Genel News


Response to UK Foreign Secretary William Hague RE-Premier Dr. Rufus Ewing Caricom Speech
Published in TCI POST on 15th of March 2013
Dear Mr. Hague,
I appreciate your latest correspondence as of March 12. I am encouraged by your reaffirming the ideals and objectives lined out in the Overseas Territory White paper. Let me assure you that we in the TCI are equally interested in a flourishing partnership with the UK. However, as I have pointed out before and will point out again, the current situation is nowhere close to the ideals and standards that the White paper prescribes. The remarks at CARICOM were in no way meant to offend, but to correct the path that our friendship has taken in the past 4 years. Unfortunately, previous attempts to address these issues on a less public level had all fallen on deaf ears. As such, these remarks should be seen as an attempt to strengthen the relationship between our nations, and a strengthening of this relationship can only happen on terms that are perceived as fair, transparent and appropriate by both the TCI and the UK.
Before I go into detail on what we have perceived as wrong and unjust, let me make one point very clear.
The current PNP administration can in no way be held responsible for any alleged wrong-doings that happened during the previous PNP government under Michael Misick. While we still wait to see evidence presented in a court of law concerning the alleged actions of select individual of that former administration, let me remind you that the current government consists of a totally different set of persons and none of them have been implicated in the investigations surrounding the old government. As you might recall, there were a number of highly publicized scandals in recent years which involved a large numbers of British politician, both Labour and Tory. However we would never discredit your party, the Tories because of the failures of these few individuals in the past. And we will not discredit your coalition partner, the Liberal Democrats, because of Chris Huhne’s personal failures and his recent criminal conviction. And neither will we discredit the good reputation of the United Kingdom and Her Majesty’s Government because of these past yet regrettable scandals. I will kindly ask you to adhere to the same standards when you refer to my party, the PNP, to my government and to the Turks and Caicos Islands as a whole. We have come a long way to reform our party and we won the recent democratic elections, bringing a group of young and energetic Turks and Caicos Islanders into government. My government deserves a chance to prove itself and we do not agree with constant comparisons and finger pointing to former members of parliament, and I am sure you will understand our concerns.
Let me move on to point out some points that we find troubling and that have caused a great amount of misunderstanding between our nations.
First of all, we welcome your acknowledgement of a broad responsibility for good governance in our territory. In fact, we would have much welcomed this commitment in previous times while alleged Mal-governance and serious wrongdoings by elected officials are said to have caused the dire financial situation we find ourselves in. But let me remind you that the judicial process was and is in no way expeditious or transparent. While our country and our people have already been burdened with a $260 Million loan for undisclosed liabilities, humongous ongoing costs of the prosecutions, the loss of democratic representation, the threat of ever rising taxes, not to mention the loss of self confidence and dignity for our nation – we have yet to see evidence presented in a court of law. While the verdict for our electorate has already been spoken and the punishment has been executed on our people over the past years, we have yet to see the bigger picture and hard facts of how all of these alleged crimes could have taken place under a British Governor and FCO.
In regards to the process of these investigations, many of my countrymen are deeply worried about the fact that foreign developers of a certain skin color involved in these alleged crimes were given the option to settle their cases for multi-million dollar settlement fees, while our own people have not been offered this option and are now facing criminal trials and jail time. It is further worrisome that the investigation stops short of investigating some individuals at all, if I can just mention the fact that no British bureaucrat has ever been mentioned in this investigation, yet it is alleged that $3 to 5 Billion in crown land assets have been removed from our country and the Governor at this time signed off on every single transaction. It is hard to see transparent and responsible action in this process.
In regards to the outcome of this investigation, I have to remind you that the recovered amounts are only barely higher than the costs of the investigation which currently stands at over $13 Million, leaving only a tiny amount of net gains after lawyers’ fees. In the scope of the overall scope of the alleged crime, this can only be labeled as the proverbial drop in the ocean.
In regards to the case of Mr. Michael Misick, let me assure you that it is totally beyond the power of myself or my government to control the actions of this one man. Mr. Misick is a grown man and he is making decisions for himself. I can only assume that he is trying to protect his legal rights and human rights during this investigation, which he is very much entitled to.
However at this point, I will have to remind you that it took the British Government more than a year to fund the investigation against Mr. Misick and a few more years to come up with official charges, and then Mr. Misick was given again more than 9 months to allegedly conceive a child in Brazil, all of which has massively deteriorated chances of bringing a proper judicial process against this one individual into motion. Once again, the current situation is unfortunate for all of us however it is not the time to cast blame on my administration which was just elected less than 5 months ago.
Then let me move on to the issue of VAT, which in itself has stood out as a frightening example of a heavy handed, non-transparent and irresponsible approach to governance executed by the British interim administration, particularly by current Governor Ric Todd and the CFO McGarel-Goves. To implement such a massive new tax burden without proper consultation, against the will of the whole electorate and the whole business community, without any consideration of our economic situation and without any fine-tuning to our specific circumstances, this alone has all the markings of an arbitrary dictatorship and not the flourishing partnership that you cited. I could go on and fill many pages on this topic, however since the whole dilemma is so well documented, I will leave it at that. I will however mention that the recent refusal to sign the VAT repeal bill and to leave the tax hanging over our heads is an unprecedented case in both the TCI and UK legislative process. This has only lead to a further hardening in emotions for my people, which was so easy to avoid had we only been listened to early last year – this is what a flourishing partnership would have easily prevented from happening.
To close my response, let me make clear that we stick with our call to recall Governor Ric Todd and the Attorney General, and that we are relieved that the current CFO is leaving and will hopefully be replace by an individual that has an ear for our concerns and a heart for our country. The country is spiraling out of control with Ric Todd at the helm. Not only has he alienated every political and religious denomination in this country, he has caused much sorrow and distress for my long suffering people. We are a forgiving people but in his case, too many lines have been crossed, and too much disrespect has been displayed towards our country and culture. On top of that, we are faced with a deteriorating health situation and a rise in crime which has lead to the historic Travel Advisory by the US embassy issued yesterday. We are thriving to accomplish a flourishing relationship with the UK, however this will only be possible with a new set of representatives and a fresh new beginning.
Let me conclude by reiterating my believe that not all is lost, and that the TCI and the UK can move forward as a partnership between equals, and that we can learn from each other rather than pull each other down. There is a lot that is still to be achieved to improve our relationship, and we will not turn down any honest attempt to assist us and pave the road to the future. I hope this open discourse will set the foundation for a process that ultimately leads to the achievement of our goals.





Britain slams Turks and Caicos premier’s CARICOM speech
Published on March 14, 2013

By Caribbean News Now contributor

LONDON, England — In a strongly worded letter on Tuesday, Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague described Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Premier Dr Rufus Ewing’s speech last month to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government as a substantial misrepresentation to the people of the TCI and to the leaders of the Caribbean.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague
“I have seen the speech you gave to CARICOM heads of government on 18 February about the relationship between the Turks and Caicos Islands and the United Kingdom. I regret to say you substantially misrepresent both the past and the present situation to both the people of the TCI and to the leaders of the Caribbean,” Hague said.

Hague went on to remind Ewing that the previous government run by his Progressive National Party (PNP) “left behind a chaotic situation including — through incompetence, abuse of power and corruption — rapidly deteriorating public finances.”

“As a result, TCI was, in effect, bankrupt. In 2009 the UK government provided emergency funding to enable public workers to be paid. In 2010 we provided a guarantee that enabled the TCI government to borrow up to $260 million at an affordable interest rate in order to enable the government to maintain essential services while bringing public finances back under control,” he continued.

Hague said that Britain accepted broad responsibility for good governance in its Overseas Territories and referred to the 2008-2009 Commission of Inquiry in the TCI, which concluded that there was a high probability of systemic corruption among ministers, members of the legislature and public officials in the then TCI government.

The inquiry documented detailed information on corruption, dishonesty and abuse of public office by former premier Michael Misick and other ministers in the previous PNP government and recommended criminal investigation. As a result, Britain suspended parts of the TCI constitution providing for ministerial government and the House of Assembly.

Subsequent investigations have led to 12 former ministers and others being charged and the attorney general is seeking Misick’s extradition from Brazil to the TCI.

“Misick is resisting return to TCI and seeking political asylum,” Hague said.

He also pointed out that a prominent international law firm was appointed to recover misappropriated assets and has so far recovered $16.6 million, with a further $2.6 million ordered to be paid, as well as nearly 2,500 acres of Crown land recovered; all to benefit the people of the TCI.

The British Interim Administration implemented a broad programme of reform to deal with this situation and to help prevent it being repeated. It established a robust framework for good government and sound public financial management and integrity and accountability in public life.

“These steps should help minimise the chances of a few corrupt people exploiting the assets of TCI for their own benefit, instead of these assets being available for the good of all the community. We will allow neither this framework to be rolled back nor the delivery of good and honest government to be undermined,” Hague said.

He also referred to an earlier open letter by Ewing that raised the issue of value added tax (VAT).

Hague reminded Ewing that the British government in 2010 was presented with a situation in which the TCI had an annual deficit of £30 million, which was set to grow significantly.

“This unsustainable situation led to the UK Department for International Development appointing a chief financial officer whose responsibilities were to ensure that this deficit was reduced and that TCI’s finances returned to surplus,” he said.

Eight milestones were then set, before which elections would not be permitted.

“Despite the financial milestone not yet having been met, the UK government agreed in good faith to permit elections in the expectation that an incoming government would administer the island’s finances so as to build an increasing surplus and release the
UK government from its government guarantee,” Hague said.

According to Hague, introducing VAT was central to this and seen to be in the interests of the TCI and the UK. That said, UK ministers have consistently made clear that a decision to introduce VAT is one for the TCI government, and that credible alternative measures would be considered

“The TCI government is responsible for delivering sustainable public finances. As you know this means that you and your government have to meet the public finance framework, which includes debt reduction targets and should enable you to refinance your debts without a UK guarantee after 2016. UK ministers have recently accepted your proposal not to introduce VAT on 1 April but instead to set public spending at a lower level commensurate with the absence of VAT, the uncertainty about alternative revenue streams, and the weakening outlook for some existing revenue streams. We are now awaiting your specific proposals on what additional expenditure cuts and alternative revenue measures you will put in place to ensure your adherence to the public finance framework,” he reminded Ewing.

Haig said that the UK government set out a clear vision in its Overseas Territories White Paper last year.

“We want the Overseas Territories, including the Turks and Caicos Islands, to flourish in partnership with the United Kingdom. We want you to build a strong and sustainable local economy and to develop as a community. Our relationship with you entails responsibilities for both parties. We have a broad responsibility to support the Territories and to ensure security and good governance. We expect the Territories to meet the same high standards of good governance and public financial management as in the UK,” he said.

According to Hague, Britain accepts a broad responsibility for joint security and continues to provide a range of support and training for public servants, such as police, prison and immigration services.

“We expect the elected government of TCI and other territories that wish to remain British to abide by the same high standards as the UK government in maintaining the rule of law, respect for human rights and integrity in public life, delivering efficient public services, upholding the judiciary and building strong and successful communities,” he said.

Hague also referred to the issue of independence that Ewing had raised and confirmed that this is an option for the TCI.

“If the people of TCI express a wish for independence through a clear and proper process, the UK government will meet its obligations to help the territory to achieve it,” he said.

Hague concluded by reiterating his belief both in democracy and that government must be honest and transparent and behave responsibly.

“The TCI government has the chance to shape the future of your islands. The UK government has invested much in helping put TCI back on the right path. TCI has a growing economy, modernised legislation and a committed public service. I hope you will use this inheritance wisely,” he said.




The Electoral and Constitutional Fiasco in Turks and Caicos Islands

Published in TCI POST on 09th March 2013.

The Attorney General vs Ms. Amanda Missick
The Acting Attorney General of the Turks and Caicos Islands has filed in the supreme court against Ms. Amanda Missick stating the following:
“Following receipt of copies of the section 49(1)(f) Notices and related correspondence supplied to me by the TCI Integrity Commission and having caused background research to be undertaken in the Lands Division of the Chambers, I have come to the conclusion that I should act under section 50(3) of the Constitution, and today a challenge to the veracity of the declaration made by Ms. Amanda Missick, PNP candidate for the upcoming by-election in the Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hill Electoral District on 22 March 2013 has been filed before the Supreme Court.
FACT: It is a fact that Ms. Amanda Missick has a property 60804/138 with a TCIG belonger discount charge (see exhibit A)
According to the Integrity Commission and the Attorney General such a charge is considered to be a contract with Government and the Candidate shall to give NOTICE to the Integrity Commission on or before Nomination Day, in accordance with Section 49 (1)f of the TCI Constitution.
Disputable: It is disputable whether someone who has a Crown freehold property with a subsistent belonger discount charge (having had the property for less than 10 years after obtaining freehold title), is considered as having a contract with Government.
FACT: If a potential Candidate does not comply with Section 49 (1)f of the TCI Constitution 2011 he /she shall not be qualified to be an elected member of the House of Assembly. It states: 49.—(1) No person shall be qualified to be an elected member of the House of Assembly who, on the date of his or her nomination for election: (f) is a party to, or a partner in a firm or a director or manager of a company which is a party to, any contract with the Government and has not, by that date, disclosed in a notice to the Integrity Commission the nature of such contract and his or her interest, or the interest of such firm or company, in it;
FACT: The Constitution does not give a defined time period prior to Nomination Day during which such notice of contract with Government should be made. It simply states that such contracts should be “by that date (NOMINATION DAY), disclosed in a notice to the Integrity Commission the nature of such contract and his or her interest, or the interest of such firm or company, in it”
FACT: There is no prescribed form for giving such notice of contract with Government to the Integrity Commission. It simply says “disclosure in notice to the Integrity Commission”. This fact is also supported by the varied instruments of submission used by other elected members of the House of Assembly during the 2012 nomination process, who have made declarations under section 49 (1)f. Some used emailed submission, some used written hand delivered letters and some could have even called in.

Amanda-Lease Cancellation
FACT: Ms Amanda Missick made a Declaration to the Integrity Commission in on Oct 24, 2012 and this was publicized by the Integrity Commission in a Contracts Notice Register (see exhibit B). This declaration should have satisfied the condition under Section 49 (1)f of the Constitution, for nomination in the By-election, since such the notice is not time bound prior to nomination day and there is no legal requirement to make another declaration to the Integrity Commission unless there is additional information to be declare or remove, which is not the case with Ms. Missick.
Conclusion: Ms. Amanda Missick should not be disqualified. She did declare her interest to the Integrity Commission on time as she did so on October 24, 2012 and again on February 15, 2013, on a form used for members of the House of Assembly to declare their registrable Interest (including contracts with Government) which is a public document.
Also if the Judge rules that Crown freehold land with subsistent belonger discount charge is NOT contract with Government, then Ms. Missick would have had nothing to declare and should not be disqualified.
If it is determined by the Courts that Crown Freehold title with subsistent belonger discount charge is a contract with Government, this should not affect Ms Missick as she made declaration of such contract on October 24, 2012 and again on February 15, 2013.
I rest my case and the learned Judge should see it likewise.
So I am encouraging all PNPs to Stay the Course!
Cheshire Hall Voter (Plaintiff) Vs Oral Selver

Oral Leasehold
A Cheshire Hall Voter filed in the Courts on March 8, 2013 against Isaac Oral Selver on the grounds that he failed to comply with the provisions of Section 49(1)f of the TCI Constitution.
It has been discovered that Mr. Oral Selver is the Leasee of Crown land 50206/1/1 – North Caicos (2.5 acres) which was issued on 12.11.2004 for a period of 3 years. Mr. Selver failed to pay his lease and in April 2011, he wrote to the PS of the Lands Department to have his lease extended. His letter was acknowledged in April 2011, and he was given conditions upon which the lease would be extended. The conditions included obtaining a building permit which he had, as stated in his reply letter and payment of arrears on the lease. Mr. Selver accepted the Offer and paid the arrears on the Property on December 24, 2012 (shortly after 2012 general elections).
Oral Lease Payment
The Plaintiff is of the view that Mr. Selver had a contract with Government on nomination day 2012 (October 25, 2012) and did not declare this interest at that time as required by Section 49(1)f of the constitution.
The Plaintiff is also of the view that Mr. Oral Selver still has a contract with Government i.e. the lease on property 50206/1/1 as he has accepted the conditional offer to extend the lease and is actively engaged with the Lands Department to retain the lease, which still remains in his name on the Lands register (see exhibit). Also of note is that the application procedure by the Lands Department for the termination of the lease has not been done. This procedure was use in the termination of a Conditional Purchase Lease (CPL) owned by Ms Amanda Missick, on property 60400/277 –Chalk Sound. Ms. Missick obtained the CPL around the same time as Mr Selver in 2004 and was denied extension without hesitation, that culminated in the cancellation of her lease on March 22, 2010.
We conclude that Mr Oral Selver failed to declare his contract with Government by nomination days October 25, 2012 and March 1, 2013 and should be disqualified under Section 49 (1)f.
The Attorney General
George Lightbourne
Hugh Derek Taylor
Josephine Connelly
Edwin Astwood
Vaden Delroy Williams
The Acting Attorney General is challenging the defendants listed, under section 53(2) of the constitution “An application to the Supreme Court for the determination of any question under subsection (1) may be made by the Attorney General or by any person who is a registered elector; and an application for the determination of any question under subsection (1)(b) may also be made by any member of the House of Assembly” It has been determined that the defendants have not filed all of their contracts (Crown freehold property with subsistent belonger discount charge) with Government and should be disqualified.
Contracts Notice Register – General Elections_001 Copy
The question for the Judge to rule on in this case is whether Crown freehold land with subsistent belonger discount charge is a contract with Government. If the Judge rule that it is then all of the elected members listed above will be disqualified and cease being members of the House of Assembly.
The next question to be determined by (Judge or AG?) is how should the vacated 5 seats in the House of Assembly be filled?
I am of the view that:
A constituency in the 2012 election, which had more than 2 candidates contesting but returning only 1 member to the House of Assembly (eg Wheeland), should go to a By-election if the elected member is disqualified.
A constituency in the 2012 election, which had only 2 candidates contesting and returning only 1 member to the House of Assembly (eg Grand Turk North or Grand Turk South), that the seat should be turned over to the other candidate upon disqualification of the elected candidate. If the non-elected Candidate is unavailable then the seat should go to a By-election.
A constituency in the 2012 election, which had more than 2 candidates contesting but returning more than 1 member to the House of Assembly (eg All-Islands Constituency), that the vacated seats due to disqualifications should be filled using the non-elected candidates based on the next highest number of votes and availability.
The British has indeed made a mockery of our democracy and the judicial system has fallen victim to the poorly drafted and ill-conceived laws enacted by the British, including of 2011 Constitution which is top of the list.
This is indeed a time for the PNP and PDM to come together and form a coalition Government and to fast track this country towards independence. I firmly believe that it is our people as opposed to our leaders and elected officials that are against unity and coalition in preference of the euphoria of partisan politics. It is however, our leaders who must make that bold decisions and lead the people in the direction of a united front in the best interest of the Turks and Caicos Islands.




Dellis Cay Groundbreaking June 2008

Dellis Cay Groundbreaking in June 2008.
Please click on the link and watch the video.




Published in TCI Weekly Now on 22nd February 2013

Attorney General Huw Shepheard on Wednesday issued another follow up press release in an attempt to explain why he reacted to a news report on the government radio station. Based on information supplied by family members of former premier Michael Misick, the early RTC news broadcast had announced that Misick had been granted bail and released from a Brazilian prison.

Misick had been arrested in Rio de Janeiro on an international warrant on December 7 last year and had been held in custody pending an application for extradition by Britain on behalf of the TCI.

Shepheard issued his own press release that same morning denying that Misick had been released. Later the same day, Sheapheard issued a second release saying that a Brazilian court had in fact released Misick on bail while extradition procedures were worked through,

In his latest statement, the attorney general says he was incorrectly informed by Brazilian authorities when he issued his first denial of the bail report. Shepheard has again repeated his earlier remarks stating that his office had sent the required extradition documents within the required time frame and Misick’s extradition is pending.

“My initial statement on the release of Michael Misick from custody in Brazil, was truthful to the best of my belief and was based on credible information that had been received from the authorities in Brazil. It turned out that they were mistaken and therefore that I had been misinformed and accordingly I corrected my statement,” Shepheard said.

“I take this opportunity to repeat that the extradition request has been made properly and in accordance with normal law and procedure. The TCIG has met its obligations under the Extradition Treaty to serve the papers on the proper authorities in Brazil within the set time limit. Due process must now be followed, that complies with the Treaty and with Brazilian law,” he added.

Reportedly, Misick had been granted bail because the papers from Shepheard arrived late in Brazil.

Meanwhile, Radio Turks and Caicos is claiming they are a fair and balanced media site. However, the government sponsored station has in the past come in for criticism for employing two well known members of the Progressive National Party (PNP) — current speaker of the house Robert Hall and PNP-appointed House Member Ruth Blackman — to host the Expressions radio show



CARICOM expressed Grave Concern about Turks and Caicos Islands Affairs

by Hayden Boyce – Publisher & Editor-in-Chief,
Published in Sun TCI on 20th of February 2013

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has expressed “grave concern” about the state of political affairs in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

In fact, the regional leaders are taking matters in this country so seriously that they intend to raise concerns indentified by Premier Dr. Rufus Ewing with representatives of the British Government.

In a communiqué issued at the conclusion of the 24th Inter-sessional Heads of Government meeting held in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, the Caribbean leaders stated: “The Conference noted with grave concern that, though the elections of November 2012 had led to the restoration of representative government, the overall state of political affairs remained less than desirable and the restoration of true democracy was still a far way off. The 2011 constitution, conceived in London and thrust upon the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands when they were without representation, was viewed as a mere by-law for the continuance of direct rule under the pretext of representative democracy.”

The CARICOM report added: “Of additional concern were the challenges emanating from the workings of the justice system in relation to the criminal investigations that followed the commission of enquiry, and what was portrayed as “constant infractions of democratic principles and insults to the ideals of elected government”.

The Conference noted the reaffirmation of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government’s commitment to the Caribbean Community as well as the expressed appreciation for the pronouncements of the Community on the situation in TCI. It was decided to continue to keep the situation under close review and to raise concerns with representatives of the British Government.”

The communiqué said that the conference “received with interest” the address made by the Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Dr. Rufus Ewing.

It was the first meeting of the Community at which the Turks and Caicos Islands had been officially represented by a democratically elected Government since the suspension of its constitution in August 2009, and a three-year period of direct rule by the United Kingdom Government.

In his maiden speech to a CARICOM Heads of Government meeting on Tuesday, Premier Ewing called on CARICOM (Caribbean Community), to advocate on the international stage for the full restoration of the institutions of true democracy in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

He also asked regional leaders to “support our (Turks and Caicos Islands) cries for removal of the spectre of colonial influences of the past, as we fight for our rights on our journey towards true self governance and self determination”.

Dr. Ewing’s said then: “The current state of affairs in the Turks and Caicos Islands has the potential to throw our Country into chaos. For so long as I am the leader and principal spokesman of the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, I will use every means available to me to ensure that does not happen.”





Letter To William Hague-Premier of the Turks and Caicos Calls for the recall of the Governor

Letter to Rt Hon William Hague-Premier of the Turks and Caicos Calls for the recall of the Governor, the AG and the CFO

February 10, 2013
Rt. Hon. William Hague
First Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Dear Hon. Hague,
I take this opportunity to write to you in your capacity as first Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with overall responsibility for the Governance of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Hon. Hague as stated in my address to Minister Simmonds and Members present at the recently held Joint Ministerial Council, I thank the UK Government for the restoration of democracy in the Turks and Caicos Islands through the holding of elections that have enabled the establishment of a democratically elected Government of the people, by the people and for the people. Hon Hague, I however expressed our concerns as it relates to the good governance of the territory during this current post election period. As a newly elected government we are committed to good governance and the rule of law, but adherence to such principles should apply to all persons, at all levels of government, including the Governor and Attorney General.
Hon. Hague, I recalled attending a town hall meeting in early 2012 hosted by the Governor. Amongst the matters tabled at this meeting was the issue relating to VAT. At that meeting, there were several members of the community who expressed their displeasure at the arrogant and dictatorial manner in which the Governor handled the affairs of the country. At the end of the meeting I posed a simple question to the Governor, “Would an elected Government be able to repeal and reverse any of the laws and decisions of the Interim Administration?” His answer was simply, “Yes as long as it is in conformation with the Constitution and the law”. The answer was perfect, and he said it with a chuckle. Hon. Hague, this brings me to this point, our current Constitution.
Hon. Hague, many of the current atrocities and wrongful acts that are being committed by the Governor and the Attorney General are being done contrary to the stated principals and ideals of our Constitution and international laws of human rights, and some of these acts are being perpetrated under the cover of the Constitution. These actions seriously bring into question, both the character of these individuals, as well as questioning elements of the Constitution, its legality and its fairness.
Hon. Hague, the Turks and Caicos Constitution Order 2011, is not a Constitution of the people, by the people or for the people, and hence it should be amended and advanced, and we should start this process immediately through the proper procedures and dialogue. In the interim, we would expect that the territory of Turks and Caicos be governed by the 2011 Constitution, but with fairness, and the real best interest of the people, as expressed by themselves or through their elected government. This position has been articulated on many occasions in the past. It was stated on many occasions on behalf of the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands, that the very suspension of the 2006 Constitution was unnecessary. It was well established that there were many other options available to address alleged corruption and maladministration of a government of which the former Governor Tauwhare, was at the centre and head. During the Interim Administration, the Governor had absolute power, and exercised this power, regardless of the expressed wishes of the people of our country! During this period, there was a total disregard for the Constitution with respect to the appointment of a Belonger Deputy Governor. In the absence of the Governor, other members of the Interim Administration were appointed as Acting Governor, in direct contravention of the constitutional order laid down. There was the passage of an Appropriations Bill by the Governor himself. We also witnessed the passage of other laws, such as trial without jury, the hearsay and equality law, components of which go against our principles as a Christian Nation. During the period of the Intermin Administration, the Governor became comfortable to a dictatorial style of rule. Now, however, in the presence the newly elected repreventative government, the Governor and other remaning officials from the former administration, the Attorney General and the Chief Financial Officer, have demonstrated a reluctance to facilitate the transition of governance back to the the people of this country.
Hon. Hague, the alleged wrongdoings of members of the former PNP Administration and associates is quickly being exposed as being a farce, impregnated with cloak and dagger acts on the part of the Governor, AG Chambers and SIPT, to incarcerate Turks and Caicos Islanders at all costs, even at the cost of the violation of the principles of justice and the human rights of individuals. There is now a growing focus by the regional and international community on this matter, as blatant acts of “justice for sale” have been conducted here in the TCI under the disguise of plea bargaining. Such cases include many well-known expatriate developers who have secured their freedom from prosecution, both by monetary exchange under the guise of “Civil Recovery” and by providing evidence against accused local politician “co-conspirators”. Hon Hague, the sale of justice is not an example of good governance! Furthermore, it is quite evident that the Governor is deeply involved with the day to day operations of the SIPT, hence, is subject to impaired judgment, or has questionable motives in overseeing the affairs of this country.
Hon Hague during the period of the Interim Administration, the Governor asented to numerous pieces of legislation and undertook many reforms which were meant to create an environment of good governance and effective and efficient administration during a period of economic downturn. However, these legislations, reforms, austerity measures and tax policies that were implemented in preference to robust revenue strategies resulted in high unemployment, social neglect, large emigration of members of the workforce, abundant business closures and much civil unrest. These effects were coupled with a Governor, who ruled without a social conscience, and had no respect for the business community or indigenous local community, many of whom have publically expressed reciprocal sentiments of the Governor. The Governor and his administration, in their haste to expedite their mandate or agenda ended up violating many principles of good governance that had recently been approved and committed many acts that were similar, or identical to those that members of the previous administration were alleged to have committed. These acts were of such magnitude that even those persons who called for the intervention of the UK Government were calling for the recall of the Governor and regretted the method of intervention by the British.
Hon. Hague, the financial trough that the Turks and Caicos is currently in, due in part to the preferential austerity measures by the Governor is not insurmountable, as the potential of the Turks and Caicos is great and the future is bright. We acknowledge our properly verifiable debt, and are committed to the repayment of this debt. However, the financial strategy for economic growth and loan repayment via VAT that is mandated by the various financial mandates of the CFO and the Governor, are not the way to prosperity. The arguments against VAT in the TCI, and the need for the current method of taxation and economic diversification and growth as avenues to prosperity have all been well articulated by many. The people of this country from all sectors and the representatives of the people, in the House of Assembly, have all said “NO TO VAT” and are all in agreement with the economic strategies put forward by the government. Denial of the expressed wishes of the people, would be a clear indication of democracy not being restored to the people of the TCI!
Hon. Hague as stated already, our beautiful by nature Turks and Caicos has a bright future. But the current Governor, Attorney General and CFO, as remnants of the previous administration are obstacles in the way of prosperity. They never have, and even more so now, enjoyed the trust, confidence and support of the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands. I am hereby requesting that Governor His Excellency Damian Todd, Attorney General Huw Shepard and the Chief Finanical Officer Hugh McGarrel Groves be recalled and replaced by unbiased individuals, better suited to adapt to and to work synergistically with a democratically elected government, the business community and the local community. This will ensure that all stakeholders will have a fresh start at governing the Turks and Caicos Island in the best interest of our people.

Dr. The Hon. Rufus W. Ewing
Turks and Caicos Islands




Open Letter to the Hon.William Hague

Open Letter from Albray V. Butterfield Jr. To The Rt. Hon. William Hague, Secretary of State for Foreign and commonwealth Affairs

Albray V. Butterfield, Jr.
Turks and Caicos Islands
British West Indies
4th February 2013
The Rt. Hon. William J. Hague, MP
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Westminster, House of Commons
London, United Kingdom, SW1A 0AA
Dear Hon. Hague,
On 9th November 2012, we the electorate of the Turks and Caicos Islands (“TCI”) went to the polls nationally to democratically elect a Government and House of Assembly of our choice to govern our country’s affairs. At the time, it was our honest belief that the TCI would finally be returning to normal governance by our own local elected leaders. Our optimism for a brighter future became more assured ensuing the success of a series of meetings Hon. Premier Dr Rufus W. Ewing, and Hon. Charles W. Misick attended in London with United Kingdom (“UK”) Ministers, members of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (“FCO”), fellow Premiers and Chief Ministers from the other British Overseas Territories within the Caribbean and North Atlantic Regions, and you Hon. Secretary of State. However, for some unforeseen and unexplained reason, the honeymoon did not last very long between the Governor’s office in the TCI (“Waterloo”) and the newly elected TCI Government, as it relates to the renewed open partnership between the TCI and the UK.
It appears that Waterloo is back to doing business as usual by continuing to operate as the interim government, attempting to usurp the authority and political will of the democratically elected TCI Government and House of Assembly, making it almost impossible for any elected Government (Progressive National Party or People’s Democratic Movement) to govern and execute its political mandate on which they campaigned.
I am almost certain that this was not the intentions of the TCI electorate on 9th November, when we stood in long lines for hours, some of us for up to eight hours in the hot sun waiting patiently to exercise our constitutional right to vote and elect a democratic TCI Government and House of Assembly in order to relieve Waterloo of its duties as the interim government of the TCI.
Upon possessing office, it is reasonable and expected that a new incoming administration within its first three to six months would have some transitional and settling-in issues with the established Westminster protocols, their respective Permanent Secretaries, the Civil Service on a whole, and Waterloo. However, what’s not expected, is Waterloo taking such a heavy handed, autocratic and unreasonable approach with the new TCI administration’s political mandate; case in point:- Value Added Tax (“VAT”) which was signed into law on 18th July 2012, and scheduled to come into force on 1st April 2013. During the recent national election campaign, all of the local political party’s candidates ran and won nationally and within their respective constituencies, on an anti-VAT platform. Hence, they were politically mandated on 9th November 2013, amongst other things, to repeal the VAT legislation in the TCI House of Assembly at their earliest convenience. On 19th November 2012, when the UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Hon. Mark Simmonds was asked in a question tabled in the UK House of Commons by Labour MP Hon. Brian Donohue, if he (Hon. Simmonds) would reconsider the implementation of VAT in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Hon. Simmonds went on record and publicly replied that: “The introduction of Value Added Tax is a decision for the Turks and Caicos Islands government.” Hon. Simmonds statement to the House of Commons gave our local elected members of the TCI House of Assembly much enthusiastic hope. However, in January 2013, Hon. Simmons responded in writing to the Hon. Premier Dr Ewing stating among other things: “I should be clear that I believe that, at this stage, the best option for the Turks and Caicos Islands is to press ahead with the implementation of VAT.”
VAT is just one example of the many heavy handed, autocratic and unreasonable decisions being made by Waterloo in an attempt to usurp the authority of the elected TCI Government and House of Assembly.
One does not have to be a learned person in political science, or profess to possess the gift of clairvoyance in order to foresee that this alleged co-governance of the TCI internal affairs is a recipe for disaster. Should such acts be allowed to continue, it will have a major tsunami like negative effect on the current socioeconomic affairs of the TCI, and will further delay for many years in the future, the recovery of the TCI economy. If the TCI are to move forward and regain its rightful place within the region, the FCO must allow the democratically elected TCI Government to govern without unnecessary interference in accordance to the autonomy granted through constitutional devolution.
Hon. Secretary of State, the TCI Citizenry was further insulted and disrespected by your appointed Attorney General via his inflammatory press release in January 2013, threatening prosecution, ten years imprisonment and fines of up to US$50,000.00 for anyone that publicly expresses their discontent and causes the TCI Judiciary to be looked upon with disrepute. Your appointed learned Attorney General should have been aware that the United Kingdom’s House of Lords on 10th December 2012, abolished the draconian law of “Scandalising the Judiciary” as a form of contempt of court under the common law of England and Wales. Lord Pannick stated among other things:- “It is no longer necessary to maintain as part of our law of contempt of court a criminal offence of insulting judges by statements or publications out of court. The judiciary has no need for such protection.”
The Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution Order 2011 (“TCI Constitution”), Schedule 2, Part 1, Section 13, guarantees every person that reside in the TCI the right to Protection of Freedom of Expression; it expressly states the following:-
Protection of freedom of expression:-
“13.—(1) Except with his or her consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his or her freedom of expression, and for the purposes of this section the said freedom includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive and impart (to the public generally or to any person or class of persons) ideas and information without interference, and freedom from interference with his or her correspondence or other means of communication.
(2) Nothing in any law or done under its authority shall be held to contravene this section to the extent that it is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society—
(a) in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health;
(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights, reputations and freedoms of other persons or the private lives of persons concerned in legal proceedings, preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, maintaining the authority and independence of the courts, regulating telephony, telegraphy, posts, wireless broadcasting, television or other means of communication or regulating public exhibitions or public entertainments;…
Has democracy and the constitutional fundamental rights and freedoms of the Citizenry of the TCI sunk so low that the TCI has now reverted to the era of Apartheid South Africa in the 1970′s and early 1980′s under the oppressive regime of Prime Minister then later President Pieter Willem Botha? Should that be the case, then let me be the first to enlighten your appointed learned Attorney General; the TCI is not South Africa, we are not South Africans, and this is 2013. The days of using draconian laws to silence, threaten, and intimidate the majority into submission to the minority, those days are long gone. We the People of the TCI refuse to remain silent any longer, and refuse to be dictated to by the minority. Today we are empowered, highly learned in the law and have the financial means to fight to the bitter end to defend our democracy and protect our constitutional fundamental rights and freedoms.
According to you Hon. Secretary of State in a written ministerial statement on 12th June 2012, in your update to the House of Commons on progress on the restoration of good governance, and plans to hold elections in the Turks and Caicos Islands, you stated in your conclusion among other things the following: “The UK believes that democracy, whether in an independent country or in an Overseas Territory, provides a solid foundation on which to build an accountable and responsive state. This belief underpins our work to advance democracy worldwide. We will support TCI to develop its democracy in line with our responsibility for security and good governance and our positive vision for our Overseas Territories.”
If what has been happening, and is now being allowed to continue to happen in the TCI since 9th November 2012 (i.e. the Political Will of the democratically elected TCI Government and House of Assembly is being ignored and usurped, and the Constitutional Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the TCI Citizenry are now being attempted to be suppressed through fear and intimidation by your appointed Governor, Attorney General and by extension you as head of the FCO), then UK’s definition of “DEMOCRACY”, is no different than that of the Republic of Cuba, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the People’s Republic of China, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, hence making the United Kingdom one of the biggest and most blatant hypocrites’ of this new millennium.
As a result of the heavy handed and autocratic approach being meted out by Waterloo, one good thing has derived from such actions; it has united us as a people and further strengthen our resolve to never give up fighting for our democracy and constitutional rights. On Friday 1st February 2013, an historical event took place for the first time in TCI political existence, all of the democratically elected members of the TCI House of Assembly debated with sincerity and ensuring unanimously voted to repeal the Value Added Tax legislation. The result was a super majority victory with all of the elected members on both sides of the aisle voting “YES” to repeal. This demonstration of national unity was a loud statement to the UK and the world that we the People of the TCI have spoken, we are finally maturing politically, and we are determined to reclaim and preserve our democracy.
Schedule 2, Part 4, Section 74 of the TCI Constitution, bestows upon Waterloo the powers to assent, and/or recommend amendments, or veto any bill that was ratified by the TCI House of Assembly. However, should you Hon. Secretary of State choose not to have Waterloo assent to the express will of the People of the TCI, and have the bill vetoed, then the world will finally know that Democracy in the Turks and Caicos Islands has died, and the Turks and Caicos Islands are being ruled under an Autocracy regime, and the elections of 9th November 2012, was nothing more than political theatrics to quell the local and international political pressure that had reached it limits.
Hon. Secretary of State, the vast majority of the TCI Citizenry, its full and part-time residence has lost all respect and confidence in your current appointed Governor of the Territory, and the current Attorney General as chief legal advisor to Waterloo, and the local elected TCI Government. Therefore, we Turks and Caicos Islanders are humbly and respectfully requesting that you urgently address the situation in the TCI before it escalates any further. The people of the TCI have reached the point where we will not tolerate much longer any further disrespect from your appointed personnel. Please honour your promises and statements made to the TCI during Hon. Premier Dr Ewing most recent visit to London in mid-November 2012, and prove to the world that the United Kingdom is a pillar of democracy.
I am publishing this letter openly in order to bring this matter to the attention of the international community.
Respectfully yours,
Albray V. Butterfield, Jr.
A concerned proactive Turks and Caicos Islands corporate citizen
Hon. Mark J. M. Simmonds, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
His Excellency Governor Damian R. Todd, UK Governor of The TCI
Hon. Robert Hall, Speaker of The TCI House of Assembly
Hon. Premier Dr Rufus W. Ewing, Premier of The TCI
Hon. Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, Leader of The TCI Opposition
Hon. Members of the TCI House of Assembly




House of Assembly votes to repeal VAT, final decision rest with Governor Todd the Dictator
Published in TCI POST on 01st February
The House of Assembly has voted overwhelmingly to repeal the VAT law…………
The Governor put himself in a very awkward position regarding the VAT Bill. It was unprofessional, undiplomatic and dictatorial for him to publicly announced before the elections that an elected government cannot repeal VAT.
Now the governor has his his ego to protect and no doubt would use his considerable offensive colonial powers under the TCI British imposed constitution to veto the bill repealing VAT.
Nevertheless the government and the opposition did the right thing in voting for the repeal of VAT. The only voice in the House of Assembly that argued against repealing the bill was the governor’s appointed member Lillian Misick.
Should the Governor veto this bill whether with the advice of the Secretary of state or or his own accord, it is likely to trigger a series of events which could see civil disobedience on one hand or a spirited diplomatic effort to ensure that the bill is repealed.
The Minister of Finance stated that if the bill is not repealed that he would refused to enforce the law as it relates to VAT. I have no confidence in this approach although I wholeheartedly admire the tenacity of the Minister of Finance.
The trio of the Governor, the AG and the CFO will just do what they do best. They will intimidate and threaten civil servants to enforce VAT. The Governor made it clear in a recent press release that the TCI is jointly governed by him and the PNP. This is a clear admission by the governor that there are two governments performing at the same time in the TCI.
So folks the fight is far from over, in fact it has just began. John Glasgow





Press Statement from Advocates Legal Group in Turks and Caicos Islands

Published in TCI Post on 01st of February

Advocates Legal Group – Press Statement Re: Intimidation and Threats by the Attorney General Chambers

MEMBERS: Mark A Fulford, Noel T Skippings, Arthur Hamilton, Ashwood Forbes, Courtenay Barnett
As Lawyers, we feel compelled to respond to the Attorney General`s public statement, as we find it to be very high handed, vexatious and wreaks of intimidation of the highest order.
Our country`s constitution guarantee us the freedom of expression, and unless the AG Chambers changes that law too, Part 1, Section 1 of the Constitution still applied to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
It is not acceptable that the Attorney General should cause to be published a threat of 10 years imprisonment when the press published and freely expresses factually based concerns about the manifest flaws and shortcomings in the justice system under the present dispensation.
It is indeed a compromise of the Constitutional enshrinement and protection of the fundamental right of “freedom of expression”. The AG’s threat to imprison by invoking the antiquated concept of contempt by way of “scandalising the court” fails to recognize the following:-
A. Contempt by way of scandalising the court was used years ago in England as a means of silencing legitimate criticism of Judges and others in authority. It is no longer used in England, and since parity by way of “gay rights” has been strenuously advanced by HMG in the TCI, the lawyers group is duty bound to insist that obsolete laws not be used in this manner to silence those who make legitimate criticism of a manifestly flawed justice system.
B. If the individual or individuals named in any article feel that they have been defamed, then sue the published on the article for defamation and do not threaten either lawyers or the press which should not be so intimidated because a Registrar, or Chief Justice or any Judge feels aggrieved for having read what was published in the press.
B. The high office of Attorney General should be, with respect, more concerned about:
Compromises in the system of justice,
Selective prosecution,
the impasse between Governor and Government over VAT,
The use of prosecutorial powers to pressure confessions and settlements,
Rather than be it implied or expressed be seem as silencing legitimate criticisms of a flawed justice system.
31 January 2013

Posted by john Glasgow on Feb 1 2013.