Promises Public Protest March To Follow.
THE opposition Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) has started a petition against the country’s high unemployment levels before embarking on protest action.
The LPM issued a statement yesterday stating that after almost 15 years under the leadership of Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony , Saint Lucia’s unemployment situation “has become progressively worse”.
The LPM lamented the growing number of youth in the country who are currently unemployed, and said it was adamant in its belief that Saint Lucia is teetering on the verge of a human resource development tragedy if its present course is not remedied “with quick and aggressive action”
The party pointed to recent statistics which suggested that Saint Lucia’s unemployment figures have risen to 24.9 percent and that almost 50 percent of youth between the ages of 15 and 24 years are unemployed.
It added: “Therefore, in the interest of the people of Saint Lucia, the LPM has launched an online petition aimed at highlighting the magnitude of the problem. We urge every citizen who is unemployed or who is disappointed with the current state of unemployment in the country to sign the petition as an open show of protest against a government that has sought to give the impression that all is well in our country”.
The party said the petition would run for a total of 10 weeks and will culminate with a public protest action march, at the end of which all the signatures will be delivered to the office of the Prime Minister.
The petition, which is available at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/time-for-kenny-anthony-to-deliver-on-promises-of-job-creation.html, calls for “swift action by the government of Saint Lucia to address the issue of rising unemployment in our country” and demands that the government end its “cosmetic approach to job creation and finally deliver on its promise of a better life, which is enshrined in the pages of its 2011 manifesto”.
It said: “At this very important juncture in the history of our nation, we wish to communicate loudly and clearly to our government that we have grown impatient with its very poor performance in regard to providing a robust environment for job creation.
“We, therefore, urge the Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny Anthony, to do the following:
1. Openly acknowledge that there are tens of thousands of us who voted for and against him who are equally hurting as a result of his failed policies;
2. Stop stalling for time and end his devious political practice of lies, which often seek to obscure citizens’ understanding of the true state of the Saint Lucian economy;
3. Cease and desist from the cruel practice of passing off short-term employment as real jobs or even justifying a handful of jobs created through the National Initiative to Create Employment (NICE) programme, as if they are sufficient for a population of over 165,000;
4. Openly admit that his policies, which victimise those who voted both for and against him, have mercilessly increased the rate of poverty in the country; and
5. Admit that he understands our very deep-seated frustration and confess to the extreme insensitivity which he has repeatedly shown regarding our plight”.