CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) – St Lucia Prime Minister Dr.Kenny Anthony has responded to reports that jobless and frustrated young people on the island are entertaining thoughts of killing him.
The matter was brought to light during a television show, hosted by newspaper publisher Rick Wayne.
Anthony in television interview Friday, said that it was not unusual for a Prime Minister to receive threats, but observed that it was not often that such statements are made publicly.
“In these islands we treat these things lightly, but we don’t understand that times have changed,” Anthony told his audience.
“Clearly, when the statements were made the best thing was to have said to the young man was that’s not the way to deal with those issues and resolve them,” the Prime Minister stated.
Anthony noted that Lashawn Lambert, who made the complaint during the television programme, while complaining on behalf of others, was himself employed, so that the issue was not the same for him.
The Prime Minister recalled that when Stephenson King was Prime Minister, someone was killed in King’s constituency office in La Clery, just over four years ago.
“That really was to all intents and purposes, a warning of what could happen to any MP or Prime Minister, so we need to take these issues seriously and get a sense of who are the persons orchestrating and encouraging this kind of behaviour,” Anthony said.
Asked whether he felt personally threatened, Anthony, who is also the Member of Parliament for Vieux Fort South said it was part of the “hazard of the business.”
However he revealed that his family and officials of his ruling party were concerned.
Anthony also disclosed that he was disappointed in the reaction of leader of the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP), Allen Chastanet and his party, whom he accused of being “apologists” for anti social behaviour.
In a statement this week Chastanet, accused the government of overreacting to reports that young people, frustrated by the economic situation, were entertaining the idea of killing the Prime Minister.
He said that while he considered it an extremely serious matter, he did not think that when the young man made the claims, he was threatening the Prime Minister.
“I think he was crying out to the young people who are being marginalised and have lost hope,” the UWP leader asserted.
According to Chastanet, one would have hoped that the government would have reacted “accordingly” and actively reached out to all the young people in St Lucia.
He said he had hoped that the Ministries of Youth and Economic Affairs would have gotten together on a programme to bring relief to young people.
Chastanet said that the unemployment rate has risen almost five percent since the St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) got into office, with the unemployment figure for young people being some 44 percent.
“That to my mind is what the government should have been reacting to,” he said.
Two police officers this week interviewed Lambert at the offices of the Star Newspaper, where he is employed.