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P.M. Pierre calls for a “More Caring Society” as Plans Unfold for Independence Celebrations

By Reginald Andrew
Officials at the media launch from right, Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire , Prime Minister Phillip Pierre, ESL/CEO Sunita Daniel and Deputy CEO -Ministry of Education Giannetti George.
Officials at the media launch from right, Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire , Prime Minister Phillip Pierre, ESL/CEO Sunita Daniel and Deputy CEO -Ministry of Education Giannetti George.

Government officials alongside representative agencies and other key stakeholders are planning an exciting array of activities in celebration of the island’s 44th Anniversary Independence under the theme: ‘Douvan Ansam, One People, Sharing our Destiny.’

While exalting the works and legacies of Saint Lucia’s icons that helped shape the development of the land, Prime Minister Phillip Pierre also acknowledged the “significant contributions” of persons from the diaspora. He, however, called on those persons to maintain links with their homeland and urged the technocrats and professionals to connect and interact with the local citizenry.

The prime minister commented on the role of those persons from within the diaspora being labelled as “Ambassadors of Excellence” for their commendable works abroad. He also noted the contributions that they make to their family members through the supply of monetary transfers and other commodities sent to the island.

“In the diaspora, there are many people who have made significant contributions to these countries (overseas) at all levels; at the professional level and in every area in life they have made a contribution,” said PM Pierre, at a media launch Monday.

He added: “We just want them to share their talents…and there are doctors, scientists (and others) who have that experience and wealth of knowledge…there are many with knowledge and understanding of the world, we need them… they can come back and share their experience with Saint Lucians.”

In an effort to encourage these “global citizens” to return and get involved in the socio- economic development of their homeland, Pierre disclosed that shortly government will implement a bill to be identified as, “A diaspora law , which will create a whole lot of incentives” for persons from the diaspora.

The prime minister declared that he looks forward with optimism for the future aspirations and growth of the country, and is pleased with the efforts of young students.

Noting, however, the need to change the attitudinal behaviour and mannerisms of the citizenry, PM Pierre said, “Saint Lucians should begin to love themselves a little more, love their culture a little more, love what is Saint Lucian and love the products from Saint Lucia.”

He added, “If we could be a little more truthful, if we could be a little less impulsive and think of the person who has not got what we have …a more caring society, a society where the underdog is not kept down.

“I’m very optimistic …I think it’s a great future. Saint Lucia is part of the world and we have been affected by what‘s happening. But, I share the hope that our people will always make the right choice in this …and the majority of the people of Saint Lucia want their country to progress, they want their country to be better.”

Speaking to love and loyalty for the homeland, PM Pierre asserted: “I think that Independence is going to be just one of the ways in which we show our love for country.”

Referring to the youth involvement in the activities, the prime minster noted: “I think the most significant part of (the) celebrations is going to be the youth rallies …where young people are going to express themselves.”

Commenting on the level of the upcoming event and efforts to decentralize the activities, PM Pierre said, “Generally, I think the programme will bring all Saint Lucians together, will be decentralized and the whole of Saint Lucia will be able to participate.”

Deputy Chief Education Officer (CEO) in the Ministry of Education Giannetti George says the public can look forward to an exciting and colourful Youth Rally. She added that the occasion provides an opportunity for locals to mesh tighter and to create linkages within the communities.

George disclosed that rather than the prior staging of one Youth Rally, “we have decentralized this event to ensure that we can maximize participation by our students…we are going to have District Rallies and they are going  to be taking place, primarily on February , 21st .”

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