by Hayden Boyce – Publisher & Editor-in-Chief,
Published in Sun TCI on 20th of February 2013
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has expressed “grave concern” about the state of political affairs in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
In fact, the regional leaders are taking matters in this country so seriously that they intend to raise concerns indentified by Premier Dr. Rufus Ewing with representatives of the British Government.
In a communiqué issued at the conclusion of the 24th Inter-sessional Heads of Government meeting held in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, the Caribbean leaders stated: “The Conference noted with grave concern that, though the elections of November 2012 had led to the restoration of representative government, the overall state of political affairs remained less than desirable and the restoration of true democracy was still a far way off. The 2011 constitution, conceived in London and thrust upon the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands when they were without representation, was viewed as a mere by-law for the continuance of direct rule under the pretext of representative democracy.”
The CARICOM report added: “Of additional concern were the challenges emanating from the workings of the justice system in relation to the criminal investigations that followed the commission of enquiry, and what was portrayed as “constant infractions of democratic principles and insults to the ideals of elected government”.
The Conference noted the reaffirmation of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government’s commitment to the Caribbean Community as well as the expressed appreciation for the pronouncements of the Community on the situation in TCI. It was decided to continue to keep the situation under close review and to raise concerns with representatives of the British Government.”
The communiqué said that the conference “received with interest” the address made by the Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Dr. Rufus Ewing.
It was the first meeting of the Community at which the Turks and Caicos Islands had been officially represented by a democratically elected Government since the suspension of its constitution in August 2009, and a three-year period of direct rule by the United Kingdom Government.
In his maiden speech to a CARICOM Heads of Government meeting on Tuesday, Premier Ewing called on CARICOM (Caribbean Community), to advocate on the international stage for the full restoration of the institutions of true democracy in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
He also asked regional leaders to “support our (Turks and Caicos Islands) cries for removal of the spectre of colonial influences of the past, as we fight for our rights on our journey towards true self governance and self determination”.
Dr. Ewing’s said then: “The current state of affairs in the Turks and Caicos Islands has the potential to throw our Country into chaos. For so long as I am the leader and principal spokesman of the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, I will use every means available to me to ensure that does not happen.”