PM Douglas: ‘Those in glass houses should not throw stones’
Former Minister of National Security, Justice and Legal Affairs, Mr. G. A. Dwyer Astaphan (photo by Erasmus Williams)
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MAY 6TH 2011 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said he is at a loss to find reasons for the onslaught over the years from his former Cabinet colleague, Mr. G. A. Dwyer Astaphan, when he received tremendous assistance from the Government prior to leaving the Cabinet that he was a member of for 13 years.
“Tonight I ask Dwyer, what is it that Dr. Douglas has done him, because when he was leaving (The Cabinet) he got almost everything he demanded,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
Speaking at a public meeting in Central Basseterre on Sunday night, Dr. Douglas disclosed that Mr. Astaphan at first demanded a cash payment of EC$700,000 to leave the Cabinet.
Dr. Douglas said Mr. Astaphan later reduced that figure “to EC$400,000 to help pay off his mortgage and send his son to University after he was told that the Party was not in a position to pay that kind of money and no money was paid.”
Dr. Douglas, who has come in for abuse from his former Cabinet minister daily on almost every radio station, newspaper, social networks and on the political platform, has remained silent over the last two years despite the urgings from several quarters to respond.
He said he has the greenlight from the Cabinet to deal with the issues.Prime Minister Douglas said Mr. Astaphan’s request for an insurance license to operate an insurance company was granted after the application was made and processed.
“He had explained to me he wanted an insurance company license because he was promised 20 percent from someone (who had started an insurance company) but that person never gave him and so he wanted his own. I am not going to get into no family fights here.”
“I said ‘Dwyer whatever it is to help you, we will help’,” recalled Dr. Douglas, adding: “That is why I ask what is it Dwyer that I have done you?”
“Ungrateful, crooked, hypocrite, traitor. He has neither virginity or credibility,” said Dr. Douglas who disclosed that after going through the process the insurance license was issued to Astaphan under Eden Services (St. Kitts and Nevis) Limited.
“He is practising his insurance business and he is still vexed with me,” said Dr. Douglas, who further disclosed that Mr. Astaphan requested land to establish his new business enterprise.
“He asked for four pieces, but the Cabinet approved two pieces at the Conaree Industrial Park. What else does he want?” asked Dr. Douglas.He said Mr. Astaphan served as Minister of Labour from October 2004 to 2008.
“When he was leaving the Government he requested and Cabinet approved acontract for him to draft a new Labour Code that should have been done while he was the Minister of Labour,” Dr. Douglas told the meeting.
He said that a down payment of several thousand dollars was made but he returned the money after the Press began asking questions and Minister Carty confirmed it during “Inside the News” on WINNFM.
“He returned the money,” recalled Prime Minister Douglas.
“That is why I say that we gave him almost whatever he asked for. I say he cannot throw stones when he lives in a glass house,” said the St. Kitts and Nevis leader.
Dr. Douglas shared with the large crowd a passage of scripture sent to him by a Pastor who hails from Saddlers, but resides in Tabernacle when all this travail started.
“In a letter in his own handwriting the Pastor quoted John 16:21 of the King James version ‘A woman when she is in travail has sorrow because her hour is come. But as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish for joy that a man is born into the world.’
“This scripture has fortified me, because you all don’t know the pain and anguish I had with Dwyer Astaphan in my Cabinet. You all will never know. You all will never know and it is scriptures like these that have fortified me because I say to myself the time is going to come when the anguish is going to turn to joy,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
“I ask again another question to the man who was responsible for leading the fight against crime in St. Kitts and Nevis. What you vex with me for is it because you know I have a file that was sent down to me from Scotland Yard in England? I done move them out of my office,” informed Prime Minister Douglas.
“While Mr. Dwyer Astaphan was the Minister of National Security, the United Kingdom Government assisted the United Kingdom New Scotland Yard to make contact with me as the Prime Minister because they had discovered that a thousands of pounds were being fraudulently transferred from Barclays Bank in England to Royal Bank of Canada here and they ask Dwyer Astaphan a question about it,” Dr. Douglas informed the crowd.
“Family members are also raising questions that the late Gwennie Sahaley’s Last Will and Testament that has been probated is not her real Will. I say no more,” he said.
Dr. Douglas said he has remained silent for two years and respects all the calls he has received since the sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday of last week.
“I give you a commitment that I will not trade words with Astaphan, who has no credibility. I will not but I believe it is important since we are talking about new measures to fight crime to make it clear that he who was leading the fight against crime must not to be accusing those who have nothing to do with his failure. It is in this context that I am responding” said Prime Minister Douglas, who is also the Political Leader of the Governing St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party.
The Prime Minister was very strong in marshalling workers and supporters of the Labour Movement to march on Labour Day, despite the calls by Dwyer Astaphan,who marched when he was a Minister of Government for people to boycott the March,which was successful.
It is very clear, according to the Party Leader that Dwyer Astaphan is neither a Labour supporter nor a member of the Labour Party.
The St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party which won 60 percent of the popular votes on St. Kitts in the January 25th 2010 General elections, with Prime Minister Douglas getting over 90 percent of the votes cast in his constituency, holds its 79th Annual Conference on May 15th.