Saturday, December 16, 2006
JO - Tourism minister, Opposition spokesman clash over US passport issue
Tourism minister, Opposition spokesman clash over US passport issue
BALFORD HENRY, Observer writer
Friday, November 10, 2006
Tourism Minister Aloun Assamba and Opposition Spokesman on Tourism Ed Bartlett clashed in the House of Representatives on Tuesday over whether there would be significant fall-out from the United States' Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).
The WHTI, which flows directly from the US Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act 2004, requires that all travellers to and from Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and Bermuda should present a passport or other accepted document establishing the bearer's identity and nationality, to re-enter the United States.
Bartlett, who had tabled a number of questions about the effect of the initiative on Jamaica's tourism industry, insisted that the development would have significant effect here, leading to loss of jobs and reduced earnings.
But Assamba maintained that there would be no significant fall-out, and noted that the projections for the upcoming tourist season showed strong forward bookings.
According to Assamba, based on information within her ministry, while there could be some impact, it would by no means be devastating.
"To support this argument, data received from the immigration department in August 2006, indicate that a high percentage of stopover visitors from the US have passports. It should also be noted that our tour operator partners are reporting strong forward bookings for 2007 winter tourist season," she said.
In addition, she said the government had taken a number of steps to protect the industry and the economy, and had ongoing monitoring of the industry to determine trends.
But Bartlett felt that the minister had given a "curious kind of response", in light of the comments and statements about the impact made by players in the industry, except for the cruise ship sub-sector. This included a projection from the local sector that it could lose nearly $1 billion in earnings, as well as thousands of jobs.
"I have been in touch with all the agencies and all indicate that there will be significant impact, especially in Bahamas and Jamaica," Bartlett insisted.
Leader of the House Dr Peter Phillips suggested that Bartlett was overstepping the latitude allowed under the Standing Orders by making statements instead of asking follow-up questions of the minister.
The Speaker then asked Bartlett to get to the questions. He asked the minister, what percentage of US citizens have valid passports today?
"I can't give you figures for all citizens of the US, only for those who visit Jamaica," she responded. "The record shows that in August, 2005 we had 82 per cent of Americans visiting with passports. In August, 2006 it increased to 95 per cent."
She said that since 2004, Jamaica has been very active in working with partners, including in the US, to tell people they need passports to return to US. She said that this was helped by the US decision to delay the implementation of the initiative from January 2006 to January, 2007.
"We have worked with tour operators and travel agents and have seen 15 per cent increase in number of Americans coming to Jamaica with passports since last year," she said.
Bartlett suggested that the number of visitors to Jamaica in 2005 and 2006 was aided by problems with the Cancún destination, but that the position would not be the same in 2007. Assamba denied the claim.
"There are no overwhelming number of visitors coming here because of loss from other destinations," Assamba responded. "I am confident that, notwithstanding, some things which have been said, evidence suggests that we will not have this fallout."
JG - Government suspends work permits to exotic dancers
Government suspends work permits to exotic dancers
published: Wednesday October 25, 2006
Local nightclubs that recruit foreign dancers to spice up their entertainment offerings will have to find other creative means to lure patrons as the Government has suspended the issuance of work permits to exotic dancers.
The decision comes against the background of a number of breaches by work permit holders.
There is also concern that persons granted work permits may be victims of human trafficking.
However, the hotel sector will not be affected by the Govern-ment's latest move to restrict permits for foreign dancers.
Information Minister Donald Buchanan, speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House on Monday said the hotel sector would still recruit exotic dancers, as there was the need to maintain the cultural diversity of the entertainment and hospitality sector.
He told journalists that sectors where permit holders infringe their contracts include construction, nightclubs and small businesses.
Mr. Buchanan said the Work Permit Unit of the Ministry of Labour is conducting investigations into alleged breaches of contracts and where there is noncompliance with established regulations, work permits will be revoked.
The Immigration Department will also be taking steps to deport persons whose work permits have expired, and they remain in the country illegally.
Friday, December 15, 2006
re: "Why We Are Losing In Iraq"
"Rules of Engagement: The U.S. soldier and Marine shall fight by rules easily manipulated by jihadi forces."
I would first ask the question: "Are we losing in Iraq?" followed by "And if so, why?" But watching the news, I can understand why one might feel the first part of the question has already been answered.
Iraq is not a war where, without great self-sabotaging effort on our part, we could lose (absent the use of WMD against our forces, following which Ali Baba would lose in an utmost and final manner, but only following a very high cost to ourselves).
On the other hand, we have to decide how to win and then actually take the steps necessary to achieve victory. It's less than obvious that such has been planned, let alone actually accomplished.
re: "War thoughts"
"Reasonableness is a dangerous trap. There's absolutely no point in trying to persuade people to see the obvious. If they can't see their f***ing nose in front of their f***ing face, f***'em."
"Congress is a loaded gun aimed at our heads. Everyone who voted in a way that helped Nancy Pelosi become Speaker of the House should be stood up against a wall and shot."
"3. The mainstream media is a colossus of traitors. Everyone who works for a major newspaper or network news organization should be hunted down, rounded up, and shot in the back of the head. They are actively working to enable our enemies to destroy America. It doesn't matter why. Self-hatred. Post-Modern ennui. Existential angst. Post-Soviet vindictiveness. Who gives a flying f***? Kill them all. Now."
"4. Political Correctness is the new Black Death. All the topics that can't be discussed are part of the pandemic that's killing America. Feminists so pin-headed they lend their political support to anti-semitic death merchants whose religion defines their sex in terms of slavery. Academics who abandon their subject matter expertise for political rants in support of forces that would exterminate them without a second thought. Minority rights activists who sup with traitors on a daily basis while they demand the extension of exceptional American privileges to those who would rape their wives, subjugate their children, clap them in chains, and entirely eliminate the gravy train on which they have feasted for a generation."
"Only Christianity encourages thought, freedom, creativity, exploration, and accomplishment while seeking to restrain the baser human instincts that lead to sadism, sexual violence, totalitarianism, genocide, and cultural death. The fight against Islamic jihad should be a religious crusade, but nobody anywhere has the guts to say it. If a billion muslims have to be killed to save human civilization, the benefit still outweighs the cost. And virtue is not obliterated by choosing to kill rather than be killed."
"It's not true that the crusade, or any one of its battles, can't be won. It could be won in 90 minutes. Everyone keeps forgetting that. The only question is, how much do you believe in the value of the civilization that created you, all your experience and beliefs, and your children?"
Okay, so read the whole thing and come to your own conclusions. If he's wrong (somehow, I feel sure TruePunk is a 'he'), then tell him so in the comments, and be sure to mention why. Some of the things he says are simply plain truths expressed in unvarnished language. Which doesn't mean he's wrong about them. He's correct that the West, more specifically the U.S. could win what he terms "the crusade" in about 90 minutes. But only for some values of "win" and only if you believe the GWOT is in fact a war of the West against the world community of Islam. So it's true for some values of "win" and only for certain values of "crusade." And many Americans would disagree with that understanding. I hope he's wrong about it.
re: "The elections of 2028: What did you do when America was attacked?"
He's asking the right question of America's future leaders: When duty called, did you even pick up the phone? If not, be prepared to justify yourself to the voters of tomorrow, if not to your conscience today.
JO - Regional court refuses to restore execution order in first death penalty case
Regional court refuses to restore execution order in first death penalty case
Friday, November 10, 2006
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (AP) - A new Caribbean court has refused to restore execution orders for two convicted murderers, dismissing an appeal by the Barbados government in its first ruling on capital punishment.
Barbados asked the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice to impose the death sentences against Lennox Boyce and Jeffrey Joseph. The two were convicted in 2001 and sentenced to hang in the murder of a 22-year-old man.
The Barbados High Court commuted their sentences to life imprisonment last year, ruling they would be on death row for an inhumanely long time while they wait for their cases to be heard in the Washington-based Inter-American Commission of Human Rights.
The case went to the Caribbean court, which was inaugurated last year to counter the London-based Privy Council as the highest appellate court for many former British colonies in the region. Some Caribbean governments struggling with high crime rates hoped it would clear the way for the resumption of executions in the region, something the Privy Council has blocked in recent years.
Many Caribbean countries now see the death penalty as a solution to the crimes that make it difficult to sell their islands as tourist paradises. The region's last execution was in the Bahamas in 2000.
JG - Major drug bust in Montego Bay
Major drug bust in Montego Bay
published: Wednesday October 25, 2006
Glenroy Sinclair, Senior Crime Reporter
A major narcotics operation, which targeted illegal drug dealers in Montego Bay, St. James, paid rich dividends last week, when the police seized cocaine with a street value of $12 million.
They also seized 135 pounds of compressed ganja, while arresting at least seven people, including an attorney-at-law from Toronto, Canada.
Head of the Narcotics Division, Senior Superintendent Carlton Wilson, said 25 pounds of the cocaine was discovered in the customs hall of the Norman Manley International Airport, Kingston, last week.
Another 89 pellets (2.2 pounds) more cocaine was found at the Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, last Thursday. Reports are that 33-year-old barber, Keith Daley, of a Bristol address in the United Kingdom, was in the process of boarding a flight to Heathrow International Airport, when he was stopped and interviewed. He was suspected of having swallowed crack/cocaine.
According to narcotics investigators, Mr. Daley was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later passed out the 89 pellets of crack/cocaine. Mr. Daley appeared in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Monday and was found guilty. He was sentenced to a four-year prison term and fined more than $250,000. The intelligence-driven operations in Montego Bay took place between October 14 and 19.
It has been further reported that members of the Montego Bay narcotics team swooped down on a house in the upscale community of Paradise in the capital. Three persons, including a common-law couple, Howel Clarke, 39, and Julieth Smith, 45, were arrested.
They were held in connection with a number of packages of compressed ganja that were allegedly found in the house. During the operation, two persons, who were driving towards the house, were stopped and their vehicle searched. A quantity of counterfeit US$100 notes and J$1,000 bills were found inside the car.
In another upscale community, Porto Bello, in Montego Bay, a house was raided and 40-year-old mechanic, Winston Vernan, Natalie Francis, manager of a rent-a-car company and Patrick Wilson, 52, attorney-at-law, of Canada, were detained after the police found a quantity of compressed ganja and hash oil and several pieces of equipment.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
re: "Charles Murray on Immigration"
Bandits in transit (XIV)
re: "Words of Wisdom, Part II"
Nope, this isn't more stuff about how the Baby Boomer generation is the root of all evil (although that's certainly true, at least for some values of "all evil").
"(L)est we forget, many of these "errors" in Islamic thinking are rooted in traditions and teachings that date back hundreds, even thousands, of years. One of the more "recent" influences on Osama bin Laden was a radical Sunni cleric who did most of his writing when Thomas Jefferson was in the White House."
"Trans-generational problems require steadfast commitment and long-term solutions. As General Schissler notes, our enemy is committed to the 50, 100-year plan." He's concerned about "maintaining the public will, the American will, over that duration." "
Read the whole thing here.
JO - Stranded Air J passengers arrive home
Stranded Air J passengers arrive home
ALICIA DUNKLEY, Observer staff reporter
Friday, November 10, 2006
THE 98 passengers who were scheduled to fly to Jamaica from Miami on Wednesday on an Air Jamaica plane that was seized by creditors at the last minute, arrived in the island yesterday. The plane was seized at about 4:30 pm by agents from the International Lease Financing Corporation, acting on behalf of creditors to whom the airline owes some US$7 million.
But yesterday, Air Jamaica's Chief Executive Officer Mike Conway told the Observer that "things are back to normal" at the airport.
He said a "mutually acceptable agreement" was reached by both partners and "the aircraft was put back into service".
The carrier's CEO claimed the lessor's actions had been prompted by concerns stemming from media reports which carried statements about possible downsizing at the airline.
"It's difficult to say, but I think anytime you have a fair number of assets - in this case an aeroplane - with a carrier and there are statements concerning downsizing that tends to make people nervous," Conway told the Observer.
In a release issued to the media yesterday, Air Jamaica assured passengers that the situation was a misunderstanding, and apologised to the individuals who were affected by the incident.
Last week, the Government sidelined a business plan brought forward by the national carrier telling its heads to devise a new plan around its US$30-million subsidy.
The administration has, however, committed to keeping the airline in the skies.
re: "Planning Something Big"
"(S)upport has coalesced behind a plan for a substantial buildup in U.S. troops to Iraq, an increase in industrial aid to create jobs, and a major anti-Sadr combat offensive."
"Increasing the number of U.S. forces in Iraq will likely require a permanent increase in the size of the Army and the Marines in order to avoid remobilizing the National Guard and sending reserve combat units back to Iraq."
JG - The premier diplomatic affair
The premier diplomatic affair
published: Sunday October 22, 2006
Chester Francis-Jackson, Gleaner Writer
The Spanish Ambassador, Jesús Silva (right), hosted National Day of Spain reception, at Norbrook Road, Norbrook, St. Andrew on Wednesday, October 11. He has a kiss for Lisa Johnston, while her debonair husband Charles looks on. - Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer
My daahlings, some people have it, and some people don't! And it's always quite fabulous to find it, just when it seemed like the diplomatic and social circles were about to fall into the same-ole same-ole humdrum of predictable clichés, being presided over by the usual suspects!
Both circles have remained vibrant and interesting over the years, due to the variety and sparkle of the major players, who understand that entertaining is an art and not a chore. Because of this, time and care must be given especially when the occasion being celebrated is of importance.
Well, the Spanish embassy here in Kingston is one of those missions that has been blessed with having interesting personalities as heads of missions over the years. This has contributed to them being premier hosts when it comes to throwing any shindig, but especially so, in celebrating the Spanish National Day.
Two Wednesdays ago, Spain's first citizens here, their Excellencies Ambassador Jesús and Sara Silva, hosted their Natioanl Day.
Thrown in fine style
Sweet-things, this was not only prime time, it was the premier diplomatic affair and thrown in the finest of styles! Honeys, no froufrou here, just unvarnished first-world style, steeped in the elegance and language of the truly sophisticated and dripping with fabdom!
Hosted at the ambassador's official residence in upper St. Andrew, the reception was a study in flawlessness and then some! Mama-mía, and her cousin Esperanza, talk about fabulous! Pumpkins, this was it!
Luvs, without doubt, the official residence is one of the more fabulous properties to be found in the nation's capital - sitting as it does on several acres of prime real estate, and located in the upscale neighbourhood of Norbrook. The place is a beauty to behold, as we are talking rolling lawns, immaculately manicured, and gardens that frame a most charming main house and guest cottage that boasts an intimacy that is indeed quite alluring.
Anyway, in anticipation of the October showers, the ambassador and his staff prepared a giant of a marquee - and air-conditioned to boot - to host the hundreds expected for the occasion.
Well sweet-things, the marquee was not only fashionably decorated, representing the national colours of Spain, Ambassador Silva, his wife Señora Silva, their children and staff, created an extended reception line that began at the portico of the main residence and meandered down the walkway, on to the patio area, then to the red carpet that led straight into the welcoming embrace of the beautifully-decorated marquee.
Honeys, we are talking gracious hospitality; impeccable service; a more than fabulous fare; and a very august gathering of this here country's finest citizenry - all making for a smasheroni of a do! In fact, sensationally so!
Dovecakes, what a swelleganza!
Oh honeys, if y'all missed this one, then hate yourselves as we are talking a night of haute couture, rubies, emeralds, diamonds and other precious stones flashing from pampered earlobes, stately elongated necks, and flawlessly-manicured hands. And those were just the ladies in attendance!
Luvs, not to be outdone, the men for the most part, sported elegantly-tailored suits. Rolex, was the preferred timepiece, and for their fingers, the preferred item of jewellery were the rings of famous alma maters, while some opted for flashier stones on their pinkies. But children, it made for one fabulous social and nothing but!
Of course, there was a state of the union report as Ambassador Silva informed guests about the state of bilateral relations and commitment between his host country and his homeland. Foreign Affairs Minister Anthony Hylton led the champagne toast celebrating the state of friendship between Jamaica and Spain.
The guest list
And among those out were: Their Excellencies The Most Honourable Prof. Kenneth Hall and Rheima Holding-Hall; Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke; Deputy Foreign Minister Senator Delano Franklyn; Opposition Senator Anthony Johnson; former Health Minister John Junor and wife Urla Junor; former Information Minister Burchell Whiteman and his elegant wife Jolene Whiteman; JDF Chief-of-Staff Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin; Dean of the Diplomatic Corp, HE Ambassador Cedric Harper and wife Dr. Barbara Harper.
Also out were: Head of the EU Delegation HE Ambassador Gerd Jarchow and wife Mara Mandara-Jarchow; U.S. Ambassador HE Brenda LaGrange-Johnson; Chinese Ambassador HE Zhao Zhenyu; British High Commissioner HE Jeremy Creswell; French Ambassador HE Francis Hurtut; Belgian Ambassador HE Herman Portacarero and wife Myriam Portacarero; Canadian High Commissioner HE Denis Kingsley and wife, the charming Jo-Ann Kingsley; Indian High Commissioner HE Kailash Agrawal; Mexican Ambassador, HE the lavishly beautiful Leonora Rueda; Colombian Ambassador HE Dr. Kent Francis; Chilean Ambassador HE Alfanso Silva; Argentinean Ambassador HE Gonzalo and Ines Fernández; Brazilian Ambassador HE Cesar Amoral and his lovely wife Lida Amoral; Trinidad and Tobago's High Commissioner HE Yvonne Gittens-Josephs; Deputy British High Commissioner Paul Nicopolo and wife Corrine Nicopolo; Deputy Head Of Mission German Embassy Mrs.Maria Friedrich-Boerger and her hubby Antoine Boerger; Deputy Head of Mission of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Madai Hernández A; husband of the South African High Commissioner Jabulani Radebe; Mr. and Mrs. Juan Carlos Espinoza; EU Delegation First Secretary Felice Zaccheo.
We also saw: The Most Hon. Glynne Manley; David Coore Q.C.: Pop icon and mogul, Chris Blackwell; business tycoon Hon. Oliver Clarke and his lovely wife Monica Ladd; hotel mogul the Hon. John Issa and his lovely daughter Muna Issa, his son-in-law, Chris Nakash, also out; style denizen Beverly Junor Levy and her lovely daughter Suzanne Levy-Louis; the serenely elegant Susan Alexander; Barclay Ewart and wife; "A-Crowder" Robert MacMillan; the elegant Joy Mahfood; businessman Paul Issa; Dr. Ralph Thompson and wife Dodi Thompson; Capt. Mike Lyn and wife, social empress Thalia Lyn; Richard Stewart and his elegant wife Diana Stewart; Charley Johnston and wife Lisa McGregor-Johnston; Paul and Becky Stockhausen; Winston and Franny Mahfood; Dr. Oswald and Marigold Harding; the so fabulous Joan McDonald; the stunning Michelle Phillips and her mom, Elena Miguel-Hitchins; Former JDF Chief-of-Staff Rear Admiral Peter Brady and wife Carol Brady; Tunty Barrett and wife the supremely elegant Ambassador Madge Barrett; Dr. Cezley Sampson; Ambassador Maxine Roberts; Dr. Wesley Hughes; Dr. Jonathan Greenland and wife Dr. Rebecca Tortello; Capt. David McCrae and the charming Felicity Crosswel-Brandt; Randy Mair and wife Nicola Crosswell-Mair; Milton and Elizabeth Samuda; Nicky Feanny; Donovan and Michelle Perkins; Cable and Wireless's Rodney Davis and his lovely wife Nadja Davis.
Note: Aside from the breathless social columnist prose, this article does a nice job when it comes to the part of listing the diplomatic guests, pretty much in the proper protocol order. For those who don't know, member countries of the Commonwealth (formerly known as the British Commonwealth) don't exchange "ambassadors" or post "embassies" in one another's capitals: they exchange "high commissioners" at "high commissions." So although they're not actually styled "Ambassador," that's essentially what they are.
Also, the U.S. ambassador is given the style "HE" along with all the others of that rank. "HE" stands for "His Excellency" (at least when it doesn't stand for "Her Excellency"). That happens quite a lot, but the proper U.S. practice is to style an American ambassador "The Honorable" rather than "Excellency." It's part of our (small-'r') republican heritage and is the same style we use for present and former presidents, vice presidents, members of congress and cabinets as well as judges and mayors.
We still call other ambassadors "HE," it's just not what we call our own. And we're not really ever offended if somebody makes this very common protocol error. I've even been addressed as "excellency" when I was but a mere third secretary and vice consul, which nearly caused me to laugh aloud at the time.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
re: "What to do in Iraq"
"I’ve hesitated to say “what should be done”, from two motives. First, there is a war going on. I took President Bush for the legitimate captain of the allied war effort, and wished to avoid second-guessing him. But the mid-term election in the U.S. confirmed publicly what was already happening behind the scenes. Mr Bush was successfully demonized by his domestic and foreign foes, and his authority as President is now undermined. The direction of the war effort has thus been opened for general discussion."
"The number of U.S. and allied troops on the ground in Iraq, and the arms they carry, are sufficient unto the day. U.S. and allied deployments in the region are a little thin for the larger purpose of dealing with e.g. Syria and Iran. But they are formidable."
"(T)he “strategy” in Fallujah should have been to make it into a parking lot, and build a Wal-Mart at one end. There would have been great loss of life, but the message to our enemies and their supporters everywhere would have been, “We will not be toyed with.” Civilians whose sympathies are with the enemy cannot be won over, and have not been, by the “candy to children” approach. They must be taught that sheltering the enemy -- even involuntarily -- means sharing the enemy’s fate."
"The strategy against the insinuation of foreign jihadis and supplies, into Iraq across international frontiers, should have been -- should now be -- extremely hot pursuit."
re: "Foreign Service Oral Assessment"
Wish her luck!
re: "Hostile Intent + Hostile capability = Bang, Bang, you're dead"
Crossing a Pontoon Bridge (II)
re: "Army Cash Crunch"
"The Humvee was designed and fielded as a replacement for the venerable Jeep, as a personal transport vehicle for use in much the same way that civilians use cars and pickup trucks. It was never designed to be an armored personnel carrier. (Ironically, it was too wide and unwieldy for it intended use, too, especially on the narrow streets of Germany.)
That we did not fully anticipate the nature of ground combat in this war and have had to react on the fly in changing the way we equip soldiers is regrettable but understandable. The we’re continuing to spend more than two-thirds of our equipment budget on the Navy and Air Force, which are on the periphery of the war, while the Army and Marines go begging despite bearing the brunt of the casualties, is inexcusable."
JO - Air Jamaica plane seized in Miami
Air Jamaica plane seized in Miami
Thursday, November 09, 2006
An Air Jamaica plane was seized at Miami International Airport in Florida yesterday afternoon by creditors anxious to collect on a US$7-million debt owed by the carrier.
Airline industry sources told the Observer last night that the plane was seized by International Lease Financing Corporation (ILFC) agents at about 4:30 pm in front of passengers who were to fly to Jamaica on what would have been JM024.
Air Jamaica CEO Mike Conway confirmed the seizure, but said that all passengers were accommodated at hotels and would be flown to Jamaica this morning.
Conway declined to name the lessor on whose behalf the ILFC agents acted. However, he said the action was triggered by nervousness on the part of the lessor.
"There are a number of contractual disputes," said Conway without giving details. "The lessor was nervous about press reports and Minister (Donald) Buchanan talking about downsizing."
Just last week, the Government rejected a new business plan presented by Air Jamaica and told the national carrier's bosses to devise a new plan around its US$30-million subsidy.
The Government has, however, given a commitment to keep the airline flying.
JG - Valle family wedding
Valle family wedding
published: Sunday October 22, 2006
Retired Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Claudio Valle (second left) and wife, Louise (left), with their daughter Eva Valle and husband Nigel Bose. - Contributed
Former Canadian High Commissioner Claudio Valle and his wife Louise Valle's daughter was married on September 7, two days after their departure from Jamaica. The wedding was held at the Chapel of the University of Toronto and the reception was at Hart House, at the university.
The bride wore a gown from Canadian Couture House: Paloma Blanca. It featured a bodice of off-white lace, with waist cinched with bronze-coloured sash and off-white silk skirt with a train.
The bride's mother chose a silk dress suit which she purchased at Signatures in Kingston before leaving Jamaica. Father of the bride wore a Zegna suit.
The wedding feast comprised vegetable vichysoise, followed by a rizotto, then filet mignon with assorted vegetables for meat eaters, and salmon steaks were also available for meat and fish lovers. For dessert there was a cranberry velvet cake; Champagne and wine flowed non-stop.
There were 40 guests among which were Jamaican friends Marina and Jim Gill; Dr. Maria Protz; and Susan Hall. The bride's husband is Nigel Bose whose father is Trinidadian and his mother is from Newfoundland.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
re: "Vietnam and Iraq"
Beth at Blue Star Chronicles draws the parallels you need to be thinking about.
"Prior to the fall of Vietnam, Americans were protected. People knew that the strength of America was behind its citizens traveling abroad. American Embassies were a place of refuge and safety. After the fall of Vietnam, we were on our own. American Embassies became impotent. The people there were very angry with Americans.
The people of that area felt we had betrayed them because we had betrayed them."
"(O)ur conduct in leaving Vietnam has contributed to where we are today with the islamic world."
"The fall of Saigon was the first chink in the armor of American might.
From that point on the world knew that America could be defeated.
They also knew we couldn’t be trusted.
They can’t beat us on the battlefield. It wasn’t the American Soldiers that lost the Vietnam War. They were fierce warriors who took on a deadly and vicious enemy in dense jungles. They would have continued to fight. They would have won if they had been given the tools to do so. It was the people at home that were defeated. It was the American people that defeated us in that war.
The same people of the same generation that are doing the same things now. A democratic Congress cut funding for the Vietnam War and a democratic Congress is threatening to cut funding for the Global War on Terrorism."
JO - Trafficking in Persons bill for House next week
Trafficking in Persons bill for House next week
BALFORD HENRY, Observer writer
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
THE Government is to table a Trafficking in Persons (TIP) prevention bill in Parliament next week in time for this month's interim assessment of the country's current ranking by the United States Congress.
Minister of information and development Donald Buchanan says that the tabling of the Prevention, Suppression and Punishment of Trafficking in Persons Act 2006 in the House of Representatives next Tuesday forms part of the country's plan of action against the crime, which consists of four main components - prevention, protection, prosecution and policy.
The information was contained in a report Buchanan read to yesterday's post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House. It was the only item addressed by the minister, who said that that while the issue was not the only matter dealt with, "it took up some time within the Cabinet meeting today".
But the minister was unable to answer any questions from the report, stating that he had only received it at the meeting.Asked why he had not invited the minister responsible for human trafficking issues, minister of justice A J Nicholson, to the briefing, Buchanan responded, "You know, that might have been an excellent idea. I will indicate to him that it is important for him to arrange a media briefing from the ministry's point of view".
Jamaica is currently on the US tier two watch list, which means that the country's attempts to deal with trafficking in persons is being watched and assessed by the American Congress as a precursor to a possible upgrading from tier three to tier two.
In 2005, the US ranked Jamaica in tier three, which is the ranking given to governments accused of failing to meet the minimum standards, or who demonstrate significant efforts to curb human trafficking. It also subjects these countries to possible non-humantarian and non-trade sanctions by the US Government.
The ranking was improved to tier two watchlist this year after the Government admitted that the activity was taking place in Jamaica and gave commitments to deal with it.
Buchanan said that, in terms of prosecutions, there were eight specific human trafficking cases in the courts. He said that there are 12 documented convictions resulting in fines totalling $175,000 and four deportations.
JG - Some roots of birth registration pains
Some roots of birth registration pains
published: Sunday October 22, 2006
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Some time ago, in a discussion with a mother who had just given birth, it was discovered that she had a 15-year-old child who had never been registered. The many disadvantages were pointed out and she was encouraged to correct the matter immediately. In a chance meeting several months later, she was asked about the matter and replied that she had registered them - the 15-year-old and the infant - as twins. Then, tapping the side of her head with her forefinger, the way people do when they want you to know that they are brilliant, she added,
Recently, I visited a certain college during orientation and heard bawling coming from the administrative offices. It turned out that this freshman was just discovering that her parents, who had been parading as 'Mr. and Mrs.' for 23 years, were never married. She was mortified.
Quite often, particularly at the beginning of the summer holidays, I am visited by persons, mainly graduates from high schools, who are seeking my help to fill out standard forms issued by some of our institutions. They find some of the 'big' words like 'marital status' 'mailing' address and 'maiden' name particularly troublesome.
Now I hold no brief for Dr. Holness at the RGD and have no way of knowing if there are systemic weakness there, but I feel quite certain that those matters related earlier, have a lot to do with the complaints levelled on that agency.
When I was going to school, these lessons were dealt with during the first year of high school. But these are modern times and curricula are packed with more important themes.
Perhaps Dr. Holness needs to squeeze an eighth day into each week and spend it in the school system.
I am, etc.,
Monday, December 11, 2006
re: "Democrats’ New Intelligence Chairman Flunks Intel Quiz"
"You know it’s just never safe to assume that authority figures actually know what they’re doing or that their access to confidential information is an explanation for seemingly stupid strategic decision making. They must know something that we don’t right?"
JO - Ganja for cocaine trade between J'ca and Curacao
Ganja for cocaine trade between J'ca and Curacao
BY VAUGHN DAVIS Observer staff reporter
Monday, November 06, 2006
DRUG mules are trading marijuana for cocaine in Curacao then reintroducing the cocaine to the streets of Jamaica, says Senior Superintendent Carlton Wilson of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Narcotics Division. But Wilson said most of the cocaine was destined for the United Kingdom for sale and distribution there.
" We see a trend where cocaine is being imported from Curacao. They (drug mules) take the ganja down to Curacao and trade it for cocaine, then smuggle it back into Jamaica, using all the regular means, like swallowing it (or) putting it among commercial goods," Wilson told the Observer. W ilson noted, however, that the Narcotics branch had seen a significant reduction in the amount of drug mules going in and out of the island, as well as the amount of cocaine on the streets.
" We still have a reduction in the amount of drug mules. Part of the reason for that is we really put a dent in the cocaine trade with the arrest of some major players. and the assistance of our international partners, protecting our coastline and our waters," he said.
"There is hardly any (cocaine activities) that we are encountering, " he added. That situation had resulted in more cocaine activity being carried out in the eastern Caribbean islands, with figures showing the bulk of the region's cocaine seizures occurring there.
However, as cocaine seizures dropped in Jamaica, there had been an increase in ganja seizures, with the Narcotics police already seizing more than twice the amount of ganja grabbed during last year, Wilson told the Observer. "Last year, we seized under 15,000 kilograms of ganja, and this year we have seized over 34,000 kilograms," he said.
The heavy cultivation of ganja continued, Wilson noted, even in the face of heightened efforts by the police to eradicate covert ganja fields. Though the eradication process continues, Wilson reported, the efforts of the police were being hindered by lack of proper equipment, even with the assistance of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).
" We know where the ganja is, but we can't access it," he said. The Narcotics Division estimates that a pound of ganja may fetch between $1,500 and $7000, depending on the scarcity, and to a lesser extent, the quality of the drug. Cocaine however, was fetching between $400,000 and $350,000 per kilogram, because of scarcity.
JG - 'New customs rules no threat to business' - Less paperwork for clearing of non-commercial goods
'New customs rules no threat to business' - Less paperwork for clearing of non-commercial goods
published: Sunday October 22, 2006
Susan Gordon, Business Reporter
Donovan Wignal, president of the Customs Brokers Association of Jamaica, says established brokerages handle larger commercial shipments. - File
The new import procedure implemented October 9, by the Customs Department will eat into the revenues of customs brokers, but will bring more convenience to the regular public clearing non-commercial items.
Individuals who import non-commercial goods valued up to US$3,000 (J$195,000) will be able to clear the items with less paper work and without the services of a customs broker.
But president of the Customs Brokers Association of Jamaica (CBAJ) Donovan Wignal said the new rules would not impact too greatly on the more established custom brokerages. Those brokerages do significantly more business with commercial importers.
A new procedure
Last week, Customs instituted a new procedure whereby individuals no longer needed to enter information on or use the C78X form when clearing items valuing more than US$1,000.
This limit was increased last week to US$3,000.
The Customs Department said under the new procedure, an Airway Bill indicating where the item was purchased and the cost was sufficient documentation to present directly to a customs officer to have the goods
Before the change, goods valuing more than US$1,000 would have to be cleared using an entry form formally known as the C78X, which was prepared by a customs broker at fees ranging from $1,600 to $2,500, depending on the item.
Clearance of commercial items require entry on the C78 forms.
"This is a way of reviewing the system and ensuring people come through as quickly as possible," said Director of Public Relations at the customs department Anneke Rousseau.
Rosseau said the procedure cuts down considerably, on the complications in paper work for individuals clearing non-commercial items.
"People are now able to clear goods by themselves," she said.
Less paper work
Prior to the new procedure, individuals had to write up at least two forms for customs. Although less paper work will now be involved, Rousseau said in real terms, it would not translate to much savings for the Customs Department.
But Customs eventually hopes it will assist with clearing some of the cargo backlog in its warehouses.
Still to be determined is how it affects the speed at which goods are cleared.
Customs brokers meanwhile have taken the change in stride.
"I have not heard anyone complaining," said Wignal.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
JG - Appalling Chinese etiquette
Appalling Chinese etiquette
published: Sunday December 10, 2006
Dawn Ritch, Columnist
Like the vast majority of Jamaicans who drive by the Chinese Embassy, I've never been inside. It's built like a fortress on Seymour Avenue in Seymour Lands. It covers the land area of the three grandest mansions in this, the most upscale of all areas in Jamaica - the Golden Triangle. The embassy effectively runs the length of the block.
They seem to have knocked down the most westerly mansion, and replaced it with their offices and an apartment block. This looms incongruous and large above the beautiful 30 foot fence. The most easterly mansion still exists, and has never looked grander since it was built.
The Chinese complex is large and elaborate. The walls are clad in either ceramic or porcelain tiles. The big double gate is made of stainless steel. Its opulence and magnitude clearly mean that the Chinese intend to conduct a vast amount of trade and commerce with Jamaica and the region.
Not long ago, I watched live, on television, the African Summit in Beijing being simultaneously translated by a magnificent female Chinese voice-over.
The entry of the African heads of state into what may have been the Great Hall of China, to greet President Hu Jintao standing in solitary splendour at its centre, would have had to be seen to be believed. This country of China can no longer be described as "The Sleeping Dragon".
The red carpet in China was used in the oddest way I've ever seen. It ran roughly the 40 foot width of the great double doors that were about 100 foot high. The carpet came about a third of the way up this vast hall, which was itself easily six or ten times the size of the Jamaica National Arena.
Now here's the strange part. Instead of coming singly through the doors and walking up the centre of the red carpet, three or four of the African heads lined up at a time inside. They weren't even lining up in the centre of the red carpet, but directly on its edge.
With them was a Chinese man at a lectern who announced each to the president. One by one they stepped forward up the edge of this broad carpeted walkway, into the main area which was also carpeted, but this time wall to wall.
I don't know what it is the Chinese have with edges, but surely the African presidents and prime ministers could not have asked to stand on one. Nor pleaded to wait publicly in queue, as though they were boarding a bus. Imagine being invited to a red carpet affair, arguably the event of the century, but can't walk up the centre of the carpet, only its edge. This arrangement completely baffled me.
Over 50 African heads of state attended. The only ones absent were the five or six who support Taiwan. It was a spectacular and rare moment of public diplomacy by China. I was immediately transported back into the Victorian era. No slight to Indians then, when Queen Victoria was made empress of India, barring bloodshed, could have been as offensive to me as the Africans meekly standing on the edge.
It was unnecessarily cruel to make the point so obviously, and on global television. Nevertheless some of the African heads of state were so earnestly grateful, that they forgot to pose for the cameras. The president had to remind them that photographers were present.
Indeed the press corps was at least 400 strong, herded hard against the wall. Their flashbulbs glittered like massed diamonds. I've seen only two or three pictures anywhere since. The Africans could have picked their noses, and none but the Chinese would know. It would all have been the best kept secret on earth.
A couple months ago, I saw the Non-Aligned Summit in Havana live on the British Broadcasting Corporation's television world service.
Immediately after that it was reduced to mere pictorial insets on CNN, which unbelievably even for them, remained on local American news for the next 48 hours, no doubt hoping to kill the story. But most worryingly for freedom of the press, the BBC stopped carrying live coverage of the Non-Aligned Summit almost as soon as it began. Worst yet their television reports were ridiculously truncated.
The CNN anchors either hadn't the slightest idea of what they'd just seen, or were afraid to say. Indeed they began to talk about upcoming Christmas retail sales in the U.S., while on location in Havana. This was an expression of American banality at its worst. It was therefore sad to see the BBC follow suit, by quickly abandoning coverage.
A great deal to say
The representatives of the world's Non-Aligned Movement, who were milling about on camera, apparently had a great deal to say to each other. But what it was, we'll never know, because even bad coverage was denied them.
Much like the Chinese themselves. Their locally-manufactured planes and buses exported to Kenya and Nigeria, have been crashing in threes and fours at a time. I saw this in a British publication and was hugely relieved to read that it had nothing to do with the pilots or drivers, who were African. The slaughter is spectacular. Everybody on board dies.
But there has not been a single complaint to a Better Business Bureau of any kind. The African heads of state have bent over backwards on the subject. They have kept quiet about any disastrous economic and human rights consequences of Chinese investment in Africa, and there have been quite a few. There would have been howls of protest had it been European or American investment and equipment. Where the Chinese are in joint ventures however, with the Japanese for the manufacture of cars and trucks, nobody could want better product.
I realise therefore that the Non-Aligned Movement is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Everyone must remain mum about the economic rise and power of India and China. They're paying the pipers in Africa and the Caribbean, but the tune they'd prefer to hear is silence. On the other hand the silence of established and trusted media like the BBC and CNN is inexplicable and frankly inexcusable.
I welcome Chinese investment in Africa, Jamaica and the Caribbean. But if the Most Honourable Prime Minister Madame Portia Lucretia Simpson Miller ever lines up like those Africans, I'll be so over her, it won't be funny. I don't care how much they invest, how well they build, nor what economic boom they might spark in this country.
The etiquette of the Chinese nation to my western eyes was truly appalling. They may be a bus, but to ask us to line up to get on board was crude. Cruder still were the Africans who did so.
My advice to my African brethren therefore, if it's not too late already, is don't sell yourselves for a mess of pottage again. This buying and selling business only works if you get the highest price for your goods. It was true of slavery then, and it's true of wood, oil and other mineral resources today. You failed once. Don't do it again.
JO - How we treat each other
How we treat each other
Sunday, December 10, 2006
No less than four security guards took it upon themselves to let me know in no uncertain terms that in front of the embassy compound I couldn't stand, I couldn't wait, I couldn't park and I certainly couldn't walk through to accompany my mother while she renewed her passport. In fact, I barely had time to toss the woman out of the car before I was hustled off the property.
My mother has worked long and hard enough in her life to deserve a few niceties: door-to-door service; and the accompaniment of someone who will watch her back, secure her comfort, and ensure that she is handled with courtesy and care. I could feel my blood pressure rising while I tried to explain all that to the lovely security guards, and so I stopped short of bursting a gasket. They would have none of it.
A scene would not have helped, I knew. In fact, blood gushing from my gasket wouldn't have helped either. They simply would have pointed me back onto the street to cross over four lanes of traffic, down three blocks to get back into my car. Have a nice day; don't let the security gate hit you in the behind.
"Severe and resolute" appropriately describe our local embassy security here in Jamaica. They make the American Marine Security Guards look almost benign by comparison: "Marine Security Guards (MSGs) provide a 24-hour presence at designated US diplomatic missions around the world. Their primary mission is to prevent the compromise of classified information and equipment vital to the national security of the United States. The secondary mission of MSGs is to protect US citizens and US Government property located within designated diplomatic and consular premises during exigent circumstances."
I'm not privy to what the job descriptions of our local security guards are, but the intense professionalism which they apply to their duties as gate-keepers is awesome. Perhaps they learnt it from the marines.
At two of the three big embassies in town (for I have no personal experience with the third), I found that the security guards, Jamaicans all, treated me with condescension. Intimidating, heavy-handed, high and mighty condescension. And I have it on good authority that they might treat me just as badly at the third. A story was related to me by a man - a foreign citizen seeking to do business with his country's embassy here - who was denied access to the embassy because of his umbrella.
He couldn't enter the compound with his umbrella - perhaps now classified as a weapon of mass destruction - and so was asked to leave it outside without any offer of its safekeeping. Not wanting to have the umbrella stolen from him he argued to keep it on his person. A futile argument it was, so he walked his umbrella all the way back to the car and walked in the tearing rain back to the embassy. I'll let your imagination run wild as to what happened when he submitted himself again to the security guard.
What with the tenuousness of our positions in our own country, heaven knows we all do our research before approaching an embassy. On the website it says clearly: "All applicants who arrive at the Embassy for their interview will undergo security screening at the point of entry. Firearms, knives, sharp objects and all electronic devices, including cell phones and cameras, are strictly prohibited inside the Embassy. You will not be allowed entry into the Embassy if carrying these kinds of items. Please fully co-operate with Embassy security officials, who are simply trying to safeguard the security of applicants and Embassy personnel." It says absolutely nothing about umbrellas.
We all have an embassy story. Having to wait for an appointment for a visa. Months upon months. Having to be investigated - marriage certificates, bank accounts and statements of financial worth presented, having to submit yourself to question-and-answer sessions that are very rigorous. Even if just for a visitor's visa.
It may not be the case with all other countries - in fact Canada prides itself on being an "open country which welcomes immigrants and visitors" - but "US immigration law presumes that everyone applying for a visitors' visa is intending to immigrate to the US. The burden of proof is on the applicant to demonstrate to the interviewing officer that he or she has sufficiently strong ties to Jamaica which would compel the individual to return home after a temporary stay in the US."
It is clear from this presumption that no single, young person in Jamaica, without benefit or burden of spouse, mortgage or children, can hope to visit the United States. Thank God for cable which, for many young Jamaicans, is the only way they'll experience American culture.
And British culture too. We're aware of the statistics: Jamaicans have the second highest rate of refusals at the points of entry and the highest abscondment or "disappearing act" rate, so decisions as to whether or not a Jamaican can go through a point of entry in a country are done via visa.
The recently instituted requirement for Jamaicans to have a visa to visit the United Kingdom wreaked much havoc locally. But funnily enough, Jamaicans abroad seemed to have welcomed the move: for it meant that there would be less travelling Jamaicans giving the migrant Jamaicans a bad name.
The British visa programme is touted as a success because in the third quarter of 2002, 1,800 Jamaicans were denied entry. In the final quarter it was 2,000. In the first quarter of 2003, 670 persons were denied and in the second quarter 109. Makes this column wonder if it is a success because fewer people are denied visas, or it is a success because fewer people now apply for visas.
We get the message; we're not wanted in some of these countries. That is abundantly clear. This column only wishes that the security guards who are employed by the embassies wouldn't take so much pleasure in delivering this message.
JO - Picture (not) perfect. Photographer says cops, security guards abused and arrested him because he took a photo of new US Embassy.
Picture (not) perfect
Photographer says cops, security guards abused and arrested him because he took a photo of new US Embassy
BY KIMONE THOMPSON Sunday Observer staff reporter
Sunday, December 10, 2006
A 59-year-old freelance photographer, who said he was taking pictures of the new US Embassy building in Liguanea, St Andrew for job-related purposes, was arrested and charged by the police with resisting arrest, possession of an offensive weapon and assaulting a police officer, three charges, he claimed, were "ridiculous and unfair".
Hamilton. I feel very annoyed and disappointed to know that a situation like this can happen to me in Jamaica
Errol Hamilton told the Sunday Observer that he snapped two pictures of the newly-constructed building but that security guards stationed at the embassy and a policewoman who was in their company, confiscated his camera, "manhandled" him and took him to the Matilda's Corner Police Station where he was arrested and the charges laid against him.
It is a general practice of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, effected on a case-by-case basis, to have local cops boost diplomatic security forces.
The police, however, told a different story to Hamilton's. According to the cops, Hamilton was seen running from the embassy building in the wee hours of November 17 and was pursued by a team of security guards employed to Florida-based firm Wackenhut, but he managed to elude them.
The police said the description of the man was passed on to another team which, a short while later, intercepted Hamilton "trying to hide behind a tree" on Blue Castle Drive in the Kingston 6 area.
When the sole cop in the group, Woman Constable D Thomas of the Mobile Reserve, attempted to apprehend the suspect, he resisted, but with the help of the security guards he was restrained. A silver flash knife was allegedly taken from him and he was subsequently arrested and charged.
However, Hamilton's version of the sequence of events varied from that of the cops.
He said he was riding home at about 1:30 on the morning of November 17 when upon reaching the new embassy building, he decided to capture it on film for job-related purposes. After doing so, he said he noticed an SUV trailing him and motioned for it to pass but was surprised when men pulling guns and demanding his camera jumped out of the vehicle which had skidded to a halt in front of him, blocking his way.
A section of the unfinished new embassy building of the United States in Liguanea, St Andrew.
"I refused their request," he said, "and told them they had no legal right. I introduced myself [but] they told me to get off my bike, put my hands over my head and get ready to be searched."Hamilton said he was saved by some loud-talking Rastafarians on the other side of the road who engaged the security personnel in a verbal confrontation.
In the heat of the argument, he rode away and headed home but as soon as he got to Blue Castle Drive, the road on which he lives, he said he saw about four other sports utility vehicles headed his way.
"I rode off and when I pulled up to my road, some other jeeps drove me down and came into the yard. The men came out, again with guns and with [discriminatory] remarks."According to the photographer, the men who alighted from the vehicles were wearing uniforms affixed with emblems of the American flag. At this point, he reportedly heard a female voice and the woman identified herself as a cop, but he said he couldn't see her face.
"I counted 12 of them when I got to the police station [and] it was about four jeeps of them. About six of them manhandled me, thoroughly frisked me and bundled me up and put me in the jeep," Hamilton complained.
He related what he went through prior to being placed in the police vehicle: "This is what they did: they handcuffed me and pushed me down on the ground, put my face in the ground. Both my legs and hands were handcuffed. I didn't have any weapon; I didn't try to resist them. This was all done in the precincts of my yard, my home [which] I'm sure I should feel secure in. I felt threatened. I felt that I could have been killed in any situation right there."
Hamilton said members of his family, who had come out of the house and witnessed the incident, asked the diplomatic security team to desist, but to no avail.
Hamilton said that upon the recommendation of the woman constable, he was taken to the Matilda's Corner Police Station where "they again searched me, removed my camera, my film and the police woman instructed the officers at the police station.... to arrest me for resisting arrest, having an offensive weapon and assaulting her, the policewoman".
Hamilton said the only thing he was carrying resembling a weapon was a miniature utility tool complete with a pair of pliers, a screwdriver, a file and other related tools he keeps for emergency repairs to his bicycle. He was released on a $15,000 bond but when he faced Judge Judith Pusey in the Half-Way-Tree RM court on November 24, the matter was thrown out on the basis that there was no case against him.
"The judge, after hearing the case, found that there wasn't any case against me," he said. "(She) has advised me that as far as she knows, there is no law prohibiting me from taking pictures of outside facades of any building of interest in Jamaica."
"She instructed them (the police) that they should return to me my film and my camera. I haven't got the camera up to this present date, but I've got back the film. The negatives were developed [but] two pictures that I took of the embassy were not in the set of photos that I got back."On January 17, when the matter will again be called up in court, the police are to update the judge on whether Hamilton's belongings had been returned.
When contacted, the only comment the US Embassy gave on the matter was that the Sunday Observer should contact the police.
Donald Pusey, assistant commissioner of police at the Mobile Reserve - the unit to which Woman Constable Thomas is assigned - reasoned that Hamilton must have aroused the suspicions of the diplomatic security group for them to have pursued him.
"He must have seemed suspicious at 2:00 am. In times like these, one has to think about terrorism.and I don't know whether he represented himself well," Pusey told the Sunday Observer.
Hamilton said Pusey was "very surprised" to hear that his camera had been confiscated and was instrumental in helping him recover the film.
But the man wants reparation for the way he was treated and for the losses he sustained. He told the Sunday Observer that he is taking the security firm to court. "I have formulated a letter and forwarded it to them to say that I feel I was wronged and that the manner in which they handled me was wrong," said Hamilton. "I want to recover the costs for my camera and for my glasses that were damaged when they pushed my face onto the ground."
Hamilton said he felt betrayed by a system set up to protect him as a law-abiding citizen of Jamaica. "I feel very annoyed and disappointed to know that a situation like this can happen to me in Jamaica," he said. "It's as if the Americans have taken over our island and they dictate to us what is to be done and what is not to be done.
They have no regard for the freedom that we have here in Jamaica, the freedom for doing things that are legal. There's no law in Jamaica that prohibits people from shooting pictures of public places, moreso, if you're making these pictures for the general public's info, which is my primary job. I feel disappointed that private securities have the opportunity, the wherewithal to instruct our police force in the way that they should do their jobs."