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Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Burchell Whiteman, has described the country as a multifaceted nation, that does not willingly fit into any particular stereotyping.
“We will use the 47th year to ensure that this is understood. Jamaica is about creative industries, Olympic glory, investment, education, technology and much more. We invite you to recognize that and to be our partners as we move along the road to further development,” the High Commissioner said.
He was speaking at a special Independence Day reception, held at the Jamaican High Commission in London on August 6, to mark the country’s 46th anniversary of Independence.
Noting that Prime Minister Bruce Golding, in his Independence message, had spoken about how much the world had changed since independence, Mr. Whiteman said the value and strength of international partnerships remain and must be protected.
“In that context, although the nature of the dialogue may have changed, the value and strength of international partnerships remain and have to be protected. So, it is good that you are here as evidence of the ongoing cordial relationships we enjoy and as testimony to our continuing friendship,” he added.
The High Commissioner said that each success by a Jamaican in the UK is good, both in Britain and at home in Jamaica.
“And since we are such a brand and so much the focus of others, what is good for Jamaica, will be good for the world. It may be presumptuous of me to say that, but we represent so much of what is excellent as well as what is challenging for mankind, that I am prepared to stand by it,” he said.
Mr. Whiteman said it would be more and more important for those who continue to celebrate the connection to Jamaica to be as supportive of all measures, which would give Jamaica a fighting chance of overcoming the difficulties which threaten the country.
“This means, among other things, playing a full part in the social, civic and political life of this our country of residence. In an increasingly connected world, each of our actions can have a ripple effect far beyond our small circle,” he told Jamaicans at the reception.
He said the 492 Jamaicans who came on the Windrush to the UK proved that, “we are a special people.”
“Now, sixty years later, when our performance in tourism and our potential for Olympic glory provide us with so much positive energy, we owe it to them and to our nation to press on and make the forty-seventh year of nationhood the best one yet,” Mr. Whiteman said.