THE nation waits with bated breath for Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony to deliver his address on the outcome of the investigations into the “extra-judicial killings” by members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force during 2010-2011.
While the Prime Minister had announced in mid-January that this address would have been delivered in early February, a press release from his Office dated February 16 gave March 8 as the new date.
“Outstanding issues” needed to be resolved before the Prime Minister’s address was made on the subject, the press release states. Come Sunday, March 8, it would be interesting if Dr. Anthony actually explained what those “outstanding issues” were. Moreover, the hope is that the new date given would not be revised as well.
In his mid-January address to the nation, Dr. Anthony confirmed that government was in receipt of the report which was undertaken by CARICOM’s Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) at the request of Dr. Anthony in August 2013. In the abovementioned address, Dr. Anthony indicated that the Cabinet was “deliberating on the contents and implications of the report.”
On the face of it, the fact that a serious matter such as this has warranted a delay suggests that some of the recommendations have already been or are currently being put in place. It seems more favourable to the political directorate to report the findings of the report to the people while simultaneously explaining what measures have been or are being put in place. Call it buying time, if you will.
For the good of the police force, one would hope that whatever findings are revealed are not to the detriment of the morale of Saint Lucia’s finest who have since causing the United States to raise a red flag nearly two years ago seemingly worked tirelessly to keep their chins up. Since being excluded from all training programmes sponsored and organized by the United States as a result of the fallout from the so-called extra-judicial killings of 12 men at the hands of the police, they seemed resilient, recording impressive numbers and successes in their crime-fighting exploits.
While the government might be the only ones reading the pages of that report at this point, the guessing game about its contents will undoubtedly provide prime fodder for gossip and speculation. With 10 days to go before the Prime Minister delivers his address, one can imagine the thickness and shade of the cloud of uncertainty that now hovers over the police force. However, regardless of how things turn out, the police force must definitely profit the outcome of the report to be a better, stronger and more modern institution.