Xenophobia in St Lucia condemned

Castries, St Lucia — The Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) has condemned what it described as a shameful display of xenophobic behaviour that has crept into Saint Lucian society ever since the human trafficking incident, known locally as the Lambirds Academy affair.

Leader of the LPM, Therold Prudent said his party is proud to have been a pioneer in the fight to protect the basic human rights of the Lambirds students at a time when it was not politically popular to do so.

“Our decision back in early February of 2015 to personally meet with the students and to stand up for what is morally right, as opposed to what is politically expedient, may have earned us the ire of some government supporters and other detractors who have become skilful architects in seeking to enforce an illegal system of political censorship in the country,” Prudent said in a statement on Sunday.

He referred to his party’s determination to demonstrate that the government was not forthcoming regarding its involvement in sanctioning the operations of Lambirds Academy in Saint Lucia.

Eventually, on May 3, 2015, Emma Hippolyte, the minister responsible for commerce, business development, investment and consumer affairs, informed parliament that her ministry had in fact issued a trade licence to the proprietors of Lambirds to operate in Saint Lucia.

However, Prudent pointed out that this admission has not in any way helped to reinforce the perception that the Lambirds students are indeed victims who were caught in the middle of an arrangement that the government now deems illegal.

“In fact, the announcement this week that one of the students had given birth to a child on Saint Lucian soil drew vicious indignation from a minority who have erroneously convinced themselves that the students, and now an innocent infant, are not entitled to the universal protection of their basic human rights,” he said.

Nevertheless, the LPM emphasised that such negative, narrow, and reprobate attitudes do not represent the views of the majority of Saint Lucian nationals.

“Therefore, in keeping with our responsibilities as citizens of Saint Lucia, as well as with our progressive world view and that of the wider global community in which issues related to human rights are paramount, we wish to condemn those who have sought to tarnish the image of Saint Lucia as a peace-loving and hospitable nation.

“The LPM welcomes racial diversity and harmony in our nation, and we wish to extend our sincere congratulations to the parents of the newborn,” Prudent concluded.

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