The newly elected Dr Norman Dunn, explained that the of false promises are over. According to Dunn, the Chesterfield Bridge will be in placed before the hurricane season.
According reports by the Prime Minister's Office, the promised bridge for residents of Chesterfield, St. Mary is slated to be in place by the start of the hurricane season. The two span compact 200 bridge will be 180 ft long and will accommodate pedestrians as well as small vehicles.
According to statement issued by Stephen Shaw, the Manager of Communication in Customer Services Department at National Works Agency, the bridge is one of seven that are now being prepared in China for delivery to the National Works Agency (NWA) by the end of March.
Chief Executive Officer at the NWA, E.G. Hunter says that the bridge is being sourced under the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP) and is expected to be in Jamaica by the end of March. Some two million United States dollars is being spent to procure the seven bridges and associated parts.
(NB:The photo is just a representation and not actual bridge being assembled in China)
In a video which dominated social media a couple months ago, pan-Africanist Dr. Umar Johnson, made strong claims that Jamaica is well on its way to become the first colony of China in the Caribbean.
"The Chinese pretty much owns Jamaica,” he said. “The Jamaican Government is giving concession lands to the Chinese. They are building beach resorts, they are building two schools, and what the Jamaicans have to give them in return is the right to certain lands and waterways, and if it doesn't stop, Jamaica, the land of Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley, will become the first Chinese colony in the Caribbean."
The hype around the video has since died down, and all seem to have forgotten about the issue. But as I took a trip to my hometown in Manchester, Jamaica, this past weekend, I could not help but feel like I saw more Chinese than fellow Mancunians/Jamaicans. I know this statement resonates as a little dramatic, but I kid you not! And I am not referring to our Chinese-Jamaican neighbours who have become our friendly Mr. and Ms. Chin. I am referring to what seem like a tsunami of can’t-even-speak-English Chinese, who seemed to be everywhere.
The sight should not have shocked me as much as it did, since Manchester borderlines St. Elizabeth, the home of the bauxite giant ALPART, which was recently sold to the Chinese state-owned entity, Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCo.) for US$299m. But it did concern me, as I reflected on how “involved” the Chinese have become in our beloved country.
Dr. Umar Johnson knocked the nail on the head. The Chinese have made some major investments in Jamaica, especially throughout the last decade.
The Chinese built and financed a US$730m North-South Highway connecting Kingston to Ocho Rios, reducing coast-to-coast transit time to about an hour. The project gives the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), which built the highway, a 50-year concession to recover its costs from tolls. The company also received land alongside the highway to develop for residential and commercial use. Former Minister, Omar Davies suggested that the lands were “thrown in” to make the project more viable.
In 2017, we witnessed an intensive increase in trade and investment between both countries. The Jamaican Government announced that it had decided to use Chinese concessional loans to further upgrade the road network on the island. Speaking at a press conference, the Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, said that over US$300m in loan funding would come from China’s Exim Bank to construct a new road network in the southeastern and southwestern parts of the country.
Is it safe to assume that more valuable lands will be “thrown in”?
Jamaica was also banking on Chinese capital to transform PetroJam into a more efficient refinery. Sinohydro Corporation Limited, a Chinese state-owned engineering firm, was approached to finance, engineer, develop and construct the refinery upgrade at a cost of approximately US$1 billion. The political unrest in Venezuela, however, has crippled plans for upgrading the state-owned oil refinery.
The Government of Jamaica and China, in January 2017, signed an agreement for the construction of a 220-bed hospital for children in Montego Bay, St James.
In the same year, Prime Minister Andrew Holness came under heavy criticism from local architects over the decision to bypass local talent and use a Chinese firm to design Jamaica’s new Parliament building and offices at National Heroes Circle in Kingston. Some architects made their feelings known, stating that they felt insulted by the move.
The list of ‘investments’ and ‘gifts’ goes on… and on… and on.
People’s National Party Minister, Peter Bunting, had insisted that there is “a form of economic colonialism by Chinese businesses operating in Jamaica”. Bunting infuriated the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Jamaica with a video entitled “Chinese Take Over?” in which he made several claims and arguments against the Chinese. The Chinese Embassy in response blasted Bunting arguments and said it was offended by the “unsubstantiated claims” in the video.
My grandmother always said “if it no go so, it near go so” meaning - for our readers without Jamaican roots - that if the same point keeps coming up, especially from different sources, there might be some truth to it.
I am certainly not trying to seem ungrateful for the positive and lasting contribution the Chinese have made to our development, and the doors that have opened for investment in the auto industry, computer technology, commerce, manufacturing, construction, and other major enterprise. China has gifted Jamaica a number of projects of a total value of about JMD 9.4 billion, including the Chinese Garden at Hope Gardens, the Sligoville Sports Complex and two early childhood institutes. China has donated mobile container X-ray scanners for the security of Jamaican ports, water tanks to improve water supply and will donate energy-smart products with a total value of about JMD 400 million for the benefit of Jamaican environment.
So far, China has given full scholarship to more than 200 Jamaican youths and funded the training of over 1,000 officials and professionals. (Remarks by Ambassador NIU Quingbao, Feb. 9, 2017)
Also, we have to big up the social and economic value our resident Chinese-Jamaicans have made. Think of names like Tessanne Chin, Byron Lee, Michael Lee Chin, and so many more. Not to mention the Asian-operated businesses, all offering a range of goods at cheaper rates to communities throughout the island.
So, no, definitely not trying to be ungrateful. I acknowledge the positive side of the China-Jamaica-Partnership.
However, what will these investments cost us?
It is already widely said that if America coughs, Jamaica catches a cold, in light of how indebted we are to the United States. Now, Jamaicans are being encouraged to learn Mandarin in order to compete for jobs in our own country!
Over 200 work permits were issued for Chinese technicians to complete the ALPART takeover. When it comes to construction, local contractors are unable to compete with the powerful Chinese companies, inevitably increasing the number of Chinese companies landing big contracts in Jamaica. And none of these projects seem to be hiring locals for the ‘big paying posts’.
With the current arrangements, Jamaica is simply becoming more and more indebted to the Chinese, and the Chinese are owning more and more precious pieces of Jamaica. The Jamaican Government is also well known for being “vulnerable” to countries that invest heavily, sometimes “bending the rules” meant to protect the citizens’ individual rights and overall safety, in order to accommodate big investments.
It seems like all we continue to do is switch from one bakra master to another; the most recent change being the United States, who we still owe an unfathomable amount of money, for China. When will we understand that dependency is not the way, but rather, we should aim to create a business-friendly environment in which entrepreneurship and industrialization can prosper?
From where I stand, the Chinese is not ‘taking’ over. They already have. We just don’t know it yet.
~ Victoria Cole
The story seemed to have begun on January 2, 2018, with the brutal murder of 32-year-old business woman Simone Campbell-Collymore and 36-year-old taxi operator Winston Watson. Both were shot dead at approximately 4:00 pm on Stanley Terrace in Red Hills, St. Andrew, Jamaica.
With the murder rate continuing to spiral out of control, the slaughter could have been easily misconstrued as just another “senseless killing”, but for one crucial detail: the husband of the deceased woman lost his previous girlfriend in a similar fashion. Omar “Best” Collymore in 2008 was the sole witness of the murder of his then girlfriend, 38-year-old Angela Aguiar in downtown, Fort Lauderdale, USA
According to the police records, Omar reported that after parking his vehicle and getting out to tie his shoe-lace, he saw a white man who appeared homeless, walk up to Aguiar - who was seated in the vehicle - with a gun. He reportedly ran then heard gunshots. When Omar returned to the vehicle, he found his girlfriend dead with gunshot wounds. Her killer is still at large.
Fast forward to 2018, the death of Omar’s wife, Simone, has exposed a web of lies and infidelity in what seemed like a picture-perfect marriage. It is alleged that Omar had several simultaneous affairs. Simone, fed up with the what seemed like never ending marital problems, moved out of their home only a few days before she was killed. Witnesses claimed that even after the shooting, Omar, who was inside the residence where the shooting took place, was slow to come to his wife’s aid.
The tea of it all? Two women, Angela Aguiar and Simone Collymore, were shot and killed leaving a substantial insurance to one beneficiary, Omar “Best” Collymore.
Angela was insured for a whopping USD $1 million from which Omar received USD $400,000, that he claimed two years after her death. Simone Collymore is rumored to be insured for an impressive sum of JMD $3 billion.
Omar wasted no time to jump on his wife’s insurance policy. His plan was however ruined when, on January 19, 2018, he was shot and injured by unknown assailants in the parking lot of the insurance company on his way to file the claim. Then, on January 27, Omar “Best” Collymore was accosted at the Norman Manley International airport amidst a desperate attempt to flee the country only a day before his wife’s funeral
A few weeks later, the police investigations finally caught up to what the rest of the world already believed, and a warrant was issued for Omar’s arrest. By this, two other persons were already in custody, and police are on the hunt for other suspects.
But Omar Collymore did not make it easy. In a nail-biting island-wide manhunt, he was finally caught hiding out at a guest house in the parish of St. Elizabeth, where he was allegedly making arrangements to leave the island by boat.
Omar “Best” Collymore, a US citizen, is expected to make his first court appearance this week.
The families of both deceased women have expressed their sentiments.
“We are very appreciative of the work that the police are doing and the progress that is being made, because it has been really difficult for the family,” Simone Campbell-Collymore's father Wayne Campbell told the Jamaica Observer, while Aguiar’s family hopes that new leads will come from the renewed interest in the case.
The Marley’s have once again asserted their dominance in the reggae industry by securing the 2018 Grammy 60th Anniversary Reggae Album of the Year Award. For the Marley family, this has been since 1998 after the award was introduced in 1984. The Marley’s have taken home this award ever since, the exception of eight of those years where a few other individuals were able to get a slice of the pie. This means that the iconic family have taken home the golden trophy for total of twelve years.
In 2014 Orly Agai Marley, the wife of six-time Grammy-winner David “Ziggy” Marley was elected a governor of the Lost Angeles Chapter of The Recording Academy, 40-member voting group which is eligible for nomination and consideration for who to give the music honor to. Born in Israel, Orly Agai Marley is the mother of three children with Ziggy.
It is no doubt that the Marley’s have been providing us with sensational, breathtaking roots rocking reggae since the Legend Bob Marley came on the world stage in 1973. Bob Marley, with no reservation, belongs to the Reggae hall of fame - in fact, he created it, literally.
In this year’s 60th staging of the Grammy Awards, the best reggae album again went to Marley’s. The album; ‘Stony Hill’ by Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley was selected over that of other major artists like Chronixx, and Morgan Heritage. Once again, congratulations to Jr. Gong with this Award, you made your family and country proud.
However, for years the loyal Viewers of the Grammy’s have expressed their doubt in the selection process for the awards. Some persons have sighted instances of bias and sometimes racism in the choices. In 2017 the fans of ‘Queen Bee’ were all heartbroken when the best album of the year went to Adele’s ‘25’ instead of Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’. In addition, Adele subtly hinted that the award should have went to Beyoncé instead.
The 60th Grammy awards again was charged Bias, this time with the best Reggae Album of the year.
Whether or not the album was the best of all the nominations, having a sister-in-law as the Governor of the Board in charge of selecting the winner of the Award that you are vying for is a clear conflict of interest. This will definitely add ‘fuel to the fire’ to those that think that the Grammy Awards are given to not the most talented or best act, but the friends of those who are in charge. Moreover, is it now clear that this bias is no longer being covertly expressed, but now right in our faces?
To the loyal viewers, skeptics and critical analysis of the Grammy Awards, what do you think about this?
December 29th 2017
A glimmer of hope as the warring factions talk peace. A Civil War waging in Mountain View while the Prime Minister sits quiet, the army sits in Up Park Camp and some of the country’s police goes on Sick out.
The shots rang out as if it is Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan. The women and kids scream as the gunmen empty loads of clips of their heavy duty automatic weapons. This is not the Middle East. This is Kingston, Jamaica and specifically the Oliver Road and Jarrett Lane community in Mountain View.
According to reports, representatives from the two warring factions showed up at the Mountain View New Testament Church on Thursday December 28th/ 2017. The meeting includes the Peace Management Initiative and the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
Superintending Victor Hamilton told the Media that the men who are killing each other are men who grew up together. Other reports stated that the war began when a man was beaten and four high powered rifles were taken from him. The war have claimed many lives and left the community trembling with fear. A two year old child was among those shot and were taken to hospital where he was treated.
In a video circulating on Social Media, you can hear the noise of bullets ran out like wild fire. A woman in the audio says, “one dead”. The person who was making the audio was right in the middle of the chaos. It is like she was part of the war. At least she knows the people who are involved because we could hear the gunmen talking to each other. One woman says, the men are killing someone because the other side killed one of their men. They begin to shout DEM A COME, DEM A COME, DEM A COME. She was warning the men the police are coming. It was very frightening to listen to and one must wonder how can the police not get control or end the situation?
How hard can it be to find this woman? According to what Superintending Victor Hamilton said, these are people from the community. Therefore, one could argue it is not hard to pick them up. This event is one of many endless wars and murders in the communities of Jamaica? The whole of Jamaica is in a State of Anomie. It is clear that the gunmen and women are not afraid of the authorities. From the audio one could easily argue these people see themselves outside of the laws of Jamaica.
There was a huge response of police including the Commissioner of police George Quallo in the area. A barrage of weapons were seized and many of the gunmen were taken in custody. According to the police, the fraction has caused other criminals to flood the area. But one must ask, is the police doing enough? Why is it so hard to bring peace and security to such a small Island and where everyone knows everyone and knows who are doing what?
What does this peace talk means? Does it mean the gunmen will keep their guns and stay out of lockup as long as they keep the peace? It is very well they are talking peace but with this not an isolated situation in Jamaica one can’t help not to hold the police and the government accountable. What is the government doing to stop the loads of weapons coming into the Island? Are there enough detective work being done in the communities to bring the ring leaders to justice and cease gun violence? Or is the overwhelming response by the police just a band aide and not a real solution?
The news broke on Nov 2nd and confirms all suspicions about what many of us already knew, Bernie Sanders did not have a chance of winning the Democratic nomination. Donna Brazile published an excerpt from her new book in the Politico Magazine. She went into details about the 2016 Democratic Primaries between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Many would call her revelations the SMOKING GUN. In fact, one journalist call her revelations the Habeas corpus. This is it!
If one can remember, Donna Brazile was disgraced and lost her job at CNN for allegedly giving information to Hillary during a debate between Hillary and Bernie Sanders. According to those reports, Brazile resigned from the network on October 14, three days after Wikileaks released an email in which Brazile says she got advance questions before a town hall event. "From time to time I get the questions in advance," she wrote in the email~ http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/31/media/donna-brazile-cnn-resignation/index.html
One must note that, Brazile denied giving the campaign advance warning, saying that "as a long-time political activist" she had shared her thoughts "with each and every campaign, and any suggestions that indicate otherwise are simply untrue."~ http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/31/media/donna-brazile-cnn-resignation/index.html
Nonetheless, the allegation that she gave information to Hillary and the Hillary Campaign spurred her resignation and therefore lost her job at CNN. Not too long thereafter, Brazile was appointed interim chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Many would argue that once loved and respected Donna Brazile had lost credibility as an honest and objective journalist. Many people had publicly expressed their anger towards her.
Donna Brazile has now resurfaced in what many could describe as a revenge fashion. She is now talking openly, about what some would say, against the Party she once represented. According to Brazile, in a nutshell, THERE WAS NO DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY!
She explained that she called Bernie Sanders and here is what she says, “Before I called Bernie Sanders, I lit a candle in my living room and put on some gospel music. I wanted to center myself for what I knew would be an emotional phone call”.
She went on to say, “I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested”. ~ https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/02/clinton-brazile-hacks-2016-215774
Could this revelation be Donna Brazile trying to recoup her credibility as a journalist?
Notably, she said “she promised Bernie she would look into the matter”. So she is now claiming to share her journalistic investigation to the world. Does this give Donna Brazile back her journalistic credibility? Or is she just talking because she has nothing left?
Donna Brazile said, Obama left the party $24 million in debt—$15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 campaign—and had been paying that off very slowly~https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/02/clinton-brazile-hacks-2016-215774
Obama’s campaign was not scheduled to pay it off until 2016. Hillary for America (the campaign) and the Hillary Victory Fund (its joint fundraising vehicle with the DNC) had taken care of 80 percent of the remaining debt in 2016, about $10 million, and had placed the party on an allowance~https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/02/clinton-brazile-hacks-2016-215774
With the Hillary campaign taking on the DNC debt, she signed an agreement to gain full control of the DNC one whole year before she got the nomination. Please note, it is not illegal for any Nominee to have control over the DNC but NOT before they get the nomination.
They must get the DNC presidential nomination, then of course, it would be fair for the campaign to want to party to work in their favour
The question is, why Bernie continued the Primaries knowing he could not win? After all this revelations why has Bernie not come out and speak about it?
Bernie knew he had the support to run as a Third Party Candidate, why did he stayed with the Democratic Party knowing he could not win?
Where does all the money go that Bernie took from the public? I, as many people would want to hear an honest and clear answer from Bernie Saunders.
I would say at least he owes this to his supporters.
Here is the Politico Magazine article with the excerpt from Donna Brazile" new book
Hacks~Donna Brazile. Will be available November 7th 2017
On November 1st 2017 Jamaica Live reported on a story about a white girl and her Jamaican roommate at the University of Hartford. We can now report that the Student has been arrested and charged with third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree breach of peace. Many are left with shocked and angered that the student was not charged with a hate crime or a more serious offenses. There are reports that the Jamaican student was asked to sign document detailing that she should not speak about the incident. Additionally, a restraining order was signed by both girls.
Whether or not the Jamaican roommate was asked to sign a document not to speak, that document did not stop her from speaking as we have the video of her telling her full story.
See video below
To recall, a Jamaican Student studying at the University of Hartford in Connecticut was assigned a roommate by random. She began to get sick for about a month. She went to the school health clinic and got antibiotic. After she decided to move out she was confronted by her neighbour and was shown posting from her former roommate's Instagram Page. Apparently, her white roommate was poisoning her and making her sick.
The white roommate’s name is Brianna Brochu and she has confessed to the police of committing dangerous and egregious acts towards her Jamaican roommate Chennel Rowe.
Some of the disgusting acts where as she stated, rubbing used tampons on her black roommate’s bag and contaminating her eating utensils, toothbrush and other beauty products "Finally did it yo girl got rid of her roommate!! After 1 1/2 month of spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotions, rubbing used tampons on her backpack, putting her toothbrush places where the sun doesn't shine and so much more I can finally say goodbye Jamaican Barbie."
The school has now confirmed the white student has been expelled