The world is still only receiving trickled news of the British take-over of Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean, though it commenced on August 14, 2009. The British take-over was executed under the authority of Great Britain's Commission of Enquiry report of one activist judge, Sir Robin Auld. The corruption enquiry concludes that the earlier government of Michael Misick bred a climate of fear among its citizens. However, the people of Turks and Caicos did not vote on this action, nor did the UK Parliament.
Many people in the islands were provoked to take a position as to the character of the former leader, Michael Misick. The UK used a local media outlet, TCI Journal, to insight the people's dissension of Misick. A firestorm of accusations began to swirl about Misick, including accusations of rape for which he was later exonerated.
The UK's strong hold over the people of the islands has made it nearly impossible for the people to ban together and seek help from the world and democracy foundations. The UK has intimidated the media, the local voices and has manufactured hatred among the people, dividing loyalties.
The former Premier's wife, LisaRaye McCoy, at the time a jilted woman who discovered her husband's affair through this mess, was the UK's prime witness of Michael Misick's wrong doing. She now recants her story and claims that Misick was a good Premier who cared about the people of Turks and Caicos.
The UK invaded the Turks & Caicos Islands under the guise of helping restore good governance to the country. However, they have inspired the exact opposite. The UK has indentured the people to UK's government by driving up fees for their corruption inquiry and investigation to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Although the islands have continually enjoyed a government surplus in the tens of millions, it is now heavily in debt, the likes of which will take the people years to claw their way from.
The people have also been indentured to the UK by the UK's set up of foreign business investors who the UK also accuses of corruption with Misick. In fact, three of the investors (they are of no relation to each other) filed a lawsuit against the UK government in order to contest their names printed in the corruption report. They each proclaimed that the accusations were false and not proved. The judge agreed and ordered an injunction enjoining the publication of the developers' names. However, the UK government got around the injunction by having the developers' names released, publishing the unredacted report on Wikileaks. The UK purposefully used Shaun Malcolm, an UK insider agent in the islands, to leak the document to Wikileaks, against the court order. As a result of UK's targeting of foreign developers, many important resort developments have failed or have been confiscated, taking the people's only source of jobs and revenue: tourism.
Prior to August 14, 2009, Turks and Caicos Islands had its own constitution and government which is now "suspended," for what Great Britain claimed would be a period of at least two years. However, just last week the UK stated that elections in 2011 would be "unrealistic".
What makes this a subject of inequity is not only that Great Britain seized the government of Turks and Caicos, alleging corruption by then Premiere Misick, but that a newly elected government had been installed since March 2009, following Misick's resignation. Galmo Williams had been the newly elected Premiere for five months prior to Britain's take-over. By all accounts, world governments found Great Britain's move to be excessive and unnecessary.
The United Nations' Special Committee for Decolonisation has released its report dated September 23, 2009, after UK's take over Turks and Caicos, entitled: Report of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples for 2009. In the report, section X (4), the United Nations addresses Turks and Caicos Islands' direct rule by Great Britain and specifically calls for: "restoration of constitutional arrangements providing for representative democracy through elected territorial Government as soon as possible." On October 6, 2009, The United Nations published its declaration with respect to eradicating colonialism, "Eradication Colonialism Requires, Concrete, Creative Impetus." This document affirms the United Nations "Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2001-2010)."
Generally, the United Nations condemns colonialism by Great Britain and it has made several resolutions and declarations to that end. But it has also specifically addressed the British take over of the Turks and Caicos Islands of August 14, 2009, as improper. Furthermore, a team of international attorneys working on behalf of Turks and Caicos argued to The United Nations that the suspension of Turks and Caicos' constitution, "contravenes European Union law."
Among the most outspoken of Great Britain's critics in this regard is CARICOM, a multi-nation Caribbean governmental body whose mission is to "provide dynamic leadership and service, in partnership with Community institutions and Groups, toward the attainment of a viable, internationally competitive and sustainable Community..." CARICOM is said to be a type of United Nations of the Caribbean.After CARICOM's summit in Guyana, CARICOM announced once again that it is "deeply disturbed" by Great Britain's decision to suspend Turks and Caicos Island's constitution.In a statement following the summit, CARICOM announced its condemnation of Great Britain's "...rejection...of the new Premier." and expressed its favor, "to allow the people of TCI to elect a new government which could have adopted and implemented the measures required to improve the administration of the territory and strengthen integrity in public life was, regrettably, a lost opportunity."
Many Turks and Caicos Islanders are asking questions as well. Why has the UK raised taxes, cut benefits and taken democracy? Why is the UK backing away from its promise of allowing elections in 2011? Why has Great Britain suspended its citizens' right to a jury trial? Governor Gordon Wetherell, now in charge of the islands' government, has been quoted as follows, "The constitutional right to trial by jury is also suspended with immediate effect. In accordance with the Order in Council, this will be for a period of two years, subject to extension or abbreviation as necessary."
It has also been reported that another Caribbean nation, St Lucia through its Foreign Affairs MinisterBousquet, has announced that it joins CARICOM's "profound concern" with Great Britain's decision to dissolve self-governance and independence as to Turks and Caicos Islands. Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal Premier of the British Virgin Islands and finance minister, has been publicly vocal about his discontent of UK's presence in Turks and Caicos. Mr. O'Neal has said that UK's actions were "drastic" in taking Turks and Caicos' government and that warnings and rehabilitation were not identified or offered. With so many international communities weighing in on the controversy of Great Britain's direct rule over Turks and Caicos, why is Great Britain still installed on the island territory? Governor Wetherell, a legally defined dictator, smugly dismisses world claims that the British government control is a take-over of Turks and Caicos or colonialism.
However, simple cursory reviews expose the standard of colonialism or imperialism. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines colonialism as "political and economic control over a dependent territory." It further defines post-modern colonialism as a foreign entity governing that is not of the same culture or history of the territory.The UK has repeatedly affirmed its right to be installed in Turks and Caicos citing to its devotion to restore good governance, even in spite of the world community's views on its takeover of the Turks and Caicos government. This is a difficult agenda to believe in light of the UK's own government difficulties and the severity of needs in other commonwealths and territories.
Furthermore, the citizens of the United Kingdom are bound to demand an answer as to UK's intentions abroad in Turks and Caicos. Great Britain will undoubtedly be taken to task if the world community has a say and stays committed to following this crisis.
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