Drag Racing Debacle In Nevis

Charlestown, Nevis
September 21, 2007

The Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Joseph Parry surprised listeners to the very popular Choice FM radio call-in program “Tell Me” on Thursday night.  Premier Parry exposed his concern on how the Royal St. Kitts – Nevis Police Force handled the Independence Day Drag race incident  on Wednesday morning with a lack of respect for the Nevis Island Administration.

“Several meetings were held between Minister Robelto Hector and Superintendent Joseph Liburd and I. We discussed the areas of Security, the ambulance, Fire services and the crowd being away from any danger zones”¦all these important factors were discussed before the race, so I do not understand why he would prevent the drag race from taking place and not informing me or Minister Hector in advance about the situation properly. There were several persons who came up from St.Kitts and wasted their resources on account of this situation,” said Mr. Parry as he spoke to radio host Mr. Hastings Daniel.During the program, Mr. Daniel asked Mr. Parry, “So you had an agreement with the police?”  Premier Parry said, “Yes, we had an agreement, If we didn’t, would I have gone up there on two occasions? One when I had left the parade and I was on my way to the Bath hotel for refreshments and nobody was there so I happen to pass on the Port road to observe how the race was going. The second time I went to inform the on lookers that it is not the government who is preventing the race, but the police and we were there to keep the peace because the young men looked as if they wanted to get violent.”

During the fiasco, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts – Nevis, Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas was notified by Premier Parry of the drag race incident and Dr. Douglas spoke to Superintendent. Liburd insisting that he follow through on his agreement and ensure that the race take place.

Passionately, Premier Parry told the radio host, “The Prime Minister spoke to Liburd and he was ignored. I spoke to Liburd and I was ignored. Finally, Supt. Liburd gave me reasons why the race could not go through and he gave Prime Minister Douglas different reasons why the race could not go through.”

This is not the first time the Nevis Island Administration has had situations with the Police, but a series of problems has taken place within the last three months, said Mr. Parry.

During the last Culturama season two incidents of discord took place. One was when the “Last lap” session was stopped without notification to any government official and the other was when an agreement was made between the Police and Minister of Culture, Deputy Premier, Hon Hensley Daniel, who told the Police not to have the Pinney’s Beach Affair and the Herberts Beach Affair but to allow the Jouvet activities to continue until 3p.m. To the dismay of Minister Daniel the entire government and the huge crowd of revellers in Charlestown police stopped the jamming at 1p.m and while the Pinney’s Beach event did not go on. Mr. Parry said, “We later learned that not only did the Herberts Beach Affair go on, but that political speeches were made at the event.”

Mr. Parry also discussed the recent bi-election where members of the Security forces harassed several Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) supporters.

“Everybody in Nevis now knows that on Election Day, five NRP activists were hassled, one was shackled! They were being searched allegedly for money by the Defence force. We were able to be told by some Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) persons who were related to NRP activists to be careful because this thing was going to happen. Funny, No CCM persons were searched!”

On Friday morning, several persons on the streets of Charlestown were surprised to hear the Premier give an account of meetings and agreements made with the police on this issue. Before the Premier spoke, many persons were led to believe that the government acted irresponsibly on the matter.

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