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Johnson Smith presses T&T to address mistreatment concerns

Published:Thursday | April 14, 2016 | 4:00 AMGary Spaulding

The Jamaican Government has moved to nudge the Keith Rowley-led Cabinet of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) to address ongoing complaints of mistreatment of visiting Jamaicans to the twin-island republic as well as possible breaches of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith yesterday sought to assure the nation that the Andrew Holness administration has engaged in a series of "results-oriented" talks with T&T authorities.

Johnson Smith suggested that the neighbouring CARICOM state was not doing enough to bring a resolution to immigration disputes.

She also signalled that the Jamaican Government was displeased with the recurring complaints of mistreatment by T&T immigration personnel.

"Our assessment of the overall operations involved is that the treatment being meted out to our nationals is not at the level that we would wish, and there is much room, to put it lightly, for improvement," asserted Johnson Smith.

She said she was not convinced by claims of strain on the nation's resources by T&T and suggested that an objective assessment of the treatment meted out to Jamaicans was required on the part of T&T's immigration personnel.

In a letter, which she revealed was dispatched last Friday, Johnson Smith said: "I have asked my counterpart to indicate specific times when his government or agents will address the matters."

She said it was promised that her letter would be taken to the T&T Cabinet this week.

gary.spaulding@gleanerjm.com