Another Tivoli fumble

...And where's Bruce Golding's apology


Monday, December 11, 2017

Print this page Email A Friend!

First, it is just disgusting that the amounts of compensation to named Tivolites were published in the media. Is this the doing of the media only or also of the Compensation Committee? I believe this is an invasion of privacy and it sets up those named for parasites. It is the disrespect shown usually to poor people, but also last year to the West Kingston commissioners.

Secondly, I do not congratulate Prime Minister Andrew Holness for his apology. It is calculatedly sweetened with money compensation. But there is much more to be 'sorry' for than money. He leaves out too many essentials.

The prime minister wants to not apportion blame. But there can be no peace of mind for Tivoli families without the justice of having those responsible for the murder of their sons named, or an explanation given why not.

The West Kingston Commission of Enquiry identified five senior police officers whose dereliction of duty led to the loss of the evidence, making such naming possible. Its further urging that they never again be given operational oversight has even been ignored, at least in one instance. Yet this is only one symptom of the abysmal failure of successive administrations to address the profound inability of the Jamaica Constabulary Force to do its work accountably.

The prime minister claims to have learned the lesson of May 2010. Only superficially, I would say. The non-partisan social follow-up to May 2010 in West Kingston and elsewhere, which is the real lesson when you consider what led to the formation of Tivoli Gardens and thence to the security forces' operation, was anaemic at best. It is now compounded by the setting up of a zone of special operations (ZOSO) in Denham and Hannah towns that excludes their Tivoli Gardens conflict rival; this could have very dangerous consequences.

The ZOSO Social Intervention Committees are yet to seek to mainstream the 250 at-risk youth in Denham Town or the 50 in Mt Salem. A programme to carry out the dismantling of garrisons, which the commission also recommended, and which today would have to refer to their low living standard, seems hardly thought of. Sticking calculatedly to a ZOSO 'plan' without being open to any other, while people to die in droves, makes no sense to most critical observers.

I agree with solitary Opposition critic, Member or Parliament Ronald Thwaites, that not just Holness, but other members of Parliament, should be apologising. But also, n my view, heading the apologisers should be Bruce Golding, who notwithstanding other excellent things he has done fumbled this one badly. He holds a large responsibility for the May 2010 mess.

Horace Levy is a member of the Peace Management Initiative and for many years he has been active in the non-government organisation community. Send comments to the Observer or




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:

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

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

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon