In his Independence Day message, Chastanet said the developments over the past four decades, including building an economy no longer tied to or dependent on an agricultural monocrop, “we must continue to recognize the things that keep us back, the attitudes and modes of behavior which hurt us and eliminate them once and for all.
“We need to apply equal effort to the development of values as we do to fiscal policy and infrastructure. But what are these values? I am speaking here about love and respect for each other and for our country, respect for authority and the laws of our country, tolerance, honesty, discipline and so on.”
Chastanet said the theme for this year’s Independence anniversary - “Now is the time; let’s do this together” - was well chosen and builds upon the previous year, insisting that as an “independent nation we have responsibilities and while outside countries and institutions would give us a helping hand, in the final analysis the task of developing St. Lucia is ours.”
Chastanet said he was using the observance of the Independence anniversary to urge all St. Lucians to change their attitudes, adding “let us collectively take stock and recommit ourselves to St. Lucia, to take control of our destiny.”
Irwin LaRocque,secretary general of the Caribbean community (CAICOM), in a congratulatory message, noted that over the past 41 years St. Lucia has achieved a considerable level of socio-economic development, which has benefitted CARICOM, in particular, its advocacy in the areas of climate change, disaster management and the need for concessional financing to enhance our resilience.