Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government had intended to accept the 43 Jamaicans who were aboard the Marella Discovery 2 when the cruise ship arrived in Jamaican waters for refueling on April 2.
  • The Prime Minister, who was speaking at a virtual press conference at Jamaica House on Tuesday (April 14), said that while it is unfortunate that the Jamaicans on board left before being notified about the approval, the Government had acted appropriately.
  • “The Government always acts in the best interest of the people of Jamaica and we will put in place protocols that are transparent, protocols that everyone can have confidence in. There's no favoritism, no special treatment, and if there has to be any special treatment, that has to be thoroughly deliberated by the Cabinet and made on grounds that can be defended,” Mr. Holness said.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government had intended to accept the 43 Jamaicans who were aboard the Marella Discovery 2 when the cruise ship arrived in Jamaican waters for refueling on April 2.

“It came to our attention when we were having a meeting of a subcommittee of Cabinet, and immediately as it was brought to my attention, having reached the attention of the Minister of National Security [Hon. Dr. Horace Chang], we said, ‘Yes, we will have to take them because it is the logical thing to do’.

“But by the time the Minister of National Security could have conveyed the approval, the ship had already left our waters on its way,” he noted.

The Prime Minister, who was speaking at a virtual press conference at Jamaica House on Tuesday (April 14), said that while it is unfortunate that the Jamaicans on board left before being notified about the approval, the Government had acted appropriately.

“I know a lot of people want to make much of it, but the truth is that once the protocols are in place, we expect that the persons who are obliged to follow the protocols must follow the protocols, and it is just quite an unfortunate situation that the ship left before the conveyance of the approval,” he noted.

“The Government always acts in the best interest of the people of Jamaica and we will put in place protocols that are transparent, protocols that everyone can have confidence in. There’s no favoritism, no special treatment, and if there has to be any special treatment, that has to be thoroughly deliberated by the Cabinet and made on grounds that can be defended,” Mr. Holness said.

Dr. Chang, for his part, noted that he had accepted that “since they are this near, we would consider getting them onshore. But, of course, protocols had to be maintained”.

“The Ministry of Health has to speak with us about how we could manage such an inflow of Jamaicans… and while that discussion was being held and on the instruction of the Prime Minister that we seek to accommodate them, we understand that the request was withdrawn and they were on their way,” he said.

Skip to content