This country’s Minister of Youth, Stephen Lashley, has expressed "profound disgust" at the recent incident in Tudor Street, the City, which led to the death of six young women.
He vented his revulsion last evening while delivering the feature address at the opening of the Barbados Workers’ Union’s 2010 Netball Tournament at the Netball Stadium.
Mr. Lashley described the episode as one of the dullest moments in the history of Barbados. "We are right as a nation to soundly condemn this act of terrorism and to stand and say that this act should never ever recur in Barbados," he told a hushed audience of mainly young girls and women.
The Youth and Sports Minister said he recently visited the mother of one of the deceased girls, who lives in his Christ Church West Central constituency, and was aware of her pain. "I felt her anguish and spent two hours with her in a solemn mood, knowing full well that I would never ever be able to fully comfort her. The loss of a child, indeed in the circumstances that we saw, could never ever be forgotten," he lamented.
Mr. Lashley noted that sports, including netball, offered an avenue for citizens, particularly young people, to find productive ways to channel their talents and energies.
"I believe our people need to utilise sports as a means of developing themselves and their communities.
"And, indeed, there are many programmes within the Ministry of Youth, Family and Sports and within the Government that are available to our citizens to encourage them to use their time wisely. I promise as Minister of Youth, Family and Sports that our efforts to find purposeful programmes will continue, particularly in sports, to enlighten our people," he stated.
Mr. Lashley called on those persons "who believe that society owes them a living" and those "who continue to lime on the blocks" to find industrious avenues for spending their time and making use of the programmes offered by Government.
"I will not be spending any time defending anybody who involves themselves in lawless behaviour. I am aware that the Government has a social responsibility to all its citizens, but we have to ensure that persons to whom opportunities are given recognise that they are also accountable," he firstname.lastname@example.org