JIS News

Diaspora advisory board members in the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US) and Canada are working together to put forward a united position on a range of issues to be discussed at the Jamaica Diaspora Board meeting in Kingston on January 28.
UK advisory board representative, Celia Grandison Markey, told JIS News that the representatives in the three regions have been working in unison, with frequent conference calls, to ensure that they are “singing from one voice”, to enhance their influence.
She said that the representatives have agreed on a number of areas that they wanted the parliamentary committee on Diaspora matters to consider. These, she said, include the issues of deportation and the proposal for the appointment of a Senator to represent the Diaspora.
“We feel that the Diaspora should be involved in the election of the Senator and we want to be involved in the process,” she stated, adding that the members were also concerned about the terms under which Jamaicans are being deported from the UK, US and Canada and the duties and rates imposed on goods shipped to the island.
Mrs. Grandison Markey said that the Diaspora representatives also want the January board gathering to be held over two days to allow for a planning meeting for the 2010 Diaspora Conference in June, and to properly deal with other issues from the Diaspora.
A Joint Select Committee of the Houses of Parliament on Diaspora Affairs was established in May, 2009, with a mandate to undertake broad public consultations with a view to initiating and guiding a national approach, strategies, and policies on Diaspora matters. The committee is scheduled to meet later this month.

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