Is Salisbury an Illegal Development?
On Thursday June 11th 2015, the Government of Dominica in a decisive demonstration, decided to demolish the village of Salisbury. The community of Salisbury, it is a fact, never received Physical Planning and Development Authority permission to build, or to prosper. For three straight elections the ruling party now the current Government authority, warned the people of Salisbury that the squatter settlement which is Salisbury would not be facilitated, with road maintenance, and even essential life-giving water from time to time.
On Thursday June 11th 2015 the Government of Dominica sent members of the Commonwealth of Dominica's Police Service to kidnap the alleged six principal architects of Salisbury's illegal village building programme. The Salisbury Six are Keith Bougouneau, Alex Howe, Hilary John, Gilbert Frederick, Christina Eusebe and Peter Vidal. Yes, we the citizens of Dominica care that a community should be provided with proper roads and such infrastructure. We cannot promote the creation of a slum in Salisbury. As the Government insists, Salisbury must have proper roads, and proper drainage. It is matter of health and wealth. The haphazard development proclaimed by Salisbury's rural development experts, must not be tolerated. Farm access roads for Salisbury must absolutely be handled by central Government expertise, and not by amateur, self-appointed developers like Keith Bougouneau, Alex Howe, Hilary John, Gilbert Frederick, Christina Eusebe and Peter Vidal. We concede, we agree, you are right.
The self-same day, June 11th, the Government sent in a Komatsu loader to begin demolishing the illegal debris (including persons) which is Salisbury village. The loader remained on site, to ensure future road works are properly and professionally attended to. For the last three elections the people of Salisbury have been repeatedly served notice by the Government of Dominica that the village would be entered under authority, of the Physical Planning Act of 2002, ably supported by military police on live ammunition steroids. I don't exactly mind the expired tear gas. Brand new stuff may be much worse.
The lovely, non-partisan Constitution of Dominica assures citizens freedom of movement. A person shall not be deprived his freedom of movement that is to say the right to move freely throughout Dominica. The right to eat does not allow the right to steal food. The right to enjoy carnal pleasures does not allow us a right to force our desires. The right to use money does not allow us a right to embezzle. Our right to protest our grievances, does not afford us a right simply block Salisbury road, or any other. It's our country we expect to move unimpeded. In Salisbury we cannot move, as would be reasonably expected to our farms. These farms are our places of employment.
The Government of Dominica has blocked the roads to Salisbury heights, and to the area commonly called Carholme. Instead of a road building or maintenance programme, the Government of Dominica has implemented an active road blocking programme. In effect there is an ongoing economic blockade in the Parish of St Joseph. The road to Salisbury heights is torturously, riotously, and tumultuously barely passable, even for four wheeled drive type vehicles. The road to Carholme is a bit less deplorable.
The constitution of Dominica exist for us all. The question is who actually first blocked the roads? The residents of Salisbury, or the Government of Dominica? If putting debris in the road is a crime. What then is utilizing seasonal rains, and time to literally demolish the farm access roads? Neglect is an action too! People have a right to life, and therefore to a livelihood. The law is an equal opportunity employer, not a convenient tool of oppression, or a big stick to ensure compliance to coercion and calculated, malicious, discrimination.
You go to work, the people of Salisbury need to go to work too, and yes, we don't all work in the tourism, or the telecommunications industry. Visit our roads, post a pic on your social media page. Thank you, and sorry for the inconvenience.