HEADLINES

CITIZENS EXPRESS OUTRAGE AS ST.KITTS OPPOSITION LEADER DOUGLAS WRITES OECS CHAIR GONSALVES OBJECTING TO RSS PRESENCE IN THE COUNTRY TO ENHANCE CRIME FIGHTING INITIATIVES

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Dr. Ralph Gonsalves

 

Basseterre, St.Kitts (October 11th, 2018):- St. Kitts Opposition Leader Dr. Denzil Douglas has officially written to OECS Chairman Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves regarding the recent deployment of members of the Regional Security System (RSS) on St.Kitts-Nevis to enhance crime-fighting initiatives there.

In a letter sent to the OECS Chairman on Wednesday, the ousted St. Kitts-Nevis Ex-Prime Minister expressed objection to the presence of the RSS on the islands, citing what he terms as a “Rash Decision.”

The move by Douglas has attracted widespread condemnation as the country continues to grapple with a 20-plus-year violent crime issue. The RSS has been requested in an effort to supplement and complement the SKN Security Forces in their revitalized Crime-Fighting Initiatives. The move to bring in the RSS has been widely praised and accepted by the country.

However, the Opposition Leader Douglas has raised strong objection to their presence. The objection has many right-thinking people once again questioning Dr. Douglas’ loyalty to country. In 2017, it was discovered that the he possessed a Dominican diplomatic passport. This came after weeks of his denials that he possessed any citizenship of any other country outside of St.Kitts-Nevis. That matter is currently being addressed in the High Court, with Douglas facing the very likely possibility of having to be removed as an MP, as the constitution does not permit Parliamentarians to have dual allegiance through the possession of a passport or citizenship of any other country.

Others have also expressed outrage that the Opposition Leader would so blatantly and actively initiate and/or participate in any effort to retard any crime-fighting initiative.

“Dr. Douglas has shown a consistent pattern of gross lack of patriotism to country. We can recall in 2016 when it was discovered that Douglas had written to Canadian Developers of the 2nd Cruise Pier now under construction. Douglas not only wrote to discourage the developers from participating in the historic project, but he also used the correspondence to besmirch the character of Minister Ian Patches Liburd and his family. In fact, the letter directly addresses Liburd’s family in direct contradiction of common decency,” said a Blogger.

In another social media post, another citizen similarly questioned Douglas’ loyalty. “How can anyone or any right-thinking citizen object to ANY level of assistance with our crime-fighting programmes? This suggests that the Opposition is more concerned about their political lives than the lives and safety of our people. They must not ever be allowed to again take the reins of power in this country.”

The RSS were last present in the Federation in 2016 and were able to significantly curtail or curb the incidence of violent crimes. The RSS personnel are used to supplement, complement and support the crime-fighting initiatives of local law enforcement.

St. Kitts-Nevis has been grappling with a violent crime issue for well over a decade, peaking in 2011 when the country had a record-breaking 35 murders in that year.  Although the country has not seen those levels of murders in any single year over the last 3 years, the violent crime issue remains a concern to both government and citizens alike.

The Team Unity Government has committed more resources to the fight against crime than any other administration in history. In 2017, it allocated $72 million to the Ministry of National Security, which is double the combined total amount ($36 million) allocated in 2014 ($15.3 million) and 2015 ($20.7 million) under the previous administration.  The Team Unity Government allocated $63 million to the Ministry of National Security in 2016 and $75.5 million to it for 2018. 

 

The presence of the RSS will greatly enhance the implementation of revitalized and revamped crime-fighting initiatives. 

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