PM entertains Cockpit Country talks

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor —
Auto & Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, August 29, 2019

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ENTERTAINERS Bounty Killer, Queen Ifrica, and Tony Rebel were invited to-closed-door meeting by Prime Minister Andrew Holness at Vale Royal in St Andrew yesterday afternoon, to discuss the Government's position regarding the Cockpit Country.

Details of the meeting were not forthcoming up to press time.

Government Senator Matthew Samuda and Daryl Vaz, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for Land, Environment, Climate Change and Investments, were also in attendance.

In recent weeks, Bounty Killer and Queen Ifrica have been very vocal against mining in the protected area.

“Any Government sell out the Cockpit shall never win again in Jamaica. Who is here for Jamaica let unuh voices be heard; take a stand either u with us or against us. Speak up folks!! I'M NOT A JLP NOR A PNP. I'M A TRUE JAMAICAN!” said Bounty Killer in a July 24 post on Instagram.

The Cockpit Country is a hilly and dense area in Trelawny and St Elizabeth. In recent years, there has been much debate over whether the Government should expand mining in the region, which has the highest diversity of plants and animals anywhere on the island.

Bounty Killer said Jamaicans need to speak up about the real issues on the island.

“Jamaican ppl become the biggest puppets it seem...bcuz all of this taking place and it's not trending but make it was some form of tearing down each other gossip, controversy or mix-up, then the whole social media would be running with it. We a watch ppl, other ppl business and not minding our own when them mining out the whole Jamaica,” he wrote.

Queen Ifrica had exchanges with Samuda on the issue.

“I would like to address this video to Senator Matthew Samuda, who recently did an article calling me and Spragga Benz 'sudden environmentalists' in a most sarcastic way. I am putting this out here right now that Queen Ifrica is non-political. I don't have any political affiliation wid no Government, Opposition..”, she said on Instagram.

“We are standing with the people of Jamaica for the preservation and protection of the Cockpit Country,” she continued.

Samuda subsequently said the entertainer misinterpreted his statements.

Residents of bauxite mining communities, other stakeholders and the Opposition People's National Party have been protesting against mining in the area.


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