Fri 23rd Mar 2018
The ULP regime has sold-off a lot of land to foreigners and now Vincentians are being denied access to, what were, public beaches and some of SVG’s sea space. This land grabbing by foreigners is resulting in our beaches being stolen.
Public land has been sold-off by the ULP regime without consultation and the land has not been offered to Vincentians to buy, before it is sold to foreigners. We’ve seen this in Canouan, Buccament Bay, Mount Wynne, Bequia and other areas.
Some of these lands sold to foreigners have become white enclaves that only tourists can use. The ‘white enclave’ concept is an affront to our people and highly dangerous. In the long-term, there will be no land left for our children and grandchildren.
There is similar abuse in Mauritius. Local communities there are complaining that foreign property developers are squeezing them out of beach-side land. 'Beach grabbing erodes our birth rights,' say Mauritians.
There have been many demonstrations and protests by Vincentians outlining how wrong this policy of selling land to foreigners is.
In Mauritius, a group calling themselves “Aret Kokin Nu Laplaz” (Stop Stealing our Beaches) have been protesting around their sites too.
It is not just about being denied access to beaches and sea space, it is also about being denied access to resources that some peoples’ livelihoods depend upon. In Mustique, for example, Vincentians are denied access to some beaches and it is illegal for SVG local fishermen to fish in the sea around Mustique. This results in lowering the income of our local fishermen.
This is a serious threat to us and our country. The fact that the white migrant invaders of Mustique no longer want our local fishermen - who have been fishing in the sea around Mustique for hundreds of years - to fish in the sea around Mustique, is a very serious threat to our country’s sovereignty.
South Africans are land grabbing in Mauritius. Locals say ‘we do not want this to be the start of another form of apartheid in Mauritius, where South African promoters come to Mauritius, bribe the government, steal beaches from locals, call police to arrest protesters and make false promise to locals in terms of job creation’.
Mauritians fight against the transgression of the master plans, against the procedure of obtaining land permits, against vices of procedures and the abuse of power by the authorities. It also fights against the grabbing of public beaches and the corruption of the conscience of the citizens to whom they make believe that beach development is necessary. In SVG, we need to fight against the same things.
In SVG, we have fewer beaches open for public access to Vincentians, because the government is giving our beaches to hotels, and more so to foreign owned hotel promotors.
According to Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons) MSc, MBA, the time has come for our country to close all white migrant enclaves in SVG. White migrants are turning Vincentians in to second class citizens in their own country. White migrant enclaves are bad for our country.
Our people need to call on the ULP government to stop selling public land to developers, stop blocking off public beaches for private use - excluding locals, and stop stealing our beaches.
The Berlin wall was pulled down; Apartheid was pulled down in South Africa; we need to pull down the abuse by foreigners of land grabbing and excluding Vincentians from public beaches in their own country.