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UN: UK Takeover of Turks and Caicos Islands a Clear Move in the Wrong Direction

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On October 12, 2009, the United Kingdom announced an update and report describing its steps taken toward its newly formed government in Turks and Caicos (UK). The report enumerated measures to restore what the UK calls, "principles of good governance and sound financial management in the Turks and Caicos Islands."

Slowly but surely, the world is learning of the news of the UK takeover of the Turks and Caicos Islands though it has been nearly one month since the "British Invasion".

Many assume that since Turks and Caicos is an island territory of the UK, that UK had a legal right to take over governance of the islands. The UN recognised Turks and Caicos as a territory of the UK only under the condition of a partnering relationship between the two.

The European Union, the United Nations and CARICOM (the Caribbean nation bloc), all condemn the UK's action of terminating Turks and Caicos' constitution and taking over the islands' government.

This week, the United Nations continued its nearly 20 year-long push, by its decolonisation committee, to readdress the need to eradicate colonialism. Turks and Caicos Islands and 15 other territories were on the agenda.

Though the United Nations has had much success with delivering territories from colonisation, the last remaining 16 have caused the committee to announce, "a crucial need to generate new momentum and ensure that the 16 remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories were able to exercise the right to self-determination."

The UN's General Assembly made a statement and report of its own this week, specifically addressing Turks and Caicos (October 9, 2009):

… the 16 remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories were able to exercise the right to self-determination..

… how long must people in the colonized Territories wait before they were fully emancipated…

… Turks and Caicos Islands was a clear move in the wrong direction. …the process of decolonization should be seen from an economic, cultural and social perspective, and not confined merely to the legal front…

… the Turks and Caicos Islands regarding the unilateral actions taken by the colonial Powers … calling for the immediate restoration of the Territory’s Government.

The UK defends its actions by citing corruption by Turks and Caicos' former Premier, Michael Misick, and it responds in part as follows:

This was a serious constitutional step which the Government did not take lightly. But these measures were essential in order to restore the principles of good governance and sound financial management. It remains our intention that elections should be held by July 2011, if not sooner.

The UK has not explained why the newly elected government, which had been installed six(6) months prior to UK's overthrow, was not honored. Speculation that UK had designs on the newly popular vacation destination have been rampant.

This act by the UK has caused international watch committees to see this as a triple threat. Not only has the UK unilaterally decided to take over governance of Turks and Caicos, but it has taken control from a duly elected new government and did so without any partnership or other mitigating options to support the new installation. This has caused the many international committees to call the UK's actions, aggressive and unlawful.

The UK has the further burden of addressing its reason for suspending jury trials in Turks and Caicos as well as the length of time, "at least 2 years", that it plans to remain in power in the islands.

The UN plans to continue the debate though it has made its opinions publicly clear. It condemns the UK's take over of Turks and Caicos.

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  • STM

    Did anyone at the UN ask ALL the people in TCI – always a British Overseas Territory, not a newly independent country, but which had had a system of self-government for nearly hal;f a century – whether they were upset about Britain’s move.

    Probably not given all the noise from the UN about “re-colonisation”.

    As Jimmy points out in another thread, no one asked them. The 1982 election became a de facto referendum on independence and TCI voted against it. Not much has changed.

    I’m sure one thing they don’t want, though, is bad governance.

    And it’s worth noting here that the people of TCI have been largely welcoming of the decision by Britain.

    IMO that’s a VERY telling factor. Interesting too that this has all happened in sync with the GFC, especially the corruption allegations.

    Among the dissenting voices might be those with the most to lose.

    Despite all the good humanitarian work it does, the UN shouldn’t be deciding blanket-fashion what’s best for people without asking them, when much of the time it’s struggling to run itself.

    Also, this is the third piece in what looks like it might be an endless series, which is possibly why I’m the only one posting.

    Perhaps someone from the TC who is happy about the British return can write a piece telling why.

    One side of a story is no story at all.

  • One man’s opinion

    Bring on any poll you want. The people of Turks and Caicos are ready to talk. Or are they all corrupt too?

  • If any one knows why TCI Journal is targeting Leeward, please let us know at TCIwatch. Why is TCI Journal targeting developers? TCI watch will crack this code once and for all. Is there a prize involved?

  • STM

    What is your interest here OMO? Are you the author of these pieces?

  • One man’s opinion

    The truth is my interest. I want the real reason why developers are being targeted and I want to know what is behind the rantings suggesting that everyone’s corrupt. I want the truth. There’s a rat behind this whole agenda and people are smart enough to ask the questions. The UN is researching this as well. What’s behind all of the sudden melt downs in Turks and Caicos?

  • One man’s opinion

    “There are a lot of people that feel the same, and have neither the place or time to air their views. The silent majority.”

  • DG

    I first want to congratulate the author on an extremely informative article. In my own country there was little to no news regarding all these developments.

    And I too am one of those people who simply believed that the TCI is just a British overseas territory. But I did not realize all the resolutions, draft resolutions and other steps by the UN in order to secure self-determination and de-colonization of these territories. So I did some of my own research and was amazed at all the UN documentation that exist on this.

    What is also important, which I noted, are the overwhelming amount of countries who come out in support of de-colonization, self-determination and self governance. Just recently (October 12) another draft was approved which had 146 countries voted in favor of the draft with only 2 against and 2 abstentions (including the UK). I also found it interesting that in the annexures, where there are votes against or abstaining, that it is always the same countries, mostly those with territories such as the UK and France. But they clearly stand very alone on this and times are clearly changing.

    This further made me think that the author asks some very valid and reasonable questions regarding the manner and the reasons in which the UK seems to have taken over the country, suspended its constitution and judicial processes and seemingly ignoring the latest government. To me the major question is how the UK justifies it and whether they have consulted the people of the country on this.

    This also seems to impact on the country’s growth (referring to developments aimed at boosting tourism and thus the economy). To an outsider this comes across as a stagnating factor which rather adds to instability. With instability no country can grow to its full potential. I guess time will only tell.

    However, the UN member’s wishes seem clear if one looks at the overwhelming world opinion in favor of resolutions and drafts regarding self governance and self-determination.
    World opinion can surely not be ignored forever and neither the wishes of the people who has a right to self-determination.

    What are the wishes of the people of TCI? Has anybody asked them? Has there been a referendum on this? Do they wish for the economy to stagnate and for foreign investment to withdraw, and their jobs with it? Just wondering.

  • One man’s opinion

    Very convenient that suddenly everyone in Turks and Caicos is corrupt. Nice. PNP, PDM, developers, clergymen, hosptials, citizens. That’s the excuse to elimate jury trials altogether. Gilly is corrupt, Leeward of Nikki Beach, Cem Kinay of Dellis Cay — everyone’s corrupt. Hear this my friends, we have been manipulated by TCI Joural. The letters prompting the inquiry were mainly anonymous, duplicative and exxagerated. Why abolish jury trials for everyone? Not even in Northern Ireland where corruption was rampant did they eliminate jury trials for all citizens – just the accused. What’s going on with Turks and Caicos?

  • Jimmy

    “TCI watch will crack this code once and for all. ”

    I hope you got paid in advance.

  • One man’s opinion

    Everyone’s corrupt neh Malcolm? Does that suit your political agenda to cover up the forming of your own political party in the cover of darkness? Seems like someone needs a dose of sun light to cleanse corruption and it’s you. Shouldn’t everyone know the truth about your plans and why you’re doing it. Isn’t it a matter of world interest? What are you going to do with the Crown land Malcolm you and YOUR cronies. Do you think everyone is stupid and will be manipulated? You don’t care one-lick about the people of TCI. Go ahead and pin whomever to whatever organisation you want. For the record I thought Oproperties was a retail sales website, O standing for outlet until I looked it up. Besides, don’t dissenters belong in Misick’s back pocket? Or was it Seymour? Or was it Hoffman? Or was it Ashcroft? Now we are back to Kinay? How tidy. Are there that many people who hate you? Maybe people just want their country back. Wow. That’s hard to fathom. Neh Malcolm? Why was the registrar fired? Why has building stopped on Crown land? Why is the UK there? Why have jury trials been suspended? The people know you have the answers. Just spare everyone the ugliness and give up.

  • Jimmy

    Give it up. There can be no doubt now that you have been hired by Kinay to write this garbage. Incidentally you should tell him that the oproperties website now links back to turks journal. Rookie mistake. How much did he promise to pay you? Did you get it up front? Did you tell him you were a real journalist? Come on and answer. Inquiring minds want to know.

  • One man’s opinion

    Besides Malcolm — didn’t your employer skip town err “jump” town in the middle of the night? He was smart.

  • Jimmy

    Come on. Tell the truth. Admit who you’re working for.

  • One man’s opinion

    Yes there are real investigative journlists working this case and they are working for FREE for WORLD CHARITY. You should really keep up with the world news Malcolm. The same thing is happening in Gyuana and is being orchestrated by the UK around the globe. Accusations of corruption, all political parties crash, developers are all corrupt and land is no longer a bonafide transaction. The UK government is installed and saves the day. A new emerging political party forms and suits the UK interests accordingly. Does any of that sound familiar good man? You’re just pawn. Burst ….bubble

  • Jimmy

    I’m sure there are real investigative journalists out there.

    What has that got to do with you?

  • One man’s opinion

    You should probably do your homework a little better if you don’t know. Just a friendly tip.

  • Jimmy

    I did my homework. I found the advert which Kinay placed over the summer for people to blog for him. You know, the one you answered.

    But let’s pretend for a minute you’re a real journalist. Let’s see if you can work this one out. You tell us that $500m has gone into Dellis Cay. Here’s a question for you.

    Where is it?

  • One man’s opinion

    How would I know? If I was a blogger for Cem Kinay then I am just part-time summer help, right? How would I know then where the $500 Million went? I’m just a flunky of Cem Kinay not a forensic accountant on your caliber, neh? Summer help doesn’t have access to that sensitive information. Ahhh. By the way genius, Cem Kinay announced his receivership today – another developer bites the dust. Why am I still working then? I just wrote a brand new article whilst I’ve been away. There goes your theory.

  • Jimmy

    I assume you would ask the same person who gave you the $500m figure in the first place. You are supposed to be an “investigative reporter” aren’t you?

  • One man’s opinion

    non-credible summer help. you’re the forensic accountant. why don’t you tell us.

  • Jimmy

    Don’t give up the day job.

  • One man’s opinion

    Actually Malcolm, now that I look at the job qualifications to work for Cem Kinay, I am quite flattered by the standards. Prize winners, tried professionals. I might hold on to that rumor for a while. Hope it’s okay. I have never written anything for Turks Journal as you point out that it is linked to OProperties. [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor].

  • If you people can’t keep your exchanges civil, I will have to end this conversation for you…

    Christopher Rose
    Blogcritics Comments Editor

  • STM

    OMO: you danced about niocely but didn’t answer my question: are you the author of these articles?

    If so, you are dudding us deluxe.