BVI News


Gov’t blasted amid claims it shuns peace concert

The only politician noticed at the Stop The Crime concert last evening, Andrew Fahie. Here, he is speaking with Permanent Secretary in the Deputy Governor’s Office David Archer, who is on study leave.

By Horace Mills, BVI News Online Staff

The sincerity of the National Democratic Party government’s spoken abhorrence towards crime is again being questioned; this after no member of the administration was seen at a major event hosted yesterday to promulgate an anti-crime stance in the territory reeling from six murders so far this year.

Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie was the only politician BVI News Online saw at the widely publicized ‘Stop The Crime’ concert hosted at Tortola Pier Park by Tortola Central Lions Club and a throng of musicians from across the British Virgin Islands.

The noticeable absence of Government members sent tongues wagging in private. But it was the plain-spoken Joycelyn ‘Sistah Joyce’ Searles who placed the observation centre-stage before she reeled off some original Reggae songs in the sparsely patroned venue that required no entry fee.

The artiste, who traveled across the waters from Virgin Gorda to perform voluntarily here, declared that she was hurt by the noticeable absence of Government members.

“I am seeing Mr Andrew Fahie alone. I don’t care who carry it back to who; you all know who I is already. If our leaders in the back hiding, please forgive me. But I’ve not seen them here for what and why we are here. That means they are either sick, dead – and I know they aren’t dead, or they don’t care about community; and that is sad.”

“Them leaders ain’t going to escape it (judgment) either because they come talking love when they ain’t got no love. They have no love for us. Otherwise they would be right here; right here for stopping the crime,” Sistah Joyce said.

She added that – unlike some persons – she does not fear being victimized for speaking out about the virtual lack of support from the territory’s political leaders.

“When I go to them for sponsor for Calypso show, they ain’t have to give me; somebody else going to give me,” Sistah Joyce continued. “I don’t care if you (patrons) all get vex. When I come off the stage, come to me and tell me; don’t do it in the blogs where I can’t see you name or know who you is blogging.”

They (politicians) come talking love when they ain’t got no love” – Sistah Joyce

The government headed by Premier Dr D Orlando Smith, in March, faced similar criticism after Governor John Duncan literally forced it to allocate a much-needed $1.8 million to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force as well as the territory’s legal services. Governor Duncan said the executive order was a last resort, but Premier Smith responded that his government is always willing to fund law enforcement.

More would come for Stylee, Morgan Heritage

Members of the government, in the meantime, were not the only ones who earned a broadside during the peace concert last evening. Parents were also chided for not showing up in larger numbers, and for not sending more of their children.

“I am very hurt. You know why? I was just down here when they had Morgan Heritage right here and more shows, and all in here was full out… If we had Stylee Band and VIBE here on this same stage, a lot of the parents would send out their little 14 and 13 year old in their little piece of short pants,” added Sistah Joyce.

She further told patrons: “When Boss [who helped to organize the peace concert] talked to me about this ‘Stop The Crime’ concert, I tell Boss go right ahead, I going come down [from Virgin Gorda to the concert on the island of Tortola]. I doing it for free; I pay my own boat [fare]. I come down because I have kids too and, when you cry, I cry especially for what’s been going on in our small community… We are gonna lose our community if we don’t hold on and come together.”

Another entertainer who performed at the peace event, Empress Ruth, also took note of the smaller than expected turn-out. “We don’t have a full crowd but we know the message still goes out that we need to stop the crime,” she said before she belted out a few original songs.

Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews (left) strikes a pose with another member of the audience at the Stop The Crime concert 

Other persons who attended the ‘Stop The Crime’ event included Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews and his deputy Alwin James, President of Lions Club Carvin Malone, as well as Sharie DeCastro who was the first to launch a public campaign against the current murder rate.

So far this year, six murders have been reported in the territory – four of them resulting from gun attacks. The murder rate previously had not passed four in any given year since 2008, when nine homicides were recorded in the territory. The population is roughly 30,000.

Photos: Musicians decry gun violence, sex crimes

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  1. ndp heckler says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

    Some of the NDP members were in spanish bars as usual every friday nite

  2. it is politics time again says:

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

    The VIP was out early…Carvin, Sharie and Andrew

  3. Reply says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 1

    Well. Members of the government no doubt should have been there. What’s their excuse? Their absence speaks volume and they are rightly being criticised for it.

    I would not want to think they do not care, but when people show you over and over who they are, you bets believe them.

    Anyway, nice to see Commissioner Matthews was there. One thing we can truthfully say about him is that he appears to always make his presence known. I always see him about public activities. Good for him, as he leading by example.

  4. lol says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

    Where was the governor?

  5. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

    Unless a snap election is called, election is not constitutionally due until 2019.

    If election were just around the corner, we would have seen politicians like peas at the concert making all kind of fake/false promises……….etc. Here is a news flash to politicians. Perception is a key ingredient in politics.

    Violent and property crime are on rise. Thus, far this year, the BVI has had six murders. This alarming and numbing number should send shock wave up our collective spines. It should cause us sleepless nights. It should cause us to take pause. It should cause us to come together with solutions to address this scourge on the society.

    Concerned, many patriotic, well-meaning and concerned citizens came together to put on a concert to highlight concerns and create awareness about the crime wave. But visibly and surprisingly absent were many politicians. 👍👍👍 to the Honorable Fahie. Why was the other politicians not there?

    Was it that they think that crime is not a problem in the BVI? Was it because the crime wave is making the government look bad? Was it because politicians had better things to do? Was it because it was not a government idea? Was it because it was a grassroot initiative? Whatever the excuse, it was lame.

  6. Lord if u not bz , pass here in tortola says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

    They were calculating how much money the goin to rake in for workpermits starting the 1st of july.

    • sums says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      hoping they also take care to subtract the work permits where jobs are leaving for the US, Bermuda, Cayman and other jurisdictions because it is so hard to do business here.

  7. Hah says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

    This was an event where local artist rallied together in support of an issue that is negatively affecting the territory at an alarming rate so it was expected that the usual attendees of these events would be present.

    During Campaign season they wont be missing any public event. They will be smiling and greeting every single time they see you.

  8. ndp says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

    Wait til election time

  9. Shame says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

    Such a great initiative made by the organisers. This opened my eyes to something that been in my face all along the government the leaders of the community that we elect really don’t care about us. Whats really going on??

    • Love for My Country says:

      Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 13

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  10. Hypocrisy says:

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 11

    What peace concert? Half the people at the concert probably know some of these killers

  11. WTF says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

    When these shameless mutts approach people seeking support next election, everyone should tell them scatter their a**. Even the attendance of parents with their children were pathetic. What the hell has to happen to wake up the BVI community? Bodies falling around us, government corruption, robberies, and people and the government of the day is reluctant to come out in unity and stand against the violence. This is scary. #pathetic community.

    • @WTF says:

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

      Give me a break! The same ones complaining loud will be wearing NDP shirts next campaign season because they got some small contract or issue sorted out.

      The politicians have a right to use these short sighted greedy drama queens. Some people just love the spotlight and will do anything for their 15 mins on the news.

  12. Well says:

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  13. District 6 says:

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

    Let me speak for my rep as I know she was one organizing this with Boss but she had to leave island on Friday to attend a women conference which started on Saturday. It’s sad that the others did not see it fit to show up. This is an important issue to our country and I applaud the musicians for putting this together.

  14. Joey says:

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  15. Serious says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    The absence of the politicians from such an event tells the people that they care nothing about the people of this territory. All they care about is getting their hands on our money so they can use and abuse.. An investigation is needed to follow the money trail. This is a government of lies and deception.

  16. Crazy says:

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  17. 3rd Eye says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    Don’t expect those in high places to come out and support what the prearranged blood sacrifice ritual requires for them to acquire power.

    It will be them going against their word causing their throat to be slashed and body thrown by the seashore where land and water meet.

    Their souls are of no value so they seek to control the livelihood of the people by taking their money to have material value.

    Get rid of the NDP = Next Demonic Parsimonist!!!

  18. Albion says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Maybe politicians should be better informed, but speaking for myself, I literally only heard of this concert for the first time this morning. They could have done a better job publicising it to get more public support.

  19. B Real says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0


  20. Fact says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Whether election time or not, in his district or outside his district, Hon. Fahie always shows his support through attending or sponsoring many events of all sorts. The man has been consistent with this for years & he must be commended for this.

  21. JAY says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    I think the government should support this idea and the clarion call.

  22. criminal says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    isn’t Sistah Joyce a convicted criminal for drug possession..?

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