Letters to the Editor

The lows of Pinnacle

Friday, February 07, 2014    

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Dear Editor,

It is amusing to read what is occurring in Pinnacle with the lands purported to have been owned by Leonard P Howell. This seems a most alarming situation, not from the perspective of who owns the land but why to date there has been no indication to the general public what searches of the national lands register have yielded. Further, why is it that the parties embroiled in this fracas appear to be so dilatory?

Let us briefly consider the claims of the Rastafarians. Firstly, they purport that Mr Albert Chang sold the land (a monumental amount) to Mr Howell. Secondly, they claim that Mrs Howell is buried on that land.

What we do know is that the seat of the previous capital was moved to Kingston in 1872. With Spanish Town holding the capital for such an extended period of time there is no doubt that proper records exist on the history of the land and its ownership. If Mr Chang owned the land then records would reflect this. We also know that if the land was bought in 1930 it was bought at a peculiar time in Jamaica's history as the Jamaican Government had not expressed any particularly good will towards Chinese emigrants, culminating with the refusal of passport issuance in 1931. How then did a Chinese emigrant, in the 1930s, acquire such a significant piece of land so close to the old capital? At what point did these lands come into the ownership of Mr Chang, before or after 1872? Could Mr Howell have been duped into thinking that the land was owned by Mr Chang, where it was not?

We also know that Jamaica is rife with land transfers occurring in good faith, done on the basis of a receipt without proper title ever changing hands. So one can ask, is there such a receipt, and could Mr Chang have sold the land to several persons if he was indeed the owner?

Finally, why is this not a national monument, regardless of who is the proper owner? I really hope these questions and more are answered in court as we wait with bated breath for another drawn-out 'Kartelian' trial.

Robert Howell

Kingston 6

roberthowelljm@yahoo.com

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