Diaspora, 6th Biennial Conference – They Came……They Are Gone

A friend of mine in business locally told me of their attendance at the Conference.  My question was, for what purpose? response ‘the possibilities and opportunities that exists’.

There is so much talk about wooing the Diaspora into Jamaica’s political sphere and I must say a pretty good one.  I certainly believe strongly that those who are members should be allowed to vote as long as they are contributing to the Roc.  I am not talking about remittance.  Remittances are to benefit their family and loved ones.  While it provides a form of social security to many, there is much more that the diaspora do and I believe can surpass that.  As such, they must be allowed to have a voice by way of a ‘vote’ as to who should govern Jamaica in the very near future.

I opine they should be represented in Parliament, and should be part of any economic body that is in place to oversee the government’s affairs.  It cannot be that the diaspora is only looked upon as a ‘cash cow’ in our crisis which is ongoing, yet having the doors closed as some poor relations ‘uffa head come an go, suh sen dem a back room’.   We want the diaspora to invest in any small or large way into the ongoing development of this country. 

We have expatriates who live in this country for over five (5) years and I am sure they ensure that majority of their remuneration returns to their country of origin.  I would love our diaspora to see Jamaica as a place where they can build or purchase that retirement home if they choose.  Or they can have that vacation home on the Island that can make earnings for them while they are not here.  In other words, you live and many of you have your immediate family residing in foreign lands with no intentions of returning to the Roc for permanence.  That is fine, I would like you on the other hand to see Jamaica as a place you can develop business ventures, become philanthropists, have a voice in the electorate and truly be part of our progression that eventually becomes the norm for generations to come. 

To our government, I say, be the first to engage the diaspora with a seat in the house and open the doors for them to vote in the next upcoming general elections.  How difficult can that be???  Why can this not be a reality now?  Do you think our expatriate community on the Roc doesn’t rush to vote for the country of their birth when it is time for them to do so?  Why would you shun those who you claim are viable to this country; our born Jamaicans living in a foreign land?


PHOTOS: Sixth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference

(Jamaica Gleaner) Published:Monday | June 15, 2015
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller at the Diaspora Conference with Professor Neville Ying, executive director, Jamaica Diaspora Institute and Edmund Bartlett, Opposition spokesman on Tourism.
(From left) State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Arnaldo Brown, Foreign Affairs Minister AJ Nicholson, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, Professor Neville Ying, executive director, Jamaica Diaspora Institute and Edmund Bartlett, Opposition spokesman on Tourism.
Anthony Hylton, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, greets Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, Doreen Lawrence, OBE with a warm embrace on the second day of the Sixth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Montego Convention Centre in St James, June 15, 2015. Observing in the background is Earl Jarrett, General Manager, Jamaica National Building Society.
Eddie Wray of the Rastafari Indigenous Village chats with Wayne Thomas from Canada during the Diaspora Conference underway in Montego Bay.
Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Robert Ready (left); Earl Jarrett, General Manager, Jamaica National Building Society and Don Wehby, GraceKennedy Chief Executive Officer, have a pleasant exchange during the Official Opening Ceremony and Reception at the Sixth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Montego Convention Centre in St James, yesterday, June 14, 2015.
Earl Jarrett, General Manager, Jamaica National Building Society and Luis Moreno US Ambassador to Jamaica, greet during the Official Opening Ceremony and Reception at the Sixth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Montego Convention Centre in St James, yesterday, June 14, 2015.
Diaspora conference participants at one of the booths.
The Gleaner Online’s brand manager Terri-Karelle Reid making a presentation at the Diaspora Conference

Hundreds of people have converged on the western city of Montego Bay, St James for the sixth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference now underway.

See some of the highlights in photos:

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Jamaican Journalists International – ‘Big Up Uself’ – You Make Us Proud!!!!!Ch

This is news worthy and the story should be told of our esteemed journalists who served Jamaica well and those who continue to do so both locally and abroad.  I can say without reservations, my own Father was an esteemed journalist and names on this list I know made Jamaica proud.  Their craft was important to them, one where room for errors was unthinkable, leaving the end product ‘perfect’.

The good work must continue and may those current and upcoming learn to emulate the high quality standards that our esteemed journalists past and present have set.  I believe a drink of some kind is in order at this very moment……….Cheers ‘ole chap’.


Saluting Jamaicans who have done well in international media

(Jamaica Observer) Sunday, June 21, 2015     


Lester Holt

As we reflected last month during World Press Freedom Day celebrations, it is safe to say that journalists are universally accepted as indispensable to the democracy and development of every country. Thankfully, that has been the prevailing view in Jamaica, where media professionals are recognised for their work.

At the risk of sounding incestuous, we believe that Jamaican journalists, in the main, have produced credible and sometimes outstanding work both in Jamaica and in countries where they ply their trade overseas. Many of our top journalists worked overseas after starting in Jamaica, and many who achieved success abroad returned to give service in Jamaica.

Several of them broke the colour barrier in foreign media. Among the earliest was Una Marson, who worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) during World War II after writing for Public Opinion in Jamaica. She pioneered the BBC radio series Caribbean Voices, which showcased the work of Caribbean authors in their formative years, including Messrs V S Naipaul, Samuel Selvon, George Lamming, and Derek Walcott.

Many Jamaicans sharpened their skills at the BBC, including the likes of Mr Dwight Whylie, the first black radio announcer hired by the BBC. Some left the Corporation to serve in other capacities: Mr Whylie was general manager of the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC); Mr A E T Henry became the first head of the Government Public Relations Office (forerunner of the Jamaica Information Service), and Mr Anthony Abrahams, the first black TV reporter at the BBC went on to lead the Jamaica Tourist Broad and be minister of tourism; and more recently, Mr Hugh Crosskill who worked for the BBC Caribbean Service.

Distinguished Jamaican-born photographer Mr Michel du Cille died while covering Ebola in Liberia. He was photo editor of the Washington Post (1988-2005) and his outstanding work was recognised by being awarded three Pulitzers prizes.

The tradition of Jamaicans in global media continues with people like Mr Darren Jordon on Al Jazeera. He was born in London of Jamaican parents and served eight years as a captain in the Jamaica Defence Force and was part of the 1983 US-led invasion of Grenada.

Apart from doing Jamaica proud by their accomplishments, they helped to promote our country. Several television personalities of Jamaican parents have brought crews to film on the island, and many others have worked unseen in Reuters and other wire services.

We note with pride that Mr Lester Holt, whose maternal grandparents came from Jamaica, visited the island with his mother to connect to his roots (“To Jamaica with Mom”) and has been named the anchor of NBC Nightly News, replacing the discredited Brian Williams. He is the first person of colour to be news anchor on one of the three major US networks.

Let us pay tribute to the Jamaicans who have worked in international media and recognise them for their outstanding achievements.

Happy Father’s Day to all journalists who are fathers.


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Opposition Leader On The Defensive – The House, The House

It has many descriptions, one being an ‘Estate’, as the chatter is frequently dropped around town of the magnitude of this soon to be ‘abode’.  I myself have never seen it, and have been promised to be shown photos of the ‘site’.   Yes…………..that is how wrapped up many on the Roc are about the Opposition Leader’s upcoming residence.  Curiosity is one of my traits by nature, but on this one it has not led me to personally go and view the ‘site’.  On that note, while I do my best to stay away from commentary I deem insignificant; this particular one purely because of the public attention it has garnered, I feel I must share my two (2) cents.

Firstly, I accept the explanation given and secondly I most definitely agree that three (3) years is a long time to build even if it was likened to Buckingham Palace.  Come on this is the 21st Century.  If ‘u money tun up till it over flow like oil spill, only a jackass wouda stretch out di building works.  Fi wha purpose eeh?.  Dat nuh mek one drop a sense’.

Finally we suffer from (SIS) ‘Small Island Syndrome’ on the Roc, where 80% of the populous are deeply in sync with the personality traits referred to as  ‘bad-mind, grudgefulness, evil, bitterness, red eye and jealously’.  We will never be able to escape that reality of the existence of the above.  Life is life so continue to laugh at the speculations while you complete the ‘Estate’ as you have done your part by addressing the questions as the public servant you are.


Holness defends his house

Says construction cost being bandied by detractors ridiculous

(Jamaica Observer) Sunday, June 21, 2015      


Holness defends his house

Opposition Leader Andrew Holness has answered criticism of the house that he and his wife Juliet have been building in St Andrew for almost three years now, saying that if they were in possession of the amount of money that their detractors are quoting as being spent on the house they would have been finished a long time ago.

Holness was responding to a Jamaica Observer query yesterday after politicians on both sides of the divide questioned the construction.

Here is his full response.

“I am a frugal person. I believe in saving, building and investing quietly and wisely. About seven years ago I purchased an undeveloped piece of land which I originally intended to hold and develop sometime in the future. However, considering my family needs, my age, and the likely greater future demands on my time and attention, I decided that now was the right time to build.

“Juliet, being a real estate developer in her own right, made the decision even more sensible to us.

“We started construction in September 2012. The terrain was steep and rocky, so we spent the first six months hammering rocks to create useable space for building and amenities. We ended up having so much stones that it made practical sense to use them to build all our walls rather than using conventional block and steel. And using the stones saved us the cost of trucking them away.

“We project-manage the construction ourselves, so we go at our own pace, within our budget, and we don’t overextend ourselves. It has been going longer than we expected, but given the calls on our time, we don’t make it a priority or our current focus.

“The project has been going now for almost three years, doing what we can afford in time and money. We are at the finishing stages now, and anyone who has ever built anything knows that the finishing is the hardest part.

“I know it has attracted much attention, and rightly so. Public figures must get used to the fact that the public will be interested in what we do, how we live, where we get our money, and to whom we are obligated. Though I am an intensely private person by nature, I have learned to live in the public’s attention.

“It is also particularly important that there is transparency to assure the public and donors that politicians are not enriching themselves off the public purse or peddling influence. I have always taken a tough stance against corruption and influence-peddling, and have kept far from even the suggestion of any such thing. This is why I am a strong supporter of regulating political party registration and financing.

“We are well aware that, aside from the legitimate questions of the public, much of the talk is politically motivated. From my certain knowledge there are other public officials, including ministers of Government, mayors and others who are also building. Like me, they are required to make yearly declarations to the Integrity Commission. For journalistic balance they should be questioned too.

“I have been a parliamentarian now for 18 years, and I have been working in the political arena now for 20 years. My wife reminds me every day that when we were getting married I told her that we should keep separate accounts. As the accountant, she looks after business, because all my funds will be going into political and social work. We have always maintained that separation, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to withstand the demands of politics and still take care of our family.

“The public’s comments are not always informed by facts, and in the gap between the facts and what detractors try to manipulate is a lot of room for mischief. We have heard some ridiculous figures being bandied about cost. If I had that magnitude of funds I would be finished building long ago. Juliet and l often laugh to ourselves when we hear the things people speculate. If they only knew the hard work we put in.

“I must confess a sense of disappointment, though. While I would be the first to celebrate the success and achievement of hard-working people, there are those who make success and achievement a bad thing. It is a way of thinking that makes us poorer.

“I would want every hard-working Jamaican to be successful. I preach shared prosperity, not shared poverty. So for every Jamaican who is building your dream, keep on building and ignore the haters.”

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JTA – Reject All You Want – ‘It Nuh Dideh’!!!!!

99.9% of Jamaicans are facing the same challenges as public sector workers.  There are workers in the private sector who also have not received any wage increase for years.  I am not getting into any sentiments at this time, but it must be made very clear, that we are going through the most severe austerity measures and there is nothing we can do about it.

If ‘tucking in and banning di belly’ is not sufficient, then find some other means of coping as the rest of us.  I am a firm believer that you must and should not be allowed to use ‘brute force’ when it comes to demanding more money.  You wanted 9%, the government said 5, then they moved to 7% and you are still holding out?  You are living in a fool’s paradise and I suggest finding another option, as the government must not budge.

For too long we have been living recklessly incurring debts as any irresponsible adolescent, yet we cry out for change and paradigm shift, only to have society by their actions do the opposite.  Run and migrate if you are so talented and the offers are irresistible.  I am pretty sure 70% of you lot would not be able to get any employment in your given field outside of this country.

Wake up or continue to dream.


UPDATE: Teachers vote to reject government’s seven per cent salary increase offer

(Jamaica Gleaner) Saturday | June 20, 2015
Some 243 teachers voted to reject the government’s latest offer of a seven per cent salary increase over two years, 71 voted to accept it.

Public sector teachers have voted to reject the government’s latest offer of a seven per cent salary increase over two years.

The vote came at a special conference of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) which took place at Jamaica College, in St Andrew today.

Some 243 teachers voted to reject the offer while 71 voted to accept it.

The seven per cent offer was the second from the government.

The previous offer was for a five per cent increase over two years.

The Portia Simpson Miller administration has already indicated that it cannot afford to improve the offer.

Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips used a national broadcast on Tuesday to try and convince public sector workers that the seven per cent offer was the best the government could do.


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Waivers – A Disconnect Somewhere

We are bankrupt we must believe according to Government. The IMF allows you to issue $10M per month in waivers. How about using only $2M per month and this should be applied to health, tourism and agricultural sectors?

If you cannot afford to pay the duty on your motor vehicle then purchase what you can afford regardless of the year. This is exactly what I am talking about. Each person must come off their Buckingham Palace fantasy and live within their means until THEY make their fantasy a reality with their own resources.

I don’t care who you are, pay your own duties on the vehicle of your choice. The IMF says $10M and you wrote-off $9.2M and you think that is grand. I have news for you, that is called mediocre performance. How about aiming for exceptional and get it down to $2M per month?

Sometimes I wonder. We set the bar so bloody low, that any movements above the ground are deemed a success. Raise the bar man, stop ‘pussy footing’ with peoples lives in this economy.
The goal should be to grow this economy at an exponential rate considering how backward we are. Our figures in debt prove that. All we are doing are taking baby steps with the strides in gain even slower than the baby steps taken.


Big waivers to popular J’cans

(Jamaica Gleaner) Friday 19 June 2015

Several prominent Jamaicans were beneficiaries of waivers last fiscal year, some being athletes, politicians, lawyers and public servants.

Manchester Custos Sally Porteous, a retired politician, was one of the recipients, getting $969,366 waiver of both Special Consumption Tax (SCT) and General Consumption Tax (GCT) in August. The waiver related to the purchase of a 2015 Mitsubishi ASX motor vehicle.

Retired Senior Superintendent of Police Newton Amos received a $1.1 million waiver on a 2013 Mercedes Benz in May. That same month, Radley Reid, also got a $1.1 million waiver on the importation of a 2014 Toyota Rav 4, and a similar benefit was extended to Wilma Miller on a 2014 Honda CRV.

Largest Waivers

But the biggest waiver on motor vehicle imports over the period, went to Peleshia Waker Dubidad. The amount waived was $1.85 million on duties payable on a 2013 Kia Sorento.

A comparable $1.5 in waiver was given to Maria Clarke-Proute on a 2013 Audi Q5.

Jamaican track athlete Schillonie Calvert was the beneficiary of a waiver on the purchase of a motor vehicle last October.

The Ministry of Finance’s records indicate that the sprinter received a waiver of Special Consumption Tax (SCT) in the amount of $446,602.10 on the purchase of a 2015 Toyota Corolla.

Two other private citizens, Claudette Morris and James Johnson, both got waivers in October. Morris got a $537,968 waiver on the purchase of a 2009 Toyota Premio motor car while Johnson got a $47,880 waiver on the purchase of an oxygen concentrator machine.

Capped At $10m Monthly
Under Jamaica’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the granting of new discretionary waivers has been capped at $10 million in any month.

In October, the last month for which information is reflected on the ministry’s website, the Government waived $9.2 million in taxes and duties. The biggest recipient was the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA), which got $5.7 million in waivers of SCT and GCT on the purchase of five vehicles.

The Jamaica Mortgage Bank received a $1.1 million waiver on stamp duties for shelter bonds. Another state entity, the Factories Corporation of Jamaica, benefited from a $385,000 waiver on transfer of property.


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Is There A Correlation Between Poverty & Crime? – I Agree With The Minister On This One

I will not be as oblivious as to our economic challenges that I would infer that there are those who out of desperation commit certain acts of crime.  An example, a man stealing ackee; could be viewed as being so hungry that was the only option he saw to feed his family or better still to be sold using the cash to send his child/children to school.  Multiple scenarios can be played, yet I revert to the notion that poverty equates to increase in crime and violence.  I vehemently disagree on that, for the simple reason that being born in the 1960’s I can still remember a time when the mantra was ‘we poor but we have pride’.  A time when inner city/ghetto despite the outside of the abode, was crystal clean inside, yard swept daily, and a female voice of authority would beckon to the youngsters to ‘put on decent clothes before u go outside.  Git up outta u bed an put on u church clothes fi go a Church wid Ms Mattie.  Little gyal come inside an go a u bed u  affi git up early an go a school a marning, mi neva raise u so.  Have manners u hear wey mi a sey, u mus say maarning lickle pickney’.  I could go on.

There was a sense of family ties, morals referred to then as ‘broughtupsey’ that was pervasive.  You went to school with children from uptown, midtown and downtown and you rarely could make a distinction as all were clean, attired properly, hair groomed etc.  If there was not a Mommy and Daddy present, chances are they were a Grand mother, Aunty or Guardian at the Parent Teacher’s meetings.  There was a sense that being poor was not a crime or a license to become ‘wortliss or tun tief or gun man’.  Where have we gone wrong?  Why do we tend to shift the focus from the ‘home’ and quick to arrive to the ‘Streets’?  Let us face it; we do not run before we creep.  Steps are laid, and we use them one at a time to get to where we want to arrive.  Whose steps are we emulating?  Are those who lay the steps in any position to do so? 

Immorality breeds pretty much the same.  Loss of pride, loss of discipline, loss of respect for family is the root of our crisis.  The baby mother, baby father cycle has a rippling effect as each generation duplicates themselves in every sense of the word. We suffer from a major breakdown in family values where there is no respectable figure head, where God is not the focal point.  In the event of challenges there is a belief that if you stray you go so far but no further.  We have no boundaries.  Children are made to fend for themselves at an early age.  Mother, Father or possibly both are strung out on daily gambling, abuse of alcohol is the norm.  The extended family is pretty much the same and so what fosters without the proper guidance is anarchy which is then leeched on society.

Go back to basics, and in the interim can we slow down the rate of reproduction so that those unfit to nurture are not allowed to multiply beyond two (2)?  Are we so far gone, that we cannot put a leash on those who are responsible for the degradation in the society.  We will never be able to alleviate poverty.  Without a skilled and qualified labour force, no amount of employment will help those culpable. 

What is the truancy rate for inner city schools on our Island?


Bunting sees no direct correlation between crime, poverty

BY ANTHONY LEWIS Observer writer

Thursday, June 18, 2015  


BUNTING… if poverty had that direct correlation, then Haiti would be the most violent country in the Caribbean

ROSE HALL, St James — National Security Minister Peter Bunting says he does not subscribe to the view that there is a direct correlation between poverty and crime.

“Social exclusion, whether it is in Baltimore’s inner city or Kingston’s inner city, or whether it makes people more vulnerable for crime; but by itself, I do not believe it causes crime. If poverty had that direct correlation then Haiti would be the most violent country in the Caribbean. In fact, it is one of the least violent in the Caribbean,” Bunting argued.

Bunting was responding to a question raised by diaspora member Dr Annamaria Thomas of Brooklyn, New York, during a session themed ‘The Ministry’s National Security Framework’, yesterday at the penultimate day of the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

Dr Thomas had expressed the view that many young people do not want to work, because of the low wages they receive when compared with the amount of work they have to do.

“I applaud your efforts on crime, but as a psychologist that is only one side of the coin. The other part is the social inequity which exists is yet to be addressed, such as employment, lack of employment, the minimum wage… many of these young people do not want to work because of the low wages that are being given and the hard work that many people are doing today and not getting the salary they deserve,” stated Dr Thomas.

“[On] the other side of the coin, why should these guys go to work when they can make money in a different way?” she asked.

Meanwhile, Bunting told the gathering that a holistic approach is needed to effectively deal with Jamaica’s crime problem, emphasising that his ministry alone cannot do it.

“I accept that we need a holistic approach to it, but the Ministry of National Security alone cannot do everything. The Ministry of Finance is doing part in terms of getting the economy to grow, getting us more competitive, getting more investments and jobs created,” he stressed.

The Diaspora Conference, which is being held at Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James under the theme ‘Jamaica and the Diaspora: Linking for Growth and Prosperity’, ends today.

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‘Born Idiaat’ – Why Is The Name Withheld???

Cho………….’all dis is plain foolishness enuh’. 

Once you are returning from Jamaica or your nationality is a Jamaican prepare to face unnecessary scrutiny and Q&A when travelling overseas.  It is what it is; our reputation as a country warrants such profiling.

I am no longer embarrassed by the ‘fools’ who continue to take such risks, however, am interested in the kind of sentence rendered once a guilty plea or verdict is announced.  You choose the kind of life you wish to live and by virtue the risks you take you will eventually own when the chips come falling down.  The hard luck story is just that as life was never promised to be a rose garden with milk and honey flowing endlessly.  Such comparisons I opine is a mindset one creates when facing trials and tribulations which is guaranteed once you are on the journey called life.  Those who wish the contrary I would think should have the mental fortitude to take the hard punishment once they willfully break the law.

For those who travel and love to take up the little fried fish for their loved ones prepare to have it ‘saka saka out’ as ‘memba mi tell u, dem nah go tek nuh check after disya discovery.  All like a mi, wey nuh travel wid nuh food, mi good, yet still mi ever ready fi tek the scrutiny as mi is a born Jamaican an a one passport mi ave’.


Woman on Ja flight attempts to hide cocaine in fried fish 

(Jamaica Observer) Tuesday, June 16,

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 | 8:09 AM     52 Comments


MIAMI, United States (AP) — US Customs and Border Protection officers at Miami International Airport say a smuggler tried to use fried fish to conceal more than two pounds of cocaine.

Authorities say a 38-year-old woman arriving from Jamaica Saturday morning was carrying fried fish with her luggage.

During an X-ray examination, officers say they noticed anomalies in some of the cooked fish.

Officers said the bellies of some of the fish were sewn together and certain fish felt thicker than the rest.

Authorities found 2.3 pounds of cocaine hidden inside the fish, which they seized.

The woman has been arrested. Her name has not been released.

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You Wonder Why?????? The Family Is No Longer The Rock for Children!!!

Show me the rationale behind this kind of behaviour by grown folks.  Your child was murdered by 3 school mates who are in custody at this moment.   According to you, the school did not suspend classes in memory of the murdered child, so a decision was made to act in like manner with ‘evil’ intentions.  I ask this question, if a student or students got hit by a stone and incurred head trauma by your actions what kind of justice would you expect?

We have got to face reality that there exists some ‘bad breed’ guardians, parents, and beings amongst us who are wholly unfit to raise children.  With behaviour as experienced, is there any wonder that the children possess such wrath embedded in them.   Until we stop calling upon Government as if they are our Rock and look to the ‘home’ good ‘ole fashion’ family values, we will make virtually no strides into reducing teen violence.

The law should have been called in, making arrests and charging those culpable.  It is a disgrace and a poor example to set for those left behind ie the class mates of the deceased who mourn such a vicious and violent death of their own.


Angry residents attack Maldon High School after student’s murder

(Jamaica Gleaner) Published:Wednesday | June 17, 2015 

Angry residents of a St James community this morning attacked the Maldon High School in the parish following the killing of a student by a colleague yesterday.

The Education Ministry, says 15-year-old Romaro Salmon was stabbed off the school’s compound during an altercation reportedly with three boys.

Those boys are now in police custody.

However, as news of the incident broke this morning, residents from the boy’s community descended on the school in protest.

They threw stones into the classrooms and reportedly set fire to a bus belonging to security personnel at the school.

There are no reports of students or staff receiving any injuries.

It is understood that the residents were angry because classes at Maldon High were not suspended in light of Romaro’s death.

Principal of the school, Janet Manning, told The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre that the school’s administration was awaiting the arrival of a trauma team from the Education Ministry when news came of the presence of the angry residents.

She says the school was dismissed early as a result of the incident.

Manning also says buses were used to shuttle students from the school under the watch of a police team that has been maintaining a presence in the area.

Meanwhile, the education ministry, in extending sympathies to the student’s relatives, said it continues to be concerned by the “anti-social behaviour of students.”

Portfolio minister, Ronald Thwaites, says this latest incident, will propel the ministry to intensify the implementation of its management programmes in schools across the island.

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‘Oono Need Fi Get Oono Name Pon Di Title’ – Too Simple In Your Heart

Plop, plop, plop……….three (3) children, marriage has failed within two (2) years and what exactly have you ended up with?

I really do not comment on certain topics, but I felt compelled to drop my two (2) cents in on this one.  Ladies, get your affairs in order, and when the honeymoon period is in full swing, get the paperwork out and ensure that you are taken care of with the bare essentials especially when children factor into the equation.

For some shallow and stupid reason, you did not see it fit to get your name on the title of the house.  It matters not who bought it and who lived in it prior to you.  The truth is you ended up there and it was deemed to be the matrimonial home where the children were born and raised up until the separation.  You know something; you women will get what you deserve as ‘oono ears too hard’.  Love is a beautiful and wonderful experience, but ‘oono have a brain’ for crying out loud use it.  If you know sey u nuh ave nutten an u depend pon di man, why u nuh use di brain wey God give u and do di maths.  Single and meet man an u nuh ave nutten, marry him and 3 pickney come, sort out u investment wile everyting criss, but nooooooooooo, nuh badie caan tell oon nutten, caaas oon in luvvvvvv.  And seeitdeh, a wey u ago put dem 3 pickney fi live now’.

Wise up ladies, marriage is an arrangement whether you want to think otherwise or not.  You best ensure you dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s before ‘oono start multiply like rabbits without oono own money’.


Court rejects property claim based on length of marriage, occupancy


(Jamaica Gleaner) Published:Sunday | June 14, 2015

The Supreme Court building at King Street, Kingston.
A Supreme Court judge has determined that an estranged wife trying to claim half of the value of the matrimonial home was not entitled to it because the marriage did not last long enough.

The parties, Gregory Duncan and his wife, Racquel, got married on November 12, 2006, lived together in Hellshire, St Catherine, and had three children.

However, they moved from the premises to live elsewhere on January 28, 2008 and ceased cohabiting in September that year, according to the decision of Justice David Batts who heard the application. The house was sold in 2010.

Justice Batts rejected Racquel Duncan’s claim to an interest in the property, having found that it was not the family home at the time of the couple’s separation, that her husband already owned the house at the time of the marriage, and that the marriage was of short duration.

He did not outline what marital period would have been acceptable.

However, following the logic of the New Zealand Property (Relationships) Act of 1976, another judge, Justice Carol Edwards – in a case determined in 2012 and cited by attorney-at-law Gordon Steer who represented Gregory Duncan – noted that, in the Jamaican context, any marriage of less than five years would be a marriage of short duration.

Raquel had asked the court to have Duncan pay support for her and their children, and for the court to declare that she had an interest in the Hellshire property.

She also wanted Duncan to purchase a house and a motorcar, and make lump sum payments of $2.52 million and $600,000 as maintenance for their children and herself, respectively, for 24 months.

In considering the application for the division of the property, Batts said he was guided by the Property (Rights of Spouses) Act, which defines the family home as “the dwelling house that is wholly owned by either or both of the spouses and used habitually or from time to time by the spouses as the only or principal family residence … and used wholly or mainly for the purposes of the household”.

Can it be said they “habitually or from time to time” used the premises “wholly or mainly for the purposes of the household?” Justice Batts asked.

He said, having moved out, there was no evidence the couple ever returned to stay or reside at the house or that possessions were stored or retained there. The evidence suggested they no longer resided there at the date of separation, said the judge.

In short, it was no longer the principal family residence, he concluded.

Steer argued that it was implicit in the definition provided by the act for family home that the parties must have lived together as man and wife in the house immediately before their separation.

He contended that the property would have been a past residence of the parties as they had moved elsewhere during their relationship.

The attorney argued that, even if the court accepted that the property was the family home, Section 7 of the act should be applied – the relevant consideration being whether it was inherited by one spouse, was already owned by one spouse at the time of the marriage or the beginning of cohabitation, and if the marriage was of short duration.

Attorneys Deneve Barnett and Terry-Joy Stephenson, who represented Racquel, argued even though the marriage was of short duration and the property was acquired before the marriage, it was not unreasonable for her to receive one-half interest in the family home.

Racquel did not contribute financially to the household during the marriage, but that did not factor in the judge’s decision on the property claim, who said it was a reasonable expectation in a household with children.


equal-share rule

 “I regard as highly significant that the respondent bore three children for the petitioner in the course of this short marriage,” he said.

“In all the circumstances, and had the said property been the family home at the material time I would have departed from the equal share rule, which on the facts of this case it would be unreasonable and unjust to apply (as per Section 7)”. Batts said he would have awarded Racquel a one-third share of the property.

He otherwise ruled that Gregory – as the sole director and shareholder of Global Designs and Builders and based on evidence of ongoing business at the firm – could afford to pay child support and purchase a car, but denied the application for him to purchase a house for his wife and children, and pay spousal maintenance for Racquel who is now employed.

It was clear, the judge said, that a motorcar would greatly alleviate the burdens his wife faced in getting the children to school, and would reduce her dependency on him and enhance the well-being of their offspring.

The judge then ordered that, unless Gregory purchased and delivered a car to Racquel by August 31, then the monthly child payments should increase as of September 1.

He also ordered that the names of both parents be endorsed on the documents as owners, that the car be delivered to Raquel for her personal use and for transporting the children, and that both parents share equally the cost of insuring and maintaining the car, but that the cost of petrol be the sole responsibility of Racquel.

The judge also turned down the application for Gregory to make a lump sum advance payment, saying that while he or his company Global Designs has fairly substantial assets, principally in real property, the evidence suggests some of those are mortgaged.

“It would be unreasonable to put him in a position where he would be forced to borrow sums to make advance payments of maintenance. I do not find, in any event, that said lump sum is necessary for the children’s continued welfare. The petitioner was, on the evidence, a responsible father who did provide for his children. I expect that he will continue to do so,” Justice Batts said.

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Ganja, Ganja, Ganja – The Excess Has Begun!!!!!

  The headline below say the opposite to this article I am commenting on; which is it?  ‘No increase in ganja-related psychosis among children, says UHWI

For all those who inadvertently will swear for their children, let me tell you straight up, they will experiment if they choose to.  No, you will not know at the beginning of it all.  The notion that the legalization of small amounts will lead or has led to copious usage amongst children, I find hilarious.  Ganja could be had in every crevice and corner on this Island, at quite reasonable cost.  What we had in the past were youngsters and children under the age of 18 years, hiding with their friends and spliffing away.  They are smoking weed, drinking alcohol and doing what children who choose to rebel do.  What do you do or what can you do?  That is the million dollar question.  Hope and pray that their brain cells do not develop into addictive cells based on the substance they are abusing.  As it relates to their behaviour, it appears that 70% of Jamaicans are deemed bipolar, so again, hope and pray.

If it is not the weed, it is crack cocaine, or some other combination.  Whether you legalise, advertise re the health challenges, those who are bent on doing it their way will.    In other words, there is no quick fix when it comes to children experimenting with drugs, alcohol, and sex or for some, criminality.  ‘If dem ears caan hear, den dem ass will surely feel’.


Ganja making more youths psychotic

(Jamaica Gleaner) Published:Tuesday | June 16, 2015
Dr Winston De La Haye, addiction psychiatrist.
 With an alarmingly high percentage of youth having psychotic episodes from ganja abuse, the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) is now rolling out a national public education strategy specifically targeting the younger population.

In fact, Jamaica’s leading addiction psychiatrist, Dr Winston De La Haye, said he was seeing an increasing number of young patients experiencing ganja-related health problems following February’s passing of the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015 (also referred to as the Ganja Reform Law), which took effect on April 15.

“Part of what we (NCDA) are doing now is a study to measure the usage to get an exact number for a comparative following the relaxation of the laws. However anecdotally, I am having more young patients coming to me with their parents saying that their children believe the new laws give them the right to smoke ganja, so that’s what they are doing,” De La Haye, deputy chairman of NCDA, told The Gleaner.

“The reality is that I am coming across some very serious cases of the negative effects of smoking cannabis, and at a higher rate than before. Although I am treating adults with this problem, a significant percentage are youth, and a lot are under 18. In fact, I am getting patients as young as 10 years old.”

He added: “I’m seeing patients every day, even on a Sunday, from morning till evening. So I am seeing the dangers upfront, first hand. When you test them for what is causing this psychotic episode, we get a positive result for cannabis. Smoking pure cannabis can make you psychotic, that’s just the fact.”

Under the new legislation, the personal use of marijuana is now decriminalised. Persons are now allowed to legally inhale the drug in the privacy of their residence if it is not being used for commercial purposes. Additionally, members of the Rastafarian faith are allowed to smoke ganja for religious purposes in locations registered as places of Rastafarian worship. The smoking of marijuana is also legally permitted in places licensed for the smoking of the substance for medical and therapeutic purposes.


However, under the Child Care and Protection Act, youth under the age of 18 are prohibited from partaking in the use of anything dangerous to their well-being, and an adult guilty of facilitating that can face serious penalties.

NCDA’s multi-tier public education strategy, which kicks into full gear this week, will not only seek to delay and reduce the use of ganja among young persons, but educate the public and stakeholders on the boundaries of the legislation and an individual’s rights and liabilities under the law.

The user-friendly public education campaign, which will be specifically aimed at addressing ganja use among youth under the age of 18, will seek to simplify what decriminalisation of ganja now means and the limitations that the law allows.

De La Haye, who has spent the past 12 years as a trained addiction psychiatrist, said he was not surprised at the increased usage of ganja following the amended law.

“Top of the list of the known risk factors for drug use is availability. And that is the argument around any relaxation of laws in any country. If you relax the law, then the potential for the substance to become more available increases, which would naturally result in increased usage. Everything has a cost. And you have to weigh the pros and cons,” he said.

He said he hoped this new programme would serve as a deterrent for the youth, protecting them and other vulnerable persons.

“In reality, it would have been better to do this at least a year before the law was amended, but I guess better late than never. Given the level of development of the adolescent brain, you can’t just put rules in place and teach them right and wrong and expect them to comply. They won’t. They just have not reached that kind of development in their cerebral cortex, which is the decision-making area of the brain, which allows you to determine if this appropriate or not. Because they haven’t. In spite of knowing and hearing from their parents of the dangers, they will still go ahead and experiment,” said De La Haye, who is also clinical director of the addiction treatment services unit at the University Hospital of the West Indies.

“That is why you have to protect them with laws, so any deterrent is good.”

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