A local lawyer who helped represent Members of the House of Assembly (HOA) at the Committee of Inquiry (COI) has argued that the United Kingdom (UK) is after BVI resources and has no interest in helping the inhabitants of the territory, as he claims.
Daniel Fligelstone Davies, who was part of the Silk Legal team during COI, was one of a panel member at a public meeting held last night, May 1, in preparation for today’s march against the IOC recommendation for direct administration in the UK.
“They (the UK) are looking to take our fishing waters away from us,” Davies said. “They are here for our resources; they are not there for us.
At the meeting, he also asked the audience which country had ever benefited from the rule of the United Kingdom and determined that no country had ever benefited from it apart from the United Kingdom.
The lawyer prefaced his assertion by quoting the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in which Article 1 states that:
1. All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of this right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
2. All peoples may, for their own purposes, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to the obligations arising from international economic cooperation, based on the principle of mutual benefit, and from international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.
The document was adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1966.
Meanwhile, Davies further argued that Article 25 of the same document gives the BVI the human right to freely elect its own representatives and participate in its political affairs.
But he stressed that an advisory council proposed in the COI final report to assist the governor in his duties if the UK were to implement a direct regime, would not be a popularly elected body.
Davies wondered if this should be accepted and asked the audience what to do about it.
In the meantime, organizers of the planned march have said they intend to be heard at Government House (the Governor’s residence) today, where elected officials and others are expected to meet the UK Minister for Overseas Territories, Amanda Milling, for discussions on the COI report.
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