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 Bravo! Bravo! Campion College are 2015 Grace Shield champions! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Bravo--Bravo--Campion-College-are-2015-Grace-Shield-champions-_18640298 ON Thursday, March 19, 2015, Campion College won its first schoolboy cricket competition in over 26 years when it became Grace Cup champions by defeating my alma mater, St George's College, in the final match. I take this opportunity to congratulate them, to offer them the highest commendations, the greatest kudos, for a feat that in this day and age in Jamaica is nothing short of miraculous. Local Opinion Mon, 30 Mar 2015 02:00:00 GMT That positive Obama example http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/That-positive-Obama-example_18667448 The officials who will be in charge of guest lists for the upcoming visit of US President Barack Obama to Jamaica will certainly not be able to accommodate the many who wish to meet the great man. Therefore, let us be content to enjoy his writings and be grateful that our maker has provided an outstanding role model for the people of the African Diaspora. Local Opinion Mon, 30 Mar 2015 02:00:00 GMT Retire failing MPs like Fenton Ferguson http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Retire-failing-MPs-like-Fenton-Ferguson_18666310 A group of adventurers, all professionals from Jamaica, North America and Europe set out on a three-week walk across Jamaica, from Morant Point in St Thomas to Negril, Westmoreland, in the month of February 2015. Impressed by their energy, strong sense of social consciousness and their love for Jamaica, I joined them for a few hours during their walk in St Thomas. Local Opinion Mon, 30 Mar 2015 02:00:00 GMT Let's set the education record straight http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Let-s-set-the-education-record-straight_18629202 Having watched the recent contribution by Opposition Leader Andrew Holness to the budget debate in Parliament, I must add my own position and state some facts. Local Opinion Mon, 30 Mar 2015 02:00:00 GMT Is the IMF agreement really achieving its objectives? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Is-the-IMF-agreement-really-achieving-its-objectives-_18644517 The country has successfully completed seven of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) tests as set out under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) agreement between the Fund and the Government of Jamaica. We are now two years into the programme, which is scheduled to run for four years, and therefore an appropriate juncture to critically assess how far we are on the way to achieving the stated objectives of the agreement. Local Opinion Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Did the US and the IMF have a hand in the PNP's 2011 election win? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Did-the-US-and-the-IMF-have-a-hand-in-the-PNP-s-2011-election-win-_18654400 In the recent Budget debate Finance Minister Peter Phillips cited the re-establishment and the restoration of Jamaica's credibility in the international marketplace as the reason US President Barack Obama is visiting Jamaica in early April. 'International marketplace' is wide, and a restoration of credibility there could mean fiscal responsibility via International Monetary Fund (IMF) dictates as well as Jamaica's willingness to hand over to the US those it deems international criminal kingpins. Local Opinion Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Madam PM delivered a very disappointing Budget speech http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Madam-PM-delivered-a-very-disappointing-Budget-speech_18640315 There were a few good items in the prime minister's presentation. She brought good news such as the inflow of US$707 million in foreign direct investment in 2014, the reopening of Alpart, and the long-term concession agreement to finance the expansion of the Kingston Container Terminal. The sections on labour productivity, training, and on energy, particularly initiatives to diversify the energy portfolio, were as relevant as they were encouraging. This was good, especially within the context of our overreliance on imported energy and our comparative disadvantage vis-a-vis oil-rich Trinidad with which we trade and compete. Local Opinion Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Has our spirit of resistance been anaesthetised? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Has-our-spirit-of-resistance-been-anaesthetised-_18640311 There is no passion to be found playing small -- in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. -- Nelson Mandela Local Opinion Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT It takes a wholesome village to raise a child http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/It-takes-a-wholesome-village-to-raise-a-child_18648692 "It takes a whole village to raise a child." How high-sounding a proverb. How appropriate for a bygone age. How accurate concerning parenting that could once be found all over Africa. How ill-fitting a phrase in Jamaica today. Local Opinion Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT What are we banking on? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/What-are-we-banking-on-_18621082 A review of the House committee report regarding bank fees Local Opinion Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Why are we wasting our waste? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Why-are-we-wasting-our-waste-_18633600 THE conflagration at Riverton has everybody talking. And that is good. Because if we talk long enough more of us will become aware of the continuing health and environmental disaster facing us from that source. Not to mention the catastrophe-in-waiting as these fires can travel underground for several miles and there are critical activities virtually next door: These include a petrol station and a major manufacturer of industrial gases. Local Opinion Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Lee Kuan Yew's Caribbean rescue in the Commonwealth http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Lee-Kuan-Yew-s-Caribbean-rescue-in-the-Commonwealth_18648599 Lee Kuan Yew, who led Singapore for three decades, died on March 23, 2015. He was a remarkable man who is best remembered for courageous leadership that converted a tiny island with virtually no natural resources into one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Local Opinion Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT IMF'd? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/IMF-d-_18654740 This week, on the heels of the 2015/16 budget debates in Gordon House, three columnists take on the role of the International Monetary Fund in the affairs of Corporation Jamaica as we arrive at the halfway mark in the present agreement. Chris Burns wonders if the constraints of the IMF agreement have knocked the wind out of PM Simpson Miller's sails. Trade union stalwart Danny Roberts gives an evaluation of the efficacy of the Extended Fund Facility based on the signposts given at its inception. And, Mark Wignall, in his usual fly-in-the-ointment style, asks if the effects of the IMF agreement were being played out long before the ink was dried on the contract. Read the views, continue the discourse. Local Opinion Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Holness and Singapore — myth and miracle http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Holness-and-Singapore---myth-and-miracle_18646073 LEE Kuan Yew (LKY) has left us; but, what a leader! He was born in British Singapore, baptised Harry, but sunk the name. Took his people from penury to prosperity, as his small island led the global metrics of success. He visited us, urbane, dignified, but his book was disdainful of our hedonistic posture and failure to use our assets. Local Opinion Fri, 27 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Taming the monster, here and there http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Taming-the-monster--here-and-there_18646055 THE Riverton monster has gone back to sleep -- until the next time. While the fire was blazing, it was very easy to lay the blame on everybody but you and me. There were enough theories to examine, many words to throw around, much blame to share. Politics captured the headlines, of course. Politics always gets top billing. "The woman" lost her work, which satisfied some of the national appetite for revenge. Local Opinion Fri, 27 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Fish back, Holness? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Fish-back--Holness-_18633328 IN response to Jamaicans' query about this "fish back" introduction by the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Holness, a certain news agency released an image of a partially dissected fish showing and labelling all its parts. Looking all I will, I see nothing there saying "fish back". How did he come up with this name? Call it what it is, the fifth quarter! Local Opinion Fri, 27 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Gradually implement alternative energy http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Gradually-implement-alternative-energy_18633162 We are approaching Holy Week on the Christian calendar of most churches and this coming Sunday is Palm Sunday. There is a similarity between the Holy Week observances of Palm Sunday and Good Friday on the one hand, and the strong demands being made for alternative energy on the other. Alternative energy is in the news again in light of the Riverton fire and the talk of the use of garbage for energy. Local Opinion Thu, 26 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Obama cannot solve Riverton-style government http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Obama-cannot-solve-Riverton-style-government_18637849 YESTERDAY morning, at around 0615, I took up my modest 10x50 binoculars and from my perch close to Red Hills gazed out at the horizon. Local Opinion Thu, 26 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Dealing with GSAT jitters http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Dealing-with-GSAT-jitters_18633537 TESTS and exams are inevitable aspects of life for most children attending school. Experiencing worry and stress is understandable and typical. However, academic stress and test anxiety are problematic because of the detrimental effects which may result in poor academic performance and achievement. This has been compounded for many of those taking the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) this year, because of its postponement due to the Riverton dump fire. Local Opinion Wed, 25 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Does Jamaica need a Lee Kuan Yew? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Does-Jamaica-need-a-Lee-Kuan-Yew-_18633547 CAN a democratic Jamaica achieve economic independence? Has the country's overly tribalistic two-party system prevented it from experiencing sustained growth and prosperity? Would a dictatorial form of government bring better and more desirable results in terms of good governance and meaningful development? Would someone of the ilk and thinking of a Lee Kuan Yew make a difference? What would it take to make Jamaica the 'Singapore of the West'? A benevolent dictator? Local Opinion Wed, 25 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Riverton dump only a symptom of what ails Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Riverton-dump-only-a-symptom-of-what-ails-Jamaica WHILE Dr Peter Phillips, minister of finance, was triumphantly trumpeting the Government's economic achievements in Parliament, the Riverton dump was once again in open conflagration. This annual ritual this time around has come at great expense to people's health and the economy. Local Opinion Tue, 24 Mar 2015 01:40:03 GMT Let Obama see the poverty http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Let-Obama-see-the-poverty REMEMBER the WikiLeaks cables? When Julian Assange began releasing data from the United States Department of State in 2010, Jamaica, not surprisingly, came up for mention, particularly in relation to the Christopher Coke extradition request. Local Opinion Tue, 24 Mar 2015 01:52:21 GMT Jennifer Edwards: Cherchez la femme? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Jennifer-Edwards--Cherchez-la-femme-_18618262 As we explored the experiences of women in literature, our UWI lecturer Dr Patricia Anderson reminded us of a French phrase first used by author Alexandre Dumas in his 1854 novel The Mohicans of Paris: "cherchez la femme", meaning look for the woman. Dumas wrote these lines (translated into English) when he adapted the novel for theatre: "There is a woman in every case; as soon as they bring me a report, I say, look for the woman!" Local Opinion Mon, 23 Mar 2015 02:00:00 GMT People's agenda in Portmore overshadowed by selfish politicians http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/People-s-agenda-in-Portmore-overshadowed-by-selfish-politicians_18599257 THE vision statement of the Municipality of Portmore, The Sunshine City, states: "Our mission is that, by 2020, Portmore will be a world-class city, with harmonious prosperous communities, exploring new frontiers of governance and ensuring a sustainable socio-economic environment." Local Opinion Mon, 23 Mar 2015 02:00:00 GMT War not the 'best option' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/War-not-the--best-option-_18572216 "What if force is the only way to block Iran from gaining nuclear weapons?" asks Joshua Muravchik in the Washington Post ("War with Iran is probably our best option," March 13). It's a serious question that deserves some critical parsing before following Muravchik to his conclusion that "[t]hat, in fact, is probably the reality". Local Opinion Mon, 23 Mar 2015 02:00:00 GMT