Private Sector Groups Seek Govt & Opposition Consensus Post-SOE


Three private sector groups are inviting both the Government and Opposition to a meeting to discuss the way forward after the PNP withdrew its support for the States of Public Emergency across the island last night in a Parliamentary vote.

The three are the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce.

The private sector groups say they and the people of Jamaica are aware of the ferocious impact of crime, violence and corruption on society and the economy. It’s based on this stark reality, the groups say they’re seeking to address the impasse facing the Government and Opposition on the States of Emergency.

They are calling for an urgent meeting with the leadership of both the Government and the Opposition, with a view to address concerns and review the issues surrounding the decision. The meeting they hope can take place before the dates of expiration of the State of Public Emergency in January.

The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce says it does not support the removal State of Public Emergency in St. James without a clear suitable replacement.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Chamber of Commerce is urging the Houses of Parliament to work together to get this done. It says the tremendous work of the joint security forces, since the advent of the enhanced security measure, in reducing the crime levels is lauded by the Chamber. The Chamber of Commerce says it was of the strong view the measure was necessary for at least another six to twelve months.

This it says will demonstrate to criminals that the country is unambiguous about eradicating the crime monster. It says the parish must never return to the horrific conditions of lawlessness which were experienced before the State of Public Emergency.

The Chamber is also urging that during this time strategies are formulated in exploring ways for the earliest possible transition away from the enhanced security measure.

It accepts the State of Emergency is not a long-term strategy but should remain until intelligence gathering improves to allow for more judicious decisions to detain and arrest.