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Maroons: Queen must pay

Say monarch has breached 1738 peace treaty; demand end to bauxite mining in Cockpit Country

BY SHARLENE HENDRICKS
Observer staff reporter
hendrickss@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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The Maroon community in Jamaica has sent official correspondence to Her Majesty The Queen, claiming that the issuing of bauxite mining leases in the Cockpit Country is tantamount to her breaching the peace treaty signed with their ancestors, the Leeward Maroons, in 1738.

As such, the Maroons are demanding that in order to remedy the breach and restore the peace, all bauxite mining activity in the Cockpit Country and its surrounding protected areas must cease and The Queen should pay “an environmental fine in the amount of Accompong Lumi 262 million, which is to be deposited with the chief receiver at the Central Solar Reserve Bank of Accompong with the instruction of allocation for the reduction of carbon emissions via the development of solar energy infrastructure”.

Yesterday, Chief Semako I, who identified himself as the minister of finance for the Accompong Maroons in Jamaica, and whose given name is Timothy McPherson, told the Jamaica Observer that the Lumi is a currency that was enacted by the Government of Accompong in 2014 and was officially issued for release at the beginning of 2018.

“The currency is going to be entered into the international market this year. The way it is structured is, it is similar to the gold structure, but rather than using gold as its value it uses solar energy as its underlying value. So its structure is designed to help engage in the battle against carbon emissions and facilitate climate action activity,” Semako I said.

“It is also being established as the official currency for the six regions of the African diaspora,” he added.

Asked how the currency is valued, Semako I said each Lumi is valued at 100 kilowatt hours (kWh). “We nominalise the kilowatt hour currently at 10 cents per kilowatt hour so one Lumi is approximately US$10,” he explained.

He also said that the Central Solar Reserve Bank of Accompong exists in that Maroon community in St Elizabeth.

The two-page document, a copy of which was shared with the Observer, is addressed to Her Majesty Queen of Jamaica claiming a 'Violation of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship'.

Chief Semako I told the Observer that the document was sent via e-mail to the governor general's office on Monday, and was physically delivered yesterday, with the expectation that the correspondence will be sent to The Queen.

“We have sent our documentation directly to the governor general who is Her Majesty's designated representative on this island Xaymaca. We sent the message to Sir Patrick Allen yesterday so if The Queen is not in receipt of that communication, it is simply as a consequence of his inability to deliver that correspondence that was addressed to Her Majesty The Queen of England and Jamaica,” Semako I said as a crowd gathered at National Heroes' Circle to march to Parliament in protest against the prospect of mining in the Cockpit Country.

When the Observer contacted the governor general's office, a member of the secretariat confirmed that the document had been received and that it will be processed and brought to Sir Patrick's attention today.

“What we have come to reaffirm is the fact that the Maroons have put forth a non-negotiable veto against any mining within the Cockpit region,” Semako I said. “There are many sovereigns on this island of which The Queen of England is simply one. This is the island of Xaymaca. She has her territories and plantations and estates which are called Jamaica, on the island of Xaymaca, and what she does in her territories cannot infringe upon what we do in our sovereign space.

“Consequently, we have a peace treaty with the Queen of Jamaica and we find that mining in the Cockpit region is a complete violation of the terms of peace and friendship which we had extended to her forefathers, being King George, and which she is bound to by a treaty unto this day and into perpetuity,” said Semako I.

In the document, the Maroons state: “We must furthermore and accordingly declare that The Queen of Jamaica, through her own handling or by means of proxy, did issue mining leases ML 173 et al and in so doing has violated oaths of peace and friendship made by noble blood.”

Semako I said the Maroon community is also calling on The Queen to acknowledge and honour the terms of the peace treaty that was signed into perpetuity.

Asked whether he expected the Jamaican Government and the governor general to respect their 280-year-old agreement with the British, Semako I replied: “We are not concerned about the opinions of the Government of Jamaica. We don't need their approval, and we are not concerned with the opinions of the governor general, Sir Patrick Allen. I, nor any of the Maroons in Jamaica, require his approval. What we are concerned about is the landholder who is The Queen of England and of Jamaica, who is in violation of the terms of peace and friendship upon which she is bound and obliged through oaths and treaties of noble blood.”

“It is not up to us to justify our presence. We are the indigenous here. It is the terms of peace which allow and permit Her Majesty The Queen to be here in peaceful accord and friendship with us. So there can be no question of whether we have documentation to prove that we can be here on the island of Xaymaca. It is our island,” said Semako I. “The question is, does Her Majesty The Queen have her papers in order?”

“Our aim is to maintain an atmosphere of peace and friendship because this treaty is inviolable. It shall go on into perpetuity. But she has violated it, and it is up to her to bring it back to a normal condition of cordiality and trust.

“It is my hope that not only can we re-establish peace between the Maroons of this island and the other sovereign, being The Queen of Jamaica, but have The Queen bring herself back into a condition of due care, but more importantly, that we begin to cooperate,” he said.


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