Saturday 5 December, 2020

Former Prime Minister reflects on US intervention in Grenada - Pt Two

Former Prime Minister of Grenada Tillman Thomas.

Former Prime Minister of Grenada Tillman Thomas.

Thanksgiving Day.  

It’s a holiday observed in Grenada on October 25 — the day citizens commemorate the anniversary of the intervention of US and Caribbean military forces on the island in 1983, following the execution of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop.

It’s a day that former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas is grateful for. 

Before he became prime minister, Thomas was a political detainee during the early 1980s.  

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As Grenada reflects this Thanksgiving Day, he believes Grenadians and Caribbean people should be at the forefront of guarding and protecting their institutions and democracy.  

He said: “At the end of the day we would be beneficiaries of the system. If the system works well, then we would live in an atmosphere of peace and harmony.”  

In 1981, Thomas together with Lloyd Noel and the late Leslie Pierre published a newspaper The Grenadian Voice. 

After its second publication, they were detained, locked away from July 11, 1981 to October 26, 1983.  

The former Grenada Prime Minister told Loop News that a free and independent media is needed. He noted that it was one of the problems they encountered in the revolution and even up to today.  

He accused the media of not asking the hard questions: 

“Those in authority always try to manipulate the media. The media in Grenada claim to be independent but they do not speak out, they not question those in authority, they do not ask the hard questions.  

This is something as a Caribbean people we should really set out to have, an independent media. The media should stand up for what is right.

The media should not be yielding to a government and co-operating with those in authority but to look for the truth to bring to the people.”  

Meanwhile, Thomas said more people should also get involved in the political process:  

“Don’t shy away from politics, it affects our lives. If we are involved, we will be able to keep those in office in check. Those who are elected to office do not have a monopoly on what is good for the country. People have ideas and people should let their views should be heard.” 

He further added that citizens need to become more involved after voting at election time as democracy is an ongoing business in which people must be constantly involved in the process.  

Thomas stated that when decisions are made, citizens must be aware of it and able to influence the direction in which a country is heading. 

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