Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
“At this point the ball is still in the government’s court. We are hoping that they would do their part and do the right thing,” organizer of the People’s March, Floyd “Heritage” Burnett said, as he noted that he is hoping to get a response from government today, Monday, July 9, considering that the 30-day deadline expired yesterday, July 8.
Despite the ticking count down and various media interview the organizer said that he has not received a formal response from the government regarding the protest and the calls for answers to various issues of governance.
While speaking on the Umoja talk show on July 5, Burnett defended the march and the need for answers to the myriad of issues raised. He stated, “When we marched last month we basically put forward a platform of a series of issues that are nearing a total of 70 in various categories; just calling for transparency and clarity on numerous issues. None of the 70 were things we found within a two-week investigation and just fling on a paper, all of them were very credible issues… Though less than 100 people showed up it was still a great success.”
He said that representatives from government indicated that they are hoping to respond, but informed that they were not ready as yet to do so. In the meantime, Burnett said that on July 5 he was able to meet with His Excellency Governor Augustus Jaspert to discuss the march and the call for a Commission of Inquiry.
“It’s no secret at this point I met with the Governor of the Territory earlier today that was very positive and assuring…He like every citizen is waiting on the response within the timeframe given. He doesn’t take the timeframe as no joke or no circus. He received an authorized copy of exactly what was handed over to them.”
During his sit down with the Governor, Burnett said he asked His Excellency to consider the request for a Commission of Inquiry if the government fails to respond.
“He received a personal request saying…you were out of the Territory this is what happened, this was their verbal commitment to us. We respect our leadership; and would like them to do the right thing, but if they fail us within the respective time frame we would like you to just step in [and] do some of the fundamental criteria on your job description, which is basically to provide good governance.”
In response to the call to step in, Burnett said the Governor expressed hope that Government would respond, but indicated that as Governor, he is interested in accountability and transparency.
“He (Governor Jaspert) basically said just like everyone he is waiting on an answer. If all fails, which would basically be the worst case scenario, he said he is a very positive thinker and is hoping something will work out. He said if all fails he like everyone else is looking forward to making sure the public gets transparency and accountability…I found his response to be honest and just…The commitment is there if the failure by the leader…he acknowledged all issues as credible…He was very helpful,” Burnett said.
The Organizer remained hopeful that by the end of today Government would say something on the matter. He said, “I expect come Monday even if they can’t respond, I expect some formal statement. They must be no way that I Heritage must come tell Tortola what the Governor has said or what the Government has said. I believe both parties would make formal statements concerning the issue. If the clock was to expire.”
“Worst case scenario if come Monday there is no response, which I am sure there will be some form of response --you know we are a small enough community, but say worst case scenario we get no response ... It obviously would be a blatant disrespect at that time to the people of the Territory first things first …It wouldn’t be in your best interest faced with all these issues to not come…clean with the public,” Burnett added.
He also mentioned that some people suggested other marches, but he said that there is a process and there are many other steps that can be taken.
“We even have different legal advice there are basic stuff …There are simple things that you can do even on a Magistrates Court level to set the whole vibe into different things so there are many options on the table,” Burnett announced.