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Leaders make joint appeal to take Ja back from criminals

Saturday, March 01, 2014    

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THE nation's leaders yesterday made an unprecedented joint appeal to Jamaicans to take the island back from criminals and "energise a national movement for the restoration of peace, love, honesty, forgiveness and reconciliation".

In a statement issued from King's House, the head of state, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen; Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller; and Opposition Leader Andrew Holness asked Jamaicans to use the Lenten period to ponder what needs to be done for the country to be healed.

"Today, the leadership of this nation calls on all Jamaicans to come together and make a concerted effort to take back our island from the grip of crime and the shroud of negativity," the leaders said.

"We ask that each and every Jamaican reflect on where we are as a people and how far we have fallen from the values and traditions which our forefathers held as sacred."

Jamaica, they noted, "is passing through a moral crisis such as we have never seen before. Most of us are still reeling from the shock of the heinous crimes committed against our people, young and old alike, babies and young children, pregnant women, as well as fathers and mothers from all across this land. It is clear that hatred, heartless vengeance and evil have so taken control of a few of our people that they murder and abuse their fellowmen without a second thought. No place is held sacred as they commit these dastardly acts, even on church premises. To these criminals, even their own life lacks value and meaning".

They said that too much of the country's scarce resources are being used to fight crime, pointing out that those resources "could have been invested in social development, so our people could become more productive".

The leaders commended the churches that have declared a fast for Ash Wednesday and urged that "our efforts move beyond the precincts of our churches into every section of our island to break down every barrier created by thought, religious belief, political persuasion, economic standing, gender or age".

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