Gov't must be decisive in allowing entry of stranded J'cans, says Phillips

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Gov't must be decisive in allowing entry of stranded J'cans, says Phillips

Monday, May 18, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Leader of the Opposition, Dr Peter Phillips, says the indecisiveness by the Government caused great uncertainty, stress and anxiety among the 1,044 Jamaican crew members, who have been stranded aboard the Adventures of the Sea cruise ship since March.

The cruise ship, which was to dock in Falmouth today, is currently off the coast of Haiti awaiting permission from the Jamaican Government to dock here.

In a statement released a short while ago, Phillips said “every Jamaican citizen, under the Constitution of Jamaica, is entitled to the right to freedom of movement, this includes the right to enter their country.

Section 13(3)(f) of the Constitution, which is a part of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedom, provides that one of the fundamental rights and freedoms to which each Jamaican citizen is entitled is: “the right of freedom of movement, that is to say, the right:- (i) of every citizen of Jamaica to enter Jamaica; and (ii) of every person lawfully in Jamaica, to move around freely throughout Jamaica, to reside in any part of the Jamaica and to leave Jamaica.”

The Opposition leader said the crew members have the right of entry to Jamaica and the Government must move expeditiously to facilitate their re-entry, while protecting the health of all Jamaicans.

“From as early as March 2, the Government was told in Parliament about this impending situation and was subsequently reminded on a number of occasions, long before this became a crisis, and yet to date, they remain indecisive as to how to manage this self-imposed crisis,” Phillips noted.

“Jamaicans need to know why no proper arrangement for testing on arrival and provisions for quarantine as necessary process, have been put in place to ensure the safe re-entry of hard working, taxpaying Jamaicans who serve in the cruise shipping industry. The government is the servant of the people and must act in the best interests of all,” he added.

Phillips said the absence of quarantine space, cannot be used as an excuse as the government has been long aware of the number of Jamaicans who are stuck overseas.

Phillips said he is calling on Prime Minister Andrew Holness to resolve the issues stalling permission to enter Jamaican waters so the ship can be docked at Falmouth in accordance with the plans and in fulfillment of the rights of the Jamaican workers.

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