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Jamaica Flag Flown Half-Mast Today In Tribute To Fidel Castro

Fidel Jamaica.pngThe Jamaican flag will fly at half-mast today (Dec. 2nd), on all government offices and national buildings as a tribute to the late former President of the Republic of Cuban Fidel Castro Ruz who died on Friday, November 25.

Jamaica will join the rest of Caricom in the symbolic gesture of condolence to mark Mr. Castro’s passing and mourn with the people of Cuba.

Prime Minister Holness expressed condolences to the people of Cuba and Mr. Castro’s family as he led a Jamaican delegation on Tuesday, November 29 to attend the official private mass for the former President in Havana, Cuba.

The Prime Minister said Mr. Castro was an outstanding leader who though coming from a Caribbean island developing state, has had the greatest impact on world history. He added that Castro will be remembered for his passionate speeches in defence of the right to self-determination.

Cuba is observing a period of national mourning which will end on December 4.

Jamaica and Cuba have strong bilateral relations particularly in the areas of education and health.

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Home, Politics

Andrew Holness Ends Campaign With Heartfelt Letter [Must Read]

00-Andrew JALast night, Andrew Holness, leader of the opposition, ended his campaign with a heartfelt letter to his supporters. He wrote:

Friends,

We have begun an incredible journey together. I have enjoyed the questions, advice, and comments about our vision. I am inspired by your commitment for a better Jamaica. I have no doubt that our best days are in front of us.

I know you can feel the change in the air. Yet, do not leave this election to chance because no matter how much we engage on Facebook, nothing matters unless you turn your comments, shares, and likes into votes. Do not let your voice be silenced by staying home. We cannot allow this journey toward a brighter future end tomorrow. This is our time to lead.

So, get up early, grab neighbours, and head to the polls. We have a lot of work to do together in our partnership for prosperity. I thank you for all your support and I humbly ask for your vote.

Andrew

Home, Politics

JLP Creates Website Explaining Its Ten Point Plan (@JLPJamaica)

HolnessVSshawIn an effort to ensure Jamaicans understand the 10 point plan, the Jamaica Labor Party, headed by Andrew Holness, has created a website geared at showing exactly how the plan works.

The web address is http://10pointplan.com. Persons are asked to visit the site before going to the polls tomorrow as it clearly explains how everyone earning 1.5M or less will benefit.

Home, Politics

Audley Shaw Writes Letter to Electoral Comission of Jamaica Regarding Fake Electoral ID Cards (@JLPJamaica)

ecjlogoOpposition Spokesperson on Finance & Planning, Audley Shaw, wrote to the ECJ earlier regarding the manufacturing of fake Electoral ID Cards. The letter is as follows:

Hon. Dorothy Pine McLarty
Chairman
Electoral Commission of Jamaica

Dear Mrs Pine Mclarty,

Re: Reports of Illegal Production and Distribution of Fake Identification Cards to persons for the purpose of Voter Impersonation.

I have received several disturbing reports of the existence of portable ID card making machines being used to make and distribute fake electoral ID cards, which are apparently to be used illegally by persons who will attempt to vote tomorrow in the name of dead and migrated people who are on the voters list.

You are aware of my often expressed concern both in parliament and in meetings with the ECJ, about the large number of names of dead and migrated persons on the voters list, while I have steadfastly maintained presents the increased potential for electoral fraud through voter impersonation.

I have been equally troubled and find it quite omnious that the Government has been silent on its failure to issue the necessary warrants for the budgeted expenditure to be made by the ECJ to clean up the voters list.

The silence of the Government on this matter, combined with the reports I have received of this illegal production and distribution of ID cards, leads me to place the ECJ and every well thinking Jamaican who wishes to protect our democracy, to be on high alert to ensure that voter impersonation with fake ID cards does not happen in tomorrows General Elections.

Accordingly, I now formally request that the ECJ and the Director of Elections immediately take immediate preventative actions to block any such egregious act at our polling stations tomorrow.

Specifically; steps should be taken to; (1) Instruct all Presiding Officers to look out for these fake cards and ensure strick adherence to the use of the black book for a positive identification of the elector and ensure that the person is not in fact an impersonator. (2) Ensure that the Presiding Officer give indoor agents full access to the black book to satisfy the agents of the positive identification of the elector. (3) Take steps to refer any such attempt at voter impersonation to the Police so that the perpretrator can be arrested for the commitment of an illegal act.

I have brought this matter to your attention as in the absence of a clean reverified voters list, all necessary steps must be taken by the ECJ to uphold the principle of free and fair elections.

Yours respectfully
Audley Shaw

cc. Mr. Orret Fisher
Director of Elections.

Home, Politics

Andrew Holness Calls Last Night Shooting “An Attack On Democracy” (@AndrewHolnessJM @jlpjamaica)

00 - Andrew Holness
Andrew Holness

After what started out as a peaceful gathering of JLP supporters at Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay last night, the evening ended in tragedy as several shots were fired. The shooting began while the leader of the opposition was addressing the crowd. The rally ended prematurely and we are learning today that three persons were killed and seven injured. Andrew Holness responded with the following comment:

After what can only be described as an attack on our very democracy and our democratic process resulting in the death and injury of Jamaicans and the endangerment of thousands of others hungry for change, I woke up with a determination to rid Jamaica of crime and violence. I want to encourage Jamaicans not to be afraid, not to be intimidated, but to stand with us as we take back our country from criminals. Let us continue to forge ahead with our plans to create a prosperous, crime free Jamaica. #JoinusinaPartnershipforProsperity #JamaicaLabourParty

Home, Politics

Will Jamaicans Choose An Increase In Crime And Unemployment, Or Will They Seek Change?

00-andrew n portia cartoon As Jamaica’s general election draws near, many are wondering if the people will vote for more crime and unemployment, or will they vote for change. Before I begin this article it is important that I make it clear that I am not affiliated with either party. I, like you, am just someone who loves the beautiful island of Jamaica and wants what is best for it and its people.

Four years ago after the People’s National Party’s landslide victory, I remember going to get my hair done, and being told by the stylist that things will be much better now that the PNP is in charge. Growing up overseas, I was unfamiliar with Jamaica’s political parties and its political processes. What was very clear to me however, was that every Jamaican was either a laborite (supporter of the Jamaica Labor Party), or a comrade (supporter of the People’s National Party); even those who say they are uncommitted tend to be passionate about one of the two parties. You see, the stylist, much like many Jamaicans, connected with the PNP in an inexplicable way. After paying close attention, I soon realized that the masses were not connecting with the PNP because they are the better party, in fact, most Jamaicans will openly admit that the JLP does a better job at running the country. However, the PNP have mastered the art of poli-tricking. Again, let me state that I am not officially linked with either party and I have never voted in Jamaica, nor can I. That being said, it does not take a genius to read the PNP’s playbook.

From what I have seen, the People’s National Party has managed to remain in power for so many years because they support and encourage lawlessness, poverty and instability. And although some Jamaicans will deny it, the reality is that a lot of us have become accustomed to a lawless hustling way of life. I have spoken with police officers who were very open about being able to hustle money from members of the public when the PNP is in power and getting away with it. The same officers also confessed that when the JLP is in power, if they are caught doing any wrongs they stand a greater chance at being admonished than when the PNP is in power. I have personally been robbed by two police officers in 2013 in Westmorland, and I can recount so many other stories that my friends and colleagues have shared about similar experiences. Additionally, Jamaica’s murder rate has gotten out of control since the People’s National Party came into power a few years ago. It got so bad that at one point the National Minister of Security, Peter Bunting, reportedly said that “the country needs Devine intervention.” This was interpreted as he was unable to do the job which he was elected to do, which is to secure the people of Jamaica.

In the last general election, the PNP’s campaign was all about JEEP (Jamaica Emergency Employment Program). The PNP government swept into power promising Jamaicans jobs, jobs and more jobs. Unfortunately, the JEEP broke down months into the PNP’s term leaving thousands of Jamaicans still out of work and frustrated.

So here we are again, another election is just around the corner and the people of Jamaica get to decide on their security, employment, or lack thereof. Will Jamaicans choose an increase in crime and unemployment or will they seek change?

Home, Politics

JLP Leader Andrew Holness Quotes Popular Vybz Kartel Song (@AndrewHolnessJM)

00-andrew clarksJamaica Labour Party (JLP) Leader Andrew Holness on Wednesday captured the attention of several social media users when he declared his love for Desert Clarks on social media websites Facebook and Twitter.

He declared his love for the boots in a tweet from the Twitter account @AndrewHolnessJM, using a popular Vybz Kartel song.

“A weh yuh get dah new Clarks deh daadi? Clarks is my preferred shoe, the Desert Clarks is particularly comfortable,” he tweeted.

The account, which is reportedly run by ‘Team Prosperity’, tweeted a picture of the former prime minister dusting off a pair of Desert boots from Clarks, to accompany the lyrics.

The account even responded to a follower who asked him if he liked low cut Deserts as well, by saying: “Clean to mi step”.

The account has more than 10,000 followers on Twitter and has been actively involved in his campaign tactics for the soon-to-be-announced general elections.

Meanwhile, the same image was shared on Facebook from the account Hon Andrew Holness.

He went a little further by stating that he has already “walked off” two pairs of the boots around Jamaica.

“New pair ready for the road. Going around Jamaica to deliver the message. Shoes have to be clean,” the post read.

The West Central St Andrew member of Parliament has also been tweeting several images and stories of his campaign activity via the social media platforms and has been interacting with his followers, possibly as an appeal to the uncommitted.

Story by David Wright

Politics

Jamaicans Angry With The PNP’s Love Of Poverty And Prisons (@AndrewHolnessJM @PSimpsonMiller)

00-PNPAfter British Prime Minister, David Cameron’s resent visit to Jamaica, where he offered the government millions to assist with the construction of a prison, Jamaicans at home and abroad have expressed anger at Prime Minister Simpson-Miller’s response. As oppose to overtly rejecting the offer (knowing that the funds being presented can be used in a much more effective manner) the PM seems to be embracing his suggestion. Her actions, or lack thereof, have left Jamaicans questioning her love and commitment to the development of the Jamaican people.

Jamaicans have taken to social media to say how disappointed they are in Mrs. Simpson-Miller’s handling of the situation. Many are connecting her refusal to reject the prison deal with statements she made earlier about her love for the poor.

As general elections draws near on the island, the leader of the opposition, Andrew Holness, has made it clear that if his party forms the next government, they will immediately say no to  the prison offer made by David Cameron.

Politics

Andrew Holness Promises Jobs For Jamaica’s Youths (@AndrewHolnessJM)

Youth Unemployment High In JamaicaOn a recent post on his Face Book page, Andrew Holness, the leader of the Jamaica Labor Party, (one of the two major political parties in Jamaica) promised to put Jamaica’s youths back to work, if elected.

This is what he said, “I am committed to reducing youth unemployment within the first two years of the Jamaica Labour Party government. We will do this by first establishing a Programme of National Apprenticeship and second, we will develop the industries here in Jamaica which will generate jobs. Aside from the acknowledged Business Process Outsourcing sector, we will develop new industries which will generate jobs in e-waste recycling, aircraft maintenance, niche product agriculture and processing, and creative entertainment and content development. The traditional areas of construction and housing development, and light manufacturing and assembly still have great potential to generate employment if stimulated correctly. We can put our young people to work in meaningful ways. Our goal is full employment for Jamaica. Too many of our sons and daughters are sitting at home hopeless and frustrated.”

Jamaica currently has a very high unemployment rate, especially among young people.

Politics

Sean Paul And Others Sing To Inspire Action On Climate Change: Love Song To The Earth (@duttypaul)

00-sean-paul-pic-2013Internationally renowned artistes have come together to record a song to support the UN Secretary-General’s leadership on climate change and the United Nations’ call for a meaningful, universal, global climate change agreement to be signed by governments in December.

Love Song to the Earth features performances by Sean Paul, Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, Fergie, Colbie Caillat, Natasha Bedingfield, Leona Lewis, Johnny Rzeznik, Krewella, Angelique Kidjo (a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador), Kelsea Ballerini, Nicole Scherzinger, Christina Grimmie, Victoria Justice and Q’Orianka Kilcher.

Written by Sean Paul, Toby Gad, Natasha Bedingfield and John Shanks, and produced by Toby Gad and John Shanks, the song became available on Friday, September 4, exclusively on iTunes and Apple Music via Connect. The artistes, producers and directors of the Love Song project – as well as Apple – are donating their respective proceeds to Friends of the Earth U.S. and the United Nation Foundation.

One week later, on Friday, September 11, it will enjoy a wide release on all major music distribution and streaming services around the world.

In addition to the song’s release, Executive Director Jerry Cope, has also produced and co-directed a “lyric video” premiering Friday, September 11, which will feature breathtaking film from around the world by award-winning cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg, and footage of some of the artistes, along with scientists, celebrities and people all over the world holding signs reading: Keep it Safe, It’s Our World and Love Song to the Earth. The “cast” of the lyric video includes scientist and explorer Sylvia Earle; environmentalist and author Bill McKibben; Love Song performers Colbie Caillat, Natasha Bedingfield, Angelique Kidjo, Kelsea Ballerini, and Q’Orianka Kilcher; keyboardist Chuck Leavell of the Allman Brothers Band and Rolling Stones and founder of the Mother Nature Network (MNN); Love Song director Jerry Cope and his family; comedian Lewis Black; writer/producer Toby Gad and his family; Lyn Lear; UN Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall; and concludes with members of the Batwa Tribe in Uganda.

In December 2015, the world’s leaders will assemble in Paris for COP21 in an effort to sign a meaningful, universal global agreement on climate change. The song’s producers hope that Love Song to The Earth will bring the issue to new audiences and inspire them to reach out to their leaders to demand climate action. The artistes will be asking their fans to Share the Love Song and Take Climate Action Now by signing a petition that will be delivered to world’s leaders at the beginning of the climate conference.

Politics

Jamaica’s Leader Of The Opposition, Andrew Holness, Connecting With The Streets (@AndrewHolnessJM @jlpjamaica)

Andrew Holness & Bounty Killer at Allstar Thursdays
Andrew Holness & Bounty Killer at Allstar Thursdays

As Jamaica’s federal elections draws near the leader of the opposition, Mr. Andrew Holness has been very busy campaigning. Though Jamaicans are use to politicians surfacing in an election season, there seem to be a feeling of sincerity about Mr. Holness’ actions. He appears to be genuinely concerned about the downward direction the country is going, branding his party ‘Team Prosperity’ and stating that when in power they will grow the Jamaican economy which will mean better lives for all Jamaicans.

He has so far visited some of the poorest and most desolate regions on the island; and in what can only be interpreted as an effort to really connect with party loving Jamaicans, he has even showed up at dances held in the inner cities.