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UPDATE-DOMINICA-POLITICS-Police say they uncover a plot to burn down the city of Roseau

by STAFF WRITER

Dominica, Feb 23, CMC – The main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) Friday distanced itself from a plot the authorities said they had uncovered to cause unrest in the country during a protest meeting and march on Sunday.

“Let me say to the people of Dominica what Sunday is not about. Sunday is not about violence, it is not about mashing up anything, it is not about anything but what we had discussed and agreed in the best interest of Dominica,” UWP president and former opposition leader, Lennox Linton told reporters.

“I am making the observation clearly to the people of Dominica because I had a meeting this morning with the police. My brother Nicholas George and, I sat down with the police high command because the police would be required to do crowd control and traffic control for the meeting on Sunday”.

Linton said that the police have concerns “about statements they have heard and things they have seen on social media, which suggest to them that people are being incited to do things at the meeting on Sunday.

“There was that concern expressed, we listened, we discussed, we gave the police the assurance we have no such intentions. This is set up to be peaceful, to be uplifting, to be developmental to the people of Dominica, and to have absolutely no negative impact at all,” he added.

Earlier, the police said they had uncovered a plot to cause unrest in the country during a protest on Sunday and Acting Police Commissioner Davidson Valarie said the plot involved “people believed to be associated with the meeting to commit lawlessness and create violence during the meeting.

“Some of the threats are to procure gasoline to burn the city of Roseau. There is also a threat to create an island-wide blackout to facilitate the commission of illegal acts against persons, including the Minister of National Security (Rayburn Blackmoore),: the acting police chief said.

Valerie said that in the interest of national security, he met with Linton and another of the organizers, expressing his concern “regarding the inciteful comments being disseminated on social media by groups of persons believed to be associated with the meeting.

“I want to take this opportunity to state categorically there will be no tolerance of any form of unlawlessness. The Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force is prepared to intervene and deal with anyone who engages in any form of disorder or lawlessness,” he warned.

The protest and march is being held one day before Linton is due in a magistrate’s court on a charge of incitement stemming from an incident on February 7, 2017, when the party held a meeting in the capital for the resignation of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.

Following the meeting, several businesses in the city were vandalized and charges were brought against Linton,  former prime minister Edison James and economist and current UWP leader, Dr. Thompson Fontaine.

Charges were also laid against former UWP deputy political leader, Joshua Francis, along with Nicholas George and former UWP legislator now Speaker of the House of Assembly, Joseph Isaac, who was charged with obstruction of justice.

While the matter against Francis, George, and Isaac has been adjourned sine die, Linton, Fontaine, and James are still before the courts.

Last Friday, James was released on EC$50,000 (One EC dollar=US$0. 37 cents)  bail after spending an estimated  20 minutes in a holding cell in a magistrate’s court after he was committed to stand trial at the High Court on a charge of incitement.

James then urged supporters to attend the march and meeting on Sunday and to come in their numbers.

“I am appealing to Dominicans let us understand where we are. Today it is me. It will be you tomorrow. Stop this thing now. There is a call for people to be out on the 25th … We don’t have six billion (people)  in Dominica, but let us get as close to that as possible.

“This is not a matter of we fighting down Skerrit …we are fighting for Dominica,” James added.

Blackmoore said that despite the plot being uncovered, permission is being granted to the opposition party to stage its activity in the capital on Sunday.

“I have in my possession certain credible intelligence that speaks to the intention of some who belong to the same political party or eco-system of the United Workers Party.

“I believe that the majority of the supporters of the United Workers Party are good people and do not share the same radical views as those who are seeking to create an environment of lawlessness in this beautiful country,” Blackmoore said, adding having considered all the ramifications, he does not believe nor is he inclined to invoke the Public Order Act to prohibit the public meeting.

“I am confident therefore that the police will act to ensure that anyone, who violates the law will be dealt with quickly and swiftly,” he said.

Linton told reporters that during the meeting with the police “I restated very clearly the purpose of our assembly and the fact that it is all about the business of the nation of Dominica going forward and it will be uplifting, it will be orderly, it will be peaceful.

“I am not associated in any way with anybody who has intentions or who intends to use the cover of the meeting on Sunday for anything other than our stated purpose,” Linton added.

CMC/cjb/ir/2024.

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1 COMMENT

  1. These rogues holding on to power are mischief makers and criminals who like Russia’s putin trying to incriminate people who stand against their corrupt regime!!!

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