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 Ja's hypocrisy in Mario Deane case http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Ja-s-hypocrisy-in-Mario-Deane-case_17634746 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> We only seem to get worked up when police brutality reaches outside its usual confines of the poor black boy from some obscure inner-city community. That is my problem with the whole Mario Deane affair. It is the reason I was apprehensive and questioned the whole thing.<br /> <br /> Police kill people in and out of lock-ups very often in this country, but many of us tend to write off most of these boys because we surmise that they probably deserved it anyway.<br /> <br /> I'm not saying that there should not be outrage over Mario Deane's killing. I'm saying the Mario Deane uproar reeks of hypocrisy. If Mario Dean was from the inner city we don't even know. All we know is what he looked like and that he had a job. The media got us good this time. Our true colours are showing.<br /> <br /> Earlier this year it was reported by a couple of media houses that "Oshane Dothlyn, 20, died in February while in custody at the Darling Street Police Station where he was being held on ganja possession charges. He was found dead in his cell on February 2, a day after he was taken into custody by the police." Yet the public never really made anything of it. They assumed that Oshane was probably a dark-skinned, troublemaker from the inner city and not brown and employed like Mario Deane.<br /> <br /> We huff, puff and hold our chins high when we hear about racial police killings in the United States, as if we are any better. We are exactly the same, maybe even worse, because we actually tacitly justify it.<br /> <br /> Anna-Lisa Walcott<br /> <br /> Kingston 6<br /> <br /> Ja's hypocrisy in Mario Deane case<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11099080/mario-dean_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, October 01, 2014 2:00 AM NDM has to give itself a chance http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/NDM-has-to-give-itself-a-chance_17657177 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> In response to the letter to the editor 'Give the NDM a chance' the National Democratic Movement (NDM) has to give itself a chance and that will be the first step that it needs to take to demonstrate its readiness to lead the nation.<br /> <br /> The first president of the NDM was Bruce Golding. If Golding had only stayed the course he would have been prime minister of Jamaica right now, and if not, at least head of a very strong Opposition. But it became same old, same old. As a result his political career has come to naught. We hope though that just maybe, just maybe, there is still a little glimmer of hope for him.<br /> <br /> As a country we need to understand ourselves. We can achieve whatever we want if we work at it. Right now I really don't think we are properly focused to achieve the right things. After more than 50 years of Indepenedence the greatest weakness in Jamaican politics is that it is driven by personalities and not policies. Personalities change like green lizards; policies are more lasting.<br /> <br /> I am glad for the letter from Shaquille and I really hope that others could get an insight to the thought and just maybe it will show them the way. The truth of the matter is that we need to move to a policy approach to properly manage our affairs as a country.<br /> <br /> Rupert Brown<br /> <br /> Stony Hill, St Andrew<br /> <br /> aat2study@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> NDM has to give itself a chance<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11099081/Bruce-Golding-2_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, October 01, 2014 2:00 AM Global policemen? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Global-policemen-_17609653 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> It's time the assumed role of the United Kingdom and the United States as global policemen and dispensers of what passes for justice was questioned.<br /> <br /> That post-war arrangement is, in fact, a challenge to global democracy, and if it was questionable in 1945, it's highly dubious now.<br /> <br /> Under the Thatcher, Reagan, and Bush administrations, the fomer allies became overbearing, self-interested and aggressive, even to the point of openly defying the United Nations.<br /> <br /> The era of childish global power games must end, finally.<br /> <br /> Cadhla Ni Frithile<br /> <br /> Ireland<br /> <br /> Global policemen?<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, October 01, 2014 2:00 AM Politicians should fight chik-V not each other http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Politicians-should-fight-chik-V-not-each-other_17649032 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> While the number of chikungunya cases across the island rises our parliamentarians are arguing and pointing fingers at each other.<br /> <br /> The Opposition accuses the Government of not speaking the truth as to the amount of people who are infected, while the Government on the other hand is accusing the Opposition of trying to cause panic with regards to the virus. This finger-pointing of the parties does not help the situation and cannot cause the virus to go away.<br /> <br /> What is important is information on the signs and symptoms of the virus and what to do if and when the symptoms are felt. The Opposition spokesman on health, Dr Ken Baugh said he was concerned that Jamaicans believe that the virus is not only mosquito transmitted. But I am sure that Dr Baugh can help to dispel that myth by assuring citizens that it is. Dengue is also similarly transmitted with similar symptoms and both parties have medical representatives that know what the procedure is to determine the presence of the chikungunya virus. Therefore there is no need to heckle the Government for figures. The government should be focusing on the fogging, drain-cleaning and public education, not political tracing over what who said.<br /> <br /> What is important is information on the signs and symptoms of the virus and what to do if and when the symptoms are felt. The Opposition spokesman on health, Dr Ken Baugh said he was concerned that Jamaicans believe that the virus is not only mosquito transmitted. But I am sure that Dr Baugh can help to dispel that myth by assuring citizens that it is. Dengue is also similarly transmitted with similar symptoms and both parties have medical representatives that know what the procedure is to determine the presence of the chikungunya virus. Therefore there is no need to heckle the Government for figures. The government should be focusing on the fogging, drain-cleaning and public education, not political tracing over what who said.<br /> <br /> Now as citizens we have our part to play by disposing of our garbage in the right way and not in gullies or on the road. We need to work to get rid of mosquito-breeding sites around the home and we must purchase repellents, destroyers, insect sprays, etc to minimise interaction with mosquitoes. Sitting down and waiting on the health ministry to have a national clean-up day wastes valuable time.<br /> <br /> The virus is no respector of persons and cares not if you are the Opposition leader, attend school in St Thomas, play for Waterhouse United, or received fewer votes than Everald Warmington. Can we for once put away the politics and unite for the cause of Jamaicans? Dr Baugh and Dr Ferguson let us put hands, hearts and efforts to together to fight against the virus and not each other.<br /> <br /> Hezekan Bolton<br /> <br /> St Catherine<br /> <br /> Politicians should fight chik-V not each other<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, October 01, 2014 2:00 AM Minors living on the street everybody's problem http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Minors-living-on-the-street-everybody-s-problem_17649567 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> There is a growing issue of people living in the drains and on the corners of New Kingston, which we all &mdash; MPs, business people, regular citizen &mdash; have been ignoring.<br /> <br /> It seems as if we are truly turning a blind eye to the fact that there are countless teenagers living on the streets. They have been turned away by their families for different reasons and some have run away. Homelessness is not just their problem; it is everyone's problem. A 15-year-old living on the side of the rpad, giving sexual favours at night in order to survive, is everyone's problem.<br /> <br /> The 13-year-old who ran away after his father threatened to kill him because of his sexuality and now steals food to survive is everyone's problem.<br /> <br /> Our ministers need to stop turning a blind eye to this situation and take these minors off the street. We are always quick to speak of the innocence of children and the fact that they need to be protected as they are the future of our nation. Aren't these minors living on the streets the future of our nation too?<br /> <br /> And, what about their parents or guardians; do they know it is illegal to put a minor in their care out into the streets? We can only ignore this for so long before it becomes a problem bigger than we can handle.<br /> <br /> Melissa B<br /> <br /> Kingston<br /> <br /> ronaldinho_is_taken_@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> Minors living on the street everybody's problem<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, October 01, 2014 2:00 AM Who will heed Obama&rsquo;s sermon? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Who-will-heed-Obama-s-sermon-_17649048 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Obama's messianic speech delivered to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 24, 2014 truly sets him at the forefront of being, perhaps, one of the most-gifted orators of all time.<br /> <br /> But listening to his speech, and watching the reactions of some of the delegates of some of the world's major powers, I couldn't help feeling that he was sermonising or lecturing them. Just like in a Sunday sermon at church, some will be saying, 'Amen, brother', whilst others can't wait for the preacher to stop.<br /> <br /> Obama addressed many issues, including Russia's actions in Crimea, and Eastern Ukraine; the Ebola epidemic; climate change; and so forth, but the central message of his speech was about the violence perpetrated by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and America's response to such violence. Plus, he pleaded and demanded that the world get involved in the fight against this group, whom he described as 'the network of death'.<br /> <br /> The United Nations has already taken some action in passing a resolution to criminalise the actions of those leaving from their host country to go and fight Jihad in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere. Now, will Obama's sermon change the minds of the fence-sitters to get involved in the fight against ISIL? Or, will they just ignore his demands to become involved? But, more importantly, how will ISIL take his denunciations and military actions against them?<br /> <br /> Well, one of their affiliate groups in Algeria has already beheaded the Frenchman Herve Gourdel at the moment it seems that Obama was giving his speech. And they threaten to behead other captives, including Alan Hennin, the present British hostage. So, it seems that their message is clear: 'It's a fight to the death'; 'It's either you or us'. So it seems that this is going to be a long drawn-out war between ISIL and those who reject their ideology.<br /> <br /> So where do we stand? What are we to do? Protect ourselves as best as possible and hopefully try and persuade those who think that they are God or Allah's avenging angels that they are very wrong. For, the last time I checked the Holy Qur'an, and the Holy Bible, God was preaching 'love and compassion'.<br /> <br /> George S Garwood, PhD<br /> <br /> Gifford Street, FL<br /> <br /> merleneg@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> Who will heed Obama's sermon?<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11095486/Barack-Obama_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, September 30, 2014 2:00 AM Start teaching Chinese instead of French in schools http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Start-teaching-Chinese-instead-of-French-in-schools_17648899 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I know I am going to get a lot of flak for this from our French teachers, but I think the time has come for us to start preparing our people to deal with the present and future global realities that we are and will face. One of these is preparation to shift our priorities away from weakening interests, like French, and strengthening ties towards China. As such, we should start replacing the teaching of French with Chinese languages in our schools.<br /> <br /> China is slated to become the world's largest economy, surpassing the United States, within the next few years, according to many experts. According to the latest data from STATIN, in 2011, China was already our fourth-largest trading partner. China is a rising global power. By 2011, France had fallen off our list of top ten trading partners.<br /> <br /> China has become the workshop of the world and we in Jamaica have already begun to feel the country's rising power. The "great" logistics hub that everybody is talking about that is expected to save us will be built by the Chinese. Even in an indirect way, China is proving to be our lifeline. We rely heavily on the United States; however, China is America's largest creditor. So, indirectly, China is our largest creditor. China's role in our lives will only become even more important. The same cannot be said for the French world.<br /> <br /> France, and the other French-speaking neighbours that we have, is becoming increasingly irrelevant. I can understand Spanish being taught in our schools, as we as surrounded by Spanish-speaking countries, but why do we need French? Our only French-speaking neighbour, Haiti, isn't much of a country at all. So why emphasise French in our schools?<br /> <br /> It is true that France is still a major country, but she, and the rest of the French-speaking world are declining, in relation to the rise of China. Apart from having nuclear weapons and an ageing aircraft carrier, what else is France's claim to greatness? She was defeated in World War II, she was whipped by Vietnam, and she was kicked out of Algeria. Certainly, in relation to China, the French-speaking world's relevance is weakening.<br /> <br /> We must start now to position ourselves to take increased advantage of the soon-to-become world's largest economy by teaching Chinese languages in our schools. Our business people must be taught how to appreciate China more. This certainly will be better facilitated if more of us can get a better understanding of Chinese languages.<br /> <br /> With the limited resources that we have, and the realities that we will face very soon, a shift away from French is the better option. We must pull ourselves out of the past and start looking more to the East. It's ironic that France's own Napoleon saw the importance of China 200 years ago, yet we today seem slow to see the same thing.<br /> <br /> Michael A Dingwall<br /> <br /> Kingston<br /> <br /> michael_a_dingwall@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> Start teaching Chinese instead of French in schools<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, September 30, 2014 2:00 AM Chik-V is our responsibility now http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Chik-V-is-our-responsibility-now_17648926 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> In recent times there has been much talk about the chikungunya virus. In some circles people have blamed the Government, saying that they have not taken a proper stand in the way they have attempted to deal with it.<br /> <br /> First, there were complaints that the reports given by the health ministry were not true reflections of how widespread the virus is.<br /> <br /> There are those who even criticised the prime minister's address at the recent People's National Party conference forgetting that the real audience for the meeting were party faithfuls and workers whom the party president would want to charge and get them energised for the tasks ahead, so there might not have been the place for that.<br /> <br /> Various entities in society also publicly declared that they believe that more needs to be done to inform the country and put measures in place that will prevent further spread and ultimately eradicate the virus.<br /> <br /> One must be mindful that talk is cheap and anybody can say anything. The reality that we must face is that chikungunya is here and no one deliberately brought it here. The mosquitoes that transmit the virus were always here.<br /> <br /> We must also be mindful that the mosquitoes that transmit the chikungunya virus breeds in water, which means that they actually live with us in our homes, in our bathrooms, in our kitchens, etc. The million-dollar questions are how do we get rid of them and how do we reduce the spread of the virus?<br /> <br /> Let me declare that this is not just a problem for the Government, but a problem for all of us. We, as a people, in our communities, in our homes, must now ensure that we are not maintaining an environment that is favourable to the breeding of these mosquitoes. We must destroy the breeding sites within our homes and communities to first reduce the spread and then ultimately eradicate the virus.<br /> <br /> Gary Rowe<br /> <br /> magnett0072004@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> Coleyville<br /> <br /> Chik-V is our responsibility now<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, September 30, 2014 2:00 AM Appoint a health minister of state http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Appoint-a-health-minister-of-state_17648954 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> After last evening's really poor national broadcast by Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson, I am beginning to wonder why such the large and complex Ministry of Health does not have at least one minister of state. I see where the industry and commerce, tourism, energy and mining and foreign affairs ministries, for example, have state ministers.<br /> <br /> With the chikungunya epidemic causing wrenching problems everywhere, and the minister unable to manage the situation, I would have thought that the prime minister would at least see to making some changes and also add a state minister. This is even more urgent given the fact that our hospitals are in a dire state and look to be failing under the stress of limited resources, poor management, and in your face bad leadership coming from the ministry itself.<br /> <br /> For Minister Ferguson, as one man who now has public knowledge that he is far from ideal management material, to bear all this stress is, to me, unfair.<br /> <br /> To go further, I also believe that a management review of the ministry is also timely as I saw for myself that the ministry's most senior administrators, Marion Ducasse-Bullock &mdash; who has got very quiet now &mdash; and Kevin Harvey seemed to have bungled in the handling of chikungunya. The Cabinet secretary might wish to do some good by having a forensic look at the ministry and see to whether the best personnel are there to support the minister in his efforts and see to the better running of our crucial health affairs.<br /> <br /> While Dr Ferguson must share in the blame for the poor management, given his position as minister, we must also take a look at what he has to work with.<br /> <br /> Renee Sewell<br /> <br /> Coral Gardens<br /> <br /> St James<br /> <br /> sewellrenee@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> Appoint a health minister of state<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, September 30, 2014 2:00 AM Don't kill the messenger, Minister Hanna http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Don-t-kill-the-messenger--Minister-Hanna_17616347 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Chronixx's recent inartful statement on social media addressed the need for Government's involvement in the Jamaican music industry for a clear policy directive.<br /> <br /> Our creative industries encompass our music, the visual and performing arts, including fine art and crafts. It is an area which has the potential to not only provide employment for large numbers of Jamaicans but also provide significant hard currency earnings with virtually zero import content.<br /> <br /> For decades we have paid lip service to this sector and with much fanfare and PR opportunities only to provide little or no follow-through.<br /> <br /> Chronixx's comment comes against a background of a small island of just over 4,240 square miles gifting to the world, between 1939 and 2002, not one, but five genres of music -- mento, ska, rocksteady, reggae, and dancehall. Despite such a history, Jamaicans, while having the claim to the music's origin, do not control the real revenues behind the music because the practitioners in the industry have failed at organising themselves as leaders of the industry.<br /> <br /> What's worse, in 1964 the Jamaican Government, through Development Minister Edward Seaga, led an initiative to take Jamaican music internationally with a group of hand-picked musicians representing the island at the then New York World's Fair. Such an initiative provided a door-opener at the time, but 50 years later we have done very little to build on this, and as a result such an auspicious start has amounted to nothing.<br /> <br /> The wealth of our music now resides on other shores generating billions of dollars for people who do not even know where on the world map Jamaica lies.<br /> <br /> Chronixx's comment may have been inelegantly stated but it captures the malaise that affects us as a people. Instead of recognising the value of the message, culture minister Lisa Hanna shot back at the artiste about lumping together and blaming all politicians. She alluded to trade agreements now in place as well as the conclusion of recent discussions to benefit cultural goods producers. These are seemingly well kept secrets, Madam Minister. Instead of attempting to "kill" the messenger, let us recognise the chasm that exists and use this as an opportunity to move the ball forward in all areas of culture. Fact is, we are still largely unable to claim proprietary ownership of our brand and reggae. It is no different than products bearing the word "Jamaica" as part of their branding and, as a people, we have no claim. This is the role that policy framers must play; creating the platforms and/or opportunities for claiming ownership, rights and proceeds of our creations.<br /> <br /> Creative Industries have the potential to solve a large part of our income-earning problems, so I would think that the relevant government minister must recognise the need to identify and grasp with both hands the opportunities out there.<br /> <br /> This must be our mandate, Madam Minister, not another "bag a talk" and no action.<br /> <br /> Richard Hugh Blackford<br /> <br /> Coral Springs, FL<br /> <br /> richardhblackford@gmail.com<br /> <br /> Don't kill the messenger, Minister Hanna<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11092674/Chronixx_0562_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, September 29, 2014 12:05 AM The buck stops with the prime minister http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/The-buck-stops-with-the-prime-minister_17634417 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Your editorial of September 24, 2014, titled 'Badly needed: A Caribbean democracy', excites a review of constitutions in the region by stating: "Our commitment to democracy remains unswerving, yet it is good sense to ponder whether in its current form the Westminster model is the best vehicle to provide for economic growth in the small states of the Caribbean."<br /> <br /> Your concern is reflected in the views expressed by Member of Parliament Lloyd B Smith in the same publication commenting on Mario Deane's death. He says: "It is my unapologetic view that human rights should be treated with the same level of scrutiny and urgency as with public safety and economic growth."<br /> <br /> The question of how human rights, public safety and economic growth should be treated in Jamaica with the present Westminster model constitution is also asked by other small states of the Caribbean that are using the same model, as your editorial ponders.<br /> <br /> MP Smith's call for an 'Independent Human Rights Commission' is not the answer; we have been trying that approach all the way from Westminster -- throwing money at a problem to create another agency of the State intending to deal with what is really one of the trinity of inter-related interests, seemingly involved in a jousting contest for governance. Instead, we should consider a change in the constitution for a holistic approach to our problems with policies and programmes prepared by all the stakeholders for development in the country. The qualification for introducing those policies should not be determined by the ability to win a seat at elections for Parliament.<br /> <br /> For a new approach in government, it is critically important to debunk the elitism from the British colonial past and liberate our minds from the notion that the nominated House in Parliament, ie the Senate, is the upper house serving as a review chamber, thereby belittling the position of the people's representatives.<br /> <br /> A nominated House can make better contribution to governance when programmes for growth in the economy, the respect for human rights and public safety are prepared there by persons with the necessary skills and commitment. That would be the Cabinet consisting of people representing entrepreneurship, labour and education -- the three pillars for growth in the economy -- placing on them the responsibility to initiate policies for development and prosperity in the nation. The remainder of the Cabinet would be for justice, public safety and fundamental social services -- the requirements for a stable society. The policies and programmes coming from the Cabinet/Senate will always be subject to review and acceptance by the membership of the elected House before they are passed into law.<br /> <br /> In Jamaica, the prime minister would be responsible for any change to the form of government. She enjoys the confidence of the majority of the members of the House and she presides at a Cabinet with ministers appointed by her. Her influence, therefore, permeates both the executive and the legislative arms of government. The buck stops at the prime minister's desk during her tenure of office, and this would be the challenge for the other small states in the Caribbean that use the same model.<br /> <br /> Frank Phipps<br /> <br /> Kingston<br /> <br /> frank.phipps@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> The buck stops with the prime minister<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11090132/PSM1_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, September 29, 2014 12:05 AM Give NDM a chance! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Give-NDM-a-chance-_17634581 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Almost every year the people of Jamaica complain, lament and protest in disgust that the successive administrations are corrupt and none do anything to help them or make their lives easier.<br /> <br /> I believe this happens because the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and People's National Party (PNP) are not feeling threatened. They both know that after a general election they will either become the Government or the Opposition, and to them it does not really make a big difference. They'll both get huge salaries. They'll both be in Gordon House. They'll both be in the Senate.<br /> <br /> But, imagine if a third party could get a hold on power. Would things change? Surely they would. They'll know that someone will be left outside of Gordon House and they'll not want it to be them.<br /> <br /> If the National Democratic Movement (NDM) should become the Opposition party after the next general election, the governing party, be it PNP or JLP, may actually be the best administration in the history of our nation.<br /> <br /> For example: If after 2016 the JLP won and the NDM became the Opposition, the JLP would become so fearful that what had happened to the PNP may very well happen to them the next time around, so they would be as "pleasing" as possible just to keep the people on their side. Just look at what has happened in our telecoms sector.<br /> <br /> That day is quickly approaching for politics, Jamaica just need to decide. The JLPNP have only made my future darker and my goals even more expensive. I, along with many youngsters across Jamaica and the Diaspora have had enough; enough of the lies, corruption, abuse, lack of transparency, and the list goes on.<br /> <br /> JLPNP, your end is near, the movement for change is here and they're coming for what is theirs, slowly but surely. And when they've won, Jamaicans will breathe a breath of fresh air. Look around Jamaicans, the age of political oppression and dirty governance is ending globally and the world is ushering in an era of change. Let that happen here also. Let us give the NDM a chance!<br /> <br /> Shaquille Ramsay<br /> <br /> shaquilleramsay@gmail.com<br /> <br /> Give NDM a chance! <br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11068464/jlpnp_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, September 29, 2014 12:05 AM Stop playing the numbers game and wasting funds http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Stop-playing-the-numbers-game-and-wasting-funds_17616086 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> It appears that Jamaicans appreciate political gimmicks, because we don't hold administrations accountable for their failure to deliver promises, especially those relating to job creation.<br /> <br /> At the most recent conference of the People's National Party (PNP), the prime minister made reference to a loan Jamaica received from the World Bank that will be used to train 15,000 animators. It has always been the view of this writer that Jamaica should train film-makers, animators and game developers. Luckily for us the World Bank had the foresight to spearhead the animation programme in Jamaica. However, like all sectors, it should be based on the forces of supply and demand.<br /> <br /> Presently, there are less than 100 animators working on the island and a number of them have access to opportunities overseas, so we would expect that these talented youngsters would go abroad for opportunities. The demand for animators in Jamaica is not great, neither is the supply; only a few creative minds are interested in animation, and this is not a problem because what matters is the quality of our animators and not the quantity.<br /> <br /> But this Administration seems to have a political reason for embracing the project. There is talk about using this initiative to target unattached young people, but it should cater to only those who are interested in animation; however, politicians like to maximise events for their own ends.<br /> <br /> It really doesn't make any sense to go into random inner-city communities and find participants for the programme, if they lack interest and talent, just so it can be said that this Administration is doing something to help inner-city people. Inner -- city residents may lack opportunities, but the World Bank did not intend for this programme to become a social project; its sole purpose is to nurture the abilities of animators and nothing else.<br /> <br /> Furthermore, some of us are quite au fait with the tricks of politicians. They are not idiots they know that there is not a demand for 15,000 animators, but the number must be exaggerated, because if the target is not met, then they can say 'we tried.' The numbers game has been going on for years. For those of us who don't remember, nearly 10 years ago this paper released a piece titled, 'CIT offers more training'. It read: "The Caribbean Institute of Technology was created with the goal of providing locals with world-class training, education, and international certification in software design and computer programming. It was part of the Government's failed thrust to provide 40,000 IT jobs over a three-year period."<br /> <br /> Upon winning the general election in 2011, the Portia Simpson Miller-led Administration decided to launch another gimmick known as the Jamaica Employ Programme (JEP) in 2012, and it failed too. A news item, titled "Gov't shelves Jamaica Employ', published in the press on July 14 2014, clearly laments its failure: "Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller announced Jamaica Employ in 2012 and challenged the private sector to deepen the partnership for national development. Since then, the programme seemed to have been struggling. A year after the programme's inception, Trevor Fearon, CEO of the JCC, admitted...that Jamaica Employ 'has not taken off to the degree' that he would have liked."<br /> <br /> Entrepreneurs don't create jobs based on social objectives, so no serious person expected JEP to work, but Jamaicans don't expect their politicians to perform, so at least they can say they tried.<br /> <br /> Lipton Matthews<br /> <br /> lo_matthews@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> Stop playing the numbers game and wasting funds<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11084063/numbers_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, September 26, 2014 2:00 AM Be a part of the chik-V solution http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Be-a-part-of-the-chik-V-solution_17609217 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I am appealing to the nation's politicians to stop perpetuating the ignorance among the population. The handling and manipulation of the chikungunya situation is but an example of the danger that politics can pose to people's health and well-being. Instead of assisting in the process, our elected representatives cloud the real issues to try to discredit the Ministry of Health.<br /> <br /> People need to start listening to the messages that will assist in reducing the spread of chikungunya. Instead, they are told about garbage collection, gullies and drain-cleaning. While these issues are important, people are made to think that these issues are directly related to the spread of the chikungunya virus. They are not, and only add to the refusal or ignorance with respect to getting rid of the right mosquito-breeding sites.<br /> <br /> The particular type of mosquito that spreads chikungunya breeds in containers. These containers are found in and around the home and other places where people usually congregate. In addition, gullies and drains need cleaning regularly because people throw garbage in them. If politicians really want to help, as they claim they do, help to educate the population about what they really need to do to secure their health and stress their personal responsibility to do so. Spend less time criticising and instead contribute to the solution.<br /> <br /> Paul Richards<br /> <br /> Kingston<br /> <br /> richipauly@gmail.com <br /> <br /> Be a part of the chik-V solution<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11052846/mosquito_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, September 26, 2014 2:00 AM Will there be justice for Mario? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Will-there-be-justice-for-Mario-_17615998 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> More than a month after Mario Deane's death the saga continues. Young Deane was laid to rest on Sunday, September 21, but the question at the forefront of our minds is, will there be justice for Mario?<br /> <br /> On September 25, it was reported that charges were to be brought against police officers who were on duty during Deane's beating. One can't help but think out aloud: What is the real and undiluted truth of the circumstances surrounding Deane's death. The story gets from weird to bizarre.<br /> <br /> Since the brutal beating which subsequently caused his death, there have been more stories theorising how he died and who beat him. If Mario Deane was beaten by fellow inmates where were the police officers on duty when this happened? How is it that no one on duty heard his cry and went to his rescue? If he fell from a bunk bed, as it was originally stated, did he fall head first off the bed?<br /> <br /> If the motto of the police is anything for them to abide by, why then were there no one to protect, serve and reassure Mario Deane of his life whilst in the custody of the police? Anyone who is so arrested the police has a duty to live by their motto, so if Mario's beating and eventual death was not at the hands of the police they should still be held responsible. In the study of law we are taught that such an act would be seen as negligence. Isn't the act of negligence worth pursuing in the prosecution of the officers?<br /> <br /> To cloudd the saga in an even greater abyss is the actions of Member of Parliament for St James Central Lloyd B Smith, who attended Deane's funeral, and was caught wiping tears. But when the matter was brought up in the House of Representative, he, in his capacity as deputy speaker of the House, shot down the motion. Mr Smith should be the one to have brought this motion to parliament because Mario Deane resided in Smith's constituency prior to his untimely death. The actions of Mr Smith leave much be desired and cause me to wonder: Will there be any justice for Mario?<br /> <br /> Wayne White<br /> <br /> wayne2white@gmail.com <br /> <br /> Will there be justice for Mario?<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11069256/mario-dean_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, September 26, 2014 2:00 AM Of coarseness and hooliganism http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Of-coarseness-and-hooliganism_17616051 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I sat beside a very nice gentleman at the tax office recently and found him quite willing to listen to my sad tale about a young man who, minutes earlier, had caused the tax office door to swing into my face.<br /> <br /> I no longer expect these ruffians to hold the door for ladies, the elderly, or anyone, but I was caught off-guard when he virtually caused the door to slam into my person as he squashed me into the door jamb. As did several onlookers, I stood frozen for a minute as I recovered from my hurting wrist which I had used to block the 'doorslap'.<br /> <br /> Seated beside me, the nice gentleman's response was very reflective of the apathy and despair to which we have grown accustomed. "Why are you surprised?" he asked me. "We are a nation of coarseness and hooligans!" I think that there is too much coarse behaviour and too many antisocial hoodlums around, but I have to believe that they are outnumbered by nice people.<br /> <br /> Two weeks before this incident, I had a nice boy hold the door at the pharmacy. I was surprised at his chivalry and he was equally surprised at my civility in thanking him. I also recall the young man who made the news by helping an elderly lady with her bags as she crossed the road. Unfortunately, the incidence of coarse behaviour is the growing norm, and when good things happen they seem to be extraordinary and dazzling.<br /> <br /> Coarseness and irreverence are now the norm at high-profile funerals, as is harassment at stoplights by in-your-face beggars, one of whom used his tongue to lick on my car window a while back. I've heard of them even spraying drivers with water if you no not receive their 'services'.<br /> <br /> There is a street sign across from the governor general's residence that clearly states, 'No Vending', but that has been interpreted to read 'Please do hawk, sell, flog, and deal in anything here'. Unkempt young men, downtown, physically use their bodies or objects to prevent you from parking unless you are willing to pay them. When the light changes to green, nowadays, it means don't go yet; wait until drivers are through breaking the red light then proceed. Uncivilised and crass behaviour is not restricted to any particular stratum of our Jamaican society, either.<br /> <br /> If ever we needed a serious campaign to eradicate crassness, it is now! Will we ever emerge from the uncivilised society we have become?<br /> <br /> Sandra M Taylor Wiggan<br /> <br /> sandra_wiggan@yahoo.co.uk<br /> <br /> Of coarseness and hooliganism<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11076296/august-town_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, September 26, 2014 2:00 AM MPs, stop the 'cuss and walk out' game http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/MPs--stop-the--cuss-and-walk-out--game_17609200 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The members of the Jamaican Parliament have set an unfortunate trend with walking out of sessions. I am incredulous that these esteemed men and women have to be asked to sit, conduct themselves orderly, do the nation's work, then leave.<br /> <br /> The reality is, with only one day per week to meet, discuss, and pass Bills needed for national development, there isn't any time for pettiness and careless banter.<br /> <br /> Too often an MP decides to be disorderly and, because of this conduct, everyone else throws their papers in the air and leaves. It is as though they come with the intention to be disorderly, hoping that they will be able to go home early.<br /> <br /> The "us against them" game needs to end. The pussyfooting around the issues and leaving the country to ruin must end.<br /> <br /> Within any private sector business, when there are differences, they have to be resolved in a timely manner so that production is not impacted. In no real organisation can a member of staff shout in a meeting, have the meeting derailed, and expect there to be no repercussion.<br /> <br /> These men and women are to be held accountable for disrupting the nation's business. The Jamaican Parliament must have a strong disciplinary structure for these loose cannons. Each person is entitled to their right of opinion, but with this right comes the responsibility to be mindful of others and the goal of the forum.<br /> <br /> With Parliament meeting only once per week, can we really afford to throw away this day because people can't conduct themselves properly?<br /> <br /> I would prefer you go outside Gordon House with your "We Want Justice" placard instead of defiling the honourable House with the cackling and unproductive behaviour.<br /> <br /> Timothy Cawley<br /> <br /> cawley.timothy@gmail.com<br /> <br /> MPs, stop the 'cuss and walk out' game<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11079972/Parliament_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, September 25, 2014 2:00 AM If only their noses would grow http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/If-only-their-noses-would-grow_17609242 In an impressive fictional story, the Italian writer, Carlo Collodi, brought to many readers a character named Pinocchio, who was prone to telling lies and fabricating stories. The truth was that, whenever Pinocchio was under stress, his nose would become longer for everyone to judge his trustworthiness.<br /> <br /> Unfortunately for most Jamaicans, there is no such manifestation for politicians who engage the public about their performance. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller's address to her faithful party supporters and the wider public at the PNP's 76th Annual Conference on Sunday, September 21, 2014, will go down as an epic display of mendacity if you were to believe the 'fictionalised facts' presented about how we have progressed as a country since 2011 under her leadership.<br /> <br /> To be honest, only someone deluded by blind affection would be encouraged to accept the pronouncements of her fulfilled token promises to make the lives of each Jamaican better.<br /> <br /> The reduction of GCT to 16.5 per cent from 17.5 per cent, the reduction of the tax burden on low-income earners, an expansion in PATH and schooling programmes accompanied by the handing out of land titles are said to be major achievements in improving the lives of the Jamaican people.<br /> <br /> The Government says it "respects the people, and recognises the value, the rights, and the obligations of all public servants, be they teachers, civil servants, police personnel, health professionals, or managers and staff in the government agencies" -- PNP Manifesto 2011. It also wrote: "The years ahead call us, as Jamaicans, to renew trust between the people and their Government, and to work together for our common good for generations to come." With that display at conference I say I am not upset that you lied to me, I am upset that I don't know how to believe you.<br /> <br /> Garfield Edwards<br /> <br /> garfieldaedwards@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> If only their noses would grow<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11048871/PORTIA-1_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, September 25, 2014 2:00 AM Political party convoys flirting with danger http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Political-party-convoys-flirting-with-danger_17609201 Every day I become more convinced that the more things change, the more they remain the same.<br /> <br /> Political meetings and conferences are synonymous with passionate supporters travelling in motorcades throughout the length and breadth of Jamaica. The manner in which these motorcades travel on the roads has left me in a state of bewilderment.<br /> <br /> Recently, I was driving through the Junction, St Mary, area on my way to the north coast and I had the unfortunate experience of encountering a convoy of Comrades en route to their 76th Annual Conference in Kingston. It was outrageous to see the speed at which some of these vehicles were travelling considering the condition of the roads in the Junction corridor. To make matters worse, some supporters were, as usual, hanging out of the vehicles, sitting on bus window ledges and waving flags.<br /> <br /> Let's face it, how many more lives will be lost unnecessarily before something is done to curtail this reckless practice? Is it worth it? What is being done by the leadership of the political parties and the police in ensuring that they adhere to the road code?<br /> <br /> I don't think enough is being done to address the matter. If they don't value and consider their lives important, then, as a people, we are left in a very sad state of affairs. While I endorse supporters expressing their excitement for their respective parties, they cannot and should not put the safety of other road users at risk. The fact is there have been previous incidents in which people have died or have suffered serious injury as a result of falling from vehicles involved in motorcades. We can and we must avoid the avoidable and let good sense prevail. All that is required is for us to stop, think and act logically. Now is not the time to skirt the issue, but to use this opportunity ahead of other conferences, meetings and the impending local government elections next year to encourage party supporters not to flirt with danger.<br /> <br /> A Smith<br /> <br /> ceoandre@aol.com<br /> <br /> Political party convoys flirting with danger<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11071986/PNP-crowd_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, September 25, 2014 2:00 AM Portland Hospital needs your help, Mr Lee Chin http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Portland-Hospital-needs-your-help--Mr-Lee-Chin_17608811 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> This is an open letter to Michael Lee Chin, chairman of NCB Jamaica Limited and chairman and president of Portland Holding Inc:<br /> <br /> I read with great admiration a newspaper article regarding your "generous donation to Canada's Joseph Brant Hospital" in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, the amount being CDN$10 million, "the single biggest donation in the history of the city of Burlington". This follows an even more sizeable donation of CDN$30 million made by you in the past, as reported in the media, to the Royal Ontario Museum and described as the "largest gift to a museum in Canadian history". With the rate of exchange as it stands today, this is equivalent to J$1 billion and J$3 billion, respectively. It is noteworthy that less annual budgetary allocations have been made to some ministries of government for the current fiscal year.<br /> <br /> Your philanthropy to these and many other institutions has been way beyond the call of duty. And, while I applaud your generous gestures, I cannot help but feel compelled to make a special appeal to you on behalf of the people of Portland, for which you have had ties dating back to childhood.<br /> <br /> Due to the stringent IMF programme for which quarterly targets have to be met, you will appreciate that important facilities such as our hospitals are subjected to budget cuts and dwindling donations from charitable organisations and individuals which find themselves inundated with requests, whether it is for cash or kind. I, therefore, use this medium to make a public appeal for the Port Antonio Hospital to be on our priority list for your next donation, as it is badly in need of assistance for state-of-the-art equipment, physical upgrading, and even the basic medical supplies to meet its daily core function of attending to the poor and underprivileged residents who are unable to pay for private medical treatment.<br /> <br /> I do not wish to appear presumptuous in seeming to suggest where, and to whom, you should make your donations but, as you are aware, the hospital serves thousands of residents of Portland.<br /> <br /> With the recent aeroplane crash just 14 miles away from the coastline of Portland, I, along with the residents and many other Jamaicans, shuddered to think what would have happened had the aircraft crashed on land, and how the hospital and other essential services would have managed such a disaster. In the not-too-distant future, it will become an imperative to have better medical facilities available to not only residents, but visitors alike with an expected growth in tourism in the parish.<br /> <br /> I refer to your own investments in Portland, which range from tourism to agriculture, and which have contributed to the economy of the parish. I am also reminded of your deep love and passion for Jamaica and more so for the parish of Portland due to your family roots in the parish. It does not escape me either that your close relationship with the parish has perhaps influenced you to name one of your investment companies, Portland Holdings Inc.<br /> <br /> With my expressed desire to see your assistance of similar financial proportions going to the Port Antonio Hospital, I take this opportunity to humbly invite you to schedule a visit to the hospital, along with me, to see the hospital's greatest needs and how best the institution may be assisted to improve its service delivery. And, I believe it would be extremely useful to have the minister of health and the member of parliament for Eastern Portland, in which the hospital is located, join us.<br /> <br /> I have also released this letter to the media so that, as a representative of the people of Portland, they can be aware that every effort is being made to solicit help for the benefit of all Portlanders and the parish's visitors.<br /> <br /> I trust that you will deem my appeal to you as well- intended and look forward to hearing from you.<br /> <br /> Daryl Vaz, MP<br /> <br /> West Portland<br /> <br /> Portland Hospital needs your help, Mr Lee Chin<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11079977/Michael-Lee-Chin_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, September 25, 2014 2:00 AM Focus less on the numbers and start acting responsibly http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Focus-less-on-the-numbers-and-start-acting-responsibly_17528607 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Allow me to try to clarify this chikungunya situation as it seems to me that many people do not understand how the figures are represented. If we look at how the figures for every Caribbean country is quoted laboratory and suspected cases are separated. When the Ministry says that there are 24 lab-confirmed cases, this simply means that of the number of samples sent to the lab for testing &mdash; 24 &mdash; came back positive for chikungunya. It does not mean that there are only 24 cases of the disease in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Allow me to try to clarify this chikungunya situation as it seems to me that many people do not understand how the figures are represented. If we look at how the figures for every Caribbean country is quoted laboratory and suspected cases are separated. When the Ministry says that there are 24 lab-confirmed cases, this simply means that of the number of samples sent to the lab for testing &mdash; 24 &mdash; came back positive for chikungunya. It does not mean that there are only 24 cases of the disease in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> It is clear to me that there are more than 24 cases of chikungunya in Jamaica but it also seems that every fever and joint pain is now considered chikungunya. Dengue, flu and the range of other viral illnesses that cause similar symptoms seem to not exist in Jamaica right now. Chikungunya rules! It would be foolhardy and indeed expensive for the Ministry of Health to test everyone with symptoms as that is simply not necessary. If I have chikungunya and my family members experience the same symptoms I personally would not pay to test all of us. It would make no sense &mdash; financial and otherwise.<br /> <br /> While I think perhaps the ministry can also report the number of suspected cases, I do believe this business of numbers is clouding what should be the real concern. Jamaicans need to take responsibility for their health. The Government should not have to come to your home to turn over a container breeding mosquitoes. If you know that you can get a virus from a mosquito, why would you not do everything you can to prevent it?<br /> <br /> Alex Shaw<br /> <br /> Kingston<br /> <br /> Focus less on the numbers and start acting responsibly<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, September 24, 2014 2:00 AM Laughable reparations claim http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Laughable-reparations-claim-_17599340 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I must admit that the Jamaica Observer gave me a really good laugh with the headline about reparations on Tuesday, September 23, 2014. Which European government is ever going to be in its 'right' mind to help pay us 7.3 trillion pounds, especially at a time when many of these same European countries are broke? Thanks, Observer, for carrying the story, I ready enjoyed the laugh.<br /> <br /> The Observer article was based on a British programme The Empire pays back by Dr Robert Beckford. Interestingly, while the goodly doctor was blaming the British for all the ills of the black race, he forgot to mention the role that Africans played. Indeed, he went as far as to claim that the Africans shouldn't pay anything because they didn't benefit.<br /> <br /> You know, I am always amazed by the rants of some blacks in Britain who are demanding reparations for slavery. Most of them would rather die than leave the comforts of Britain and go back to Africa. Why must they constantly bite the hand that feeds them?<br /> <br /> For those who don't already know, one of the major obstacles that would prevent Britain from paying reparations is the simple fact that slavery was very much a legal institution at the time. Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights makes any European Union state not liable for any criminal act today that was not a crime when that act was being perpetrated. In other words, the convention frees any European country from being liable for slavery.<br /> <br /> It's interesting how those clamouring for reparations use such blatant one-sided arguments. I saw a review of Dr Beckford's programme that highlighted an obvious bias. According to the review, several interviews that opposed reparations or those arguments that presented good arguments against it seem to have been deliberately cut off. What are these pro-reparationists afraid of? The same is mostly true in our own electronic media. When was the last time you heard any discussion as to why this reparations business is nonsense? Like Dr Beckford's vain attempt, most of those demanding reparations think we are all idiots.<br /> <br /> There is another laughable aspect to this reparations joke. Believe it or not, some of us are actually making plans for the money! Some of us are planning to pay off Jamaica's and Caricom's debts so that we can "have a clean slate to start over". I even saw one election campaign promise in an eastern Caribbean island, recently, promising each family 100,00 pounds when it "wins" reparations! I suppose that, as we live in these small islands, we must have small intellects too.<br /> <br /> I long for the day when we blacks will take charge of our own destiny. Enough of these poorly disguised attempts to guilt the Europeans into giving us more handouts. We are not defenceless victims, so enough of this sickening victim-ology. Enough of these 'historians' making the black man look like a helpless and ignorant fool who couldn't help being "violated" by these "wicked" Europeans. Enough of our child-like worldview &mdash; we need to grow up!<br /> <br /> Michael A Dingwall<br /> <br /> michael_a_dingwall@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> Laughable reparations claim<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11076315/Shackles_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, September 24, 2014 2:00 AM Economic independence illusory http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Economic-independence-illusory_17599336 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> For decades, there has been a cry to "eat what we grow and grow what we eat", and the cry has been louder in recent months. While it is ideal to grow what we eat and eat what we grow, it has not been shown to be economically defensible, because the cost of production here is higher than, for example, in the US, our principal trading partner that is also able to enjoy the benefit of economies of scale of production because of the sheer geographic size of the country and its market. The same can be said of China as another example.<br /> <br /> On the other hand, we ought to import what we can produce if the resources used for production can be channelled into productive ventures, which will earn enough to at least offset the difference in importing rather than producing.<br /> <br /> Incidentally, the pledge of our prime minister to work to achieve economic independence is illusory not only because we, as a poor country, cannot be independent, but no country is truly independent or has ever been so. All are inter-dependent as everyone of us is and will always be, in keeping with natural law, dependent on others. And this is reflected in the saying that no man is an island, no man stands alone. Or have we forgotten.<br /> <br /> Owen S Crosbie<br /> <br /> Mandeville, Manchester<br /> <br /> oss@cwjamaica.com<br /> <br /> Economic independence illusory<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, September 24, 2014 2:00 AM Not dealing with Tivoli incident made room for Mario Deane's death http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Not-dealing-with-Tivoli-incident-made-room-for-Mario-Deane-s-death_17573713 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The security forces operation into Tivoli in 2010, which led to the killing of 76 Jamaicans, has become, because of either disregard or neglect by our elected leaders, just another non-event in our history as an independent country.<br /> <br /> There is little public interest in having all the facts uncovered or revealed so the same errors are not repeated. The now apathetic public no longer believes there is any purpose to be served by an inquiry and, therefore, think it a total waste of time and money. This is so because of the procrastination associated with the commencement of a meaningful commission.<br /> <br /> We have been made to believe there are no lessons to be learned. It has taken four years for our leaders to be convinced of the need for an inquiry. And where are we after all this time? Finally we have got the members appointed and sworn in. We need the commission to get down to work. A public sceptical about the usefulness of the inquiry doesn't want to hear in very general terms that the inquiry will commence by year-end. Really, now! What is needed is a schedule of the activities of the commission of inquiry, or a timeline and some openness and transparency from the outset. We need to be treated with respect, because, after all, we are paying the bill. There need be no excuses for delays, such as the unavailability of ballistic reports.<br /> <br /> One simple part of the investigation that could be commenced without any further delay is that the commission can get evidence from the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and members of the family of the soldier killed during this operation. The JDF knows the truth about his death. The JDF should be asked to provide the commission with a copy of the provisions for the award of military honours, especially the award of a military medal for soldiers killed on operations. The commission may wish to establish whether the soldier was qualified for any at all, and if not, why not?<br /> <br /> It is hoped that as our elected leaders showcase themselves at Mario Deane's funeral and with his relatives and community that they will take the time to accept they are as much responsible for the death of Mario as those who played a role in his death. Their failure in the past to do anything meaningful about Agana Barrett and Kamoza Clarke -- both of whom died as a result of being in police lock-up -- led to this brutal killing of Mario.<br /> <br /> Likewise, they have done very little or nothing to ensure that justice was not denied because of the delay in getting an inquiry convened and concluded in as short a time as possible in respect of the 2010 Tivoli operation that took the lives of so many Jamaicans. So, when we have the next killing of a large group of Jamaicans because we were never made to understand that killings of such a nature as the 2010 Tivoli incident would not be condoned, one would ask that our parliamentarians save us their hypocritical rhetoric and crocodile tears.<br /> <br /> Colonel Allan Douglas<br /> <br /> Kingston 10<br /> <br /> alldouglas@aol.com<br /> <br /> Not dealing with Tivoli incident made room for Mario Deane's death<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, September 24, 2014 2:00 AM Chik-V preparedness tun up http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Chik-V-preparedness-tun-up_17594185 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> As I read the various articles and view the super large advertisements that promote pain relievers, I am convinced of a conspiracy: Is chickungunya really as a result of a mosquito bite?<br /> <br /> Much akin to an urgent hurricane advisory, the supermarket shelves which once held a variety of mosquito repellants; spray-ons with or without Deet, plug-ins, aerosols, and big name brands such as Vape mats and coils, and my favourite, the rechargeable swatter, are almost empty.<br /> <br /> I have never used this much mosquito repellant, even after a hurricane, so something seems to be fundamentally wrong or have the mosquitoes joined ranks and called an airstrike on the Caribbean and by extension the world?<br /> <br /> Well, I am resolved to protect myself and my family, so I joined in the fight against the dreaded virus and stocked up on the essentials for safeguarding my household.<br /> <br /> As I write, my coil is burning in a corner and the fan is on full blast. I am protected from head to toe with repellant and, just in case I missed a spot, my Pryo tin is nearby and I never go anywhere without my reliable rechargeable swatter -- gets them everytime.<br /> <br /> Clovis, my friends would love to see a picture of this.<br /> <br /> But what is this pain I feel in my ankle?<br /> <br /> Nicole Bartley<br /> <br /> sisvolush16@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> Chik-V preparedness tun up<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, September 23, 2014 2:00 AM