IN what seemed to be a surprising and impromptu turn, the members of the St. Lucia National Trust (SLNT) have taken a bold step of defiance against alleged calls for the dismissal of its Director, Bishnu Tulsie. However, the decision could prove to be a step taken too hastily.
At an emergency meeting last week Saturday at the Pigeon Island National Landmark, over 100 SLNT members met to continue discussions surrounding a number of issues they have taken umbrage to against the government, including the proposed Desert Star Holding Limited (DSH) project, plans for a dolphin park and a causeway leading to Maria Islands, and the discontinuation of the Trust’s annual $700,000 subvention.
One of the Trust’s members called for an impromptu vote by show of hands, asking whether Tulsie should continue his stint at the helm. In a unanimous show of support, the ‘ayes’ had it and the decision was taken that Tulsie remained Director.
However, when The VOICE approached Tulsie after the meeting, he was not as jubilant as one would expect following the landslide of support that had just come his way.
Seemingly still stunned and lost for words, Tulsie said: “It’s a request for me to consider and I honestly did not consider it because I did not know this was going to happen.”
Although he said he felt extremely honoured, he said that not only was the decision a difficult one to make, but that it was also not up to him whether he stays or goes.
Tulsie said: “I have to discuss this with my boss and get her clearance, because we have other plans. But I will have to have a conversation with the council of the Trust to see whether this is such a good idea and how we move forward. I can’t commit one way or another.”
Tulsie said he was pleased with Saturday’s turnout as it showed that people understood what the true battle was about and are willing to fight for it.
He said: “Our challenge really is to work with and through our members to get more people to understand what we are trying to do, what we are working towards and to see that this is all about country. If you look at the National Trust Act, the object of the Trust, three or four times it’s mentioned there, that it’s for the benefit of the State, and that’s what we do. We do not try to protect the environment for individual good; that’s not what it is. So that’s really what I’m hoping will come out of this — to expand the membership and to get more people coming on board to join us in our efforts.”