Bermuda Post

Thursday, Dec 08, 2022

Stop referring to us as the ‘BVI’, says Opposition Leader

Stop referring to us as the ‘BVI’, says Opposition Leader

We are not British, we are their victims. They rigged our systems to be controlled by their unelected corrupted officials. Amid the political tensions between the BVI and the United Kingdom, one lawmaker has expressed that people should stop referring to the territory as the British Virgin Islands.
Opposition leader Julian Fraser said “Virgin Islands” is the correct name and added that he doesn’t understand why people insist on calling the territory “The BVI.”

“These are the Virgin Islands and no matter where you go, who you’re speaking to – these are The Virgin Islands. For the life of me, I cannot understand why people insist on referring to us as the BVI,” Fraser said in the House of Assembly on October 25.

He pointed out that at the recent BVI/USVI Friendship Day celebrations, Lieutenant Governor Tengrenza Roach of the USVI was the only person who correctly referred to the territory as the Virgin Islands. In denouncing the use of “BVI”, the legislator said Virgin Islanders shouldn’t allow the USVI to use the term “Virgin Islands” while they adopt the term “British” as part of the country’s title.

“We need to get it straight. This complex that we have where we think we must yield to the US Virgin Islands and give them “VI” while we take on some “B”, it has to stop,” Fraser argued.

The BVI is a territory of the United Kingdom which means the UK has final decision-making authority in all matters pertaining to the territory. Over the years, locals have advocated for and gained increased powers to govern their own affairs.

But, there has always been tension between locally elected leaders and their British counterparts and those tensions reached new heights under the Andrew-Fahie administration which stood strongly against many of the UK’s proposals and particularly orders given by former Governor Augustus Jaspert, who represented the UK locally.

Before he left the BVI, Jaspert acted on complaints he reportedly received from many locals and ordered a Commission of Inquiry into the practices of successive BVI administrations.

That Inquiry found that the BVI was being poorly governed for many years and recommended that the UK snatch power away from locals in a bid to instil good governance and get the territory back on track.

Though elected representatives have managed to stave off direct rule of the UK, tensions remain high as many people believe it is time for the BVI to sever ties with the UK and avoid similar threats of direct rule in the future.

Still, there are some who welcome the UK’s presence and see it as a bulwark against possible abuse that is likely under the leadership of local representatives.

In the meantime, the UK has stated that it would welcome and facilitate the BVI’s wish to sever ties whenever the territory is ready to make this decision.
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