Cabral Douglas says he's going to the CCJ over Tommy Lee
It's not over until it's over.
That, unfortunately, is the situation concerning the controversy over the Jamaican Dancehall artiste Tommy Lee who in 2014 was refused entry into Dominica to perform in Portsmouth at the invitation of Cabral Douglas, the son of the late Prime Minister Rosie Douglas.
Cabral has now threatened to take the matter to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) over what he calls the "illegal arrest, detention and deportation of international recording artiste and skilled Caribbean Community national Leroy Russell aka Tommy Lee."
"Just because Dominica is one of the smaller countries in CARICOM does not excuse the small mindedness demonstrated by the leadership of that country...if anyone can be accused to practicing evil, its certainly not Tommy Lee but rather the leadership of Dominica as evidenced by the barbaric, vindictive and inhumane treatment of innocent skilled CARICOM nationals contracted to work in Dominica, Douglas said in a press statement.
He added: "The cancellation of the international stage show has given rise various monetary damages claims by Mr. Douglas, in addition to the damages claims made on behalf of the Jamaican claimants which have been channeled through the Jamaican office of the Attorney General for various breaches under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC).
"How can Dominica hypocritically advocate for free movement it its capacity as chair of CARICOM on the one hand, whilst arbitrarily detaining, deporting and humiliating skilled CARICOM nationals contracted to work in Dominica on the other?
"This is an affront to the spirit of regional Integration he added".
Douglas, an Attorney at Law, said he and his lawyers has spent " significant time preparing, substantiating and submitting these claims" but " it now appears that the Government of Dominica has unilaterally reneged on their commitment to have the matter settled out of court as indicated in the attached communiqué dated May 18, 2016".
"I think the refusal of the Skerrit administration to honour its Treaty obligations as it pertains to the free movement of skilled community nationals not only poses a grave danger to the economic interests Dominican individuals and corporate entities seeking to contract with skilled CARICOM nationals but it also undermines the credibility of CARICOM itself, and Dominica's position as Chair responsible for the implementation of free movement within its quasi-cabinet," Douglas wrote in the press release..
"I suspect that Roosevelt Skerrit, a man that has already declared to Dominicans locally that no law/no constitution can stop him...is now promoting the same lawlessness within CARICOM. If his objective is to isolate Dominica as a backward police state with no regards for human rights, free movement and free enterprise then he should be man enough withdraw from CARICOM, suspend the constitution and declare martial law in Dominica," he said.
Douglas said he has appointed a Trinidad based Senior Counsel to lead the litigation phase of this matter.
"As long as the rule of law still exists within CARICOM, I will be seeking special leave to appear before the CCJ to enforce my rights and the rights of CARICOM nationals under relevant provisions of the (RTC) as I remain committed to the principles of regional integration, human rights and free enterprise which are the foundations of economic development in Dominica and the Caribbean region, as intended by the framers of the RTC."
Douglas said the Government of Dominica on May 3, 2015 publicly announced their desire for an amicable negotiated settlement to these claims.
But that's not what Attorney General Levi Peter told the Sun when he was asked for a story that we published earlier this year.
In that story Peter contradicted a statement that Bert Samuels (Tommy Lee's lawyer) made to the Sun indicating the Government of Dominica had accepted responsibility for the deportation of the Jamaican artiste.