Not a word, not a word, not a word!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - FRONT PAGE - By Rick Wayne He re­vealed that the

Is this the ‘po­lit­i­cal di­rec­torate’ the prime min­is­ter says was re­spon­si­ble for the af­ter­math of Op­er­a­tion Re­store Con­fi­dence? Allen Chas­tanet (l-r), Stephen­son King, Guy Joseph, Ezekiel Joseph and Guy May­ers. At top, op­po­si­tion leader Gail Rigob­ert—all abruptly voice­less!

By his own of­fi­cial ac­count, from his gov­ern­ment’s “first few months in of­fice” he had un­der­stood “the se­ri­ous­ness of the mat­ter and its im­pli­ca­tions for the po­lice force and in­deed the for­mer UWP po­lit­i­cal di­rec­torate.” The “mat­ter” to which the prime min­is­ter re­ferred, Op­er­a­tion Re­store Con­fi­dence, “com­menced with a dra­matic speech to the na­tion by the for­mer prime min­is­ter Stephen­son King on May 30, 2010, [when] the for­mer prime min­is­ter warned that there will be no refuge, no stone will be left un­turned and there will be no hid­ing place for any­one.”

In the “af­ter­math of Op­er­a­tion Re­store Con­fi­dence,” the prime min­is­ter said dur­ing his ad­dress to the na­tion on 20 Au­gust 2013, “some twelve per­sons met their deaths . . . Th­ese killings at­tracted the at­ten­tion of the United States.” He re­minded that the State Depart­ment had re­ferred in its 2011 Coun­try Re­port on Hu­man Rights Prac­tices in Saint Lu­cia to “twelve po­ten­tially un­law­ful fa­tal shoot­ings dur­ing the year, some re­port­edly com­mit­ted by of­fi­cers as­so­ci­ated with an ad­hoc task force” that the for­mer prime min­is­ter had set up “within the po­lice depart­ment.”

It had be­come clear, the prime min­is­ter said, that “the United States be­lieves it has cred­i­ble ev­i­dence” lo­cal po­lice of­fi­cers had “com­mit­ted gross vi­o­la­tions of hu­man rights.”

What mes­sage did the prime min­is­ter seek to con­vey by his use of the phrase “the UWP po­lit­i­cal di­rec­torate?” Ac­cord­ing to my dic­tio­nar­ies, “In pol­i­tics, di­rec­torates are gov­ern­ment or quasigov­ern­ment agen­cies or or­ga­ni­za­tions.” Macmil­lan’s of­fers this def­i­ni­tion: “The di­rec­tors of a com­pany; a part of a gov­ern­ment that deals with a par­tic­u­lar ac­tiv­ity.”

So did the prime min­is­ter mean to say Op­er­a­tion Re­store Con­fi­dence and its fall-out im­pli­cated the di­rec­tors of the United Work­ers Party? Its lead­er­ship? Cabi­net mem­bers? He sounded a tad more pre­cise when he said: “At times like th­ese, spec­u­la­tion will be rife but we must fol­low the rule of law as en­shrined in our Con­sti­tu­tion. There can be no other way. We now reap the har­vest of rash de­ci­sions, par­tic­u­larly by pol­icy mak­ers anx­ious to gain quick res­o­lu­tions.”

Was the prime min­is­ter say­ing the ex­tra-ju­di­cial killings were con­se­quences of rash pol­icy de­ci­sions by the King gov­ern­ment? Was he say­ing King’s Cabi­net was re­spon­si­ble for the rash de­ci­sions that had landed the na­tion’s po­lice with hu­man rights prob­lems?

“In all the years I have served you,” the prime min­is­ter said in an ad­dress de­liv­ered on 8 March 2015, he had never faced as dif­fi­cult a chal­lenge as now con­fronted him in con­se­quence of cer­tain con­ve­nient poli­cies of the King gov­ern­ment. Res­o­lu­tion called for “ex­tremely tough, coura­geous but nec­es­sary de­ci­sions.”

He added: “The stark re­al­ity we con­front is that the United States will only lift [im­posed sanc­tions] if in their judg­ment all nec­es­sary cor­rec­tive steps have been taken. The fact re­mains . . . that the Sec­re­tary of State must de­ter­mine and re­port to the United States Congress that the gov­ern­ment is tak­ing ef­fec­tive steps” to bring those re­spon­si­ble for the ex­tra-ju­di­cial killings to jus­tice.

“In ef­fect, if the sanc­tions are to be re­moved, we must show proof that we are tak­ing cor­rec­tive steps to deal with the sit­u­a­tion,” the prime min­is­ter said. Ja­maican cops to whom he had as­signed an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the sus­pected ju­di­cial ex­e­cu­tions had cited in their re­port “will­ful blind­ness” on the part of a po­lice com­mis­sioner and mem­bers of his lead­er­ship team. More­over, the re­port had rec­om­mended “all po­lice of­fi­cers in­volved in the un­law­ful killings of cit­i­zens in re­spect of the files re­viewed be pros­e­cuted.”

Fi­nally: “The re­port sug­gests the crime prob­lem in Saint Lu­cia is fa­cil­i­tated by

cor­rupt politi­cians/gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, busi­ness per­sons and po­lice of­fi­cers.” Nev­er­the­less, the prime min­is­ter em­pha­sized that he would not “or­der that po­lice of­fi­cers be charged or dis­missed or of­fered packages to re­tire from the po­lice force.”

He would in­stead hand over the in­ves­ti­ga­tors’ re­port to the Direc­tor of Public Ex­e­cu­tions for study. He of­fered no date by which time the depart­ment might be ready to make a public an­nounce­ment. In­deed, since the prime min­is­ter’s ad­dress there has been “not a word, not a word, not a word” on the al­limpor­tant mat­ter of the ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings—not even from the op­po­si­tion United Work­ers Party’s “po­lit­i­cal di­rec­torate” that the prime min­is­ter has sug­gested could pri­mar­ily be re­spon­si­ble for the un­law­ful deaths of twelve cit­i­zens!

Two weeks ago the prime min­is­ter pub­licly ac­knowl­edged a gag or­der served mem­bers of his Cabi­net. Mean­while, there ap­pears to be less public in­ter­est in the pros­e­cu­tion of sus­pect po­lice of­fi­cers than in the sud­den si­lence of the op­po­si­tion United Work­ers Party!

UWP po­lit­i­cal leader Allen

Chas­tanet: Have his en­gines run out of gas?

UWP chair­man Ezekiel Joseph: What does he know that Kenny knows?

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