Honourable Fahie, speaking to Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) today, Tuesday, September 29, 2020, told our news centre that the letter carried in its entirety by a local media house, was confidential correspondence with the UK and that he had “no clue” how such a high-profile letter could have leaked.
In the letter seen by VINO and confirmed by the Premier, Hon Fahie told Sugg on September 25, 2020, that he was dissatisfied and outraged with the hijacking of the Territory’s sea border by Governor Jaspert.
The Premier said the Governor’s decision was made based on a “grossly inaccurate and exaggerated misrepresentation” of the capabilities of the VI’s resources to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Governor Jaspert’s intention to deliberately bulldoze the elected Government is pellucidly clear as he has issued a public statement at 6 pm local time today, 25 September 2020,” he noted.
The Premier said the Governor's statement essentially informed the public that, “the UK Government would be providing various things which my Government and I have not asked for and which we advised him of our objection to in the format in which he is proceeding to act.”
The Governor in his missive to the public had announced, amongst other plans; that against the orders of the Premier, a UK Military Navy Ship, ‘HMS Medway’, would return to the Territory to provide border security support.
The Governor’s unilateral decision came even as the Fahie Administration had strengthened its collaborations with the US Virgin Islands (USVI) on border security and utilised local vessels to patrol VI’s waters through a joint task force comprising officers of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), the Immigration Department and Her Majesty’s Customs, a move that has been very effective in keeping the borders secured.
In a show of high-handedness and disregard to the will of the democratically elected Government of the Virgin Islands, Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert has asked for the British navy ship, HMS Medway, to help patrol the borders of the Virgin Islands throughout October, 2020.
Hon Fahie said through the actions of the Governor, the relationship between the administration and the public, now risk some amount of injury.
“He [Governor Jaspert] has further, and yet again, made statements aimed at injuring the relationship between the people of the Virgin Islands and their democratically elected Government, and conducted himself in a manner that jeopardises the relationship between the BVI Government and the UK Government."
Premier Fahie continued, “Your Governor’s imperialistic, rough-shod behaviour in this matter is offensive and insulting to my Government and I, as well as to the aspirations of the people of the Virgin Islands who are struggling to realise the centuries-old dream of their enslaved ancestors to one day be fully free of the grip of the British, as encapsulated in Article 73 of the United Nations Charter.”
According to Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1), Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert continues to make statements aimed at injuring the relationship between the people of the Virgin Islands and their democratically elected Government, and conducted himself in a manner that jeopardises the relationship between the Virgin Islands Government and the United Kingdom Government.
The Premier said that the Governor’s decisions were made even though he penned Mr Jaspert on three occasions; September 15, 23 and 24 September 2020, informing him that the VI wants to develop the capacity to manage its own border security affairs with limited UK military assistance.
“I have been very clear that from a cultural perspective, the people of the Virgin Islands see a role for the UK Military in assisting certain aspects of our border protection strategy, but because of the desire to develop our domestic capabilities the invitation for UK Military assistance is limited to certain functions,” Premier Fahie said.
VINO will bring more details on the leaked letter to the UK.