Dr the Hon Wheatley was at the time speaking during the Tuesday, April 5, 2022, edition of VIP Let’s Talk with Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities Hon Kye M. Rymer (R5) and Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9), when he was questioned on the VI’s position coming out of the CoI Report that is now with the Governor.
Dr Wheatley said through attending the UN Special Committee meetings on Decolonisation (C-24), it has been guaranteed that colonialism must be a thing of the past for countries like VI, a British Overseas Territory (OT).
“We are asserting our right that have been guaranteed, inalienable rights which has been acknowledged by the United Kingdom and all the other members of the United Nations, who have signed on to the United Nations Charters,” he said.
“Of course, we have a Commission of Inquiry that was commissioned by the Governor and backed by the UN, but it does not mean that we can have our rights taken away from us,” he said.
In essence, Dr the Hon Wheatley said that although the UN has backed the UK-sponsored CoI, the same UN still has an obligation to ensure that the era of colonialism must be a 'thing of the past' and those rights must not be violated.
Meanwhile, Governor of the Virgin Islands, John J. Rankin, CMG, who received the report on April 5, 2022, from the CoI Commissioner, said until the report is made public after consultations with the Government, he knows that there will be speculation and some people may try to discredit or second-guess the CoI Report and recommendations.
Hon Wheatley, during the VIP Radio show, asserted, “The UN has said, and the world has said, that colonialism must be a thing of the past.”
Governor Rankin has since indicated that while the Report is being reviewed, no 'substantive statements' will be made on it until after Easter.
The Commission of Inquiry in the Virgin Islands was led by a lone Commissioner Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom (right). The CoI has been criticised as a witch hunt and with an objective to harm the Virgin Islands' constitutional and democratic advancements. It was called by Augustus J. U. Jaspert (left), one of the most controversial governors in the history of the VI.
The CoI Report is in the hands of Governor John J. Rankin, CMG.