LETTER OF THE DAY - Longing for true independence?
THE EDITOR, Sir:
This is an open letter to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.
I have always been a strong advocate for the independence of Jamaica and I hope I will live to see the day when Jamaica truly becomes free and independent.
Soon after you became prime minister in 2012, you declared to the Jamaican people that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is to be removed as head of State. Was this is an admission that Jamaica is not an independent country? Your declaration was not the first. Several of your predecessors have made similar statements. Yet, each one lacked the political will to make the necessary constitutional changes.
Since 1962, Jamaicans have been celebrating the country's independence every August. How long must we continue under this political deception? The constitutional elevation of the Queen and her representative, the governor general, amounts to nothing more than a neocolonial subjugation of the Jamaican people.
I call your attention to one of the many provisions in the Constitution which gives the Queen executive authority.
The Constitution, Section 60-(1), Page 94 - 'Assent to Bills' states: "A bill shall not become law until the governor general has assented thereto in Her Majesty's name and on Her Majesty's behalf and has signed it in token of such assent."
Madam Prime Minister, the argument for Independence is not purely political. Attention must be given to the economic objectives and other valuable human resources. During the past 50 years of neocolonial government, Jamaica has accumulated a national debt that stands at J$1.71 trillion and the Government continues to borrow from international funding agencies and foreign governments.
Unemployment is in the double-digit range. The percentage of imports to exports is on the increase. National revenue and productivity are low. Social infrastructure is challenged with criminal behaviour. It is time to stop, look and ask, Where is Jamaica heading? It is clear that the neocolonial government has failed.
Jamaica needs a new constitution that clearly articulates its independence, democratic principles, economic values, cultural norms, and national aspirations. This cannot be achieved by any one political party in a divided Parliament. For too long, our politicians have not learned to work together - a legacy of the colonial era. It is full time for all parties to put away their political differences.
The Government should communicate more with Jamaican expatriates.
DONALD G. MORGAN
President, Jamaica Volunteers Association, Inc