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JMA welcomes state of emergency in St James

Thursday, January 18, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Manufacturers' Association (JMA) says it fully supports Prime Minister Andrew Holness declaring a state of public emergency for the parish of St James.

The move, which came into effect this morning, allows law enforcers special powers to deal with the outbreak of violence affecting the parish.

“The escalation of violent criminal activities is taxing on the entire country, discouraging both domestic and foreign investments, reducing competitiveness, and resulting in the reallocation of critical resources. Without firm and resolute measures to combat this disease of crime, all other efforts to achieve economic growth will be futile, and Vision 2030 will remain a dream,” JMA said in a release this afternoon.

“This shameless attack on our society needs to end, and we agree that St James, which recorded the highest number of murders in 2017, is the ideal place to start. However, both the Government and Opposition need to have consensus on the initiatives and outcomes, and it is with this in mind, and a great sense of urgency, that the JMA is calling on the Opposition to stand by the Prime Minister's decision.

“As the organization that represents over 400 manufacturers, employing over 77,000 Jamaicans, the JMA is only too well aware that the country's crime level significantly impacts the private sector's development, investment climate and the quality of life for all our people. We will continue to lobby for stern, effective and prompt action.

“We, however, take this opportunity to caution the military and police that even while we forthrightly tackle this scourge of crime, we militate against unwarranted use of force.”

The JMA said it looks forward to the relevant authorities putting united ideas and decisions into action to address the country's crime problem, and stands ready to assist in any way possible.

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