THIS is an open Letter to the Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy.
Your Excellency, please allow us to bring to your attention a matter which I believe is of grave concern to the majority of the people of this great state of ours. It is no secret, based on pronouncements made by our beloved prime Minister, that an investigation was conducted, by a group known as IMPACS, into criminal conduct by the Royal St. Lucia Police Force, a proud, loyal and necessary subject of her Majesty, the Queen of England. Whilst this action was not in and of itself damaging to the image of such an institution, the pronouncements which followed, by our Prime Minister have done and is continuing to do irreparable damage to that institution.
Your Excellency, section 65 of the constitution states, “The Prime Minister shall keep the Governor General fully informed concerning the general conduct of the government of Saint Lucia and shall furnish the Governor General with such information as he may request with respect to any particular matter relating to the government of Saint Lucia.
“In light of this section, if there was one matter, where this provision should have been invoked, it was in the investigation into Her Majesty’s loyal subject, “The Royal St. Lucia Police Force, which led to the Prime Minister making public statements which have not yet been proven by a court of competent jurisdiction and proves to be quite detrimental to the good name of such an important institution.”
This is especially so, due to the fact that section 59(2) of the constitution has indicated that executive power of the state rests with Your Excellency, The Governor General and also that, according to section 94 (1) of the same constitution, the power to deal with the head of her Majesty’s loyal subject, The Commissioner of Police, is the function of the same Governor General who will take advice in that respect from the Public Service Commission and not the Cabinet. As a result of this questionable conduct by the Prime Minister, which has no doubt brought the loyal subject of Her Majesty, The Royal St.Lucia Police Force, into disrepute, I wish to advise through the office of the Leader of the Opposition, that the Prime Minister be relieved of his duties and that a public apology be requested of him, in order to restore the good name of the Force.
I also wish that you direct the government to follow the provisions of our great constitution in dealing with any matter regarding Her Majesty’s loyal subject, The Royal St.Lucia Police Force, which they believe may not be in conformity with the laws of the state. Your Excellency, it is worth noting that this debate arose out of allegations made against, The Royal St. Lucia Police, regarding extra judicial killings by the said Force. Your Excellency, the loss of life, especially at the hands of Her Majesty’s loyal subject, the Royal St. Lucia Police Force is not something that the Force is proud of nor looks forward to. However, our great constitution did foresee that there was the possibility of lives being lost in the performance of its functions. It is for this reason that section (2) (a to d) outlines circumstances under which, a person would not have been regarded as having been deprived of his life intentionally. These circumstances include, where there is the use of reasonably justifiable force, for the defence of any person from violence or for the defense of property, in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained; for the purpose of suppressing a riot, insurrection or mutiny and in order to prevent the commission by that person of a criminal offence etc.
Consequently, for there to have been any pronouncement that these provisions did not apply regarding the deaths which occurred at the hands of Her Majesty’s loyal subject, The Royal St. Lucia Police Force, a determination would have had to be made by a court of competent jurisdiction. Your Excellency, only then would the Prime Minister have been at liberty to make statements regarding the Force, consistent with the findings of the court. In the absence of that, the pronouncements made by the Prime Minister in his address to the nation on 8th March, 2015 cannot be described as anything but reckless and should not be ignored by your office.
Your Excellency, in your consideration of this letter, I wish to refer you to Section (7) of the Police Act Cap.14.01 which states, “There shall be a Commissioner of Police who shall have command and superintendence of the Governor General for the efficient administration and government of the force and for the proper expenditure of all monies appropriated for the service thereof. “
In light of this section, any allegation of misconduct or inefficiency that would have been identified by the Prime Minister should have been referred to Your Excellency, who would cause the Commissioner to account. The Prime Minister chose to deal with it in his own way and brought shame and disgrace upon our beloved country. Your Excellency must now do all that is in her power, by virtue of the executive authority conferred upon her in section 59 (2) of the constitution, to restore the integrity of our Force and our country.