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Sun 29th Oct 2017

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Independence message from Mr Ivan O'Neal Leader of SVG Green Party

Heavy land loss by St. Vincent and the Grenadines to foreigners

The Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons) MSc, MBA, is deeply concerned with the significant loss of land in SVG to foreigners. Many Vincentians have also voiced their concerns to Ivan O’Neal about the amount of land being sold to by foreigners.

There has been a huge land grab by foreigners of lands in SVG. This must stop or else there will be hardly any land left for our children, grandchildren and future generations.

The following are examples of land grabs by foreigners in St Vincent and the Grenadines:

1. Mustique – the authenticity of the original sale of the island is highly dubious and questionable. Vincentians are denied access to some beaches and it is illegal for SVG local fishermen to fish in the sea around Mustique.
2. A large part of Canouan – denying Vincentians access to large parts of the island and some beaches. More seriously, there is significant environmental damage done to the land space in Canouan.
3. Petit St. Vincent - the authenticity of the original sale of the island is highly dubious and questionable. The ownership of Petit St. Vincent needs to be sorted out.
4. Palm island - own by foreigners. Ownership needs to be sorted out.
5. Hundreds of acres of land sold in South Leeward in the Buccament area to foreigners – taking away precious agricultural lands and endangering the food security of our people and forcing Vincentians off their land.
6. Hundreds of acres of land sold in Mount Wynne, Central Leeward to foreigners at a significantly knocked-down price of EC$4.5 per square foot. Vincentians were not offered the opportunity to buy these lands in Mount Wynne at EC$4.5 dollars. This was totally unacceptable.
7. Hundreds of acres of land in Bequia have been sold to foreigners – Vincentians were not offered the opportunity to buy these lands.

The most effective method of retaining our land for our children and grandchildren is to adopt legislation similar to many others countries, including Cuba and Singapore, and ban the sale of land to foreigners. Land should only be able to be purchased by people who are Vincentians by birth or descent.

Recently an Australian Prime Minister apologised in the Australian Parliament to the Aborigine people for the gross injustice thrown at them for the loss of their indigenous lands and for laws and policies that "inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss".

Who will apologise to the children, grandchildren and future generations of Vincentians for the injustice of their country being sold off to foreigners and them being pushed out of their own country. Future generations of Vincentians deserve the right to have a place to live in their own country?

Current laws and policies in SVG are "inflicting profound grief, suffering and loss" on our young people.

We must stop the land grab by foreigners and recover the land in ‘alleged’ sales of lands to foreigners, in order to protect and preserve it for our children, grandchildren and future generations.

May God bless SVG.


Ivan O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA

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