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PM Gonsalves changes topic for public lecture

PM Gonsalves changes topic for public lecture

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Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has changed the topic of a public lecture he is due to deliver next week.{{more}}

Gonsalves will now speak on the topic: “The Making of a National Hero: The Law and Practice in St Vincent and the Grenadines”, a release from the Open Campus of the University of the West Indies says.

The lecture, which forms part of a public education series organized by the Open Campus, in collaboration with Joachim Associates and Nice Radio, is scheduled to take place on Thursday, April 18, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

In next Thursday’s lecture, Gonsalves will take a critical look at the criteria for National Hero and explore the relationship between the law and the life and work of several outstanding Vincentians and lay out a case for the possible elevation of any of these national figures to the status of National Hero.

A previous release from the Open Campus had said that the Prime Minister’s lecture would be on the topic: “National Hero Status: Consideration for McIntosh, Joshua and Cato”. He was expected in that presentation to make a case for why he thinks these three national figures ought to be considered for National Hero status, given the impact and reach of their role as nationbuilders, especially their work among the working people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The change in topic comes just two days after former Attorney General Parnell Campbell QC strongly urged the Prime Minister not to go ahead with the lecture, as it would be tantamount to Gonsalves, as head of Cabinet, advising himself about which persons should be granted the honour of National Hero status.

Campbell, on Monday, on his television programme “The Law and You”, said it would be inappropriate for the Prime Minister to advance the case of any particular person or persons for the honour of National Hero.

The National Heroes Advisory Committee is required by law to make recommendations to Cabinet of persons upon whom the honour should be conferred. Cabinet will then make the final decision, which will then be submitted to the Governor General.

Chairman of the National Heroes Advisory Committee Rene Baptiste told SEARCHLIGHT earlier this month that if all goes according to plan, the person or persons to be this country’s next national hero(es) would be named in time for this country’s 34th anniversary of independence on October 27, 2013.

The Right Excellent Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer was declared this country’s first, and so far, only National Hero, on March 14, 2002.

The public is invited to the lecture.

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