Opposition leader warns of protest action in wake of controversial project

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CASTRIES, St Lucia, Mar.2, CMC – Leader of the main opposition St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Philip J.Pierre, has warned of the possibility of street protests over the controversial Desert Star Holdings Limited (DSH) project slated for the south of the Island.
At a news conference on Thursday, Pierre said over the past few weeks there has been a sustained campaign from civil society for the ruling United Workers Party (UWP) to be more accountable by providing more details about the $US 2.6 billion  project.
“The St Lucia Labour Party is once more calling on the UWP to dialogue with the people of the Island on unacceptable sections of the agreement and we reserve the right to bring our protests to the streets, if government fails to heed to our just requests,” Pierre told  the news conference .
Pierre recalled that the SLP has been very clear in its pronouncements on the initiative, indicating that there should be no DSH project unless the deal is renegotiated.
He stated that the UWP has responded by saying that it is attempting to renegotiate parts of the agreement.
“We have heard certain government ministers agree that there are clauses that are unacceptable,” the Castries East MP stated.
He said the government has indicated that it has finalised the agreement for phase one of the DSH project which is the race track component.
Nevertheless Pierre said there has been no indication as to whether the concerns expressed by the SLP and civil society have been addressed.
He told reporters that the SLP has been informed that there will be a formal signing ceremony on March 8 and preliminary works have started at Beausejour in Vieux Fort.
Pierre reiterated a call to the government to answer several questions relating to the DSH project, including whether the land for the race track will be leased  at $US 1 for ninety-nine years, whether an environmental impact assessment has been completed and if the race track has received Development Control Authority (DCA) approval.

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