In a blistering attack on what they perceive as a litany of failures by Cayman’s Government, Billie Bryan, Founder & President, of Colours Caribbean, is calling for accountability within Government, better protection for vulnerable communities and a far better record on ensuring human rights for all.
Ms Bryan said that 2020 had shown Cayman that the Government selfishly valued their own image and ideals over that of the very nation they represented, noting that a case in point was “to be so brazen as to push for the removal of Section 81 of the Cayman Islands Constitution and effectively strip the Governor of any power to veto political actions taken by Parliament that have the potential to violate international human rights law.”
They had written to the Premier frequently at the start of 2020 expressing their concerns surrounding the proposed constitutional reform, but had received no reply.
“That silence spoke volumes,” she said.
She also accused the Government of “dragging their feet” on implementing laws to allow for civil union of same sex couples, that the Court of Appeal had required them to do “expeditiously”. The Government’s inaction and its reliance instead on the UK via the Governor to assent to the law just added insult to injury.
The fact that the Government had made great fanfare over its evolution to a Parliament at the exact same time that its Speaker had all charges of assault against him dropped was another point of contention for Colours Caribbean.
“The level of unabashed pomp and circumstance on display during the public announcement of the Legislative Assembly officially “evolving” into what is now Parliament—which amounts to little more than a name change—and the complete dismissal of all charges of assault facing Speaker of the House, McKeeva Bush—or, at least, the ones in recent memory— demonstrates that the sheer amount of gall our elected officials collectively possess has not diminished in the slightest in these turbulent times,” she said.
It was in particular poor taste given the extent of public demonstrations looking for accountability within Government, especially as the outcry seemed to be ignored, particularly as these demonstrations fell around the International Day for The Elimination of Violence Against Women.
While applauding the way Cayman’s leaders had dealt with the global pandemic, Ms Bryan felt people should remember that Government was not supportive of disenfranchised communities, on which the group would continue its focus.