Sunday 15 September, 2019

Private sector groups call for review of SOE decision

The three main private sector groups nationally have jointly issued a call for dialogue to be held between the Government and the Opposition in the aftermath of the parliamentary vote on Tuesday that would see the ending of the states of emergency across five police divisions, which has been an effective crime-fighting tool.

A statement from the Jamaica Manufacturers' and Exporters’ Association (JMEA), the Private Sector Association of Jamaica (PSOJ) and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), said the private sector and the population in general are aware of the negative impact of crime, violence and corruption on the Jamaican population and the economy. The groups said based on that “stark reality”, they have sought to address the impasse between the Government and Opposition on the states of emergency.

The statement said the private sector groups 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 parliamentary decision, prior to the expiry dates of the states of emergency in January.

Below is the full statement:

Private sector calls for a review of decision against states of emergency

“The private sector and the people of Jamaica are aware of the ferocious impact of crime, violence and corruption on the Jamaican people and economy. It is based on this stark reality that we seek to address the impasse that now faces our Government and Opposition on the states of emergency.

“It is the view of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (JMEA), the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), that the states of emergency, as one of the anti-crime initiatives, has been effective in reducing the level of crime in the areas implemented; for example, in St James where there has been a 72 per cent reduction in murder and a 63 per cent reduction in shootings.

“We note the concerns regarding the treatment of detainees and the broader human rights issues. However, at the same time, we recognise that crime is one of the biggest infringements on the very rights we are trying to protect.

“So, as we seek to protect the lives and rights of all our citizens, it is important that we assess the initiatives that are put in place to ensure that we reap the desired results, and explore ways to balance the scale between competing rights.

“As such, the JMEA, PSOJ and JCC 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, prior to the dates of expiration of the states of emergency.”

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: