Chairman of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Mike Henry late yesterday accused People's National Party thugs of creating mayhem on the US$65 million Palisadoes Shoreline Protection and Rehabilitation Programme.
Henry called on chairman of the People's National Party (PNP), Robert Pickersgill, to rein in those who are bent on wreaking havoc on the ambitious project.
In so doing, Henry said Pickersgill should demonstrate the necessary responsibility to effectively rein in the party's leadership in the East Kingston and Port Royal constituency, which has allowed open intimidation from political thugs to be derailing the US$65 million Palisadoes Shoreline Protection and Rehabilitation Programme.
The JLP chairman referred to what he characterised as an ongoing campaign by PNP General Secretary Peter Bunting to sell the Opposition party as a newly reformed and squeaky clean organisation.
He charged that the recent deve-lopments on the Palisadoes project were making an absolute mockery of the 'Bunting Doctrine'.
According to Henry, while Bunting was busy telling all within earshot that the PNP was committed to completely disassociating itself from any element of criminality, which, if true, would be a really positive step going forward, "thugs associated with the PNP have been publicly demonstrating their negative capacity, including advertising their firepower, to feed off and derail a major national project".
Henry said with Bunting's speeches suggesting positive steps, it would be unfortunate if he or Pickersgill did not find it necessary or appropriate to complement the Bunting Doctrine with "a different reality in East Kingston".
The JLP chairman suggested that the PNP quickly transform the political landscape around the Palisadoes project as the national implications of the mega project require that the investment be protected from the fangs of extortion that were emerging there.
He said the JLP would expect appropriate support from the national security minister and the police commissioner on the matter.
Henry warned that the country would also have to vigorously protect its overall image within the global investment environment, where it is totally unacceptable for international funding and execu-tion of such a major project "to be jeopardised by a band of political thugs labelled as unofficial liaison officers who, instead of fostering stability on the project site, are now threatening to introduce gunplay there".