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Virgin Islands a no show at Nelson Mandela’s funeral

While most of the World including the Heads of Governments of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Caribbean Community (Caricom) will be represented at the once in a life time event of the memorial service and funeral of the International freedom fighter and former South African President Nelson R. Mandela, the Virgin Islands will be absent (Photo: psephizo.com). It is unclear if any attempts were even made to attend or if the National Democratic Party (NDP) Administration headed by Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (right) sought to be part of the British, the OECS or CARICOM Delegations. Photo: VINO/File
Former South African President Nelson Mandela and his wife, Graca Machel, wave to fans at the World Cup soccer final between the Netherlands and Spain at the First National Bank Stadium in Soweto, South Africa, on July 11, 2010. The stadium is the setting for Mandela's funeral on Tuesday. Photo: FRANCK FIFE
Former South African President Nelson Mandela and his wife, Graca Machel, wave to fans at the World Cup soccer final between the Netherlands and Spain at the First National Bank Stadium in Soweto, South Africa, on July 11, 2010. The stadium is the setting for Mandela's funeral on Tuesday. Photo: FRANCK FIFE
President Barack Obama, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, waves prior to boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base before traveling to South Africa. They were joined by former President George W. Bush, his wife Laura and former first lady Hillary Clinton. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter are traveling separately to South Africa. Photo: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana
President Barack Obama, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, waves prior to boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base before traveling to South Africa. They were joined by former President George W. Bush, his wife Laura and former first lady Hillary Clinton. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter are traveling separately to South Africa. Photo: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana
A member of the African National Congress puts up a poster of Nelson Mandela at the First National Bank Stadium in Soweto, South Africa, on Monday in preparation for former South African president's funeral on Tuesday. For workers cleaning the stadium, it was a personal mission for a hero to whom they owe their freedom. Photo: JEFF J MITCHELL/GETTY IMAGES
A member of the African National Congress puts up a poster of Nelson Mandela at the First National Bank Stadium in Soweto, South Africa, on Monday in preparation for former South African president's funeral on Tuesday. For workers cleaning the stadium, it was a personal mission for a hero to whom they owe their freedom. Photo: JEFF J MITCHELL/GETTY IMAGES
The 90,000-seat First National Bank Stadium in Soweto, South Africa, where global leaders will gather Tuesday for Nelson Mandela's funeral. Photo: BEN CURTIS/AP
The 90,000-seat First National Bank Stadium in Soweto, South Africa, where global leaders will gather Tuesday for Nelson Mandela's funeral. Photo: BEN CURTIS/AP
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- While most of the World including the Heads of Governments of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Caribbean Community (Caricom) will be represented at the once in a life time event of the memorial service and funeral of the International freedom fighter and former South African President Nelson R. Mandela, the Virgin Islands will be absent.

Director of Communications in the Premier’s Office Mrs Arliene T. Penn, when contacted, told Virgin Islands News Online no one will be attending from the Virgin Islands. It is unclear if any attempts were even made to attend or if the Dr. Smith Administration sought to be part of the British, the OECS or CARICOM delegations.

"At this point in time we do not have a delegation from the Government attending the funeral...but I must say that on December 6, Premier [Dr The Hon. D. Orlando Smith] would have sent a letter to His Excellency Jacob Zuma [President of South Africa] expressing his condolences on behalf of the people of the territory," Mrs Penn added.

The British Delegation will include Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband. The Royal Family will be represented by Prince Charles.

Well over 91 heads of state, 10 former heads of state, 75 dignitaries and 86 delegations from various organizations have confirmed their attendance and are already in South Africa.

Caribbean Leaders line up to attend

The Virgin Islands, which seems not to be engaged in the regional and international community outside of simply attending meetings and workshops, will not join their counterparts of the many Caribbean leaders who have already confirmed their attendance and are already in Johannesburg, South Africa for the memorial and funeral of the icon, international hero and late President Mandela.

The funeral will see from the Region, Cuban President Raul Castro; Haitian President Michel Martelly; Suriname President Desi Bouterse; Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad Bissessar; Jamaican Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller; President Donald Ramotar of Guyana and Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie will all be in attendance.

In addition, the Caribbean Region will see Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell; St Lucia’s Prime Minister Kenny Anthony and St. Vincent and the Grenadians Dr. Ralph Gonsalves among others attending.

International Leaders in attendance

A national memorial service for the man who, as the country’s first black president, forged a new multiracial, democratic South Africa, will be held at a Johannesburg stadium today December 10, 2013.

Mandela’s body will lie in state at the Union Buildings, the seat of government in Pretoria, from Wednesday to Friday, followed by his funeral and burial in Qunu on December 15, 2013.

Among those who are already in South Africa are U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle and his three predecessors, George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush, Bill Clinton and Mrs. Clinton as well as Jimmy Carter.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, along with his predecessor Kofi A. Annan, is also in Johannesburg for the memorial service.

Other leaders and dignitaries who have confirmed they will be at the funeral include French President Francois Hollande; Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany; Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff; Cyprus’ Parliamentary Speaker, Yiannakis Omirou; Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt; Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, and Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

African Leaders

President Robert G. Mugabe of Zimbabwe is among the many African leaders, including President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, both Leaders from the Congo states and Equatorial Guinea and India President Pranab Mukherjee.

The Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Tony Abbott, the Australian Prime Minister, and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway are in attendance. Pope Francis is among the world’s dignitaries expected to attend parts of the memorial for Mandela.

King Willem-Alexander and Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans will attend on behalf of the Netherlands, and are already in South Africa as well as Iran President Hassan Rouhani.

Many celebrities are also in South Africa including Pop star and human rights activist Peter Gabriel, The Spice Girls, singer Bono and Oprah Winfrey.

The NDP after 2 years

The ruling National Democratic Party Government has been under fire from the business community and the Opposition in its handling of international relations, in particular the protection of the vital Off Shore financial sector which has been under attack.

Many have argued that the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government of Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE did more and a better job to protect the sector.

The National Democratic Party (NDP) Government at its two year mark has only signed 3 Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA), with the third one being signed just a few weeks ago with the Government of Poland. The lack of signing of these TIEAs by the NDP Administration is indeed compelling as the international community regards the signing of these agreements as a serious signal of commitment to keeping the jurisdiction clear in accordance with internationally agreed standards.

The former VIP Government signed 22 TIEAs.

It was reported that the Controversial United Kingdom appointed Governor William B. McCleary had a book at his office to be signed in remembrance of the international freedom fighter Nelson Mandela.

However, while no press release was dispatched on the book signing, it remains unclear if this was just a political gimmick for Ministers of Government to get in the news and their photo taken or what was the role of the ordinary citizens in signing the book of remembrance.

40 Responses to “Virgin Islands a no show at Nelson Mandela’s funeral ”

  • apple pie (10/12/2013, 11:46) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    well said great piece vino
  • geezzzz (10/12/2013, 11:53) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    This government is something else, I'm puzzled perhaps we are being represented by David Cameron and Nick Clegg. The BVI is a small fish so I guess have to take a back seat. We should have at least sent someone, if the Premier couldn't go then he sent a representative like to Minister in the photo op. and Y they exclude the public from signing the book of condolences, this behaviour is not Madiba like, he would have include everyone. So u see the government acting contrary to what Nelson "Madiba" Mandela fought and stood for. Peace be with them.
    • please (10/12/2013, 13:28) Like (3) Dislike (8) Reply
      The public was not excluded from signing the book, times were posted, too much mis information gets spread.
    • jack of ace (11/12/2013, 09:11) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Would you have paid the seven thousand dollars round trip for whoever was going to the funeral, if they went the first thing we the bloggers would have said "things rough and them spending money for mandela funeral" the government cannot please nobody no matter if they do good or bad
  • ABC (10/12/2013, 11:56) Like (32) Dislike (4) Reply
    Putting Dr. Smith next to Nelson Mandela is a dis service to Mr. Mandela. , who was a fighter for freedom and democracy. The Smith NDP is a fighter for media censorship, victimization, anything goes, and bringing communism to the bvi…shame on you VINO
  • black boy (10/12/2013, 12:07) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    "However, while no press release was dispatched on the book signing, it remains unclear if this was just a political gimmick for Ministers of Government to get in the news and their photo taken or what was the role of the ordinary citizens in signing the book of remembrance" very powerful as I live on VG and wanted to sign
  • Rasterfari community (10/12/2013, 12:24) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    We don't evin Respect our own heritage but we adopt the Western Hemisphere way of livity...........................come on black Government educate our people of our history black history
  • Liat 521 (10/12/2013, 12:30) Like (5) Dislike (18) Reply
    Vip leave them broke so they could not afford tickets he he ha ha
  • Jane (10/12/2013, 12:41) Like (13) Dislike (3) Reply

    So What is the big deal if they dont attend the funeral???

    • Fat Head (10/12/2013, 23:08) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      How is it that Nelson Mandela can lead South Africa away from Apartheid and to democracy and we in the BVi moving back to taking away freedom of speech and media?
  • Queen Mary (10/12/2013, 12:57) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    What’s the big deal no on would have known he was there any way
    • @ Queen Mary (10/12/2013, 14:14) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
      the people of the BVI and other craibbean countries would have
      • dem say (10/12/2013, 23:14) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Mandela’s life was the embodiment of the human spirit. His energy will uplift every corner of the globe which battles for equal rights for its citizens.
  • Hmmm (10/12/2013, 13:20) Like (9) Dislike (4) Reply
    now remind me again. Who would know that Dr. Smith wasn't there? Have he ever meet Mr. Mandel? Give me a break.
  • Online Now (10/12/2013, 13:36) Like (29) Dislike (6) Reply
    If he had gone the same people would be complaining he was wasting "their" money!
  • facts man (10/12/2013, 13:58) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    The ndp is the sell out government they will not be at such a funeral trust me
  • Suck Teeth (10/12/2013, 14:42) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    and ????????????????????????????? Don't go waste money yo hear!!

    Same VIP bloggers would be blasting you all for wasting money for going !!!

    Set of two tongue b*tches!!
  • Student!! (10/12/2013, 15:15) Like (9) Dislike (7) Reply
    Dr. gave ayo ting to talk. Ayo tola people can't get pleased no matter what Government ayo have. If any one had left this place ayo would have been saying then no it aint got no money and them still gone to South Africa. Lord what a little set of unsatified people.
  • yes we can (10/12/2013, 15:24) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am sure when j dies they will attend
  • vi (10/12/2013, 15:52) Like (11) Dislike (4) Reply

    according to CNN there was a representative from every country in the world even Russia. Even The Congress Woman Donna Christian Christensen from the USVI was in attendance. So yes the Premier or a member of the Gov't should have went; its not matter of wasting money its a matter of respect.

    • @ vi (10/12/2013, 17:16) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      i so agree it would have speak to the BVI pride shame on doc and the ndp
  • Eagle (10/12/2013, 17:01) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    I was quite happy to read that Sir Richard Branson attended the funeral. After all isnt he a BVI resident, owning two islands?? Thats as close as we could get, and I have no problem with it. I looked at the funeral for hours and was very pleased, almost felt as if I was there!

    Mandela will be forever etched in history.
  • home boy (10/12/2013, 18:47) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    no Show you say? Nothing in that for dem!
  • ricky madeoff (10/12/2013, 22:40) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Let the dead bury the dead
  • one eye roster (10/12/2013, 23:04) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Is anyone else thinking today of that other great South African resident man of peace Mahatma Ghandi?
  • Real (11/12/2013, 00:43) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is a non issue, the UK already have reps there on our behave and besides that do you think we are the only who is not there?
  • yayo (11/12/2013, 06:03) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Keep the focus on Nelson Mandela's struggle against South African apartheid that inspired millions. And his great call for justice and equality continues to resonate around the world, as new generations of young people pursue the ideals he embraced. the NDP has long become irrelevant as we all await the next general elections

  • Shame on NDP (11/12/2013, 09:27) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    This NDP Government is down right worthless and disrespectful! im shame to my stomach of the behavior of this Government, Especially Dr.Smith. They disrespected the Late Rieel Georges now they Disrespect the great Nelson Mandella.
    • Online Now (11/12/2013, 13:48) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      So great that you went and disrespected him by spelling his name wrong.
  • ...... (11/12/2013, 09:48) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply

    South Africa must have been soooooo devastated that the Virgin Islands was a no show..............lol

  • .... (11/12/2013, 12:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    & had he gone...it would have been "The Government is broke and they can afford to send premier to south africa?" How many other islands from the Caribbean and countries around the world weren't in attendance?
  • 2015 (11/12/2013, 18:17) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I just never understand how middle or lower class voters could vote for this NDP crew when they fighting against them.

    last election they pull the wool over our eyes!
  • straight talk (11/12/2013, 22:33) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    What a shame! WHAT A SOCIETY People can have such "ground worm" mentality. Nelson Mandela represents freedom, courage, the rights of human dignity and equality for all races black and white moreso black people. What is wrong with this society? Is dumb people so dumb that they can't see his how backwards they are squabbling over something like showing respect for Mandela by attending his funeral. People, get to know your history and world events Stop thinking like gutter rats. This is the 21st century. Throw off the shackles of slavish mentality - think, embrace, beyond the box, beyond the shores of the- BVI ARE WE TRULY EDUCATED PEOPLE? Act the role
  • just maybe (12/12/2013, 13:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    maybe orlando was there as the fake sign interprter..LOL
  • bye (12/12/2013, 22:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Rip nelson your work is over
  • auyy (14/12/2013, 01:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    No polical milage so why attend


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