News

Obeah and whipping can't help us now!

BY BALFORD HENRY Senior staff reporter balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, February 28, 2013    

Print this page Email A Friend!


OPPOSITION Member of Parliament Daryl Vaz has criticised his colleagues in Parliament for focusing on three bills removing flogging from the criminal law books, while ignoring more current issues like crime and the economy.

On Tuesday, Vaz told the House, during the debate on the Bills, that while the removal of flogging from criminal laws was important, he felt that the timing was bad when crime and the economy were more pressing problems demanding the immediate attention of Parliament.

"When you have the NHT issue that is on the minds of everybody in Jamaica and the hottest topic item in Jamaica, and we are here talking about obeah and whipping! I am not saying it should not be addressed. All I am saying is that with the limited time that we meet, and the amount of legislation that we have left over from successive administrations, serious times require serious actions," Vaz told the House.

He noted the urgency with which two bills — the Larceny Act and the Obeah Act — were amended and a new Law Reform bill repealing all legislation with provisions for flogging and whipping was passed over the last two weeks, and questioned whether the public agreed that they were priorities.

"Is this something that we need to be doing at this time in 2013, when we have some of the greatest challenges, not only facing the world but facing our beloved country?" he asked, noting that there were long outstanding crime bills to be tabled and debated.

"The fact of the matter is that it (flogging) has been on the books for time immemorial, and the truth of the matter is that neither the obeah, neither the backra master nor the slave can help us now as we speak in 2013," he contended.

"As legislators we need to make sure... to get our house in order and get to some serious business," he concluded.

The three bills, which were passed by the Senate on February 15, were eventually passed by the House of Representatives yesterday.

ADVERTISEMENT

POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

Should the shift system be eliminated  in all high schools?
Yes
No
Not All


View Results »


ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT