JIS News

Activities in the United Kingdom to mark Jamaican Diaspora Day and to launch Jamaican Diaspora UK ended on Monday (June 20), with State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Delano Franklyn urging Jamaicans to put aside internal and inter-personal differences and focus on the real issues affecting the community.
Senator Franklyn, who has special responsibilities for Jamaicans overseas, said Jamaican organizations, groups and individuals should focus on working together to push the interest of the community forward.
He was speaking at a public meeting put on by the UK Diaspora West Midlands group in Birmingham .
“It is not easy to organize Jamaicans. One of the serious task facing the Jamaican community now is how to go about overcoming some of the petty issues that bogs us down on a day-to-day basis and focus on issues for the Jamaican community. We must focus on matters of importance and push what is negative to the back and focus on what is positive,” Mr. Franklyn said.
The Senator was in the UK to participate in activities organized to commemorate Jamaica Diaspora Day on June 16 and also the official launch of the Jamaican Diaspora UK.
He urged Jamaicans to participate in and work with the UK Diaspora group. “It is your responsibility to tell us what is happening in your community. We cannot stay in Jamaica and determine policy.This can only be done if we engage with Jamaicans overseas, listen to Jamaicans overseas and take their recommendations on board,” Senator Franklyn said.
Meanwhile, Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board Representative, Paulette Simpson said the five days of activities were successful and showed the depth of support for the UK Diaspora group.
The activities included the official launch at the High Commission on June 16; a special seminar on Health and Immigration matters; the first UK Diaspora charity ball; church services in Manchester, Gloucester and Birmingham, and a public meeting. While in Birmingham, the State Minister met with Jamaican Councillors and political leaders from Birmingham and Nottingham.
The UK Diaspora organisation is divided into six regions, and includes a range of special interest groups.