Thoughts about Future of Montserrat

Thoughts about Future of Montserrat

It has been discovered, that there is a plot by some foreigners living in Montserrat to take over the island in 5 years.  Please read a discussion that occurred on Facebook recently, where the plot was unearth.  If this does not upset any bonafied Stratians, I don’t know what will.  Let us take this seriously, as they very well can do as planned.  With Montserratians abroad being prohibited to vote, and foreigners outnumbering Montserratians who live at home, the heart of the matter is, there scheme can work! They are counting on the fact that Montserratians will continue to fight against each other, instead of working together.  The divisiveness of Montserratians who are home and those who are broad are feeding their agenda.  Please take the time out to read this, and pass it on to all Montserratians you know.  Whether it’s by forwarding, or posting it on your FB and tagging friends.  Let’s meet up at http://www.mni-alive.com and find ways to nip this in the bud.  Long live Montserrat–Land of the Prickly Bush.  Our beautiful island belongs in our hands as Montserratians!

Friday, August 14, 2009

An eye opener for all Montserratians: by Jeevan Robinson
Just recently, I and a few other Montserratians found ourselves taken up in a discussion on Facebook with an individual who lives in Montserrat who describes himself as someone who has relocated to Montserrat within the last 10 years. Having consulted the other persons who par-took in this exchange, we thought it prudent to share with a wider audience what was discussed. It is beyond shocking the thoughts being expressed by the individual in question. It is not that those of us as Montserratians have an issue with Caricom nationals in our island but what is frightening are the thoughts that some non Montserratians seem to be harbouring regarding the future of our island and their plans to outnumber and replace us Montserratians. I am posting the contents of the discussion to serve as an eye opener for us all as to why more than ever we need to make a concerted effort to ensure that the future of our island is not given to misguided individuals to direct. The conversation goes as follows:

Forbes Adams:
It is funny that Montserratians living abroad want to be able to control our destiny. But that will never ever happen, they should not be allowed to vote then go back in their green pastures to feed.

Jeevan Robinson:
Montserratians living abroad are very much concerned with the re-development of Montserrat as much as those living there. I struggle to understand the divisiveness that seeps through our society with the “us” & “them” mentality. The right to vote that was taken away from Montserratians who relocated only to seek a better condition for themselves, their families, their children etc. was a travesty against what great men like W H Bramble & Bob Griffith fought for in the advocation of universal suffrage as a right for all Montserrat nationals. Why do Montserratians at home feel like the country is theirs only and those abroad should butt out? It seems we sometimes suffer from short term memory as to why people had to leave in droves at the height of the crisis. The voting issue is not a simple matter of exclusion for nationals abroad. Why is it we are the only commonwealth country that excludes its citizens the right to vote by absentee ballot? A debate on this matter is necessary.

Avonelle Howe:
Well said and to the point Jeevan. I do share your views! Thank You Very Much!
You are out of order and I am not sure if you are from Montserrat. Montserratians abroad deserve an apology from you and from all accounts we all are now awaiting your apology.

Myrle Roach:
My address may no longer be in Montserrat but my place of birth and the 30+ years I spent living there gives me the right to claim a say in the future of the island. How dare anyone question this right? Montserrat’s future is my destiny. Strange that “residents” who have come to the island to “feed” and then to move on to greener pastures are allowed this right and Mr. Adams has questioned that.

Forbes Adams:
I’m right in order Ms. Howe, are you and Jeevan aware that the population of Montserratians living out of Montserrat is close to a hundred thousand, and do you think it will be fair for those individuals to determine who manages our lively hood. What do you all want to do, come vote and then leave us in what ever mess of your liking, hell NO. Let us paddle our own canoe. I am living here long enough to have a say, because I am a registered voter.

Jeevan Robinson:
My first question to you Mr. Adams is this: where do you draw your statistics from that the Montserrat population abroad tops over 100,000? Please state your source of reference if you wish to engage in a discussion of this nature. The ‘mess’ you refer to was very much created without the Montserrat nationals who live abroad being there to create. From your statement I can see that it seems you are a non national. So whilst your opinion on the matter is noted, I think by right of birth, by right of continued interest in what goes on in our island, those of us abroad who hold firm that our voting right should not have been taken away are very much qualified to make such statements. Montserrat belongs to us all and because some of us may live abroad we will not be curtailed in expressing our views on the redevelopment of our island and that includes the voting issue. It was wrong to take it away in the manner it was done. Because we live abroad we should not have a say? I disagree. Plus you fail to realise the context of Montserrat’s situation, people who left did not leave just because they wanted to. The volcanic situation and its consequences forced loads into leaving back in ’96/97. All will not come back but surely we are still very much keen on what goes on in our island. We are still very much believing that our island can be great again. We are still very much appalled at the stalled state of affairs back at home. We are all still seeking ways in which we can make an impact and our voice be heard. This is our island and we love her and want to see her rise again. We are still very much appalled at the stalled state of affairs back at home. We are all still seeking ways in which we can make an impact and our voice be heard. This is our island and we love her and want to see her rise again. The voting issue is not just a simple matter that those of us abroad should be excluded. We were not properly informed or made to be a part of that decision and I feel it was hasty and not given proper due diligence. Surely, a strategy should have been developed to include Montserratians abroad in the re-development instead of cutting them off. We have to be mindful, Mr. Adams, of short-terminism.

Regena Francis:
As with Avonelle I think that Jeevan is on point with his earlier comments. Montserratians living abroad are not just concerned about what goes on in our island but are rather passionate about it. This them versus us mentality achieves nothing aside from trying to alienate the Diaspora. You fail to acknowledge Mr. Adams, the reason many of us left in the first place. You also fail to acknowledge that what has transpired on the island in the last few years and whatever mess the island is in now is nothing to do with us. What we should be doing those of us who live abroad and those who live on Montserrat is working together for the common good of the island. We need to come together to devise strategies for using the skills and talents gained abroad for the redevelopment of our island. Of course we will not all return to live in Montserrat we will hold her forever dear to our hearts.

Regena Francis:
We are also of the firm view that the rights our forefathers fought for should never have been taken away from us. We all deserve a say in the future and redevelopment in the island that we love and that includes re-instating our right to vote.

Forbes Adams:
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that u all shouldn’t have a say, of course u should, but to VOTE, hell NO. Maybe 100,000 might b stretching it a bit, but I can guarantee u it’s over 40,000 after I checked with the statistic department this morning. I am sure Montserrat is the only country that has so much more of its natives living outside, hence the reason why my adopted island can’t allow you to vote. Sorry my friends, if you want to have the same privilege as I do, please come and join me, and help to populate the island just like a lot of my country men are doing and keeping the island alive for you. Since I have been here I have heard that the British government, was about to close the island down because the population was getting too small. Thanks to us who can now vote.

Jeevan Robinson:
How long have you been living in Montserrat Mr. Adams & where are you from? Please enlighten us. Thanks for checking with the stats dept as you say you have. I think we may need independent verification of that number though. There are flaws with some of your statements because I can safely say that many Jamaicans for instance live outside there more country in the USA, Canada, UK etc. They may not have had a natural disaster but they too have there mitigating factors. What bugs me Mr. Adams is not that you are living in Montserrat as the island is open to all. But more so your assumption of more rights and privileges to our island than those of us who are Montserratians. I do not think you are in line to say we cannot vote who live abroad. Hell No! Are you familiar with our history? And not just recent history. Are you familiar with such great names as W H Bramble, Bob Griffith & what they have fought for on our behalf to see it taken away by a shambolic committee of self interest?

Nathalie Weekes:
Well if I may put my two sense in here I will agree with my fellow Montserratians and I would think it is morally wrong that the right to vote is taken away from the Montserratian people because we have left the island and may I point out it was not a decision that was taken lightly seeing that the majority was forced to move because of the volcanic crisis. Please don’t get me wrong I am not against foreigners from coming to the island but put yourself in the shoes of Montserratians and ask yourself if it is fair for you to state such and also ask yourself if not for the volcanic crisis would you have left your country to come to Montserrat? So many ex patriots have left their country and still have the right to vote and also have the right vote in Strat’s election so why can’t Stratians abroad have the same rights? Also bare in mind that whatever happens to Montserrat is felt heartily by Montserratians at home and abroad also bare in mind that if ALL Montserratians had to come back home where would that place the foreigners? I guess one would think it unfair for us to come back to reclaim our Island but is our island and yes That Day Will Come.

Forbes Adams:
Hello Nathalie, by the time you decide to come back here we will be in charge of the island. The calling of early elections took us off guard, but I can assure you my friend by the next elections we will be more than ready to form our “non born Montserratian party” and with the dynamics of the population here, there is no doubt that we’ll win more hands down. Now you see that the authorities made the right decision in preventing non-residents from voting. I am living here for now 10 years, and this is what I think would be the best for my adopted island, you will be more than welcome to join us.

Jeevan Robinson:
Thank you Nathalie & Gena! Mr. Adams with that last comment you made I think that signals an end to this conversation. I thought you were interested in a serious debate but it seems you have descended to emotional baiting because either you are grossly deluded to think that foreigners will ever be elected to high office to run our country or perhaps you just made that comment to annoy the hell out of patriotic Montserratians. You have only been in Montserrat 10 years, you think you have earned some right of passage to claim her as your own? Those of us who are commenting were born there, know our island before she was destroyed by that lady on the hill and still love our island and trust me if this is your attitude and it is shared by your fellow countrymen, then do believe this to be so that we will fast come back to reclaim our island.

Forbes Adams:
Jeevan, you sound like a practical person I will like to meet you when ever you come home for the usual two weeks that Montserratians usually do. But on a very serious note, are you not aware that we will most likely out number the born Montserratians as voters in the next 5 years, at the last parent teachers meeting that I attended at MSS we had 64% of the students attending the school who were not born of Montserrat parents. I think you are smart enough to do the math. And more is coming!!! We are in the process of forming a real political party, not one that is just put together for election purposes, so that it will continue for years & years to come, get the picture my friend. I heard of Mr. W H Bramble & Mr. Bob Griffith since I have been here, because I am serious about politics so I must learn the history of my new home, I am sure that you have done likewise & learn the history of your new home also. I got a British passport since I have been here, and I am here to stay.

Jeevan Robinson:
All I will say to you Mr. Adams is that you harbour very elusive dreams. Don’t be fooled. Foreign entities will not gain control of our island. The youths of Montserrat will not permit such a gross travesty to happen. You come to our island, you have gained occupation, passport to European Union, a better quality of life and now you plan to take her moreover? How? You are wrong mate! You have no idea how many Montserratians you have angered with your talk. Please go read my blog kindly at www.mni-alive.com.

Forbes Adams
Well my friend Jeevan, all I can say is that time will tell and it is surely on my side. I still can’t understand y you would call it a “travesty” seeing we are the reason y there is a functioning Montserrat, as I said earlier, if it’s wasn’t for us there would not be an island for you to come to, so at least you owe us that gratitude. As I said earlier I am living here for 10 yrs and I have bought a piece of “the rock” even though I can easily go to Europe to live in “greener pastures”? I have read your blog, and I think that we might be able to work out something. It would be a good strategy to have one or two born Montserratian on the team, I need not spell out the reason y. I am not planning to take over OUR island I just want to have the opportunity to run it properly.

Myrle Roach
I have just realised the direction that this “discussion” has taken and am appalled at what I am reading. Mr. Adams is not only delusional but arrogantly so. You have made your feelings concerning native Montserratians who have chosen to immigrate since the volcanic crisis clear. What you should be expressing is eternal gratitude to us who realised that some people needed to leave in order for the island to survive. If we had all stayed the situation would have indeed been dire and most of all there would have been no room for you. I thank you for making your views and intentions known because they will serve as a bigger catalyst for those of us making decisions as to our time frame for returning home. Oh yes Mr. Adams … there are many of us who have every intention of returning to our native land and not you or any other foreigner can stop this from happening. Your arrogance defies belief … “a good strategy to have one or two born Montserratians on the team”…”

—————————————– Montserrat Association (Toronto) P.O Box 227 Station D Scarborough, Ontario M1R 5B7 Email: mnito2002@hotmail.com

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