Treasurer on Criminal Charges Suspended From Jamaica Women’s Group In Florida

Before appointment, was there any background checks done on Ms Watson considering the position to be held?  Certainly innocent until proven guilty, however, an appointment in February, and now facing outcome of court proceedings reported in the month of May seems too close for comfort.

Notwithstanding not taking up her position, should she have been considered at all with such matters before the Courts?  Or is it that the Women’s Group was not knowledgeable?  Either way, it does not bode well when Groups are engaging/soliciting the trust of those whose finances keep the mission alive.  Perception in business is vital, so in future, along with the ‘highly come recommended’ profile, background checks must become paramount.


 

Jamaican women’s group in Florida suspends treasurer on criminal charges

 

(Jamaica Gleaner) Published:Saturday | May 23, 2015

The board of directors of the Jamaican Women of Florida, Inc. has voted to suspend its recently elected treasurer Pamella Watson who was has been charged with several federal crimes.

The suspension is pending the outcome of the case in court but the group says Watson along with all defendants are presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

In a release issued to the media, the women’s group said Watson was elected treasurer of the Jamaican organisation in February, but had not yet assumed the role and was not a signatory on any of its accounts.

It also sought to assure members and benefactors that their funds were not compromised.

An interim treasurer is to be appointed who will serve until the matter involving Watson is resolved in the courts.

At that time, the board says it will act in accordance with the group’s by-laws

 

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I Can See Again – So Much Is Given Yet Jamaica Abuses!!

‘To whom much is given, much is required’ or often said ‘expected’. The saying is not only Biblical, but has become a ‘mantra’, to many philanthropists.  Affected by this are those persons who feel based on their own blessings are compelled to ‘give back’ in whatever way they possibly can.  This type of ‘mission’ goes against the seeds of ego based motives, selfishness, corrupt intentions and manipulation of any sort with the view to personal gain.

When I look at our Island, and take note of aids that have come our way, then look and listen to our leaders, I realise there is a profound disconnect of ‘purpose’, ‘love of country and mankind’.    The China mission elected to do 200 surgeries had completed 75 of which this elderly man is able to read his Bible once again as he declares.  As the article informs, we have benefitted from medical missions from 2013 to present.  Yet I pose this question, what has been the state of the country’s health-care system?  How many elderly and others need some form of surgery and have been on waiting lists for over three (3) years?

We seem to grandstand ‘freeness’ at the generosity of those who continually give aid to us.  However, what is lacking is our willingness to budget and spend adequately on the most important aspect to human lives, and that is our ‘health’.  Your health is your greatest asset which we have heard way too often.  Despite this fact, our leaders refuse to put health-care on the front burner ensuring that first class treatment can be afforded to its ‘assets’ which are ‘the people’.  We are a disgrace in that sector and until it becomes mandatory those Parliamentarians seek treatment at our own public hospitals and not private, I opine things will remain the same. At times I question our total ‘democracy’.  In many ways, it has been a ‘curse’ to us.

Surprise me if you can!!!!


 

China returns gift of sight to the elderly

 

(Jamaica Gleaner) Published:Saturday | May 23, 2015

Lincoln Chambers is grateful to finally be able to read his Bible again. He is scheduled for cataract surgery on his right eye on Monday at the Ophthalmology Department at the Kingston Public Hospital. The surgery will be carried out free of cost as part of China’s Bright Journey Medical Mission to Jamaica.
Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson tests his eyes, while Chinese Ambassador Dong Xiaojun (right); Dr Marion Bullock-Ducasse (centre), acting chief medical officer; and Dr Andrei Cooke, chairman of the South East Regional Health Authority, look on. Yesterday, the Chinese government donated medical equipment and supplies valued at more than US$390,000 to the Ophthalmology Department at the Kingston Public Hospital as part of its Bright Journey Medical Mission to Jamaica.
 
Lincoln Chambers pressed his hands to his eyes and wept openly. He was at a loss for words and reduced to tears, thanking God that he would finally be able to read his Bible again.

Yesterday, the 67-year-old had just signed up at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) to be one of 200 persons who will receive free cataract surgery as part of China’s ‘Bright Journey’ Medical Mission to Jamaica.

The mission, which runs from May 18 to May 29, is facilitated by six medical doctors and two nurses. Their main purpose is to conduct corrective surgery on persons suffering from poor vision or blindness due to cataract disease. They will also be providing other clinical activities and carrying out academic exchanges with Jamaican health-care personnel.

Yesterday, they donated medical equipment and supplies valued at more than US$390,000 to KPH’s Ophthalmology Department.

Travelling from Belvedere in Red Hills, St Andrew, Chambers is scheduled to have cataract surgery on his right eye on Monday.

“I can’t tell you how glad I am that I will be able to read my Bible again,” he told The Gleaner through the tears.

“I coming here since 2013 for the eye. I am a pensioner and can’t afford to do it private. Now, because of these people I will get to do the surgery. Sometimes I can’t even find things if it drop. Thank God for this. It is a blessing in disguise.”

Adora Cameron, 91, was on her way to theatre for surgery on her right eye.

“I am really happy I will see clearly again. Right now, I can only see shadows,” she said.

Seventy-eight-year-old Norma Brown was there for post-operation follow-up, having had her surgery on Tuesday.

“I feel very good in my heart; very good. I had cataract for a long time and could not see good, but now I can see everything bright, bright. I can go home and read my Bible. I thank God for the doctors, nurses, everyone for what happen,” Brown stated.

praying for the chance

These three were among several elderly persons in the waiting area praying for the chance to read again or just to see clearly to do simple things on their own.

“Most of the persons on the list to do the surgeries are over 60 years old,” said Dr Michelle Leighton, consultant ophthalmologist.

“Some of them have been on a long waiting list. What this mission has done is to tremendously reduce that long waiting time. Some who were scheduled to do their surgery in July, for instance, are getting it done now. This really is a wonderful thing being done.”

Up to Thursday, the Chinese mission team had done 75 of the 200 surgeries.

Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson deemed the mission an extremely historic, pioneering move, noting that last year, there were 182 medical missions to Jamaica, 197 in 2013, and 172 the previous year.

“These missions are very helpful to Jamaica. They save the country tremendously in terms of pharmaceutical supplies and human resources. That will make a tremendous difference,” said Ferguson.

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Justice Served – Put Him On The Next Plane Back To Canada!!

uite frankly, I opine if it is you have legal residence and citizenship in a foreign country for a minimum of twenty (20) years, there you should remain if you choose.  Irrespective of the nature of crimes you may commit once it is ascertained you lived legally in that country for the minimum period, you should not be deported to the country of your origin/birth.

It is a known fact that immigration has been the building block for many of the western countries.  Immigrants who contributed and raised families should be protected by the very same country they helped to build.  Criminal activities will always exist therefore those who become criminals based on their country of origin/birth should not be faced with deportation because they were not born in said country.  If your Immigration Laws can offer legal residency and citizenship based on legitimacy of application then your country of origin should have no bearing on entitlements that are automatically given to those born in said country. 

I have never been in favour of deporting persons living in a foreign country for 20, 30, 40 years etc to their birthplace for whatever the reasons given.  That in itself I find grossly inhumane.  If they have been incarcerated in foreign prisons after obtaining legal residency in same country, they should be allowed to remain.  What purpose can and will they serve returning to a country they were far removed from for decades?  It would be best, if you close the doors to all immigration prospects rather than giving the false impression that they are protected by the laws of the land in the same way as those born there.  No one knows what the future may hold, and in no way should the country you have lived for decades, legally so; determine regardless of the circumstances, that you no longer have legal grounds to remain because you were never born there. 


 

Canada’s expulsion of mentally ill J’can ‘inhuman’: UN

(Jamaica Observer) Thursday, May 21, 2015 | 11:27 AM     38 Comments

 
 
 
 
 

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) –Canada’s deportation of a mentally ill Jamaican man who had lived in the country for three decades constitutes “cruel and inhuman treatment”, a UN watchdog said Thursday.

Canada’s 2011 decision to deport the man, identified in the media as 52-year-old Audley Horace Gardner, left him “without the medical and family support he depended on,” the UN Human Rights Committee ruled.

The 18-member committee called on Canada to allow Gardner to return to the country if he wished and to give him adequate compensation.

He had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1993, and Canadian authorities deported him in August 2011 over “serious criminality”, including his conviction six years earlier for assault with a weapon.

Gardner came to Canada when he was aged 18.

The Geneva-based committee, which oversees countries’ adherence to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, said Canada had a right to protect the general public, but stressed that Gardner’s crimes were recognised to be related to his mental illness.

The Jamaican had been evicted from his home in 2005, and experts said he subsequently faced difficulties in accessing medicines and suffered psychotic relapses.

The committee said his deportation breached the international covenant that stipulates: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”.

Canadian authorities had argued that the deportation was needed on security grounds and was “reasonable in the circumstances and proportionate to the gravity of the crimes committed, and the danger posed to the Canadian public”.

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J$50 Million Awarded Due To Blindness After Being Shot – Is That Really Justice??

No amount of money can reclaim one’s sight; however, an award of J$50M to this lady now 33 years of age, will provide some form of assistance.  Who knows, but considering that justice in JA is beyond slow, in a case like this, it would appear swift.  For me, I take much more than the prospects of the fairy book existence, meaning the husband, house, picket fence and 1 plus 2 kids in a row.  Somehow, I don’t see how blindness prohibits such a relationship or dream to foster.  There are many challenged with sight yet seem to defy the odds and have amazing lives.  We can look no further than our own Parliament.

One of my focus would be on the nightmares she may have suffered or still suffer knowing that those commissioned to serve and protect would fire aimlessly at anyone in sight rather than their intended targets.  Also at 33 years of age, she is still young, and with the possibility of living to 65, 70 or older, I would take that into consideration.  As such a judgement in the amount of J$120 million I believe would have been a fair amount.

Blind at birth is one thing, losing your eyesight due to the recklessness of a stranger in uniform is hard to swallow.


 

 

Justice not blind – West Kingston woman awarded $50m after security forces’ bullet robbed her of sight

(Jamaica Gleaner, Friday | May 22, 2015)

A WEST Kingston woman has been awarded close to $50 million in damages almost 14 years after a bullet, believed to have been fired by a member of the security forces, left her blind in both eyes during the 2001 police-military operation in her community.

The award, which was made in the Supreme Court last week, calls for the State to pay Latoya Brown, who was 19 years old at the time of shooting, $45 million with interest calculated at three per cent per annum from May 2006 to the date of the ruling.

Brown was also awarded $2 million for the cost of future care.

The shooting occurred during a lull in nearly three days of fierce gunfight between thugs and members of the security forces.

At the end of the shooting, 27 civilians were killed. A commission of enquiry later exonerated members of the Jamaica Defence Force and the Jamaica Constabulary Force who participated in the operations.

However, High Court Judge Evon Brown, in his ruling, said he accepted that the bullet which struck the west Kingston woman was fired by a member of the security forces, but rejected her claim that it was intentional.

Consequently, judge Brown had strong words for members of the security forces about the use of deadly force in situations where civilians may be killed or injured.

“There is no doubt that members of the security forces may – to be ‘unforensic’ for a moment – fight fire with fire when confronting criminal gunmen. However, even in the confrontation of armed outlaws, before they proceed to discharge their firearms, the public has to be considered,” the judge wrote.

“In other words, when members of the security forces propose to discharge their firearms where persons other than armed criminals are, the law constrains the lawmen not to injure these innocent bystanders,” he continued.

In the negligence suit filed against the Government, Brown said she lost sight in her eyes instantly after taking a bullet to the head near the intersection of North and Regent streets on the morning of July 9, 2001.

According to her, the shooting occurred moments after she decided to return home after she and a female friend encountered a group of soldiers and police personnel. Initially, she told police investigators she did not see who shot her, but insisted in court that it was a member of the security forces.

“Was it a member of the security forces who shot and injured the claimant? The unequivocal answer to that question is yes. The unchallenged evidence was that at the material time, only the members of the security forces fired their weapons,” Brown concluded.

With a handkerchief tied around the wound and blood oozing down her face, Brown said she was placed on a handcart and taken to the Denham Town Police Station.

However, she said police personnel there told her there was no vehicle to transport her to the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH).

Brown said she was transported to KPH on a handcart and immediately taken to the emergency room, where doctors found bilateral ruptured globes, right upper- and lower-lid lacerations, as well as lacerations and soft-tissue loss to “both temporal regions” (the areas where the bullet entered and exited).

Court documents show that her blindness was confirmed a week later by Dr Lisa Leo-Rhynie, who found that “there is no possibility of the claimant regaining any vision as the eyes have been removed”.

Justice Brown said in assessing the damages, he took into consideration the woman’s age at the time of the incident and the “blight” on her life caused by the disability.

“One manifestation of the blight upon the claimant’s life is her prospects for marriage, at the higher level, or just intimate relationships at the lower level. I venture to say that the claimant’s chances in this area have been greatly diminished,” the judge wrote.

“The claimant’s life may yet have that storied ending where she meets a prince whose love will transcend this most conspicuous of imperfections,” he concluded.

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The Good Life………..

Oh  how I desire the good life……let me enjoy it to the fullest I deserve it!!!

The ‘good life’ is not one thing…..it is a composition of your entire being. The choices you make, the life you lead, your character……In essence the ‘good life’ is your lifestyle that you own, that you design which defines you. 

Are you morally clean, are you respectful of your body, are you a person of integrity, or are you ‘loose’ a ‘crawler’, ‘trollop’? Can you be held in ‘high esteem’ physically, morally and spiritually? How do your children view you if you are a Parent? Are you healthy emotionally, spiritually and mentally? When was the last time you took a long look in the mirror……..the mirror to your true reflection?

Only can you attract and live the ‘good life’ once your lifestyle embodies those values that brings light versus ‘closetness and darkness.  Anything less is a substitute, a mere pleasure ride that lasts a few hours per day.  It eventually ends leaving you in your continued state of confliction, confusion, devoid of peace which is ultimately the key to entering into the ‘good life’.

Wow……….the good life surely feels good!!!!

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Execution Style Murders Order Of The Day

Many of our murders on the Island are carried out by intended ‘hits’; they know their targets.  There is a code among many that when relationships foil personal or business, someone will pay with their life.  The danger we face can result in innocent victims  being caught up as the execution is done anywhere and at any time.  Once again, until we ‘get tough’ on the punishments for heinous crimes with swift judgements, life will continue on the same path.

No use trying to ‘sugar coat’ the spikes now, this will undoubtedly cause alarm for citizens, prospective investors and tourists alike.


 

Passenger shoots taxi driver in head

(Jamaica Observer) Tuesday, May 19, 2015

 
 ST ANN, Jamaica – A taxi operator plying the Ocho Rios to Beecher Town route in St Ann was on Monday evening shot dead by one of two male passengers he picked up on Gully Road.

The taxi driver has been identified as 39-year-old Fredrick Colely.

Reports are that Colely left Ocho Rios with passengers about 5:00 pm, en route to Beecher Town. On reaching Gully Road, he reportedly stopped and picked up two men.

It is further reported that while approaching a corner, one of the men shot Colely in the head. The car is said to have overturned and the men escaped on foot.

The other passengers were not injured.

The Ocho Rios police are investigating.

Renae Dixon

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Zika Virus Now – Sounding The Alarm When It is Close To Your Doorstep – Rubbish!!

Singing the same sankey and never one step ahead of the game, ‘oono nuh ready’.  How about holding the Government accountable and putting constant, persistent pressure on them until change is seen and maintained for months on end and possibly years.  Just maybe we will put some credence on the ramblings of our polished few.

How long has chikungunya left our shores or is that the known cases are fewer or people are ‘self medicating’?  Have we seen any difference relating to cleanliness on our Island?  We were deadly afraid of Ebola and so we moved at a space never seen before.  It is not my view that we learnt any lessons from Chik-V rather fear of ‘death’ forced us into action on  Ebola.  Once we realised that loved ones and colleagues succumbed to Chik-V due to underlying health challenges, we came up with some ‘cock an bull’ story.  As usual appeasement was sought and dished out in the usual fashion, and we returned to business.

If our Opposition were to move in like how ‘ticks deh an stay pon dog’, just maybe we could  ‘kick some ass’, and actually see progress.  Sad to say, we have no energy, resilience to ‘ride di donkey’, or ‘siddung pon it till it bubble’, apologies for the double entendre.  In the interim, I will ensure that I take care of my own immune system to the best of my core, and continue to observe, and ‘run up my mouth’, by bringing to you through my own eyes, how I see life on the Rock.


 

 

Potential mosquito-borne virus threat: Opposition calls for cleanup programme

 

(Jamaica Gleaner) Published:Tuesday | May 19, 2015

 
Marlene Malahoo Forte
  

Opposition spokesperson on health, Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte, says the Government should immediately undertake a cleanup programme to minimise the impact of the Zika virus (ZIKV).

The Ministry of Health has advised that there is now an outbreak of the virus in Brazil and it poses a potential threat to Jamaica.

Permanent Secretary in the health ministry, Dr Kevin Harvey, said the ministry is taking the threat very seriously as the virus is spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito which also carries the dengue and Chikungunya viruses.

Malahoo Forte says now is the time to take action.

She says in addition to a cleanup programme, health workers should begin to reach out to communities.

The opposition spokesperson says it is critical that the health ministry tell the country all it knows about the Zika virus so that Jamaicans can know how to protect themselves.

Malahoo Forte asserts that the health ministry should avoid a repeat of the bungling in the handling of the Chik-V outbreak last year.

 

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Usain Bolt – Have No Fear Oral Tracy- He Has It Locked Believe It

Fear not……Usain Bolt  has delivered and has always done so in spectacular fashion.  He is our finest elite athlete of our times and I suggest Mr Tracy you try to hold down certain fears in the privacy of your space and practice ‘silence’ if you have doubts.  I will say this I do like Gatlin.  I like him for a couple of reasons.  He is undoubtedly mentally strong and has a ‘self’ belief that is astounding making him one of Bolt’s best competitor, rival, and motivator.  One would say he has no shame, but in a sports where so many of his colleagues have been brandished due to drugs, Gatlin has taken his knocks and has told the World, ‘I messed up, but I am not out neither am I done.  Who are you?, certainly not my Creator and never my final Judge’.  I have to say, I like a man or woman with such determination, energy and vigor.  For those characteristics, Justin Gatlin stands tall.  He is scared of no one on the track.

Usain Bolt is one I will never question.  I did that a few years ago and got myself unnecessarily nervous to the point of having anxiety attacks.  What was the outcome; Bolt left me in a state equal to a coma when he tore up the field at the London Olympics in 2012, winning both the 100 and 200 meters respectively.  Let me take you down memory lane, Gatlin, Bailey, Gay, Asafa, Blake, Bolt; 9.64 new Olympic Record.  He is the King of the tracks.  He transcends you must understand that.  No siree I have no fear.  I will wait and prepare myself for yet another victory.


 

Bolt will lose to Gatlin at World Champs

(Jamaica Gleaner) Published:Monday | May 18, 2015

Bolt (left) and Gatlin
 
 

The 2015 World Champion-ships sprint off in the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing China in the last week of August, the same historic venue where Usain St Leo Bolt propelled himself to superstardom with his marauding record-breaking performances in the 100 metres, 200m and 4x100m sprint relay at the 2008 Olympics.

With the Bird’s Nest and the Chinese people set for something of a reunion with the now king of sprinting, I am deeply worried and concerned that Bolt could lose his 100m World title on this very grand stage, with the man to do the damage being Bolt’s main rival and the man who has been in imperious form over the past two years, American Justin Gatlin.

The latest catalyst for these concerns might well be Gatlin’s spanking personal best 9.74 run in Doha, Qatar last weekend. That 9.74 in and of itself, however, represents a culmination of what has been a superb and consistent run of form for Gatlin, which puts Bolt in clear and present danger of losing that 100m World title.

These fears are based not just on Gatlin’s form, but equally on the readiness of Bolt compared to his rival.

Gatlin is running at his best and continues to improve, while Bolt, after basically taking last season off, is far from his best and struggling to get into tip-top shape.

Gatlin’s brashness and even his two failed drug tests aside, this man is not just a supremely gifted sprinter, but his resilience, his determination, self belief and the toughness of his character are all marks of a truly great competitor.

Most mere mortals would have disappeared into oblivion after two failed drug tests and four years out of the sport. But not Justin Gatlin. He has literally defied the science of chronological progression by running the fastest he has ever run at 33-year-old, manifested by his scorching personal best of 9.74 last weekend.

no fear

Most contemporary sprinters are intimidated by the mere presence of Bolt on the track. One gets the sense that Gatlin views the Jamaican Legend differently and is greatly motivated and actually believes and is confident he can beat Bolt when it matters.

Words coming from the Bolt camp are along the predictable lines that Bolt at his best cannot be beaten.

That is ever so true, but the question to be answered is how far is Bolt from his best and can he get back to his best in time for the Championships?

It has long been very puzzling to me, the fact that ever since his elevation to that elite level, there has been a tendency season after season for Bolt to have to learn the technicalities of sprinting all over again.

Every early season Bolt looks raw and rugged as a sprinter, there seems to be very little continuity from season to season. It’s normally back to his notoriously poor start and then he works gradually on the execution of the rest of his race.

Gatlin by comparison was great last season and has not skipped a beat coming into this season.

Bolt seems to be always playing catch up, struggling to get ready in time. Invariably he starts off his seaso in 10.10 to 9.90 shape, then there is this frantic push to get down to 9.70 in time for the major championships, which usually is good enough to win the major titles.

Not so I suspect this season, with that beast of a competitor, Justin Gatlin, not just waiting in the wings, but preparing and believing he can steal the thunder of the current king of sprinting.

This imminent moment for the American has been two years in the making. He is way ahead of Bolt and all the indicators are pointing to a Gatlin victory over Bolt in the 100m at the upcoming World Championships, in the very same Bird’s Nest Stadium where Bolt and indeed the world enjoyed some of the most memorable moments in 2008. I sincerely hope I am wrong.

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People Stop Your Foolishness – How Much Do You Expect To Pay????

Much to do about nothing…….This is one government agency I will say based on experience is ‘efficient’ in the quality of service offered;  I speak of the Constant Spring branch as that is where I am familiar.  Let me pose a few questions;

a)  How long is your passport valid for? (10 years)

b) How often do you travel? ie weekly, monthly, yearly, every couple of years, or none within the 10 years period.

c) How much does the average male spend at the barber shop and how often does he go?

d) How much does the average woman spend on her weave, locks, nails, permed hair weekly, monthly yearly?

Are you really going to jump on this bandwagon that is a blowless empty air without merit piece of junk being sounded by those not even fit to govern ‘sheep’?  Your energies should have been directed at motor vehicle fees but as usual we ‘folla back’ as the asses we are.  Let us keep it simple!!!!!

Passport fees increase next week

(Jamaica Observer) Monday, May 18, 2015     37 Comments

 
 
  

PASSPORT fees will increase as of next Tuesday, May 26, the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) announced yesterday.

The cost of a regular adult passport will move from $4,500 to $6,500, while the passport for a minor will move from $2,700 to $4,000.

Replacing lost passports for adults will cost $11,500 (up from $9,500) and $7,000 (up from $5,700) for minors.

PICA explained that the current fee structure was introduced in 2009 and that the new amounts seek to cover inflation and the movement in the exchange rate over the period. Importantly as well, is the fact that the agency will have to be self-sufficient as it will no longer receive money from the Consolidated Fund.

“The new fees will provide the agency with the necessary funding to employ more immigration offficers and other staff, as well as offer some technological improvements and space requirements for customers and staff,” the agency said.

“It is noted that, while the agency has made considerable gains to fully cover all its operational costs, it is only staffed at 70 per cent for permanent employees. Additionally, a considerable portion of the technological inputs for its services are quoted in foreign exchange. In order to fulfil its mandate of border security, the staffing levels, and use of technology are necessary and become even more important in light of current international threats,” the statement continued.

In addition to the increased fees, PICA said it will make changes to its services, and will introduce a same-day service at its headquarters at 25 Constant Spring Road. It said it will also offer expedited services of seven and five days at its regional office and outposts in Montego Bay, St Ann’s Bay, Portmore, May Pen, and Mandeville. The regular service at those points is currently 14 and 11 days.

“Over the years the agency has met it customer service promise of providing passports in seven working days, and in the last financial year met this target 99 per cent,” PICA said.

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You Shall Surely Pay For Your Weakness On Crime – Talk Is Cheap

The truth is the governing party has been in governance way longer than the opposition and so they will and should continue to take the harsh criticisms meted out towards them.  We the people of this country are DESPERATE for changes to our existing laws relative to crime.   

The baby boomers are alive and kicking and as long as good health is achieved may surpass the age of 70.  Their children and grandchildren are fast making up the millennia’s and ‘fear’ is setting in as Jamaica has become an Island where murder, robbery, kidnapping, fraud and scamming are reeking havoc on the ENTIRE society.  When we speak to tourism I find it humourous at times as you wonder if they are speaking about the same Jamaica I live in.  You cannot separate crime and violence, lack of justice or perceived to be separate from all sectors where growth is expected and does take place.  Eventually, sectors are going to be affected as crime is prevalent.

Many may not be concerned with what takes place outside our shores but there are those of us who like to be informed ‘aware’ of current affairs globally.  Travelling has taken on a new dimension with world-wide terrorism being a primary focus, therefore persons who plan their vacations take additional factors into consideration that they normally never did decades ago.  Brand Jamaica is well on the map as we are known for producing exceptional talent in our sports arena and other areas, while at the same time known for lottery scamming that has been broadcast and documented on foreign press.  Montego Bay is known as the hub for lottery scamming and even with the emergence in other parishes, it is still thought to hold its base in that resort town. We are soft on crime!

Our punishments do not fit the crime; our judicial system does not appear to be able to cope with those cases that are not moving.  From the forensic reports, investigation, witnesses we seem to have an excuse for every area of incompetence.  This is communicated globally whether we want to believe it or not.  Very few people have an emotional attachment to a country. They wish to de-stress, relax and enjoy its offerings and quite frankly they do not want to suffer from panic attacks, anxiety and real fear of being robbed, not to mention a failed healthcare system.   In the event of road accidents, or injuries the thought of being stuck on this Island will cause one to reconsider.

We are now selling a dream.  Until we fix and implement draconian laws the industry we took so much pride in and relied so heavily on will cost us dearly.  When we look for excuses, do not even mention Cuba and any other region; look in the mirror each and everyone in governance and know that you ALL played a role in our demise.  All it takes is having the ‘balls’ to get ‘tough’ but we are so accustomed to gibberish that we will continue to give speeches with no action that will reap change.  By doing so, our moves are closely watched by those who have choices as to where they spend their hard earned foreign currency.


 

Alarm over Jamaica’s slip in tourism competitveness

(Jamaica Observer) Published:Sunday | May 17, 2015

 
The famous Doctor’s Cave beach in Montego Bay.
 
There is concern that Jamaica is losing its competitiveness in the global tourism and cruise shipping industries.

The Opposition spokesperson for Tourism and Cruise Shipping, Shahine Robinson, has expressed alarm at the island dropping nine places to 76 out of 141 countries in the latest Global Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015, published biennially by the Swiss-based World Economic Forum.

“With growth rates already lagging way behind competing destinations in the region… Jamaica dropped 9 places to rank 76 out of 141 countries, the worst ever, (and) leaving it behind a slew of regional destinations including Trinidad and Tobago,” said Robinson in a release issued to the media.

The Global Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report ranks countries based on their score in its travel and competitiveness index. The index is comprised of four sub-indices including: enabling environment; travel & tourism policies and enabling conditions; infrastructure; and natural and cultural resources.

Robinson highlighted that safety and security concerns continue to be major challenges for Jamaica’s tourism sector. She reiterated her call for both the tourism and national security ministers to address the problem effectively.

The Opposition spokesperson suggested that there be an increase in the number of police units, more frequent patrols, speedy investigations and community policing as some of the ways to address the challenges affecting the tourism sector.

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