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Police to probe ‘Captain’ threat

Police to probe ‘Captain’ threat


Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is not taking lightly a threat made against him over a radio station here. And if the Prime Minister’s orders are followed, there ought to be an investigation into some words uttered on that radio station. The utterances came during a programme called “Letter From The Ground”.

According to the Prime Minister, someone going under the name of Captain, called the programme.{{more}}

Dr. Gonsalves read a confidential report dated July 24, 2006.

Some of the transcripts read: “Well like the gentleman who spoke just now, you see the gentleman went to Africa and he learnt his profession. His profession is not suited to we the people of SVG. He learn(t) his profession how to degrade the people of SVG, and he learnt it well. So now the people of SVG is being degraded by the man of the profession.

“All like that man who spoke just now, he like many others in SVG, when the man speak, they are under a trance, and what the man has done he has put the people of SVG under a trance.

“All like me so is under no trance, because I was for 50 years operating in the Caribbean as a Captain, and I heard all that he did and what he done. You can put him in the position right now like the Hezbollah, like what is happening right now with Israel and the Hezbollah in Lebanon. Now he is using us because we don’t have guns. If we had guns we would have tend to Gonsalves already.”

The Prime Minister commended the host of the programme Randy Dopwell, who cautioned the caller: “Be careful what you are saying on the radio. Be very careful if you are utilising this radio station,” Dopwell advised.

Dr. Gonsalves has been in the throes of regional politics for the past 37 years. He boasts of his involvement in the struggles of University of the West Indies Students protests against the banning of Guyanese professor Dr. Walter Rodney in 1968. He cites that incident as his political baptism.

He was elected Prime Minister here following the March 28, 2001 general elections. Dr. Gonsalves was returned to office at another poll, which was held December 7, 2005.

The Vincentian Prime Minister was speaking following a trip to Brussels. He was reporting on his efforts to deal with the banana issue.

But he found “no pleasure” speaking on the confidential report.

“There are some people who believe that the law of the land can be broken, and that threats can be made against persons who are in authority and other citizens. And in this case to make a threat against me,” Dr. Gonsalves stated.

He outlined that the statement “has one implication.”

He added: “I cannot be the Minister of National Security and the Prime Minister of SVG and to have people making these statements openly on the radio and not have an investigation done. I do not know who Captain is, but obviously he is somebody who is known to many persons in SVG.”

A former University lecturer, Dr. Gonsalves also entered the legal profession and distinguished himself as a lawyer.

“I have asked the Police to carry out an appropriate investigation into this matter and to refer the matter at the conclusion of that investigation to the Director of Public Prosecutions,” the Prime Minister added.

He went on: “I know when I say that, there are people who will say: Ralph wants to stop people from expressing their opinion. There is a horse of a different colour between expressing your opinion within the framework of the law and going outside the framework of the law and using this freedom which is precious… freedom of speech, to seek to incite violence and the use of guns against the duly elected head of government in this country, or indeed against any other individual.”

He asserted that he was not taking matters lightly.

“For some persons, they may say this is just a joke. But we have to ask ourselves what kind of society we want to create,” Dr. Gonsalves stated.

“I am not playing holier than thou, but people must be careful what they say in public. It does not take away from your freedom of expression. People daily speak freely in this country and I encourage that,” the Vincentian Prime Minister went on.

“I want the freedom of expression, the freedom of the press, the freedom of the media to thrive. But this attempt to incite the use of violence, it is not only wrong from a moral standpoint, and I am not addressing that in a fundamental way, but I know it is against the law. I want to see what is the conclusion which would come to this because there cannot be lawlessness,” Dr. Gonsalves said.