St. Lucia celebrates 38th year of political independence

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Feb 22, CMC – St. Lucia is celebrating its 38th year of political independence from Britain on Wednesday with the traditional military parade and youth rally and Prime Minister Allen Chastanet urging citizens to put aside their difference for the betterment of the island.

In addition to the rally and parade, St. Lucians are also flocking to the Daren Sammy Grounds in the north of the island for several activities marking the occasion under the theme “I am St. Lucian”.

St LuciaaaIn his message to the country, Prime Minister Chastanet, who led his United Workers Party (UWP) to victory in the general elections, last June, praised the electorate for changing a government “through a remarkably peaceful electoral process”.

Chastanet said that as a result, a stable government with a clear mandate to strengthen the economy, create a peaceful environment and elevate the standard of living in this country, had emerged “with a highest margin of victory by any government in recent years.

“We are well on our way to strengthening our democracy. This achievement has given us the opportunity to take up the challenge of steering this country in the right direction. To do so, we must be willing to modernize the policies, practices and systems of governance that will allow the visions and aspirations of our people to be fulfilled. We reaffirm our commitment to do so with clear vision, persistency, integrity, and transparency.”

Chastanet promised that his administration would not remain stagnant in the face of a progressive world and “we will endeavour to do all in our power to ensure that St. Lucia joins the rest of the world, not just as a small nation but a leader with strong values and principles.

“We believe that good governance is critically dependent on rule of law, transparency, accountability, responsiveness, participatory decision-making, equity and inclusiveness. It calls for wider involvement of the civil society in the political process. It calls for deeper engagement of the youth with the institutions of democracy. It calls for quick dispensation of justice to the people. It calls for ethical and responsible behaviour from the media.”

But he said St. Lucia with a wide cross-section of ethnicity calls for culture-specific governance models.

“It calls for cooperation in the exercise of power and assumption of responsibility, by all stakeholders. It calls for constructive partnership between the state and the citizen. It calls for taking a responsive administration to the door step of every single St. Lucian.”

“Therefore, as we reflect on our achievements over the last 38 years, let it be the fuel that propels us to continue to achieve even greater accomplishments that will set us apart. We are young with so much more to offer the world and so much potential waiting to be tapped into.

“But we need to do this together; we need to unite. I know it is easier said than done but I have to believe that every single St. Lucian wants the same thing and that is good governance, to make St. Lucia the best place to live, to work, to go to school and to call home.”

Chastanet said that if this is what is required then St. Lucians “must be willing to put our differences aside, put the politics aside and put country first. This is a crucial era for our country and it pains me to see that what keeps us stagnant—what stunts our growth is divisive politics.

“St. Lucia has the will, energy, intellect, values and unity to claim the 21st century. The vision to win the battle of freedom from poverty is set; the journey will seem formidable only to those without conviction and so, I leave you with this old saying, “success is born of action.” Let your actions be heard and not your words,” he told the nation.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by STAFF WRITER

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Feb 22, CMC – St. Lucia is celebrating its 38th year of political independence from Britain on Wednesday with the traditional military parade and youth rally and Prime Minister Allen Chastanet urging citizens to put aside their difference for the betterment of the island.

In addition to the rally and parade, St. Lucians are also flocking to the Daren Sammy Grounds in the north of the island for several activities marking the occasion under the theme “I am St. Lucian”.

St LuciaaaIn his message to the country, Prime Minister Chastanet, who led his United Workers Party (UWP) to victory in the general elections, last June, praised the electorate for changing a government “through a remarkably peaceful electoral process”.

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Chastanet said that as a result, a stable government with a clear mandate to strengthen the economy, create a peaceful environment and elevate the standard of living in this country, had emerged “with a highest margin of victory by any government in recent years.

“We are well on our way to strengthening our democracy. This achievement has given us the opportunity to take up the challenge of steering this country in the right direction. To do so, we must be willing to modernize the policies, practices and systems of governance that will allow the visions and aspirations of our people to be fulfilled. We reaffirm our commitment to do so with clear vision, persistency, integrity, and transparency.”

Chastanet promised that his administration would not remain stagnant in the face of a progressive world and “we will endeavour to do all in our power to ensure that St. Lucia joins the rest of the world, not just as a small nation but a leader with strong values and principles.

“We believe that good governance is critically dependent on rule of law, transparency, accountability, responsiveness, participatory decision-making, equity and inclusiveness. It calls for wider involvement of the civil society in the political process. It calls for deeper engagement of the youth with the institutions of democracy. It calls for quick dispensation of justice to the people. It calls for ethical and responsible behaviour from the media.”

But he said St. Lucia with a wide cross-section of ethnicity calls for culture-specific governance models.

“It calls for cooperation in the exercise of power and assumption of responsibility, by all stakeholders. It calls for constructive partnership between the state and the citizen. It calls for taking a responsive administration to the door step of every single St. Lucian.”

“Therefore, as we reflect on our achievements over the last 38 years, let it be the fuel that propels us to continue to achieve even greater accomplishments that will set us apart. We are young with so much more to offer the world and so much potential waiting to be tapped into.

“But we need to do this together; we need to unite. I know it is easier said than done but I have to believe that every single St. Lucian wants the same thing and that is good governance, to make St. Lucia the best place to live, to work, to go to school and to call home.”

Chastanet said that if this is what is required then St. Lucians “must be willing to put our differences aside, put the politics aside and put country first. This is a crucial era for our country and it pains me to see that what keeps us stagnant—what stunts our growth is divisive politics.

“St. Lucia has the will, energy, intellect, values and unity to claim the 21st century. The vision to win the battle of freedom from poverty is set; the journey will seem formidable only to those without conviction and so, I leave you with this old saying, “success is born of action.” Let your actions be heard and not your words,” he told the nation.