JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the weeks ending November 19, 2004

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THIS WEEKS NEWS SUMMARY

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PNP WILL NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF JLP WOES – 19 November, 2004

The People’s National Party (PNP) says they will not take disadvantage of the chaotic situation in the Opposition Labour Party and call a snap election. The Prime Minister said he had made a promise to his party and supporters that he would never lead them into another national vote. Constitutionally, elections are due again in Jamaica towards the end of 2007 and Mr. Patterson has promised to demit office by then…

 

SURRIDGE CRIES FOUL

The head of the Financial Investigation Division Mike Surridge has refuted arguments by retailers that the prices presently being charged for imported agricultural products are unfair. He said that some could be receiving the produce at cheaper prices as many supermarket operators were buying from illegal importers. He further criticise some supermarkets of grouping prices on four imported vegetables and that there have been ‘mystifying’ excuses by retail outlets that in some instances they purchase imported produce from third party agents….

BYE BYE ALVA ROSS

Former speaker of the House and MP Alva Ross was laid to rest on Wednesday at a memorial service held at the Webster Memorial United Church in Kingston. He served his constituency of South East St. Mary for 22-years and held a number of political post such as Justice of the Peace, parliamentary secretary, acting minister of state for trade and industry, opposition spokesman for trade and industry, minister of public utilities, minister of labour and public service, minister of local government, acting prime minister, speaker of the House of Representatives, husband for 42 years, father of five children, grandfather, colleague and friend. A second service was also held at Bethel United in Highgate St. Mary and internment…

NO CHANGE IN BUGGARY LAW DESPITE INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE – 18 November, 2004

The government says he will not be bullied into changing the law against buggery. He flatly denies any relaxation or encouragement of police abuses against homosexuals and people with HIV/AIDS. Minister of Information Burchell Whiteman says that the people of Jamaica are the ones who set the agenda for laws to be made and repealed and no external organisation will determine if a law is made or repealed. Mr. Whiteman said that the linking of the HIV/AIDS epidemic to homophobia of the Jamaican people is inappropriate and further efforts has been made through many organisations to arrest the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic. The international organisation says that the buggary law on homosexuality is discriminatory…

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION GETS MILLIONS

The early childhood education sector has already been allotted over $130 million through the Culture Health Arts Sports and Education Fund. The amount has assisted in financing several projects successfully since January 2003. Projects such as repairs to school buildings, acquisition of furniture and fixtures and well as teaching aids and computers has been undertaken. The fund also provides scholarships for teachers to upgrade their skills and for evidence-based research. …

IS GOODEN GULITY OR INNOCENT

The case against 39-year old Paul Gooden is coming to an end as Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Kent Pantry has asked to jury to examine the evidence carefully before then and not to use the character assassination against the defence to affect their verdict. The DPP further told the jury that the accused Paul Gooden was not an innocent man who as Jamaicans would say ‘caan mash ants’. He reminded the jury that Gooden has been uncooperative who on many occasions disregarded the judge’s instructions in answering questions. Gooden’s lawyer Lord Gifford rebutted the DPP’s arguments and asked the jury to take into considerations the emails between Mrs. Gooden and her alleged lover and disregard the fact that Mr. Gooden had lied in his testimony, which did not make him a murderer…

HELSIRE COAST WILL HAVE NO PERMANENT STRUCTURE – 17 November, 2004

Hellshire coast should not be fitted with any permanent structures according to Portmore Municipal Council. Several building permanent and temporary have been destroyed by Hurricane Ivan and has begun to be replaced by permanent ones. The Council said that before the hurricane, over 2000 persons were served summons to remove all permanent structures from the coastline. “As a municipality, this is something we have to do. “According to the mayor, some of the violators, claiming they had already ‘gone a far way’ with their structures, had asked for time until after the Christmas season to comply…

GAY ABUSE ALLOWED BY GOVERNMENT AND POLICE REPORT SAYS

A damming report by Human Rights Watch an international organisation revealed that the government and police are involved in the abuse of gays and persons living with HIV/AIDS. Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ) and Families Against State Terrorism (FAST) called for the establishment of an independent body to investigate allegations of discrimination and abuse based on sexual orientation or HIV status. The report accused government officials of overlooking the abuse of homosexuals and people living with HIV/AIDS. Tourism Minister Aloun N’Dombet Assamba has denied the allegations by the human rights organisation and denies that there is any systematic campaign against homosexuals in Jamaica…

PRIVY COUNCIL RULING WILL BE ACCEPTED SAYS CHUCK

Delroy Chuck, Opposition spokesman on justice says he stands ready to accept the Privy Council makes regarding the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). Mr Chuck however, remains convinced that the establishment of the CCJ as the final appellate court is unconstitutional. The JLP has long opposed the establishment of the court and earlier this year took the matter to the Privy Council after the Court of Appeal granted the party conditional leave to oppose the proposed laws to establish the court…

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HURRICANE CHEQUES READY FOR DISTRIBUTION – November 16, 2004

The Building Assessment cheques to assist people and organisations affected by Hurricane Ivan are ready to be distributed. The cheques, totalling over one hundred and forty million dollars are to directly benefit 17,346 hurricane victims island wide, with the largest sums going to Clarendon, Westmoreland, St Elizabeth, Manchester, St Thomas, St Ann and Kingston and St Andrew. The batch of payment, which was distributed last week, was a success and over $44 million in aid was distributed. The island’s post offices were used as distribution points…

FALSE CLAIMS FOR IVAN BENEFITS

According to Danville Walker, of the Electoral Office, a list of over 150,000 housing claims are being reviewed by his office and found a sample to be 70% fraudulent amounting approximately $80 million. Danville Walker the man acclaimed to have cleaned up the electoral system was seconded by the Prime Minster to the Office of National Reconstruction (ONR) to coordinate the reconstruction efforts after Hurricane Ivan….

 

 

IS JAMAICA READY FOR CARIBBEAN SINGLE MARKET?

An attempt to implement the Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME) will come into effect cone January 2005 James Moss-Solomon, vice-president of the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce says that Jamaica will adjust by January. The will allow CARICOM goods, services, people and capital to move throughout the Caribbean Community without tariffs/barriers and without restrictions. It is expected to create a single economic space…

YOUNG PEOPLE OF ST MARY GET MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME – November 15, 2004

The young people of St. Mary will soon benefit from the advantages afforded by the Mentorship Programme. The programme is set to target young people who are not engaged in school, club or other social organisation. Twelve mentors are expected to spend a four hours per week over a three-month period with persons they are mentoring. In the second phase, the YIC will seek to extend the programme by inviting other members of the St Mary community to become mentors, while the third phase is a further extension of the second. The theme for Youth month – ‘I Pledge My Heart’ – is being incorporated in the empowerment programme…

CARICOM COUNTRIES MAY LOOSE AIDS ASSISTANCE

At least six Caribbean countries may loose assistance for their National AIDS programme because of their tardiness in the implementation of an HIV/AIDS programme. St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Montserrat are chief among those in jeopardy of loosing US$4.1 million in grants from the Global AIDS Fund. The Caribbean has the second highest rate of HIV infection in the world after sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated 2.4 per cent of people, or 500,000 – excluding Cuba where infections rates are low – have HIV. Sub-Saharan Africa has an 8.8 per cent infection rate…

RELIABLE DATA ON EDUCATION NEEDED

Reliable data on education in Jamaica is needed for meaningful discussion to take place. It is being reported that many of the discussions taking place on Caribbean Examination (CXC) are misguided as current data is not available to be accurately matched against previous data. The major players in the country’s public education system, from the policy makers at Heroes Circle to teachers at schools in urban, rural and remote rural communities alike, are left in the dark as there is no detailed analysis of any exam-related data generated over the past 30 years. Decisions are repeatedly made in a vacuum, often with disastrous results, the irony being that the same situation that facilitated the bad decisions is the same situation preventing us from even knowing the outcome of our actions…

 

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SPORTS

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REGGAE BOYZ WILL NOT GO TO GERMANY

Jamaica Reggae Boyz failed to advance to the finals of the Concacaf World Cup qualifying because of their poor home performances. The team’s Brazilian coach Sebastian Lazaroni has demitted office following the failure of the Boyz to advance. He said, “I’m very disappointed and very unhappy, because I came with all my knowledge about football to try to do well for Jamaica.” Lazaroni explained that the disappointment was because he had the quality to get to the final round and possibly, the World Cup final in Germany….

HARBOUR VIEW SINKS VILLAGE UNITED

Village United sank to a 4-2 defeat following a hat trick by Jermaine Hue midfielder of Harbour View FC and the National Football team. Hue scored his hat trick in the 3rd, 59th and 81st minute and brought his team victory over Village United. Jamaica’s technical director, Carl Brown, said he did not see the nationally televised game and could not comment on the midfielder’s performance nor confirm a final spot for the midfielder in an 18-man squad…

Jamaica Eliminated! The Reggae Boyz Road to Germany Ends.
Nov. 17
Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz saw an end to their World Cup campaign when they drew 1-1 with the United States in Columbus Ohio on Wednesday night. Jamaica got off to a slow start in sloppy conditions as the USA pressed the early attack. Donovan Ricketts was called on early to make some big saves only to have Eddie Johnson slipped one pass him to give the USA the lead 15 minutes into the game. Jamaica’s Ricardo Fuller was brought down in the box for a penalty in the 27th minute and midfielder Andy Williams calmly converted to give Jamaica the equalizer. Jamaica pressed late in the game but the score remained unchanged at the end of extra time to the disappointment of the Jamaican fans. With the end of Jamaica’s campaign comes the departure of coach Lazaroni whose contract was for as long as Jamaica were on the Road to Germany. The USA and Panama advances as the USA led the group with 12 points, Panama on 8, a point ahead of Jamaica, while El Salvador brought up the rear with four points. Jamaica – Donovan Ricketts, Ian Goodison, Damion Stewart (Jermaine Hue, 24th minute), Ricardo (Jason Euell, 71st), Andy Williams, Damani Ralph (Marlon King -68th), Ricardo Fuller.

 

Reggae Boyz Training Session Report from Columbus
Nov 17
Dweetsweet2 (forum member)

The national team had a short 1-hour open training session at the Columbus Crew Stadium tonight at 6 p.m. The USA had previously held their one-hour session, which was held behind closed doors. Of note was that while no one was allowed to watch the U.S. train, everyone and their mother were allowed to watch Jamaica train. U.S. Soccer scouts and technical staff hung around after their session to watch Jamaica’s session, and were seen taking copious notes. Yours truly and Karl were escorted unceremoniously out of the stadium by a U.S. Soccer “press officer” and evicted when we turned up to watch the U.S. training session. Our lack of expertise in espionage was made abundantly clear all.

 

Right after CONCACAF officials who asked to see all Jamaica team passports, a normal action required of all national teams prior to, interrupted the session started at 5:00 pm it play a WCQ game. This check took about 10 minutes. This was to become very relevant as when the Columbus Crew officials motioned to Lazaroni at 6:00 p.m. that he should stop training as time was up, Laza got into an argument with them to try to get back the 10 minutes lost earlier. He was unsuccessful and the lights were turned off…

 

 

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