Two hundred million dollars $200 million)has been approved by Cabinet as compensation to aggrieved persons who were affected by the operations of the security forces in West Kingston in May 2010. This was disclosed by Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck in a statement to the House of Representatives.
This writer has no quarrel with government compensating property owners whose property has been damaged by operations of the state.
As a homeowner, I would certainly be unhappy if my home was damaged or destroyed by the government and I was not appropriately compensated.
With that said, I find it appalling that the Government would apologize to the community of Tivoli Gardens after what that community did to the Jamaican state.
While we are on the question of compensation to a community which has lived free on the public’s dole, a community which largely operated without paying for the commodities it used, a‑la electricity, water, etc.
I would also like to ask the administration and indeed the Opposition this, who will compensate Jamaicans like myself who have worked hard, played by the rules, paid our taxes and broke no laws. Who will compensate us the taxpayers whose resources built the police stations they burned, who will compensate the families of the members of the security forces who were killed by people from that community?
How does a government with the full acquiescence of the Opposition compensate a community which has thumbed its nose at the broader society and operated outside the bounds of the law with impunity?
This is an egregious stain on our history, the rule of law, and a scandalous departure from the norms of a modern society. This action is a disgraceful departure from whats right and a representative sample of how to destroy the moral fiber of said society. I am ashamed of my country.
This transcends political affiliations or allegiances, the people of Tivoli Gardens operated as most in Arnett Gardens and the other Garrisons across the Corporate area did prior to 2010. They looked to criminals for leadership and the dispensation of a kind of justice which can only be characterized as jungle justice.
They thumbed their noses at law enforcement and the nation’s laws while giving deference and reverence to common murderous thugs.
The taxpayers of Jamaica including this writer have borne the cost of electricity, water, housing etc for those who live in zones of political exclusion for decades.
Sure we paid, did you think that the JPS does not get paid for the kilowattage of electricity it generated? The water commission charges those of us who paid for those who did not. Who paid for the houses people in these communities live in without paying any mortgages, while many of us working stiffs could not afford to own one of those little boxes ourselves?
Apologizing to the community for disrespecting the rule of law, for giving its allegiance to a thug is a precedent which will haunt this country for generations to come.
The apology and fullsome compensation offered by the government with the full acquiescence of the opposition party is demonstrably the greatest example that hard-working people who play by the rules are at a disadvantage.
The political parties loyalty is to their base in the most gritty lawless communities, hence this despicable action.
I do understand that in the toxic polarized swamp which is Jamaica’s politics this logic will find no fertile soil.
With that understanding, the lack of outrage becomes far more illuminating.
This is simply an act of rewarding bad behavior with an apology and then some.
Set aside all of the grandstanding and the hyperbolic nonsense you read on the pages of the newspapers in Jamaica, they have their own agenda, which is to further the breakdown of the rule of law.
Instead, see this action for what it truly is, a slap in the face of ordinary Jamaicans who obey our laws, pay their taxes and play by the rules.
Political support for criminality is deeply embedded into the body politic, this is just another example of the ordinary citizen being held up and fleeced on behalf of those who made the decision to say fuck you to the rule of law.
Only this time they did not do so at the point of a gun.