The article below is a statement submitted to the media, including St. Lucia News Online (SNO), by the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) political party in St. Lucia. The statement was not written by SNO and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of SNO staff and management or its parent companies.
Saint Lucians have followed with great curiosity the debate on the issues related to Saint Lucia’s exploration agreement with Jack Grynberg.
We are now extremely concerned given the revelation in May 2012 that the Colorado billionaire has initiated arbitration proceedings against the Government of Saint Lucia with a claim of US$500 million for breach of contract.
This matter has serious implications for the control of our offshore resources and our sovereignty as a people. The agreement was initially signed by Dr. Kenny D. Anthony during his first term in office as Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister in March 2000. Now that Dr. Anthony is back at the helm of the Government as Prime Minister and given his direct involvement in giving life to the now controversial agreement, it is now vital that the current Prime Minister answers some burning questions which continues to linger on what some now refer to as “The Grynberg Affair”.
Dr. Anthony’s response to these questions will no doubt help to influence the legacy he leaves behind after he eventually demit office and political life.
The following are for the attention of Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony:
1. Are you satisfied that you exercised due diligence and background checks on RSM and Jack Grynberg before inking the agreement in March of 2000?
2. Why did you not submit to the advice of your then Attorney General at the time that you commission the services of a petroleum lawyer to review the agreement before it was signed?
3. What was the justification for signing an amendment to the original agreement in September 2000 that effectively granted an expansion of the area for exploration only six months after signing the original agreement and with no evidence of tangible work having been undertaken by Jack Grynberg/RSM Productions?
4. What was the justification for modification of a first draft agreement submitted by Grynberg in 1999 to the one signed in March 2000 which effectively removed the requirement for a license application?
5. Were you aware that by signing the March 2000 agreement that you were in fact committing an infraction in contravention of Section 4 of the Mineral Vesting Act of Saint Lucia?
6. Why Mr. Prime Minister did you sign an extension to the agreement with Grynberg/RSM Productions in 2004 (four years after the original agreement) even when by that time the company had not shown any evidence of tangible work within Saint Lucia’s jurisdiction? Further were you not aware that even when you signed an extension (submitted by Grynberg) to the original agreement in 2004 with the “Force Majuerre” clause retained, that Grynberg had earlier that year revoked the “Force Majeurre” clause as pertains to the Grenada agreement at the time?
7. Bearing in mind your pronouncements for transparency and accountability and also your aggressive posture in advocating on matters of national importance, why have you remained so low-keyed and withdrawn in providing disclosure on this matter?
8. Did you in fact request of former Permanent Secretary Earl Huntley that the Grynberg agreement be kept a secret away from the people of Saint Lucia? What was the reason for keeping this secret away from Saint Lucians for such a long period (10 years)?
9. In your privileged position now as Prime Minister, have you been able to secure any evidence that former Prime Minister Stephenson King did in fact sign an extension to the exploration agreement with RSM Productions/Jack Grynberg?
10. Will you respond to the numerous requests from the Opposition Leader Stephenson King, the United Workers Party, and many Saint Lucians and come forward soon to address Saint Lucians as Prime Minister on this Grynberg Affair and your role in it?
The questions above are submitted in the name of all Saint Lucian taxpayers. We wish to assure Prime Minister Anthony that his failure to respond on this matter will not frustrate the efforts of the United Workers Party to seek full disclosure.
The Prime Minister’s continued silence on the “Grynberg Affair” can only contribute to the growing sentiments of mistrust from the Saint Lucian electorate.