Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jamaica Crisis: Kingston breathing easier today

I'm listening to Nationwide Radio for updates as news is still very fluid this morning. 

Journalists are being allowed into Tivoli Gardens for the first time this morning. This photo has the caption "We want some food."  See more photos here.
Overnight, the security forces conducted a raid on a house in Sterling Castle with some disastrous results:
From GO-Jamaica website:
A police operation aimed at capturing alleged crime lord Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke went awry this morning, ending with the slaying of Keith Clarke, the brother of former Commerce Minister for Jamaica, Claude Clarke.

In their relentless pursuit of the reputed Shower Posse leader, the security forces apparently entered a house. Clarke was reportedly slain after members of the security forces forced their way inside.

The operation reportedly began at about 2:30 a.m. with the security forces cordoning off the Plantation Heights community. Residents reported hearing shots being fired. There were also reports of flares being dropped from helicopters hovering above the premises.

The disastrous mishap occurred as the security forces continued their search for Coke, who was believed to have barricaded himself inside Tivoli Gardens where the state’s forces had invaded earlier this week.

Read Mark Wignall in the Observer: You Still there Prime Minister?

WHO among us have slept through this nightmare visited on us and who are the few among us who did not see this coming, this manifestation of the vile nexus between politics and criminality?

At whose feet must we lay blame for the lives of the many innocents slain in this battle between armed criminals and the state? Must we not rise up and stare down those who have supported criminals, made a sham of leadership, bastardised it and continue to pretend as if their faces, their voices and the fickleness of their words are representative of our own faces, our voices and our fears and concerns and say to them, "Depart from us, we no longer know you, no longer desire your presence."
Who are these people who came to us with sober words and suits to match to con us and make us buy into the belief that they were real leaders? By their actions they deserve nothing more from us - no ear to listen to them so that they can continue to poison our souls. Damn you, you "honourables".

In 1972 when Michael Manley had captured the hearts, the ears and eyes of most Jamaicans, he was the most loved leader in the post-Independence period. By the late 1970s when widespread violence was visited on this land of ours and then Opposition leader Eddie Seaga had convinced many of us that Manley was the spawn of Satan, there were times when Manley's face appearing on the television made me want to hurl a rock at it just to get rid of him.

I am at that place now with Bruce Golding.

Three days ago on Labour Day at a time when the nation was gripped with raw fear and our people needed a leader to address the problem of criminals threatening the state, the prime minister appeared on television to give his Labour Day message. I was totally blown away!

The prime minister's message indicated a man and a speech writer who had taken some flight of fantasy far from the realities of Jamaica - land we love - but also land of guns, criminality and nasty politics. I have not had the stomach to listen to him or to hear his voice since Monday because anything he says now must be taken with more than a pinch of salt. Has he not demonstrated that?  ~ Mark Wignall - Read Full Column

Here is last night's news from JNN:


  1. Bruce Golding is the first and still the only of the Jamaican politicians who has expressed and shown a willingness to come clear about his involvement in "Dirty" politics. When he wanted to talk, the PNP shut him up by threatening to prosecute him for everything he would admit to. And I can not remember of any one in the Jamaican society that stood up to support him. Every Jamaican should bow his/her head in shame and accept some responsibility for what has happened.

  2. Thanks for sharing your insights on this. I agree with you that it is a time for serious and honest reflection by all Jamaicans. I hope that it will be a watershed event that will result in real positive change in the political body.