Roseau, Dominica -- Lennox Lawrence close confidant and lawyer for Dominica’s prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit has called for members of the Dominica Labour Party to “go after” members of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP).
The lawyer’s comments came as the DLP faithful celebrated the ruling of the OECS Supreme Court, which upheld a lower court ruling that the UWP failed to prove that Skerrit and his education minister Petter St Jean were French citizens.
Lawrence told the frenzied crowd gathered in Roseau “and like Obama is going after Al Qaeda, brothers and sisters. Whether they hide in Marigot, whether they hide in La Plaine, whether they hide in Salisbury, we Labourites are going after them."
He also accused the Chronicle newspaper and local radio station Q 95 FM as engaging in terrorism., saying “we must bring an end to the terrorism of the chronicle and the terrorism of Q 95
Today, Dominica is a deeply fractured country split across political lines and many believe that Lawrence’s comments was a call to his party faithful to escalate violence against the opposition forces in Dominica and its otherwise peaceful people.
His comments were immediately condemned by former Justice of the OECS Brian Alleyne who chastised the practicing lawyer for inciting division and possible violence in the country. Alleyne told a local radio station that Lawrence’s comments were not becoming of the legal profession and that he should retract his statements.
Leader of the Opposition Hector John also called on Lawrence to apologise for his inflammatory statement. John noted that “I hope that every right thinking Dominican, especially from the Dominica Labour Party and the Legal Fraternity will call on Lennox Lawrence to make a public apology for his comments geared at inciting violence made at Lagoon on Tuesday night.
“I can take care of myself, but the people from Marigot, La Plaine and Salisbury are not taking these careless, mischievous and vile utterances lightly. We are not a violent people. It is our democratic right to be part of or support a legal political organization in Dominica. We will NEVER apologize for being members of the United Workers Party, “ John said.
John also appealed to prime minister Skerrit, Mr. Skerrit, Mr Charles Savarin (Minister of National Security), the Chief of Police, the IDCCV, the DLP, the Bar Association, Civil Society, the National Youth Council, the Churches, DNCW, the Council on Aging and others to call on Lawrence to make a public apology for “undemocratic and dangerous comments.”
Lawrence is not new to controversy. In 2008 while serving as Dominica’s ambassador to Venezuela, he turned up in a court in Roseau to represent nine Venezuelans who were picked up by the Dominica Coast Guard for drug trafficking and having more than one million dollars in their possession. The men were later fined and released.