High ranking members of the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) on Sunday addressed residents of Vieux Fort, calling on the government to renegotiate the Desert Star Holding (DSH) agreement.
This was the party’s first political meeting since losing the June 2016 election to the United Workers Party (UWP).
Former leader of the SLP and Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony raised several concerns about the controversial project and said that there will be “no peace” until it is properly renegotiated.
“If this agreement is not renegotiated or redesigned, if all of the offensive provisions in that agreement are not removed, then I say to you tonight, that there will never ever be peace in this country and community,” he asserted.
Dr. Anthony, whose government were in talks with the developer first, advised the people of the South not to give into the pressures of the current Allen Chastanet-led administration to give up their lands.
He describes government’s move to sign an agreement with DSH as “strangling the people.”
The two-time prime minister argued that the agreement was not properly negotiated by the current government, since it is bound to obstruct many things, ranging from farmers land to public facilities.
“How will you feel when you community is transformed and now the new owners of VF are Chinese investors. Is this what you want for Vieux Fort?…I cannot support this deal,” Dr. Anthony told SLP supporters.
He encouraged the people of the South to direct those persons seeking to have them removed to him. Anthony is the parliamentary representative for Vieux Fort South.
“You cant be asking people to vacate lands that they have been farming for years and you cannot give them an alternative of where their cattle should go,” he argued.
The former prime minister accused Chastanet of affixing his initials to the agreement which has “crossed out public access to the beach, to remove the right of Vieux Fortians and others to go on their beach.”
“He doesn’t have the sincerity, nor the gust, the strength or the courage, to say to the people of Saint Lucia that we are not going to allow them to get Sandy beach,” Dr. Anthony opined.
The opposition MP vowed to do everything in his power to represent the interest of his constituents and by extension the people of Saint Lucia, to ensure that they get the best possible deal.
“I will put everything to make sure that the people of Saint Lucia get a fair just and reasonable agreement. I will put all the skills that I have to make sure that this happens. Vieux Fort I will be standing by you.”
Dr. Anthony was joined by the current SLP leader Philip J. Pierre, and opposition MPs Alva Baptiste, Shawn Edward, Moses Jn Baptiste and Dr Ernest Hilaire during Sunday’s meeting.