Gov’t yet to respond to Walker’s call for dialogue

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The government is yet to respond to the Member of Parliament for Barbuda Trevor Walker, more than a week after he accepted Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s invitation to discuss the state of affairs on the sister island.
PM Browne had outrightly rejected the two-page letter that was addressed to him on August 22, calling it a waste of his time.
“I have no time to waste with Trevor Walker and the other neophytes on the BPM-controlled Barbuda Council. My commitment is to the people of Barbuda, I don’t have any time to waste with those who are seeking to stymie progress in Barbuda and in Antigua generally,“ Browne stated.
He also noted that the matter would be referred to Minister of Agriculture and Barbuda Affairs Dean Jonas for his attention. When contacted on Sunday, Jonas said he has not yet handled the matter.
In the letter addressed to the nation’s leader, MP Walker explained that while the PM’s invitation to dialogue was in the context of possible seccession, he believed that most Barbudans would prefer to explore the option of federalism, which would preserve the unity of the state, while at the same time enabling Barbudans to be assured that their aspirations are respected.
“We do have a precedent right on our doorstep in the St Kitts/Nevis constitution. I believe, PM, that now is a most opportune time for us as Antiguans and Barbudans to deal with the problems in our relationship in a mature, restrained and mutually sympathetic way,” Walker wrote.
He added that while Barbudans fully agree that there should be more development in Barbuda, the real issue is the nature of that development.
Walker also called for discussions on a relationship, “that builds upon the positives of the past and make these the solid foundation for a sensible and dignified relationship for today and the future.”
He stated that Barbuda’s local government should be strengthened and not be made redundant.

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