St Lucia celebrates 33 years of Independence
CASTRIES, St Lucia – St Lucia today observed the 33rd anniversary of its political independence from Britain with the traditional military parade and Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony urging the nation to move boldly into the future.
The anniversary is being attended by the Royal Highness Prince and Princess Edward, Earl and Countess of Wessex who arrived here on Tuesday as part of activities to observe the Diamond Jubilee celebration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II ascension to the throne.
Addressing a flag raising ceremony shortly before midnight Tuesday, Prime Minister Anthony said fears about being unable to withstand an uncertain future was not unique to St. Lucia.
He said there were social, political, economic and environmental issues affecting the entire globe and called on his countrymen to shed their fears and doubts and make way for the ambition and mental achievement of maturity.
“We have not yet liberated and expanded our minds to think independently. Perhaps not surprisingly, that same discussion obtains in our larger Caribbean neighbours such as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, as they celebrate 50 years of independence.
“Having fears about being able to withstand the uncertain future is not unique to us but we must not allow our fears to define us.
“Globalization and high debt has led the citizens of the great United States of America to question their self-sufficiency and the ability to survive independently of the world.
“Suddenly, the United States has had to come face to face with the reality that, in the next few years, it will no longer be the dominant economic power in the world,” Anthony said, adding “yet, many Americans believe that they have the inner resources to ‘make it’.
The Prime Minister said this is the “kind of inner confidence which countries like ours need to emulate to get rid of the self-doubt that still so often afflict and plague us”.
He said despite the challenges St. Lucia has done well, pointing to the achievements of two Nobel Laureate Awards and accomplishments in the spheres of sports and education.
“The St. Lucian spirit has been tried and tested over the past decade, whether it is in the face of natural disasters, social misfortunes or economic depression. Through it all, we have remained steadfast in our conviction and strong in our resolve.
“Our ability to reconcile the irreconcilable, our patience and tolerance and our skill to adapt are qualities which we must not be afraid to share with succeeding generations,” he added.
Anthony, who led his St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) to victory in the November 28 general elections last year, said that while St. Lucia was not a perfect nation, it was vital that citizens remain optimistic and proud, and invited them to unlock the potential within themselves in order to grasp the opportunities which accompany the challenges needed to help build a better nation. (CMC)