Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Two Jamaicas? - Grange says arrests at reggae event could send wrong message

Published:Tuesday | April 25, 2017 | 4:00 AM
Olivia 'Babsy' Grange

Culture Minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange has indicated that an incident Sunday night at the popular entertainment spot, Dub Club, in Skyline Drive, St Andrew, that led to the arrest and charge of roots reggae events promoter Gabre Selassie and a selector, for breaches of the Noise Abatement Act in St Andrew on the same day revellers participated in massive carnival activities in the Corporate Area, could send the wrong signal that there are two Jamaicas.

The men are to appear before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on May 15.

"I want to quickly express my concern and regret that an incident like this should have happened on a day when carnival, a quite different cultural event, was taking place. It is really unfortunate that something like this happened at the same time as carnival, as it sends the wrong message that there are two Jamaicas," Grange said yesterday in a press release.

Describing Selassie as an icon who has dedicated and promoted roots reggae music for years, Grange said he "deserves recognition for his consistent support of our indigenous Jamaican culture. His work has grown out of a desire to promote our culture and he should be praised for that."

The police yesterday reported that Selassie, who was born Karlyle Lee, 47, of Skyline Drive, Kingston 6, and 25-year-old Rahay Mooyan, of Royal Flat district in Manchester, were arrested and charged on Sunday for breaching the noise abatement law.

... Pepper spray used to subdue crowd - police

The police reports that at about 10:30 p.m., they responded to calls by residents who complained about a loud noise on Skyline Drive. The police visited the location where a party was in progress and asked the promoter to produce his permit for the event. He was instructed to turn off the music when he could not produce a permit.

However, the police said pepper spray was used to subdue the crowd after patrons became boisterous and prevented them from carrying out their jobs.

Commenting further on Selassie's contribution to promoting Jamaica's music, Grange said the support his event gets from Jamaicans who love roots culture and tourists who visit the Dub Club each Sunday night underscores how world famous Jamaica's culture is.

The culture minister reported that legislation to amend the Noise Abatement Act was on the agenda. "It is a matter that my ministry and I have been in consultation with the Ministry of National Security to see how we can quickly advance the necessary amendment to avoid instances like this," she added.