MIAMI, April 29 (Reuters) - The British Virgin Islands should have its constitution suspended, its elected government dissolved and effectively be ruled from London, according to a highly critical report into governance in the British overseas territory released on Friday.
The British Governor of the British Virgin Islands (BVI)-- one John Rankin - selected a British Judge - one Justice Gary Hickinbottom-to constitute the sole Commissioner of a Commission of Inquiry into alleged corruption and mismanagement by the elected indigenous Governing Administration of the BVI.
The British Judge has now issued a Report in which he is claiming that he found much evidence of corruption and maladministration being practiced by the elected governmental administration, and he has recommended that the Constitution of the BVI be suspended, its elected government dissolved, and that the territory be ruled from London.
In other words, a disbanding of the existing electoral and democratic processes, and a return to full colonial rule !
And by a strange coincidence, it just so happened that the Report of the Commission of Inquiry was completed and was available for release at the precise time that Mr Andrew Fahie, the current Premier of the BVI, was arrested in Miami, USA, and charged with the criminal offenses of money laundering and importation of cocaine !
According to Governor Rankin, the British Judge determined that "unless the most drastic and urgent steps are taken, the current situation with elected officials deliberately ignoring the tenets of good governance will go on indefinitely."
So apparently, what is being suggested is that the British Government must save the people of the BVI from themselves !
They are suggesting that the people of the BVI cannot be entrusted with the power to vote for their own governmental representatives !
This is utter nonsense !
All people must be invested with the power to freely elect their own government. This is a fundamental human and civil right.
The British Government was wrong when -- in 1953 -- they suspended the Constitution of Guyana.
And they were equally wrong when -- in 1962 -- they suspended the Constitution of Grenada.
In both cases, the British Government severely damaged the fabrics of those Caribbean nations.
The late great Prime Minister Errol Walton Barrow of Barbados was absolutely correct when he introduced a Motion in the Barbados House of Assembly in June 1962, denouncing the British Government for its suspension of the Constitution of Grenada.
On that occasion, Premier Barrow asserted that -- " YOU CANNOT DRAW UP AN INDICTMENT AGAINST A WHOLE NATION !"
That simple and fundamental position remains true today.
The people and Governments of the Caribbean must not sit idly by and permit the British Government to steal away the fundamental human and civil rights of our brothers and sisters of the BVI.
There must be no going backwards towards Colonialism in our Caribbean region !