Prime Minister – Dr. Denzil Douglas
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
August 25, 2009 (CUOPM)
With less than one month away from celebrating the 26th Anniversary of Independence, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas says respect for all despite class, economic, or political differences, will go a long way to promoting peace and stability throughout the twin-island Federation.
“I do not mean by this that there should be no difference of opinion in St. Kitts and Nevis ““ that would only happen if our brains cease to function ““ but what I do mean is that we should, over the next twenty-five years, commit ourselves to resisting ideas that we do not consider to be wise, without developing enmity and rancor in our hearts for any of our fellow- Kittitians or Nevisians,” said Prime Minister Douglas, adding:
“And this is important, not only where political ideas are concerned, but also where the every day interchange is concerned ““ the way we relate in our classrooms, the way we relate at work, the way we relate when transacting business and the way we relate when negotiating the purchase of goods and services.”
Dr. Douglas during his weekly radio call in programme “Ask the Prime Minister” on Tuesday said that as the 26th twenty-sixth anniversary approaches, “we must also reflect on the myriad ways in which people from all walks of life ““ both the prominent and the lowly; the highly educated and the barely schooled; those who have committed themselves to the spiritual uplift of the nation, those who have committed themselves to the cause of social justice, those whose focus is the provision on goods and services, those who heal, teach, govern and learn has helped St. Kitts and Nevis to be where it is today.
He recalled his message during the 25th Anniversary celebrations last year to the emphasis I placed, at that time, on our responsibility, as a people, to begin to pay as much attention, in the second twenty-five years of existence, “on the intangible assets of our nation, as we did, during our first twenty-five years, on the development of our tangible asset base.”
“Our success at the accumulation and expansion of tangible assets is extraordinary. One need only look at our physical infrastructure, our road networks, our schools, our health care facilities, our community centers, the expansion of our air and sea ports, dramatic increase in housing, reduction in the poverty rate and wage increase. That is what the government has done through the prudent investment of the very scarce resources at its disposal,” said Dr. Douglas.
He noted however that the challenge of the intangibles, however, has more to do with the state of the human heart than with government policy and that is where the commitment of the entire country comes in.
” And so, I make a special appeal, once again, in keeping with my theme during my national address during our Silver Jubilee celebrations, that we recognize the extreme importance of these intangibles,” said Dr. Douglas.
He said that as the date of September 19th approaches, nationals must think with great seriousness, “about what kind of people we want to be long after the celebrations are over.”
“A renewed emphasis on our intangible assets – over the next twenty-five years ““ will demand that such issues as character, integrity, courage, decency, compassion, optimism, faith, and generosity loom as significantly in our hearts and souls, as the acquisition of our homes, cars and the expansion of our bank accounts. At one level we are Labour or PAM., UNEP, CCM, or NRP. And that is good ““ we need divergence of view because we are a thinking, vibrant people,” said the Prime Minister, who added that more important is a people united by a common bond of history.
“The trauma of slavery, the humiliation of colonialism, our strivings to move with dignity towards independence during our period of associated statehood. And now, here we are ““ the smallest nation in the hemisphere, but stable, democratic, and holding our own in a period of terrifying global tumult,” he said.