May 29, 2007

Jamaica needs to be fully independent

published: Monday May 28, 2007
Source: Jamaica Gleaner
The Editor, Sir:

Having read an article in your daily paper of May 4 on page A7, penned by the Rev. Devon Dick, titled 'Britain still rules Jamaica', I feel compelled to add my little something. The Rev. Devon Dick is a man of great eminence and he speaks from his own mind and heart. I share every sentiment expounded in this article by him. Further, I deem this an excellent one and very timely to us in Jamaica.

What can we tell our children about Independence? After 45 years, we are still crying out in our courts; "OYEZ, OYEZ God save the Queen". While the sentiments of having Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth of England safe is nice, it should not proceed or pre-empt any opening of any court, tribunal or meeting in independent Jamaica. If anything, these public outcries for her safety should be said on only special days and functions, such as remembrance of her birthday and such events.

I think it has been a great indictment on the part of our leaders, both past and present, also on us as a people, that we have not enunciated with sufficient vehemencethat it is inappropriate that the British Monarchy is still Head of State for our independent Jamaica. Independence was granted from Great Britain in August 1962; people who were alive back then, if still alive, have passed through their youth, and have entered into at least middle age and beyond. So at 45 years (in a matter of months), we are no longer newly independent, but we should be seasoned in our independence.

We should be proud to be Jamaicans and lift up our heads in our independence, taking responsibility for ourselves and country. Come on, let us modify our civil service to fully address our needs. Let's remove our tails from between our legs and hold up our heads and proceed to the Caribbean Court of Justice as our own final court. Let us look at our laws and amend some to reflect the times, throw out some and put in others to reflect the needs of Jamaica. While not suggesting a total change just for change sake, I am proposing that we make adjustments where needed. Some laws that England had when we were a colony, they have since changed for England, but we still hang on to them.

The people of Jamaica need to be fully independent, where we can chart our own destiny. We are looking at another general election and the people need to impress upon our politicians that this is an issue to be addressed. We want to see it in their various manifestos, we want to hear it from the platforms and in any other forum that our politicians adopt. Indeed, we must demand that it be followed through on. I am aware that it is only us that can seek and through mitigation attain real change in our beloved Jamaica. As we are in the majority and as such have the real power, the power to elect and install a government. That government is supposed to work to the benefit of our Jamaica and her people. The time to act is now.

I am, etc.,
Mandeville, Jamaica

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