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 Dr Lowe makes a valid call http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/Dr-Lowe-makes-a-valid-call_78687 We extend heartiest congratulations to Dr Henry Lowe on his being presented with the Inter-American Development Bank&rsquo;s Local Innovator Award on Monday this week.<br /> <br /> The award, we note, is for his innovative use of the Jamaican Ball Moss, a plant in which he has found properties that have shown promise as potential treatment for cancers, and as a neuroprotective agent for diseases such as Parkinson&rsquo;s. In addition, Dr Lowe has developed nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products from the Ball Moss and is intensifying his cancer research for which has already gained international recognition.<br /> <br /> We feel a special bit of pride in Dr Lowe&rsquo;s award, particularly because he was the 2006 recipient of the Jamaica Observer Business Leader Award. But while we acknowledge this recognition from the IDB &mdash; which we hope will open funding doors for Dr Lowe and his team of scientists &mdash; we find that his call for the establishment of a Science and Technology Innovation Fund is worthy of serious consideration.<br /> <br /> Dr Lowe, we note, made the suggestion against the background of his own experience of heavy investment in the research in which he and his team are engaged.<br /> <br /> According to Dr Lowe, he has already invested more than US$6.5 million in his work, which has seen him and his fellow researchers being issued with five patents. He told the awards ceremony on Monday in Montego Bay that he expects another six patents will be issued shortly by the United States of America Patent Office.<br /> <br /> Dr Lowe&rsquo;s call for the creation of a Science and Technology Innovation Fund has added a new dimension to his crusade-like focus on the economic benefits that Jamaica can derive from science and technology.<br /> <br /> Readers will recall that earlier this year he pointed out that successful societies, such as Singapore, the United States, and Germany, have used science and technology, not only for the goods and services they produce, but also to establish quality and standardisation for their domestic and export industries.<br /> <br /> Dr Lowe, in an address to the 50th anniversary annual general meeting of the Jamaica Exporters&rsquo; Association, argued that if Jamaica is to overcome its financial problems, partly through exports, the country needs to move away from reliance on export products such as sugar, banana and bauxite to new non-traditional products and services for a sustainable future.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This new direction must be driven by innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, supported by science and technology,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> According to Dr Lowe, industry analysts have projected that the global market for nutraceuticals is expected to eclipse US$250 billion by 2018.<br /> <br /> The question therefore is, what are we doing with that information? Are we, as a country, investing, in a strategic manner, in science and technology in order to maximise potential earnings?<br /> <br /> Are we ensuring that the base is being laid for transparency and fairness in the process to grant licences? And, are we mobilising thinking towards the large-scale farming of medicinal plants?<br /> <br /> There&rsquo;s a lot that needs to be done if we intend to benefit significantly from scientific research which, as Dr Lowe correctly argued, needs funding support from governments and State agencies. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13383601/236696_63649_repro_w300.jpg Editorial Friday, October 28, 2016 2:00 AM Mr Karl Samuda still has the fire in his belly, but... http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/Mr-Karl-Samuda-still-has-the-fire-in-his-belly--but---_78559 We are inclined to have some sympathy with Mr Karl Samuda, the St Andrew North Central Member of Parliament, over the 85 Red Hills Road conundrum.<br /> <br /> Earlier this month, residents of the area protested against efforts to evict them from lands they had occupied, some of them for 40 years. Residents insisted that they had lived unbothered on the lands and it was unfair for the property to be sold without first informing them.<br /> <br /> Presumably, the residents wanted to be in a position to make a bid to acquire the lands on which some had built fairly substantial dwellings over the years. They complained that their MP had not come to their assistance and demonstrated their anger by burning T-shirts with his likeness and party colour.<br /> <br /> Mr Samuda, who has represented the constituency in which 85 Red Hills Road falls since 1980, which means that he enjoyed the loyalty of the majority of the people &mdash; even when he temporarily switched allegiance to the People&rsquo;s National Party (PNP) &mdash; was stung by their dilemma and might even have overreacted, as evidenced by some of the statements he made after seeing the anguish of his constituents.<br /> <br /> The MP promised to assist the residents to acquire the property, put in proper infrastructure, and assist with proper housing at 85 Red Hills Road. He also promised to do the same for 85 &frac12; Red Hills Road on adjacent lands owned by the Government.<br /> <br /> Up to this point we are entirely with Mr Samuda, who is doing what should be expected of any MP. Moreover, he was acting in accordance with the law, specifically the Local Improvements Community Amenities Act, which was piloted through the Parliament in 1977 by the late Housing Minister Anthony Spaulding.<br /> <br /> In fact, under that Act, in 1988, then Minister of Construction (Housing) Mr Bruce Golding introduced the Special Improvements (Infrastructure) Act, which defines area like 85 Red Hills Road for special treatment. With complications, including determining the actual ownership of the land, the matter appeared to have fallen through the cracks.<br /> <br /> So Mr Samuda could have understandably been embarrassed, frustrated and angered by the length of time it has been taking to settle the matter and the very public demonstration by the residents. He is well known as one of those politicians who still has the fire in his belly and is fiercely supportive of his constituents.<br /> <br /> Where we think he went wrong, however, was in declaring that: &ldquo;Any judge who declares that a person who claims to own the land, whether it is so or not, has the right to evict the people, is not to be tolerated.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> This comment is obviously inappropriate and could never be justified, no matter how strongly one feels about injustice being done to one&rsquo;s constituents.<br /> <br /> We expect that once Mr Samuda has sufficient time to reflect, he would have seen the error of that statement, and will do a full-throated and complete retraction. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13047344/Karl-Samuda_w300.jpg Editorial Thursday, October 27, 2016 12:00 AM X6 murder trial Jamaica is writhing in pain http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/X6-murder-trial-Jamaica-is-writhing-in-pain_78426 We have several times said in this space that the law is an ass, because of its obvious imperfections. But we have also maintained that as we are a country of laws and not men; we must operate within the bounds of the law.<br /> <br /> This is one of the times when this lofty ideal is strained to the limit because the law has once again bared its shortcomings.<br /> <br /> The entire country is feeling the pain inflicted by the outcome of the so-called X6 murder trial which ended Monday without determining who murdered then 17-year-old Kingston College student Khajeel Mais on an innocent taxi ride in Havendale, St Andrew, in July 2011.<br /> <br /> The trial has left a bad taste in the mouth and a dangerous feeling that justice has not been served. Once again, the undoubted casualty is the already suspect justice system.<br /> <br /> Justice Minister Delroy Chuck, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn, and the police high command, in separate statements following the verdict handed down in the Home Circuit Court, expressed their anguish, as did Jamaicans using every medium possible.<br /> <br /> Young Mais met his untimely demise, the prosecution argued, on the night of the incident when the taxi in which he was travelling collided with a BMW X6 motor vehicle. It was alleged in court that the driver of the BMW got out and fired at the taxi, hitting the boy.<br /> <br /> The case crumbled quickly after the key prosecution witness, Mr Wayne Wright, repeatedly denied that he had given evidence to the police in two statements in July 2011 indicating that he had seen the shooter with the gun and that he had fired about three shots on his taxi on the ill-fated night.<br /> <br /> With nothing left to go on, Justice Lloyd Hibbert was left with no choice but to direct the jury to return a not-guilty verdict and free the alleged shooter, St Andrew businessman Mr Patrick Powell, 59.<br /> <br /> We will not attempt to reopen the case here. We are not a court of law and the Home Circuit Court has followed the course laid down for such cases. But, in the court of public opinion, the justice system is taking a beating because it appears to have failed to satisfy the truism that justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done.<br /> <br /> We are especially intrigued by the statement of the DPP that the law needs to be tightened up in respect of perjury and that witnesses seem to be schooled in how to change their statements. It is to be hoped that she will pursue this with great vigour.<br /> <br /> In the meantime, we are encouraged by the progress being made in tidying up the justice system, as outlined by Minister Chuck in a statement yesterday responding to the X6 murder trial&rsquo;s outcome. Some of the noteworthy features are:<br /> <br /> &bull; xempmargin;Installation of video-link technology in the courts to facilitate witnesses who cannot be physically present in the courtroom<br /> <br /> &bull; xempmargin;Equipment of mobile units to facilitate witnesses giving evidence remotely<br /> <br /> &bull; xempmargin;Installation of digital audio recording equipment in some courtrooms<br /> <br /> &bull; xempmargin;The registry at the Supreme Court to be outfitted with a modern file folder system shortly.<br /> <br /> Mr Chuck rightly acknowledged that we are in a race against time to transform a system that has been largely neglected for several decades. And that, &ldquo;The urgent and unyielding cry for justice in this country demands a response that is immediate.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/6605704/KC-BOY-1_w300.jpg Editorial Wednesday, October 26, 2016 12:00 AM Farewell to Mr Brian George, a decent human being http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/Farewell-to-Mr-Brian-George--a-decent-human-being_78227 We don&rsquo;t think there&rsquo;s a Jamaican who, after meeting Mr Brian George, was not impressed by his intellect, magnanimity and wit.<br /> <br /> Indeed, Mr George&rsquo;s good friend, distinguished attorney Mr Walter Scott, QC, spoke to those characteristics in this newspaper&rsquo;s report yesterday on Mr George&rsquo;s untimely and shocking passing.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He was a very good senior executive, but with a conscience and with a generosity of spirit that is hard to find in senior management,&rdquo; Mr Scott told us. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;He practised corporate social responsibility before it became commonplace to have it in corporations, and it was during his tenure as president and CEO of Supreme Ventures that it grew by multiples and strides, and probably the company would not be what it is without his tremendous leadership,&rdquo; Mr Scott added.<br /> <br /> No one can successfully challenge the truth of that assessment of Mr George. He, along with his business partners Messrs Paul Hoo and Ian Levy, who were the early faces of Supreme Ventures Limited, brought respectability to the gaming industry and expanded the company&rsquo;s products that have not only changed the financial fortunes of thousands of Jamaicans, but have provided steady income to tens of thousands more.<br /> <br /> Add to that, Supreme Ventures&rsquo; ongoing contribution to the development of sport and culture in Jamaica and you get a clearer picture of the impact that Mr George and his company have had on this country.<br /> <br /> Indeed, the fact that Mr George was a Trinidadian never appeared to have dampened his unwavering commitment to Jamaica, even as he rightly celebrated the successes of his native land and our sister nations in the Caribbean.<br /> <br /> For truly, Mr Brian George was a Caribbean man in every sense of the term &ndash; a man who had an abiding faith in the abilities of the region&rsquo;s people and who believed that each country in our Caribbean community holds the potential to offer its citizens a better quality of life.<br /> <br /> He enjoyed robust debate, and although he held strong views on a range of issues he never displayed disregard for other people&rsquo;s opinions. For it was clear that Mr George understood and accepted the fact that a diversity of views is essential to the success of democracy and contributes to a vibrant society.<br /> <br /> But even more than that is the undeniable fact that Mr George was simply a decent human being, a man who treated people with respect, regardless of their station in life.<br /> <br /> That, we hold, is not a common characteristic among people of power and influence.<br /> <br /> Mr George&rsquo;s passing is indeed a time for mourning, but we should also use it to celebrate his life and reflect on how we live ours. We should, with all honesty, ask ourselves how well we have applied the lessons he passed on to us.<br /> <br /> We extend our deepest condolence to Mr George&rsquo;s wife, sons, family, friends and his colleagues at Supreme Ventures Ltd. May God grant him the peace he so richly deserves. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13378304/231775_63246_repro_w300.jpg Editorial Tuesday, October 25, 2016 12:00 AM That uncertain business of weather predictions http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/That-uncertain-business-of-weather-predictions_78180 In late September 1963, Hurricane Flora, among the most destructive Atlantic storms ever, entered the Caribbean basin on a path very similar to the recent Hurricane Matthew.<br /> <br /> Just like Matthew, Flora passed through the islands of the south-eastern Caribbean. But unlike Matthew, which drifted a considerable distance into the central Caribbean before making a drastic turn to the north, Flora took a more gradual northerly turn shortly after entering the Caribbean basin.<br /> <br /> While it was clear from early that Flora was likely to have its greatest impact on Haiti, Jamaicans were warned to expect the worst.<br /> <br /> Just as well. Flora eventually crossed Haiti&rsquo;s western peninsula and into eastern Cuba on a path strikingly similar to Matthew, but the 1963 storm also caused extensive destruction in Jamaica, and took 11 lives here.<br /> <br /> All told, Flora &mdash; immortalised in the Jamaican memory as the Flora rains &mdash; caused thousands of deaths in the Caribbean, mostly in Haiti, but also in eastern Cuba, The Bahamas and Jamaica. Much of the grief and destruction here resulted from flooding. Older Jamaicans recall that it rained for days. And the records suggest that, at that time, the extent of flooding in eastern parts of the island was close to being unprecedented in living memory.<br /> <br /> Intriguingly, for reasons weather experts are better able to explain, though the eye of Matthew may have been even closer to Jamaica than was Flora&rsquo;s, the effect on this country of the recent storm &mdash; said to have been one of the strongest to affect the Caribbean &mdash; was quite minimal.<br /> <br /> By contrast, there were destructive consequences to the east of Matthew&rsquo;s eye with extensive flooding as far away as the Dominican Republic. Of course, the bulk of Matthew&rsquo;s ferocity was centred on western Haiti, on or around the eye of the storm, causing close to 1,000 deaths; as well as eastern Cuba, The Bahamas and the US south-eastern coastline.<br /> <br /> We have said all of the above to make the simple point that weather forecasting is an inexact business. It seems clear, that even with the assistance of today&rsquo;s highly advanced technology, meteorologists cannot say with absolute certainty what will happen with the weather &ndash; though they often sound as if they are doing exactly that.<br /> <br /> Yet, they must warn in the clearest, starkest terms of the potential dangers, so that people can prepare for the worst. With that there can be no compromise.<br /> <br /> The trouble is that when not much happens, as was the Jamaican experience of Hurricane Matthew, a &lsquo;cry wolf&rsquo; mentality can set in, with segments of the population ignoring future warnings. As former parliamentarian Lloyd B Smith recently pointed out, such a scenario could have disastrous consequences.<br /> <br /> To some extent weather experts are damned if they do and damned if they don&rsquo;t. Let&rsquo;s not forget that as recently as the Nicole rains of 2010, they were criticised on the basis of popular perception of inadequate pro-activity in alerting people.<br /> <br /> It seems to us, though, that weather experts could help their own credibility by making it abundantly clear, even as they make predictions and paint worst-case pictures, that their science is not exact. In other words: that they could be wrong.<br /> <br /> For starters, they could use that approach in their regular daily reports on radio and television.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13375960/236020_63059_repro_w300.jpg Editorial Monday, October 24, 2016 12:00 AM Does Kingston have what it takes to be a tourist destination? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/Does-Kingston-have-what-it-takes-to-be-a-tourist-destination-_78119 The proposed development of Kingston as a tourist destination, including a cruise shipping port, is an idea that needs closer examination, even as we strive to identify projects of the magnitude and size that can help us to achieve sustainable economic growth in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> It is an idea that has been thrown around for many years by governments of both the People&rsquo;s National Party and the Jamaica Labour Party, and by certain people and organisations in the private sector. But it has remained just talk for good reasons.<br /> <br /> At first glance and on superficial hearing, the idea sounds good, particularly when it is prefaced by reminiscences about the halcyon days of 50 or more years ago when there was the grand old Myrtle Bank hotel and a thriving business sector with vibrant shopping on Harbour and King streets. <br /> <br /> At that time there was an authentic craft market and restaurants, including a very popular one at Victoria Pier. Hope Gardens was majestic and pristine, and dinner at the salubrious Blue Mountain Inn was a gastronomic delight. <br /> <br /> However, if such a project is to move from talk to reality, we cannot afford to be guided solely by nostalgia and well-wishing while ignoring the problems which beset the capital city. Let&rsquo;s consider a few compelling points: <br /> <br /> First, the city has areas of high crime and the safety of tourists could not be guaranteed if they strayed away from the guided tour. Tourists cannot be confined to some &ldquo;cordon sanitaire&rdquo; within a small locale. For example, a city&rsquo;s largest food market is usually worthy of a visit by tourists but not so the Coronation Market.<br /> <br /> Second, the infrastructure and the built environment are, by and large, in bad condition and only improve as one leaves Kingston and move uptown St Andrew to the little hamlet of New Kingston. Roads, many buildings and sanitation leave much to be desired.<br /> <br /> Third, the once magnificent Kingston Harbour &mdash; the seventh largest natural harbour in the world &mdash; is polluted. The harbour is ringed by a mental asylum, an ancient prison, a cement factory belching into the atmosphere, a fishing beach, and the relics of the industrial belt. <br /> <br /> Fourth, building a cruise ship pier is a costly endeavour, unless it is going to be financed and constructed by foreign and/or local investors. None have yet evinced interest, but are willing to capitalise it if the pier is built, for example, with hotel accommodation. But the pier cannot exist in isolation from a comprehensive redevelopment of downtown Kingston, which is an even more massive undertaking.<br /> <br /> Fifth, what are the attractions apart from the Bob Marley museum, historic Port Royal and maybe Devon House. Where, for example, would a tourist go to hear live reggae music? <br /> <br /> It would be wonderful if Kingston could be developed as a tourist destination, but we have to be prepared to undertake the serious planning and hard work that are prerequisites for its achievement. <br /> <br /> But while there is great potential, if we want to be honest, we would have to admit that city Kingston is not yet developed for Jamaicans, let alone tourists. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10416961/ZZ31F85BB6_edsecld_w300.jpg Editorial Sunday, October 23, 2016 12:00 AM Great need for good sports facilities http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/Great-need-for-good-sports-facilities_78066 This newspaper is pleased that the venue for the rescheduled Caribbean Cup qualifier between Jamaica and Suriname has been shifted from the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex in Arnett Gardens to the National Stadium.<br /> <br /> Readers will recall that the game, which should have been played earlier this month, was postponed as a result of the threat posed at the time by Hurricane Matthew.<br /> <br /> The game is now scheduled for Sunday, November 13.<br /> <br /> So as far as this newspaper is aware, no official reason was ever given for the original decision to host the Surinamese in Arnett Gardens.<br /> <br /> We are left to presume that host organisers, Jamaica Football Federation, were seeking to reduce losses, given the expectation at the time of a very small home crowd. That small crowd would have been the inevitable consequence of public disappointment after the Reggae Boyz&rsquo; elimination from CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers in September.<br /> <br /> Expectations would have changed for the better following the Jamaica national team&rsquo;s stirring comeback against Guyana in that country on October 11. The Reggae Boyz, made up of local-based players and North America-based professionals, were two goals down at half-time, but rebounded to win the game 4-2 at the end of regulation and extra time. <br /> <br /> Presumably then, improved expectations for attendance have now led to the decision for a venue change to the National Stadium.<br /> <br /> While the quality of the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex has improved down the years, the National Stadium is obviously the best facility for hosting high-level football. For that reason we are happy for the change.<br /> <br /> As much as possible, we believe, regional and international football should be played at our best available facilities which, as we understand it, are currently the National Stadium in Kingston and the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Montego Bay. <br /> <br /> That said, the gap between the best available sports facilities and others remains much too large for comfort.<br /> <br /> Note how selective organisers and sponsors of the Inter-secondary Schools&rsquo; Sports Association/FLOW Super Cup have been in their choice of fields for that cash-rich high schools&rsquo; competition. They have gone to the extent of including the headquarters of cricket, Sabina Park, among the match venues. <br /> <br /> Ensuring good playing standards is one big reason, but also the FLOW Super Cup organisers are anxious to present a good television picture of football, which is impossible on many of the very poor surfaces which players from high school to premier league level must use as a matter of course.<br /> <br /> Successive governments have pledged to improve sporting facilities across the country; however, progress has been slow because of the cash-strapped state of the public purse.<br /> <br /> We think it would be very appropriate if some of our leading private sector companies take an interest in the infrastructural aspect of sports development. We are aware that some companies have actually conducted such projects, making a huge difference for beneficiaries. If they could join hands in a concerted, sustainable way to improve sports facilities, the impact would be so much greater. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13269223/227026__w300.jpg Editorial Saturday, October 22, 2016 2:00 AM Public sector reform and this new IMF deal http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/Public-sector-reform-and-this-new-IMF-deal_77809 Last week Prime Minister Andrew Holness revealed that his Government had negotiated with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff a &ldquo;high access&rdquo; precautionary three-year Stand-By Arrangement worth US$1.7 billion, or just under double the US$932 million of the soon expiring four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF). <br /> <br /> The new deal will replace the current EFF once it is approved in November, and will allow immediate access to over US$430 million, which will climb over time as more tests are passed. Mr Holness described the agreement as an &ldquo;insurance dividend&rdquo;, a policy to be called on in the event of a natural disaster or some other external shock, such as severe commodity price volatility, eg oil. It also provides an immediate dividend, in the sense of assuring local and international investors with certainty as to the direction of economic policy, thereby encouraging much faster investment by removing the need for wait and see.<br /> <br /> More important than even this generous IMF funding package would be the amount of multilateral funding available from our key development partners, such as the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank, over the next three years. A similar amount of committed funding by these two institutions would close the external financing gap, with any remaining refinancing needs easily met from the domestic capital market. <br /> <br /> In addition to maintaining fiscal discipline, the new agreement will seek to achieve the long-awaited public sector transformation, while focusing new expenditure on infrastructure, social protection and security. Other objectives include keeping inflation low, bolstering the resilience of the financial system, and tax reform.<br /> <br /> The key to this agreement is whether the Administration can achieve public sector reform that has eluded all previous governments. The public sector wage bill, including pensions, now accounts for nearly half of government revenues, while interest costs, which are approaching one-quarter, are still too high, despite declining dramatically from the 2009 crisis. <br /> <br /> Even more important than the direct cost of the public sector is its indirect cost from inefficiency. While in no sense unique to the public sector, the economic damage in terms of lost productivity can no longer be tolerated when faced with a relentlessly competitive global economy.<br /> <br /> Despite the previous Government&rsquo;s achievements in eliminating the fiscal deficit and passing a raft of financial legislation, after four years&rsquo;, progress in most other areas growth was limited. Various analyses of Jamaica&rsquo;s complex problems suggest that there is no single fix, as they are often intertwined. Many issues need to be tackled at the same time, frequently across the boundaries of various ministries, and requiring a partnership approach including labour and capital. It is particularly encouraging, therefore, that the major multilaterals have fully embraced the Economic Growth Council (EGC), and appear to believe that the wider reform agenda will now accelerate, as shown by them putting their money where their mouth is.<br /> <br /> In short, the multilaterals appear to have decided that Prime Minister Holness is a reformer. They appear impressed by his bold statements of public sector reform &mdash; from which it will be difficult to backtrack &mdash; combined with the clear mandate he has given to the EGC and the apparent business-focused desire of the Government to make things happen.<br /> <br /> If he is indeed this reformer, Jamaica&rsquo;s long-awaited turnaround may finally have started. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13346052/Andrew-holness_w300.jpg Editorial Friday, October 21, 2016 12:00 AM When not to &lsquo;Spice up&rsquo; an event http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/When-not-to--Spice-up--an-event_77769 The current brouhaha over the premature end to the performance of Ms Grace Hamilton, stage name &lsquo;Spice&rsquo;, at the salute to our Rio athletes on Saturday, demonstrates, we think, that Jamaicans want separate standards of behaviour at official events.<br /> <br /> The central issue for many of those who were offended by Spice&rsquo;s racy lyrics and gyration in front of no less than the governor general and the prime minister, is the choice of an entertainer known for her special brand of dancehall offering. And the question they are asking is why was she hired in the first place.<br /> <br /> Ms Hamilton is a big favourite in the dancehall. Those who patronise the events at which she performs go to hear her raunchy lyrics, see her daring behaviour, and take in her manner of dress, including the multicoloured hair and skimpy attire. Her very stage name, Spice, suggests she doesn&rsquo;t perform for Sunday school children.<br /> <br /> It is therefore quite understandable that she should conclude, upon being hired for the event in the National Indoor Sports Centre, that she was being paid to be her usual self. At the very least, she should have been briefed and told to clean up her act for the event which would be attended by children, as well as officials of State. A minister of religion is hardly expected to invite an atheist to address his flock.<br /> <br /> Against that background, we find it difficult to blame Miss Hamilton for turning up and delivering the product she sells, a &lsquo;spicy&rsquo; performance. Of course, she would have been better off had she anticipated that certain type of lyrics would not have fitted that particular occasion.<br /> <br /> However, any such blame to be apportioned lies with the organisers who appeared not to have given much thought to the matter beforehand or did not care at all. Either way it would be a grave mistake.<br /> <br /> Sport and Culture Minister Olivia &ldquo;Babsy&rdquo; Grange has apologised for the offence and promised a review of the matter. That does not let her off the hook. Ms Grange is a specialist in matters of culture and dancehall, in particular, having been a long-time promoter. She cannot claim not to know of Spice.<br /> <br /> Moreover, she would have had to sign off on the programme for the celebrations and should have seen the names on the line-up. If she did not, that too would have been a major slip-up. Her review, if it takes place, should examine the process by which entertainers are selected for official events. Over the years we have seen artistes being hired based on party affiliation. This should stop. We are one Jamaica.<br /> <br /> The real point to be made, however, is that not every performer is suited to every event. One size doesn&rsquo;t fit all. While some Jamaicans are quite happy with racy dancehall lyrics or even slackness in the privacy of their homes or cars, they don&rsquo;t expect it in church or at official functions. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13123788/214568_49356_repro_w300.jpg Editorial Thursday, October 20, 2016 12:00 AM A plea for the justice system http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/A-plea-for-the-justice-system_77564 It&rsquo;s not a secret that the island&rsquo;s justice system is being hobbled by a lack of resources. After all, this newspaper and other media houses have given a lot of ink and air time to the problems.<br /> <br /> Myriad solutions have been advanced over the years and, to be fair to the authorities, some attempts have been made at improvements, particularly since the Jamaican Justice System Reform Task Force submitted its report in 2007.<br /> <br /> However, as the Ministry of Justice has stated, while many reforms have been introduced in specific areas and other initiatives are currently under way... &ldquo;these measures, for the most part, have been piecemeal rather than applied to the justice system as a whole&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Therefore, it was not surprising to read last week&rsquo;s lament by Justice Vivienne Harris, attorney Mr Linton Gordon, and Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Ms Maxine Jackson at the start of the current session of the St Ann Circuit Court.<br /> <br /> Justice Harris pointed out that there are currently 35 judges in the Supreme Court and seven in the Court of Appeal, the same number since Jamaica gained Independence 54 years ago, although crime has increased.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Judges have to share secretaries,&rdquo; she said, and after working from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm each day, judges have to spend hours at night writing judgements.<br /> <br /> No human being, we submit, can maintain such a punishing schedule and remain sharp for long.<br /> <br /> Justice Harris also spoke to the heavy case backlog in the system, suggesting that &ldquo;judges would be required to work perhaps 100 hours each day&rdquo;, to make any significant dent in the number.<br /> <br /> Justice Harris, we are told, spoke to these inadequacies after Mr Gordon argued that it was unfair to suggest that judges were not making an effort to reduce the number of cases before the courts.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Fifty per cent of the courts in St Ann have been closed. Instead of taking justice to the citizens and make it available, they are withdrawing it,&rdquo; he said as he pointed out that initially there were six courts in St Ann, but now only three are operational.<br /> <br /> Ms Jackson, in her observations, stated that more judges and courts were needed. She pointed out that, with 101 cases before the circuit, the four weeks over which the current session will sit cannot put any significant dent to the list.<br /> <br /> All of these deficiencies need to be addressed if we are serious about modernising the country&rsquo;s justice system to make it, as the reform task force stated, &ldquo;more efficient, accessible, accountable, fair and able to deliver timely results in a cost-effective manner&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> While we hold the view that there is still a high level of public confidence in the court system, the issue of the speed with which matters are resolved poses a threat to that confidence. And that, we fear, can only feed other negative perceptions of the justice system that, despite its challenges, can point to successes.<br /> <br /> As such, it is imperative that the Justice System Reform Task Force recommendations that are still relevant today be given swift attention. Don&rsquo;t let them sit on shelves as is the case with the reports of too many other task forces. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12544294/DDP-9_w300.jpg Editorial Wednesday, October 19, 2016 2:00 AM If the US presidential elections are rigged... http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/If-the-US-presidential-elections-are-rigged---_77518 The free world, which proudly includes Jamaica, relies heavily on the United States to remain the greatest bastion of democracy, with free and fair elections as the central feature and an enduring symbol.<br /> <br /> For that reason, we are appalled at the recent claim by the Republican presidential nominee, Mr Donald Trump, that the US elections are rigged. We note, of course, that he has not yet provided any evidence of his claim.<br /> <br /> To the contrary, however, the US electoral commission has said in a review of one billion votes, some years ago, only 31 could be regarded as voter fraud since 2000.<br /> <br /> The US elections are followed closely by free nations, largely because, among other reasons, they feel they have a vested interest in the outcome. America is regarded as the undisputed leader of the free world, but only Americans get to elect that leader, and essentially they do so on our behalf.<br /> <br /> While we are not expecting perfection, the free world holds up American democracy as the standard by which everyone else is judged. Jamaica has a keen understanding of this concept because of our painful experience with a flawed electoral system highlighted by massive bogus voting and political violence.<br /> <br /> And yet, even when that broken system was in operation &ndash; that is, before the time of Mr Danville Walker, the former director of elections &mdash; electoral results were still credible, and it was possible for the losing party to accept its defeat.<br /> <br /> The Carter Foundation, established by former US President Jimmy Carter, is among the many observer organisations that have certified our elections over the years.<br /> <br /> The Carter Foundation, ironically, might need to observe the 2016 US presidential elections to certify that they are not rigged as Mr Trump is now insisting they will be. However, until he provides proof of the veracity of his claim, we believe that Mr Trump should refrain from such charges.<br /> <br /> He will not be doing his campaign any favours by continuing to make baseless charges which not only suggest that he thinks he will lose to Mrs Hillary Clinton, but turn off Americans and the rest of the free world. It is not by accident that over 100 newspapers in that country have endorsed the Democratic nominee. The number includes some which have never endorsed a Democratic candidate in over a century of publication. Only one has so far endorsed Mr Trump.<br /> <br /> The San Diego Union-Tribune summarises it best: &ldquo;This paper has not endorsed a Democrat for president in its 148-year history. But we endorse Clinton. She&rsquo;s the safe choice for the US and for the world, for Democrats and Republicans alike.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Interestingly, most of the endorsements came before the revelation of the video tape showing Mr Trump on an Access Hollywood bus boasting of sexually assaulting women, followed by a growing number of women coming out to allege that they were assaulted by him as far back as 2005. He has denied the allegations but is losing women voters fast.<br /> <br /> Even if he senses a loss, Mr Trump must remember that the free world needs a functioning US democracy. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319895/225263_58517_repro_w300.jpg Editorial Tuesday, October 18, 2016 12:00 AM God helps those who help themselves http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/God-helps-those-who-help-themselves_77422 Like most Jamaicans, Mr Robert Montague obviously has a belief system firmly grounded in religious faith.<br /> <br /> He tells us he was chosen by God to lead Jamaica&rsquo;s fight against crime.<br /> <br /> However, it&rsquo;s also obvious, that, while the national security minister believes in divine intervention and the power of prayer, he also knows that God helps those who help themselves.<br /> <br /> Hence his assertion that resolving Jamaica&rsquo;s crime problems will require &ldquo;unity, hard work, a political will, and a belief in what is good about Jamaica&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> In other words, Jamaicans must deal with their crime problem themselves.<br /> <br /> Furthermore, Mr Montague knows conquering criminals won&rsquo;t be sudden or miraculous.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are here, where we are, and it took a long time to get here, and it is not going to be easy to leave here. But we will leave here. It is not going to be overnight, it is not going to be instant&hellip;&rdquo; says Mr Montague. <br /> <br /> So how do we leave here? A multifaceted approach to resolving crime has been discussed in this country for a very long time.<br /> <br /> There is consensus that there has to be significant social and economic intervention to address the consequences of extreme impoverishment. Jamaicans can&rsquo;t expect to exist in peace and harmony when there is such a huge gap between &lsquo;haves&rsquo; and &lsquo;have nots&rsquo;: Some living in barely believable wealth and comfort, many only just getting by, and many others existing in hopeless squalor on gully banks and in zinc-fenced houses.<br /> <br /> Some argue that economic growth will eventually reduce such terrible economic disparities through employment. High employment will be a motive force for education and training, further reducing idle hands, they argue. The trouble is that the sustained, far-reaching economic growth required to have such wide-scale societal impact won&rsquo;t happen in the current crime-infested environment. <br /> <br /> Similarly, social programmes in the slums and shanty towns aimed at improving health, education, housing, etc, don&rsquo;t get far in the face of criminals.<br /> <br /> Those criminals must be confronted, first and foremost, and rooted out for the much-desired social and economic boost to take hold. That&rsquo;s why adequate resources are urgently needed to, among other things, properly equip the constabulary to catch and counter criminals; upgrade the justice system, including the modernisation of prisons, so that inmates are actually rehabilitated and trained for legitimate work rather than becoming more hardened criminals. <br /> <br /> As we have said previously in this space, there has to be a collective political will to effectively and sustainably fight crime on all fronts.<br /> <br /> On the political front, Mr Montague can&rsquo;t lead the fight alone. There has to be concerted action by the Government of Mr Andrew Holness, and by the parliamentary Opposition, to mobilise communities and the society at large to help the police.<br /> <br /> Nor can the politicians stand alone. Business leaders, church leaders, so-called civil society, social activists, and the ordinary man and woman must come together in an unrelenting war on criminals. If Jamaicans accept that crime is their biggest problem, then they must treat it as such. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13357253/234629_61742_repro_w300.jpg Editorial Monday, October 17, 2016 12:00 AM 50 years of productive relations: Viva Mexico! Viva Jamaica! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/50-years-of-productive-relations--Viva-Mexico--Viva-Jamaica-_77336 Mexico, one of the powers of the western hemisphere and an influential country in international affairs generally, has been an important and decidedly essential partner in Central America and the Caribbean.<br /> <br /> The Spanish-speaking country has been an ally of the Caribbean and at times stood with the region against the United States &mdash; for example, on the US embargo against Cuba.<br /> <br /> One of its most enduring relations in the Caribbean has been with Jamaica, and this year marks 50 years of formal diplomatic ties from which the island has seen tangible benefits, particularly in trade and culture. Mexico established diplomatic relations with Jamaica in March 1966 and for most of that time Jamaica has maintained an embassy in the Central American country.<br /> <br /> The relationship started when Mexico established a consulate in Jamaica in 1857 while Jamaica was still a British colony. The Jamaica-Mexico connection may be even older if Ivan Van Sertima is to be believed. In his book<br /> <br /> They Came b efore Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America, he argues that Africans were the first people to cross the Atlantic to the Americas.<br /> <br /> In recent times, the diplomacy has involved visits by three Jamaican prime ministers, as recently as 2014, and four Mexican presidents. On a day-to-day basis, the two countries have collaborated in a range of multilateral and hemispheric organisations, helped by the fact that the representatives of Mexico and Jamaica are often seated beside each other in the chronological order of international seating.<br /> <br /> Mexico rendered invaluable support to the Caribbean and Central America when, together with Venezuela, they established the San Jose Accord in 1980 to help cushion the impact of oil prices.<br /> <br /> In 2015, total trade between Jamaica and Mexico amounted to US$130 million. This is small, but the real measure of the economic relationship is foreign direct investment in the tourism industry, where Mexican companies invested over US$200 million in Jamaica. It is a Mexican company that manages the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.<br /> <br /> The only unhappy note is in football when Jamaica has to play Mexico in the Azteca stadium in the rarified atmosphere of Mexico City, but we take solace in our unchallenged dominance in track and field and cricket.<br /> <br /> Hopefully all of this will be ramped up as the mature friendship continues to grow. One urgent need is the re-establishment of direct flights between Mexico and Jamaica. The friendship was consolidated on a people-to-people basis during the halcyon days when Mexico operated regular flights between Kingston and Mexico City. The airlift is what will make it truly &ldquo;mi casa es su casa&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13059681/209329_w300.jpg Editorial Sunday, October 16, 2016 12:00 AM The country cannot continue like this http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/The-country-cannot-continue-like-this The seemingly unending cycle of violent crime that has been affecting this country for decades can easily weigh you down with a sense of hopelessness. <br /> <br /> It&rsquo;s not easy, we admit, waking up to news of another atrocity, such as that committed in March Pen, St Catherine on Sunday morning. <br /> <br /> Five Jamaicans &mdash; Ms Salesha Evans, 24; her nine-year-old son Revaughn Evans; Ms Venisha Bartley, 22; her two-year-old daughter Koyandra Wynter; and 14-year-old Marvin Campbell Jr &mdash; are now, unfortunately, statistics, made so by a group of beasts who, after shooting these people, descended into further savagery by torching their victims&rsquo; houses. It&rsquo;s not the first, or second time that we are seeing this type of barbarity. <br /> <br /> We recall the slaying of 60-year-old Mr Gerald Brown, his 50-year-old wife Mrs Dorcas Brown, their daughter Ms Janice Brown, 25, and their granddaughter, 10-year-old Sasha Brown, on Barnes Avenue off Maxfield Avenue, in October 2005 by masked gunmen. <br /> <br /> In that brutal killing, the police said the armed men threw Molotov cocktail bombs into the house, then stood &lsquo;guard&rsquo; outside to prevent the Browns from getting help. <br /> <br /> Several neighbours said that they heard little Sasha screaming for help, but the gunmen standing outside the burning building prevented them from assisting the Browns. <br /> <br /> With each incident the society reacts with shock, dismay and fury, denouncing the actions of the terrorist killers, especially when children and babies are among the victims. <br /> <br /> We have repeatedly argued in this space that part of the solution to this menace is for an improvement in the relationship between the police and citizens that would encourage the passing on of information. <br /> <br /> That, we hold, aided by increased use of modern technology, such as forensics and monitoring via CCTV, would go a far way to help reduce violent crime, because make no mistake, the fear of being caught and successfully prosecuted is a deterrent. <br /> <br /> We also hold firmly to the view, despite opposition from some in the legal fraternity, that the issue of bail needs to be addressed as the evidence shows that many crimes &mdash; and we have pointed to quite a few in this space before &mdash; are committed by miscreants on bail. <br /> <br /> And while we acknowledge that there is some justification to the adverse reactions to the Government&rsquo;s proposal to curtail some freedoms in an effort to tackle violent crime, we are willing to argue that in the short term, at least, some freedoms long taken for granted will have to be curtailed, especially in those communities most plagued by beasts with a thirst for blood. <br /> <br /> The country simply cannot go on like this. And people who should know better but who are shielding these criminals ought to be ashamed of themselves. <br /> <br /> In fact, the authorities should consider it their duty to gather evidence against these individuals and have them face the full force of the law. <br /> <br /> We also reiterate, because we believe the point is worth repeating, that communities need to be assisted in organising themselves, as that would not only result in social and economic improvement in people&rsquo;s lives, but their appreciation for law and order. <br /> <br /> It can be done. What is needed is the political will. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13354426/mpr_w300.jpg Editorial Friday, October 14, 2016 3:39 AM If we are serious about rectifying the shame of Armadale http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/If-we-are-serious-about-rectifying-the-shame-of-Armadale_77035 The Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favour of six former wards of the Armadale Juvenile Correctional Centre, setting the stage for settlement of cases for another 26 girls who brought claims against the Government for breaches of their constitutional rights. Readers will recall the absolute shame visited upon this country on May 22, 2009 when fire destroyed the Armadale facility where they were being held. <br /> <br /> Seven girls lost their lives in the fire, while several others were injured. The cause of the fire and the operations at the facility later became the subject of a commission of enquiry.<br /> <br /> This settlement by the Government will not completely wipe away the stain, but it bodes well and sends a signal that there is hope for improved care for the helpless wards of the Jamaican State. <br /> <br /> Importantly, the matter was handled in such a manner that the girls were not made to rehash and relive the trauma of May 22 that exposed the utter callousness prevailing in the childcare facilities across this island. <br /> <br /> Lead attorney for the girls, Jacqueline Samuels- Brown informed us that judgement in favour of the claimants was on the basis of breaches of their constitutional rights and negligence on the part of those responsible for their care and supervision. <br /> <br /> The claimants, she said, were also compensated for aggravated damages, meaning that they were awarded for the injury to their self-esteem, their feelings, and their dignity. The case appeared to have had bipartisan support. <br /> <br /> Most of the work was advanced under the administration of former Justice Minister Mark Golding and was clearly not opposed by current Minister Delroy Chuck, based on the clear violation of the girls&rsquo; constitutional rights under the Charter of Rights in relation to the negligent care and deplorable conditions of their incarceration at Armadale. <br /> <br /> But the matter is not over. It is critical that the Government moves quickly to make the payments to the girls. We all know how many people who have won cases against the State have had to wait, sometimes for years, to receive their compensation. <br /> <br /> We have not been told how much money has been awarded to each girl, only that it runs in the millions. <br /> <br /> This raises the question of how that money will be managed. The girls will need significant help in deciding the best way to invest their award to ensure that it is not simply squandered. <br /> <br /> Jamaica owes a debt of gratitude to the Office of the Children&rsquo;s Advocate (OCA), who made the claims while the girls were still minors. <br /> <br /> We have no reason to believe that they were being schooled in money management and so the OCA will still need to continue its role in helping to guide the young women.<br /> <br /> We continue to hope that the recommendations arising out of the report of the Armadale Commission of Enquiry and Monday&rsquo;s judgement will be implemented to ensure, lack of resources notwithstanding, the continued improvement in the care of minors who have been declared wards of the State. <br /> <br /> As a nation, we should collectively declare that there must never be another Armadale. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/5728069/Supreme-Court-3_w300.jpg Editorial Thursday, October 13, 2016 12:00 AM Win or lose, the Grand Old Party faces an uncertain future http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/Win-or-lose--the-Grand-Old-Party-faces-an-uncertain-future_76913 The fissures in the Republican Party a month before the United States presidential elections are ominous signs that the Grand Old Party (GOP) may lose the White House for a third consecutive term and face an uncertain future.<br /> <br /> There is open warfare between presidential nominee Mr Donald Trump, who represents the blue collar-driven base of the party, and Mr Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House and the highest ranking elected Republican who represents the party elite.<br /> <br /> To be sure, the relationship between the two factions has been uneasy at best coming out of the rather nasty primaries in which Mr Trump beat off 16 contenders but permanently damaged himself by caustic comments against his opponents that left festering sores.<br /> <br /> Following the Democratic National Convention, his opposite number, Mrs Hillary Clinton, has been maintaining a close lead over Mr Trump in what was being predicted to be the tightest election in recent memory. But after the revelation that Mr Trump might not have paid federal income tax for 18 years, while staunchly refusing to release his tax returns in keeping with tradition, his poll numbers began to slip.<br /> <br /> Last Friday, the<br /> <br /> Washington Post released a video tape in which Mr Trump was heard bragging that he kissed women without their consent and grabbed their genital because as a celebrity he could. The tape set off a firestorm of criticism that sent many top Republicans into panic mode and fearing that their association with the party&rsquo;s nominee could cost them their own seats in both the House and the Senate.<br /> <br /> Last Sunday&rsquo;s debate in which Mr Trump did better than the earlier one but still lost to Mrs Clinton, according to polls by<br /> <br /> CNN, appeared to calm some Republicans but did not stop the exodus. Speaker Paul Ryan&rsquo;s declaration that he would no longer defend Mr Trump and advised House Republicans and Senators to do their best to win their seats was the signal for all-out war.<br /> <br /> Mr Trump lashed out at &ldquo;disloyal&rdquo; Republicans in a<br /> <br /> Twitter rant yesterday, described Mr Ryan as a &ldquo;weak and ineffective leader&rdquo; and declared himself no longer shackled by party strictures. <br /> <br /> Many Republicans have also turned up their noses at the candidate for bringing up unproven sexual abuse allegations against former President Bill Clinton in Sunday&rsquo;s debate watched by an estimated 60 million viewers.<br /> <br /> Political analysts are suggesting that whether Mr Trump wins or loses the election, the Republican Party will enter a period of blood-letting. That appears inevitable. The Trump wing and the Ryan wing will find it difficult to co-exist after the acrimony unleashed by the campaign.<br /> <br /> A Trump victory, if he decides to be magnanimous and not seek recrimination, is probably the best outcome for the Republican Party. That, however, seems unlikely at this stage, with the latest average of polls showing Mrs Clinton ahead by 6.5 points nationally. An<br /> <br /> NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, the first since the tape surfaced, gave the Democratic nominee an almost unassailable 14-point lead. <br /> <br /> The Grand Old Party is in for some turbulent times.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319895/225263_58517_repro_w300.jpg Editorial Wednesday, October 12, 2016 12:00 AM Give to Haiti, but let the UN co-ordinate aid http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/Give-to-Haiti--but-let-the-UN-co-ordinate-aid_76735 We are not at all surprised at the stark differences in the death toll figures being reported out of Haiti after the south-western region of that country was struck by Hurricane Matthew last week.<br /> <br /> Yesterday, the Associated Press reported Mr Guillaume Silvera, a senior official with the Civil Protection Agency in Grand-Anse, which includes J&eacute;r&eacute;mie, one of the affected towns, as saying that at least 522 deaths were confirmed there alone. That did not include people in several remote communities still marooned by collapsed roads and bridges.<br /> <br /> At the same time, the National Civil Protection headquarters in Port-au-Prince said its official death count for the entire country was 336, which included 191 in Grand-Anse, while Reuters news agency yesterday reported that the death toll had climbed to 1,000.<br /> <br /> That is to be expected, given that relief agencies have been struggling to access remote sections of the island. However, what we know for sure is that our sister Caribbean country has been devastated by the hurricane which packed 145-miles-per hour winds when it struck last Tuesday.<br /> <br /> The United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said 750,000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance, and that of the 10.3 million people in Haiti, 1.3 million have been impacted by Hurricane Matthew.<br /> <br /> As if all that were not bad enough, the country, regarded as the poorest in the western hemisphere, is now seeing an increase in cases of cholera, and at least 13 deaths from the waterborne illness have been reported so far.<br /> <br /> All this, coming on top of Haiti&rsquo;s struggle to recover from the magnitude 7.0 earthquake in 2010 which not only killed more than 7,000 people and devastated the country, but resulted in cholera being spread by United Nations peacekeepers. In fact, that outbreak of the disease killed almost 10,000 Haitians and infected more than 770,000.<br /> <br /> How much more, we ask, can any one country take?<br /> <br /> This is a question over which we have agonised for many years and reflects sentiments in that Caribbean Community member state. Indeed, yesterday one news report quoted Mr John Hasse, the national director of World Vision in Port-au-Prince, as saying that Haitians were asking: &ldquo;When is this going to stop? When are we going to get a break from crisis after crisis?&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Already, a massive aid effort is underway.<br /> <br /> The Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal for US$6.9 million, the United Nations Children&rsquo;s Fund has said it needs at least US$5 million to meet the immediate needs of 500,000 affected children, while the United States, despite dealing with damage from Matthew, is adding 300 Marines from the USS Mesa Verde to the 250 personnel it has already supplied, and France is sending 60 troops and 32 tonnes of humanitarian aid.<br /> <br /> Other countries, including Jamaica, are organising aid and we urge citizens to respond by giving what they can.<br /> <br /> Our major concern though, is that all this aid should be co-ordinated, preferably by the United Nations, to ensure that it gets to the people who are really in need. For we have not forgotten the experience of the 2010 earthquake when the world responded with billions of dollars in aid, only to find out two years later that many people who should have benefited were still living in less than suitable conditions. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/9908065/haiti_flag_w300.jpg Editorial Tuesday, October 11, 2016 12:00 AM Enough is enough! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/Enough-is-enough-_76692 The story &lsquo;Vicious dog attack!&rsquo; in yesterday&rsquo;s Sunday Observer is yet more evidence of the deep-rooted tendency in Jamaica to treat serious issues as nine-day wonders.<br /> <br /> The story of an attack on a mother and her two young children by pit bulls in St Andrew in early March is horrific. The mother, Ms Aleiya Chin of St Andrew, says her five-year-old son seems to have developed long-term medical issues as a direct result of the attack.<br /> <br /> Even more horrifying, a story from the news archives dated March 1, 2016 tells of 56-year-old Mr Jerome Pow who was killed by pit bulls in the vicinity of Hagley Park Road in St Andrew.<br /> <br /> Such reports are not new. Each such incident triggers urgent calls for tougher action to protect citizens from vicious dogs and their careless owners. Then, with the passage of time, the issue is forgotten until there is another nightmarish report.<br /> <br /> Writing in January 2014 Jamaica Observer columnist Ms Grace Virtue highlighted some of the cases leading up to then: &ldquo;In July 2011, 62-year-old Valerie Stephenson, of St Catherine, was killed by a pit bull as she walked in the community. Four months earlier, in Westmoreland, eight-month-old Oshawn Obermann was mauled by a pit bull owned by his parents. He survived with major injuries. In December 2012, two-year-old Ronica Gregory of St Catherine was killed by a pit bull and her sister seriously injured&hellip;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Also in 2012, a woman and her 14-month-old son were attacked by a pit bull in Spanish Town. January 2, 2014, a three-year-old lost an eye after he was mauled by a pit bull in St Ann, and on January 4, 2014, a 59-year-old mechanic was mauled by three pit bulls in St Mary.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Though apparently hamstrung by legal limitations the police have urged Jamaicans to stop keeping pit bulls and to be vigilant in securing dogs.<br /> <br /> In 2014, some opinion leaders, including veterinarian and former Member of Parliament Dr St Aubyn Bartlett, urged registration of dogs and specific legislation.<br /> <br /> But then the issue died its usual natural death. Two years later, here we are again.<br /> <br /> In the case involving Ms Chin and her two young children, it is alleged that the dogs had free access to the road through an open gate. A lawsuit is apparently the only legal recourse.<br /> <br /> A near 150-year-old law, The Dogs (Liability for Injuries by) Act of 1877 is applicable in this instance. Like so many other pieces of Jamaican legislation it needs urgent upgrade.<br /> <br /> This should not again be a nine-day wonder. All stakeholders, not least the media, should push with might and main to make sure that this time around concrete action is taken.<br /> <br /> We are well aware that Jamaica&rsquo;s legislative and judicial process is tediously inefficient &mdash; we need only listen to Justice Minister Mr Delroy Chuck. But it is full time for action.<br /> <br /> For the doubters and naysayers, we think it appropriate to borrow from Ms Virtue in her January 2014 column: &ldquo;Close your eyes for a minute, honourable ministers, and visualise your child or grandchild being mauled by a dog. Or, imagine yourself, as a two-year old, caught between the jaws of a killer dog.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13345230/attack_w300.jpg Editorial Monday, October 10, 2016 12:00 AM IMF, World Bank have no solution for global economic malaise http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/IMF--World-Bank-have-no-solution-for-global-economic-malaise_76622 The state of the global economy is of vital importance to the economic growth and well-being of small, highly open developing economies such as Jamaica. <br /> <br /> In the case of Jamaica, the price of the most important imports reflect conditions in the global economy, for example, oil and food. Also, the global economy influences the main inflows of foreign exchange &mdash; tourism and remittances. Therefore, the discussions in international fora are not esoteric and irrelevant to what happens in the Jamaican economy. On the contrary, these discussions are vitally important.<br /> <br /> All the forecasts for the global economy suggest continued economic malaise, slow economic growth, uneven recovery, and growing inequality both between countries and within economies of all levels of development. This is the consensus of the technical expertise of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and the World Trade Organisation. What is also agreed is that there has been no significant and sustained economic recovery from the economic crisis which started in late 2007, almost 10 years ago.<br /> <br /> The purpose of international meetings is for the world community to discuss and formulate strategies to address global problems such as climate change. The recent G20 meeting and the United Nations General Assembly did not produce solutions; instead, there was an escalating clamour for action on global economic problems amid myriad concerns and appeals for help.<br /> <br /> This is not an unusual outcome for such political gatherings. However, the international community looks to the annual IMF-World Bank meetings held every year in October in Washington, DC, for a menu of economic policy recommendations to stimulate global economic recovery.<br /> <br /> This is not an unreasonable expectation because the IMF and World Bank boast of having the best economic experts, who are the highest-paid international civil servants. Yet this collection of so-called best economic minds have come up with no solutions to the malaise of the global economy. Ironically, they have no hesitation in imposing economic policy packages of dubious efficacy on governments in poor and developing countries.<br /> <br /> Jamaica is a case in point, having done everything required by the IMF and World Bank, yet there has been no significant growth. It finally dawned on the Government that it needed to design its own growth-promoting policy, hence the need for the prime minister&rsquo;s Economic Growth Council.<br /> <br /> The managing director of the IMF describes the global predicament as &ldquo;consistently disappointing growth outcomes&rdquo;. Then came the predictable perennial platitudes such as urging the international community to &ldquo;step up international co-operation to create comprehensive and co-ordinated policy actions&rdquo;. The call was made for more of the same policies, such as greater trade integration, which have not worked.<br /> <br /> It sounds good, but that is all it is &mdash; words, not deeds. The problem is that the IMF and the World Bank apply a one-size-fits-all approach. Since no two countries are alike, this approach is sure to produce a lot of causalities. Hopefully, by blending the recommendations from the Economic Growth Council with the IMF programme, the combined effect will ignite sustained economic growth.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/9067560/ZZ65D87EB8_w300.jpg Editorial Sunday, October 09, 2016 12:00 AM WI women hoping to shine amid the gloom http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/WI-women-hoping-to-shine-amid-the-gloom_76570 Gloom hung low as the first batch of West Indies cricketers departed for United Arab Emirates last month following the axing of their coach Mr Phil Simmons on, or just before, the day of their departure.<br /> <br /> Three weeks later, the gloom remains.<br /> <br /> The West Indies have lost all six limited overs games &mdash; three Twenty20 matches and three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) &ndash; against their hosts Pakistan by very substantial margins. They were a shadow of the team guided by Mr Simmons which so gloriously won the World T20 title earlier this year and reached the final of a tri-nation ODI series involving Australia and India in mid-year.<br /> <br /> And as the three-Test series approaches, there is the very reasonable fear that a demotivated West Indies could suffer further extreme humiliation.<br /> <br /> Unsurprisingly, all-rounder Mr Dwayne Bravo, who readers will remember was the leader of that infamous players&rsquo; strike in India two years ago, has lashed out after returning from the T20 leg of the tour. Mr Bravo says the West Indies players were demoralised and &ldquo;lost&rdquo; following the sacking of their coach.<br /> <br /> Just as predictably, management has responded to Mr Bravo&rsquo;s remarks. A statement attributed to Team Manager Mr Joel Garner said that Mr Bravo &ldquo;with prior permission, by the former head coach, turned up on the day before the first Twenty20 match&rdquo; and that &ldquo;his suggestion of disorganisation in the team&rsquo;s plans and preparation is therefore false and misleading&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Those who still hold West Indies cricket dear will be hoping that for the upcoming Test series somehow, from somewhere, Captain Mr Jason Holder and his men will find the spirit which allowed them to earn a Test match draw against powerful India when all seemed lost in Jamaica in early August.<br /> <br /> Of course, even with all the gloom surrounding the men&rsquo;s team, the embattled West Indies Cricket Board has been able to boast of the achievements of the women&rsquo;s team. The World T20 champions are on show in ODI cricket in Jamaica over the next 11 days against England.<br /> <br /> Their campaign begins today at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium, a second ODI against England will be played on Monday at the same venue, followed by three more at Sabina Park in Kingston.<br /> <br /> Those last three ODIs will count towards the ICC Women&rsquo;s Championship, described as &ldquo;a multi-year, bilateral competition between the top eight international women&rsquo;s sides, which will lead to automatic qualification for the top four teams to next year&rsquo;s ICC Women&rsquo;s World Cup to be hosted by the England and Wales Cricket Board&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> West Indies women are currently second in the standings on 20 points &mdash; 10 behind current ODI World champions Australia Women &mdash; and just one ahead of England Women.<br /> <br /> West Indies women are due to complete their schedule of ICC Women&rsquo;s Championship matches in November on the road against India.<br /> <br /> This newspaper joins in wishing West Indies women and men&rsquo;s teams all the very best.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12831859/195502__w300.jpg Editorial Saturday, October 08, 2016 2:00 AM The task ahead for the new UN secretary general http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/The-task-ahead-for-the-new-UN-secretary-general_76313 The fact that none of the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council opposed the candidacy of Mr Antonio Guterres as the next UN secretary general is an indication of the respect that he has earned in his years with the organisation.<br /> <br /> Indeed, people who keep abreast of international affairs will recall that earlier this year Mr Anibal Cavaco Silva, the former Portuguese president, was reported by Agence France Press as saying that the legacy Mr Guterres left at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which he headed from 2005 to 2015, meant that &ldquo;today he is a respected voice and all the world listens to him&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Mr Guterres, the former prime minister of Portugal, was confirmed in the position yesterday after a formal vote and is scheduled to take over from Mr Ban Ki-moon early next year.<br /> <br /> According to Ms Samantha Power, the United States representative to the UN, the secret ballot process on Wednesday was remarkably uncontroversial.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In the end, there was just a candidate whose experience, vision, and versatility across a range of areas proved compelling,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;People united around a person who impressed throughout the process.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> That, we believe, is most important, because Mr Guterres is going into the chair at a time when the world is weighted by conflicts and a refugee crisis that has overwhelmed governments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.<br /> <br /> In fact, the UNHCR&rsquo;s Global Trends 2015 data show that 65.3 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes worldwide. They include 21.3 million refugees, more than half of whom are not yet 18 years old.<br /> <br /> The refugee agency also reported a total of 10 million stateless people &mdash; people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights including education, health care, employment, and freedom of movement.<br /> <br /> Equally frightening is the UNHCR&rsquo;s pronouncement that &ldquo;34,000 people are forcibly displaced every day as a result of conflict or persecution&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> The problem is exacerbated by the fact that only a few countries are accommodating refugees. In fact, just this week Amnesty International accused wealthy countries of leaving poorer nations to bear the brunt of the crisis as only 10 countries &mdash; all of which are in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia &mdash; are hosting more than half the world&rsquo;s refugees.<br /> <br /> According to the rights group, inadequate conditions in the main countries of shelter are pushing many refugees to embark on dangerous journeys to Europe and Australia. <br /> <br /> People who know Mr Guterres have said that he is highly skilled in the art of diplomacy. He will need all that skill to deal with this dilemma, as well as with protracted conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and parts of Europe.<br /> <br /> The position of UN secretary general is said to be regarded as the most impossible job in the world. Our hope is that Mr Guterres will not only succeed, but that the world&rsquo;s leaders and diplomats will fully support his efforts to make our planet a better place. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13334660/gueterres_w300.jpg Editorial Friday, October 07, 2016 12:00 AM The sad state of Venezuela http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/The-sad-state-of-Venezuela_76286 News emerging from Venezuela that people who buy too much food are being arrested is a stark indication of the severe erosion of that country&rsquo;s economy over the past three years at least.<br /> <br /> This shocking development follows on bloody food riots earlier this year triggered by severe shortages and made worse by the Government&rsquo;s system of price controls and consumer regulations.<br /> <br /> The Administration, we are told, has also resorted to the use of fingerprint scanners to prevent Venezuelans from exceeding food purchase limits.<br /> <br /> And, as if all that was not bad enough, the Washington Post recently reported Venezuelan human rights group, Movimiento Vinotinto as saying that so far this year the Government has arrested or detained just over 9,000 people for allegedly breaking laws against hoarding, reselling goods, or attempting to stand in lines outside normal store hours.<br /> <br /> The<br /> <br /> Washington Post also reported another rights group, Provea, as saying that more than 1,000 people were rounded up by soldiers last year and arrested for what is now a banned practice &mdash; waiting in lines overnight for groceries.<br /> <br /> That is a most repressive reaction to people&rsquo;s quest to access basic necessities and represents panic, rather than rational thought.<br /> <br /> With inflation well over 400 per cent, a negative growth rate and unemployment at about 17 per cent, according to International Monetary Fund data, it does not appear that the Venezuelan economy will soon recover from what must be its worst crisis ever.<br /> <br /> It is painful to watch the deterioration of a country that once had a thriving economy and, which, by virtue of that, sought to help other nations, most notably through the PetroCaribe arrangement.<br /> <br /> What is even more heartbreaking is that President Nicolas Maduro and his supporters have their collective head in the sand, as they are blaming the United States, the Venezuelan Opposition and right-wing business operators for this crisis.<br /> <br /> To be fair to Mr Maduro, he inherited this mess from his mentor, President Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013 after ruling Venezuela with an iron fist from 1999.<br /> <br /> Indeed, President Chavez used oil money and foreign debt to fuel consumption and went on a campaign of nationalising private companies &mdash; more than 1,000 we are told &mdash; that his Government regarded as not working in the interest of the Venezuelan public.<br /> <br /> But President Maduro, blinkered by his loyalty to Mr Chavez, has added to the problem, and his policies have taken Venezuela to the sad place it is today.<br /> <br /> Surely, the people of this great country, which has the largest oil reserves in the world, deserve much better than this.<br /> <br /> The question is: Do they have the will and stamina to continue opposing the Government and the State institutions that support it?<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13333124/232469_59626_repro_w300.jpg Editorial Thursday, October 06, 2016 12:00 AM Preparing for a hurricane: Damned if you do, more damned if you don&rsquo;t http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/Preparing-for-a-hurricane--Damned-if-you-do--more-damned-if-you-don-t_76171 Not unexpectedly, many Jamaicans have complained about preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Matthew only for it not to become the desaster expected. The number of people who make this complaint appears to be increasing after each hurricane that spares the island.<br /> <br /> What also seems to be increasing is the number of Jamaicans who are refusing to evacuate their homes in flood-prone areas &ndash; notably Port Royal, various fishing villages, and Caribbean Terrace in Harbour View &mdash; despite being strongly advised to do so by the relevant authorities.<br /> <br /> With each hurricane that threatens the island, but subsequently moves on without leaving any appreciable damage, certain persons become more adamant that they should trust their own feelings, usually that the hurricane will not hit Jamaica.<br /> <br /> The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and the disaster relief agencies cannot listen to these people, as a country cannot be run on people&rsquo;s feelings &mdash; even if they prove to be right from time to time. Many people similarly felt that hurricanes Gilbert and Ivan, in 1988 and 2005, would not have arrived.<br /> <br /> It is extremely necessary to continue the education of the population that it is critical to prepare for disasters such as hurricanes, and that is better to be safe than sorry. We have proven time and again that the more prepared a country is, the less damage and loss of lives experienced, and the quicker the post-disaster recovery.<br /> <br /> We are aware that in the preparations people are forced to spend money they &lsquo;did not have&rsquo; on emergency supplies, and can be very inconvenienced having to stay in uncomfortable shelters. We also believe that those who argue that evacuation leaves their home or property vulnerable to thieves, and that shelters are often not secured from people preying on their children, have a serious point that should be heard.<br /> <br /> It is not sufficient to argue that if they wish to live, they should be willing to abandon their homes and belongings. Those wo have never had to run to a shelter would never fully understand. After a hurricane, many people&rsquo;s lives are upended, and it can take a long time to get back on their feet, notably fishermen. This will always weigh heavily on the mind.<br /> <br /> We have very limited resources; however, every effort has to be made to secure the communities from which people have to relocate in times of disaster. We can see no reason why the military cannot be deployed to support the Jamaica Constabulary Force to patrol vulnerable communities and hurricane shelters.<br /> <br /> So far, the Government has not had to invoke legislation to forcibly evacuate people from the danger of hurricanes; however, if more and more people become resistant to the idea, the prime minister could find himself having to give such orders, to save lives.<br /> <br /> They key is to work towards having a very disaster-ready population. The authorities have to do whatever is necessary, knowing that they are damned if they do and damned if they don&rsquo;t, perhaps more damned if they don&rsquo;t.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13333389/Hurricane_w300.jpg Editorial Wednesday, October 05, 2016 12:00 AM Anti-globalisation feeling growing stronger http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/Anti-globalisation-feeling-growing-stronger_76056 Globalisation entails reduction and/or elimination of national barriers to the global movement of goods, services, technology, and capital.<br /> <br /> The first great wave of globalisation ended with World War I and then the Great Depression. The second great wave started after the implosion of the Soviet Union and the subsequent collapse of communist economic regimes. Today the current phase of globalisation is stalling because of its own internal problems, such as growing inequality among countries and intrusiveness in the sovereignty of nation states.<br /> <br /> There were always individuals, groups and institutions that were apprehensive about the rising tide of globalisation which swept across the world with increasing intensity, engulfing all aspects of international and national economic transactions.<br /> <br /> The cause was both real and imagined, born of empirical observation and fear of the new and unknown. Some were swept along by the tide of globalisation, and others had their fears assuaged by the outpouring of rhetoric of the apostles of neo-classical economics based on the fundamentalist belief in the free market.<br /> <br /> Aided and abetted by multinational corporations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the majority of the economics profession, they made anyone who questioned the professed benefits of globalisation appear stupid, backward and insular.<br /> <br /> On the other hand, examples of success in the globalised world economy &mdash; mainly China and other Asian economies &mdash; were held up as what was possible for every country.<br /> <br /> The current anti-globalisation movement is so vocal and international in its ambit that the world community is taking the need to redact the process of globalisation and provide for a more equitable and inclusive distribution of the benefits seriously. This is now a dominant and recurring theme in the recent G-20 meeting, the General Assembly of the United Nations, and the upcoming IMF/World Bank meetings in October.<br /> <br /> The reasons globalisation has not delivered the promised benefits are:<br /> <br /> First, there cannot be equal opportunity in a global market which is based on one set of rules for all countries &mdash; developed, developing, least developed, and underdeveloped. In such a context the developed countries and multinational corporations garner a disproportionate share of the benefits.<br /> <br /> Second, this is so because there is no global/multilateral governance framework to regulate the global market and unfortunately unregulated markets periodically have crisis most evident in commodity markets and in stock exchanges.<br /> <br /> Third,<br /> <br /> there<br /> <br /> is<br /> <br /> no<br /> <br /> institutional<br /> <br /> structure<br /> <br /> for<br /> <br /> global<br /> <br /> governance<br /> <br /> because<br /> <br /> the<br /> <br /> rich<br /> <br /> developed<br /> <br /> countries,<br /> <br /> supplemented<br /> <br /> by<br /> <br /> China<br /> <br /> and<br /> <br /> Russia,<br /> <br /> do<br /> <br /> not<br /> <br /> want<br /> <br /> to<br /> <br /> democratise<br /> <br /> the<br /> <br /> power<br /> <br /> structure<br /> <br /> which<br /> <br /> they<br /> <br /> dominate.<br /> <br /> What is different this time around and is new to international issues is that it is not the rich versus the poor or the developed versus the developing or the &ldquo;North&rdquo; versus the &ldquo;South&rdquo;, but the disadvantaged in both the developed countries and the developing countries.<br /> <br /> Now there is a constituency in the developed countries demanding change in globalisation. Could the anti-globalisation movement develop sufficient traction and critical political mass to force a modification of globalisation to make it more humane, more equitable, more inclusive, and more democratic?<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12012139/world_w300.jpg Editorial Tuesday, October 04, 2016 12:00 AM Let&rsquo;s hear about this CCRIF matter http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/Let-s-hear-about-this-CCRIF-matter_75877 Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie and his predecessor Mr Noel Arscott have raised the issue of the policy Jamaica holds with the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF).<br /> <br /> Mr Arscott, the Opposition spokesman on local government, questioned the relevance of Jamaica&rsquo;s payments to the CCRIF at an emergency meeting with Members of Parliament and heads of relevant agencies at the Office of the Prime Minister last Thursday night.<br /> <br /> Jamaica, he argued, has not benefited from the insurance, despite being hit by hurricanes which have caused significant damage over the years.<br /> <br /> Mr Arscott&rsquo;s concern was shared by Minister McKenzie, who stated that he had taken the matter to Cabinet and that the executive has asked former Prime Minister Bruce Golding to include it in the discussions of the Caricom Review Committee that Mr Golding heads.<br /> <br /> Jamaica has been a member of the CCRIF since its inception in 2007 and, as such, has paid US$500 million so far to the facility owned and operated by Caribbean governments, and which is designed to limit the financial impact of catastrophic hurricanes and earthquakes to regional administrations by quickly providing short-term liquidity when a parametric insurance policy is triggered.<br /> <br /> Most notably, in the 2014/2015 year, the CCRIF was restructured into a segregated portfolio company in order that it could offer new products, such as that for damage due to excess rainfall.<br /> <br /> Mr McKenzie has pointedly stated that he is opposed to Jamaica&rsquo;s participation in the facility. In fact, he has vowed to &ldquo;do everything that is humanly possible&rdquo; to pull Jamaica out of the agreement, because the country, he insisted, is not benefiting from it.<br /> <br /> Once you get past his hysterics that Jamaica would not benefit from an event like the 1907 earthquake, or for a payout after &ldquo;the major hurricanes that we have had over the last few years that would have made us eligible&rdquo;, the question Mr McKenzie, and indeed Mr Arscott need to ask is why?<br /> <br /> In its 2014/2015 annual report, the CCRIF, told us that for the period 2007 to 2015 it paid out a total of US$38 million to eight member countries. In the year 2014, it made four payouts totalling approximately US$3.4 million to three member governments &ndash; Anguilla, Barbados, and St Vincent & the Grenadines &ndash; on their excess rainfall policies. Those three Caribbean states are among eight that have purchased excess rainfall coverage. Jamaica is not among the eight.<br /> <br /> According to the CCRIF it has been prompt in making payments after episodes of natural disasters. In fact, the facility has stated that all payments were made within 14 days.<br /> <br /> If it is that Jamaica submitted claims in the past and they were not honoured, the CCRIF, and indeed our Government, should provide the country with the reason or reasons behind such a decision.<br /> <br /> If, though, Jamaica has not sought to access the fund, then Messrs Arscott and McKenzie will have to eat crow. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/9761658/hurricane-system_w300.jpg Editorial Monday, October 03, 2016 12:00 AM