Thursday 6th April, 2017
Your Excellency Charles A. Savarin
President of the Commonwealth of Dominica
Commonwealth of Dominica
In our letter to you dated March 9th, 2017, we sought urgent action from the Head of State to rid Dominica of the disgrace to its international image occasioned by the corrupt and roguish conduct of Roosevelt Skerrit as Prime Minister. We also took issue with the misrepresentations in your address to the Nation on February 22nd, 2017 engineered to put our political organization- the official Parliamentary Opposition of Dominica – in bad light.
Quite contrary to the statement in your letter dated March 27th, 2017 that our letter “is replete with accusations and allegations against the Honourable Prime Minister and the President”, we merely stated the truth and facts of the state of governance in Dominica which require urgent action from lawful authority responsible for protecting our beloved nation from the excesses of reckless, incompetent, corrupt leadership.
As you are very well aware, Dominica has been plunged into a severe crisis of confidence by the actions and associations of Roosevelt Skerrit with international racketeers, money launderers and fugitives from justice who pose continuing threats to global peace and security.
While you addressed the nation on the disturbances of February 7th, 2017, you have so far found it impossible to address the nation on the systematic destruction of the country’s international image triggered by the Prime Minister's disgraceful and utterly corrupt agenda of abusing public office and public trust to secure unprecedented self enrichment at any cost. Once again, we ask you to pay attention to these incontrovertible truths in the record of governance, now under your watch, and act decisively in the public interest:
1) Since 2004, Mr. Skerrit has presided over a corrupt Economic Citizenship program that has compromised the global security architecture against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The procedure advertised for getting Dominican citizenship has been breached in some cases to selectively sidestep due diligence on applicants and/or grant citizenship without any evidence of payment of money into the government’s citizenship account;
2) Mr. Skerrit has persisted with the practice of selling diplomatic passports and diplomatic immunity under the table, in flagrant violation of the 1961 United Nations Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, to a band of international rogues and vagabonds, some of whom (e.g. NG Lap Seng, Francesco Corallo, Eric Torner, Alison Madueke and Alireza Zibahalat Monfared) have been arrested for international crimes while holding Dominica diplomatic passports;
3) The leadership of Dominica, a member country of the United Nations, is now associated with a scheme to violate United Nations sanctions against Iran involving the use of Dominican registered vessels transporting sanctioned Iranian oil. One of the operatives, Alireza Monfared, an economic citizen of Dominica since 2009 (accused of stealing billions from the sanctions busting scheme) was a Skerrit appointed diplomat of Dominica and was actually harbored, aided and abetted in Dominica as a fugitive wanted to face Justice in Iran. His non-existent companies in Dominica were defended as real by Mr. Skerrit after he wined and dined members of the Skerrit regime in Malaysia with the proceeds of his crimes;
4) Dominica is heading for a major economic collapse and record levels of poverty and dependency because of Mr. Skerrit’s appalling failure to get the fundamentals of economic growth right and his refusal to steer the country away from wholesale reliance on uncertain economic citizenship revenues;
5) Having declared that the country will not survive without revenues from government’s economic citizenship program, Mr. Skerrit is now unable to ensure that the program meets the requirements of the global banking industry for the prevention of money laundering and counteracting the financing of terrorism. Consequently, international banks operating in Dominica believe the government’s economic citizenship revenues are too risky to touch and the locally owned bank is severely challenged to maintain its correspondent banking connection to the global banking industry as a result of the failure of government to manage the program with integrity, transparency and accountability;
6) Taken together, the actions of the Roosevelt Skerrit led government of Dominica – a member of the ECCU and a member state of CARICOM - represent a contingent liability to the regional monetary system and the ideals of regionalism;
7) There is mounting evidence that Dominica is clearly a rogue state within CARICOM and the International community. Indeed, the conduct of the Dominica government under Roosevelt Skerrit is endangering the close union forged among OECS countries where there now exists a clear and present danger that rogues, bandits and those hiding from the law elsewhere in the international community could find safe haven based on the existing protocols within the OECS.
We do not believe that the Skerrit administration can be left to bungle its way through these serious issues for which it accepts no responsibility while Dominica and the rest of the region suffer.
In response to your request for guidance on the Constitutional provisions that allow you to remove the Prime Minister from office, you need to recall the events leading up to the removal of Patrick John from the Office of Prime Minister 38 years ago and your role and conduct in those events as General Secretary of the Civil Service Association and Chairman of the Committee for National Salvation. History records your references to “prime movers” that facilitated “the constitutional application of the rule of law” in “the constitutional removal of the government”.
As someone who, back in 1979, saw the then Prime Minister as “dangerous to the country and dangerous to the region as a whole” for far less than the grave leadership misdemeanours that the current Prime Minister is involved in, we are sure you appreciate the necessity of decisive Presidential action, even if it means invoking the ‘doctrine of necessity’ to save Dominica from further destruction.
Accordingly, having served as a key player in the 1979 change of government, it is incumbent on you to use that valuable experience in the noble cause of releasing the Office of Prime Minister from the stranglehold of corruption, incompetence and international disgrace. You should know, better than anyone else in this country at this time, that given the crystal, clear case of serious misconduct in public office against the Prime Minister, nothing in our 1978 Constitution prevents you as Head of State from requesting his immediate resignation and inviting the support of the Parliament to secure his removal. That, Your Excellency, is the only honorable course of action available to you in the circumstances of this worsening national crisis.
Instead, we note with interest your own clever creation of legal provisions to support the propaganda machine of government in its sinister plan to use a series of false accusations to intimidate the Parliamentary Opposition away from its demand for the resignation of Roosevelt Skerrit.
For example, you claimed in your address to the nation:
“Thus while one has the fundamental rights to assemble and to exchange ideas, if such assembly involves the closure or blocking of any public road, restricting the free access of pedestrians and/or vehicles, it is necessary to comply with the provisions of the Public Order Act Chapter 15:01 and apply to the Chief of Police for permission, and in the granting of such permission, which should not be unreasonably withheld, the Chief of Police may impose such conditions as may be reasonably justifiable in the interest of public order, public health, public safety, etc.
“In that regard, by letter dated 6th February, 2017 addressed to the Public Relations Officer of the United Workers Party, permission was given by the Chief of Police for the holding of a public meeting on upper Kennedy Avenue on Tuesday, the 7th of February, 2017, between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m…”
Your Excellency, the Public Order Act Chapter 15:01 has ten sections. None of these ten sections include any provision requiring any group or individual to apply to the Chief of Police for permission to hold a public meeting in any circumstance. Yet you conveniently manufactured your own legal provisions and falsely attributed them to the Public Order Act thereby creating deceitful grounds for your prejudicial accusations against the United Workers Party that it violated conditions to a permission granted by the police which has absolutely no legal basis.
For the avoidance of doubt, we state again:
1) The public meeting of February 7th, 2017 was lawful, orderly and peaceful in every respect and every aspect. We did not require police permission to hold the meeting and the police had no authority to determine the starting and ending time for the meeting. There is no such law in the Commonwealth of Dominica. The agreement to move the meeting time from 12-6 to 11-3 came as an act of good faith in our on-going commitment to work harmoniously with the police as far as is humanly possible within the restrictions of our democratic freedoms. It was in no way an agreement to be bound by the dictates of unreasonable, unlawful authority exercised to suit the dictatorial fancies and whims of Roosevelt Skerrit;
2) At the start of his address to the meeting, Hon Lennox Linton pointed out that the event had progressed for more than three hours with absolutely no challenge to the police authority and no incident of lawlessness or disorder. He explained, this meant that the people had come in peace for the business of the meeting and would leave in peace at the end of the meeting. Hon Linton said notwithstanding the apparent anxiety of the police for the meeting to end promptly at 3:00 pm, there was no threat to peace or security and since there was no law authorizing the police to decide when the meeting should end, “meeting will finish when the meeting is finished”. He repeatedly called for peace and good order;
3) The public meeting ended peacefully and with absolutely no breach of the Public Order Act at 4:32 p.m., hours before the violence and vandalism erupted following senseless police provocation of a stand-off with a group of persons determined to protest a police decision to have the truck with the sound system proceed east to west on Kennedy Avenue; and
4) Statements to law enforcement and the court by persons accused of involvement in the violence and vandalism have indicated they acted out of anger and frustration with certain owners of the damaged properties who had previously subjected them to unfair treatment.
Your address to the Nation two weeks after February 7th, 2017, makes no mention of the blatantly false and destructive claim by Roosevelt Skerrit on February 8th, 2017 that members of the Parliamentary Opposition were involved in a “coup by truck” against his administration. Amazingly, your choice as President was to concoct a bogus case of blame against the Parliamentary Opposition to justify this reprehensible act of dishonesty from the Office of Prime Minister notwithstanding its savage assault on the international image of Dominica. This, Your Excellency, is not how a President demonstrates fairness and impartiality in the public interest.
At this time of crisis, the nation expects you as its chief servant and principal embodiment of the common good to “do the right, be firm, be fair…” as you act on behalf of the God fearing people of good conscience from all walks of life in Dominica to expedite the removal of Roosevelt Skerrit from the Office of Prime Minister which his roguish, corrupt conduct has so thoroughly disgraced.
United Workers Party (Dominica)
Parliamentary Opposition Leader