Several countries are considering leaving the British Commonwealth of Nations, known as the Commonwealth, because of the United Kingdom’s reluctance to assume its share of responsibility for atrocities committed during its colonial era, refusing to keep the new king as its head of state.
Several organizations from twelve countries have signed this week a letter addressed to King Charles III, whose coronation will take place this Saturday, May 6, to »acknowledge the terrible impacts and legacy of the genocide and colonization of indigenous and enslaved peoples».
The letter has been signed by citizens from Antigua and Barbuda, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
These nations call on the United Kingdom to issue a formal apology and initiate a process for the contemplation of reparations, which would include the return of the numerous indigenous cultural artifacts taken from their countries that fill British museums.
However, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has repeatedly refused to do anything beyond acknowledging »our country’s past» and trying to »build a society without discrimination,» as he responded in Parliament to a question from an opposition MP.
BELIZE THREATENS TO BECOME A REPUBLIC This lack of response does not please Belize, one of the Commonwealth countries that King Charles III has never visited, and whose prime minister, Johnny Briceño, has threatened to leave the group.
In declarations to the British newspaper ‘The Guardian’, Briceño has opined this Thursday that Sunak has »a moral responsibility» for the role of the United Kingdom in the slave trade across the Atlantic Ocean, especially because of his ancestry, since his family is from India.
When you read and hear about the looting that took place in the land of his ancestors, I think you can see that (Sunak) should have offered an apology» on behalf of his country, the Belizean said, threatening to become a republic soon.
Jamaica, too, could soon join the list of countries that have opted to have a head of state other than the British monarch — Barbados was the last to become a republic in 2021, in a ceremony attended by Charles III himself –.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness has promised to hold a referendum to determine whether his people want Charles III to remain head of state.
There are 14 states in which the British monarch is the head of state on a representative basis, although the Commonwealth is also a political association of 56 countries. Although many of these nations hope to become republics, most of them are not considering leaving the community at the political level, following a process similar to the one Barbados has undertaken.
Source: (EUROPA PRESS)