NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (July 10, 2014) — The following is the full text of a statement made by Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory on July 10, 2014, at his Bath Plain office, on the impending performance of Jamaican artiste Alkaline in Nevis scheduled for July 12, 2014.
“My fellow Nevisians,
I speak to you today on a matter which has been very heavily debated in the media. That matter is the unfortunate impending performance by an artiste out of Jamaica known as Alkaline.
Without going into any detail of the artiste’s performances and the lyrics of his items, he peddles on the stage. I wish to state that the Cabinet of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) does not support this event here in Nevis.
Some two weeks ago, I voiced my serious objections to this artiste being allowed to perform here in Nevis and assumed that this matter had been put to rest having not heard anything further until yesterday.
Yesterday at Cabinet, we discussed this matter because we heard that the performance was taking place on Saturday the 12th. I immediately sent a note to the Commissioner of Police indicating that I was not in support, nor was the Cabinet in support of this artiste’s being given permission to perform here in Nevis.
In addition to that, there have been no indication from the Permanent Secretary or the Inland Revenue Department that there had been any approach, any application made for the Ministry of Finance to have oversight of this performance and, therefore, we were not apprised of the impending performance.
I can assure you that the NIA had not given any authority, any permission for this performance to take place as we had not been approached to deal with the matter of ticket sales and entertainment tax and so on for this function.
Ladies and gentlemen, while we cannot legislate for morality and for human behaviour, it is still necessary that your government take a stand on matters that have the potential to further cause deterioration in our social environment.
I wish to read to you what I wrote to the Commissioner of Police yesterday asking him to consider the position of the Administration and myself in not giving permission. I read:
‘To the Commissioner,
I have been informed that a visiting artiste, Alkaline, out of Jamaica is scheduled to perform in Nevis on Saturday, 12th July, 2014.
The Nevis Island Administration is not aware of any such permission having been granted by the Police, nor has any request been made to the NIA for the Ministry of Finance to have oversight of the Entertainment Tax.
Kindly note, that the Nevis Island Administration, in Cabinet, has taken a decision not to support grant of permission, to allow this artiste to perform here in Nevis on the grounds that the performance could elicit lewdness and lyrics which may further aggravate the already fragile social environment and the very impressionable young people about whom we are very concerned.
Sir, I am asking that if such permission has been granted that it be revoked, as the NIA is not in favour of this performance taking place here in Nevis.
I would appreciate, Sir, if I could have an urgent response and that the promoter(s) of this event be immediately informed, that the permission has been withdrawn, if already granted or it be withheld to protect our society.’
That was my note to the Commissioner but Ladies and Gentlemen, I, in fact, erred. I, in fact, should have sent that note to the Assistant Commissioner of Police here in Nevis but my understanding was that the artiste had come into St. Kitts, as that is where the promoters had invited him and that the permission had been granted there.
Shortly after sending that note to the Commissioner, I penned another note. This time to the Assistant Commissioner Robert Liburd who is in charge of the Nevis Division of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and this is my note to him:
‘Dear Assistant Commissioner,
Please see attached a copy of a note I sent to Commissioner of Police C.G. Walwyn re: Performance by “Alkaline” in Nevis on 12th July, 2014.
I apologise for sending the note directly to Commissioner of Police Walwyn, but I was under the impression, that the promoter had applied in St. Kitts for permission. This note is self-explanatory and I crave your assistance.
cc Mr. Hilroy Brandy Superintendent of Police’.
Today after further information and after further concerns from a number of persons, I wrote to the Assistant Commissioner of Police but this after I had tried to get in touch by telephone with the Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr. Stafford Liburd to discuss the matter with him without success.
I, however, left two messages for him and those messages would have been recorded on his cell phone but let me read what I wrote to Assistant Commissioner Robert Liburd and copied to Superintendent Hilroy Brandy.
‘Dear ACP Liburd,
This correspondence is in relation to the granting of permission for a performance by a Jamaican artiste Alkaline. I was advised, yesterday 9th July, by Superintendent Brandy that he has given permission for this performance to take place at the Caribbean Cove on Saturday, 12th July, 2014.
Yesterday, after discussion with members of Cabinet, I sent to the Commissioner of Police [COP], a note setting out my concern, asking for the permission to be withheld if it had not been already granted or to be withdrawn, if it had in fact been granted. Please note, that I was not aware that such permission had been granted and was in fact hoping that it had not been granted, as no application to hold such a performance had been received by the NIA and no permission had been granted by the NIA through the Ministry of Finance as is required.
I set out in the note to the COP and later sent to you and Superintendent Brandy, the rationale for my request. On added information, I am now directing, with the authority as set out in the Constitution Section 107 (1) (a) and (b), that the permission already granted by the Police be withdrawn in accordance with the provisions of the said Constitution and that it be made abundantly clear, that the promoters had not received any permission to stage such an event.
I await your response in this matter.
cc Supt. Hilroy Brandy’
My fellow citizens, I am aware that there are people who may want this performance but I am also aware, that a significant number of concerned citizens, citizens who mean well for this country, that they are seriously protesting granting permission for this artiste to hold this performance here in Nevis and I myself, as I said some two or more weeks ago indicating my displeasure, that this was being contemplated.
I am not aware that my Ministry of Finance was officially contacted. I am not aware that the Administration was contacted. I am acting on the premise that the Police gave permission and I am hereby asking the Police to rescind that permission.
That is all that we can do and I am doing this in the best interest of all the people of Nevis and I think that we, as government, must stand up, stand up against things which we condemn, things which are not beneficial to our people, things which can create detriment to our young people – our impressionable young people – and things which we feel will not help to improve the environment in which we live, especially as we are contending and contesting with activities – criminal and anti-social behaviour.
I think your government, is doing what is right and I will take the full brunt of any criticism for what has transpired.
Thank you and may God bless us all.