Former PM declares nation has failed Independence
Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter
THE ONLY surviving member of the team that crafted the Jamaican Constitution says Independence has not failed Jamaica but rather Jamaica has failed Independence.
Former Prime Minister Edward Seaga yesterday challenged Jamaicans to re-set the course and return the country to the promising path it was on in 1962.
"A generational change is needed to return to the spirit of earlier pioneering years, to start again to map a new course to avoid prolonged distress," Seaga said during a joint sitting of the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament to pay tribute to him.
"After 50 years, Jamaica is today facing the future without a credible vision," Seaga declared.
He highlighted reggae as one of the platforms that propelled the island to the centre stage in the cultural world.
REGGAE A STUNNING SUCCESS
Seaga, who has received much acclaim for his contribution to Jamaica's cultural development, argued that reggae was one of the stunning successes of the past 50 years.
However, he left parliamentarians with a question to mull as he pointed to signs of frailty emerging in the genre.
"The question must be asked, how much longer can the impetus of this music endure without re-inventing itself?"
Turning to the sporting arena, Seaga said the nation's wealth of talent, particularly in track and field, allowed the country to stun the world with a triumphant display of Jamaican athletic prowess at the Olympic Games and World Championships.
He described these achievements as the greatest of the post-Independence period, as well as one of the great accomplishments of Olympic history.
"Long may this prowess of Jamaica live to continue to bring us future glory; but sports, in general, is a fickle area sustained by public popularity," he said.