairness to the accused as well. With this media hype and constant brain washing, they will surely be denied justice. The students have rights, so does the accused. The police must not continue the case just to save their face without solid proof that will stick in the court.

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  9. All you Kenny critics, stop being emotional and get real. Face the facts. Lucian please get out of the small minded bubble. The government is doing what's right. That's the fundamental difference between Labour and UWP.

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  10. Lucian this is happening in st lucia because U all do not trust GOD. U all have more churches than the grains of sand on the beach ,but far away from god. Lucian go back to god , then you all will see a light. and stop pointing fingers, Pray,pray this is what st lucia needs. A nation who does not fear the lord, is always in problems, satan is awake u all spent too much criticizing each other than pray for one another.

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  11. Am tired of kenny sh''. Its all about excuses and lies. Gail regobert have to say something so they can talk. Doc u need to tell us the diplomates that involve

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  12. I regret i stain my finger for you. This situation is embarrassing and can have implications for St. Lucia but all you care about is Gail. Help the people. Clear St. Lucia name. Instead of doing that u want a roro with Gail! Nonsense!

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  13. KENNY YOU ARE TO BLAME FOR THIS SHOW DOWN.WHO ELSE ????

    AND EVERYTHING THAT COMES OUT OF YOU AND YOUR CREW MOUTH IS THE OPPOSITION.CAN YOU PLEASE TELL AS WHYY ?????

    YOU WERE ELECTED TO DO A JOB,WHY DONT YOU DO IT,BY THE WAY I HOPE ALVINA IS NOT GOING UP AGAIN.GET SOMEONE ELSE FOR HEALTH GIVE THIS BUSH WOMAN A BREAK.TOO MUCH BUSH..............

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  14. Funny enough, Gale said that yesterday Press Release came out today. That Lambird's scandal came out last month and the government only recently responded with an official statement. Wonder why?? As f responding to Gale's nonsense is more important than responding to the citizens.Gale made a statement about St Judes lacking food and vaccines. Next day Press release attacking Gale and not once addressing any of the legitimate concerns raised.Gale asked to release IMPACS report to public. Next Day press release about her double standards. If only Kenny and Co spent half as much energy running the country than responding to opposition frivolities then the country would be in a better place. Makes me feel like the SLP Government is not confident enough in its track record to let its "achievements" speak for itself. They have to resort to trivialities. As a party the UWP are a bunch of Jokers and should by no means be taken seriously. PLease Please Kenny and Co concentrate on running the country and ignore these misfits. Channel all energy into doing that. Yall politicians sicken me!!!

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    • Wish I could give this comment one thousand likes. Finally someone sees the light and isn't taking sides but touching on the key problems. Bravo my friend, bravo!!

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  15. This Government through their press Secretary think the nation is brainless like the prime minister,but I want then to know we have brains and we can think for ourselves

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  16. Misdirection ➡️ shifting the focus to Gail Rigobert. Kenny You are what is wrong with this country of ours. Poor jab us having you as our PM ...nothing but embarrassment.

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  17. The Lambirds issue is an embarrassment for the country, and now the government is trying to down play the situation by focusing on the leader of the opposition contradictory remarks. As much as the investigation is up to the DPP and the police, the PM knows that the government has a big part to play in the investigation. It is members of the civil service who authorized the approval of the necessary documents for the academy to operate in St.Lucia.

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  18. Who knows that you and your cabinet decided to have an inquiry into the matter? Gross desrespect and arrogance. These things should be communicated to the public as soon as possible. You cannot be quiet then for the public to assume that you are doing something.

    If such a statement wasn't issued by the opposition you would not have responded in the first place. By the way you are only responding to a reaction as is customary with you administration.

    Logically and rightly people don't trust you and don't think that you are acting in their interest. We don't believe you, tooo little tooo late.

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  19. Gail is so contradicting!! Just like she ask to publicise the report on Operation Restore Confidence and when it was done she had a problem with it. I hope if she is elected she does a better job in running the country!!

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  20. Is this press statement about clearing the air on the Lambirds Academy scandal or attacking the opposition. Because again, nothing much has been said by the Prime Minister or anyone else from government to shed any meaningful light on this rather disturbing affair.

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  21. Kenny is infallible, he is the perfect dysfunctional leader. Things are going horribly down hill for the island but this man has glasses which see a different universe. This is dangerous when one cannot see beyond his own fantasy.

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  22. My only concern with this situation: If a government agency can/may allow this kind of behavior to foster (due to negligence) then I fear for what may transpire when our citizenship by investment program comes to fruition. Already we are being warned by US diplomats about those programs; it won't start/end well.

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