THIS WEEKS SUMMARY
RITA WANT BOB REBUIRIED IN EITHIOPIA
The widow of the late great reggae legend Bob Marley says she is determined to honour his wish for burial in Ethiopia, but did not say when the body might be moved fom the island. Rita Marley first announced the reburial plans earlier in January, leading many Jamaicans to protest the decision citing that it would rob the nation of its national heritage. Rita Marley says her late husband would be reburied in Shashemene, where hundreds of Rastafarians have lived for decades since they were given land by Haile Selassie.
MEDIA ASSOCIATION REJECTS LEASING AIRTIME
The Media Association of Jamaica (MAJ) this week criticised the government for its handling of the leasing of airtime on the state-owned KOOL FM to the Cliff Hughes-led Nationwide News Network (NNN). In a letter to Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, the MAJ called on him to stall the pending announcement od a six-month lease of airtime to the commercial entity, NNN. The MAJ argues that the move appeared to violate a government commitment to step away from commercial broadcasting.They also argue that the lease was not put to tender for competitive bids to ensure the transparency of the process.
YEAR LONG EARTH DAY CELEBRATION FOR BOB MARLEY
Prime Minister P.J. Patterson says the government will be spending some $13 million to host a year-long celebration of activities to mark the 60th anniversary of the birth of music icon, the late Bob Marley. The slated activities for the year include a Bob Marley symposia series, which will be organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) from February 1-5, a concert in tribute to Bob Marley on February 6 at Emancipation Park, a Jamaica Day on February 4 in all schools islandwide, a Culture Expo, dubbed ‘Emanci-pendence’ from August 1-8 and the Prime Minister’s Gala.The year-long activities will be funded through the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, the Jamaica Library Service, other government agencies and corporate Jamaica.
BRITISH POLICE COMING ON MARCH 1
National Security Minister Dr. Peter Phillips said this week that British Police will be joining the local crime fight. The Senior British police officers will start arriving here on March 1 to help the Jamaican constabulary as part of a security assistance agreement between Kingston and London. Phillips, reporting on his discussions with the British authorities in London, said that under the agreement, the British police would provide Jamaica with technical expertise in the areas of investigative techniques and case preparation.The British have also committed to giving support to the establishment of a Professional Standards Branch and the implementation of an anti-corruption policy and strategies within the JCF.
MAYOR NOTICE CALLS FOR GUN AMNESTY
Pressure is mounting on the Government to consider a gun amnesty as one way of coping with the country’s worsening crime situation.Mayor of Spanish Town Dr. Raymoth Notice announced that he would be renewing his lobby for an amnesty. The Mayor says he has written to Commissioner of Police Lucius Thomas formally requesting a gun amnesty for St. Catherine which is one of the country’s most crime prone parishes. Last year, the Mayor made a similar request to Commissioner Francis Forbes. However, his proposal was frowned upon by the Police High Command.
BEIJING TO GET TRAINS RUNNING AGAIN
Government this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the island’s railway system. The agreement, signed between the Ministry of Transport and Works and the China National Machinery and Equipment Corp Group (CNMEC), will make way for the reintroduction of passenger service and expansion of cargo service across the island. The Jamaican rails have been inoperable since 1989, shut down by Government after years of losses and deterioration of the rail infrastructure.
JLP WANT BI-PARTISAN TALKS ON CCJ
In the wake of this weeks landmark Privy Council ruling on the constitutionality of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is inviting the government to meet with them to dicuss the approach which need to adopted on the question of replacing the UK Privy Council. JLP chairman, Bruce Golding, vowed that the Opposition would not be willing to enter into those discussions without a commitment that, before the court comes into being, the approval of the Jamaican people would be sought through a referendum. Senator Golding says, prior to seeking the approval of the Jamaican people, the Opposition would also want to enter into consultations with other Caribbean governments and Opposition parties.
Jamaica’s football program on Friday night suffered more disappointment as the Under-20’s failed to qualify for July’s World Youth Championships in the Netherlands. The young Reggae Boyz were without a point after two games, making it impossible for them to advance from the four-team group to the Netherlands. Canada, with six points, have already booked a place in the World Championships while Mexico and Honduras, with three points apiece, will play tonight for the group’s final berth. The Jamaicans went down 4-3 to the Honduras in their first game on Wednesday night and were edged 1-0 by Mexico on Friday evening.