Gov’t to Take Strong Action Against Criminals

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (third left) and his wife, Juliet (fourth left), with executives of Fontana Pharmacy in Mandeville (from left), Ann Chang; Founder, Bobby Chang (second left); Kevin Chang; and Ray Thierren, at the launch of Fontana Pharmacy’s 50th anniversary celebrations on January 17. Mr. Holness was the keynote speaker.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says laws will be put in place to deal with the one per cent of Jamaicans who are seeking to destabilise the country “once and for all”.
  • “Over the past months, I have been observing public discourse on this matter. It is an emerging view that now is the time that the Government should take firm and resolute measures within the context of the law, the preservation of human rights and the dignity of life. We have reached the point where we are now prepared to take those firm and resolute measures,” Mr. Holness emphasised.
  • Mr. Holness said the resolute measures are to ensure that the “crime monster” does not destabilise the promising future that is in store for Jamaica.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says laws will be put in place to deal with the one per cent of Jamaicans who are seeking to destabilise the country “once and for all”.

Speaking at the launch of Fontana Pharmacy’s 50th anniversary celebrations, in Mandeville, on January 17, the Prime Minister pointed out that “99 per cent of Jamaicans are decent, law-abiding, upstanding people who want to see this country grow and prosper”.

“Over the past months, I have been observing public discourse on this matter. It is an emerging view that now is the time that the Government should take firm and resolute measures within the context of the law, the preservation of human rights and the dignity of life. We have reached the point where we are now prepared to take those firm and resolute measures,” Mr. Holness emphasised.

Later in the evening, the Prime Minister declared State of Emergency in the parish of St. James.

Mr. Holness said the resolute measures are to ensure that the “crime monster” does not destabilise the promising future that is in store for Jamaica.

“The measures would take great understanding and tolerance from the people, because the fight against crime is not just the business of the police or Government; it takes everyone to reach the point of understanding that the Government must act in a resolute manner, but with respect for the rights and dignity of the people,” he said.

The Prime Minister noted that gangs, rather than more desirable forms of engagement in the formal system, which creates opportunities in which to work, are pulling the youth, thereby creating disorder.

“That is something we have to look at in a serious way, how we provide these kinds of structures, outlets and opportunities for our young men, in particular, to express themselves and to feel a sense of purpose, of being wanted and a sense of accomplishment,” he said.

He congratulated the Chang family for their decision to start Fontana, describing this as representing “forethought and commitment to filling a marketplace gap”.

“It took ingenuity, focus and hard work, discipline and optimism to accomplish what is now an exemplary model of how dreams become flourishing reality,” he said.

Fontana Pharmacy was founded by Angela and Bobby Chang in 1968, and has since expanded to Savanna-la-Mar, Kingston, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.

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