Gov’t To Resume Talks On Compensating Coral Gardens Survivors


Culture Minister, Olivia Grange, says within days, stakeholders will be meeting to start discussions on a compensation framework for survivors of the 1963 Coral Gardens incident in St. James.

The Minister’s announcement follows newspaper reports that two years after Prime Minister Andrew Holness apologised to the victims, no money had been disbursed.

The Prime Minister had announced a 10-million dollar trust fund two years ago to compensate the survivors.

Minister Grange says 12-million dollars was paid over to the Administrator General’s Department for the establishment of the Fund.

This Trust Fund was a recommendation from the Public Defender in her social enquiry report.

The report was submitted in April this year and a copy made available to the Administrator General’s Department.

Minister Grange says the Fund has been established, but no disbursement could be made until a compensation framework was agreed on by all parties involved.

Human rights lobby group Jamaicans for Justice, JFJ, is representing the Rastafari Coral Gardens Benevolent Society.

JFJ reportedly indicated it would proceed with court action if the report isn’t made available.

The report is needed by the JFJ to guide it in the upcoming discussions on compensation with the Administrator General’s Department.

Minister Grange says she’ll be making a copy available to JFJ Executive Director, Rodje Malcolm.

Meanwhile, the Minister says they’ve been in constant dialogue with the Rastafari Coral Gardens Benevolent Society.

She says the government is also spearheading other initiatives to benefit the survivors.

Olivia Grange, Culture Minister speaking with Nationwide News today.

In 2018, Tauna won the UNICEF Media Award for Excellence in Reporting on Children’s Rights. She graduated from CARIMAC in 2015 and joined NNN in 2016. Since then, she’s covered several high-profile court cases including the X6 murder trial, the police death squad trial and is currently covering the Uchence Wilson Gang trial. Thomas is the Producer of Talking History heard on Nationwide Radio every Saturday.

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