Prime Minister Commends Security Forces

Photo: Adrian Walker Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, emphasises a point while addressing the House of Representatives on January 30.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has commended the security forces for carrying out their duties in a professional manner in the Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs), and the State of Public Emergency that is now under way in St. James.
  • The Prime Minister was speaking in the House of Representatives on January 30, during which he put forward the Emergency Powers (Continuance) Resolution 2018. It was unanimously approved by the House to extend the State of Public Emergency in St. James until May 2, 2018.
  • “I want to personally thank them (security forces). They are doing an amazing job with limited resources… but they are not complaining. They are doing the job they swore to do, which is to serve and protect, and I want them to know that (members of) the Parliament of Jamaica are all grateful for the job that they are doing,” he said.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has commended the security forces for carrying out their duties in a professional manner in the Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs), and the State of Public Emergency that is now under way in St. James.

“They have executed their duties in a commendable way and are being meticulous and accountable in how they operate. I visited the space covered under the State of Public Emergency and interacted with various business interests, community interests, civic leaders and citizens, and all have been very complimentary to the security forces – JCF and JDF – that the way in which they have operated is a credit to Jamaica,” he said.

The Prime Minister was speaking in the House of Representatives on January 30, during which he put forward the Emergency Powers (Continuance) Resolution 2018. It was unanimously approved by the House to extend the State of Public Emergency in St. James until May 2, 2018.

“I want to personally thank them (security forces). They are doing an amazing job with limited resources… but they are not complaining. They are doing the job they swore to do, which is to serve and protect, and I want them to know that (members of) the Parliament of Jamaica are all grateful for the job that they are doing,” he said.

Mr. Holness said that, to date, there have been no major or serious complaints regarding the abuse of human rights.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister appealed to members in the diaspora to assist in accurately communicating what is taking place under the State of Public Emergency.

“Jamaica is not in chaos, and the country isn’t falling apart as some of the reports have been saying overseas. We have taken a deliberate, strategic, instrumental, well-planned action to ensure that law and order and the rule of law are preserved, and we want our diaspora to be our voices in foreign countries to say that everything is OK here, that the Government has taken a step that is in support of law and order,” he said.

He also noted that the local media have “taken a very responsible approach” in their coverage of the State of Public Emergency.

“I want to encourage them to maintain that stance of responsible reporting and keeping the public informed. It doesn’t serve the country if we make more of what actually happens, because Brand Jamaica is what drives our tourism product,” he said.

Turning to the impact on the tourism sector, he said visitors are moving around quite freely.

“In touring the space, I made sure to pass through some of the areas the tourists would normally go, and I am pleased to report that they are out in their numbers,” the Prime Minister said.

He further noted that concessions have been made to support the continuation of the entertainment product remaining viable in Montego Bay.

“We are being very sensitive to the business interests in Montego Bay, and I don’t believe there can be any complaints that we have unnecessarily affected business in Montego Bay. Nevertheless, the threat still exists, the gangs are still there, some of the notorious violence producers are still there and we have managed to contain the situation without bringing on unnecessary pain,” he said.

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