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Only tourists lives matter to two Sr Gov’t Officials?

- Virgin Islands News Online asked by Lynette L. Harrigan & Brodrick Penn to suspend comments/blogs because the auto accident involved tourists
Virgin Islands News Online asked by Lynette L. Harrigan & Brodrick Penn to suspend comments/blogs because the auto accident involved tourists. Photo: File/Provided
Chairman of the Board of Directors of Advance Marketing and Professional Services- the parent company of VINO- the esteemed Julian Willock said he received a phone call today December 6, 2015 from Acting Permanent Secretary in the Premier's Office, Mr Brodrick Penn and BVI Tourist Board Events Marketing Manager Lynette L. Harrigan, asking him to suspend comments on the story about the bus accident at Cane Garden Bay because the accident involved tourists visiting the territory. Photo: VINO/File
Chairman of the Board of Directors of Advance Marketing and Professional Services- the parent company of VINO- the esteemed Julian Willock said he received a phone call today December 6, 2015 from Acting Permanent Secretary in the Premier's Office, Mr Brodrick Penn and BVI Tourist Board Events Marketing Manager Lynette L. Harrigan, asking him to suspend comments on the story about the bus accident at Cane Garden Bay because the accident involved tourists visiting the territory. Photo: VINO/File
Two tourists were killed and 18 injured in the accident at Round Hill, Cane Garden Bay today, December 6, 2015. Photo: VINO
Two tourists were killed and 18 injured in the accident at Round Hill, Cane Garden Bay today, December 6, 2015. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- In a bizarre twist, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Advance Marketing and Professional Services, the parent company of Virgin Islands News Online, Mr Julian Willock, called our newsroom to angrily complain about a phone call he received today Sunday December 6, 2015.

Tourist lives matter more than locals?

Mr Willock said he had just an hour ago arrived home from overseas after a long delayed flight and was trying to catch up on some sleep when he received a call from BVI Tourist Board Officer Ms Lynette L. Harrigan around 2:00 PM and was asked to hold for a call from the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier, Mr Brodrick Penn.

Mr Willock, who has no editorial control over our newsroom, said he was asked by Mr Penn to have “Virgin Islands News Online suspend all blogs on the accident because it’s a sensitive matter and it involves tourists”.

Mr Penn was referring to the accident that occurred today December 6, 2015 in Cane Garden Bay, on the main island of Tortola, where two tourists lost their lives and many persons were injured. According to Mr Willock’s phone call to our newsroom, he explained to Mr Penn that while it’s not up to him to remove blogs, he needs a compelling reason to give to the Editor-in-Chief on why blogs should be removed.

Mr Penn told him because it involves tourists and, according to Mr Willock, Penn told him “if you can’t see the importance of suspending the blogs then I do not need to continue with you.”

According to Mr Willock, he then put Ms Harrigan, the Niche, Emerging & Events Marketing Manager of the BVI Tourist Board back on the phone, who Mr Willock said was more explicit in saying “because the accident involves tourists visiting the BVI and this information is going out worldwide. It could affect us.”

Mr Willock said he then told Ms Harrigan that it’s indeed a sad and tragic accident but “we need to treat everyone equally.” To this, Ms Harrigan allegedly responded “but these are tourists and this information is seen around the world. These people are important.”

Our newsroom has never received such calls before as tourists visiting the Virgin Islands and other Caribbean destinations continue to face unfortunate accidents, sometimes resulting in loss of lives.

VINO’s response

A check of other news sites clearly shows that the story, notwithstanding it had been first and accurately reported by Virgin Islands News Online (VINO), is also posted on all the other news sites with comments.

Our newsroom continues to be sensitive to loss of all lives, whether local or foreign, as we view all human beings as equal and all lives are precious in God’s sight.

It is also noted that the accident is all over social networks, especially Facebook, which has a greater reach than VINO, along with some graphic photos and comments. It is also posted on local community boards, along with sites in the USVI. It is not clear if both Penn and Harrigan made calls to Facebook Headquarters or other social networks to ask them to remove or suspend the comments.

A check of other tourist destinations in the region, such as the USVI, Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts & Nevis, Jamaica, Barbados, St Martin and the Bahamans, revealed that there have been tourists that died following tragic motor vehicle accidents between 2014 and current in all of those destinations. In one incident, five tourists died in a bus accident and in another two were shot to death after a robbery in another destination mentioned above.

However, there are no statistics to demonstrate that tourist arrivals dropped in those two islands.

Double standards? Are we not all equal?

In the Virgin Islands’ case, it was an unfortunate accident that could have happened anywhere and our management and staff share in the outpouring of condolences to the families who have lost loved ones and to those injured, especially so close to the holiday season.

We also note that when fatal accidents, whether scooter accidents, motor vehicle, drowning or other incidents, involving VI residents occur, our newsroom never receives calls from the BVI Tourist Board or the Office of the Premier with concerns.

Last year, a school bus similar to the one involved in today’s fatal mishap was in an accident with students and to date zero concerns were raised by the BVI Tourist Board or the Premier’s Office for that matter.

The next phone call

The important issue here is that today’s accident was a most tragic occurrence that involved tourists. We all know tourism is a very important pillar to our economy, our bread and butter, and our hearts go out to all those who lost loved ones, and pray for a speedy recovery for those injured. We do understanding the importance of the tourism sector to our struggling economy.

Maybe Mr Penn and Ms Harrigan could place the next telephone call to the Minister for Communications and Works about urgent needed improvements to roads, including the placing of guard rails, proper surface and markers. Further, Mr Penn could ask his boss, Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith, to commit to better infrastructural development and funding, and the long overdue BVI Tourist Board subvention from the $90 plus million he boasted about having in the bank before the 2015 elections.

72 Responses to “Only tourists lives matter to two Sr Gov’t Officials?”

  • on my (06/12/2015, 19:01) Like (20) Dislike (8) Reply
    SMH no man they did not call with that! ayo must be telling tail out of school
  • wize up (06/12/2015, 19:02) Like (39) Dislike (14) Reply
    dear Mr Willock I am acting on behalf of the chief immigration officer of these Virgin Islands and we have you booked on the first LIAT service leaving this territory tomorrow, your fullest cooperation in this urgent matter is expected: dont let immigration have to come hog city searching for U: the guy at the white house has also approved your removal from our territory...
    • Ohhh (06/12/2015, 21:28) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
      Now it,s adding up. He is an up deislun man. Ohh okay.That explains his unrefined behaviour and yhe chip on his shoulder.
  • nuff (06/12/2015, 19:08) Like (15) Dislike (2) Reply
    Just playing nuff and important.
    • @ nuff (06/12/2015, 19:24) Like (18) Dislike (3) Reply
      For real that’s why they have her stock in a back office and she will never get anywhere in the tourist board…she better pray that the VIP gets in one day!
  • Interesting (06/12/2015, 19:10) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    well sah
  • watcher (06/12/2015, 19:13) Like (62) Dislike (6) Reply
    Hope Masa name Brodick and Lynette the mo mu of the day!
  • Just saying... (06/12/2015, 19:26) Like (51) Dislike (3) Reply
    And no one seems to know that the driver is human and the stress of this on him and his family…set of one sided people. ALL LIVES MATTERS TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!! RIP TO THOES WHO LOST THEIR LIVES MAY JEHOVAH KEEP YOU
  • SMH (06/12/2015, 19:27) Like (43) Dislike (5) Reply
    That Acting PS need to take his head out of the clouds and learn to speak to people. He's so full of it that ain't funny. Wrong person and personality to handle such an important situation.
  • pat (06/12/2015, 19:30) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    Stop the blame game a tragic accident accorded so let’s be there for the family of those who passed and work on addressing the issues after the investigations.
    • police officer west end (08/12/2015, 23:38) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      I'm not a fan of the Esteemed one, but on this issue he gets it right.
  • Foolishness (06/12/2015, 19:33) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply

    you are realky an idiot. GOD help you. One day you will understand

    • @ Foolishness (06/12/2015, 23:57) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      reject their hateful ideology, we are all one human race not some better than others because they come to visit and are called TOURIST
  • BVI to de bone (06/12/2015, 19:33) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply

    YOU NEED TO STOP. THIS IS WE COUNTRY!! 

    • virgin gorda (06/12/2015, 20:18) Like (35) Dislike (6) Reply
      Ha ha they barking up the wrong tree in trying to censor VINO I just love how they have been exposed!
  • wize up (06/12/2015, 19:37) Like (17) Dislike (26) Reply
    if i happen to die, when I come back to BVI I want to be white with blond hair and extra green eyes; I truly desire the special treatment given to white folks in this territory... All manner of things happens to our people and the powers to be do not express any concern.. WOW direct call to VINO( hold it down black yellow)
    • @ wize up (06/12/2015, 20:57) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      lord mehson behave your self
    • Music (06/12/2015, 21:25) Like (53) Dislike (1) Reply
      White is not the only colour of tourists. Black is not the only colour of locals.
      • @ lodger (06/12/2015, 22:05) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
        stop being a racist the article never speak about race it spoke about Tourist and residents you demagogue!!!!
        • Music (07/12/2015, 07:05) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
          To @lodger. You miss the point. I was responding to wize ups post. See the likes on my comment.
      • Observer (08/12/2015, 21:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        @Lodger: Well said. I don't recall that either Lynette or Broderick mentioned the color of the visitors/tourists...so its nothing racist about this. The tourists who were in the accident came on a cruise ship. Even if one has never gone on a cruise, tourists come from all over the world and in different colors (black, white etc.)...
    • Idiot (07/12/2015, 06:54) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
      Who said all the people on the bus were white? Do black people not go on cruise ships?? Really the level a racism on the boards is an embarrassment to the BVI. No one is censored but the blogs should be checked and racist comments removed. This isn't about skin color people died, visitors, someone's children. It reflects badly on the BVI we all bleed the same some people should remember. If you visit another mans country and you are in an accident I would hope you are treated with compassion.
  • ...... (06/12/2015, 19:38) Like (61) Dislike (24) Reply
    My guess would be that they don't get the same level of utter nonsense posted on their websites as here in the Virgin Islands so their is no need for restrictions. You people are sick. The most ignorant bunch I've ever come across. If you all want the freedom to be insensitive and help ruin our tourism product, and send the BVI into further financial hardship then knock yourself out.....The difference is that tourists help keep our economy afloat, that's why it must be handled delicately. Anyone who can't understand that is a damn idiot.
    • @ ..... (06/12/2015, 19:56) Like (11) Dislike (10) Reply
      Funny man go home
    • The messengers (06/12/2015, 20:06) Like (11) Dislike (6) Reply
      Just about everyone understands the tragedy, delicacy and importance of this situation to the families and the BVI. Some bloggers like those on other online sites all around the world are just ignorant and just need to be ignored.

      More important for this story is how we handle situations in the BVI and who we send to handle them - the public messengers need to be chosen wisely. My condolences to the families and I hope the injured have a speedy and full recovery
    • mee too (06/12/2015, 22:46) Like (22) Dislike (5) Reply
      I concor with you. I am as black as it gets. I love take cruises with my family. Heaven forbid if an accident occurs when I'm on a vacation. People please be careful and caring when you are writing your blogs. What l'm saying is not all tourist are white.
      REMEMBER DON'T BITE THE HANDS THAT FEED US.
      I'm not saying that all the blogs should be blocked but most should be.
  • civil servant (06/12/2015, 19:58) Like (76) Dislike (6) Reply
    Brodrick and ms hariggan two of the same only where they are because of politics not ability
  • insider (06/12/2015, 20:40) Like (25) Dislike (6) Reply

    Willock boss man you should have hang up on them r@$$

    • GRACIE (07/12/2015, 10:48) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      Insider I agree with you why they have that woman who think she is white to say her foolishness I hope she see she make herself an ///. MR WILLOCK when they start bragging about how many tourists expected here for the season I turn to them and say you have to get the roads and guard rails fix on the roads they turn and say they have them under control those hills are very dangerous and believe me they do speed I am not saying he was speeding but this is a strong warning for those who think they can make all the money for years people have been speaking out about those big buses how they speed on the hill side I had to make a complain to a taxi company how one of their worker was speeding up a hill with tourists this will wake them up to do something with these roads and drivers.
  • Oh dear (06/12/2015, 21:02) Like (11) Dislike (9) Reply

    It is understandable that extra effort was being made to assist in the comfort of our guests. But given the heightened climate of racism in areas where these guests originate, acute sensitivity and interpretation of intent is also understandable. Then there is the underlying political and personal differences with W****** and members of NDP.
    Professionalism is about the manner in which you handle business.
    Another round for NDP.

    • de observa (06/12/2015, 23:34) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
      still wating to hear about comprehensive strategy to increase our tourisam.
  • don't study them (06/12/2015, 21:04) Like (18) Dislike (2) Reply
    When they have jobs and bulletins they don't call VINO...They always calling the others first....When Beef and Glenny were killed where were they?...I have noticed since the NDP got in they want everybody to think all is well in the BVI...we will not bury or heads in the sand...
  • Yes (06/12/2015, 21:05) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    1st time i am seeing brodrick's photo on vino.
  • Bull (06/12/2015, 21:08) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    Just recently tourists were killed in france and bali and it was on every news site around the world. Let them censor their blue ndp site.
    • wize up (06/12/2015, 21:53) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
      @ bull thanks for your input and people will still visit France and Bali so that's why I am trying to understand what is the problem with Penn and Harrigan.... It was an accident and not criminal activity that caused the death and injury this morning ( an accident; now if the accident was caused due to negligence then the police will let us know following their investigation)
      • sign (08/12/2015, 23:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

        We must be careful to distinguish logical and realistic concerns about our freedoms and safety but at the same time, we must not allow bigotry to define and lead our concerns. It is a fine line, but one that we need to watch closely lest we repeat the failures of our past.
    • Guest (07/12/2015, 14:50) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      That blue NDP site would never post your comment if they disagree with you. I stop posting there
  • Elaine (06/12/2015, 21:52) Like (23) Dislike (2) Reply
    That phone call just demonstrates Brodrick and Lynette ignorance to the real world. I read all the time from USA to Canada to India to China to Jamaica, Hawaii and Antigua to Africa about tourist getting killed while on vacation due to accidents eg boat, plane, cars etc. I never heard of media houses been called to take down stories or comments.

    What a set of backwards people in these sensitive and important positions
    • wize up (06/12/2015, 22:18) Like (7) Dislike (6) Reply
      @ Elaine: the people were white and off the cruise vessel ( the price of progress is very high) welcome to the real world BVI
    • @ Elaine (06/12/2015, 22:56) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
      that is why the BVI is going backwards ever they think they are ahead of the curve but in realality they are waaaay behind the 8th ball
  • ........ (06/12/2015, 21:53) Like (24) Dislike (24) Reply
    So.....sensible comments are disliked and those calling people's name/linking them politically are overwhelmingly liked.....heh.... VINO, you all have a very loyal but interlectually limited base....shaking my head...
    • Gosh (07/12/2015, 06:47) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      Interlectually limited until election day come back around. Go figure.
      • ..... (07/12/2015, 10:29) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
        I am pretty sure that most of you (on this site) did not vote for NDP anyway. How did I come to that conclusion?? By your comments blaming them for everything of course.. It really isn't that hard to figure out you know...lol. Some come next election, they will be no different....
  • JACK BE STILL (06/12/2015, 22:58) Like (11) Dislike (9) Reply
    tell thoes two idiots it was an accident and not a willful act so how can it affect anything? set of $%#&(& ok then!
  • too nuff (06/12/2015, 23:20) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    He must be think VINO is GIS?
  • under the rug (06/12/2015, 23:22) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why must we keep everything a secret in the BVI?
  • long look me come from (06/12/2015, 23:31) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    Brodrick and Lynette let’s not forget that freedom and a free press is more powerful than fear, or the tourist dollar
  • my 2 cents (06/12/2015, 23:40) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    I want to here from the Penns and Hariggans some constant evaluating of our strategy to determine when additional steps are necessary to get the job done and bring more people to our shores and not about removing comments because somone overseas will read them!
  • Voice of Reason (06/12/2015, 23:42) Like (26) Dislike (1) Reply
    I hope this issue brings forth the voice of reason and common sense that instead of trying a coverup Govt. should use this incident to improve the end to end tourism product which includes transportation. The roads are wet and we keep importing these foreign vehicles because they are cheaper but not practical given our terrain. These stupid buses from Japan can hold a lot of people but their power is very poor. The Government and Taxi Commission has to intervene and make sure the vehicles that transport tourists are proper. Those roads were paved and looked and drive nice but the Engineer needs to fired for incompetence. Water on that road when it is raining is a death trap. No water break in the roads. At the expense of lives this is a lesson for improvements, quickly.
    • Takers. (07/12/2015, 06:56) Like (5) Dislike (14) Reply
      And when government set standards for what they want, it will be the
      Government again dictating and controlling people.
      • chad (07/12/2015, 07:45) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        Thats why we elect them. If it was left up to us it will be an organized confusion. They must set a form of standard for us to follow. Its call a law or a policy. As a practice and Voice of reason is correct, when you build steps you build for the most feable person, instead of risers at 8 inches put them at 4 inches so seniors can use in a comfortable manner. You build and pave roads for the weakest and longest vehicles to drive on where practical. Weather should always be a factor in doing this.
  • one eye (06/12/2015, 23:45) Like (18) Dislike (12) Reply

    its so funny I just read on the NDP blue site Dr. Smith statement and he offered no new strategies just the same old sh&t!!!

  • anyone? (06/12/2015, 23:48) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    with such a phone call one must wonder who i there to contained who.
  • dssappointed (06/12/2015, 23:53) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    both Penn & Hariggan they just trying to impress someone hoping for some reward but have they every heard about press fredom??? Many have died around the world fighting for that!

    We cannot turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between residents and tourists, as we all travel and can be tourist at any moment, so eveybody is the same!!!
  • mother hen (06/12/2015, 23:59) Like (18) Dislike (8) Reply
    that thinking that once you are white you are better than local blacks is all too common in our society.
  • Bloke (07/12/2015, 08:28) Like (17) Dislike (11) Reply
    I think the issue here is not that the incident was reported but that the comments that follow are so full of bigotry, ignorance and racism. This international spectacle is what the tourist board are surely trying to suppress and rightly so.
  • i from here (07/12/2015, 08:35) Like (24) Dislike (2) Reply
    I don't usually agree with VINO or Mr Willock but this story have my vote!

    I bet non of them called the driver yet to see how he is doing though!
  • same -o (07/12/2015, 08:45) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    ooh no. This is too monotonous.
  • ........ (07/12/2015, 09:57) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
    One last comment. Like some of your commenters have said, there are black tourists too. And there are white locals..... But of course your silly base will see it as whites getting special treatment over blacks. If it were black tourists who died, which I have no idea who they are right now, I am sure you would have still gotten the call that you did...
    • @ ........ (07/12/2015, 10:41) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
      Stop using VINO to spread your racist sick ideology. The article is about tourist it never said, if they are black or white. You racist PIG
  • mattie (07/12/2015, 10:59) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    braddiee and Lynee OUT OF ORDER
    • mention (07/12/2015, 12:37) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
      Been out of order is joke. Penn believe he is the Premier. He is a real Ahxxxx. Been one for quite some time now.
  • dont kill the mesenger fix ayo problem (07/12/2015, 12:41) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Another accident today you all need to have a special course for these drivers that carrying tuorist .dmv.or tourist board .something need to be done before we lose all these cruiselines then the peir would be a waiste we the bussiness owner will be hurt the bvi on a whole !!!.ayo find tome to read blog .ayo should call a meeting asap to try and figure out what could be done to keep away from the news!!!
  • Lily Ann (07/12/2015, 13:16) Like (12) Dislike (9) Reply
    Jesus Christophines people.... The Woman asked for the BLOGS to be suspended !!! Not for the Story to be taken down !!!! This right here is EXACTLY why she wanted the comments to cease ... because of these idiotic comments and shes trying for the outer world to see how retarded and insensitive you are !!!!
  • Hd (07/12/2015, 22:27) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply

    That Br....ck dude is a mockery, I had the opportunity to meet him one time and after our conversation he clearly doesn't qualify for a position like that. Hie in that position mainly because of his affiliation with the NDP. What a joke! The BVI is in a bad place if he the only person we can find fit for the role.

    • Strupes (08/12/2015, 14:43) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
      Sound like you wanted his job but didn't get through. He may not be the nicest person to deal with but he is no idiot so stop being a hater!

      By the way, since you want to speak about people's intellect the word is "he" not "hie".
  • Take Out Those Braids (08/12/2015, 01:31) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    Knowing the mentality of those 2 I'm surprised they both ASKED & not DEMAND the blogs be removed. I don't think they are tuned in as to what is happening INTERNATIONALLY or GLOBALLY!
  • Sick (08/12/2015, 23:12) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    there positions and requests sounds extreme
  • in the news (10/12/2015, 12:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    “The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.”
    –Aldous Huxley (1936)


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