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News : International : Caribbean News Last Updated: Feb 5, 2018 - 12:59:43 PM

St Lucia media hijacked by political and economic influence
By Melanius Alphonse
Feb 5, 2018 - 6:32:37 AM

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(L) Chartered accountant, Frank Myers; (C) National security minister, Hermangild Francis; (R) Dominic Fedee, minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Information and Broadcasting

After 19 months in office, the mafia-style Allen Chastanet-led administration is actively controlling access to information, limiting freedom of opinion and expression, silencing criticism and dissent by means of “ alternative facts” and government cover up.

This operating philosophy has reached new levels from earlier reports by Caribbean News Now that:

“According to other local sources, separately confirmed by contacts in foreign intelligence services, attempts by the national security minister and by the Cabinet itself to suppress criticism and dissent have now reached new levels, with intercepted requests reportedly made to collaborators in Hong Kong and Canada for assistance in hacking the electronic communications of individuals deemed to be ‘enemies of the state’.”

Recent events in Vieux Fort, point to another exercise of intimidation, misguided techniques, stinginess towards the working class and the poor. This is the same community, during the 2016 campaign that Allen Chastanet cried on demand with regard to living conditions and the struggle that single mothers face, to find work and send their children to school.

What has changed to define a more equal status? That may seem a bit too much to ask. Nevertheless, the people are being told to take responsibility for their situation, albeit ‘monarchical surrogates’ feel anointed, with the sole divine authority to think and decide for the masses.

In December 2017, chartered accountant Frank Myers commented on the C-word debate (collie) reference to race contend, it is an extremely offensive word in the dialogue of Saint Lucian politics, and there is no surprise at opposition Senator Guibion Ferdinand’s use of the word at the November 26 protest rally to reference Guy Joseph.

“The SLP does not seem to have any sort of principles where this thing is concerned,” says Myers.

In the interest of public integrity, Myers deliberate judgment is perhaps best served to promote his push that the multiple communities named ‘collie town’ on the island should be renamed and that residents will have to reinvent themselves and their culture. And recommend the reference to ‘Indian man’ should be discontinued.

Still, in a culture that fosters the carrot and stick philosophy, it is Myers contention that he is “not impressed with the ‘go to’ current affairs pundits sought-after by the local press for context and analysis.”

“The practice of interviewing former or active politicians and other prominent figures in the public and private sectors with less than unassailable track record in producing results, can ‘confuse’ the public and more-so young minds.” ~ HTS News4orce

Democracy is an expression of a nation-state but, at best, the political overtone on free speech and freedom of the press is unfortunate. At worst, the hypocrisy is disturbing — communicating arranged entitlements, consistent with the prime ministers rogue administration.

That surge is even more troubling, when national security minister, Hermangild Francis, looks to do the same, saying: “The Saint Lucia media have ‘dropped the ball’ when it comes to reporting positive stories.”

These attitudes are quite remarkable in a democracy of contending points of view, where freedom of expression and information, and independent media should operate without political interference.

But clearly this is not the case, consistent with Saint Lucia being sanctioned for human rights violations under the Leahy Law. However, Francis is not convinced, prompting the inquiry, what planet is he living on, if not a few million miles away from Mars!

The Chastanet administration also espouses exploitive undertakings as expressed by Dominic Fedee, minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for tourism, information and broadcasting, promoting the island’s upcoming Food and Rum Festival, saying: “Historically, we are a rum drinking people.”

“We really are a rum-producing people and historically we really are a rum drinking people. And rum is a very proud and main part of our heritage, and this festival will better refine and leverage the tremendous asset that exists in culture, in food and in showcasing to the world our heritage.”

In due course, one interpretation is that Fedee could be telegraphing that the kitchen cabinet is perhaps under the influence, weakening the state of prevailing wisdom.

In any case, what could be more unlikely with a “con man and his crooks” than the risk from being uninformed from experience, not clear where the country is heading.

This awkward absurdity and its impact are quite clear. The distinct probability is to rely on “extractive industries” and “exclusive tourism” that is absent from humanity, a sense of duty, obligation and balance.

The result of this undertaking is a choice to contrast the approach to lies, manipulation and deception to explain abstract representation. Whatever the case, the mode of the unsuspecting await jobs, inclusive growth and Chin-Chin in their pockets. This is not going to happen!

But interestingly, Saint Lucia’s mainstream media is hijacked by political and economic influence on reporting real news, not the least of commentaries that make some “eyebrow-raising observations”.

• There is the unprecedented failure to recognize increase public scepticism to the administration lack of focus on national security, healthcare, education, infrastructure and housing;

• Far from public engagement to promote policy that best represent our interests and our values, encouragement is not forthcoming to relive comments “the enemy is the oppressed people”;

• This leads to another. Systemic corruption has encouraged distrust and attacks on press freedom reverberate equally to undermine our democracy:

• Moreover, the prime minister’s explanation to revisit a sad moment of history with unduly remarks that “crossing the floor is in our DNA” removes any doubt of contempt;

• The administration’s use of “alternative facts” is the key clarification to suppress reporting, in a failed attempt, of the recent hospitalization of the governor general does little to sanitize his appointment as ineffectual, devious and intimidating;

• Worse still, the state has no business mandating what can and should not be reported. The absurdity is compounded by the consequence of beliefs and values.

In view of the administration’s gross incompetence to understand the issues at stake, trying to spread a false narrative about real news, commentaries and analysis has become an endangered business.

The administration’s basic logic is deficient of respect for human rights and the violation of charter rights. Admittedly, supporting the agenda is what matters, if not penalized by economic plotting, it is subsequently exposed to mind controlling forces.

It may not surprise you, but it should be noted that attempts to discredit and shut down Caribbean News Now have failed, time after time. Besides, there are similar attempts directed at local talk shows, “Politically Incorrect”, “Can I Help You” and “Journalist.”

For this reason, government mind-benders deserve nothing less than a defined response to their fairy-tale degree of credibility. That is, if ever, their belief system is principled on informed actions to convince a ‘stable genius’.

That brings to bear the nightmare realities for mass-produced pathogens and the constant cry for serious scrutiny of the administrations clueless actions. In response to pursuing advance analytics to transformation, Richard Frederick made a certain Christmas gift of janitorial supplies to the senior communications officer in the office of the prime minister of Saint Lucia.

At the least, this provides for maximizing value to unlock the hidden value and ignite a degree of sanity to accurate communication in the crucible of their language — granted there is access to freedom of information.

Truth and transparency are safeguards to freedom. Therefore we must commit to stave off the status quo, denounce censorship, falsehood and distortions in exchange for an open, free and accessible society. No amount of ‘alternative facts’ or news spin by enablers will change the range of systemic vulnerabilities and fact.

In the protection of our democracy, in a steady and uninterrupted fashion, we must ensure that threats to silence the truth become an obsession of the past, along with the playbook of autocracy that espouses the rationale:

“Should it be every dog that barks that I should respond and that it becomes that I am arrogant? I don’t think so.”~ Allen Chastanet

So here is the message: Whether the prime minister is aware or not, his efforts at ‘alternative facts’ to toe the party line and espouse absolute loyalty to abstract purges, messy squabbles and concepts to convert “public wealth into personal wealth”, his rogue administration is being closely monitored on the fundamentals at stake.

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