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(PRESS RELEASE) – The message was clear as Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet delivered his Independence Address to the Nation: “There is no better time, entering into this new decade, for us to develop a positive attitude. To say from now on that this is our time, we must do this together.”
The Prime Minister delivered the Address on Independence Day, Saturday February 22nd under the theme “Now is the Time: Let’s Do This Together” at a special ceremony featuring young talent.
Violinist Yannik James performed the National Anthem, Lianna Martius of the Desruisseaux Combined School recited the National Pledge and Amiera Serieux from the Mon Repos – Patience Primary School and Saint Lucia Courts Reading Champion introduced the Prime Minister. The event also featured a performance by the Combined School Boys Choir who performed “The Tree Song”. The event was further strengthened with a Prayer for the Nation by Pastor Lewis Paul.
The Prime Minister spoke to the positive outlooks for Saint Lucia regarding economic growth, investments and the several projects which have commenced.
“Tourism arrivals are now at record levels, and the prospects for agriculture and the manufacturing sector are extremely good. In our efforts to further diversify the economy, we have strengthened the IT sector and introduced the Headquarters Act to facilitate companies setting up headquarter operations in Saint Lucia. The government has had the task of putting Saint Lucia back on track with its development. There is still a lot to be done. Overcoming the hurdles so far proves that our people possess the character, the fortitude, indeed the wisdom to rise above adversity.”
The Prime Minister noted that as a Nation, “We need to apply equal effort to the development of values as we do to fiscal policy and infrastructure. I am speaking here about love and respect for each other and for our country, respect for authority and the laws of our country, tolerance, honesty and discipline.”
Prime Minister Chastanet spoke to issues such as reckless driving and resolving conflict and called for a change in attitudes.
“Saint Lucia it is our time but we must work together to shake the habits that continue to stifle our country . . . How many people were killed because of personal differences and the inability to resolve conflicts peacefully? We have to develop the capacity to forgive and walk away. Why are our young people choosing the path to gangs? The path to a life of crime and ultimately death? This has to stop.”
The Prime Minister noted that: “It is time that we together identify the simple ways in which we can all pull up our socks and do our part to make Saint Lucia a better place. This is what togetherness means. This is a call to action; a call to develop a change in attitudes. Let us collectively take stock and recommit ourselves to Saint Lucia, to take control of our own destiny.”
The Prime Minister told the nation he was excited about the future of Saint Lucia.
“Our aim in the long run is to empower all of our people, to offer them equal opportunities to realize their potential. The gains that we make will be multiplied ten-fold if we move together as one nation, united in a common purpose, loving and respecting one another, with tolerance and understanding of each other, committed to excellence, as we continue the task of building a new Saint Lucia.”
The Prime Minister wished all Saint Lucians at home and abroad a Happy 41st Independence Anniversary.
To view the full Address visit: https://www.facebook.com/allenmchastanet/videos/639289576896033/