Or perhaps, don’t inhale too deeply. Some things don’t smell so good.
I am not talking about the Riverton City dump this week. But I am disturbed.
Firstly, what is happening with our justice system? I went through a range of emotions this week on hearing that a police sergeant was acquitted of the murder of a mentally ill drug addict by a judge who dismissed the case because the prosecution’s case was so weak. Sergeant Lloyd Kelly’s defense was not even heard. Now, we all saw a video recorded on a cell phone, aired on TV news on July 31, 2010. If you have the stomach for it, you can view the TV newscast including the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MC54pcNNaR0. You are warned: it is not easy to watch. The man was unarmed. He was injured, having been beaten by residents as well as the police, after he had just allegedly committed a murder. He was lying on the ground. Sergeant Kelly (described by residents as a model policeman) could have arrested the man. But no. Egged on by a raucous crowd (reminiscent of a pack of wild dogs circling, anticipating the kill) he showed them what a “good cop” (their words) he was. On television, Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn pointed out that the maker of the video was not available; the pathologist who conducted the post mortem was not available – in fact, not even a senior person at the Ministry of National Security knew where in the world he was; and the prosecution witnesses sounded more like defense witnesses. The Crown Counsel “fought valiantly,” she said. But in vain. “Justice has been served,” said one resident of the small town of Buckfield, St. Ann where these horrors occurred. Justice? What do we call justice, these days?
A policeman who had also hired highly-paid, high profile lawyers won his appeal against a corruption conviction on Friday. The Appeals judges were less than happy, reprimanding both the investigating officer (the then head of the police Anti-Corruption Branch) and the resident magistrate involved. Superintendent Harry “Bungles” Daley had been arrested during a sting operation as he allegedly sought to extort money from a businessman in Ewarton, St. Catherine. The chubby-faced “Bungles” wept copious tears in court. It’s clear, though, that there were so many discrepancies and errors in the case that the Appeals Court had no choice.
Meanwhile, the police killed seven Jamaicans in alleged shootouts in Kingston this week (although I could not find them all identified). Note that we always used that word “alleged.”
The problem is, justice is not “seen to be done” by the Jamaican man/woman on the street. The justice “system” barely works. Cases are postponed daily, either at the request of the prosecution who is not ready or because the defense is employing delaying tactics. As I have served as a witness and a juror on more than one occasion, I have seen this for myself. It is mind-numbing, frustrating, exhausting. Hours and hours are wasted daily. Other major causes of delay and the collapse of cases are the absence (or disappearance, or even elimination) of witnesses, incomplete documentation, the incredible shortage of jurors, and more. It’s even worse in the Coroner’s Court. The lobby group Jamaicans for Justice has bemoaned this for at least a decade now. Nothing has really changed. Nothing
The Director of Public Prosecution‘s office is over-burdened. Only the defense lawyers, who sweep into court in style (often late) seem quite comfortable with things the way they are.
But there was some good news on the crime-fighting front. National Security Minister Peter Bunting tabled the long-overdue legislation to tackle the utterly shameful “lotto scam,” which has continued virtually unchecked for several years. Many elderly and unsuspecting American citizens have been robbed of their life savings by these criminals. The necessary legislation was not in place, despite the sometimes desperate efforts of a police task force. Anyway, the Lottery Scam Bill (the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions) (Special Provisions) Act, 2013) will reach the Senate next Friday. Minister Bunting said on radio that he “hopes” legislation on DNA and anti-gang measures will be tabled in the next three months. We have been hearing about those for at least a couple years now…
Sunday Gleaner columnist Ian Boyne made a “moral” issue out of the lotto scam in his column today (how we love that word). Another commentator, theologian and academic Dr. Anna Kasafi Perkins, liberally sprinkled her lecture last week with the same word, along with “ethics” and “values.” The annual Grace Kennedy Foundation Lecture 2013 which Dr. Perkins delivered was entitled “Moral Dis-ease making Jamaica ill? Re-engaging the Conversation.” This and all the public lectures can be found at the link below. One question (or three): Whose morals, Dr. Perkins? Whose ethics? Whose values?
And then the President of Venezuela died, causing much hand-wringing (but perhaps not a lot of genuine grief?) around the Caribbean. What of the PetroCaribe deal, which we all eagerly signed on to in 2005? PetroCaribe provides us with oil at preferential prices and a loan to be repaid under very generous terms. We will have to wait until after general elections. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller led a weighty delegation to Caracas for the funeral – perhaps rather overweight. Someone tweeted that it was like the distant relatives coming from near and far to see if there is anything in the will for them – with a bunch of hungry “pickney” (kids) in tow. There were questions as to the cost of this delegation, considering that we Jamaican citizens are now tightening our belts. Are the politicians doing likewise? That recurring “sacrifice” theme again.
Minister Omar Davies, what is “optics”? In Parliament last week, the former Finance Minister brushed aside calls for a smaller Cabinet and possibly even a pay cut/wage freeze for politicians (gasp!) Just a little symbolic gesture of goodwill towards the Jamaican people perhaps? In his usual off-hand way, Minister Davies used the word “optics.” Take a deep breath…
Then, in the week of International Women’s Day, the case of Ms. Shanique Myrie came up in the first-ever sitting of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). There was not much detail available, as much of the evidence was written and not made publicly available, according to keen observer Dionne Jackson-Miller. This seems odd to me. Meanwhile, details of Ms. Myrie’s attire in court; the rather difficult Barbadian accent of the lead attorney; and the literacy level of one of the witnesses seemed to preoccupy the media. Ms. Myrie is not a woman from what some call the “upper echelons” of Jamaican society. I admire her bravery in challenging the Barbadian immigration authorities over what must have been a deeply humiliating experience. Good for her. Sad and ironic, though, that the first case in the illustrious CCJ involving Jamaica should be dealing with perceived discrimination by one of our Caribbean neighbors against our citizens.
The intrepid Dionne Jackson-Miller tackled the topic of religion in schools on her weekly program “All Angles.” If you have time, please do watch the program on the link below, in which the Minister of Education (and Reverend) Ronald Thwaites continuously patronizes, rudely interrupts and completely loses his cool over views expressed clearly and intelligently by youth activist Javed Jaghai. At one point he even points his finger at Mr. Jaghai and can hardly restrain himself from angry outbursts. How dare this young upstart contest the fact that all Jamaican children should – and must – be exposed to religion (Christianity)? And on a daily basis, because it is “good,” and “wholesome” and – oh yes, “moral.” That word again. The argument that children can “opt out” if they want to doesn’t hold much water; allowed to stand at the side of the room, they remain a captive and passive participant in the “daily religious indoctrination,” as Mr. Jaghai put it. But the Minister embarrassed himself. I doubt he apologized. After all, he is a government minister and a church man, with considerable influence and piety on his side.
I must again commend young columnist Jaevion Nelson, who is doing a great job of challenging Jamaicans’ preconceived notions. He took up the same topic in his Gleaner column this week, asking simply, “Can you imagine how much better off we would be if the church was vocal about governance and corruption?” But the Church does not use its huge power and influence for this purpose.
Kudos also to another young writer Robert Lalah, whose column this week was honest, moving and real. Why are we so cold, so hard-hearted towards homeless gays, he asks? They are Jamaicans. I have always enjoyed Mr. Lalah’s humorous columns depicting country life in Jamaica. In this column, he again showed his humanity. Thank you.
This week was the Kingston Book Festival, organized by the Book Industry Association of Jamaica. Although publishing is not a huge and thriving industry in Jamaica, sad to say (I worked in that field for eight years myself) the enthusiasm for writing, sharing, reading and performing prose and poetry continues unabated here. Special congratulations to Ms. Kellie Magnus and her team for putting together a vibrant program of events, creating some great partnerships and collaborations. It’s also wonderful to welcome home one of our ex-pat writers, Andrew “Kei” Miller, for a few months. I am sure he will have much to contribute and enjoy, and hope he will be doing lots of outreach. Don’t stay cloistered at the University of the West Indies, Kei. Venture forth!
A lovely gentleman, Garveyite Frank Gordon, passed away last week at the age of ninety. Mr. Gordon was drawn to Marcus Garvey’s Liberty Hall in downtown Kingston from the age of twelve. He became a steadfast follower and key figure in the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), where he served as president for many years. A man with a deep grasp of history and the importance of Jamaica’s self-determination, he is the kind of person you wish would live forever, so that he could share his wisdom and guidance with future generations.
P.S. Did you know that Caribbean Earth Hour is March 23, 2013 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.? Would you like to turn off your lights/electricity for just one hour, in symbolic recognition of the challenges of climate change? If you have any ideas, plans or would like further information, do contact Heather Pinnock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.P.S. Our son used to love school swimming competitions when he was young. Many happy, sunny days spent at the National Stadium pool… Special “big ups” to Excelsior Primary School, the first primary (state) school to win the Preparatory/Primary School Swim Champs!
Once again, it was a sad week for some Jamaicans, who are mourning the loss of loved ones killed by their fellow-citizens. My heart goes out to them.
Unidentified man, Orange Street, Kingston
Copeland Coulbourne, 80, Content District, St. Catherine
Christopher Williams, 40, Homestead, St. Catherine
Unidentified man, Sydenham, St. Catherine
Unidentified man, Westchester/Portmore, St. Catherine
Maurie Redding, Little London, Westmoreland
Killed by police:
Rohan Armstrong, 18, Regent Street, west Kingston
Four others in west Kingston
Weng, National Heroes Circle, Kingston 4
Unidentified man, National Heroes Circle, Kingston 4
Related articles and websites: Local blog posts in purple – do read what my fellow Jamaican bloggers have
http://www.gracekennedy.com/corporate-citizenship/grace-kennedy-foundation/public-lecture-series Grace Kennedy Foundation Public Lecture Series: GraceKennedy.com
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130304/cleisure/cleisure4.html Cross-dressers not deserving of sympathy? Robert Lalah column/Gleaner
http://www.og.nr/rbt/12447-tanya-stephens-defends-gays-rants-against-bigots-in-facebook-tirade.html Tanya Stephens defends gays, rants against bigots on Facebook: On the Ground News Reports
http://www.sdgln.com/news/2013/03/08/rgod2-angeline-jackson-lesbian-activist-homophobic-jamaica Meet Angeline Jackson, lesbian activist in homophobic Jamaica: sdgln.com
http://www.caribjournal.com/2013/03/07/women-and-the-jamaican-work-force/ Women and the Jamaican work forces: Op-ed by Marcia Forbes/Carib Journal
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.php?id=43235 SSP Dathan Henry was poisoned: Gleaner
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/vanessa-wints-case-forwarded-to-special-coroners-office Vanessa Wint’s case forwarded to special coroner’s office: RJR News
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130310/cleisure/cleisure1.html The Buckfield case and the DPP: Sunday Gleaner editorial
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130310/news/news5.html ”Bungled”: Senior cop and resident magistrate chided by appeal court as it frees Harry “Bungles”: Sunday Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130310/cleisure/cleisure2.html Using science to control crime: Frank Phipps op-ed/Sunday Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130310/focus/focus1.html Lotto scamming, bling and morality: Ian Boyne column/Sunday Gleaner
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/more-florida-seniors-fall-victim-to-lottery-scam More Florida seniors fall victim to lottery scam: RJR News
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/US-cooperation-to-stem-lottery-scamming–Bunting_13808439 U.S. co-operation to stem lottery scamming – Bunting: Sunday Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Reluctant-witnesses-help-clog-court-system_13808517 Reluctant witnesses help clog court system: Sunday Observer
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.php?id=43234 Wildman promises positive development in Cash Plus case: Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130304/cleisure/cleisure1.html The CCJ: A declaration of relevance: Gleaner editorial
http://dmarcuswilliams.blogspot.com/2013/03/how-ronnie-thwaites-carolyn-cooper.html How Ronnie Thwaites and Carolyn Cooper disappointed me: D.Marcus Williams.blogspot.com
http://redforgender.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/the-ccj-and-shanique-myrie-how-to-signify-good-taste-and-respectability/ The CCJ and Shanique Myrie: How to signify “good taste” and “respectability”: redforgender.wordpress.com
http://newsandviewsbydjmillerja.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/jamaican-leg-of-shanique-myrie-case-ends-points-to-note/ Jamaican leg of Shanique Myrie ends: Points to note: Dionne Jackson-Miller blog
http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads/33182s Gender equality public education campaign launched: Jamaica Information Service
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/reggie-cameron/diana-king_b_2827726.html?utm_hp_ref=tw Diana King on Jamaican homophobia and coming out: HuffPost
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130310/news/news4.html Young, homeless, hopeless: More people under 40 swell the street dwellers population: Sunday Gleaner
http://www.caribjournal.com/2013/03/07/dennis-chung-the-cost-of-cultural-habits-in-jamaica/ The cost of cultural habits in Jamaica: Op-ed by Dennis Chung/Carib Journal
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130303/business/business1.html NCB staff sues bank: Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130308/cleisure/cleisure1.html More to be done on wage agreement: Gleaner editorial
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130306/news/news1.html Jamaica is NOT in a currency crisis…But could it be by the end of 2013? André Haughton op-ed/Gleaner
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-good-time-to-bury-bad-news–cash–politics–media-and-corruption_13800883#ixzz2Mx89PPQ4 A good time to bury bad news: Cash, politics, media and corruption: Franklin Johnston column/Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/That-Jamaican-delegation-to-Venezuela_13808356 That Jamaican delegation to Venezuela: Sunday Observer editorial
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130307/lead/lead4.html Venezuela and Jamaica: The ties that bind: Gary Spaulding op-ed/Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130304/lead/lead9.html Don’t waste another year in Parliament: Gleaner
http://digjamaica.com/blog/2013/03/08/5-facts-petrocaribe/ 5 Facts: PetroCaribe: diGJamaica.com
http://digjamaica.com/petrocaribe The History of PetroCaribe in Jamaica: diGJamaica.com
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.php?id=43329 English only in the Senate, president tells Justice Minister: Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130304/letters/letters3.html Unfortunate attack on Ruel Reid: Letter to the Editor/Gleaner
http://www.televisionjamaica.com/Programmes/AllAngles.aspx/Videos/24759 Should religious activities be banned from school? All Angles/TVJ
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130307/cleisure/cleisure3.html Misplaced Christian priorities: Jaevion Nelson column/Gleaner
http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads/33171 Climate change documents to be tabled in Parliament: Jamaica Information Service
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Outstanding-Garveyite-Frank-Gordon-passes_13780222 Outstanding Garveyite Frank Gordon passes: Jamaica Observer
http://digjamaica.com/blog/2013/03/05/holywell-park-mother-nature-at-its-finest/ Holywell Park: Mother Nature at its finest: digjamaica.com
http://as-told-by-nella.blogspot.com/2013/03/friday-link-love.html Friday Link Love: nella.blogspot.com – more local blog links for you to explore…
Guyanese, Jamaicans top list of CARICOM nationals denied entry to Barbados (kaieteurnewsonline.com)
Is It Really March Already? Sunday: March 3, 2013 (petchary.wordpress.com)
I skipped last week’s post, and to be honest don’t feel we have missed very much. No dramatic developments, but a lot of “hot air” - which is not unusual in Jamaica, of course. And Christmas approacheth. Hence the stupor, perhaps.
The most loquacious Minister in the current Cabinet, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites, barely paused for breath – or rather, took a deep breath and plunged into a new round of announcements, clarifications and explanations. Very much a mixed bag, these turned out to be. The results of an inspection of 135 primary and secondary schools by the National Education Inspectorate were, to put it bluntly, dismal. Many school boards were also found to be “unsatisfactory.” And while it was disturbing to hear that in one third of the schools “the quality of educational inputs was rated as unsatisfactory,” the report that “safety, security, health and well-being were rated as unsatisfactory in 34 per cent of the schools inspected” is also very concerning. This means that there are, indeed, management issues at these schools; and the boards, often including “politically connected” people, seem to be a major problem. I am not sure how Minister Thwaites is going to deal with this, without serious, and perhaps unwanted intervention by himself personally. But something is deeply wrong, and this is impacting the education of our children.
And then there is the issue of Dr. Doeford Shirley, Director of the National College of Educational Leadership, which is supposed to train school principals (clearly an important task). Dr. Shirley, who gave up a job in the United States to take up the position, has been very vocal in the media for the past several weeks, claiming that Minister Thwaites has overlooked him. Dr. Shirley refuses to shut up or resign.
Now, after a little over a year, Minister Thwaites has declared the ASTEP program, which targets students who have failed the Grade Four Literacy Test, a failure. The program began in September 2011 under the previous Jamaica Labour Party administration, and changes will need to be made, says the former talk show host.
Then, startlingly, Minister Thwaites commented at one of his frequent press conferences that the government will not have any more teaching jobs to offer, apart from those made vacant by retirees, because we “simply do not have the space.” Brows were wrinkled, and then a ministry official murmured, “fiscal space.” In other words, the Government cannot afford to employ any more teachers. What about all the teachers graduating from teachers’ colleges in Jamaica, then? What are they to do? And meanwhile, Minister Thwaites’ senior adviser does not appear to be at all popular with members of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association.
Dear, oh dear. There have also been internal rumblings in the Ministry of Agriculture, but I won’t bore you with the details. Politics, personalities… so what is new. A tremendous, perhaps excessive amount of media attention was paid to this, and to other matters of little apparent worth, over the past two weeks. Somehow I feel we are missing the bigger picture.
And I confess to not feeling reassured by comments the Finance Minister Peter Phillips made during the past week; in fact, I am finding his words hard to interpret. In September, as one radio station noted, Minister Phillips told us that there was “no sticking point” during the ongoing, highly sensitive discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Now, from what we can tell, there seem to be a couple of such sticky areas: namely, the issue of tax waivers, and how the government proposes to handle its enormous debt. I suspect I am not the only one who is just…not clear on what is really happening. The print media appears, for the most part, to be pretending that one of those dear sweet elephants in the room does not exist. This week, the elephant has a big sign dangling round his neck, bearing the immortal Clintonian words: “It’s the Economy, Stupid.” We are left wondering a) whether the IMF agreement will be signed before the end of December, as the Minister says it will; and b) whether it will be signed at all. And then, if not signed, then what? one or two journalists are cautiously asking.
Are we enlightened? No, and the media is not helping much. The Sunday Observer, to give but one of many examples, chose to print an article about competitive bird-watching in Peru on its business pages. I mean, that has got to be more relevant, right? And it’s so much easier to tuck the bad economic news away in the business pages, because no one reads those.
One financial analyst on radio (thank God for radio!) observed that the tone of Minister Phillips’ comments, his oblique references to “sovereignty” etc., were “more bluster than reality,” and that the cold reality of the IMF will win in the end. Is this true? I don’t know what to say. The reporting on this entire IMF issue has been, to my mind, so inadequate and the Minister’s pronouncements so infrequent and so vague that I cannot do anything but sit down and wait and see, like everyone else. While the Jamaican Dollar slides to 92 or 93 to the U.S. Dollar. And while public sector workers are restless over the likelihood that their wages will not be unfrozen for the next two years or so. There will be more, much more on this in due course. Hopefully, all will be revealed, clarified and sorted out – but meanwhile, it is all hanging like a very uncomfortable cloud over the new year; and the Minister’s vague, and at the same time emphatic, pronouncements do not help. By the way, what is the Prime Minister‘s role supposed to be in all this – if any? Can we expect her to explain the IMF situation? The answer to these questions sums up the prevailing feeling about the economy: I don’t know. We don’t know.
The horror of the Newtown massacre of women and small children in the United States sparked much discussion on the radio talk shows. One woman called in to say that this event shows that “Jamaica is a God-blessed country, because things like that don’t happen here.” No, my dear, but Jamaica still has the third highest number of homicides in the world. Blessed, indeed. The Prime Minister issued a statement expressing her condolences and regret at the deaths of the innocent young American children. This sparked a flurry of irritation from Jamaican tweeters, who asked why the Prime Minister had not sought it necessary to express regret about the many children murdered throughout the year, almost on a weekly basis, here in Jamaica. Or condolences to the family of Vanessa Wint (who allegedly committed suicide) – an “uncontrollable” child in an adult prison.
One more thing… We all love development, don’t we? And doesn’t our Government just love big projects? Well, the highway linking the north and south coasts – and bypassing the often-treacherous Mount Rosser road – was inaugurated recently with grand speeches, balloons and the Chinese. Now there are voices of concern – namely Professor Simon Mitchell, a geologist at the University of the West Indies, and environmental activist Diana McCaulay. It is all a case of “sloppy planning,” they suggest. The highway, in three legs, crosses a clear and well-known earthquake fault and crosses “weak and fractured limestone” that you can thrust a machete into. The proper assessments of the geology of the area have not been done, says Professor Mitchell. And, in future, he suggests, “for every major infrastructure project, there MUST be an independent geological survey to identify the problems associated with the project and mitigate the impacts.” By the way, the Jamaican Government is making a large piece of land available – that is giving this land to China Harbour for development. This was apparently not included in the Environmental Impact Assessment. And why are we giving large tracts of land to the Chinese to do whatever they want with it?
There are murmurings, now, that the Prime Minister needs to take a good look at her Cabinet with a view to making some changes. The marvelously sharp broadcaster Dionne Jackson-Miller addressed the issue of a “score card” for Jamaican ministers of government in her weekly television show “All Angles” (Dionne can be heard on the evening prime time current affairs program “Beyond the Headlines.” She also writes a provocative blog on topical issues (http://newsandviewsbydjmillerja.wordpress.com) and one on legal issues (http://djmillerja.wordpress.com). You can watch the program at the link below. Very interesting. And wonderful to see young Maurice Smith giving his opinion. I first met Maurice when he was a student at Manchester High School and standout winner of one of the U.S. Embassy’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay competitions. He is going from strength to strength and I’m proud of him!)
Do we have to? Self-styled ladies’ man and champion athlete Asafa Powell is determined to stay in the limelight. He is now going to be an advice columnist on “style, fitness and relationships” in the Observer’s weekly All Woman supplement. Is he actually qualified in any way to dish out advice in the first and third of these areas? And can he please lose that beard? Please, Asafa, I beg yuh!
Not to be outdone, the Gleaner’s Flair magazine last week focused on what it called “Media Mummies,” who we are told have all “whipped their bodies back into shape.” I cringed and quickly turned the pages. Yes, you can see I am not a great fan of the women’s supplements.
Congratulations to Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ), who last week received a “special mention” as runners-up to the Prix des droits de l’homme de la République Française (Human Rights Prize of the French Republic) for 2012. Perhaps, one day, JFJ might receive a prize from its own Jamaican government for its untiring work on behalf of the citizens of Jamaica. But that would be too much to expect, eh? JFJ held a public forum – broadcast live on the always-supportive Nationwide News Network – on Human Rights Day, and their excellent column on the topic can be read here: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Another-way-is-possible_13216866?fb_ref=storypage. Yes, another way to treat our children in state care is, indeed possible. Do read it.
And someone else got an award! The National Housing Trust (NHT) presented their inaugural award for reporting on sustainable development and affordable housing to Nationwide News Network’s George Davis. TVJ’s Dara Smith and Irie FM’s Natalie Campbell were second and third, respectively. Congrats to all, and to the NHT for this great concept!
The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) celebrated its fourteenth anniversary on December 10, World Human Rights Day. I will be writing more about the events of that day in a “soon-come” blog post, but want to raise a toast to J-FLAG. Like other organizations in Jamaica that stand up for the rights of the people, they suffer enormous hostility, threats and utter disdain. I admire them enormously. I hope that one day the “penny will drop” and that Jamaicans will actually understand what human rights – and in particular, the rights of minorities – actually mean. Before it’s too late, and theirs are taken away completely.
Meanwhile, I am not sure if anyone noticed, but Professor Hopeton Dunn launched his book “Ringtones of Opportunity” (clever title) on the enormous potential of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) in the Caribbean, at the University of the West Indies. I must get my hands on a copy. The head of the recently-established Business Processing Industry Association of Jamaica, Yoni Epstein, had some strong words to say about the need for Jamaica to provide much more physical space for call centers and other IT-related businesses (one reason why the U.S. firm Convergys has delayed its investment in Jamaica) and for much more robust training in this area. Over to you, Minister Paulwell…
I am handing out some awards – you could call them Dubious Distinctions – as follows:
Special Prize for the Most Appearances on Television Prime Time News: Hon. Ronald Thwaites, Minister of Education
Special Prize for Keeping Its Mouth Shut: The Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (with the recent exception of Finance Spokesman Audley Shaw)
Honorable Mention for Reading Out Speeches Very Nicely: Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister
P.S. The op-ed in today’s Sunday Gleaner, by Javed Jaghai, an openly gay Jamaican, is a must-read. Discrimination, bigotry and the endless tirades against and persecution of homosexuals in Jamaica is, again, part of a bigger picture that many Jamaicans choose not to see – especially the fundamentalist Christians who shout in our ears all the time. As Mr. Jaghai puts it, “No Jamaican should have to wait for justice, because every human life is equally valuable.” He condemns not only the stone-throwers, but also those who by their “silence and apathy” allow the situation whereby marginalized groups are treated as less than human to continue. As the African American activist James Baldwin wrote to Angela Davis during the days of the civil rights movement, “If they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.”
None of us are immune. Treat your Jamaican brothers and sisters as you would have them treat you, this Christmas time. Isn’t that the Christian philosophy, or did I get that wrong?
Until next week…
My deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of the following Jamaican citizens, who were murdered between December 3 and December 16, 2012. I know that there are quite a few “unidentified” but have been unable to find their names – but these were definitely reported. My apologies for this…
Odale Planter, 13, Osbourne Store, Clarendon (student of Vere Technical High School)
Roy Beckford, JP, 67, Molynes Road, Kingston
Ricardo Williams, 26, Osbourne Store, Clarendon
Steve Huggan, 35, Clarendon
Kevin Mattis, 40, Constant Spring, Kingston
Tony Jackson, 29, Drews Hill, Hanover
Pauline Israel, 62, St. John’s Road/Spanish Town, St. Catherine
Anthony Robinson, 17, Portmore, St. Catherine
Eric Francis, 50, Portmore, St. Catherine
Dwayne Messam, 30, Spanish Town, St. Catherine
Unidentified man, Ewarton, St. Catherine
Unidentified woman, Ewarton, St. Catherine
Unidentified man, Ewarton, St. Catherine
André Walters, 17, Johnson Pen, St. Catherine (Student of HEART Trust/NTA)
Unidentified man, Lakes Pen, St. Catherine
Unidentified man, Lakes Pen, St. Catherine
Jaseth Rose, 24, Montpelier, St. James
Unidentified man, Montego Bay, St. James
Killed by the police:
Chanderpaul Crawford, 16, Yallahs, St. Thomas
Oshane Brown, 28, May Pen, Clarendon
Mark Warren, 40, Nain, St. Elizabeth
Unidentified man, Port Antonio, Portland
Unidentified man, Osbourne Store, Clarendon
Unidentified man, Osbourne Store, Clarendon
Unidentified man, Spanish Town, St. Catherine
http://rjrnewsonline.com/business/jamaica-seeks-partnership-to-increase-ict-space (Jamaica seeks partnership to increase ICT space: RJR News)
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/-BPO-sector-crying-for-help-_13152564 (“BPO sector crying for help”: Jamaica Observer)
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/public-sector-not-backing-down-from-wage-claims (Public sector not backing down from wage claims: RJR News)
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/naj-calls-emergency-meeting-to-discuss-wages (NAJ calls emergency meeting to discuss wages: RJR News)
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/businesses-jittery-as-dollar-sinks-to-record-low (Businesses jittery as dollar sinks to record low: RJR News)
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Private-sector-must-play-godfather-role–says-Phillips_13211246 (Private sector must play godfather role, says Phillips: Jamaica Observer)
http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/list/32474 (Work on Mount Rosser bypass resumes January: Jamaica Information Service)
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20121212/cleisure/cleisure4.html (North-South highway link: should we brace for disaster? Op-ed by Professor Simon Mitchell/Jamaica Gleaner)
http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/list/32561 (Prime Minister saddened by Connecticut massacre: Jamaica Information Service)
http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads/32559 (Citizens and police benefit from youth leadership program: Jamaica Information Service)
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/ja-civil-society-coalition-steps-up-pressure-on-public-defender (Ja. Civil Society Coalition steps up pressure on Public Defender: RJR News)
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20121206/lead/lead4.html#.UMCh_8ASwps.facebook (Tivoli report in two weeks: Jamaica Gleaner)
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/jfj-criticizes-hannas-response-to-children-in-lock-ups (JFJ criticizes Hanna’s response to children in lock-ups: RJR News)
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/JFJ-awarded-French-medal_13203295 (JFJ awarded French medal: Jamaica Observer)
http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/list/32455 (Justice system must safeguard children’s rights: Jamaica Information Service)
http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads/32543 (Issues affecting children in state care to be discussed: Jamaica Information Service)
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/thwaites-announces-overhaul-in-school-board-appointments (Thwaites announces overhaul in school board appointments: RJR News)
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/I-wont-resign- (Sidelined educator defiant, goes to war with government: Jamaica Observer)
http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/list/32536 (Education Minister says changes coming: Jamaica Information Service)
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Thwaites–Results-of-NEI-primary-schools-survey-mediocre_13195168 (Results of NEI primary schools survey mediocre: Jamaica Observer)
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/shootout-in-port-antonio (Shootout in Port Antonio: RJR News)
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/policeman-injured-during-new-kingston-shootout (Policeman injured during New Kingston shootout: RJR News)
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/-Murder-most-foul-_13144663 (Murder most foul: Mark Wignall column/Jamaica Observer)
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20121215/letters/letters4.html (Government must protect citizens: Letter/Gleaner)
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/cop-accused-of-corruption-on-million-dollar-bail (Cop accused of corruption on million-dollar bail: RJR News)
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20121215/cleisure/cleisure1.html (Those with clean hands, show them: Gleaner editorial)
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/police-making-progress-in-corruption-fight (Police making progress in corruption fight: RJR News)
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20121216/cleisure/cleisure3.html (Gay agenda part of wider fight for justice: Javed Jaghai op-ed/Jamaica Gleaner)
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20121216/ent/ent1.html (Gay rights group bats for reformed dancehall artistes: Sunday Gleaner)
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20121215/letters/letters1.html (A land where pleasure abounds: Letter/Jamaica Gleaner)
http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/list/32524 (Governor General endorses project in Westmoreland to help persons with HIV/AIDS: Jamaica Information Service)
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Refurbished-Redemption-Arcade-handed-over-to-KSAC_13217393 (Refurbished Redemption Arcade handed over to KSAC: Jamaica Observer)
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Hanover-Infirmary-gets-Christmas-help (Hanover Infirmary gets Christmas help: Jamaica Observer)
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20121216/focus/focus1.html (Don’t mess with the press? Media mollycoddle Big Business and dodge the bullet of regulation: Ian Boyne column/Sunday Gleaner)
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Journalism-in-the-public-interest_13212093 (Journalism in the public interest: Claude Robinson column/Sunday Observer)
http://www.televisionjamaica.com/Programmes/AllAngles.aspx/Videos/22825 (All Angles on “Assessing the Performance of Cabinet”/TVJ)
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20121209/cleisure/cleisure1.html (Do some house cleaning, Prime Minister: Gleaner editorial)
Sunday Notes: December 2, 2012 (petchary.wordpress.com)
For Human Rights Day 2012; A Challenge, an Invitation, and an Anniversary (petchary.wordpress.com)
It’s Getting Beta: Young Tech Entrepreneurs in Jamaica (petchary.wordpress.com)
A Great “Dig” for Jamaican Bloggers (petchary.wordpress.com)
Sunday Elephants: November 11, 2012 (petchary.wordpress.com)
Tivoli Gardens: On May 24, 2010, The People were “Deading” (petchary.wordpress.com)
Good morning, all. This week’s news was a little lighter, apart from the usual killings (see my “In Memoriam” section). Some things even made me laugh (hollow laughter sometimes, admittedly…)
Firstly, the political representatives who made fools of themselves in the Lower House recently were told to apologize, like naughty boys. The word “sorry” got stuck in some throats and the apologies were a little half-hearted; but one of the new Members of Parliament prepared a speech, waxing quite lyrical on the subject of fish. Yes, fish. This word was thrown about during the fracas in Parliament and seems to have been interpreted (or misinterpreted) as a derogatory word for homosexual (which many of us were not aware of – but it seems that some of our politicians are quite knowledgeable on such matters). Anyway, the promising young politician decided to equate the fish reference with Christianity. His speech was remarkable for its piety. Some journalists were seemingly awestruck by this oratorical flourish. Others were skeptical, like columnist Mark Wignall, who commented, ”Because we have had so few real successes in public life in this country, our media has adopted the style of going gaga over speeches as if we have conveniently forgotten that a speech is just words written on paper and skilfully (sometimes) read or presented.”
The best part of this – and here is the first chuckle of the week – were the skillful Observer cartoonist Clovis’ depictions of a fishy Member of Parliament. Hilarious.
Talking of religion, our favorite home-grown radical priest and missionary Father Richard Ho Lung – founder of the awesome Missionaries of the Poor – seems to have ruffled some feathers with his recent Gleaner columns. Firstly, he took aim at atheists, describing them as selfish, materialistic and responsible for all the world’s ills. (Well, I don’t think atheists bombed those churches in Nigeria, did they? Nor did they commit reprisal killings, there?) An atheist protested in rather a good column – linked below. Let’s have more tolerance of all beliefs, including atheists and agnostics, perhaps? Secondly, the goodly Father reprimanded our two sprinting heroes, Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake. He remonstrated with Blake thus:“Why call yourself a ‘beast’? Read the Book of Revelation.” Columnist Mark Wignall feels he has “gone overboard” this time. I found it all rather funny.
There were a couple of highly confusing items last week, too. Firstly, Mining & Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell announced that the Russian firm UC Rusal planned to close the last of its operational bauxite plants in Jamaica in October with the loss of 600 jobs – in Ewarton, St. Catherine. A wire story report appeared a day or two later in which the firm said they had not yet made a decision on the matter. Things seem to be hanging in the balance; but one feels confident that Minister Paulwell will be able to sort things out with the Russians. He has made the point that two other plants owned by Rusal have been closed now for more than three years. This seems an unacceptable situation to me.
I am finding Minister Paulwell a calm, composed figure, who seems entirely focused on his goals as head of an important ministry that also includes technology. He seems to do his homework properly, updates the media regularly and what is more, he does not waste time trying to score political points. He is getting on with the job, and for that I once again give him kudos. He sets a good example.
Then there was a bit of a fiasco with the so-called amnesty for traffic offenders, which began on July 1 and is set to continue for the rest of the year. It turned out to be quite a muddle. Well, Jamaicans owe their Government an astounding, estimated J$2.5 billion in unpaid traffic tickets. So if they go to the tax office and pay what they owe during this period, they will not be taken to court. It seems, however, that Government records are not in order; motorists are protesting that they are wildly inaccurate and the website has been put on hold for a little while, I understand, while they sort it out. Unfortunately, neither of the links in the Gleaner article below works. Oh Lordy.
I have been venting quite a bit on the environment in a recent blog post – but hold on, here’s more. I mentioned the “mystery fumes” in a recent review. On June 28 (when we were, thankfully, out of town) a number of highway workers and others fell sick after the air was filled with an unbearable smell in the Portmore area. The National Environment & Planning Agency conducted a thorough and detailed investigation, and last week we were informed that the smell was from kerosene being offloaded at Kingston’s seaport. Now the police have been called in to investigate possible illegal activities there. Which is obviously bad, but what worries me is how would we have coped if the incident had been much more serious? Executive director of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Ronald Jackson said on television recently that Jamaica really was not prepared for a major chemical leak. The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica is investigating…
As a cab driver said on television this week, “It’s our right to have clean air.” The man, an asthma sufferer, was complaining about a huge dust nuisance in Cornwall Courts, Montego Bay. Let us be more careful about these things, and try to prevent them from happening in the first place, please. And what was going on at the port that day? I am not making light of the Cornwall Courts issue. Almost nightly on television residents are protesting the huge discomforts of their lives – dust from incomplete roadworks; roads that look more like obstacle courses filled with rocks and huge potholes; raw sewage trickling in the gutters; a bridge that has not been repaired since Hurricane Whoever; no water in the pipes, although they pay water bills. I often feel the residents could do more to help themselves; but I fear that there is simply no money to fix these things.
Now – unless you have been living in a hole in the ground for at least the past year – we all know the Olympics is nigh. In fact, they begin on July 27, just twelve days away. I just have two questions: Why can’t we watch the Olympics on the channel of our choice? And why do Jamaican athletes have to parade around in semi-military uniforms at the opening ceremony?
On the first issue, a regional sports broadcasting firm has “exclusive rights across all platforms” to coverage of the games, and has sold these rights to one television station in Jamaica. Which means that those of us who pay for various sports channels on our cable network will be confronted with a message informing us that the channel is “blacked out” (even if the local TV station is not showing Olympic action). Is this lawful, asks one letter-writer? And why are we deprived of choice (especially when that’s exactly what we pay the cable company for?) Does this mean the promised “Caribbean flavor” of the coverage will exclude events in which there are no Caribbean competitors (and there are many of those?) Some of us want to watch events like diving, decathlon, rowing, etc. Why can’t we watch what we want?
Secondly, Cedella Marley (one of Bob’s numerous children) who is now a fashion designer has produced a range of costumes (approved by sponsors Puma) for the Jamaican athletic team to wear at the Olympics. The reaction among Jamaicans has been mixed, to say the least. When I first saw the photos, I had another good laugh. Ms. Marley has clearly gone back to the seventies and decided to resurrect the styles worn by her father when he was about her age… A kind of “Buffalo Soldier” throwback, complete with military-style khaki and high collars. Are our athletes going to war? There is also a skirt with what looks rather like a ganja-leaf design. Our dear Usain Bolt “looks like a security guard,” a friend commented on Facebook. What do you think, dear readers? There is more on YouTube if you want to see all the designs, and see how you feel. (Meanwhile, Americans are upset at their Ralph Lauren-designed kit, complete with beret - “too European” - and worse still, made in China!)
Talking of Bob Marley, there was another wave of protest after an unsuspecting American scientist (and a huge fan of Bob) enthusiastically named a marine creature after the “reggae icon” (to coin a cliché). What’s wrong with that, you may ask? Well, the creature in question, now named Gnathia marly, is a blood-sucking parasite that infests Caribbean fish and makes them extremely ill. “It’s a diss!” cried fans, who also point out that Bob Marley strongly disliked parasites (of the human kind), as well as hypocrites, bald heads and others. The poor scientist however, thinks this marine version of a tick (ugh!) is a wonderful little creature that contributes much to the Caribbean eco-system. He thinks he is honoring Marley, but the local jury is still out on this one, too.
And talking of reggae music, Opposition Tourism Spokesman Ed Bartlett says he wants Jamaica to have more reggae festivals. Do we really, Mr. Bartlett? We are scraping the barrel trying to find decent reggae acts – the quality and quantity has fallen – unless we recruited some of the excellent African musicians that play reggae. As it is, Reggae Sumfest, which took place this weekend, featured among other acts an American singer called Trey Songzz (not a reggae act), whose latest song “Dive In” extols the joys of oral sex. Yes, I guess we need more of that, don’t we?
Putting aside the trivia for a moment, there were several much more serious stories – quite small and unobtrusive – that popped up in the media and that I found very disturbing, although they seemed not to warrant any widespread discussion in the media.
- In anticipation of a lifting of the ban on scrap metal imports, our rampant thievery continues at local cellular phone sites – J$300 million worth. One “businessman” was found to be powering his in-car stereo system with batteries stolen from one site. How can we move forward with creeps like this in our midst?
- One million Jamaicans live below the poverty line. Yes. One million. What is our population again? 2.7 million?
- A well-known doctor and the mother of a twelve-year-old have been charged with procuring an abortion. When is Jamaica going to review its absurd abortion laws? As noted last week, Jamaica has a very high maternal death rate, and illegal botched abortions have certainly contributed to this. Let us follow the example of Barbados, Cuba and other enlightened Caribbean nations. But I guess the discussion will be hijacked once again by fundamentalist Christians, who do shout very loud…
- The Statistical Institute of Jamaica notes this week that the Jamaican economy registered negative GDP growth (0.1% decline) in the first six months of this year.
- Can the Jamaica Observer and some of its columnists stop trying to stir up sensation and ill-informed debate on the homosexual issue? Let’s cool it. The flood of comments on its website has been removed, probably because many of them were unfit for airplay. Why this semi-hysteria from people who swear that they are “not homophobes” but Christians, with a capital “C”? Where is the Observer going with this?
- The police are still busy killing. See two stories below on the recent death of a 17-year-old high school graduate, and a woman who fears for her son whom the police allegedly pushed into a gully.
- The report of a teenage girl who had a complete meltdown in a small rural court when she was ordered to be kept in a “place of safety” was painful to hear. The close-up footage of the girl’s ankles as she shuffled, barefoot in shackles to a waiting police van was deeply disturbing – reminiscent of slavery. It worried radio talk show host Barbara Gloudon for an entire program on Friday. I shared her emotion. The girl, who reportedly slapped the magistrate (it was a small room) was clearly in trouble and in urgent need of psychiatric help. The fact was, nobody wanted her. She had run away from her father’s house, and her mother could not/would not keep her. One doesn’t know the details of the case, but is locking the fifteen-year-old up in the Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre going to help? What was her crime? I hear she is now to get counseling – while in prison (and how long for?)
Condolences and sympathies go out to the family and friends of the following Jamaicans, who were murdered in the past week. I am also concerned for the father of Davian Davis, a sweet child whose body was found in an abandoned car. His father suspects foul play. I could see the grief in his face on television this evening. What really happened?
- Shango Jackson, 39, in Beverley Hills, Kingston
- Dr. Phillip Chamberlain, in Mandeville, Manchester
- Dwayne Rodman, in Grants Pen, Kingston
- Sonia Martin, 47, in Potsdam, St. Elizabeth
Killed by the police:
- Unidentified man, Freetown, Clarendon
- Unidentified man, Freetown, Clarendon
- Unidentified man, Malvern, St. Elizabeth
- Barrington Christie,41, Ashkenish, Hanover
- Sunday Shenanigans: July 8, 2012 (petchary.wordpress.com)
- Sunday Sunshine: July 1, 2012 (petchary.wordpress.com)
- http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120713/cleisure/cleisure2.html (Apologies welcome, but… jamaica-gleaner.com)
- http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120715/cleisure/cleisure1.html (No order in Parliament)
- http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/I-don-t-buy-the-parliamentary-apology_11936727 (I don’t buy the parliamentary apology)
- http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Jackasses-are-aplenty-and-a-pig-in-a-tie-is-still-a-pig_11902491 (Jackasses are aplenty and a pig in a tie is still a pig)
- http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Paulwell-s-mining-lease-signal-likely-game-changer-in-UC-Rusal-controversy_11952611 (Paulwell’s mining lease signal likely game changer in UC Rusal controversy)
- http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Bauxite-surprise—Paulwell-says-he-ll-summon-UC-Rusal-rep-after-plant-closure-denial_11945442 (Bauxite surprise)
- 600 to lose jobs with closure of RUSAL plant in Jamaica (bis.gy)
- http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.php?id=38457 (Ticket amnesty bungling)
- Jamaica considers renewable energy – UPI.com (upi.com)
- http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Kerosene-identified-as-mystery-fume_11945588 (Kerosene identified as mystery fumes)
- http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.php?id=38504 (Police called in to probe fume emission)
- http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120714/cleisure/cleisure5.html (Restart Cornwall Court road work)
- http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120710/cleisure/cleisure3.html (Goodness, I am an atheist!)
- http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120712/letters/letters4.html (Why can’t cable channels air Olympics too?)
- http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120126/sports/sports7.html (IMC promises record Caribbean coverage of London 2012)
- http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Jamaica-50-Jubilee-plans_11952612?fb_ref=storypage (Jamaica 50 Jubilee plans)
- 50-50 Reflections (petchary.wordpress.com)
- The Jamaican Olympic Team Outfits – “Ugly – Horrible” (newsandviewsbydjmillerja.wordpress.com)
- http://www.jamolympic.org/Home.aspx (Jamaica Olympic Association website)
- Puma pins Olympic hopes on Bolt to speed sport sales (telegraph.co.uk)
- Jamaica and The London 2012 Olympics: Jamaican Athletes representing, Jamaica (theislandjournal.wordpress.com)
- http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-marley-parasite-20120711,0,5467109.story (Ocean parasite named after Bob Marley)
- http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/BOB-MARLEY-DISSED-_11938598 (Bob Marley dissed! jamaicaobserver.com)
- http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-big-gay-lie_11923183 (The big gay lie: Column by Betty-Ann Blaine)
- http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120710/lead/lead2.html (Father struggles to come to grips with son’s killing)
- http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120710/lead/lead4.html (Clarendon woman’s fear: cops after my son)
- http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120713/lead/lead6.html (Teen assaults RM in courtroom attack)
- http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Brilliant-Krystal–St-Thomas-teen-goes-to-MIT-on-scholarship_11881838 (Brilliant Krystal! St. Thomas teen goes to MIT on scholarship)
- http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Don-t-politicise-Festival_11925601 (Don’t politicize Festival! Says Fae Ellington)
- http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Rotary-Club-launches-programme-to-help-juvenile-offenders_11924826 (Rotary Club launches program to help juvenile offenders)