Please work with us and not against us.
Dear Her Excellency, Dilene Daniel-Selvarnum,
Welcome to our beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands. It pleases me to note that your first order of business is to visit the ten (10) constituencies of the Turks and Caicos. Sometimes the things people do first are the refection of what their intentions are and so I hope that your term as Governor of these islands is to really listen and address the needs of the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
I know your loyalty is to the UK as you are the representative of the monarch and of course you were appointed by the monarch. Despite this, I am asking you to please work with us in the Turks and Caicos Islands particularly our elected officials who are members of cabinet. In addition, always remember the Turks and Caicos Islanders as we are few in numbers, but we must be the priority. The needs of the work permit holders, BOTC or those who are here illegally should not be a priority over the needs of Turks and Caicos Islanders.
Enlargement of the franchise
There is a speculation that the UK wants to enlarge the franchise of the Turks and Caicos but of course it has been denied by many as your predecessor insisted it is up to the elected officials. While this may be the case, there are many ways in which our politicians can be manipulated by the office of the Governor indirectly to enlarge the franchise.
Yes, the Turks and Caicos Islanders are outnumbered, however we have many Turks and Caicos Islanders living abroad and we should allow our elected officials to encourage them and their descendants to return to Turks and Caicos.
At least half of the population in this country is on work permits or is illegal. The work permit holders are only supposed to be here on a temporary basis, they should not be encouraged to be a part of the franchise and they should not have a say in the running of our country as they are guests. They have a home to return to but we as Turks and Caicos Islanders do not have anywhere to go but TCI. Most of us do not consider the UK as an option and we don’t want to move there. We want to be right here in TCI.
Therefore, work with us and do not try to enlarge the franchise through work permit holders, illegals and BOTCs. Under the reign of the last Governor, almost everything our government did for the citizens of the Turks and Caicos, BOTC was also included. I believe this is a plan to enlarge the franchise.
The increase in illegal sloops
I know you have been briefed about the excessive number of illegal sloops from Haiti that are entering our waters. This is a major threat to us in the Turks and Caicos. While most of these sloops are being intercepted, that is not good enough because we the people of this country are paying the repatriation fees which is causing us millions of dollars. Do you know what we can do with the money that we spend on repatriation fees?
The UK is responsible for external security and the UK must do more to ensure that the sloops do not even reach our waters. One thing you can do is to request help from the UK by placing vessels in the waters for a lengthy period which can be a deterrent for those planning on coming here. We do not need a ship to be anchored just for a week because after that week, the business of illegal sloops continues.
The UK should also tell the United Nations not to pressure us into keeping individuals when they land in TCI.
Please work with us as this is a burden on us. Have empathy for us.
The SIPT case is now perhaps the longest criminal case in the world. We are spending millions of dollars on this case on an annual basis. I believe that the UK should be paying for this case. The UK was the one that called the case and then they should be the one that pays for it. It seems that the UK does not care and thinks that all of us in the Turks and Caicos are corrupt and that we should pay for the alleged corruption. By the time this case is over, we would have paid significantly more than what the accusers are accused of taking. Do you think this is fair?
The crime and the Police
While there appears to be an improvement in crime, however, we cannot take the crime situation lightly. One murder in TCI is a lot for our small population. More needs to be done. I also believe a restructuring of the Police Department is needed urgently. I understand the current Commissioner of Police term is coming to an end this year. I think it is time for new leadership and that ball is in your court.
I think our judicial system needs to be reviewed. It is my understanding that there are so many cases that have yet to be heard in this country. There is also a perception among the Turks and Caicos Islanders that the judicial system is biased towards the people of the country. The judicial system must be transparent and show equal justice for all.
I am not a parliamentarian and I know both the Government and Opposition would have voiced their concerns to you. However, I am a concerned Turks and Caicos Islander who wish to express a perspective other than of a parliamentarian.
I do hope you appreciate my concerns and do something about the issues by working favourably with our elected parliamentarians. In doing so, it will demonstrate that you are working with us and not against us.