Denial! Denial! Denial! Once again Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony is assuaging his conscience of all responsibility for IMPACS. At every public meeting he creates this opportunity to fingerpoint, as at the political meeting in Babonneau recently. The prime minister is fixated on marketing to the electorate the gimmick that Guy Mayers is the one responsible for IMPACS, even if this line of argument makes no sense. The fact is, no matter how fanciful and colourful the political rhetoric Labour may bring to their public meetings, IMPACS will remain an act of arrogance on the part of this administration and a festering political ulcer which has since birthed the Medusa of this current administration.
But the prime minister’s clearance of himself is predictable enough; we all know why it seems to be his main obsession at this time; ahead of a general election. He earnestly wishes the whole IMPACS conundrum to be distanced from his party because it is inexorably linked to his failed record of overall bad governance, not to mention the attendant controversy and macabre. Nevertheless the Prime Minister is invited to publicly explain some reasonable considerations.
The Leahy Law remains firmly in place against Saint Lucia. Meantime the mighty United States and European Union “EU” are taking cognizance of the KDA administration’s promises during a National Address on March 8, 2015 to take certain steps to conclusively deal with the IMPACS Report. Guess what? To date, they are clearly unappeased and unimpressed with this administration’s response. In December 2015 they (EU representatives) made their sentiments known via a press conference, and did their tough-talking over the issue which is becoming slightly protracted apparently, by their standards.
Pray tell Mr. Prime Minister: how do police operations such as Operation Restore Confidence become one and the same creature as IMPACS? IMPACS was a creature of the Executive arm and had nothing to do with the Police. As a matter of fact Jamaicans who never took the police oath of Saint Lucia were commissioned to undertake this investigation; which placed IMPACS completely outside the purview and scope of the local police and the modus operandi for criminal investigations. If ORC and IMPACS are the same, then the two exercises have mutually cross-contaminated each other. So then we surmise that the IMPACS investigation should also be investigated as part of the problem.
The prime minister is perhaps unintentionally implying that that Guy Mayers, former UWP Minister for Home Affairs and National Security, decided to overlook the coroner’s findings of death by misadventure, as it relates to the deaths involved with ORC. Inquests, by the way, are the recourse the Saint Lucia Constitution provides for such incidents. Despite this provision being used, did the prime minister not delve into implementing his own alternate measures as in IMPACS?
If this government is not responsible for IMPACS, why did Dr. Kenny Anthony and his administration pass special legislation to facilitate IMPACS by amending the Police Complaints Act? As has been asked before, why did the prime minister not invite the United States of America to simply review the coroner’s Inquests for itself? Was the coroner’s report overlooked because the inquests were deemed invalid somehow? Truly tell the public: was the coroner’s report proffered to the US officials through the relevant channels and if it was, why wasn’t this report honored by the US?
It can be deduced logically that the UWP, by dint of being in opposition, is not a major player in regard to the events that have occurred since ORC. They were not and still are not in a position to dictate how the aftermath of Operation Restore Confidence which took place between 2010 and 2011 should be handled. It must be noted very interestingly that in 2010 there was no great outcry against ORC or of Human Right Violations and extra-judicial killings but there were such claims in 2011, an election year. Thereafter the incumbent UWP lost the elections and the KDA administration assumed office in November 2011.
Did the prime minister then not consider an independent investigation such as IMPACS to be the plausible remedy to the supposed “hue and cry” by certain sections of society that the police force was investigating itself? Did he feel that he had to appease those fingering him as “allowing the police to investigate themselves” by doing something drastic?
Suffice it to say that the IMPACS issues are well beyond the realm of being a partisan football. No matter who on the political divide claims responsibility or shirks responsibility for IMPACS it will not go away. It is here confronting this country as a whole and really should not be politicized because such rhetoric will not cause the Leahy Law to be lifted off Saint Lucia. The point is for several months now both the EU and the USA have been demanding that IMPACS be addressed “by all those responsible to ensure due process according to the St. Lucia criminal law system” and by the look of things are growing impatient. What is more relevant and urgent now for the prime minister to explain is: What is standing in the way of “due process”?