General elections are to be held on February 25. The PNP government has reeled off a long list supposed accomplishments. The JLP’s response is predictable. For the next days until the 25th, potential voters will be saturated with claims of all sorts – much of it likely to be unfounded or distorted.
What is not in doubt is that there are thousands of people in Tivoli Gardens and west Kingston who suffered and are still suffering from the effects of the May 2010 insurgency operation carried out by the security forces. Loved ones, including breadwinners, have been killed unlawfully. Many are suffering from wounds inflicted on them, including the victims of mortar fire. Personal property and homes were maliciously and criminally destroyed. In many cases these have not been repaired or replaced. There was torture. Personal and constitutionally guaranteed liberties were violated. Many were terrorized by the tactics of the security forces. And this includes children.
The first order of restorative justice is that those who were the civilian and security forces commanders over the soldiers and policemen who carried out these acts of atrocities must be held accountable. The West Kingston Commission of Enquiry will in due course issue a report on its findings but if holding the commanders accountable is not part of its findings then we say categorically that this enquiry would have used taxpayers’ money to perpetrate a fraud.
The people of Tivoli Gardens and west Kingston do not have to wait until the report is written to know that they are entitled to compensation, an apology, and reparations.
In light of the upcoming elections the Tivoli Committee is encouraging all Jamaicans not to vote for any party or candidate who does not support Compensation, Apology and Reparations, including Ratification of the statutes of the International Criminal Court into Jamaica law -- CARR. We cannot afford another Tivoli Gardens massacre.
Negotiations must begin with representatives of the victims immediately after the elections.
CARR or NO VOTE.