Our Readers' Opinions
July 28, 2006
Bequia land protest no political agenda

EDITOR: The Peoples Action Alliance (PAAB) of Bequia wants to put to rest, once and for all, the incorrect assertion of Government that the swell of protest in Bequia against the sale of all of the island’s Crown Lands is “political” as the Prime Minister suggested in his press conference recently. A desperate plea, yes, but political, no!{{more}}

The People’s Action Alliance has the support of Bequians, including stalwarts of the government party, the ULP. Two of the PAAB committee members openly campaigned for the ULP in the last election. The PAAB is unaware of any ULP supporters in Bequia who endorse this present government’s land policy.

The Prime Minister’s offer, also in the news conference, of land at $14 per square foot to nationals would not, we fear, appeal to many Bequians, who are not as well-off as some on the mainland in the higher echelons of the civil service and the professional class.

The PAAB is not against the sale of land to non-nationals. Private lands will be sold to the buyer who pays the most for it – and in Bequia that is often US$6 and up per square foot. This is precisely why government land is required for sale to nationals. Is the government so insensitive that they can’t see that they are ruining the future for many Bequians regardless of political persuasion, by forcing the next and future generations to have to leave this island for their own survival?

The idea of retaining some lands as a nature reserve is an excellent one. The PAAB hopes that this will not be another aspect of the country turned over to foreigners to ‘run’. We trust that any declared nature reserve can and will be superbly administrated by Vincentians.

The Peoples Action Alliance (PAAB) of Bequia