The Government is to formally apologise to the victims of state-inflicted violence that occurred in the communities of Coral Gardens in April 1963 and Tivoli Gardens in May 2010.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, made the announcement while making his contribution to the 2017/18 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 21.
“The wrongs of the past must be acknowledged and apologies offered to the victims of state-inflicted violence as recommended by constituted review bodies. On behalf of the Jamaican State and in my capacity as Prime Minister, I will make the apologies in Parliament to the victims of the Tivoli Incursion, and I also believe it is my duty to apologise to the victims of the Coral Gardens incident,” he said.
In 2015, the Public Defender recommended an apology in the Coral Gardens incident, in which several civilians and a policeman were killed and numerous Rastafarians were detained, arrested, beaten and forcibly trimmed by agents of the State.
During the 2010 security operations to capture the fugitive, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, more than 70 civilians were killed while others were detained and properties damaged and destroyed.
A Commission of Inquiry into that operation recommended financial compensation for persons victimised by the State and that the Government issue a formal apology for the use of excessive force by the security forces.