JIS News

LONDON — High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Anthony Johnson, says there are a number of positive things happening in the country of which Jamaicans can be proud.

He was speaking at the annual Independence Reception held on Friday night August 5 at the High Commission’s London headquarters.  “A lot of interesting and good things are happening in Jamaica,” he stated.

Highlighting the many positive developments taking place, High Commissioner Johnson mentioned the continued growth in visitor arrivals; the opening of a new international conference centre in Montego Bay; and implementation of the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP), which is the largest road repair project in the country’s history.

He also cited the restart of limited railway service, and major investment by the Sandals chain through a recently announced hotel expansion programme.

High Commissioner Johnson said in education, there continues to be improvements in examination results, especially in Mathematics and English Language; crime has been trending down; and there are also improvements in the police force and in the relationship between the police and citizens.

The occasion was also used to announce a number of special events being planned in London to celebrate Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence in 2012.

The year-long celebration gets underway in January with a national church service. There will also be two gospel concerts; a series of lectures on Jamaican life and culture; a national domino tournament; and a special concert featuring internationally renowned Jamaican bass baritone Sir Willard White.

The 50th anniversary activities will be officially launched in September.

The Independence Reception included a cultural package, which featured a mento band, traditional storytelling by Jan Blake, and folk songs by opera singer Abigail Kelly.

There was also a special appearance by three of the island’s top athletes, Asafa Powell, Kaliese Spencer and Nesta Carter, who were in London to participate in the Aviva London Diamond Grand Prix from August 5 to 6.