Bajan gov't punishing Shanique Myrie
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I am very disturbed at the fact that Shanique Myrie has not been paid the J$3.6 million by the Barbadian government. It is the height of disrespect, and even callousness, that the Barbadian Government seems to have chosen to flout the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), whose rulings it has agreed to abide by.
This impasse between Myrie and the Barbadian government presents the perfect opportunity to all Caribbean countries to show whether they are willing to stand up for justice or be content to hide behind their own fears.
I have no doubt that the Barbadian government is deliberately punishing Myrie. In my consideration, although Barbados is obliged to obey the CCJ's ruling, it is completely up to the government, in its capacity as a sovereign nation, to decide if it wants to pay or not.
However, it has a moral duty to remunerate Myrie. If it does not, it will set a bad precedent, whereby if a Caribbean government does not agree with a CCJ ruling, it will flout the court's orders, as it has a mind to. This could ultimately lead to the demise of the CCJ, just as much as the West Indian Federation in the past, because it could very much be perceived as a toothless court.
The rest of the Caribbean countries should stand up to Barbados. They should impose sanctions on this country until it complies with the ruling. In doing so, they would not only standing up for the rights of one person, but for every Caribbean person's right to justice and fair treatment.
Otherwise, the CCJ will ultimately become a failed experiment, but (more importantly) CARICOM will be seen, in the end, as an incompetent and antiquated institution which cannot guarantee any concrete benefit to its Caribbean citizens. The Barbadian government should be extremely careful of what it is doing, because one day its actions may just come back to haunt it and the Barbadian people.