Sat | Jan 19, 2019

Enquiry halt would be an injustice

Published:Wednesday | January 21, 2015 | 12:00 AM


As I read newspaper headlines with Jamaica Labour Party leader Andrew Holness and Desmond McKenzie calling for an end to the commission of enquiry on the basis of its costs, I could not help but wonder where exactly are we going as a people.

The scars of the Tivoli Gardens incursion are far from healed. Jamaicans possessing any sense of justice and humanity must abhor the impunity with which the agents of the State (police and military) slaughter citizens under the guise of fighting crime.

None of the scandalous killings of the past has the level of callousness or life-taking impact of the Tivoli clashes of 2010, which left more than 70 persons dead and hundreds more traumatised.

There is no argument against the fact that criminality has dogged Jamaica for the better part of the last half a century. Every year we expend huge percentages of our limited resources in crime-fighting strategies that have only produced the same failing attempts at blunting this scourge of violence.

True, there are many arguments against the need for the current commission of enquiry, especially given the history of findings of past enquiries.

Enquiries have been held in every single case of police atrocities listed above and on not one single occasion did the appointed commission find for the victims.

Worse, none of the previous commission of enquiries have produced recommendations that have been acted on by the Government of the day. What has always resulted is a whitewashing of the events in the findings.

In the foregoing circumstances, the call for a halt to the current proceedings by these two senior JLP members of parliament may appear justifiable, especially since funds are scarce and most Jamaicans believe that "nutten naw come outa it'.

This decision, though, would only serve as a continuation of the travesty of justice in Jamaica. It would be a monumental failure of McKenzie, Holness and our prime minister to change the course of our history and do right by Jamaica.


Coral Springs, Florida