CASTRIES, St Lucia — St Lucia has become the latest Caribbean Community (Caricom) country to place a ban on Jamaican dancehall singer, Vybz Kartel, who had been scheduled to perform here at the end of the month.A statement from the St Lucian government today noted that in deciding whether or not to grant a work permit to the singer, the government had deliberately refrained from rushing
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to a judgement by establishing an adhoc committee to discuss the request from the promoters.
It said that the committee was required to look at a number of factors, including a comprehensive research of the history of the artiste, solicit views and opinions of key institutions and organisations in the country and determine the general impact of the artiste’s performance on the population, particularly the youth.
“Having looked carefully at the significant amount of information presented, and considering the views and opinions of the many individuals and institutions as well as available options, the Government of St Lucia through the Ministry of Labour, Information and Broadcasting has decided not to grant a work permits to Mr Adidja Azim Palmer otherwise known as Vybz Kartel for performances at the Hot FM promoted Supreme Weekend show scheduled for April 30 and May 1, 2010.
“In light of the foregoing, and in order to ensure consistency and to avoid discrimination, Government has decided that in going forward, it is essential to establish a permanent committee to review applications for artistes seeking permits to perform in St Lucia,” the statement added.
The Stephenson King administration said that while it is aware of its obligations under the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) that allows for the free movement of skills, labour, goods and services across the region it is also of the firm view that artistes, promoters and government have a shared responsibility as much as possible, “to ensure that standards prevail to the benefit of the country, particularly to the vulnerable youth in our midst”.
Government has written to the promoters offering them the option of re-applying for the granting of work permits to the other artiste included on the show with the exclusion of Vybes Kartel.
“Government will therefore seek to work in concert with relevant local entities in organising and facilitating discussion forums that will help to inform Government’s approach and policy on this matter in the future,” it added.
The artiste, who has been embroiled in a feud with a rival entertainer in Jamaica, has been banned from performing in several Caribbean islands and has also been denied a visa to enter and perform in the United States.