KINGSTON, Jamaica, November 30, 2021 - President of the People's National Party and Leader of the Opposition, Mark Golding has extended congratulations to the government and the people of Barbados on becoming a Republic, officially cutting ties with the British Monarchy and casting off its colonial past.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, November 30, 2021 - After four centuries of colonization, at midnight Tuesday November 29, Barbados transitioned from a Commonwealth country to become an independent parliamentary republic with Her Excellency Dame Sandra Mason, being sworn in as the republic’s first president.
MONTEGO BAY, November 30, 2021 - Former St. Lucia Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony has challenged the government to follow in the footsteps of Barbados and move the country towards a republican status.
MONTEGO BAY November 28, 2021 - At midnight on Monday November 29, Barbados will transition to being The Republic of Barbados, 55 years after gaining political independence from Britain on November 30, 1966. The Queen remained head of state, and the country stayed within the realm of the British Commonwealth.
If recent events in Cuba are anything to go by, the government of Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez is facing significant challenges as the country marks five years since the death of its revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, on November 25 2016.
MONTERGO BAY, Jamaica November 26, 2021 - The People's National Party is defending its decision not to support the government’s request for an extension of the State of Emergency imposed by the government in seven areas of the country fourteen days ago.
The states of emergency now in force in seven police divisions across Jamaica will end On Saturday night after the government failed to get the senate's approval for an extension.
Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate Peter Bunting said his side could not support an extension without compelling evidence of the need for the measure. The government had been seeking to have the measures continue until February 12 next year.
At a press conference today, Opposition Leader Mark Golding said, ”We have not supported the extension of the State of Emergency because we feel it is a failed strategy that has been used over a three year period from 2017 to 2020; it did not achieve any lasting improvements in Jamaica’s national security situation. To the contrary, we have continued to see elevated levels of violent crimes and in particular murders over that period,” he said.
We can have soldiers in troubled communities, supporting the police, without SOEs. It is a dangerous falsehood to suggest that SOEs are the only way. We could not, in good conscience, support an extension of these SOEs. We remain ready to work with the GOJ on other strategies. pic.twitter.com/aE9vG1h0Vs— Mark J. Golding (@MarkJGolding) November 26, 2021
“Furthermore it shines a beacon on the prosecutorial aspects of law enforcement, because it [SOE] has inculcated in the security forces a practice where they can just go and detain somebody and hold them without any recourse to the courts,” Golding lamented.
The Opposition Leader pointed out that “the important task of the police is to investigate cases properly; prepare cases for prosecution and to get these to the court which can result in convictions of violent criminals. This has not been happening in the numbers that they should, and that is the source of our problem,” Golding said.
He observed that “we need to get back to a situation where investigative techniques and investigations are properly conducted, they are prosecuted and send the criminals to prison;
He said the PNP would support legislation that would enable the security forces to go about their business more effectively, and pointed to a number of legislative measures that the PNP adopted while in office.
“We introduced the DNA evidence law which enabled DNA evidence to be used to secure prosecutions; The Evidence act which enabled computer evidence to be generated. The use of the Jamaica Eye system to be effectively used as a crime fighting tool; The Anti-Gang Legislation which is now having a great effect, and we have supported the government’s attempt to further strengthen it; We introduced the Lotto Scam legislation which had been important in trying to control that particular phenomenon which has been a source of further violence in the country,” the Opposition Leader outlined.
Mr. Golding has again called on the Prime Minister and his government to resume the Vale Royal Talks as we want to be a proactive and constructive opposition that supports this national crisis of national security.”
“We believe that if we work on this together behind closed doors where we can hold free discussions about strategy and tactics,Jamaica will benefit from that.”
The Opposition Leader lamented that “I have been calling on him to do this from the Budget debate back in February. I called on him again in the debate on this State of Emergency extension,in the House on Tuesday. I hope he will accept this good faith gesture on the part of the Opposition, and allow us to work with the government to find solutions.”
“We need to have more Violence Interrupters out there and enable them to do their work; the Peace Management Initiative is to be strengthened, not defunded; We need to have a national programme targeting youths who are vulnerable and at risk to give them mentorship, to give them life skills training, and to give them vocational skills training, and opportunities for employment after they have gone through that process,” he observed.
The Opposition Leader said “the JDF can and should be used extensively in support of the police in troubled areas, in areas where they have criminals with dangerous weapons, they should be deployed in aid of the police. But the police must do the police work, and the police must investigate and prepare the cases to put those criminals behind bars. Scraping up hundreds or thousands of young men without charge and detaining them for long periods of time, is not the solution to our problem.”
Why are we going back to a failed strategy which is suspect in terms of its constitutional compliance,” Golding questioned.
“The constitution is not just an academic thing! It embodies the rights and the freedoms that our people have fought and sacrificed for. We believe it must be upheld. That's why all of us in Parliament have sworn an oath to uphold and defend the constitution. It's not an academic thing! It is a fundamental thing! And the constitutionality of this government’s use of the state of Emergency as an ongoing, routine, crime fighting strategy, has been brought into question in the courts
KINGSTON, Jamaica, November 24, 2021 - : The Member of Parliament for North-West St. Catherine, Hugh Graham, is assuring residents of the Orangefield community in his constituency that the National Water Commission (NWC) has committed to completing improvement works to their water supply system within four weeks.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, November 23, 2021 - The proposed amendments to the Representation of the People Act, which seek to carve District 4 (Demerara-Mahaica) into 4 sub-districts, will result in an unequal electoral system, says Opposition Member of Parliament in the National Assembly and Senior Counsel Roysdale Forde.
GUYANA, November 15, 2021 - The opposition Alliance For Change (AFC) and A New and United Guyana (ANUG) disagree with the GY$10 million fines and life imprisonment for a number of election offences but the government said attempts to cheat an election amount to toppling an elected government.
KINGSTON, November 16, 2021 - People's National Party (PNP) President Mark Golding says the government does not need to implement States Of Emergency in order to control crime, as the government has within its arsenal, legislation to move police and army personnel to various communities and locations across the island without imposing SOEs.