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Statement By The Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, Regarding Proclamation Of A State Of Public Emergency

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We are all aware that Hurricane Dean has severely affected Jamaica, where the safety of the public is likely to be endangered and the various communities within Jamaica may be deprived of supplies and services that are essential to life.

We are also aware that unfortunately, during and after past natural disasters, there have been widespread attempts at looting and other threats to public safety.

As Prime Minister, I have advised the Governor-General that a Proclamation should be issued by him declaring that a State of Public Emergency has arisen. The Governor-General has issued that Proclamation by virtue of his powers under Section 26 of the Constitution of Jamaica.

This Proclamation declares a State of Public Emergency commencing today, Sunday, August 19, 2007 in Jamaica and its territorial waters. In accordance with Section 26 of the Constitution this Proclamation is for a period of one (1) month, and can be revoked any time within that one -month period.

The situation will be reviewed beginning tomorrow with a view to bringing it to an end as soon as is feasible.

The Proclamation issued by the Governor-General will enable me and the appropriate authorities to act in a manner that will ensure that human life and property are protected and that damage to property is minimized.

In the exercise of their duties under these emergency powers, it is expected that all appropriate authorities, including members of the security Forces, will act in a manner that will ensure the full protection of the rights of all our citizens within the Jamaican family.

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