With reference to your 2nd Open Letter to me published November 10th
I am not sure what you want me to apologise for or do you just want an apology as an assertion of your power? I do not see how you could construe my original statement as malicious or libellous in view of my publicly stated disavowal of any such intention. I asked you five questions in my last letter but you have replied to none of them. Instead, you claim that the answers are sitting in your outbox waiting to be clicked out the moment you get my apology. But it is on those same answers we are waiting to determine whether any apology is called for or not. I hope the public will not wait in vain?
In any event you may wish to consider the following additional and related questions –
- What exactly do you say constitutes defamation, let alone malice towards you?
- Are you or any of companies of which you are CEO, an authorized agent for the CBI Programme (CBIP)?
- Isn’t at least one of your businesses an “approved real estate project” that receives money under the CBIP?
- Are CBI funds not government money?
- Can you explain then, what is so demeaning or disgraceful in being said to be a recipient of government money as to lead you to characterize my comment as malicious, or libellous, even if it is erroneous, as you explained?
Which all begs the question of what really has upset you so much. Context matters Mr. Nassief. My statement about Fort Young was in the context of the cultural and physical damage you have done to its external appearance and structure. Isn’t it really this criticism that that has riled you so much? Are you saying that the public has no right to question your judgment or to comment on your public, not private, affairs; or that you are free to do what you like with the country’s heritage?
Your rush to the courts whenever your involvement with the CBIP is in question (this is not the first or only time) suggests a desire to stifle free speech, to silence criticism, to crush any opposition to your will or your public interventions. If that is your thinking, Mr. Nassief, forget it! My ancestors suffered for 400 years so that their descendants and all those who seek refuge in the land that they bequeathed to us can enjoy the right to criticise any authority or power without fear or cowering; and neither you, nor any one else, no matter how wealthy or powerful, will ever take that away from us. Not in Dominica!
As we are on the subject of apologies don’t you think you should apologise to the people of Dominica for so unilaterally savaging their heritage, with a promise to be more mindful in the future.
Mr. Nassief, nothing that I have said above or in my previous exchange in any way impugns your private character, though it may touch on your judgment and sensitivity. I am therefore at a loss to understand your descent to the boastful comparisons, and worse, you have sought to invoke in the last paragraph of your letter.
What you may need to learn, my friend, is the moral of the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector
Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself. ‘God I thank you that I am not like other men – extortioners, unjust, adulterers or even as this tax collector’. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess’. And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner’. , Luke 18: 9-14:
I leave it to our readers, and to yourself, to discover how Jesus concluded this parable and what it says about that last paragraph of your letter.
19 November 2020.