Ja $20 billion for crime fighting, national security

Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness addressing the opening of the 8th Biennial Jamaica DiasporaConference at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness implored members of the diaspora to use their influence to help in the fight against the epidemic crime rate that has taken over the country, but signaled more has to be done also, for Jamaica’s border security against rising world threats.

“We have an unabated rise of violence in our society, and we have to look at ourselves, and address this uncomfortable subject. We want you of the diaspora to help us in this conversation,” said Holness.

He pointed to corporal punishment, as a cultural tradition that Jamaicans continue to hold on to, to justify a form of discipline, but he spoke out against it, saying there are negative consequences like emotional development, and an imprint of violence, as such, he pleaded with members of the diasporans to make this a topic of discussion when they call home to speak with family members.

During PM Holness’ keynote address at the opening of the 8th Biennial Conference at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, the politician said the government has air-marked J$20 two years running, to fix Jamaica’s national security infrastructure.

The truth be told, if there were to be an epiphenomenal event, Jamaica would not be able to stand on its own, noted Holness, adding, Jamaica has to protect its shores, which is one of the country’s major investments.

The politician, who spoke to a packed room, that included the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, on a state visit, and Senator, Kamina Johnson Smith, minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, former, and longest serving Prime Minister, PJ Patterson, noted that Jamaica is not only dependent on economic issues, but insisted that the country must secure itself, not only from conventional threats, but from the new and emerging threats, such as the cyber domain, as part of the overall Jamaican security apparatus.

The conference that will end on June 22, after four days of presentations and plenary sessions, on topics such as Setting the State, Education and Training, Health and Wellness and Social Enterprises, Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Forum, among others, is being hosted under the theme: Jamaica and the Diaspora, Building Pathways for Sustainable Development.

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