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Cries of people being ignored – Dr Harris

Cries of people being ignored – Dr Harris

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The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has ignored the cries of the people St Kitts and Nevis for justice and democracy.{{more}}

Those were the words of Dr Timothy Harris, leader of Team Unity, as he stepped up his campaign with the staging of a picket close to the Buccament Bay Resort, the site for the 25th Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government on Monday.

During a press briefing, which included Shawn Richards of the People’s Action Movement, Craig Tucket of the People’s Labour Party both of St Kitts and the Leader of the Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) Arnhim Eustace, Harris criticized CARICOM, saying that the regional heads continue to downplay the situation in his country, but had placed the situation in Venezuela and the Ukraine on the agenda.

According to Harris, the situation in St Kitts-Nevis was being ignored because there was no civil unrest or violence.

“Some have said that it is because that in St Kitts and Nevis we are not creating civil unrest, there is no public disorder, there is no looting and burning and killing. So, the people of Venezuela and the Ukraine come in for special attention from CARICOM for unlawful behaviour, while the peace loving people of St Kitts and Nevis are ignored, forgotten and unrewarded for good public behaviour,” he said.

He quoted Article 17 of the CARICOM charter saying that this section dealt with good governance.

“And the rule of law and constitutional democracy when we see our brothers suffer anywhere around the world, we must hear them with one loud, clear voice and when it hits home, we should not hesitate to act with deliberate haste,” he said.

“It appears that CARICOM leaders will not speak on the issues regarding the continuous breaches of our constitution,” Harris continued.

He said that the members of the coalition movement, Team Unity, did not agree with the notion that some attention will be given only after the people in St Kitts-Nevis do like the people in Venezuela and the Ukraine and begin killing each other.

The people were fed up, he added, and they were growing tired of being disrespected by the current Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas.

“The silence of CARICOM can be as deafening as the loudest voice – St Kitts-Nevis wants the restoration of our constitutional democracy,” Harris said.

He urged CARICOM to act now to prevent any further deterioration of law and order in the country.

“CARICOM must intervene now to vindicate our constitutional right, which is being infringed every day that the democracy is delayed. CARICOM must act in its own self-interest, to restore its respect and credibility as an institution that we can rely upon at all times to defend the Charter of Civil Society and democratic norms, values and principles,” he said.

Meanwhile, Eustace said during his comments that the situation in St Kitts-Nevis had the potential to tear the political fabric and threatens to unravel CARICOM and the OECS sub-region. But, rather than concern itself with what was going on here, CARICOM was looking into the affairs of other troubled areas.

“We have been here before, yet CARICOM stands aloof,” Eustace said.

According to Eustace, 14 years ago CARICOM’s present chairman Dr Ralph Gonsalves was the beneficiary of the intervention of CARICOM Heads in the affairs of St Vincent and the Grenadines, which had subsequently led to the shortening of the life of the NDP. (DD)

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