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Colonialism in the 21st Century
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Page 1 of 1Total of 1 messages
Posted by:Mar 20th 2007, 12:34:33 pm
Fig Tree News TeamSMALL ISLANDS VOICE
Do you live in a small island?
Tell us what you think.

Responses to this debate, which started with Caribbean tourism ownership, are
most interesting and we are sorry that we do not have the space to post every
message. However, each response is carefully considered, and they will all be compiled on the Small Islands Voice Website when this discussion ends. So
please keep the emails coming.

Here are two more points of view on the debate.

I have observed that foreign business owners are often more generous, offer
better opportunities and develop more training programs for local employees
than local business owners, writes Heather Grant. I am a Canadian, running a
small service-oriented business in Union Island, St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
The original purpose in opening this business was to offer decent employment
to local people, pay them a fair salary and continue to train them on the job,
focussing on tourism particularly. After 7 years, we are still operating and
all the employees are local people. I have observed the other businesses on my
island and notice that people want to work for foreign owners because they are
treated more fairly and generally paid better. Local business owners must
learn to treat their employees with respect, allowing them to make a decent
living and giving them the opportunity to move up to better positions, not
always keeping them in the lowest paid jobs. The slave mentality continues to
a large degree because of the attitude of local employers towards their staff.

The comment in the preceding article that "colonialism is over," reflects an
often-repeated misconception, and needs fundamental correction, writes C.
Corbin from the Virgin Islands (Caribbean). Colonialism is, in fact, still
very much alive in the 21st Century. There are 16 remaining territories - most
of which are small island territories - on the United Nations List of Non
Self-Governing Territories, including seven in the Atlantic/Caribbean. Thus,
Bermuda, Turks & Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, British Virgin
Islands Anguilla, and the US Virgin Islands are all classified as "colonies"
by the United Nations General Assembly. Puerto Rico is the eighth colony in
the Caribbean, which is not listed by the UN. Other small island territories
include Guam, American Samoa, and Tokelau. Whilst these territories may have
elected governments, the powers of those governments do not meet the test of
full self-government, as the administering countries hold the power to
legislate for them, without their consent and often against their will. The
United Nations reviews these territories each year and produce resolutions in
promotion of their process of self-determination leading to full
self-government through the recognised political options of (i) independence,
(ii) free association or (iii) integration (with full political rights). The
international community is in its seventh year of the Second International
Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism, which is designed to bring an end
to colonialism. Statements that dismiss the reality of this outdated condition
of colonialism in the 21st Century should be carefully weighed against the
objective reality of international law.

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