Letters to the Editor

Incorporate all minority, ethnic and religious groups

Monday, September 10, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

With 50 years of political independence, the basic elements of nationhood are in place: the anthem, the flag, the army, and a political system that is democratic in nature. Political parties transit in and out of government in a peaceful manner, through free and fair elections in which the electorate exercises its right to elect and dismiss parties and governments through the ballot box.

As has been proved time and again, the judiciary operates in a manner that demonstrates its independence of any government and dispenses justice deemed to be fair. However, I will celebrate 50 years of Independence when every household in Jamaica has electricity and piped water. I will celebrate when parents are no longer afraid to let their children out of their sight, when citizens are free to walk the nation's streets, when the elected government and the opposition decide to really put our people and our country first in all they do, when Jamaica reflects "Out of Many One People".

As has been proved time and again, the judiciary operates in a manner that demonstrates its independence of any government and dispenses justice deemed to be fair. However, I will celebrate 50 years of Independence when every household in Jamaica has electricity and piped water. I will celebrate when parents are no longer afraid to let their children out of their sight, when citizens are free to walk the nation's streets, when the elected government and the opposition decide to really put our people and our country first in all they do, when Jamaica reflects "Out of Many One People".

There remain many structural deficiencies in Jamaica and in the relationships among Jamaicans. The analysts and ordinary people expressing common sense know that constitutional reform and the modernisation of the means by which the nation governs itself are long outstanding.

The Anti-Gang, DNA amendment to the Evidence Act and other critical pieces of legislation still have not been introduced in parliament since the swearing-in of the new administration. Given the state of the health services, the education system, the rise in extra-judicial killings by the police, the rise in homicides and the deafening silence of the government and opposition, how could any government celebrate? However, the society has held together, notwithstanding strains and stresses. The state has done little or nothing to preserve minority ethnic or religious groups to aid in formulating and sustaining community and cultural tourism for the Maroon tribe and Rasta communities in Portland, the Indians in Westmoreland and St Catherine and the Hindu, Jewish and Muslim communities in St Andrew. Until then, I guess, there will be no celebration of Independence for me.

Andrew King

Kingston

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