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Cecil Joseph , manager of DBS , first in row, at the CCJ accession ceremony in 2015
Cecil Joseph , manager of DBS , first in row, at the CCJ accession ceremony in 2015

Opposition leader Lennox Linton has demanded equal application of the law following the breach of carnival Covid-19 protocols by state broadcaster DBS radio.

On Wednesday, 17 February 2021, the Dominica Broadcasting Corporation apologized to Dominicans and the government for breaching the Carnival Covid-19 protocols which restricted the playing of music and the gathering of more than 10 people during the carnival weekend and holidays.

"Management acknowledges its indiscretion and is very regretful of the incident," said Ivona Jno Baptiste-Lugay, the programme director in a statement broadcast on DBS news. "In our quest to keep the spirit of our culture alive, we unintentionally deviated from the regulations."

Just before the carnival weekend, Rayburn Blackmore, the minister of national security, informed the nation of measures that government had taken to minimize risks of a surge in coronavirus cases in Dominica. The measures were in effect for the 15th and 16th of February, 2021.

"(There shall be) no gatherings of more than 10 or more persons in a public place including gathering at a camp for religious institutions or other purposes," Minister Blackmore said in a press statement, adding that "there will be no playing of music in public places using loudspeakers or other forms of amplification."

Acting Chief of Police, Lincoln Corbette added that "The police have received several applications to hold events island wide over the weekend. All of these proposed events have been disallowed…"

But on 15 February, DBS held an event featuring lapau cabrit music, that dozens attended, when the crowd spilled from the studios to the streets outside. "Management forcefully condemned what transpired," said Jno Baptiste-Lugay adding the DBS will continue promoting adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

Recalling the government's treatment Vascort Jones, a resident of Marigot and an employee of the Dominica Air and See Ports authority, Linton said on Q95 FM on Friday that he's observing how the police and government treat DBS's breach of the law.

In December 2014, Jones had asked Linton, the parliamentary representative for Marigot to produce a permit to be able travel to Antigua with a few crab backs; Linton did not have the required permit and so Jones asked Linton to return the crab backs to someone outside the Douglas Charles Airport terminal.

The CEO Benoit Bardouille fired Jones for apparent gross misconduct. Jones is still unemployed, Linton said.


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