A media release from Diaspora leaders in the active US northeast region, are lamenting what they say is a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that the board members who are being elected will not be there representing the community, rather, they will be purely advisors to the foreign affairs minister.
According to the release, “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recently taken the alarming move of over-riding the Northeast US Advisory Board Representative Mrs. Akelia Maitland's responsibility in commissioning an elections committee and has currently established their own elections committee that will be running “Diaspora” elections.”
Mrs. Maitland based on strong feedback from community leaders has called for the responsibility outlined for the new Council members to expand, to include representing the Diaspora community, a long-standing concern from the Diaspora.
“Prime Minister Andrew Holness said in 2015 that the Diaspora’s voice needs to be represented and that he will address it. Instead, the Ministry and the current Board are considered to be actively eroding instead of bolstering this effort,” the release stated.
They are maintaining that in the past, Board members have acted as their community’s voice and have joined the call that representation on behalf of the Diaspora community should be formalized.
According to the Diaspora members, “If the Board can come together in two days to override the community they don’t reside in, then they can come together in two days to put in writing that those who are elected are free to represent the community.”
“The community’s call for representation must be addressed by those running for a position on the Council as well as by the Government constructed Electoral Committee,” they declared.
- Countries: Jamaica