Argyle International Airport in May 2016. (Photo: Friends of the Argyle International Airport/Facebook)

(Editor’s note: This commentary was sent to us in an email copied to the Office of the Prime Minister.)

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

Hopefully, this email will reach someone that actually gives a damn.

I am a Vincentian, and it is, of course, good to see our island making progress with the building of an international airport, and I want to feel proud of that fact. However, how is this possible when the Government gives no thought to the landowners that have had their land compulsorily “purchased” by the IADC?   My understanding is that there is a list of more than 60 people still waiting for what is rightfully theirs.

Why is it thought to be OK to take people’s land and years later still not pay them for it (at least 8 years in our case)? This whole enterprise is, therefore, being built on bad practices. It is tantamount to me saying to you ‘I like your car, I’m going to take it from you, and I’ll pay you if/when I feel like it’! It is outrageous!

For a lot of people, their land is their only asset, and the least the Government can do is to make sure they are fully compensated. The rates the Government is proposing to pay are less than half what the land is worth anyway! Another outrage!

The least the Government can do is pay the people! It is our properties that are making this whole airport venture possible!

Treat the people right and pay us what we are owed!

AJ

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

5 replies on “Pay us for our Argyle Airport land”

  1. I am begging those land owners, stop sitting back and hoping for something positive to happen. Under this but head government you will never be compensated. The head of the fountain is tainted so the water trickling down is dirty. Even one can make an impact, write up a placard and picket the illegal PM office everyday religiously demanding payment for your lands from the AIA. Be proactive people! It’s the only way to have some action going. Do you want to die and don’t get paid? They wouldn’t give that payment to hour children either.

  2. C. ben-David says:

    Are we expected to take this anonymous letter — perhaps written by someone with no direct interest in the matter — seriously?

    Whenever questioned about the matter, the PM has also given the unserious reply that the government continues to be in negotiations with the affected partners.

    Is there no binding resolution process for expropriated lands in SVG?

    It cannot simply be a take-it-or-leave-it process as occurs in many jurisdictions because all the properties would have been paid for by now.

    So, what gives?

  3. David the letter is only anonymous to the public, an email sent to the editor and also the PM would have his name and email address.

    I am sure they can see right by any pretend IP address, I can with my latest software, no one can hide behind anonymity any more. Send me an email and I will see right past your supposed protection.

    Most of the land owners were paid for their houses but not their agricultural holding, their land. Most are afraid to speak out because they think if they do they will be the last to be paid and also some believe they will never be paid. They are frightened of the regime and more so the power and spite from the family dynasty. They are running frightened in fear for their whole family being affected by spite and malice.

  4. How can the government still be “in negotiation” with landowners whose properties were “appropriated,” so many years ago, for the building of AIA? In my experience (solely in the US of A, I will admit), the buying and selling of land is a matter of public record, including in cases of eminent domain, which would seem to be the situation here.

    Is this not the case in SVG? Who on earth would proceed with the building of ANYTHING as long as the ownership of the land on which it is being built remains in question?

    This matter should be easily clarified; I hope that will happen soon.

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