Campbell steers clear of murder rate issue on first overseas tripTuesday, August 03, 2021
BY HAROLD G BAILEY
NEW YORK, United States — On his first overseas trip as junior foreign minister, Senator Leslie Campbell stepped nimbly away from the issue of escalating murder rates in Jamaica which has been a hot button issue for members of the Diaspora here.
Instead, Campbell stuck with the Government's theme, assuring Jamaicans here of the Administration's continued commitment to the Diaspora, the deepening of relations and to work “to achieve our shared goals”.
He was speaking at a service Sunday in Queens to commemorate Jamaica's Emancipation from slavery and the 59th Independence anniversary, after attending a flag-raising ceremony in White Plains, Westchester County, as part of a series of events celebrating the annual events.
“This is not the occasion for such a discussion,” Campbell told the Jamaica Observer when asked what steps the Government was taking to contain and reduce the number of homicides in the homeland.
In June, many in the Diaspora were left fuming when a symposium failed to address the homicide issue, which has seen more than 800 Jamaicans being murdered so far this year.
The Emancipendence service in Jamaica Estates, Queens, was held at Immaculate Conception Monastery and attended by federal, state and local elected officials, as well as diplomats from other countries. Heading the attendees was Jamaican-American Congresswoman Yvette D Clarke.
Campbell told the congregation that the Administration was taking “deliberate steps to position the country to recover stronger and better” from the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic, noting: “We continue to forge ahead with our strategic objective of sustained and inclusive economic growth and job creation.”
He commended the Jamaican community here for its consistent support of their island home over the years, through good and bad times and across many sectors, including the critical areas of health and education.
In a short but well-received sermon, guest preacher Rev Richard Griffiths of Bronx Bethany Church of the Nazarene extolled the virtues of unity and togetherness against selfishness and individualism.
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