JIS News

High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Burchell Whiteman, has said that Jamaicans have been making positive contributions to the development of the UK.
He was speaking last weekend at the annual dinner of the Jamaica National Regional (Northern) Council in Huddersfield. The Council is the regional grouping of Jamaican organizations in northern UK.
While noting that it is impossible to assess the number of Jamaicans or persons of Jamaican descent, who are occupying a whole range of positions in every field of endeavour, he said that a 2003 study indicated that there were some 400 Jamaican doctors serving in the UK.
“Earlier this year, a newspaper put the figure for Jamaican doctors currently in the UK at over 600, and a study done this year by Dr. Paul Miller on teachers, based on work permit approvals since 1997, indicates that a minimum of 583 Jamaican teachers are operating in this country as recruited professionals”, Mr. Whiteman informed.
“From banking to housing, through the range of social services to personal services, communications, the arts, information technology, national and local government and politics, whatever you can name, Jamaicans are there and they are making their mark. We have always been a proud people, and we remain proud,” he stated.
Citing developments in Jamaica in the fields of education, tourism and job creation, the High Commissioner encouraged the audience to continue to support Jamaica and to take advantage of investment opportunities in the island.
In the meantime, he told the audience not to be alarmed by recent media reports about the number of Jamaicans in UK prisons.
“Let me make it clear that as a government and as a nation, we do not condone criminality in any shape or form. If you break the law, you break the law, and that position is not affected by your nationality.
What we expect and demand however is a fair trial, access to all the legal channels available to individuals under British law and an appreciation of the national interest of both our countries,” Mr. Whiteman said.

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