Barbados makes new push to become republic, leave colonial past behind
BRIDGETOWN (Reuters) - Barbados should become a republic and leave its colonial past behind, a top official said on Wednesday, after the Caribbean island nation said it wants to remove Britain's Queen Elizabeth as its head of state. A former British colony that gained independence in 1966, the nation of just under 300,000 has maintained a formal link with the British monarchy as have some other countries that were once part of the British empire.
BRIDGETOWN (Reuters) - Barbados should become a republic and leave its colonial past behind, a top official said on Wednesday, after the Caribbean island nation said it wants to remove Britain's Queen Elizabeth as its head of state.
A former British colony that gained independence in 1966, the nation of just under 300,000 has maintained a formal link with the British monarchy as have some other countries that were once part of the British empire.
"The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind," said Barbados Governor General Sandra Mason, delivering a speech on behalf of the country's Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
Mottley won a landslide victory in 2018.
"Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state. This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving," Mason said.
"Hence, Barbados will take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a republic by the time we celebrate our 55th anniversary of independence."
That anniversary will come in November 2021.
But on the Caribbean island nation the suggestion has been met with skepticism.
The idea of becoming a republic has been put forward by different governments over the past decades.
More recently, there has been frustration with the government's delay in removing colonial ea statues.
The bronze statue of Admiral Lord Nelson, erected in 1813, still stands on Broad Street in the capital city of Bridgetown.
It was scheduled for removal last month when different countries around the world started removing similar statues from public spaces as protests against racism grew.
Roy R. Morris, press secretary to the prime minister of Barbados, said in response to Reuters questions that there was no particular trigger for the timing of a renewed push to become a republic other than fulfilling a longstanding promise by the island's politicians.
(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon and Rob Edison Sandiford; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Cynthia Osterman)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.