National Address By Prime Minister Hon. Tillman Thomas
Friday, August 3, 2012 10:15 AM - St. George's, Grenada
Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Grenadians,
Over the past few weeks we have experienced a sad spate of violence which has given rise to fear and concern among the general population. These occurrences are definitely un-Grenadian in character.
We offer condolences to the bereaved families and we ask God’s comfort to all those affected. Equally, the families of the perpetrators must also be undergoing considerable pain and embarrassment brought on by these traumatic occurrences.
In fact, our entire society is hurt and aggrieved.
My government is deeply disturbed by these developments, especially as they are primarily linked to personal and domestic circumstances. Arising from a meeting of my national security team today, is the immediate activation of a taskforce involving law enforcement, the religious community and non governmental agencies.
This group will spearhead approaches to improving general community relations and identify potential areas of need for engagement through counseling or the appropriate involvement of the police.
I also met with a group of religious leaders and re-committed government to a continued social partnership with the churches. As a result of this meeting there was an agreement that Sunday August 5th 2012, will be declared a national day of prayer as we together seek God’s help in healing and uniting our nation. I thank our spiritual leaders for their support and initiative in this regard.
Our primary duty is to encourage greater understanding, tolerance and better anger management, whether in the home or the community, so as to bring an end to these troubling events. It is for this reason that I have asked Pastor Gerard Keens Douglas to say a special prayer for our nation following this message.
We need at this time, to mobilize the entire Nation in a collective approach that spans political and religious considerations for the better protection of the society as a whole.
I appeal to every citizen, to exercise restraint in the face of provocation, perceived embarrassment, personal loss and deprivation.
Psalm 37 verse 8 says” refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret, it leads only to evil”.
I make a special appeal to all Grenadians to pray for the protection of life and for humane treatment of each other in their respective villages and communities. The people of St. David must at this time draw on their deep spirituality to cope with this latest trauma. We assure you that all of Grenada supports and stands with you in this time of grief.
While our government has strengthened laws related to violence against women, it is crucial that each individual, every single Grenadian, respects life. We must see life as such a beautiful thing, that none of us should want to take it away from someone else.
Grenada is known for the friendliness of its people and the safety and security we offer to our visitors. We must do all we can to ensure we maintain that enviable reputation.
Violence of any kind gives a bad impression of our country and betrays the very loving and peaceful foundations on which our communities have been built.
I commend the Royal Grenada Police Force for their efforts thus far in maintaining the peace. However, we must all see it as our patriotic duty to protect that peace. Crime and violence of any sort can easily destroy what we have taken years to build. It is of even greater importance as we begin our season of festivals. During the first two weeks of August, we will be hosting the world at Carriacou Regatta, Rainbow City Festival and Carnival.
In addition, we are hosting Grenadians who are returning home, some for the very first time, as part of our Diaspora Home Coming. Those of us who live here must welcome each participant, family member or friend who has come to spend some time with us during this period.
We look forward to sharing ideas and recommendations that will strengthen the link between Grenadians at home and our countrymen and women in the Diaspora. The Grenadian Diaspora is rich and fertile territory; it is a natural extension of our beloved homeland across the seas. The Diaspora too is well positioned to play its part as we embark upon the task of Producing Our Way to Prosperity.
Ladies & Gentlemen, Fellow Citizens…
There is yet another important reason for us to have an attitude of hope and sharing, during this period. Truly speaking, this August 2012, we present ‘Grenada to the World’. Our country is well represented at the 2012 London Olympics. The entire Grenada team is fully equipped and energized with the ‘Spice Spirit’ that is uniquely ours.
Every Grenadian son and daughter on the Olympics field in London has our total and complete support as they engage in competition. The fact that the Grenada flag is displayed on screens around the world when our athletes compete is in itself priceless.
Participating is worthy and memorable, while winning at any level, even just a preliminary event, adds to the value of the Grenada Brand. All I ask of each member of our team, on your behalf, is their best. We wish them well and look forward to the additional opportunities their participation will bring to themselves and to the promotion of our dear country.
Our Olympic athletes are giving to our country; we must give to them the best that we can as a nation in return regardless of whether they win medals. I therefore wish you a peaceful and enjoyable season of festivals of which we can all be justly proud.