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A March? Gov’t expected to support demonstration over UK Public Registry law

A group spearheaded by outspoken Bishop John I. Cline is in the planning stage of a national march, alongside some financial industry practitioners, in the coming weeks to show the people’s and sector's position. Photo: VINO/File
A march is being planned to show support against the Bill. Photo: Internet Source/Shareomg
A march is being planned to show support against the Bill. Photo: Internet Source/Shareomg
Lorna G. Smith OBE (left), wife of Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) (right), got into a fiery interview with the BBC following the decision on the Bill. Photo: VINO/File
Lorna G. Smith OBE (left), wife of Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) (right), got into a fiery interview with the BBC following the decision on the Bill. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - It was on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, that the United Kingdom's House of Commons passed an amendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill to demand the Overseas Territories in the Caribbean have a public registry to show who owns offshore accounts and who benefits from them.

Many of the other Overseas Territories affected have announced that they are taking the United Kingdom Government to court, while others stated that they will not comply with the order and seek independence. Many of them have labelled the amendments as “racist” and direct interference in the economic development of the islands.

Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) has been slow in communicating his government’s response, outside of his wife’s, Lorna G. Smith OBE, fiery interview with the BBC on the same day the Bill was passed.

At a press conference this week, Dr Smith told the press “we are looking at options”, however, he added that “the vote has setback the UK-VI relations.”

The March

A group spearheaded by outspoken Bishop John I. Cline is in the planning stage of a national march, alongside some financial industry practitioners, in the coming weeks to show the people’s and sector's position. In addition, a senior National Democratic Party (NDP) member said the Government of Dr Smith is expected to support the march; however, the source did not elaborate on the level of support.

In a brief conversation with the Bishop, today March 5, 2018, he confirmed, “yes I came up with the idea and put a group together to carry it out.”

He also confirmed, that a group is actively planning the march and it’s expected to be big. However, up to publication time, none of the organisations could be reached for comments.

The march is expected to show the discontent of the people, the government and the Territory's financial services sector with the UK Bill and its direct effect on the economy of the Virgin Islands (VI).

47 Responses to “A March? Gov’t expected to support demonstration over UK Public Registry law”

  • Bout Time (05/05/2018, 17:08) Like (35) Dislike (14) Reply
    We stand up for our rights! Plan it Big and Wide so it sends a message to the international media that we here in the Virgin Islands are not to be walked upon and treated less than. Respect us and our constitution. We will work out our own problems on our terms.
    • wize up (05/05/2018, 17:31) Like (30) Dislike (6) Reply
      @Bout Time: good idea but when I see it then I will believe it: not being disrespectful to anyone; the majority of residents in this territory are non belongers: the major of belongers you will find them in the USVI or USA: I can’t see a documented worker marching for certain causes to jeopardize their future in this territory.....just my personal opinion so don’t cuss me out(then again WTF!!!!)
    • Gaga (06/05/2018, 05:24) Like (5) Dislike (5) Reply
      Why does his head look like it’s been photoshopped on?
    • Just saying (06/05/2018, 06:48) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
      We have natures little secret as you will say ,so why don't you use that and bring the tourist to our shores by legalizing cannabis and gambling and don't talk bout we are a christian community because you have a pastor leading a march for money those two things is more revenue than offshore banking ,it's time to get onboard British Virgin Islands else you will loose you tourist also ,The tourist are not into relaxing thing no more they want entertainment also ,wake up B.V.I
  • wize up (05/05/2018, 17:09) Like (3) Dislike (16) Reply
  • In’t media (05/05/2018, 17:11) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    @Bout time. BBC you say?
  • and so it goes (05/05/2018, 17:18) Like (28) Dislike (14) Reply
    So it had to take something of this magnitude to get us to Unite. NDP we still have you’ll to blame for running our ship on the reefs.
    • sad (06/05/2018, 13:28) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      Where was the unity and marching when the criminals were killing our people left,right and centre??? SMH
  • Luvz (05/05/2018, 17:27) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    Okay! Will this march be covered by international media? If we're going to send a message it has to be a strong one. The world is watching. Proper planning. For too long division and disunity has been the order of the day. There is strength in unity.
  • rattie (05/05/2018, 17:38) Like (48) Dislike (10) Reply
    We need to March against the ndp
  • Laura (05/05/2018, 17:40) Like (54) Dislike (4) Reply
    So let me get this straight... we can march against England But not against the injustices of our OWN government! WOW!
    • Laura's right! (07/05/2018, 10:21) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      You are soooo right! A perfect distraction set up by this Government to take our eyes off those that put us in this position in the first place!
  • Really (05/05/2018, 17:47) Like (11) Dislike (6) Reply
    Thats gingerly to hold a demonstration or march but marching never did a damn thing for people anywhere.... they already know what we think, theybdo not care and they will go through with their plan. Marching will only demonstrate that we are too weak to take our freedom into our own hands and depend on them to give us something better to live with.
  • Hacker (05/05/2018, 17:51) Like (42) Dislike (11) Reply
    Why there was never a march against the blatant and willful corruption of this NDP Government, 1.2 million wall around a school, 7.2 million allegedly given away to an airline, 40 million plus over spent on a pier park, government ministers and permanent secretaries have companies that are receiving government contracts, just to name a few. I know you guys was quick to march against BI-water, this same NDP government sold Bi-water to themselves, yet not a word but now you want to march against the HOC decision, a march will not help, thinking about self determination will, talk to the UK of your intention to do so and asked for a couple of years to get your house in order before you make that move.
    • Forgethem (06/05/2018, 07:07) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
      Once you got this as a main revenue they will always have a hand on you .Forget Them People. LEGALIZE MARIJUANA NOW BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. Come on ppl , are you that ignorant. It's only a plant created by the same god you claim to praise ,are you telling me the MOST HIGH GOD made a mistake in creating this plant, wow then you really don't know god ppl.What I think you are just here to carry out the works of that serpent the devil .You are here to fight against the MOST HIGH GOD and His creations.
      • Ideal (07/05/2018, 08:59) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        This seems like a good way to go tit-for-tat with the UK.
        They want to break constitutional law by overreaching and forcing beneficial ownership on us?
        How about we break their laws and go big on medical and recreational marijuana?
        If they complain it’s unconstitutional for us to do that ...
        “Oh, sorry, there’s a constitution? We had no idea.”
  • Yes now!!! (05/05/2018, 17:55) Like (15) Dislike (4) Reply
    They can’t be pretending to help us one way and crushing us another way. Let’s bring it on. Let’s send the message.
  • Welsah (05/05/2018, 18:01) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Looks like Britain pulling the okudoke once again.
  • Political Observer (PO) (05/05/2018, 18:10) Like (22) Dislike (1) Reply
    Marches sometimes drive changes to attain desired outcomes. The Great March of November 1949 led by Dolph Faulkner, Carlton DeCastro, Glanville Fonseca and others resulted in the restoration of the legislature, which was deactivated in 1902, in 1950. It also resulted in some direct election of legislative members vice appointment. Further, in the mid 60s Kenneth-Bate Hill, a UK entity, had inked an agreement for control of Wickhams Cay and at least 1/2 of Anegada for 199 years or forever. This agreement would have made apartheid in South Africa look like child’s play. Nonetheless, it was relentless, courageous, sacrificial.......etc agitation by national hero Noel Lloyd and Positive Action Movement (PAM) that caused the agreement to be rescinded. Virgin Islanders such as Noel Lloyd, Lindy “Uhuru” DeCastro, Cromwell “Brushy” Nibbs, Meg Donovan, Patsy Lake, Wilfred Smith, Vernon Farrington, Roosevelt Smith, Ira Skelton, George Malone and a host of others were in the forefront of the resistance. It was their brave and unselfish effort that secured local ownership of parcels on Wickham Cay and the protection and availability of Anegada for the use and enjoyment of Anegadians and other Virgin Islanders.

    Moreover, these two marches, though of vital interest to Virgin Islanders, was not of little concern to the majority of UK electorate. By contrast though, the register of beneficial ownership is a highly charged political issue in the UK. Both government and opposition are in tune to this charged political atmosphere. The leverage and options of the BVI, along with other OTs, are limited, ie, they can 1) file a court challenge, 2) ignore the legislation (not highly viable if they remain under UK umbrella) or 3) pursue independence (this too many not be a viable option for OTs). OTs need to explore and employ strategies and tactics to dampen the adverse impact of the legislation. Nonetheless, it is wonderful that finally Virgin Islanders may be summoning the courage to peacefully agitate against the things that are occurring in the VI that are not in the interest of VI and its people. Furthermore, they (OTs) must also employ effective diplomacy to effect change. Where is Benito Wheatley?

    Fredrick Douglass says: “If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will... Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must certainly pay for all they get.”
  • U to the K (05/05/2018, 18:15) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    A bunch of hypocrites.
  • THEY (05/05/2018, 18:20) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    trying to take us back to a life of involuntary servitude.
  • Boo (05/05/2018, 18:33) Like (22) Dislike (11) Reply
    What will this achieve other than a chuckle from the colonists and more contempt from their population?
    Time and effort will be better spent looking for alternative industry to support the economy as the slavers are hell bent for leather on dismantling the financial services in the UKOTS. It seems neither dependency nor independence will stop them. Form stronger ties with that will get their attention.
  • concern (05/05/2018, 18:42) Like (8) Dislike (6) Reply
    So his name is just Dr. Smith and not Preimer
  • Dollars (05/05/2018, 19:39) Like (30) Dislike (8) Reply

    $hit hit the ceiling so now ago want to march but not me nor my family.

    Ayo thief the little we had and now you want to play onward Christian Soldiers?????

  • IMWTK (05/05/2018, 19:45) Like (18) Dislike (3) Reply
    But, didnt we all know about this from back when that UK loan was signed? Wasn't this all a done deal? So why the noise now?
    Just asking?
    • Outlaw (05/05/2018, 20:53) Like (13) Dislike (5) Reply
      IMWTK, you are right in point. Whenever you get anything from the UK or America, rest assured that they are after something in return. We wanted money quickly to lavish so we agreed quickly to recovery terms and conditions. Well then the UK was laughing because they got us in their pocket and they knew it’s time to demand what they want. They recognize weak leadership and capitalize on it.
  • 123 (05/05/2018, 20:18) Like (32) Dislike (16) Reply
    the government could go to hell I will rather the UK take over
  • wize up (05/05/2018, 20:54) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    one thing with us black folks; we just love to blame someone else for our own demise: why cant we come together and come up with innovative idea that will this territory establishing industries that belongs to our own people: we have 200 miles of sea water,might I say these 200 miles of sea water are filled with all manner of fish(what we use our sea water for) day sailing!!!: over the years we placed our eggs in one basket and now the basket drop!!: what the BVI is up against; Great Britain alleged, that some 68 billion pounds were move between her overseas territory and Great Britain is now taking steps to trace such funds(can you blame them) although this overseas territory have been compliant other jurisdictions might not be as compliant(so Peter is now paying for Paul)....I say let us be more resourceful in our thinking: this same United Kingdom we here setting out to fight a few years ago defeated the European Union(this is no trivial issue) I wish some of us will think before we talk(all we doing now is exposing our hand to the enemy)....the welfare of our offspring depend on our intellectual conduct and not wasted talk
  • Reader (05/05/2018, 20:59) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    @ Political Observer, well said. Thanks for reminding us of the bold and brave struggle of Noel Lloyd and his associates and the subsequent results.
  • March for this too (05/05/2018, 23:29) Like (18) Dislike (4) Reply
    Ndp need jail time
  • voice (06/05/2018, 00:22) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Be mindful of the things you say and do. This government has not been open and honest with its people. To date there is no freedom of information. All the talk for the years they are in power is self determination. The pastor who should be calling for calm in this sensitive time is now trying to lead the fight. Unless this situation is handled in the right way there will be no winners. If not dealt with in the right way the people will suffer. Do not lead Virginislanders down a slippery slope. They are the ones going through the struggles even with our financial industry being compliant with all the rules. Do not create a problem. Find a solution.
  • Bvi lander who thinks (06/05/2018, 03:52) Like (9) Dislike (6) Reply
    Independance? Good luck with that. Decisions based on emotions never lead to a sensible outcome. So called island people flood here for a better outcome and financial security...I wonder if bvi people will start applying for visas after and leave for usvi or usa after just like the so called island people did after independance while the so called island people leave for home or usa also. Im sure the exaggerated pride the bvi people have will fall when the so called island people and them are on the same level playing field
    • ReX FeRal (06/05/2018, 07:03) Like (13) Dislike (3) Reply
      Utter hog wash. Island people aint going a darn place and you know that. Real talk.
  • Another one (06/05/2018, 06:48) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    Wow, everything is a march with this man. Geez.
  • Concerned (06/05/2018, 07:30) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    We need to be very careful with what we wish for. Carmen Islands states they will take the U.K. to court rather than sever ties. I can’t see what will happen if we have another weather catastrophe. It was good have the military here. Our government can’t handle that. What will happen to all the government jobs! Will workers get paid? What will happen to all those workers getting ready for retirement? Will they get their hard earned packages? Will be be able to sustain ourselves? What will happen to realestate? All these huge houses people have built to rent to trust companies. What will happen to all the buildings in Roadtown, rented out to the financial sector? Think about it before you throw in the towel. What will happen to our children? 9 months after Irma and still in shambles. Out government cannot make decisions now never mind going independent!
  • pat (06/05/2018, 08:18) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Not me once the government involved I want nothing to do with it. Talk to me about an investigation and locking some of them thefing politians up in jail and a election.

    That is will March for
  • jokers (06/05/2018, 09:39) Like (29) Dislike (1) Reply
    • ‘tis true (06/05/2018, 12:38) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
      @jokers. ‘‘Tis True. ‘Tis Time for NDP to exit the stage.’ They have royally failed us.
  • Prophet (06/05/2018, 09:54) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    People of the bvi. Stop follow sheep in wolf clothes. The real problem is the ndp. Before Irma and after Irma. Stop follow the people them that oppressing you. Ndp them have a lot to hide. Stand down people.
  • Pinkie (06/05/2018, 10:41) Like (10) Dislike (4) Reply
    Shame on you. Monetary disclosure laws have been changed all over the world to get rid of hiding money, avoiding taxes. You have to throw in the race card to stir up support ? This shows exactly who you are. Learning from Trump ?
  • just asking... (06/05/2018, 18:31) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
  • 1 (06/05/2018, 21:37) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Shame on the onlookers for talking about NDP and not doing something
  • GoodLook (07/05/2018, 08:48) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    We need to be aware of how his will be perceived. What are we marching for, or against? The right to hide dirty money? The injustice that we no longer being allowed to hide dirty money while the UK and Channel Islands are? Any such march will look like this to anyone outside and how will that reflect on us?
    Please remember - all you complain about the NDP being corrupt, yes? Me too. BUT this law - added to a bill by a member of the opposition, not by the UK government - is motivated exactly to make it harder for similarly corrupt politicians all over the world to hide their stolen money. So, to many outside the BVI and financial services world, we are complaining that we can no longer provide that service. Hypocrisy a little? The BVI seems sadly unaware of why the world thinks we’re dirty. You all can add the excuses and nuances as much as you want but I don’t foresee much sympathy from outsiders.
  • old (07/05/2018, 20:04) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Please people let march for ndp to go they cause every thing that happan
  • Diplomat (08/05/2018, 00:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ok. We are going to march against the UK for passing legislation requiring a registry of benefits ownership. When are going to march/agitate for/against transparency, responsibility, accountability, fiduciary responsibility, FoIA act, consumer protection agency, elected and some public official holdings, conflict of interest violation, nepotism, tribal politics, political patronage, value for money, poor productivity, bloated civil service, disaster unpreparedness, poor education, poor planning, programming and budgeting; BVI Airways $7.2M giveaway, poor morale, poor infrastructure, poor health care, economic diversification, agricultural neglect, securing the border, runway extension, public health and safety, cronyism, sister islands neglect, secrecy, environmental resource preservation and protection, economic stewardship, Peter principle, poor drainage, skyrocketing cost of living, budget deficit, underperforming leadership...... .......etc.
  • facts (08/05/2018, 19:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    We need to March against the ndp they don't care about us it's obvious why March with the enemy against the help?

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