Royal Visit | We're moving on... Holness says Jamaica intent on removing Queen as head of State
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has told the Duke of Cambridge that Jamaica is intent on removing his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, as the country's head of state.
“We're moving on and we intend to attain in short order … to fulfil our true ambitions as an independent, developed and prosperous country,” Holness told the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a courtesy call at Jamaica House this morning.
The visit of the British Royals has spurred anti-colonial protests, intensified calls for reparation from Britain for slavery and for the quickening of the pace for Jamaica to become a republic.
Jamaica spent centuries as a colony of Britain until it gained political independence in 1962.
However, the British monarch was retained as head of state.
Holness' comment appears to be a response to a controversial statement that former British Prime Minister David Cameron made while on an official visit to Jamaica in September 2015.
"I do hope that, as friends who have gone through so much together since those darkest of times, we can move on from this painful legacy and continue to build for the future," Cameron told a joint sitting of the Jamaican Parliament.
He had earlier said, that the Caribbean has emerged from the long, dark shadow it cast is a testament to the resilience and spirit of its people.
"I acknowledge that these wounds run very deep indeed,” Cameron said in 2015.
Meanwhile, Holness has acknowledged the protest by various groups so far on the official visit.
"Jamaica is a very free and liberal country. The people are very expressive," the prime minister said.
The British Royals are on a three-day tour of Jamaica to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee.
They depart tomorrow.
Last week, Holness told Parliament that a bipartisan advisory committee will be established to, among other things, make proposals on Jamaica's push to de-link from the British monarchy.
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