A resident has announced that he will form a team of Virgin Islanders to approach Legislators and the Governor in an attempt to get rid of some of the immigrants in the Territory.
The resident, a BV Islander, who expressed shock during the Speak Out BVI program following an announcement by host Doug Wheatley that there are some 105 nationalities residing in the Territory declared that the amount was too much and something needed to be done to lessen the nationalities.
‘You say we got a 105 nationalities! Well what I am saying is that to me it’s like too much for a small country like the BVI. Since some of these countries is so big how come they don’t have so much nationalities, and this is a small country that have so much. We are just a pin dot on the map; and got so much nationalities, and that’s a problem.”
The caller noted that most nationalities have a large population and he singled out one particular country — St Vincent and the Grenadines: “If you choose any one of those nationalities we got too much people. If we use Vincentians, we got a lot of Vincentians here.”
The resident alleged that the various groups of overseas nationals are causing division in the Territory and he repeated his call for a reduction in the numbers: “We need to cut back on all them nationalities here because it is too much, and that is what making the division with all the influx of people that come in here.”
He also announced that he intends to take the matter into his hands by contacting legislators and the Governor: “It needs to be looked at and right now I think I got some guys got a team put together what gone start dealing with this kind of matter because we gone be going forward to the Governor and the whole government because it needs to be looked at.”
The point of division was echoed by another caller who was described to be a native of another Territory that has been residing in the BVI for decades. That caller announced: “The people dem who here use to live so good with each other, but now people come in everything separate.”
The program also attracted calls from expatriates who announced that they do not feel welcomed. One caller said: “After listening to some of your caller I want to say that there is no way that we can go forward together…When you listen closely to some of the BV Islanders we the outsiders can’t feel appreciated, because they speak with so much disrespect and discrimination towards us it almost looks and sounds like we come from nowhere and we have nothing; but just like the Kittians and the Antiguans come here the BVI people travel to other places too and it’s to make a better life.”
The caller cited the festival celebrations and explained that expatriate contributions are usually met with criticism: “When you listen to the people of the BVI it doesn’t give us much encouragement to participate in your customs…there is a small group of people who would go on the radio and television and say oh the island people took over the carnival and create a vulgar something.”
Following what became an informal debate between BV Islanders and expatriates, Mr Wheatley summed up that going forward there may be a mechanism to create balance: “Some persons from the other islands said that they don’t feel welcome, others have said yes we feel welcome… There are a lot of toing and froing about it. I am sure that all of the comments are true to a certain extent and people have various experiences. Some were not so good, some were good; and so forth. We have to find a way if we are going to be on this little space to live together to work together and we all have to respect each other. Disrespect is one of the things that creates a big problem in the relationships between people. We always have to remember that people have to be treated with dignity,” Wheatley said.