Above: Grenada Prime Minister Tillman Thomas (Photo: OPM Grenada)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Grenada Prime Minister Tillman Thomas called for calm in a national address after a spate of three murders rocked the tri-island country.
Thomas’ speech came following a wave of violent acts that led to the death of three women in Grenada. All three were incidents of domestic violence, according to Grenada’s Ministry of Social Development.
“Over the past few weeks we have experienced a sad spate of violence which has given rise to fear and concern among the general population,” Thomas said in his addressed. “These occurrences are definitely un-Grenadian in character.”
Thomas said his government was “deeply disturbed” by the developments, especially because of their nature as incidents of domestic violence.
The Prime Minister said he would be activating a task force involving law enforcement, the religious community and NGOs aimed at improving general community relations and identifying areas of need for engagement.
“I appeal to every citizen, to exercise restraint in the face of provocation, perceived embarrassment, personal loss and deprivation,” he said.
Grenada will be holding a national day of prayer on Sunday, preceded by a procession and candlelight vigil Tuesday afternoon. (Note: the original vigil scheduled for Friday was postponed on account of inclement weather.)
“Our primary duty is to encourage greater understanding, tolerance and better anger management, whether in the home or the community, so as to bring an end to these troubling events,” Thomas said.
“All citizens and institutions are asked to treat all reports or suspicions of domestic violence and threats seriously,” the Ministry said in a statement. “We urge family and community members to support and protect the victims and potential victims. Let us be aware that abusers can sometimes stop at nothing to get their way, even while we try to meet their needs and frustrations.”
“I make a special appeal to all Grenadians to pray for the protection of life and for humane treatment of each other in their respective villages and communities,” he said. “The people of St David must at this time draw on their deep spirituality to cope with this latest trauma. We assure you that all of Grenada supports and stands with you in this time of grief.”
Thomas said Grenada was known for the friendliness of its people, and the “safety and security we offer to our visitors.”
“We must do all we can to ensure we maintain that enviable reputation,” he said. “Violence of any kind gives a bad impression of our country and betrays the very loving and peaceful foundations on which our communities have been built.”