D.S.H. PETITION – 983 Signatures Collected so Far

A petition by a group calling itself Vieux Fort Concerned Citizens Coalition for Change (VFCCCC) is one of many measures the group intends to employ to get government to renegotiate the US$2.6 billion Desert Star Holdings (DSH) project for the area. “The petition is not our only move. This is just the start. This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Julius James, spokesman for the group.

Recognition Battle At CCC

Image of CCC workers

THE National Workers Union and the Seamen, Waterfront and General Workers Trade Union are in a recognition battle over employees of the Castries Constituency Council (CCC). The battle, which started with the filing of a petition by the workers to the Labour Department for a secret poll to determine which trade union will be their bargaining agent, ended last Friday on the ground floor of the Castries City Hall when workers voted by secret ballot.

RE–THINK PRIORITIES – P.M. Address Bois d’Inde Peace March

Image of P.M. Chastanet [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]

PRIME Minister Allen Chastatent says he refuses to believe that poverty is behind the upsurge in criminal activities in St. Lucia and urged citizens, particularly parents, to re-think their priorities. “I refuse to accept that poverty is the cause for the kind of crime that we are seeing in St. Lucia today. Too many St. Lucians have been poor and have never resorted to this level of crime,” Chastanet said at a vigil and march for peace in the communities of Bois d’Inde and Jacmel on Sunday.

CRIMINAL STUDENTS – Police Show Off Weapons And Drugs Seized

Image: The collection of weapons seized from students. [PHOTO: By PhotoMike]

TED King, the police corporal in charge of the northern section of the Community Relations Branch is calling for crime prevention programmes targeting secondary school students following an astounding amount of weapons and illegal drugs seized from them last year and the year before. Warning that offenders and victims of crime are getting younger at an alarming rate, which should be a cause for concern to the nation, he promised that his department will continue its pro-active approach in educating the youth through school presentations, organizing crime prevention programmes and conducting professional random school searches and interventions.

ROW OVER C.I.P., D.S.H. – Political Parties Trade Words

Image of P.M. Chastanet [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]

PRIME Minister Allen Chastanet held his first press conference of the year on Thursday evening, addressing a wide range of issues. During the 90-minute briefing held at GIS Studios and carried live on NTN, Chastanet fielded questions from the media, including many related to the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) and the Desert Star Holdings Ltd. (DSH) project…

Citizenship Made Easier

Image of Chief Executive Officer of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), Cindy Emmanuel-McLean

IT is now cheaper to acquire St Lucia citizenship by way of investment. This follows changes to the regulations governing the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) just announced by the government. The qualifying contribution for an applicant for St. Lucia citizenship is now US$100,000 or half what it was when the programme was announced at the beginning of last year.

Couple Stranded In Cuba – St. Lucians Seek Help for Medical Emergency

Image of Valence Emmanuel.

A Saint Lucian couple who left the island for Cuba in October to pursue medical treatment there now find themselves stranded and at their wits end. Valence Emmanuel and Joanna Joseph’s saga began sometime last year after Emmanuel began experiencing a tingling sensation in his toes which eventually made its way up his legs. Soon after that, he became paralyzed.

Call for Reopening of Main Courthouse

Image: The newly-refurbished courthouse on Peynier Street remains closed nearly a year after works were said to be completed. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]

DESPITE promises by both the former and current government to open the doors to the newly-refurbished main courthouse on Peynier Street in Castries in the quickest time possible, the building remains closed. Since undergoing a lengthy period of refurbishment after the court went into recess in July last year, the courthouse has been a hot discussion topic among members of the legal fraternity who were promised that the building would have been opened for the commencement of the new law year by mid-September last year.

CRIME WORRY – Minister Promises To Remedy Situation

Image of Home Affairs Minister, Hermangild Francis

WITH crime being one of the major factors making the headlines this year, much more is being expected of the police than is currently being done to reassure citizens that things can change for the better next year as far as their safety is concerned. Homicides, burglaries, rapes and drug offences are just some of the issues law enforcement have seemingly failed to keep under control, prompting many to suggest that a real paradigm shift needs to be implemented rather than just being promised.

JAZZ – Time For Change

THE event known as ‘St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival’ will no longer carry that name, however the primary activities staged under that banner have not been abolished, contrary to reports that may have given the impression this was the case. The misunderstanding lies in a move by government to group all national festivals under one banner which is loosely being called the Summer Music Festival to be managed by a Festival Commission. This Commission is expected to be established hopefully within the first week of next month, according to Donovan Williams, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture.