(CMC) – The St Vincent and the Grenadines Reparations Committee (SVGRC) is calling on the government to re-name the Victoria Park “with a name more befitting and independence country” as the nation celebrates its 39th year of political independence from Britain on Saturday.
“Our history is replete with outstanding statesmen, women and symbols from which we can choose,” the Committee said, noting that it is mindful of the fact that ever so often there are flickers of enlightened and nationalist thought and action from local leaders.
“We commend the move to rename the National Insurance Scheme to National Insurance Service, the rewording of the oath of office for elected and high state officials that now entrust them to work for the people of our country and upholding our constitution rather than for the queen, her heirs and assigns. The programme of renaming, reclaiming and renewal must be strengthened and given real meaning and life.
“Therefore, the SVG Reparations Committee is of the view that these flickers of conscious light must become a flame. The Independence anniversary celebration is a good time to rename the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force to the SVG Police Service,’ it added.
The SVGRC said that it was also calling on the Ralph Gonsalves government “to move swiftly to do all in its powers to find ways to recognize and integrate our heroic Garifuna brothers and sisters in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and the United States in our cultural and national plans of development.
“The SVG Reparations Committee remains steadfast in the view that Independence and Reparations will remain empty slogans unless an untiring effort is made to lift the consciousness of people on all issues related to their history and place in the world.”
It said it was also urging the government and other stakeholders, including the churches, trade unions and other civic bodies “to turn our country into a school so that our nation and people will learn its history, abandon Eurocentric ways of thinking and living and turn to a new consciousness that is critical and necessary for surviving in these modern times”.
Meanwhile, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Christian Council said the occasion provides an opportunity for the nation to reflect on its progress over the past years and the contributions made by ordinary and prominent citizens.
“Often the developmental narrative focuses on the economic and infrastructural and less attention is paid to moral, social, spiritual and cultural advancement. These are crucial to the development of our nation. “The promotion of Vincentian values, and activities through which the importance of respect, honesty, integrity, credibility, acceptance and understanding diversity are inculcated are very important for the growth and forward movement of our nation,” the Council said.
“As we celebrate our thirty ninth anniversary of independence let us not only focus our minds on the economical, institutional, infra-structural, and intellectual development of our nation but also on the moral, social, spiritual and cultural development as well.”