Hon. Velon John
CHRISTMAS MESSAGE 2000
by Hon. Velon John
Minister for Home Affairs, Legal Affairs and Labour
Parliamentary Representative for Laborie
Dear Fellow Laborians :
Once again, it gives me a great pleasure to wish you my people of the constituency of Laborie, a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous 2001 : which essentially is the beginning of the new millennium.
I sincerely hope that for this year 2001 that some, if not all, of your aspirations will be realised, and that the quality of life in your domestic and community environments will be enhanced and augmented.
In my capacity as your District Representative, I will for this coming year continue to work on your behalf in the many areas that require governmental intervention and community involvement.
At this time, I can say with almost certainty that the electrification of the Laborie Constituency will be completed ‘ere the year 2001 comes to a close.
Also, by that time, the roads throughout Laborie will have been addressed in terms of reconstruction and refurbishment.
The water needs of most if not all of the constituency will have been met. And Majomel in particular will at last have pipe borne water within the many homes that constitute this community.
2001 will see the construction of the jetty in Laborie village and very likely the construction of the Human Resource Development Centre. We are also at this time exploring the possibility of constructing a multi-purpose court in Augier to meet the very obvious needs of the youth in that community and in particular the young ladies therein.
Our geriatric programme will continue and in the not too distant future, another 4 houses for the elderly will have been refurbished.
As I see it, 2001 should be a very interesting exciting and fulfilling year. There is a lot of work to be done : but with your support, spiritual and concrete, the needs of this constituency will have been met for the greater part.
At this time and as Minister of Legal Affairs, Home Affairs and Labour, I wish all of our people throughout the length and breadth of this beautiful land a Merry Christmas and a Healthy Happy and Prosperous and Peaceful New Year.
The Reforms that we have begun in the Judiciary, the Police, the Prison and in the area of Labour will continue. Very likely by the end of the first Quarter of 2001, we will have produced the First Labour Code of St. Lucia. The prison will be well on its way to completion as well as the refurbishment of many of our police and fire stations.
Acute attention will be focused upon the reform process within the Royal St. Lucia Police Force and immediate measures will be taken to curtail the disturbing excesses of the police. And in this regard, we need your assistance, your curative intervention.
We are receiving too many reports of police violence, police brutality, of conduct unbecoming a police officer. That problem needs to be addressed quickly and definitively. If nothing is done, then that public confidence in the police, which is of vital importance for the essential integrity of that institution, will be subverted and thus exacerbate the situation of lawlessness and disorder in this country.
No man is above the law and on that premise, the police cannot be a law unto itself. And so, those few Officers of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force who by their misconduct and unprofessionalism directly or indirectly bring this noble institution into disrepute, and by so doing, pose a grave danger to the society must be dealt with definitively and punitively, but within the confines of the law.
And so today and at this time, I am urging, exhorting all of you who happen to be a victim of, or a witness to, police brutality or misconduct, to report this matter to me and the Commissioner of Police. In this way, two files will be kept on the offending officers ; and those matters will vigorously be investigated.
If an Officer is corrupt, violent, arrogant, disrespectful, a pattern in short order will emerge and which will lead to specific and conclusive actions of redress.
It is imperative that you the people have confidence in your police force; and this confidence can only be engendered by its honesty, professionalism, competence and humanism. That is the police force we hope will emerge from the ongoing reform process : and that is the police force we of this country deserves.
As regards those incidents of unbecoming police conduct, you can contact me on my Crime Action Line which is 458.2880 or my personal fax which is 451.6506.
And so, in the spirit of the times, and for all times, I wish you Joy, I wish you Peace, I wish you Wealth, but more importantly, I wish you Health and Tranquility.
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