Letters & Opinion

Lawless Country

Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Independent Eye by Kensley Peter Charlemange

Saint Lucia, I am convinced is the most lawless country I know. I remember as a child, I would notice a sign that would say “No dumping of refuse in this area. Fine $500” or something to that effect.

This notice had me confounded for a while. In my reasonable childish mind, which was not so childish, I had to be making some inferences. ‘Refuse’ was sought of a new word to me. ‘Refuse’ the verb, I was more familiar with.

‘Dumping’ I understood and so I reasoned that ‘refuse’ had to mean garbage. Of course I went to my dictionary to get confirmation. So my understanding was right after all. What perplexed me was that I always saw a lot of “refuse” in that very area that said ‘No’. So I was beginning to think that ‘No’ meant something else or that Saint Lucians did not know what ‘refuse’ meant.

Come to 2018, I am still bamboozled because while I do not see a sign, I know there are laws against speeding, there are laws against dark tints on vehicles and there are laws against cursing in public and there are laws against loud noise, yes loud noise and marijuana smoking and cultivation and the list goes on.

There is of course the supreme law, the constitution, that mandates the appointment of a deputy speaker but the fact that parliament is in contravention of the constitution seems to be brushed under the carpet. There are stipulations under the Citizens by Investment Act that obliges the prime minister to table the names of the people who have been so granted citizenship.

Do we know to this date the name of one such person? So when I tell us were are on the way to becoming a failed state do not take my warning for granted.

There are so many heavily tinted vehicles around the place and I am beginning to believe there is no such law against it on our books. I see them all the time.

The police are not? Everywhere I go I smell ganja in the air. Do the police not smell it too? Everywhere I pass, I hear people using expletives without recourse. I hear loud music everywhere I go.

Are the police not hearing them too? These days of Bluetooth speakers and mobile phones a lot of our young boys, and these days I am noticing a few girls, are waking around blasting all kinds of raunchy music in public. It’s like there are no laws.

One day I am sitting in the office of my workplace having a business telephone conversation and this vehicle passes near the office, so loud with music, that I could not hear myself or the other person on the other end of the conversation.

These days, some vehicles carry more speakers that they carry passengers and some of the owners are mature men, not just young boys. The occupants sure do not care much about preserving their hearing far less showing concern for the peace, day or night.

Added to that are our motor bike riders. It’s like they choose the night to come out, and I am speaking all odd hours of the night.

I think they just like disturbing people’s sleep. The discombobulated fact though is when I see the police van, with several officers in it, following those loud noise vehicles like if they were providing music for an entire force and absolutely no action is taken on the violators of the law.

Is it just me?

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