Barbuda voted resoundngly in favour of keeping the Privy Council in the referendum held today. The result in Barbuda was a resounding 336 No to Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and 106 Yes. In Antigua the result was even more of a disappointment for Gaston Browne, whose style of leadership is clearly now in question. .
BARBUDANS TO GO TO COURT TO FIGHT FOR THEIR LAND
Three Barbudans, Trevor Walker, Wayde Burton and Mackenzie Frank have ﬁled a claim in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court on the18th October 2018 challenging two pieces of legislation passed by the government of Prime Minister Gaston Browne in 2018, which overturn the century- old practice of communal land ownership and negate the independence of the Barbuda Council in the exercise of its duties, powers and functions as enshrined in the Barbuda Local Government Act of 1976.
The three, along with the Barbuda Council, are seeking to have the court declare that
(1) all lands in Barbuda continue to be vested in the governor general on behalf of the people of Barbuda
(2) that the lands in Barbuda are owned in common by the people of Barbuda
(3) The Crown Lands Regulation Amendment Act 2018 which purports to repeal the Barbuda Land Act 2007 violates sections of the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda.
The claimants also want government to recognize and protect the functions, powers and duties of the Barbuda Council as set out in the Barbuda Local Government Act 1976, and that the Cabinet should refrain from giving directions - general or speciﬁc - as to the policy the Council should exercise under the same Act. The claim ﬁled against the Attorney general points out that the Barbuda Council was given extensive powers to govern Barbuda by the Barbuda Local Government Act Cap 44 in 1976, and derives its power from Section 123 of the Constitution, having its genesis at the Antigua Independence Conference at Lancaster House, England in 1981.
The Barbudans are represented by John Macdonald QC,Justin Simon QC, and Sylvester Carrott.
Work has started on the new resort, here are some pictures.
Paul Nedd has taken up his new position as Secretary of Council and suggests the missing link to improve things on Barbuda is dialogue with the Antiguan Government. But he is completely wrong to say we are totally dependent on government; it's actually the opposite. We are (most of us) independent thinkers, and so we are independent of government, and we have to be. Creating a dependency among voters is their raison d'etre. But since Irma we have been dependent on aid and international goodwill and of course we must move on from that. We have more hope in the justice of the law and the traditions that have sustained Barbuda independently over hundreds of years that now they want us to abandon, than in a dialogue with an oppressor.
It's worth reading this article just to illustrate the total disconnect between the two islands. Samaritans Purse volunteers have rebuilt the homes, the Red Cross have distributed aid, the UN have shared materials. And we are still waiting for electricity which is one of the few things we are supposed to get from Antigua, and a basic requirement for everyday life and for our businesses to prosper.
The sad anniversary of Irma is here. We didn't expect much from our government but we did expect that our basic infrastructure would be well on the way to recovery. Not so - and the Antigua Observer remembers why ...
'Not to mention the talk of a ‘land-grab’ especially in light of a certain questionable clause in a certain sweetheart deal with a certain investor. Of course, suspicions deepened when there seemed to be a prioritising of the new airport project over such things as the Hannah Thomas Hospital, the Holy Trinity School, the restoration of water and electricity and the removal of rubble. Not to mention the downright spiteful and vicious name-calling. Yes, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, words such as ‘deracinated,’ ‘imbeciles,’ ‘in-breeding,’ ‘mendicants,’ and other unflattering adjectives became part of our daily lexicon, much to our dismay. And much to the astonishment of the world!
Read the rest of the article here.
Joanne C Hillhouse of Antigua writes in the Huffington Post....
It has been disappointing observing all this play out, particularly some of the language lobbed at Barbudans (described as ungrateful squatters and, infamously by Browne, deracinated imbeciles') In many ways, it has been the worst of us. I believe that Barbudans, still facing an uncertain future, have been traumatized by Irma and some of what has followed. I wish that we could be Antigua and Barbuda, prioritizing Barbudans’ interests, working together to figure out a future that adjusts for our various shared vulnerabilities — economic, political and climate related.
Yes, so do we.
There is an alternative view of Barbuda's self determination that we could both be proud of. But as was apparent at John McCains funeral in the USA, we have to call our leaders out for what they are.