In today’s Caymanian Compass(Feb. 23), there is a collection of news reports and letters, along with the CC’s editorial, that are so inter-related as to invite a response.
As the CC’s editorial points out regarding the recent meeting held at the Family Life Center, it is a clear sign of the times that the views and participation of the general public on human rights issues has definitely increased. Maybe it is about time that the sleeping minds of the Caymanian population wake up to the fact that the only rights and freedoms that are guaranteed to any society are those that the responsible members of that society are willing to stand up and fight for. It is clear that throughout the last 18 months or so of intense publicity, a large percentage of Cayman’s population had been taking the position that certain rights were to be taken for granted historically, only to have those views seriously challenged and questioned by recent events within the public arena. I seriously hope that the public’s views have been enlightened by now.
In today’s CC, the report revealing the Attorney General’s opinions and influence regarding ‘the right to remain silent’ under arrest is particularly of interest. Also, Mr. Dennie Warren’s letter questioning and challenging the RCIP’s process for firearms application. If the Caymanian public will accept that the main reason and issue surrounding human rights legislation is about abuses of government and police powers, first and foremost, and the protection of traditional values, second, then they will now be vigilant of the abuses of power that are institutionalised within the institutions of authority in the Cayman Islands and take their protection from such abuses as a personal responsibility.
The watered down ‘Bill of Rights’ in the proposed draft constitution is not worth the paper its printed on now, with a ‘horizontal only’ discrimination clause and a 3-4 year hiatus for any type of implementation so for the opposition to human rights legislation in the Cayman Islands, it’s victory (temporarily) and ‘business as usual’.
It is for the now awakened and enlightened people of the Cayman Islands to guarantee their country’s continual freedom and human rights within the existing system by continuing to fight for them without fear of consequences.