Let me address two preliminary but important points before I get into the substance of my statement.
Firstly, I would like to use this opportunity to express my condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Constable Curtis Lewis who was attached to the Little London Police in Westmoreland. He died as result of injuries he sustained after he was hit down by a motorcycle in Westmoreland yesterday. The death of this young constable reminds us of the variety of risks our security forces face each day as they embark on their duties. I believe I can also, on behalf of this entire House, express our regret and sadness at the loss of over 600 Jamaican lives to violence, especially the 39 children, since the start of the year.
Secondly, many of us here have made remarks on the political platform, which after reflection, could have been put differently. The language of politics is often rough and encouraged by the atmosphere at political rallies. I have regularly been the target of such language. I have been described recently as “callous” and even as “Satan”. In one case I was libeled so severely that I had to resort to the court to successfully defend my name. But two wrongs don’t make a right.
Last Sunday I made comments at a constituency conference in Eastern St. Andrew that were unnecessarily harsh and seem to have caused a fair amount of discomfort; additionally, these remarks are inconsistent with my approach to handling my portfolio. I have been focused on Uniting for Change and my remarks were contrary to that objective. Therefore I would like to use this opportunity to apologize for those remarks…READ MORE