St Lucia is celebrating its 41st anniversary of political independence from Britain with Prime Minister Allen Chastanet urging nationals “to shake the habits that continue to drown” the island.
In his Independence Day message, Chastanet said the developments over the past four decades, including building an economy no longer tied to or dependent on an agricultural monocrop, “we must continue to recognise the things that keep us back, the attitudes and modes of behaviour which hurt us and eliminate them once and for all.
“The task of developing St Lucia is ours.”Chastanet
“We need to apply equal effort to the development of values as we do to fiscal policy and infrastructure. But what are these values? I am speaking here about love and respect for each other and for our country, respect for authority and the laws of our country, tolerance, honesty, discipline and so on.”
Chastanet said that the theme for this year’s Independence anniversary “Now is the time; let’s do this together” was well chosen and builds upon the previous year, insisting that as “independent nation we have responsibilities and while outside countries and institutions would give us a helping hand, in the final analysis, the task of developing St Lucia is ours.”
Chastanet said that St Lucians must play a part in building a nation everyone can all be proud of now not later.
“As I have said before, St Lucia it is our time, but we must work together to shake the habits that continue to drown our sweet Helen,” he said, urging a change even in the driving habits of motorists and the murders which he said had occurred “because of personal differences and the inability to resolve conflicts peacefully.”