Beautiful Virgin Islands

Friday, Feb 03, 2023

Bishop Cline slams Gov Rankin for suggesting majority in VI open to direct rule

Bishop Cline slams Gov Rankin for suggesting majority in VI open to direct rule

Outspoken clergyman Mr John I. Cline has slammed the Virgin Islands' Governor, H.E. John J. Rankin, CMG for suggesting that the people of the Virgin Islands (VI) are willing to accept direct rule.

Bishop Cline during a June 2, 2022, social media video made reference to a news article where it was reported that the governor reportedly said that the 'small number' of people who turned out to the two demonstrations against direct rule, is not a representation of the wider community.

“Well, I don't know where the governor lives and where he's getting his information because clearly the governor is disconnected from this community if he thinks that the turnout at the demonstration was an indication that somehow the BVI is ready and willing to accept direct rule.”

Bishop Cline said the Governor has taken a very ill-informed position, "if that's what the governor is suggesting, and I had to come on here and say to the people of the Virgin Islands, 'What happens when you don't stand up? What happens when you don't show up? What happens when you don't speak up?...you give someone else the right to speak for you.”

The popular clergyman added that the Governor is trying to send out a narrative to the UK that they have the backing of the people of these Virgin Islands to impose direct rule.

Bishop Cline during a June 2, 2022, social media video made reference to a news article where it was reported that the governor reportedly said that the 'small number' of people who turned out to the two demonstrations against direct rule, is not a representation of the wider community.

Bishop Cline added that in meetings with UK Minister Ananda A. Milling and Christian Council, Youths groups and a wide cross sections of community society, people have indicated that direct rule is not an option.

UK trying to cause division in VI - Bishop Cline


He said the narrative is to cause division among the people. “Divide and conquer is the oldest strategy in the book, and to put us against each other while we're fighting.”

“I had to remind the governor that you are not just the governor representing the UK, you are the governor of the Virgin Islands and the interests of these people should be at heart, but for him to indicate that the small amount at the demonstrations is that it is not a representation of the wider BVI community when it comes to direct rule, that’s delusional and I will say it again.”

Bishop Cline added that in meetings with UK Minister Amanda A. Milling and the BVI Christian Council, youths groups and a cross-section of the community, persons indicated that direct rule is not an option.

“All of us have said on many occasions to the governor, to our elected officials, there are some recommendations coming out of the CoI, out of the 45 that we believe has merit and if implemented and when implemented, will strengthen good governance, will provide accountability and transparency and we are willing to work towards that,” he added.

Mr Cline indicated; however, that the accepted position is that direct rule and a suspension of the constitutions will not be an option moving forward.

There have been reports; however, that the proposal sent to the United Kingdom by the Unity Government essentially yields to direct rule without the suspension of the VI constitution, since the Governor will be the all-powerful person.

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