Under siege

Senators David Durant and Irene Sandiford-Garner.
Senators David Durant and Irene Sandiford-Garner.

Barbados’ challenged tourism sector needs additional products and other improvements to make it more attractive to visitors, but it is “terrorism” in the form of current crime and violence that is threatening to “hijack” the island’s main money earner.

Government Senator Dr. David Durant voiced his fear today as he contributed to the Estimates Debate in the Senate, referring to the recent shooting of two British tourists, and incidents where two of his pastor friends wearing gold jewellery were attacked.

The Democratic Labour Party spokesman said at the time when tourism was not doing as well as it usually did in light of the global economic downturn, it was important to ensure that the sector was not sabotaged by criminal acts.

“I am concerned with recently the negative publicity that our country has been getting, especially as it relates to the shooting of two British tourists… That is not good publicity for us and we have to do all within our power to really help curb the crime and the violence in our land,” he said.

“I know of two pastor friends of mine who were attacked, one the chain broke but … the other one the chain was snatched right off and the person got away with it. But then when they carry these things and they sell them they are melted maybe immediately so you can never recover your wonderful piece of jewellery.

“And also I am alarmed at … some businesses that may be allowing people to come in with these articles and then take up brand name items in exchange… I know there may not be many that are doing this, but if there are one or two it’s too much. We need to really eradicate this, because they must not be allowed to come and snatch somebody’s piece of jewellery and then be allowed to go and walk out with brand name shoes or pants or shirts or something of that nature,” he added.

Durant said Barbados could not afford to be “hijacked by terrorism in the form of the cash for gold situation that we were warned about recently, where some hoteliers (are) even thinking of putting a sign in their corridors to warn the guests not to wear things out on the road”.

“We are a tourist destination and tourism is our main income earner at this moment and we need to keep that product guarded. And I think all of us must take on a responsibility because we are our brother’s keeper, … and our families are here. When we are gone our grandchildren will be living in this nation and we need to make sure that we leave a good path, a good foundation for them,” he stated.

“So we need to denounce crime and violence and all other atrocities that will negatively impact this island and only bring it into deprivation.” The cleric also said that with the electioneering over and the DLP reelected it was important for all political functionaries to work together for the good of the country.

“It will be a great gift to this island, now that all the electioneering is over, … if we can come to a place where we will see a transformation of our political culture, transcending partisan barriers to see our two parties come together … to cooperate for a better, more developed, more progressive and more prosperous Barbados,” he said.

“If this level of maturity can really just eclipse this hallowed place, both here and the other place, I think our Barbados will be a preferred place to live, to do business, to work and will be much more prosperous, I am sure.

“It is my conviction that every Barbadian should take personal responsibility for increased productivity in this season. With all that is happening around the world, the global crisis, economically, politically, governments being toppled, the sense of insecurity, … high cost of living, high levels of unemployment all over, … I think each of us has a responsibility … to look to increase productivity. (SC)

One Response to Under siege

  1. dan j dooley April 7, 2013 at 6:31 am

    As a tourist that as been coming to this island on and of the last 31 years, you can appreciate that we have seen some changes that as been made on the island some good and some bad, but the one thing that never changes is that politician and there parties, as well as the police force, as a outsider looking in on myriad of occasions i have been a witness that crime is going on right under the polices noses ie drugs to name but a few, the police knows its going on the politicians knows it goes on but still no action is taken to come to gather and save your wonderful island. take the recent crime spree that is over taking the island like a cancer, the rape of 2 Britons Diane Davies and Rachel Turner, both raped in Barbados and the police having the wrong man charged with it, or the 2 Britons 59-year-old Ann Prior and her husband Philip, 72, who were shot during a robbery, or the latest drugs hall with guns involved,
    then these the gold fiasco were you are at risk of having it ripped from your person as you walk, they sued to say that Barbados was one of the safest places to holiday, and that was true many years ago, as a British tourist i hope i have pricked a few ears with my comments, we will still come to the island because we believe things can and must get better not only for the bajans but for your tourists which r the islands life line.


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