Three  civil society groups are planning to continue their opposition on the proposed multi-billion dollar development earmarked for Vieux-Fort by Desert Star Holdings Ltd – a Chinese based equine management firm.
The Vieux-Fort Concerned Citizens Coalition for Change [VF4Cs], I WILL STAND and the Concerned Citizens of St. Lucia will take to the streets in Vieux-Fort on April 30th for what they call a national protest march. Demonstrations are set to start at the Vieux-Fort Square to Sandy Beach and back.
The groups have issued a joint message to the Prime Minister of St. Lucia the Hon. Allen Chastanet:
‘WE WANT A BETTER DEAL – RENEGOTIATE THIS DEAL – WE DESERVE BETTER.’
The following is an exert of a press release from VF4Cs:
The primary objective is to publicly express its position regarding the proposed DSH Project for Vieux-Fort and the refusal of the Prime Minister of St. Lucia to engage Vieux-Fort residents in discussion on how the project will affect them.
This DSH Project presents a myriad of serious concerns to the residents of Vieux-Fort including the nearly 900 acres of prime investment lands to be given to one developer for 99 years; the potential loss of sustainable livelihoods of farmers, fishermen, livestock keepers, bee-keepers, etc.; the establishment of the Equine Disease Free Zone (EDFZ); the major dislocation to and subsequent relocation of residential communities such as Bruceville and Bacadere; the future of locally-owned business operations within the project zone and the EDFZ; protection of public access of beaches; the Buy Back Clause; sale of St. Lucian Passports to finance the DSH project; guaranteed jobs, investment opportunities and other economic benefits of the DSH to St. Lucia; and potential negative impacts on the environment, among others.