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 On a point of principle http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/On-a-point-of-principle_65204 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> A few weeks ago that terrible massacre in Orlando, Florida, sent shock waves across the globe. The Government of Jamaica expressed its sympathy as it condemned the barbaric act. The mourning period in Jamaica was also marked by the US Embassy in Kingston flying the American flag at half mast.<br /> <br /> The rainbow flag accompanied the nation&rsquo;s flag at half mast on the diplomatic space. A responsible citizen, Marlene Malahoo-Forte, after her deep thoughts of sympathy and condemnation of the barbarism, expressed her criticism of the flying of the rainbow flag. The act became almost a David and Goliath-type situation, except that David was not celebrated. She was pounced upon without mercy or respect. The focus was that she was insensitive. Apparently, many of her detractors may not have read her statement on the matter.<br /> <br /> One critic argued that she is the attorney general and she lacked knowledge about the US&rsquo;s rights on embassy property. Not so quickly, Cowboy! The US has its right, but not an absolute right. The issue addressed by Malahoo-Forte on the rainbow flag was made on a point of principle. This act by the US contravened the rules and principles in the Vienna Convention that administers and guides such matters.<br /> <br /> The rainbow flag is a political, and not a diplomatic flag. Having sympathy is one thing, breaking the international diplomatic rule is another matter. What is the basis of this principle critical of the half mast rainbow flag within a territory that has laws contrary to the rainbow idea?<br /> <br /> Article 29 of the Vienna Convention of 24 April 1963 governs the use of national flags. It reads, &ldquo;When exercising the right granted by this article, the laws of the receiving State (Jamaica) shall be taken into consideration.&rdquo; The US did not consider the law of Jamaica, making its action political.<br /> <br /> There is a tradition in this country that speaking up is a crime; bright and forward-thinking people are crucified for their view as if we are still under colonialism. It was not silence that took us off the plantations.<br /> <br /> The attorney general was sharp in her thinking on this matter. We must encourage the contention of ideas and reasonable discussions in response. The related sympathy and political tribal factors may have influenced many opponents of Malahoo-Forte. Her detractors lacked reasonableness in their views. It is time we, in Jamaica, begin to see and discuss issues for what they are and not just how they relate to the political tribe.<br /> <br /> This flag controversy is a serious issue. It is a matter for the Government to examine. In the meantime, the attorney general can hold her head high. In the end, it was David that prevailed.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Louis EA Moyston,<br /> <br /> Kingston 8<br /> <br /> thearchives01@yahoo.com http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13069208/MARLENE-MALAHOO-FORTE-1_w400_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, June 27, 2016 12:00 AM US Democrats using immigrants http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/US-Democrats-using-immigrants_65205 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Jamaica is the land of misinformation and this will go down as yet another piece of &lsquo;goobledygook&rsquo; dumped on gullible people.<br /> <br /> The US is a sovereign country, and trying to influence the election by suggesting that immigrants should vote for the Democrats is complete buffoonery. The Democrats controlled both chambers of the Government during the 2008 election and did nothing to address immigration reform.<br /> <br /> The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has used immigrants, especially Blacks and Hispanics, to advance their agenda, and to suggest that immigrants should vote Democrat as a way to bring about change is out of step with reality. Perhaps we should look at ideology when it comes to immigrants choosing which party to vote for.<br /> <br /> How can Conservative immigrants that support the free market capitalist economy support the DNC and their ideology that leans to the left of what their core beliefs symbolise? Supporters of the Jamaica Labour Party and other parties that loathe leftist ideologies must understand that the DNC is just another narcissistic leftist movement designed to fool them. Unless you are a socialist or a nomad looking for government handouts, a vote for the DNC is your best option.<br /> <br /> Whereas &mdash; when it comes to immigration reform &mdash; it is the duty of both parties to discuss and pass legislation that can effect meaningful change to a broken system, no one is against legal immigration. What the DNC is selling to immigrants is false utopian propaganda and reckless ideologies.<br /> <br /> The US Supreme court dealt a severe blow to President Barack Obama&rsquo;s unilateral amnesty. Congress is the only body that can bring about change and voting for the DNC is yet another deception. <br /> <br /> Byron Malcolm <br /> <br /> Boca Raton, USA<br /> <br /> bgmgmaj@gmail.com http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13101083/212299__w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, June 27, 2016 12:00 AM Silly expressions http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Silly-expressions_64936 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> They were apparently arguing about the unlikelihood of the Cleveland Cavaliers winning Game 7. The one guy trotted out all the known reasons why. No team in basketball history had come back from a three game deficit to win, there had been no overall victory for any sports team from the area in over 50 years, etc, etc. The other fellow agreed but as a parting shot said, &ldquo;Just remember the ball is round.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> I smiled mischievously as I heard that and took note of the critical determining factor for a possible win; the ball is round. Not simply spherical or of any other shape, but round. I dared not intrude in their friendly dialogue with my weird thought, but I was strongly tempted to ask what difference the shape of the ball made to a team&rsquo;s chances of winning. My reluctance to butt in was not simply because I did not know the guys and this was on the outskirts of Orlando, not Jamaica, but more so because we all (or most of us) use, without serious thought, these silly expressions.<br /> <br /> Well, the ball must have been extra round Sunday night when the Cavaliers created history by winning the coveted trophy and breaking the 50-year jinx.<br /> <br /> I recall coming home from a ministry visit to St Thomas, US Virgin Islands, and with excitement told my wife that I saw there a shelter for battered men. In disbelief she asked me if I was sure and I replied, stupidly: &ldquo;Baby, I saw it with my own two eyes.&rdquo; She smilingly retorted, &ldquo;With whose eyes can you see but your own?&rdquo; I laughed at myself and moved on to something else. You must have used or heard the &lsquo;own two ears&rsquo; equivalent.<br /> <br /> You may have said it or heard it. A man batters another with a piece of lumber and a witness reports that the victim was beaten &ldquo;within an inch of his life&rdquo;. Note, not within two or three inches, but an inch. Does that really make it closer to death, as measured/determined by whom? And come to think of it what does &lsquo;within an inch of your life&rsquo; really mean?<br /> <br /> In church, worship leaders often say, &ldquo;Let&rsquo;s stand on our feet and sing&hellip;&rdquo; Though possible I guess they are ruling out a hand-stand while singing. Then in common parlance we hear of &lsquo;mouth lip&rsquo;, &lsquo;hand elbow&rsquo; and numerous other not so sensible expressions.<br /> <br /> I guess silly language habits die hard too.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Clinton Chisholm<br /> <br /> clintchis@yahoo.com http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13083366/210761__w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, June 27, 2016 12:00 AM Putting lipstick on a pig http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Putting-lipstick-on-a-pig_64937 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Millions of dollars was used to employ experts to propose the south coast highway. The people of the parish of St Thomas had waited patiently for this new highway. The experts, a consulting firm recommended by the IDB, did numerous studies and came up with the best fit road alignment considering all environmental and logistical factors. The new highway would be a higher quality roadway than the existing roadway for the future and generations to come.<br /> <br /> The new highway would have brought billions of growth to the underdeveloped parish of St Thomas such as housing, business and, most of all, increase tourism. Ask the NHT when was the last time they designed a housing scheme for St Thomas.<br /> <br /> However, much to the disappointment of the residents of St Thomas, the PM decided to scrap the recommendations of the experts and use the existing alignment and upgrade the existing road, which is tantamount to putting lipstick on a pig.<br /> <br /> The residents of St Thomas use the roads everyday and we are telling you, Mr PM, that we need the new highway, please do not update the existing one. We have waited so long for this development; please do not deprive us of it. If you put lipstick on the pig, guess what, in five more years a new highway has to be built for St Thomas.<br /> <br /> Mr PM, you promised the people transparency, please publish the consulting firm report that recommended the new highway and the report of the experts you used to decide to merely put lipstick on a pig.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13027110/Andrew-Holness--1-_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, June 27, 2016 12:00 AM Don&rsquo;t raise &lsquo;domestic&rsquo; flag abroad http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Don-t-raise--domestic--flag-abroad_64659 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The common slogan of the LGBT community includes, inter alia, a push for equality, to be treated with the same respect and dignity as any other person in the same circumstances. I posit that raising an LGBT rainbow flag in addition to an American flag goes beyond equality, and is overstepping appropriate diplomacy. Further, that raising an LGBT flag in addition to an American flag is a subverting policy tactic built at the expense of and without regard for the lives lost.<br /> <br /> LGBT rights within the US are a domestic issue to be handled at the national level. While everyone has the right to self-identify as they so please, they must understand that that identification is not an international political issue (with inherent political interests to be defended internationally), but a social one to be handled within national borders. This is especially true for LGBT people, whose identity is completely a social construct, where a person can choose whether or not to &ldquo;come out of the closet&rdquo;, and oscillate among any one of the LGBTTIMZQA identities.<br /> <br /> If LGBT Americans feel discriminated against in their own country, they have every right to lobby and express their discontent at home, within their country&rsquo;s borders, on a domestic/national scale. But the moment these issues are raised in a diplomatic setting outside of America these LGBT Americans should only been treated as American citizens, whose dignity and interests should be furthered only to the extent that they are American citizens (irrespective of their sexual choices).<br /> <br /> This is correct diplomatic protocol, and this is aptly expressed by the raising of the American flag half-mast. In deviating from standard diplomatic protocol, the US embassy inappropriately conflated American political interest with LGBT special interests.<br /> <br /> As a diplomatic and political entity, the US Embassy should clean up its LGBT issues (and more urgently, its acute gun violence problem) at home, and not hang its dirty laundry half-mast on the same clothes line as its national flag.<br /> <br /> Leslie Morgan<br /> <br /> morganleslie929@gmail.com<br /> <br /> Local Letters to the Editor Friday, June 24, 2016 2:00 AM Antigua&rsquo;s Vere Bird must be turning in his grave http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Antigua-s-Vere-Bird-must-be-turning-in-his-grave_64914 Dear Editor, <br /> <br /> My big question is this: Are the people of Antigua going to stand idly by and allow Prime Minister Gaston Browne to spoil a good thing?<br /> <br /> Sandals is the best thing that the island has going for it. But if Browne has his way, all that would go down the drain.<br /> <br /> His unwarranted attack on Sandals shows the man&rsquo;s lack of class and unpreparedness to be leader of a fine country. He knows nothing about diplomacy. He doesn&rsquo;t care that investment agreements signed with previous governments need to be honoured. That includes agreements signed by his own Government. Which investor is going to want to sign anything with him now?<br /> <br /> Browne epitomises the crab-in-a-barrel mentality that is pervasive in the smaller islands. He is lucky that &ldquo;Butch&rdquo; Stewart is not like most of us who would take up lock, stock and barrel and leave.<br /> <br /> The late Antigua Labour Party founder, Vere Bird, must be turning in his grave to see what his party has come to under Gaston Browne.<br /> <br /> Mandy Jones<br /> <br /> Miami, Florida<br /> <br /> Local Letters to the Editor Friday, June 24, 2016 2:00 AM Let there be light... at what cost? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Let-there-be-light----at-what-cost-_64917 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> My heart was warmed and my spirits lifted when I saw the recent story headlined, &lsquo;$1.5 billion initiative to provide electricity for 25 communities&rsquo;. As one moves around our island, while most of our heavily populated town centres have the benefit of being on a relatively reliable electric utility grid, far too many villages and hamlets are without access to the precious commodity. After all, poor people and those who live in rural areas, some by choice and some due to extenuating circumstances, also need legitimate access to a reliable electric power supply.<br /> <br /> So when one gets to the story behind the headlines, there is much to celebrate. However, I offer the following comments and caution.<br /> <br /> It is good to provide new customers with access to electrification and, as the story makes clear, the project is being pursued under the Street Lighting, Installations, Loss Reduction and Community Renewal Initiative of the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Telecommunications. However, the cost of provisioning of public street lighting falls under the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development. It is not lost on us that recent publicly reported stories point to the local government ministry contending with over $3 billion owing to Jamaica Public Service (JPS) from street lights alone.<br /> <br /> So here we have two separate ministries touching a project, and with a poor track record in terms of expense management. For sure, this abominable state of affairs ought not to detain this new push at rural electrification. Rather, it demands that there be proper and effective co-ordination and collaboration between the ministries, the local government operatives, the JPS, and community stakeholders to ensure that the new and additional street lights brought on board do not add to the huge bill owing to the JPS.<br /> <br /> As the project will not be implemented instantaneously, it would be good to have the Ministry of Local Government demonstrate that it is already reducing the amount owed rather than having the liability increase, and the public should be made aware of the effective steps being taken to identify street lamps that are blazing during the daylight hours, and that there is an implemented project or process to have them turned off in the day or otherwise economically and efficiently regulated.<br /> <br /> Christopher Pryce<br /> <br /> christopherjmpryce@yahoo.com Letters to the Editor Friday, June 24, 2016 2:00 AM St Thomas getting a raw deal http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/St-Thomas-getting-a-raw-deal_64892 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I was born and raised, attended high school, and even worked as a police constable in the parish of St Thomas, so my knowledge regarding the economic development and other happenings that occurred within the parish dates back to the 1970s.<br /> <br /> Because I have studied the history of the parish, I believe that the marginalisation of St Thomas after the Morant Bay Rebellion, and the continuation of this by subsequent governments have led to the parish being the least developed.<br /> <br /> It was the last parish to know that slavery had been abolished, the last to receive a high school, the last to receive any major highway development, and it appears that it is at the bottom of the economic ladder when compared to the other parishes.<br /> <br /> The two major economic earners are the Serge Island Dairies, which maintains a large cattle ranch and produces its own commercial milk, and the Golden Grove Sugar Factory that still produces sugar.<br /> <br /> Despite the fact that the parish is untapped and poised for road, infrastructure and other developments it has a high rate of illiteracy among the people, and politics appears to play a major role in most decisions that affect the populace. A Youth Information Centre that has been scheduled to be built since 2009 is yet to materialise, while others in St Mary, St Catherine, St James, and St Mary have been completed and have become fully operational.<br /> <br /> At present, the topic of discussion among the people and Government is the construction of the east coast leg of the national highway project; it is slated to run from Harbour View to Port Antonio. The former People&rsquo;s National Party (PNP) Administration had allocated the funds for the development and the resurfacing of roads within the parish. But based on voters&rsquo; decision, the PNP lost the recent general election and the Jamaica Labour Party has come to power. It is now shocking to people, including the two sitting Members of Parliament for the parish, that a portion of the money will be spent elsewhere and the construction or repair of the roads will be done by the National Works Agency, instead of overseas engineers and contractors that repaired or constructed roads in the other parishes as part of the highway project.<br /> <br /> Though I am a concerned resident of St Thomas, I am not in a position to determine how the money should be spent, and I am not too intrigued with the highway syndrome due to a series of issues and obstacles.<br /> <br /> I totally disagree with the National Works Agency doing the job for the reason that the agency lacks the expertise and equipment to fully complete the mission at the highway standard we have seen, plus officials are likely to pass on the job to subcontractors, even less able, and people are aware of what might happen thereafter.<br /> <br /> I agree that St Thomas is very hilly with rugged terrains, and the coastal area between Yallahs and Hector&rsquo;s River is made up of some swampy wetlands, so a careful assessment must be taken during the engineering and implementation process. But to not give the area the propsed highway treatment is a sad idea.<br /> <br /> A question that is worth asking though is that: If the PNP Administration was still in power would the money be divided to be used elsewhere out of the parish? I believe that is an issue for a &lsquo;fact finder&rsquo; or &lsquo;truth-seeker&rsquo; to decide, but the people of St Thomas have been given a raw deal once again. But let us wait and see the outcome of this partisan battle.<br /> <br /> Charlie Brown<br /> <br /> charliebrown1004@gmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12956671/202821__w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Friday, June 24, 2016 2:00 AM AG&rsquo;s tweet maelstrom http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/AG-s-tweet-maelstrom_64596 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I am extremely hurt, upset and embarrassed by the recent nonsense spouted by the Attorney General Marlene Mahaloo Forte, who clearly has no sense of what is appropriate, quite apart from displaying her ignorance. Who has given her the right to tell a grieving people how to mourn or how to show their respect in their own premises, especially when no one else is being hurt by it?<br /> <br /> I am also not surprised that she does not have the courage to offer a proper apology, instead wishing to blame us for &ldquo;misconstruing&rdquo; her statement as if we are too dim to understand what she meant. There was nothing to misconstrue, and if one so placed is bold enough to use social media to air one&rsquo;s views to the whole wide world, one should be bold enough to apologise.<br /> <br /> I am saddened by the fact that people who have had the benefit of education are still fanning the flames of intolerance and bigotry in Jamaica under the cover of being Christian, demanding that everyone should follow their particular religious beliefs. How hard is it for people to understand that Jamaica is not a theocracy and that they should not be behaving like the Taliban?<br /> <br /> We are aware that intolerance against gays and lesbians in Jamaica has long reached the point where some singers openly sing about killing gay people. Well, that is exactly what happened in Orlando. Surely any person in a leadership position in Jamaica should have sat up and understood the danger of displaying their bigotry and prejudice in a country where violence is never far from the surface.<br /> <br /> The attorney general and the equally ignorant members of the Lawyers Christian Fellowship need to ask themselves some questions. How hard is it to understand that just as you did not make yourselves heterosexual, the gay person did not make him/herself gay? Do you not sing that God made all creatures great and small? What do you expect a gay person to do to please you? Disappear? Why are you interfering with them or discriminating against them or disapproving of a show of solidarity with them in their hour of deep grief? Who put you in charge of their lives? And parents who have withdrawn their love and protection from their gay children, may I add, if you have not lived long enough to know or appreciate ,that some of the individuals who have contributed mightily and positively to Jamaica have been gay. We sing, &ldquo;Teach us true respect for all&rdquo; in our anthem; what do you think it means?<br /> <br /> I have a simple philosophy that works. If you are not gay and do not wish to have sexual intercourse with someone of your own sex, then do not do so. Simple! Your understanding of God may very well not be theirs, or mine for that matter, but no one has the right to determine how someone else who is not harming others should live his or her life.<br /> <br /> The day we, as Jamaicans, learn to respect different points of view and value each other, despite having differing beliefs, experiences and viewpoints, we will become a more caring, loving and less violent society.<br /> <br /> Beverley J Walrond <br /> <br /> Attorney-at-law<br /> <br /> Barbados<br /> <br /> bev.law@me.com<br /> <br /> Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, June 23, 2016 12:00 AM Looks like Montague and Trump knock heads http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Looks-like-Montague-and-Trump-knock-heads_64777 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Frustrated by the inability to reduce murders especially, then National Security Minister Peter Bunting cried for &ldquo;divine intervention&rdquo;. Today we have a different regime but the same frustrations. <br /> <br /> Robert Montague, the new minister of national security, is offering us guns, but this is what the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, Donald Trump, is offering Americans. Trump&rsquo;s argument, along with that of the National Rifle Association, is that a terrorist with a weapon must be confronted by a law-abiding citizen with a weapon. The problem with that argument is that the United States kills an average of 10,000 people with guns annually; Japan, 39; Germany, France, Canada, the UK and Australia all under 300 per year. There must be a clear link between having so many guns and killing so many people with them. Donald Trump doesn&rsquo;t get it.<br /> <br /> We know the frustration, Minister Montague, because the gunmen have escalated the killings to include tourists and white missionaries. This will affect tourism. And if Canada and the United States start issuing harsher travel advisories, here is where the cookie will crumble. The State has to protect us, and even if we have guns, tourists and visitors don&rsquo;t, therefore the State cannot just issue firearms to locals, we&rsquo;ll have to issue guns to tourists too.<br /> <br /> The good thing is that the Opposition has decided that politics must not play a part in solving this crime problem. But getting Bunting to accept that Christopher &lsquo;Dudus&rsquo; Coke&rsquo;s wicked reign wasn&rsquo;t as influential on overall crime is another thing. We also must remember that the initial warning given to Dudus that an extradition request had arrived for him must mean that people expected that he would call names. Coke, the coward that he is, who ran out of Tivoli dressed in female paraphernalia, has not called anyone&rsquo;s name to date. The brave thing that he could have done, which would have raised our respect for him, is to confess the names of all the politicians who assisted him to be the &lsquo;don&rsquo; he ended up being. If he had appeared before the Tivoli Enquiry and called names he would have been a credible witness, but I guess that was too much to expect. <br /> <br /> Mark Clarke<br /> <br /> Siloah PO, St Elizabeth<br /> <br /> mark_clarke9@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13089353/211270__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12849439/196571_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, June 23, 2016 12:00 AM Peter Phillips is on a witch-hunt http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Peter-Phillips-is-on-a-witch-hunt_64720 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> It is obvious that Dr Peter Phillips has not learned from the surprise loss at the polls on February 25. He seems quite ignorant of the findings of the Julian Robinson committee&rsquo;s report, which suggests that the People&rsquo;s National Party (PNP) loss was, in part, because of there refusal to engage in pre-election debates.<br /> <br /> Phillips&rsquo;s overwhelming focus on the finances of Prime Minister Andrew Holness, taking the electorate for granted by foolishly assuming that Jamaica is &ldquo;PNP country&rdquo; is why we are here again.<br /> <br /> Holness has declared his financial history with supporting records and Dr Phillips is still saying that this not enough. Like seriously, Dr Phillips? It is appearing like a witch-hunt is in the making.<br /> <br /> Answer these questions, Dr Phillips: Did you release your financial records when you were finance minister? Has the former prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller, made public her financial records?<br /> <br /> The PNP has been in power for 25 out of the last 29 years; apart from P J Patterson, which other of the former PNP officials has publicly declared their assets?<br /> <br /> Various integrity groups have applauded Robinson and Holness for stepping up to the plate, as big men, and declaring their assets. These men represent a new generation of Jamaican politicians. Politicians that will get my vote any day. Can&rsquo;t say the same for you, though, Dr Phillips, as your utterances reek of hypocrisy, and one-upmanship.<br /> <br /> The PNP is definitely in need of renewal.<br /> <br /> Phillip Harrison<br /> <br /> Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine<br /> <br /> phbravo2@gmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12971599/Peter-Phillips-Budget-2_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, June 23, 2016 12:00 AM Men and child maintenance http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Men-and-child-maintenance_64599 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Not working, Your Honour,&rdquo; is the chorus to the song sung by fathers in the family courts across the island daily.<br /> <br /> The irresponsible behaviour of delinquent fathers has forced struggling mothers to seek alternative support from other men, or find the nearest family court in tears.<br /> <br /> The men, after they are served with summonses and taken before a magistrate, seek out the easiest escape (defence) than to pay child maintenance.<br /> <br /> The mothers are shocked when the men, instead of agreeing to the maintenance of a meagre $3,000 per week, opt to request for a declaration of paternity (DNA). The situation gets further frustrating when the DNA test result is read six months later declaring the man as the father, and he reaches for the refrain, &ldquo;Not working, Your Honour.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Mothers lament the creative strategies they have to employ to provide for their children without any support from their fathers for the last &ldquo;x&rdquo; years, and now all they hear is, &ldquo;Not working, Your Honour,&rdquo; or &ldquo;l have four other children.&rdquo; This makes mothers&rsquo; hearts harden.<br /> <br /> This brings into sharp focus the reason Mother&rsquo;s Day is lauded. Too many women are forced to become independent to provide for their children. It starts with the cost of formula to tuition fees. Father not there to be a contributor, mother gets all the praise.<br /> <br /> The harsh reality is that it takes cash to care, and &lsquo;not working&rsquo; does not exclude the responsibility of fathers to assist in providing the minimum 21 meals that a child will consume per week.<br /> <br /> The irony of the situation is that delinquent fathers often reap the rewards of mothers&rsquo; blood, sweat and tears after the children have passed the worst.<br /> <br /> It is really sad that after mutual consent by a man and a woman to bring forth an offspring, it needs the law to compel the father to maintain his child. It is only fair men that if you cannot afford or not willing to maintain a child, then you should choose the cheaper option of abstinence or protection, which can be had for free at health centres.<br /> <br /> Fathers be fair and show financial care.<br /> <br /> Hezekan Bolton<br /> <br /> h_e_z_e@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10857987/MoneyStack-sld_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, June 23, 2016 12:00 AM Antiguan PM can&rsquo;t walk in &lsquo;Butch&rsquo; Stewart&rsquo;s shoes http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Antiguan-PM-can-t-walk-in--Butch--Stewart-s-shoes_64699 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> As a Jamaican living in St John&rsquo;s, Antigua, it was really heart-rending to hear the Prime Minister Gaston Browne on ABS radio and television accusing Sandals of keeping sales tax that belongs to the country for itself.<br /> <br /> We the Jamaicans who live here are very proud of the vast economic benefits that this island reaps from the operations of Sandals&rsquo; hotel. We are also very proud of &lsquo;Butch&rsquo; Stewart, who is a man of immeasurable integrity who gets genuine satisfaction from seeing people making a productive life from his work.<br /> <br /> A newspaper here once carried an article saying that Antigua was the first country outside of Jamaica to get a Sandals hotel in 1992. This is the beautiful story that PM Browne is trying to muddy. The newspaper article said Sandals Antigua was the largest private sector earner of foreign exchange in the island, as well as the largest employer, the biggest taxpayer, and that the resort that brings in the largest number of tourists, attracts most flights, and promotes the island even more than the Government.<br /> <br /> If Gaston Browne had any understanding of diplomacy, he would know that it is bad manners to accuse the country&rsquo;s largest contributor to its economy of withholding government money and he did so while admitting that Sandals had an agreement with the previous Government.<br /> <br /> PM Browne has no class or he would not be playing politics with the life and livelihood of his people who depend on tourism for most of their earnings. He breaks off the agreement with an investor, thus sending a signal to all investors that they cannot trust any Antiguan Government. This is one man who needs to go back to school.<br /> <br /> On behalf of the Jamaicans here, let me assure him that he cannot walk in &lsquo;Butch&rsquo; Stewart&rsquo;s shoes. We believe he is an example of the best that Jamaica offers to the region and the world and Gaston Browne is way out of his league.<br /> <br /> Richard Pell<br /> <br /> St John&rsquo;s<br /> <br /> Antigua<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13089356/196492__w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Wednesday, June 22, 2016 12:00 AM Good move Andrew; Portia, your time now http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Good-move-Andrew--Portia--your-time-now_64663 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The National Democratic Movement (NDM) commends Prime Minister Andrew Holness for publishing his financials from before he became a minister to date. All his other ministers should do the same.<br /> <br /> We also commend former minister Julian Robinson for publishing his financials too.<br /> <br /> We call on the Leader of the Opposition Portia Simpson Miller to declare her assets and also that of all her former ministers. We observe former Minister Damion Crawford building his own &lsquo;big house&rsquo; and call for his assets to be published also.<br /> <br /> The NDM is very concerned that the People&rsquo;s National Party, and in particular former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, continues to hide behind legal gymnastics, undue influence, and unnecessary public privileges to claim special court treatment because of her former status in her dealings with the Trafigura affair. Innocence needs no hiding place.<br /> <br /> The NDM now makes another call on Prime Minister Andrew Holness to immediately bring his company back to Jamaica and pay all Jamaican taxes and fees as all other patriotic Jamaicans citizens have to do. <br /> <br /> Michael Williams<br /> <br /> Chairman<br /> <br /> National Democratic Movement <br /> <br /> ndmjamaica@yahoo.com <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13018121/206667__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12524149/177416__w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Wednesday, June 22, 2016 12:00 AM Real men make Father&rsquo;s Day truly great http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Real-men-make-Father-s-Day-truly-great_64603 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> It is believed by many that the love of a father is one of life&rsquo;s greatest masterpieces. It is also posited that a good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in society.<br /> <br /> On both accounts, I unequivocally plead guilty, for I, too, am an accomplice to those views. We all &mdash; whether admittingly or unadmittingly &mdash; hungrily crave the acceptance, love and respect of our patriarchs.<br /> <br /> The bond between a father and his child is, arguably, as important as that of an offspring and its mother. Some may even contend that the relationship shared with one&rsquo;s dad has an even greater influence on the life and psyche of an individual.<br /> <br /> There is no denying the worth of a good father. There are fewer more valuable things that a human can possess. A father who is emotionally available and physically present for his child can perform wonders for that individual&rsquo;s self-worth, self-belief, and overall existence. A good father provides a sense of stability, whether psychological, financially, emotionally, or otherwise. He protects his young and in him safety and security are assured.<br /> <br /> Becoming a father is easy. The real challenge lies in being an active participant in that role. Our society will become a much better place if and when more men become involved in guiding and upbringing their kids.<br /> <br /> Kudos to all the dads &ndash; including mine &mdash; that genuinely accept and take on that mantle; you guys are true champions! I implore all Jamaican fathers to work diligently in their role and so that Father&rsquo;s Day can earn as much celebration and fanfare as Mother&rsquo;s Day.<br /> <br /> Every child deserves the love and care of a good father. As the saying goes, &ldquo;Real men take care of their kids.&rdquo; One by one, let us work towards making Jamaica a country of only real men. <br /> <br /> Sunil Reid<br /> <br /> sunil.b.reid@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13085615/210989__w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, June 22, 2016 12:00 AM Why not issue a travel advisory for Orlando, too? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Why-not-issue-a-travel-advisory-for-Orlando--too-_64701 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> It disgusts me to see how quickly countries such as Canada are quick to issue travel advisories to its citizens travelling to Jamaica and her tourism-dependent Caribbean neighbours.<br /> <br /> While I accept we have a problem, and I deeply regret the recent killing of a Canadian national in the western end of the island, I must point out that crime is not unique to Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Consider, for example, the recent mass shooting in Orlando &mdash; a tourism hotspot, attracting vacationers from many countries, including Canada. Why not issue a travel advisory for Orlando, too?<br /> <br /> No P<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13064208/209581__w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Wednesday, June 22, 2016 2:00 AM The nations whose God is the Lord can depend on His protection http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/The-nations-whose-God-is-the-Lord-can-depend-on-His-protection_64660 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Some things in life will cause us to stop and give it our attention. The killing in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people lost their lives and 53 were severely injured was one of them.<br /> <br /> The world is sinking into chaos and the leaders, with their worldly plans, really don&rsquo;t seem to have any answer as to how to get it under control. When one person can walk into a nightclub, with a uniformed police outside, and spend the better part of three hours killing and injuring over a hundred patrons before help finally arrives, shows how easy it is to cripple or cause major disruption to the system.<br /> <br /> One of the frightening things about the Orlando shooter is that one of the leading law enforcement organisations in the world had this person in for two interviews for a possible terrorism activities but were not able to pin him down. <br /> <br /> These things that are happening are bigger than many care to acknowledge, and maybe it is just a matter of time before we see things we did not even imagine. When our nations turn away from the laws of nature and practise things that are unnatural we are inviting the implication of those behaviours on our nations. When we declare prayers as unconstitutional in schools, abortion as a woman&rsquo;s right to chose, and sanction gay unions as marriages by the highest court in the land, the sad truth is that we are looking into the wrong places to solve our problems. The president, governors, mayors, etc, don&rsquo;t have the answer when we lose loved ones to these types of destruction. We are not fighting mere flesh and blood but spiritual wickedness in high places.<br /> <br /> There is an answer, but most people don&rsquo;t want to hear it because it will convict them of unrighteousness. There will be no peace until we recognise that our creator has a plan for our lives and the nations at large. The nations whose God is the Lord can depend on His protection, but those who allow evil to manifest in their lands will only come under the destructive force of unrighteousness. Jesus is the answer for the world today, he is the way, the truth and lifestyle we must follow to have the peace that this world is searching for so desperately.<br /> <br /> Ray G Stennett<br /> <br /> Larchmont, NY<br /> <br /> ray4rs2000@aol.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13081743/210524_w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Wednesday, June 22, 2016 2:00 AM The danger of euphemism http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/The-danger-of-euphemism_64593 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Many, including President Barack Obama, have failed to call a spade a spade in the aftermath of the Orlando gay nightclub mass shooting, and seemingly deliberately.<br /> <br /> Obama referred to Omar Mateen, the deceased shooter, as having been &ldquo;disturbed&rdquo;, but with all due respect to psychotic patients, the man was a psycho.<br /> <br /> Understandably, commentators and officials have to be cautious with assigning blame and labels because of how fragile the case and those relevant to it are, but it is also important that they do not confuse others, like myself, lest we, too, become victims of opportunistic &ldquo;alligator tears&rdquo; or be drawn to self-fulfil the claim that we are imminent perpetrators.<br /> <br /> An actual &ldquo;disturbed&rdquo; person was like me, who, while in college, experienced an attempted physical pass on me by a gay man. In contrast to that Orlando gunman, I did not have any inclination to kill anybody, but I did feel like I wanted to vomit; and because I do not wish nausea on myself, or even worse, I simply stay away from gays, especially the indiscreet ones. Mateen should have done the same.<br /> <br /> Like Mateen, there are those who are bent on getting rid of their &ldquo;problem&rdquo; rather than avoiding it at its various levels. Furthermore, there are so many points of conflict in our increasingly integrating societies that lasting and complete peace seems unachievable.<br /> <br /> We have gays and homophobes, pro-abortion and pro-life, dogmatic Muslims and Christians, racist whites and coloureds, classism and conflicting ideologies. What is worse, and perhaps is the root of the problem, are intra-personal conflicts; skin bleaching comes to mind. Hatred of self and others is being disguised as love; the love for self, for one&rsquo;s beliefs, and even for God. Even divine intervention, which has actually always been viewed by many as being divine &ldquo;interference&rdquo;, would find this situation very challenging.<br /> <br /> Andre O Sheppy<br /> <br /> Norwood, St James<br /> <br /> astrangely@outlook.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13063434/Obama-briefingroom_w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Wednesday, June 22, 2016 12:00 AM Antiguan PM &lsquo;tun up&rsquo; anti-Jamaican feelings, frightens investors http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Antiguan-PM--tun-up--anti-Jamaican-feelings--frightens-investors_64588 Present<br /> <br /> and prospective investors in Antigua and Barbuda must be cringing and having second thoughts after the decision of the Gaston Browne Government to rescind the solemn agreement between Sandals, its largest investor and the previous Baldwin Spencer Government.<br /> <br /> The story in yesterday&rsquo;s<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer newspaper under the headline &lsquo;Sandals responds to defamatory allegations by Antiguan PM&rsquo;, comes as no surprise to me, or other readers who have been watching the anti-Jamaican trend among certain Caribbean countries.<br /> <br /> In fact, similar anti-Jamaican, anti-Sandals actions in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are still fresh in our minds. The Antigua and Barbuda Government is only the latest to attack Sandals, but it is worse than the TCI. Because it has reneged on their Host Country Agreement, sends a dangerous signal to investors on a whole that any agreement signed an Antiguan Government is not worth the paper on which it is written.<br /> <br /> Even the blind can see the deep impact that Sandals has had on the economic and social development of Antigua since it started operations there in 1992, but that has not stopped the prime minister or his Government from maligning the resort chain, without providing any justification for its action.<br /> <br /> No one can convince me that it is not jealousy that is feeding this attack on Sandals. We Jamaicans are not liked by our Caribbean neighbours. I reject the view that it is because of our behaviour in the main. It is a Jamaican vendetta. They envy us because we are the best, as recognised by the rest of the world.<br /> <br /> Butch Stewart has been nothing but beneficial to Antigua being the biggest private sector earner of foreign exchange, the biggest taxpayer, the biggest employer outside of Government, and the most supportive corporate citizen. Still, with all he and Sandals have done, they can&rsquo;t accept him because he is Jamaican.<br /> <br /> The open attack by a prime minister on the biggest private sector contributor to the economy of the country is unprecedented. Prime Minister Browne misled his countrymen that Sandals is not paying any taxes. He presented no supporting evidence, apparently because there is none. Sandals is well known in Antigua and the rest of the Caribbean as being the most prompt taxpayer and has never been accused of being delinquent.<br /> <br /> We have a problem in the Caribbean. It is always easier to treat outsiders better than our own. One would have thought that as members of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) we would have the protection of a family of governments. No such luck. This is further proof that Caricom means little or nothing to the region.<br /> <br /> Sandals Antigua is the flagship hotel of the country. It is the beacon by which Antigua is known globally. The internationally recognised brand has brought millions of tourists from across the world to these tiny islands of the Caribbean. What more can they want of Mr Stewart? <br /> <br /> The question must also be asked: What have Jamaicans done to deserve this treatment in various Caribbean islands? Jamaicans have been the greatest example of the spirit of Caribbean entrepreneurism, as exemplified by the Sandals brand which has transformed the economy of all the islands in which it operates.<br /> <br /> If the Gaston Browne Administration can do this to Sandals, imagine what it will do to lesser investors. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12585314/181546__w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, June 21, 2016 12:00 AM The heat is on... http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/The-heat-is-on---_64590 By SEEbert Robinson Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Are mandatory declarations being bandied about and being recommended to become law a violation of one&rsquo;s fundamental rights and freedoms?<br /> <br /> &ldquo;For those kinds of details to be released to the general public, in my opinion, is quite unnecessary and could be harmful and a possible invasion of the right to privacy,&rdquo; says the executive director of National Integrity Action (NIA), Professor Trevor Munroe.<br /> <br /> The normally fearless, thought Marxist, Professor Munroe seems to have begun to be afraid and nervous that sooner or later Andrew Holness and Julian Robinson will make his position and the NIA redundant because they have moved ahead of him and now have a Holness Robinson Integrity Action (HRIA).<br /> <br /> Jamaicans, Prime Minister Holness having made his 10 years of declarations &mdash; and they are accurate and in keeping with the truth &mdash; has obviously raised the bar to a level that many cannot reach and &ldquo;dem a fret&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> I wonder if Prof is trying to repair the air-conditioning units to cool down the temperature and ease the pressure, frustration, panic, and profuse sweating in these hotter times.<br /> <br /> What will be the survival rate and fallout? And don&rsquo;t forget the courts are there to get injunctions against declarations, eg, they are too invasive and an invasion of privacy a violation of one&rsquo;s fundamental rights and freedoms. (Chapter 3, paragraph 13, subsections (a) and (c) of the Jamaican Constitution, Fundamental Rights and Freedoms would this be applicable?)<br /> <br /> Michael Spence<br /> <br /> Liguanea PO, St Andrew<br /> <br /> micspen2@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13041649/208101__w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Tuesday, June 21, 2016 12:00 AM We have a lot to apologise for http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/We-have-a-lot-to-apologise-for_64591 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Now that the very expensive Tivoli Commission of Enquiry report is in, there is one recommendation that, based on many years of past experience, some of us will find very hard to do: say we are sorry &mdash; as one of the recommendations of the commission is that the State apologises to the people of Tivoli for what happened.<br /> <br /> While I don&rsquo;t believe that the State would really deliberately send its agents to kill innocent people &mdash; if indeed these agents did kill them &mdash; one must understand that the situation that occurred in Tivoli couldn&rsquo;t have resulted in anything but ordinary people being killed. After all, bullets, and apparently bombs, were flying everywhere in a very populated area.<br /> <br /> As such, I really do believe that the State should apologise, not necessarily to the people who acted against the State, but for those who may have died in its attempts to restore control and order. At the very least, the State should apologise for those who may have died because of what its agents may have done.<br /> <br /> However, now that the commission has unwittingly started a season of apologising, I think the State should consider apologising for other things that have made this society so violent. What happened in Tivoli was not as a result of an overnight event. Tivoli, like so many other areas, is a superbly constructed garrison. We all know how these garrisons came about. Many of our politicians, some of whom would like the rest of us to call them honourable, constructed these fiefdoms in an attempt to perpetuate their hold on power.<br /> <br /> These fiefdoms have their own laws, and many times agents of the State find it very difficult to maintain order in them. Many of these garrison-fiefdoms, which our politicians have created, are hotbeds of crime &ndash; and criminals.<br /> <br /> Now, while I do hope that these politicians will apologise, I get the feeling that if they do, they will find it harder than turning the sky green. When our politicians muster up the courage to apologise for what happened in Tivoli a few years ago, assuming that they can even do so, maybe they should also apologise for making our country so saturated with these fiefdoms that, in many respects, they have now lost much control over.<br /> <br /> Some decades ago, the State went on a rampage and inflicted untold injustice, to say the least, on the Rastafarian community. To date, the State has not built up the courage to apologise for that. So, if by some miracle, it does apologise for Tivoli, maybe it may be mature enough to apologise for what it did to the Rastafarians too.<br /> <br /> You know, come to think of it, we are the ones who continually put these politicians in power, and as such we are all, indeed, a very sorry lot, but we can be a less sorry lot if we figure out a way to say sorry.<br /> <br /> Michael A Dingwall<br /> <br /> michael_a_dingwall@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12185615/TivoliEnquiry2_w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Tuesday, June 21, 2016 12:00 AM Why accuse Church of bigotry? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Why-accuse-Church-of-bigotry-_64438 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The Church is being characterised as bigot for upholding the same values which have brought us to this stage of civilisation.<br /> <br /> My question to those who promote and support homosexual conduct is: Is homosexual activity harmful to the individuals who engage in it and to society in general?<br /> <br /> All the evidence at my disposal says it is harmful, so if anyone has evidence to the contrary they are free to present it.<br /> <br /> The only reason they give support to their conduct is that they want to be able to do as they like.<br /> <br /> Since that conduct is harmful, if one finds oneself that inclined, one should seek help to correct the disorder; there are numerous reports of people overcoming the inclination/temptation.<br /> <br /> If someone contracts a disease and seeks to spread it, that would be a criminal act. The same principle should apply to so-called same sex attraction, because it is harmful, that is why the law prohibits its practice in order to protect society.<br /> <br /> It is the Church, through its Christian values and principles, which created the civilisation we enjoy today by initiating public education, university education, health care, human rights, international relations, social justice, economics, and much more.Read How the Catholic Church built western civilization by Thomas Woods. <br /> <br /> The Church is now being accused of bigotry by the beneficiaries of its labour, including some counterfeit reverends, for maintaining the same values which it used to give them the civilised status of which they boast. They are cutting off the limb they are sitting on.<br /> <br /> A James<br /> <br /> alvalj@cwjamaica.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12928664/201085_w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Tuesday, June 21, 2016 12:00 AM Muhammad Ali fought to end http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Muhammad-Ali-fought-to-end_64221 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> It is with a great deal of sadness that we mourn the loss of Muhammad Ali, who passed away on June 3, 2016 at the age of 74. This giant of a man was undoubtedly the greatest heavyweight boxing champion of all times. But he was much more than a master in the ring. He was also a great civil rights advocate who spent his entire life fighting for social justice in America and the rest of the world.<br /> <br /> Born in Louisville, Kentucky, on January 17, 1942, his birth name was Cassius Marcellus Clay. But after he won the heavyweight title by defeating Sonny Liston in 1964, he proudly proclaimed: &ldquo;I am the greatest,&rdquo; and subsequently changed his name to Muhammad Ali based on his new-found Islamic beliefs.<br /> <br /> After his two victories over Liston, he kept on fighting and winning until he was confronted with the greatest fight of his entire life &mdash; the bitter and very controversial fight with the US military establishment. Ali&rsquo;s patriotism was questioned in 1967 when he bluntly refused to enlist in the military service. His refusal was largely based on his religious convictions and his opposition to the Vietnamese war.<br /> <br /> Ali paid a heavy price for being a conscientious objector. He was arrested, convicted and sentenced to five years in prison (which he did not actually serve). However, he was stripped of his heavyweight title and was not allowed to fight in the ring. This was indeed a very stressful and extremely difficult period, but Ali retained his confidence and never lost hope. He fought a very persistent and tenacious legal battle which lasted for almost four years. It was indeed heartening that Ali finally won this fight when the Supreme Court overturned the verdict. This allowed Ali to return to the boxing arena and continued to dazzle the crowds.<br /> <br /> It is to be noted that Ali&rsquo;s resilience, courage and strength were remarkable. His historic and successful fights against George Foreman and Joe Frazier are legendary. And it is to be noted that he became the first boxer to win the world heavyweight title three times. As a heavyweight Ali had an impressive record. It is to be noted that he won 56 bouts and lost only five.<br /> <br /> Ali&rsquo;s fight against social injustice is also legendary. From the outset, his fight during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s is well documented. One only has to look at his 1975 autobiography in which he recorded that he threw away his Olympic gold medal in protest against the overtones of racism in a white restaurant.<br /> <br /> It is sad to say that in 1984 he was medically examined and diagnosed with Parkinson&rsquo;s disease. But as a fighter he did not give up. He tried to cope as best he could.<br /> <br /> It was indeed moving when he lit and held the Olympic torch at Atlanta in 1996. His sheer determination, courage and pride were unparalleled and an inspiration to all onlookers. May his soul rest in peace.<br /> <br /> Rupert Johnson<br /> <br /> Ontario, Canada<br /> <br /> r.b.johnson@sympatico.ca<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13053130/208127__w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, June 20, 2016 12:00 AM Can someone explain the OUR&rsquo;s logic? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Can-someone-explain-the-OUR-s-logic-_64474 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I have been in dialogue with the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) for over one year concerning an entity which is in clear violation of section 4A of the OUR Act.<br /> <br /> Section 4A states, inter alia, that an entity or individual who wishes to provide a prescribed utility service must obtain a licence signed by the minister. This entity has been supplying water in breach of the law and this situation had been brought to the attention of the OUR.<br /> <br /> The OUR has stated that this entity is not licensed by the OUR, therefore, the OUR cannot act against it.<br /> <br /> I am completely bewildered by this assertion.<br /> <br /> Am I to conclude that, in all instances where the law states that a licence is required, all one has to do is to ignore the law and nothing can be done because one is not licensed to begin with? Or is it that certain laws only apply to people in the lower echelons of society?<br /> <br /> I find it hard to imagine a person operating a taxi without the requisite licence being given free rein by the Transport Authority and the police, with the explanation that the vehicle was not licensed in the first place, therefore no action can be taken.<br /> <br /> If this is the kind of logic that guides those entrusted with the protection of the interests of all Jamaicans, especially the most vulnerable among us, then we are facing dire straits as a country.<br /> <br /> Phillip Ireland <br /> <br /> irelandphilip@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12923842/200743__w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, June 20, 2016 12:00 AM Apologise, Madam Attorney General http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Apologise--Madam-Attorney-General_64481 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> On Tuesday, June 14, I got home from work and went to read the Observer online, as I always do, when I do not get to read everything before I leave for work that morning. That is when I read of Marlene Malahoo Forte&rsquo;s tweet about the rainbow flag flying on the private property of the US Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica.<br /> <br /> As a Jamaican, not a homosexual, living overseas, I would like to see her make a public apology to all Jamaicans and to the US Embassy for her utterance. She should have known that such views should never come from her someone in her office, especially on social media or in public.<br /> <br /> I also want to ask her and those who support her tweet, and some of whom are online commenting and still cannot see where she went wrong, a question: If this very incident had happen in Jamaica, instead of Florida, what would be her response? Would those who support her accept that she would be against such a show of support for people in their time of grief?<br /> <br /> Her title and office are honourable. She should do the honourable thing and apologise.<br /> <br /> Robert Clarke<br /> <br /> Rclarke88@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12740100/190144__w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, June 20, 2016 12:00 AM