Defence soldiers told mandate demands a firm stand against lawlessness and to join forces against the enemies of peace and justice

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas carves the turkey at the annual Defence Force Christmas luncheon

ST. KITTS, DECEMBER 29TH 2010 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has saluted the men and women of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force for living up to the mandate to ensure that the sovereignty of the twin-island Federation is not and will never be compromised.

“You therefore have to be honest, obedient, respectful, disciplined and above all, loyal. These are the principles that will cause the public to continue to laud you for delivering and for performing with distinction,” said Prime Minister Douglas during the annual Christmas luncheon at Camp Springfield.

“I see you in action every day giving solid support to the police. I am aware of your presence on the streets and in the alley ways in the dead of night when the majority of our citizens are asleep. You continue to display, for the most part, a high degree of professionalism in the public domain and you do us all proud. This year has been quite an eventful one for all of us but there is no doubt that with strong resolve, you will continue to play your part in dispelling the lingering fear in the minds of our citizens, residents and visitors to our shores,” Dr. Douglas told the members of the law enforcement agency.

Dr. Douglas highlighted the improved terms of service for the men and women of the Defence Force with the implementation of the new Pensions and Gratuity Regulations which give tangible recognition for their contribution to the Federation in and out of service.

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas serves the first plate to wheel-chair bound Corporal Joseph Bergan, who was shot in the line of duty several years ago

“I must recognize the brave men who have made a career in the military and whose loyalty has been the bedrock of its success over the years. I salute the leaders, past and present, who endeavoured and are endeavouring to build on the foundation and the founding principles of loyalty, discipline and respect in moulding the character of soldiers who can be called upon to defend and preserve the integrity of our land,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who carved the turkey and along with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Sam Condor served the Christmas dinner to the soldiers.

He told the officers that as members of the Security Forces, “your mandate demands that you take a firm stand against lawlessness and join forces against the enemies of peace and the enemies of justice.”

Recognising the importance of the collaborative efforts in the fight against crime, the St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister saluted the officers of the Coast Guard for the high level of competence displayed in patrolling the borders.

“Let me advise our officers to exhibit continued vigilance for those who would want to use our waters to engage in narco-trafficking and related criminal offences. I emphasise, intercept them,” said Dr. Douglas, who pointed to their counterparts in the war torn regions of the international communities who are constantly in the line of fire and have to contend with saving lives and defending their respective nations.

“They are manipulating the modern weapons of warfare and are, at times, witnessing carnage of the most brutal nature. You are not on the battle field; yet you are engaged in warfare of a different nature in your fight against crime which demands courage and fearlessness. You must struggle daily to raise your personal profile by aiming for the qualities of steadfastness, decisiveness, inner strength that define the motto of the Defence Force,” Prime Minister Douglas said.

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas (left) and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Sam Condor (second from left) serve the men and women of the Defence Force during the traditional Christmas luncheon

He reminded the officers, men and women of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force and Coast Guard of the qualities that become the target of the enemy in psychological warfare.

“Stand firm even when others are falling around you! You must resist the temptation to fall prey to the machinations of the enemy. You cannot allow yourselves to be caught unawares or you will endanger the lives of others. Remember that you are responsible for each other and you must be prepared to carry your weak brother or sister. You must be committed and you must be strong! The military is not the field for quitters and weaklings or those whose love for materialism will cause them to lower their reputation and sell out for personal gains. Do not for one moment compromise the safety of the Force or your integrity. The military is one of the few noble professions left today and you must all be proud to be a part of it,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

He pledged his government’s continued resolve to develop their capacity to take advantage of opportunities available to advance in their profession.

“In the face of the global economic downturn, my Government continues to pledge its support for the Security Forces being fully cognizant of the pivotal role of security in the development of our thriving economy. As we transform into a service oriented economy we have to ensure that the major pillar of security that holds together the developmental framework, is fortified. Having full regard for this, we have ensured that the Ministry of National Security is among the few areas that will once again be adequately resourced in the next budget year. This, indeed, will assist in enhancing your operations,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

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