Ali Criticises Lyrics Promoting Violence At CARICOM Summit – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

Guyana President Dr. Irfaan Ali criticised lyrics that promote violence on Sunday while addressing the opening of the 46th regular meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Guyana is hosting the event.

“In this region, we owe it to the generation ahead of us to keep our culture alive and to invest in this culture,” Ali told his audience.

He explained that the ‘distinctly different’ culture distinguishes the region from others.

“We do not need lyrics that promote violence in this region,” the Guyana leader declared.

He spoke at the summit’s opening ceremony after cultural performances, including drumming.

“We have the ability to promote good lyrics and lyrics that would move people in the positive direction and move people to think, act and behave positively,” the Guyana President stated.

“As leaders of this region, we have to take this situation very seriously and ensure that the lyrics of the region is the lyrics of Bob Marley, the lyrics of positivity and the lyrics of positive living and positive change. We must take this responsibility on today,” Ali noted.

He explained that some might feel the matter represented a ‘soft issue.’

However, Ali expressed that the issue was fundamental.

He recalled a recent conversation with Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley.

“Many young people, young brilliant people questioned the decision of not having a certain artiste perform in the country because authorities, based on an INTERPOL ‘Red List’,” Ali told the audience.

Ali did not call names.

However, local media reported that in June 2022, Guyana banned public performances by Jamaican dancehall artiste Kevon ‘Skeng’ Douglas.

Ali observed that the region could not allow its culture to be captured in ‘this narrative.’

“We have to lead a revolution against this narrative and reposition our culture in the way it was concieved. That is for positive living and positive upliftment,” Ali said.

“This is not about anyone or against anyone. This is for our region and for the future of the young people in this region,” he said.