TIMES.VG

BVI, Caribbeanand International News
TIMES.VG

UWI tells UK to ‘retreat’ from idea of direct rule in VI

UWI tells UK to ‘retreat’ from idea of direct rule in VI

The University of the West Indies (UWI) has joined with CARICOM and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in calling on Britain to retreat from “stated political calls to subvert and subordinate the sovereignty of the people of the Virgin Islands.”

Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies Professor Sir Hilary M. Beckles in a statement on May 9, 2022, said this is the second occasion in recent weeks UWI has had to call for respect of the national rights of a community; having done so following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The report of a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) sponsored by the United Kingdom (UK) during the COVID-19 pandemic has recommended a suspension of the Virgin Islands (VI) constitution and the imposition of direct rule from London.

The report stated there may have been corrupt practices in successive governments and also called for investigation into certain projects.

UWI deplores ‘persistence of colonial rule’ by UK


But, according to Professor Beckles, UWI is committed to the decolonisation of the Caribbean and deplore the persistence of colonial rule of the people in the VI.

“The regional UWI insists, therefore, that its member community, the Virgin Islands, be given the full opportunity and autonomy to resolve its immediate domestic challenges. We are confident that it will do so within an enabling Caribbean framework without injurious imperial aggression emanating from London.”

Professor Beckles, a Barbadian historian, said all the people of the region have fought with all means available to craft a democratic culture in the face of fierce opposition from Britain. “They have been murdered, imprisoned, and racially denigrated in the quest for freedom, justice and democracy.”

UK has ‘no moral authority’ on democracy in Caribbean


Further, the UWI Vice-Chancellor said Britain has “no authority, moral or otherwise, to teach democracy lessons in the Caribbean, insisting as it does on dominating the people who are seeking reparatory justice for centuries of colonial brutality and continuing imperial rule.”

In efforts to stave off a return to colonialism, the political leaders in the Virgin Islands have formed a coalition government, which has since been sworn in.

According to Professor Beckles, who is the Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission, the region is proud of the initiative by the ruling party and opposition to come together to form a national consensus government.

“This is the spirit that forms the core of the independence sensibility now rooted in the region. It is precisely this consciousness that will enable the community to resolve whatever governance challenges are arising from the tragic, debilitating, recent events.”

UK not playing ‘West Indian cricket’


Professor Beckles continued that it is also true that it is persistent British colonial rule of the community that distorts quality indigenous development and constitutes the framework in which international financial malfeasance seeks haven in these islands.

“Britain has created this wicket on which the game being played is not West Indian cricket.”

UWI ready to assist VI


The Caribbean professor said UWI stands ready to facilitate the national strategy of the Virgin Islands, its stakeholder, to maintain and enhance its sovereignty.

“It also stands ready to assist Britain in curing itself from the persistent impulse and cultural addiction to dominate the people of this region by imperial edict.”

A majority of Virgin Islanders appear to be against direct rule by Britain but welcome the help of the UK to fix some of the issues highlighted in the CoI report.

Demonstration against the possible imposition of direct rule by the United Kingdom (UK) on Monday, May 2, 2022.


Demonstration against the possible imposition of direct rule by the United Kingdom (UK) on Monday, May 2, 2022.


A majority of Virgin Islanders appear to be against direct rule by Britain but welcome the help of the UK to fix some of the issues highlighted in the CoI report.


A majority of Virgin Islanders appear to be against direct rule by Britain but welcome the help of the UK to fix some of the issues highlighted in the CoI report.

Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.VG
×