St Lucia Opposition Leader, Kamla Agree To Form Regional Opposition Group

(TT GUARDIAN) – St Lucia’s Opposition Leader Allan Chastanet says a plan is being developed to establish a single body of opposition leaders from countries across the Caribbean.

Chastanet was speaking at the United National Congress’ (UNC) fourth Anti-crime Town Hall meeting at the SWAHA Hindu College in Sangre Grande on Monday night.

As he addressed those who turned up at the meeting, Chastanet said the idea was posed by UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, whom he described as a visionary.

“We are going to take this voice now to the region and form a collective group of leaders of the oppositions and to make sure that the voices of the leaders of the opposition in the Caribbean region is heard by the (Caribbean Development Bank) CDB, by the World Bank and by Caricom and we’re no longer gonna be denied the voice in representing all the people who did not vote for the government and to make sure that that voice is listened to and given a seat at the table.”

Highlighting the issue of crime across the region, Chastanet said countries should not treat it as a national problem. He reminded that the gangs which are creating the most problems are regional and international networks with better weapons and technology.

“We must protect each other’s borders to be able to protect ourselves,” he said.

He urged leaders across the region to fund a Regional Security System throughout Caricom. The RSS exists for countries in the Eastern Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Chastanet said this is especially important, as Caribbean states are preparing to take legislation to various Parliaments to ease regional travel through the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).

“I am calling upon the leaders today, I am asking them to do the right thing now. Allow the tax to go through and let us fund a regional security system that is going to be to protect all of us,” he said.

“I want to know that the brightest and the best police officers in each one of the countries will now be working for that regional organisation. I want to know that there is an entity that can audit our own police forces and give them guidance and I want to know that not only the borders of St Lucia are being protected but the borders of all other Caricom countries have formed a net around ourselves to keep the scourge out.”

He also begged citizens to find empathy for victims of crime because it’s only a matter of time before it hits home.

“I am pleading with all of you, open your hearts and feel the pain of the people who are being affected because today it’s them, tomorrow it is going to be you. You will be the mother saying he was a good boy. Don’t wait for it to happen before you find out how lonely the world is and that nobody really cares.”