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OT Minister to continue talks on Order in Council during VI visit- Premier

- said Lord Goldsmith is scheduled to visit the VI next week
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), right, has said, as promised, he has started a discussion on the controversial Order in Council to suspend the Virgin Islands Constitution with the Minister of Overseas Territories, Commonwealth, Energy, Climate and Environment at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (left). Photo: Facebook
The United Nations General Assembly on December 12, 2022, has adopted a resolution on the question of the [British] Virgin Islands contained in the 2022 Report on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. Photo: UN/Internet Source
The United Nations General Assembly on December 12, 2022, has adopted a resolution on the question of the [British] Virgin Islands contained in the 2022 Report on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. Photo: UN/Internet Source
FAT HOGS BAY, Tortola, VI- Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has said, as promised, he has started a discussion on the controversial Order in Council to suspend the Virgin Islands Constitution with the Minister of Overseas Territories, Commonwealth, Energy, Climate and Environment at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park.

The discussion has begun- Premier

Premier Wheatley, speaking on the International Morning Braff show on Tola Radio VI this morning, January 23, 2023, said; however, that discussions on the topic will continue when Lord Goldsmith visits the Virgin Islands (VI) next week,

“As I had promised the people of the Virgin Islands, we began a discussion on the Order in Council that is hanging over our heads. And the Minister pledged to continue that discussion with us when he is coming to the Virgin Islands next week.

“We started the discussion and we decided that we needed a little bit more time to speak about that particular matter and we decided to continue when the Minister is coming here next week and I can properly update after we have those discussions,” Premier Wheatley told host of the show Floyd Burnett aka Heritage.

Regional & international bodies reject Order in Council

The Order in Council gives the unelected governor, a UK national, the power to suspend the Virgin Islands' constitution and impose direct rule if the VI does not implement recommendations made in the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) by one-man commissioner Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom, who was handpicked by ex-governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert.

The action has been rejected by the majority of the Virgin Islands, the United Nations (UN), CARICOM, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), University of the West Indies (UWI) and US Virgin Islands Governor Albert A. Bryan Jr.

In a statement to Members to the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly: Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonisation) in New York City on October 6, 2022, Special Envoy of the Premier Mr E. Benito Wheatley said the reserved Order in Council is a form of pressure that can weaken democratic governance and hinder a genuine working relationship between the VI and UK.

“This form of pressure can weaken democratic governance and is an obstacle to building a new genuine modern partnership between the UK and BVI that is based on trust and supports the aspirations of the people of the Territory.”

Mr Wheatley also told the UN there should also be sensitivity about the feelings of the Commonwealth Caribbean on this issue in terms of the colonial past.

“A new modern partnership can be established if both sides act in good faith,” Mr Wheatley argued.

UN backs VI

Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly on December 12, 2022, adopted a resolution on the question of the [British] Virgin Islands contained in the 2022 Report on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.

The resolution takes note of the agreement of the administering Power (UK) to the proposal by the territorial Government of National Unity on the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry without the need for a temporary partial suspension of the Constitution.

It also expressed concern that the administering Power put an Order in Council on hold to partially suspend the Constitution if the Government of the United Kingdom assesses that the implementation of the recommendations does not proceed satisfactorily.

The resolution further Reaffirms the inalienable right of the people of the Virgin Islands to self-determination, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and with General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV), containing the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and it Also reaffirms that, in the process of decolonization of the British Virgin Islands, there is no alternative to the principle of self-determination, which is also a fundamental human right, as recognized under the relevant human rights conventions.

17 Responses to “OT Minister to continue talks on Order in Council during VI visit- Premier”

  • ABC (23/01/2023, 10:48) Like (17) Dislike (15) Reply
    more lies and propaganda slowman must go and go even before the next elections.
  • Accountability (23/01/2023, 11:48) Like (14) Dislike (16) Reply
    Not only the Governor has failed the public service but also the police force. Imagine many senior police officers were known to be retiring for more than five years in advance and no succession planning was done by the UK Commissioner of Police & the Governor who is over the police force. I guess this was by design to use in justifying the need for Uk senior officers to be employed to take over the force as part of the full master plan for overall take over of the BVI. Doing wrong to get what you think is right is still wrong. Tell the UK Minister these facts so he can get both sides of the matter.
  • Educate the UK MInister (23/01/2023, 11:50) Like (22) Dislike (14) Reply
    Educate the UK Minister why we do not trust the COI as it was done and set up by the Governor in a non-transparent manner for purposes that are highly questionable as nothing under the Governor's responsibility was assessed in any meaningful way. This seems like a well-organized modern-day lynching. You cannot be a dictator in this day and age and think that people will cast a blind eye towards these kinds of injustices especially when your back yard is worse than those you seek to enslave.
  • questions (23/01/2023, 11:53) Like (28) Dislike (14) Reply
    When he comes ask him why the Governor and his UK staff working in the BVI are exempted from the law where the new register of interest act shows what all public officers and elected officials own or otherwise. Can't people see that this is a double standard. This is not right at all. If they are working here, then they should adhere to the local laws as well. There are many alarming stories of them with some of these rich people living around here.
  • Not encouraging (23/01/2023, 11:59) Like (12) Dislike (11) Reply
    Those racist senior public officers in the UK who advises the UK Ministers about the BVI, and all overseas territories never think much of any of us in the Caribbean and they will never do so as they see us as inferior to them and they see us in a negative light. It is in their heritage. If this Minister does not insist to have the Order in Council removed and ask for the facts to be given from both sides by both sides and not just from them, to assist him in making an informed decision, then it will never be removed because that is their long-awaited modern-day slavery whip. This is so wrong and against democracy. It is going to take a revolution to solve this colonial dictatorship.
  • Democracy is a MUST (23/01/2023, 12:04) Like (6) Dislike (15) Reply
    You have all the below rejecting the Governor and UK Authority dictatorship moves especially with the Order in Council for direct rule:
    1) The United Nations
    2) CARICOM
    3) USVI GOVERNOR
    4) OECS
    If all these were against actions of our public servants, local and Caribbean people and our politicians’ decisions and all of them kept moving forward regardless, the majority of us would have been hitting the ceiling if they failed to listen to them but we want to give the Governor and his UK Authorities a free pass. It is time to end dictatorships of any kind. It is time to end colonialism. It is time to end the two orders in council or any order in council and their attempt at direct rule. It is anti-democratic. We have to come together to stop this wicked act because those in the UK will already have the UK Minister brainwashed.
  • Native sernior citizen of the British Virgin Islands (23/01/2023, 12:24) Like (15) Dislike (9) Reply
    Is not partnershio through negociations points with the UK is one of the suggestions: "Time To Reset" by Former NDP Deputy Premier, Dr. Kedrick Pickering has, and are continuing saying that we need to seriously consider going forward? Yes it is!
    After being in the UK from January 14-22 and had face to face discussions on various issues of our concerns,
    Is it becoming more clear to you, Premier Natalio Sawande Wheatley that negociations with the UK rather ill advised will serve us better than political war? When you were in the UK, you were careful not to badmouth them face to face. Neither will you badmouth the UK's representative face to face when in negiciations, when he comes.

    Fix the roads, the trask dumps, our schools, and other needed infrastructual areas. This is not the right time to play stalling games.

  • Sloan (23/01/2023, 12:34) Like (15) Dislike (13) Reply
    Have we forgotten the reason this order is hanging over our heads?
    Years of corruption all the way through to the very top as shown with head coach. It seems to me like total foolishness and a waste of time to be bringing this conversation up. We the people are not even close to trusting the government.
  • I need a pain Killer too (23/01/2023, 13:17) Like (2) Dislike (20) Reply
    Mr. Premier you can leased Pusser's R. Town out for that afternoon so most of us can atop by and have a Pain Killer on the king's bill and say hello to the foreign minister. Nice meeting you. 'The BVI needs help'.
  • HMMM (23/01/2023, 13:25) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
    The BVI is no worse than any other country so you colonial paid UK bloggers that hate the BVI that keep blogging negatives over and over under different names can stop wasting your time.
  • the ag (23/01/2023, 13:41) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    ...need to review all the laws that do not align with the principal of self determination so that they can be abolished, starting with the COI
  • UK resident (23/01/2023, 14:47) Like (9) Dislike (5) Reply
    The two Orders in Council are both wrong and do not reflect democracy nor a modern partnership. Both need to be removed immediately, both the one for financial services to make the register public and the other one with the suspension of the constitution. The Minister needs to know this and acknowledge it and pull back this anti-democratic decision right away.
  • Yes to UK (23/01/2023, 15:44) Like (7) Dislike (5) Reply
    So Natalio Wheatley it sounds like you have given up the drive to go independent you don’t know what you want. I hope that the Governor will convince Lord Zac Goldsmith to keep the Order in Council on because as soon as that is remove you guys will go back to doing things the old way.
  • Josiahsbay (23/01/2023, 18:08) Like (14) Dislike (5) Reply
    If the UK implements the "Order" ignore it and make an international challenge using whatever means are available to us.
  • D7 (24/01/2023, 10:14) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sohowda must go
  • I With You (24/01/2023, 11:46) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    @Josiahsbay

    I am with you. Say the word. I am ready.


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