BVI News

Jaspert brings back John Duncan memories

Governor Augustus Jaspert

Last week, as BVI residents were preparing for the weekend, the territory received news from Governor Augustus Jaspert that he had overridden the Premier and invited the British Royal Naval vesselHMS Medway, to help the local forces secure the territory’s borders.

His decision to override government’s wishes less than five months before his official departure from office is not unique.

Governor Jaspert’s predecessor, John Duncan Governor had made a similar decision less than five months before his tenure ended.

In March 2017, Duncan exercised his constitutional powers, and forced the then NDP government to allocate an additional $1.8 million to law enforcement and legal services.

 His decision took effect within 24 hours of his announcement.

Similar reasons

Duncan’s reasons for making his own decision were similar to Jaspert’s — the matter was important and his milder attempts to get what he wanted had failed.

Jaspert also said he has tried to get local lawmakers to agree with his suggestion to invite additional security support from the UK.

 “I was disappointed that the offer of security support was not accepted at the time, as I felt it was a missed opportunity to enhance our local capability and protect our community from external risks. I have continually pressed this as a priority with colleagues…” Jaspert said in his statement last week.

In 2017, former Governor Duncan expressed regret when he invoked Section 103 of the BVI Constitution.

Similarly, Jaspert sympathised with local lawmakers’ need to take care of their own affairs. But he said he had to exercise his constitutional powers to prevent spikes in crime and COVID-19 cases in the BVI.

In 2017, Duncan’s move had angered many local politicians.

In this current instance, members of the government are yet to comment directly on Governor Jaspert’s decision. 

However, Premier Fahie did post a video on his personal Facebook page on Sunday, September 27, showing scenes of local security officers working at sea.

In the video, Premier Fahie said, “The government of the Virgin Islands, elected by the people continues to put preventative measures in place to ensure the safety of us all. We pray for God’s protection for our sea borders control agencies. BVI government continues to invest in strengthening our sea border security…and our achievements stand testament to what we can achieve as self-determined people.”

 

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18 Comments

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  1. Resident says:

    There’s a really big issue here about the Premier claiming to be elected by the people when such a small proportion of tax payers have the vote.

    Nothing will improve until the Government is held accountable by tax payers, and to do that residents need to be able to vote after a reasonable period of crime free residence, like 5 years. That’s what happens everywhere else in the democratic world.

    Like 44
    Dislike 7
    • ReX FeRaL says:

      @Resident.. you sound like the blogger Rubber Duck.

      Like 4
      Dislike 4
    • BeReal says:

      What you are really advocating is the take over of the BVI by non-citizens If you are promoting a world without nation citizen states then put your full proposal and reasons on the table or else let it be that BVI people chose who should be their representatives in Government and not persons imported for overwhelmingly economic reasons

      Like 6
      Dislike 6
    • Concerned says:

      Every time we vote in a new government it is because the incoming party has accused the outgoing party of misappropiating funds. So it is more a vote for the lesser evil than a true choice. That is why the voters do not want independence only the politicians. And every time we are promised transparency and accountability. I am still waiting.

  2. Click says:

    Those of you, who believed you had free passes to carry out smuggling in our waters just lost your passports, whomever gave you the passports I would suggest you go and get a refund!😔

    Like 39
    Dislike 1
  3. YOUTH says:

    We are with the Premier. Those people like gus are up to no good. NOTHING IS FREE!

    Like 1
    Dislike 30
  4. E. Leonard says:

    Job #1 of the VI government and other government is to protect the public. And protecting the border is protecting the public, The question is the VIP government leaving the border unprotected? Is the border leaking like a sieve? Was the VIP holding UK naval ship offer in abeyance a disastrous move?

    Moreover, the VI has a power sharing arrangement between the Governor, the crown rep, and the local government. However, the Governor currently has too much power (Reserve) to easily thwart the will of the people’s duly elected government to change decision(s) he/she does not like or prefer. The last two governors have used this power to thwart the will of the people’s duly elected government, embarrassing the local government. A constitutional change is needed to restructure the process to limit the Governor’s reserve power among other things.

    On another note, border protection not withstanding, this sudden action by Gov AJU Jaspert was intended to distract from the despicable reparation comment, IMO.

    Like 3
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    • Hmm says:

      But in the instances thwarted, was the government really working on behalf of the people? To leave our borders unprotected whilst knowing that smuggling was happening, seems irresponsible. To not bring referendums on marijuana and gambling seems irresponsible. I am with Gus on the border.

      Like 17
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    • @ E.Leonard says:

      It is interesting that you are more concerned by a comment on reparation than you are with the risk of porous borders? Are you another one who benefits from the these border leaks?

      With regard to the comment by the Gov. – surely an educated person like you could see he is just following set protocol from the UK. Yes, his words may have been clumsy but why are you letting this distract you from such a serious issue as border security?

      Like 6
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  5. ...But... says:

    “In the video, Premier Fahie said, “The government of the Virgin Islands, elected by the people continues to put preventative measures in place to ensure the safety of us all. We pray for God’s protection for our sea borders control agencies. BVI government continues to invest in strengthening our sea border security…and our achievements stand testament to what we can achieve as self-determined people.””

    But what if the Lord is answering our prayer by sending us UK assistance? The Lord has provided us with resources – what we lookin for a miracle?

    Like 17
    Dislike 1
    • To ....but says:

      It is amazing how the Governor plays with words to play with some of our minds. I have not read anywhere as yet that the Premier does not welcome the Military. What I read is that their involvement has to be limited to what is agreed because they should complement what the BVI is already doing and I fully agree with that.

  6. A shame says:

    Can we please discuss the Premier’s letter to the Baroness? This Premiere is ha****y and a*****nt. That letter was distasteful and embarrassing to the people of the BVI. This administration needs to go ASAP. They’ve made such a mess in the less than two years they’ve been in “power” I cannot imagine the state of the territory after another one 2.5 years under them.

    Like 10
  7. Puzzled says:

    I am puzzled. Why the government so upset that they getting extra help to protect the Territory from smuggling and other illegal activities? Who are they protecting? In a time like this when COVID-19 has the world upside down, countries are happy with whatever assistance they can get, and we here as a Territory complaining that Governor riding rough shod and doing as he likes. We not an independent country. We still have to answer to the crown. Embrace the assistance given Mr. Premier and stop whining. It making you look like you have ulterior motives by refusing help to keep the people of the BVI safe.

    Like 14
  8. Fireworks says:

    The Premier has now exploded with rage to the Governor’s boss in the UK. How petty. The Government left the borders inadequately protected by refusing help months ago and so let in COVID. It has connections with drug and people smugglers so has no desire to have an effective border and says that it can manage by itself. But, the Government has no money to pay for adequate protection. If Fahie plays the “independence” card too much, then the UK will walk away and so will much of the financial services business. Be careful what you wish for….

  9. @ says:

    As a local I am glad and greatful for the extra support brought forward by the Governor. It would appear than both he and the previous governor realized that the local government is shady when it comes to effectively securing the territory from all types of smuggling. They play the independence and race card to distract people from what really going on. We also seem to forget that when he first came that he was inidated by a number of complaints on the local government and expressed how his role works. It’s like we expect him to protect us from ourselves but not sure we like it when he does. Well lets just say drug lords are on vacation for the next couple of weeks.

  10. Ajojo says:

    I stand with Gus. Border security is too important for our government to continue to fumble the ball.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  11. Confused says:

    So the premier says he wanted something else from the UK for border protection then what the Governor is providing now. So the UK’s border protection will free up funds he can use now for what he originally wanted. If the country would be independent we would get nothing, so what is the complaint about?

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