Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Letter of the Day | Tivoli report's blame game scandalous

Published:Wednesday | June 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Two major recommendations, in my mind, emanated from the report of the commission of enquiry into the West Kingston clashes of 2010:

1. That an apology be made to the Tivoli Gardens community.

2. That special payments be made to residents of Tivoli.

It is quite scandalous that the commissioners turned the enquiry into a blame game against the security forces. We need another view.

It is well-established that Dudus - now in jail in the US for his evil deeds - was a super don who had established an all-island criminal network based in a garrison community. What exactly developed with 'the event' that has been the subject of this high-profile inquiry?

1. Dudus declared war against the Jamaican society and law-enforcement forces. Part of that was the destruction of the Hannah Town Police Station.

2. He assembled a well-armed criminal support group in Tivoli to defend the enclave.

3. The community was heavily barricaded against the intrusion of law-enforcement forces.

4. Requests to remove the barricade were rejected by gunmen.

5. When community members were asked in the commission as to how the barricades got in place, they were obviously lying when they replied that they were unaware as to how they were erected.

This declaration of war against the security forces is what the commission recommends should be apologised for and rewarded? No way! This endorses evil.

The event was a regrettable one and lives were lost. But this was war. Here are some different recommendations that need to be made.

1. Full details must be published of all the expenditures of the enquiry and to whom payments are to be paid. The commissioners and the herd of lawyers would obviously have profited well.

2. Tivoli Gardens needs to repent of its embracing evil and to express sorrow at the death of the soldier.

3. A community-development initiative should be introduced, with meetings between soldiers, police, and people to restore relationships. In addition, a community development project such as has been clearly demonstrated in Trench Town by Dr Henley Morgan should be embraced.

4. The former commissioner of police and the army chief of staff, far from being held as irresponsible leaders, need to be commended for their strong action against what was an incipient rebellion.

5. The Rev Al Miller must be commended for his role in the peaceful arrest of Dudus. Shame on the attempts being made to prosecute him.


President Emeritus, UTech