Beache: Sunset Legislation will be passed
Friday, Oct 20, 2006 – 5 pm update
by Kirby Jackson
“There is no reason for panic” was Minister of Sports, Glenn Beache’s response to Chris Dehring’s gloomy declaration that the West Indies is on the threshold of losing the rights to host Cricket World Cup 2007.
Dehring, Chief Executive Officer of the ICC World Cup West Indies, said that seven of the nine host countries, including St Vincent and the Grenadines, have not yet passed the “Sunset Legislation” and unless this is done by November 1, 2006 the games may be moved to South Africa.
The “Sunset Legislation” addresses among other things illegal promotional activity, the rights of the host country, and the travel and customs requirements for visitors moving between host countries.
Dehring, speaking yesterday at the Gleaner Editors’ Forum in Jamaica, warned that if the Governments who have not passed the Sunset Legislation are playing politics with it “we could end up losing all that investment that people have made.”
“In St Vincent and The Grenadines we are not playing politics,” said Beache.
He said that while he understands the importance of the legislation and does support it in principle that there are a few national security matters that are being looked at.
“We agree with it but we must be careful not to ignore the matters of National Security that concern us,” he said. He however declined to discuss these concerns only to say that he expects the Bill to be taken to and passed by Parliament by the end of October or first week in November at the latest.
“It has already gone to a Select Committee and the opposition is involved, the Bill will be passed,” stressed Beache.
Issuing his warning, Dehring said that the International Cricket Counsel’s (ICC) deadline for the countries to have enacted the Sunset legislation is November 1st. Barbados was the first host country to make it law followed by St Kitts and Nevis.
Besides St Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago are also lagging behind.
Dehring also said that the absence of the Sunset Legislation has been affecting the ability of the Local Organizing Committees to implement certain preparatory activities for the sporting event.
Minister Beache could not be specific about the date when the Bill will be passed or if it would be before November 1, the ICC deadline date. If the Cricket World Cup is taken from the West Indies it will be moved to South Africa.