Wed | Jan 27, 2021

Letter of the Day | Special-ops law: putting carriage before horse

Published:Thursday | July 6, 2017 | 12:00 AM


The Zones of Special Operations legislation is a deliberate diversion from what is required to deal with the dreadful poverty situation in the country. We call upon the Senate to seriously look at the bill and not just be a rubber stamp.

According to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, 1.2 million people are living below the poverty line, 13 per cent of the workforce is unemployed, and 50 per cent of youth have no jobs. In addition, the gap between the rich and the poor is one of the widest in the world. These are shocking statistics.

To call out the military and the police to stop social chaos caused by these shocking statistics is to put the proverbial carriage before the horse.


Provide Education, employment


Emergency measures must be adopted to provide work for the youth and to address their educational needs.

The Government's Zones of Special Operations is just another name for a state of emergency a la 2010 Tivoli Gardens-West Kingston massacre.

The same types of abuses are bound to result. The people of Jamaica reject this approach to dealing with social issues, especially since the victims of the 2010 massacre have yet to receive justice. There has been no apology, no compensation, and no one has been held criminally liable.

An emergency youth employment programme is needed now. The development of this programme must involve the people's participation rather than being left to the usual state bureaucrats who the prime minister is trying to pass off as the Social Intervention Committee.

The economy is not growing substantively. The gap between the rich and the poor is

politically untenable. The redistribution of wealth is the only way to maintain the social order the prime minister says is the object of this Zones of Special Operations legislation.

The people must demand their involvement in solving social problems, otherwise, our political ruling class will continue to repackage their failed policies, the object of which is to ensure their own political rule.