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Tivoli Report: Fair, prompt compensation a must

Published:Wednesday | July 6, 2016 | 7:00 AM
A ransacked room in a Tivoli Gardens house where the security forces allegedly ripped up furniture and trashed possessions in the hunt for illegal guns during the 2010 police-military operations in the west Kingston community.

Residents of west Kingston who were impacted by the police-military operation of May 2010 should be compensated fairly and promptly.

That's the recommendation of the Sir David Simmons-led West Kingston Commission of Enquiry, which investigated the conduct of the operations.

Below is the full context of the commission's recommendations on victim compensation.

Term of Reference (Q), which requires us to determine the adequacy of compensation to victims of the events of 2010, implies a willingness on the part of the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) to adequately compensate the victims who suffered personal injuries and property damage.

We find this predisposition of the Government to be admirable. It is the right thing to do and it should be done fairly and promptly.

 

Compensation committee

 

While we recognise that there is a pressing need to bring closure to this matter, and, while we are conscious of INDECOM's continuing investigations which must not be constricted, we are of the opinion that redress by way of compensation should proceed without delay.

Accordingly, we recommend the establishment of a compensation committee with two broad mandates:

1. To investigate and determine claims for compensation for loss and damage to property and business. Since there already exists in the possession of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) a substantial body of relevant and useful documentation relating to loss and damage of property, we do not envisage that this recommendation will involve a protracted exercise.

2. On completion of this exercise, the compensation committee should investigate and determine the quantum of compensation payable to injured persons and to the personal representatives of deceased persons without prejudice to the investigations of INDECOM.

We have been assured by the public defender, Mrs Arlene Harrison Henry, that the OPD is ready, willing and able to assist in the swift dispatch of 1 and 2 above. We further respectfully recommend that the compensation committee be chaired by a retired judge or senior attorney-at-law, expert and experienced in the assessment of compensation for personal injuries and death, and the committee should be directed to complete its work in nine months.

>> See full report at www.jamaica-gleaner.com/tivolireport