Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 Withdrawing correspondent banking services does not advance the anti-money laundering fight http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Withdrawing-correspondent-banking-services-does-not-advance-the-anti-money-laundering-fight_68378 The most recent development in the Caribbean financial sector is that of the threat of correspondent bankers discontinuing the provision of their services to the region. Prominent local financial institutions such as Jamaica National Building Society and Victoria Mutual Building Society have recently been impacted by this development. It has been noted that the region is not facing this issue alone. It is a challenge being faced by, primarily, developing nations on a whole. Local Opinion Wed, 27 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT The emerging Trumpian menace http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-emerging-Trumpian-menace_68381 The presidential and vice-presidential candidates for the United States presidential election in November have now been determined. After the Democratic Convention is wrapped up in Philadelphia at the end of this week, the contest will be on in earnest. All seem set for a gruelling contest as both sides present their respective philosophies of what it will take to make for a better America. What is emerging so far are two clear paths that present two clear directions and choices that the American people will have to make. Local Opinion Wed, 27 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Bunting the most prepared successor http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Bunting-the-most-prepared-successor-_63798 On June 10, 2016 the Jamaica Observer published a politically stimulating, incisive and intrinsically interesting editorial cartoon by the indefatigable Sir Clovis vividly showing People’s National Party President Portia Simpson Miller at the top of a tree strenuously, vigorously and firmly holding on, with Lisa Hanna pushing the trunk of the tree , while Peter Bunting looks on. Local Opinion Tue, 26 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT We must take the local gov’t road to prosperity http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/We-must-take-the-local-gov-t-road-to-prosperity-_65808 The main theme within Jamaican politics circa 2016 is ‘prosperity’. The newly elected Jamaican Government, under the Jamaica Labour Party Administration, has made this theme the central focus of its governing philosophy. Within this movement, the country, having endured a period of austerity as a means of managing economic development, has now turned its focus on propelling the lives of Jamaicans forward on a platform that recognises Jamaica’s status of being a predominantly poor country per capita, towards delivering each household from “poverty to prosperity”. Local Opinion Tue, 26 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Beyond our votes, do black lives matter to you Clinton? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Beyond-our-votes--do-black-lives-matter-to-you-Clinton-_68321 Dear Mrs Hillary Clinton, Local Opinion Tue, 26 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Between Jamrock and other hard places http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Between-Jamrock-and-other-hard-places_68165 With reports of racist attacks in the US and terrorist attacks in the Middle East and Europe, we’d better batten down and secure Jamaica. “Foreign” is certainly not looking as attractive as it used to, so why not make Jamaica safe and prosperous, so we stop yearning so much for distant shores? Local Opinion Mon, 25 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Farmers ready to join Caricom, Brexit http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Farmers-ready-to-join-Caricom--Brexit_67016 On Wednesday July 13, 2016, hundreds of the nation’s farmers met at the Denbigh showground in May Pen, Clarendon, as the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) held its 121st annual general meeting (AGM) of the membership of the country’s umbrella farmers’ organisation that represents the nation’s over 220,000 farmers. Local Opinion Mon, 25 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Turkey restores democracy and the order http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Turkey-restores-democracy-and-the-order-------_67989 Turkish people will never forget the date of July 15, 2016.This was a horrible day as a coup attempt by a group of military personnelwas perpetrated that day to overthrow the democratically elected Government and to suspend the constitutional order in Turkey. Local Opinion Mon, 25 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Arbitral tribunal on South China Sea http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Arbitral-tribunal-on-South-China-Sea_67694 On July 12, 2016, the Arbitral Tribunal in the South China Sea rendered an award in an attempt to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea. This is an illegal award rendered by an illegal tribunal in an attempt to undermine one country’s sovereign and maritime rights under the cloak of law. It is no less than an assault on international rule of law. Local Opinion Mon, 25 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Peter Bunting is no political dunce http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Peter-Bunting-is-no-political-dunce_67980 Peter Bunting delivered a political masterstroke last week by announcing that he would not challenge the incumbent president of the People’s National Party (PNP) Portia Simpson Miller, but instead would allow her to determine a timetable for her exit. By electing to follow the pathway of the “politics of delay”, Peter Bunting has wittingly or unwittingly moved to infuse significant organisational stability and equilibrium into the PNP. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT HAJ state of affairs years in the making http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/HAJ-state-of-affairs-years-in-the-making_67110 I am responding to articles and comments reported in the media as coming from the chairman of the Housing Agency of Jamaica Limited (HAJ) and the minister without portfolio with responsibility for water, land and housing in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation regarding losses of approximately $3 billion at the HAJ within the past three years and on “questionable decisions”. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT PHOTO: No political dunce http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/No-political-dunce_68098 On The Agenda this week is the changed winds of the People’s National Party leadership race. Christopher Burns tackles the many opinions on Peter Bunting’s aborted challenge — that never even got started. Burns says the decision was a masterstroke, as Bunting needs to spend more time shoring up delegate support. Bunting must ensure the delegates do not feel he has pushed out their “Mama P”, as she still wields tremendous influence. A stellar political play, says Burns, buttressed in the politics of delay. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT A company that is too good to be closed http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-company-that-is-too-good-to-be-closed_68078 St Elizabeth is now under starter’s orders for the reopening of Alpart. Excitement in the valley as communities begin to gear up for possible jobs, and the provision of goods and services, to restore Alpart as the industrial and commercial centre for the south-central region. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Preserving the patrimony, indeed: The role of the Ministry of Tourism http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Preserving-the-patrimony--indeed--The-role-of-the-Ministry-of-Tourism_67716 I note with keen interest a column in The Agenda magazine of the Jamaica Observer by Howard Gregory, lord bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, on Sunday, July 10, 2016. The piece, entitled ‘Preserving the patrimony’, explored some of the psycho-social and economic challenges confronting residents of resort towns that are believed to be stemming from the expansion of the all-inclusive tourism product within their communities. Specifically, the article addressed the increased feelings of dispossession among many residents from their lands and beaches and their intense feeling of isolation from the economic benefits of tourism development in their areas. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Haiti: Time is running out http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Haiti--Time-is-running-out_67988 Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the Organisation of American states (OAS), has told political stakeholders in Haiti, including the interim Government and parliamentarians, that it is imperative that they fully assume their responsibilities towards the nation. The secretary general’s summons to the politicians comes after weeks of parliamentary filibustering and a failure either to extend the tenure of the interim president, Jocelerme Privert, or elect someone in his place. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Zika, pregnancy and the Ministry of Health’s response http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Zika--pregnancy-and-the-Ministry-of-Health-s-response_68080 Jamaica and the world are faced with the potential outcome of neurological complications, including microcephaly, in children of women infected with the Zika virus. Microcephaly is a condition where babies are born with small heads and associated cognitive impairment. Pregnant women are at the same risk of exposure to the Zika virus as the general population. One in every five infected persons will show symptoms of the illness. Local News Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Crime — Doing something isn’t doing the right thing http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Crime---Doing-something-isn-t-doing-the-right-thing_67718 It hurts. Looking at the beautiful St James, the innocent Nevalesia Campbell and the rising numbers at each gun killings hurts. Looking at Jamaica hurts. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT When Rowley came to JA http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/When-Rowley-came-to-JA_67930 You have to hand it to us. When Trini Prime Minister Keith Rowley made his visit to Kingston Town over the recent week and “Rowleyed” himself into peace-making to avoid a trade war, we received him well. When it comes to “sweet mout”, we can’t be beaten. So although it was just the other day that we had leaders of commerce and industry letting Trinidad and Tobago know where to ‘get off’ in the matter of trade and immigration between our nations — especially the fact that in the area of trade and commerce T&T comes out much better than we do — we put on a good show. Local Opinion Fri, 22 Jul 2016 02:00:00 GMT Requiem on the Flat Bridge tragedy http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Requiem-on-the-Flat-Bridge-tragedy_67932 And it came to pass that in the early morning of Saturday, July 17, the waters of the Rio Cobre claimed six lives — but blame Flat Bridge. Tears, wailing but the river which saw-off Taino, Spanish, English, African now rolls over Jamaicans. We grieve for the families, as this is hard, but men of faith are assured. Local Opinion Fri, 22 Jul 2016 02:00:00 GMT Six needed efforts that require a united approach http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Six-needed-efforts-that-require-a-united-approach_67712 In less than a month, Jamaica will celebrate 54 years of political independence. But in 54 years we have not as a nation really addressed our collective Jamaican mindset to free us from crime and violence and to allow all Jamaicans to be fully empowered through employment. Local Opinion Thu, 21 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Portia is setting up to be the JLP’s ‘Rock of Gibraltar’ http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Portia-is-setting-up-to-be-the-JLP-s--Rock-of-Gibraltar-_67825 It may come as a surprise to many that the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) one-seat majority in the Jamaican Parliament would actually cause them to function as if their majority were 10 times that number, but that state of affairs currently holds because of the comedy that has currently become the People’s National Party’s (PNP) operating routine. This is because for every day that Portia Simpson Miller remains ensconced as the leader of the PNP it provides the glue that serves to strengthen the JLP’s hold on the political reins of the country. Local Opinion Thu, 21 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT The anatomy of racism http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-anatomy-of-racism_67014 Alas! I think I have discovered the cause of original sin. The filthy chancre which disturbs the universe, the very soul and bones of men. Pure original sin. The disease above all diseases. The sickness immortal. The pathology so deep! Local Opinion Wed, 20 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT The IMF austerity programme must continue http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-IMF-austerity-programme-must-continue_67660 The Government, through its Minister of Finance Audley Shaw, has announced its intention to maintain a less strict International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement when the present programme ends in March 2017. Speaking at a Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and Jamaica Money Market Brokers-led forum, Shaw indicated that this successor programme “will be instrumental in building on the achievements already made and tackling the challenge of achieving sustainable economic growth with fiscal consolidation and debt reduction.” Local Opinion Wed, 20 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Shameless Ramdin deserves to be dropped http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Shameless-Ramdin-deserves-to-be-dropped_66877 Denesh Ramdin in a recent Twitter riposte — vintage of the Clint Eastwood movie, Magnum Force — declared it was a “rainy day” after he was told by recently appointed West Indian Chairman of Selectors Courtney Browne that he would not be selected for the upcoming series against India. Thereafter, Ramdin continued to fire tweets as he listed his recent career achievements and juxtaposed them to the chairman’s career. Local Opinion Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT ‘All lives matter’ a poor response to racial tensions http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/-All-lives-matter--a-poor-response-to-racial-tensions_67559 All lives matter, on its own, is a benign statement of the obvious, particularly for social justice advocates whose core philosophy is built on the very same principle. As a response to the Black Lives Matter movement, however, it is a display of either ignorance or aggression, since it is a rejection of the group’s right to protest actions of the police that they perceive to be unjust, an attempt to invalidate a documented history of black oppression and a tacit statement that the protesters are unworthy of the respect afforded other groups, for which they are clamouring. Local Opinion Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT