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Jamaica is not for sale

Published:Tuesday | May 29, 2012 | 12:00 AM


In a post-Independence speech condemning the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - some said it meant 'Is Manley Fault' - former Prime Minister Michael Manley stated, "The Jamaican will not accept anybody, anywhere in the world telling us what to do in our own country. Above all, we're not for sale." Sounds like the mouse that roared.

Today, unfortunately, we are being told by Dr Peter Phillips that we will be divesting shares in Clarendon Alumina Production, Wallenford Coffee Company, Caymanas Track Limited, Jamaica Railway Corporation, Windalco and Jamaica Public Service Company. Luckily, the minister decided to remove Norman Manley International Airport, or we would've had to pass through a private or foreign-owned airport to enter our country.

This isn't just embarrassing, it is insulting and depressing. How can we be celebrating our 50th year of Independence while selling everything? We have already sold our sugar industry, Jamaica Public Service Company, mostly, Caribbean Cement Company, Air Jamaica, our national airline. What we haven't sold, we have closed down.

If being independent means anything, it must mean standing on our own feet, even if leaning on others for support. The sad fact is that, no matter how much of our public assets we sell, we will still remain indebted, because if you find yourself in a hole, it is time to stop digging.


Siloah PO, St Elizabeth