The Democratic Labour Party in Barbados is not agreeing with a decision by the government to pause plans to merge the festivities to mark both Independence Day and Republic Day as the country’s National Day on November 30.
In fact, the DLP Chairman Steven Blackett says the party is keeping a watchful eye on the government’s next step for the country’s independence celebrations
“See the status quo was reverted to a few weeks ago when the government really pushed the position on having the day renamed. A promise was made by the government, that Independence Day will remain Independence Day, and there will be some committees to look at how to celebrate Republic Day”.
“Now, we’re going to take the government’s word as it was delivered at the time. Their word is their bond. They say and we’re going to accept that for the time being, but like I said before if there’s any change to that position on the part of the government, they’re going to get a flight from the Democratic Labour Party. So that is where we’re at this time,” he said.
He said that the committee will be allowed to do its task and the DLP will stand by vigilantly.
“If they’re going to set up a committee to look at the possibility of celebrating Republic Day separate and distinct from Independence Day, we would, I believe, go along with that. But certainly, we will not be tolerating any change of Independence Day or any merging of Republic Day with Independence Day.”
Furthermore, Blackett said if the government reneges on their stance at all, “if ever they revisit the situation of merging the two dates, or the two days, you can be assured that the Democratic Labour Party will be mounting a similar protest and galvanizing the support of wider Barbados on this issue if ever it is put back on the table.”
The DLP launched a petition online when the move to a Barbados National Day was proposed and it has since stopped at around 7,000 signatures because the issue is now on the back burner, but Blackett added that such would be reignited too if the “National Day pause” is undone in an unsatisfactory manner.