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KINGSTON — The Government is refuting recent media reports in the United States (US) that Jamaica received assistance from that country in carrying out the security operations in West Kingston in May 2010.

"The United States Government did not at any time participate in the operations in Tivoli Gardens…in fact, the (former) Prime Minister (the Hon. Bruce Golding) made a statement in Parliament to that effect and I continue to maintain the Government’s position that the United States did not participate in the operations in Tivoli Gardens,” said National Security Minister, Senator Dwight Nelson.

“The United States was not part of the planning (nor were they) part of the execution,” he added at on December 7 post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.

Reports have emerged in the US that a spy plane took surveillance imagery of Tivoli Gardens on May 24, 2010 during the operations into that community.

Senator Nelson said that checks have been made with the relevant Ministries and agencies they have said that no request was made for any such assistance.

“I have checked the records in the Ministry of National Security and there was no request for a Lockheed P-3 Orion US surveillance aircraft to fly over Jamaica, within Jamaican airspace. I don’t know if this aircraft perhaps was flying above Jamaican airspace but certainly, there was no request from the Government of Jamaica through the Ministry of National Security, nor (Ministry) of Foreign Affairs (and Foreign Trade), nor the Jamaica Defence Force for such an aircraft to fly over Jamaica, so my record shows that we granted no permission for such an aircraft,” he stated.

"The JDF record show that there was no involvement or assistance from any such aircraft providing imagery or any other form of assistance to the law enforcement agencies during the Tivoli Gardens operations,” he continued.

He informed that there is a procedure for foreign government and agencies if they desire to fly over Jamaica’s airspace.

“That foreign government or agency has to request permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which will relay the request to the Ministry of National Security and, provided that the law enforcement agencies have no objections, then the Ministry of National Security will grant permission for that aircraft to fly over Jamaica,” Senator Nelson explained.

 

By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter