A Tough Predicament

Around this time of year in Saint Lucia, the word “excellence” takes on a new meaning. Notwithstanding the very fact that January is the month from which a year begins, Saint Lucians especially have great reasons for recognizing the month’s significance.

Both our Nobel Laureates – Sir William Arthur Lewis and Derek Walcott – were born in January albeit in different years. Their genius is undeniable not just to us but also on the international stage. Colloquially-speaking, one could say that they put Saint Lucia on the map as far as excellence is concerned.

Especially during Nobel Laureate Week, observed here since 1993, Saint Lucians are called upon to reach beyond their current disposition by striving harder to become better citizens that can build a better Saint Lucia.

But after January comes February, the month of our Independence. And therein lies a crucial dichotomy.

For anyone following the news over the past year or so, it would seem that the many gains our country would have made over the course of the past few decades are at risk of being stifled.

Despite many Saint Lucians finding themselves forced to tap into their latent strengths and creativity to eke out a survival, external forces are poring over us with microscopes as they seek answers to what they deem injustices left to languish at the hands of the State.

The recent statement from the United States indicating that they are not too pleased with the conduct of the IMPACS investigation does not bode well for a nation that has had more than its fair share of trials and temptations for some time now. Even the European Union seems dissatisfied with our conduct.

Despite our God-given right to shout our sovereignty into people’s ears, we must understand that we do not exist in isolation. Neither do we exist in a vacuum. At best, though, we must be seen to exercise excellence in every endeavour we undertake, especially when we chant transparency and accountability.

With the January 8 deadline gone, by which time the Saint Lucian government would have exhausted its deadline to waive the immunity of its representative at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), mum’s the word from our government on the matter as we still do not know what the response to the UK government’s request has been.

Thus, it seems, that the more we would want to push forward, something always tends to keep us back, even when we claim that the fault does not lie with us.

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