Letters to the Editor

Cut the partisan babble and have Vale Royal talks

Monday, December 24, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Jamaica has had a long, chequered and appalling history of suppression of crime strategies.

Many young men have died unnecessarily or have been incarcerated; oftentimes the possession of a ganja 'spliff' was the only crime and eventually they remained shackled by a criminal record.

Our nation must grapple with the imperative of the moment: Is it the right time to discontinue the state of emergency?

Well, those of us who once lived in fear and are now worried and uncertain of what comes next.

We would have preferred a more thoughtful engagement on the issue, instead of the usual shouting across the divide by the two clans, oftentimes blinkered by narrow considerations.

We know the state of emergency cannot last forever, or for much longer, but timing is crucial and it just seems to be inopportune to retreat in six weeks.

Why could we not have had a sit-down at Vale Royal with Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Opposition Leader Peter Phillips, along with the minister of national security and the shadow spokesman on security with the Commissioner of Police and the head of the Jamaica Defence Force?

Out of the glare of the partisan babble, the strategies for moving forward, the human rights concerns and the necessary modifications of the current operations could be discussed. Thereafter, and a unified outcome could be communicated to the country.

Why could we not have, for once, extricated our nation from the strangulating partisan cancer? Could we not have chosen to turn down the noise and turn up the intelligence a little?

It is not too late to come together and do something for Jamaica. Have that New Year's Vale Royal talk and give the Government one last extension to give us hope of a safer space. It is about Jamaica.

Mark A Hylton

Montego Bay, St James


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