JAMAICAN NEWS: February 28th – March 6th, 2015

JAPAN GIVES JAMAICA GRANT OF $100 MILLION YEN—02/28/15
A grant totaling $100 million yen, or J$96.6 million, has been given to Jamaica by Japan. The money is intended to purchase mining and civil works equipment from Japan, as well as environmental measuring devices, and health care supplies. An agreement signed by Japan’s ambassador Yasuo Takase, and Dr. Peter Phillips, Jamaica’s Finance Minister, made the grant possible.

FORTY YEARS LATER, WOMAN RECEIVES MONEY OWED—03/01/15
Jamaica’s government finally provided the money owed to Daphne Thompson for the sale of some 900 acres of land in 1974. The land included two properties located in Newfound River and Kitmamock in Hanover. The payment totaled under $1 million as no interest was paid, despite the long period of time the funds were owned to Thompson.

LEGAL AUTHORITIES CRITICAL OF POLICE—03/02/15
According to the Legal Aid Council in Jamaica, police continue to detain island citizens without telling them of their right to be represented by a lawyer. According to the Jamaican Constitution, citizens have to be advised of this right before any questions are posed to them by security forces. Hugh Faulkner, executive director of the Legal Aid Council has asked police to stop this practice,

ROBINSON CALLS FOR COMPENSATION FOR SLAVERY—03/03/15
Justice Patrick Robinson of the International Court of Justice is calling for those who perpetrated the transatlantic slave trade to be held accountable and made to pay for their activities. Robinson made his position clear at the University of the West indies Homecoming, calling the transatlantic slave trade the “greatest atrocity and example of people’s inhumanity to another people in the history of humankind”, He believes there should be reparations for slavery, but added that he is speaking as an individual and not as judge of the ICJ.

JAMAICA STILL TOP EXPORTER, PRODUCER OF MARIJUANA—03/04/15
According to a report from the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Jamaica continues to be the largest illegal producer and exporter of marijuana in the Caribbean region. The report from 2014 indicates that Jamaica represents about one-third of all cannabis produced in the Caribbean. The island also acts as a hub in the trafficking of cocaine.

GOVERNMENT TO SPEND $8.2 MILLION FOR AID TO DISABLED—03/05/15
The government of Jamaica has earmarked $8.2 million in 2015 to be spent on improving its capacity to meet the needs of persons with disabilities (PWDs). The funds are available under a project designed to support and improve the lives of the disabled. The Ministry of Labor and Social Security is implementing the program via the Inter-American Development Bank.

JAMAICA AIRPORT RANKED FIRST BY ONLINE JOURNAL—03/06/15
Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay in Jamaica has been named the top airport in2015 by the online Caribbean Journal. The airport’s amenities, including Tastee patties and various other top-rated dining options, along with what was called an “art-filled oasis” convinced the online publication to rank Sangster Number One among airports.

JAMAICAN GROUP IN RUNNING FOR AWARD FROM UNITED NATIONS—03/06/15
Among the organizations in the running for a United Nations (UN) award for disaster reduction  is Jamaica’s Jeffrey Town Farmers’ Association. The group, which is located in St. Mary, was named one of three short-list nominees for the 2015 Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction. Criteria used to create the short list included assessment of how influential and permanent the group’s actions are.