Rose Marie Harris
Thursday, March 06, 2003 - The government of Saint Lucia is heightening
measures to deal with residents and nationals of selected Middle Eastern
countries with a high propensity for terrorist activity.
Addressing the nation Thursday night, Prime Minister, Honourable Dr. Kenny
Anthony says some surveillance strategies are already in effect. Dr. Anthony
explained that approximately EC$2 million has been spent on purchasing and
installing security equipment for the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority.
These include hand-held and walk-through metal detectors, X-ray screening
machines for both carry-on and checked baggage and security patrol vehicles for
both air and sea
“The implementation of a passenger tracking and watch list system and ID badging
and tracking systems; the purchase and installation of communication and video
surveillance equipment at the air and sea ports; the purchase and installation
of electronic equipment for the detection of explosives; the strengthening of
institutional capacity for delivery and maintenance of a secure environment at
our ports, through the training of all levels and categories of personnel and
the review and upgrade of operational systems; the physical upgrading of
facilities including airport terminal buildings, fencing, barricades and
internal perimeters roadways,” said the Prime Minister.
The country’s leader also indicated that a full passport controls are to be
instituted at all the island’s air and sea ports from March 17, 2003 and will be
applicable to all persons departing from Saint Lucia. Incoming Saint Lucians
will not be required to submit immigration forms upon arrival.
With regards to visas, Dr. Anthony said tighter controls will be instituted in
relation to the processing of applications for visas for travel to Saint Lucia.
This would involve more thorough screening and investigation of applicants and
would be applicable particularly to persons originating from countries with a
high propensity for terrorist activity.
The government Dr. Anthony said “is in the process of reviewing its bilateral
arrangements with a number of countries whose nationals do not require visas to
enter Saint Lucia. Replacement documents – applications for replacement
passports will be more thoroughly investigated and this would necessarily
involve an increased fee and a lengthening of the processing time for such
applications. It is expected that this should exert sufficient pressure on
persons to be more careful in the handling of passports entrusted to them by the
Dr. Anthony says these new measures are in an effort to make the lives of all
safer and more secure.
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