When your friend is your en­emy!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By

Oliver Con­trary

The po­lice op­er­a­tions un­der­taken in Saint Lu­cia over the last sev­eral years were ac­cord­ing to law. I re­fer to Op­er­a­tion Re­store Peace as well as Op­er­a­tion Re­store Con­fi­dence. They were ini­ti­ated in an ef­fort to bring ram­pant vi­o­lent crime un­der con­trol. What en­sued, es­pe­cially dur­ing the last-men­tioned op­er­a­tion, led to the United States ac­cus­ing mem­bers of the RSLPF of hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions, and ex­tra-ju­di­cial killings.

It would ap­pear that the al­le­ga­tions are based largely on hearsay and re­minds of sim­i­lar tac­tics em­ployed by the United States that have been linked with that coun­try’s ef­forts at over­throw­ing le­git­i­mate gov­ern­ments.

The sus­pend­ing to our po­lice of the as­sis­tance ear­lier given, re­fus­ing to sup­ply them with the ammunition for the Amer­i­can weapons our of­fi­cers use to com­bat crime, has em­bold­ened our crim­i­nal el­e­ments. A re­cent spate of gang-re­lated shoot­ings has re­sulted, in the process vi­o­lat­ing the rights of Saint Lu­cian cit­i­zens. In short, the U.S. ac­tion is against all Saint Lu­cians and sends a clear mes­sage as to whom the U.S. re­gards as friends.

One won­ders where those gang mem­bers get their train­ing. This writer was told by a va­grant that he had been taken by a white man into the woods near Soufriere and taught how to shoot.

A few ar­ti­cles in some Nige­rian news­pa­pers shed light on our cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. The similarities of the U.S ac­tions against the Nige­rian mil­i­tary au­thor­i­ties as they battle Boko Haram, with ac­tions against our Saint Lu­cia po­lice as we con­front vi­o­lent gang crime are strik­ing. In their fight against the ter­ror group that is cre­at­ing havoc in their coun­try, the Nige­ri­ans had to get help from Moscow. Fol­low­ing are some quotes from an on­line Nige­rian news­pa­per:

“Dis­ap­pointed by the re­fusal of the United States to help Nige­ria pro­cure mil­i­tary weapons to fight Boko Haram the [Nige­rian] fed­eral gov­ern­ment has openly ex­pressed its dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion, ar­gu­ing that the Amer­i­cans were let­ting Nige­ria down at her hour of need . . .”

“The US gov­ern­ment had equally ex­plained that it would not be sell­ing mil­i­tary weapons to Nige­ria due to hu­man rights al­le­ga­tions against the Nige­rian mil­i­tary.”

“Pro­fes­sor Ade­fuye fur­ther em­pha­sized that al­le­ga­tions of hu­man rights vi­o­la­tion are based on ru­mours, hearsay and ex­ag­ger­ated ac­counts of clashes be­tween Nige­rian forces and Boko Haram.”

On Thurs­day, March 26th, JICA/JOCV Saint Lu­cia wel­comed Mr. Takamitsu Fu­ru­moto to our Caribbean shores. Mr. Fu­ru­moto is the first re­gional vol­un­teer to be dis­patched un­der the new JICA/JOCV Saint Lu­cia of­fice, now re­spon­si­ble for vol­un­teer mat­ters in St. Vin­cent, Saint Lu­cia and the Com­mon­wealth of Do­minica.

Un­like pre­vi­ous vol­un­teers, Mr. Fu­ru­moto is not dis­patched to Saint Lu­cia but to St. Vin­cent where he will work as a Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment vol­un­teer in the fish­eries sec­tor. Ja­pan and St. Vin­cent – in­deed Ja­pan and the CARICOM re­gion – have an ex­ten­sive his­tory of fish­eries co-op­er­a­tion. Since 1993, CARICOM coun­tries have been re­cip­i­ents of Ja­panese aid in the area of sus­tain­able marine devel­op­ment, mak­ing Ja­pan a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor of de­vel­op­men­tal as­sis­tance in the Caribbean.

As an ex­am­ple, St. Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines re­cently re­ceived Grant Aid as­sis­tance of US$8.5 mil­lion for industrial projects and for projects to im­prove fish­eries equip­ment. In ad­di­tion to giv­ing Grant Aid, Ja­pan also as­sists at the grass­roots level by stim­u­lat­ing the hu­man re­sources of the coun­try.

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama with Por­tia Simp­son-Miller, Prime Min­is­ter of Ja­maica

on his re­cent visit to Ja­maica.

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