By anguillian May 11, 2012 09:22



Radio Anguilla's Ivor Hodge inteviewing Mr. Rogers

Anguilla’s Opposition Leader, Evans M. Rogers, told local media representatives that the first meeting of OECS Opposition Parliamentarians held inSt. Lucialate last week was very well organised.

“I think the initiative may have started with the present Prime Minister of St. Lucia, Dr. Kenny Anthony, who is now the Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States,” Mr. Rogers said on Monday.“Mr. Anthony sat in opposition for five years prior to that. He described it as a therapeutic five years for him, and said it was very important for Leaders of the Opposition to be able to share information with regards to economic, political and other developments within the region.

“At the meeting there were four persons who were Prime Ministers before. This shows that today we may be in opposition, and a week or two we may be in government. So it is important for us to continue to be informed regarding what is happening in the various territories.”

Mr. Rogers continued his report on the meeting: “A presentation was made with regards to the Treaty of Basseterre which was signed in 1981 to establish the OECS. They are making some amendments to it, looking at the process of starting a Parliamentary Assembly for the OECS whereby the Prime Ministers, Premiers or Chief Ministers of the territories, along with the Leaders of the Opposition, will be members. It is proposed that the Assembly will be held in Antigua, but in terms of the frequency that has not been decided. The actual make-up from the individual territories would depend on the size of the various parliaments or legislatures.

“All in all, I think it was a very good meeting. It was one in which we were able to discuss some issues relating to individual territories from a political, economic and social standpoint. The camaraderie at that meeting is one that I will cherish for as long as I am involved in politics because it was a wake-up call for us. It was civil in the sense that, although we were Opposition Leaders, what came through was the overall continued interest in the positive growth and development, from an economic and social standpoint, for our individual islands.”

Replying to a question, Mr. Rogers said he had raised some concerns about matters relating to Anguilla at one of the sessions conducted by Dr. Anthony. “He is the Chair of the OECS and by that he is also a member of the OCES Heads,”Rogerscontinued. “Being Prime Minister of St. Lucia, he is also a member of CARICOM Heads. My question to him was whether he could assist us inAnguilla, and assist me, personally, in seeking some information from CARICOM Heads. As you know, the Chief Minister of Anguilla acknowledged that he asked for a Prime Ministerial delegation from CARICOM to be sent toAnguilla.

“I m not sure as to what is the purpose of the visit of that delegation and I requested of Dr. Anthony to allow us in Anguilla to know what is the purpose of the CARICOM Prime Ministerial delegation coming to Anguilla would be. I also indicated with that request, as has been reported in the media here in Anguilla, that the Chief Minister would organise a major rally and have the three Prime Ministers, coming  to Anguilla, address that rally.

“I also asked for his assistance in terms of seeking the report from a previous CARICOM delegation that came to Anguilla in October 2010. He said he was aware that a CARICOM-mandated delegation visited Anguilla before and that he would take it up with the Heads Government. I [Evans Rogers] had written to the Secretary General about the matter and his response was that he was seeking permission from the CARICOM Heads in order to release the report of the previous delegation to Anguilla.

“Dr. Anthony has assured me that he will take up that issue and seek to bring some clarity to the two concerns I raised at that particular meeting.”

Mr. Rogers said he was told that the date had not been decided for the CARICOM’s Prime Ministers’ visit to Anguilla. “They were hoping that sometime in the second quarter of the year such a visit might take place. But, of course, all of us in the Caribbean recognise that the Prime Ministers are very busy these days…While we have no problem with them coming here, we would just like to know, out of respect for the Anguillian people, what is the purpose of their visit; and if we could have access to the report of the previous CARICOM-mandated delegation to Anguilla.”

By anguillian May 11, 2012 09:22


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