Calm Returns to Flankers?Security Forces Withdraw


Calm has returned to the community of Flankers in Montego Bay, which was the scene of major demonstrations earlier this week, following the killing of two senior citizens allegedly by the police. The security forces, which maintained a strong presence following the demonstrations, have now left the community and things are returning to normal.
This has resulted from a successful meeting held on Tuesday (Oct. 28), between Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips, Commissioner of Police, Francis Forbes and a large group from the Flankers community.
At that meeting, the Commissioner had agreed to withdraw all members of the security forces from the area, if the people were willing to commit themselves to immediately cease all demonstrations.
The citizens overwhelmingly agreed and came to a mutual understanding with the Minister and Commissioner of Police, after a strong show of support and expressions of sympathies from both men.
JIS News visited the community yesterday (Oct. 30) and found that the community was slowly coming to grips with the unfortunate occurrences. Community members were going about their normal business and the voices of children at play punctuated the atmosphere, which earlier this week was filled with the sounds of gunfire and vehement cries for justice.
Reports revealed that a massive candlelight vigil was held in Flankers on Wednesday night (Oct. 29), for those who died in Saturday’s tragic incident. The vigil was reportedly attended by hundreds of persons from the community and its environs.
Principal of the Flankers Primary and Junior High School, Hugh Miller, told JIS News that the school which was forced to close its doors for the safety of the student population, was back in session.
“I am happy to report that school is back in session and everything is back to normal. The only thing is that the general attendance is poor, but we expect that everything will return to full capacity by Monday. We are confident of this as the healing process has begun, with a candle vigil that was held last night,” Mr. Miller pointed out.
He reported that the security forces had withdrawn completely, except for representatives of the Victims Support Unit and other agencies, which were engaged in the counselling of students and community members at the Peace and Justice Centre and at the school.
“I believe that there is a lot of work to be done, but I believe the respective organizations are out there and we know what we have to do and I believe everybody has decided that they are going to make an effort and try and put this behind them. It’s a learning process and we want now for the healing to take place,” the Principal said.

JIS Social