Thomas Letang
Thomas Letang

Dominica Public Service Union Independence Message 2013

Yes, we can

Fellow Dominicans, if actions were allowed to be louder than words Dominica would have been far more advanced. Pronouncements and statements emanating from public and official functions are forgotten and ignored as soon as the event is over.

Many people no longer have the urge to attend certain functions because too often the one issuing the statement is not an example of what is being said.

The selection of this year's independence theme: One Mission, One Dominica, Celebrating 35 was well thought of. In the mind of the person who proposed the theme must have been words and phrases such as unity, oneness, togetherness, common goals and interest, success and achievements. At 35 years of political independence we are still a young nation but old enough to have done the things which could have made us the envy of the region, in spite of our size. Instead after 35 years we are more divided than we were a few years ago. We seem to have less tolerance of opposing views. Many of our values and principles are not being adhered to. Many behaviors and habits which were considered as taboo appear to be normal even among those who vigorously opposed them in the past. The line between morality and immorality is getting thinner every day. The confidence which once existed in different institutions is gradually eroding. Family values are not as important as they used to be. Unity and solidarity among employees have been replaced by individual selfishness.

Considering all this, the question is, 'Is there any hope that with one mission and as one Dominica, will we after 35 years achieve the desired results of a small developing independent state? The answer is simply 'Yes we can'; however, to do so calls for a reflection of the leadership which we have displayed as politicians, trade unionist, professionals, church leaders, community leaders, business owners among others. We should be mature enough to accept mistakes where they have been made and be prepared to make fresh starts.

Moving forward means a shift from a system of exclusion to one of inclusion regardless of political preference, religious affiliation, social status or gender. Accommodation of, and respect for opposing views are of paramount importance. Putting country before self cannot be over emphasized.

We should not in the midst of our celebration lose track of the fact that we have much to celebrate but so much still to achieve.

On behalf of the Executive Committee, general membership and staff of the Dominica Public Service Union I wish every fellow Dominican a happy and enjoyable independence.