Governor Will Not Be On Island For Protest

BVI Platinum News | 5 Comments
May 17, 2018 8:01 am AST
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
The United Kingdom’s (UK) Representative Governor Gus Jaspert will not be in the territory on Thursday May 24, as residents march through the streets of Road Town to the Governor’s House in an effort to send a message to the UK Parliament.

The massive non-partisan march is against the United Kingdom’s May 1 decision to impose on all OTs including the BVI to implement public registers via imperial legislation.

The march to the Governor’s House is seen as symbolic but with no UK representative present, some may view this as defeating the purpose.

At a joint press conference held yesterday afternoon, May 16, the Governor said that he met with the organizers and informed them that he will not on island. The Governor said that he will be heading to London to join Premier Hon. Dr D. Orlando Smith and Opposition Leader, Hon. Andrew Fahie to continue talks with the UK with hope of a positive outcome.

He said that the organizers of the march did raise concerns that the stop at the Governor’s House is a symbolic gesture and without him being there it would not have enough weight.

“They did say that, and the acting premier (Hon. Dr Kedrick Pickering) is right about the history and symbolism of marches to government house, government offices.”

He added, well it is up to (organizers to change date) …I made it quite clear to the march organizers when I am not around, it’s up to them when they hold their protest. The deputy premier is right in terms of any march it is good to know speak to people and hear the mood.”

Governor Jaspert said that any peaceful protest is good for a healthy democracy.

The Governor said that his main focus is to work with the government to get the BVI back on track following the storms. He said that he is having continued discussions with the UK about the ongoing issue with public register.

“…The key thing is to continue focus on our recovery, that is something I have confirmed that the UK stands in support of the BVI…The key priority for UK and many, and here is that we don’t detract from getting the territory repair, economy back, and people’s lives back or better...That is where I am spending my time,” he told reporters.

Governor Jaspert, who has been backing the BVI’s financial services sector regulatory standards and who has expressed disappointment over the May 1 decision by the House of Commons, said that he does not want to go deep into the issue because there are still ongoing discussions. He said that the proposed amendment now goes to the House of Lords and then back to the House of Commons, noting that anything can change during that process.

“…With what hasn’t yet passed in House of Commons, goes to House of Lords then back to House of Commons, there is a process…I don’t want to comment too much on that, too much important discussions (ongoing with) the Premier, who is there (London)…My view I said previously disappointment in the amendment put forward,” the Governor stated.


Meanwhile, acting Premier, Dr Pickering believes that the Governor not being on island for the march will see him missing out on a historical event.

“When you look at the history of the BVI, the march 1959, the march surrounding the positive action. I myself as a student remember marching when the Governor had acquitted someone from getting the death penalty. I remember it like yesterday. So, it is a historical occasion so if you are saying that the governor might be missing out on history maybe he might be,” he stated at the press conference.

Dr Pickering said that he too is looking for to see the support that the march garners.

“Because there hasn’t been a march planned in the BVI for years. I myself I am looking forward for the march to see the crowd, what impetus there would be from the march, and the mood of the people,” he said.

The acting Premier continued, “In a lot of ways it will basically help to decide what progress will be made or not made dealing with the proposed UK legislation. So, from an historical point of view, I think it is something all of us should be looking forward to see what will come afterwards.”

He also disclosed that Premier Smith has been approached to allow businesses to allow their employees time off to attend the march. Premier Smith is also reportedly said to consider whether public servants will also be given time off to attend the march.

The Decision March will be held under the theme, 'A Fight For Economic Freedom' on Thursday May 24 at 2pm, from the Sunday Morning Well to the Governor's House.
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Reader Opinions

Please note that the opinions posted are the opinions of its author and does not reflect the views of the management, staff, parent company or sponsors of Virgin Islands Platinum News.
sorry to say BVI isn't ready for economic freedom given its track record. We need more responsible and transparent leadership. This doesn't mean using recovery money for a new airport, but does mean a new west end ferry dock and attempts to douse the fire in cox heath for health reasons. Those are important and economical causes.
Like · · 22w
How much more impressive to march on a place that is not occupied by the Governing power. What are you waiting for! It is their for the taking.
Like · · 22w
Wat A Con
well sah even he playing politics
Like · · 22w
Stand Together
Governor won't be island for protest. And the public won't be in attendance for QE II birthday celebrations
Like · · 22w
1 Like
Protesting in front of an empty Governor's House does not make any sense at all. The Governor suggested a change of date for the march, that should be considered. I personally think its a little too premature for us to take action. lets wait until the propose amendment go to the house of the lords then back to the house of commons and lets see the outcome. That too was suggested by the Governor. They might consider taking us off the list. Who knows?. Just my two cents.
Like · · 22w
1 Like
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