SVG

Opposition supports embattled outspoken public servant

Anesia Baptiste is accused of making comments likely to bring the Public Service "into disrepute" (File photo by Oris Robinson)

TAIPEI, Taiwan:- The opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) says it will support an outspoken public servant against whom disciplinary proceedings have begun for criticizing the Dr. Ralph Gonsalves government in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

Anesia Baptiste, Communication Manager at the Ministry of Tourism, has been slapped with 16 charges relating to comments she made during last year’s Constitution Referendum campaign, in her newspaper column, and on radio and television.

Baptiste, who says she hopes to be the country’s first female prime minister, spoke at several “Vote No” events, sponsored by the NDP, at which she encouraged Vincentians to vote against Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party (ULP) in the upcoming elections.

She has until March 2 to respond to the charges, which say her comments were “likely to bring the public service into disrepute” and were “prejudicial to the proper administration of government business”.

Leader of the Opposition and NDP head Arnhim Eustace on Wednesday asked if similar actions were being taken against other public officers who spoke on behalf of the government-sponsored “Yes” campaign.

Eustace said Baptiste, 29, has made a “tremendous contribution” to the country, noting her “role” during the constitution debate and Vincentian society in general.

“I want to know whether a number of the other people who were on the platform for the ULP [would] have charges too. But I say one thing here … the New Democratic Party will take action on this matter,” Eustace said.

Baptiste is being called out because she “publicly criticized major government policies and personalities, in particular the government foreign policy”.

She is also accused of showing support “so strident as to be seen to be personally pushing an agenda of individuals in an opposition party”.

The charges say she also accused Gonsalves of “autocratic and coercive behaviour … recklessly and improperly making unwarranted and unsubstantiated accusation of impropriety” against him, saying that he holds “communist ideologies” and likened his government to a “communist regime”.

Baptiste told I Witness-News on Thursday that the charges were “unfounded” and she would defend herself.

She said that she while she was critical of the ULP she had not done anything that hinders the administration of the work of the Ministry of Tourism. (Follow I Witness-News on Facebook)

“I am not bound to support party opinions, though it is the party in government. I have a duty to my conscience and free political opinion and expression while I serve the state and people of SVG,” she said.

She said that some of the charges resulted from her defense of her Thusian Institute for Religious Liberty against claim made in the ULP’s newspaper column.

“[The ULP was] charging us with being theocratic and saying we want to establish our religion as a state religion. I actually exposed this in my TV programs and articles, condemning it as spreading falsehoods,” Baptiste said.

Discussion

6 thoughts on “Opposition supports embattled outspoken public servant

  1. (Mark 4:18-19 NIV) Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; {19} but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.

    (Rev 18:4-5 NIV) Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; {5} for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.

    (1 John 2:15-17 NIV) Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. {16} For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. {17} The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

    (Mat 20:25-28 NIV) Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. {26} Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, {27} and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– {28} just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    As I read this comment I felt a need to share these scriptual ‘comments’. I am certain that there are a few scriptures in The Bible that will add fuel to the young lady’s cause and her conviction for such is the nature of The Bible. It however burdens my heart that she has become so engrossed in this battle that she might be slipping from what she calls “truth”.

    At the end of the day one question remains as it is an undeniable fact the ULP IS the Government, the make the policies that she as a senior civil servant by duty has to enforce and it matters not what ‘department’ she works for she represents said policies; how then can she damn and condemn on one stage but remain a part of the corruption. I know many will say that this is a question that can be used to ‘pressure’ her into a resignation but as Christians we seriously can not serve two masters. The missionary work of Christ touched on all from beggars, thives to Kings however at not part was he furthering the corruption of those he found to be tainted.

    This puzzles me and I fear she has lost sight of her calling and is being lured by the need for power, maybe God has called her to be a leader, maybe like so many great Biblical men she has misinterpreted this calling and has now allowed her ambitions to take over.

    Posted by Anesha | February 18, 2010, 07:57
  2. Lord have mercy on us all, please help us to understand the BIBLE; if you notice LORD we would search the whole BIBLE to find a potion of scripture that speaks to everything under the sun. LORD we know the BIBLE is the book of life, but LORD you also gave us wisdom, you know we must live, so we must work to buy food for sustenance an to pay all other bills, oh HEAVENLY FATHER please provide us with jobs [if there is any at all] where there is no corruption, because LORD you know we could be blamed for that Corruption even though we are not part of the policy making at our work place. LORD this world is full of people who knows it all when it comes to criticizing others, but would have a blind eye to look at the wrongs [perceived] of their selves and their friends, LORD help us to see things in a balanced way, LORD help us not to elevate ourselves as JUDGE of mankind, but to know our place as just humble beings, let us recognize that you and you alone is the SUPREME JUDGE. LORD last of all, help us not to use your BIBLE as a weapon to strike down others. Thank you for your patience FATHER and please answer our prayer.

    Posted by Bryan Alexander | February 18, 2010, 10:46
  3. Why is Ralph allowing his government to go after this young lady? It’s unwise because people may start associating his behaviour with that of his friend in Venezuela and Iran. These guys are using force to stifle democratic free speech. Is this what he’s wants for the island?
    He’d be wise to stop this nonsense. This would give more ammunition to the opposition to label him a tyrant. Incidentally the young lady’s assessments of Ralph are dead on. It like the song says, “Man can’t take butt”. Ralph can take criticism.

    Posted by Vere | February 19, 2010, 16:29

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