Vice Chancellor, University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, has renewed the call for reparations valuing £76 billion be paid to the descendants of enslaved people of the Caribbean by former European slave-trading nation, Britain.
“The £20 million that they paid to the slave owners should have been paid to the enslaved. We have to make a claim to that money. We have an entitlement to that £20 million that was paid in 1834 (which) today values £76 billion,” he said.
Professor Beckles made the call while speaking on the topic ‘Faked Emancipation, Insincere Independence, Reparatory Justice: A 21st Century Paradigm for Economic Growth’ at a symposium held at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, University of the West Indies, on October 11.
The Professor, who is also Chair of the CARICOM Reparation Commission, further suggested that the Caribbean’s bilateral debt should be offset against the £76 billion.
He argued that the entire Caribbean domestic debt should be capitalised and turned into a grant for social investment in democracy development.
“In other words, the British left us to clean up the mess. When Jamaica became independent, 70 per cent of the Jamaican people could not read or write. They became independent and yet three quarters of them could not read or write and the British said go and develop,” he said.
Professor Beckles informed that this resulted in massive illiteracy, little or no infrastructure, among other things.
“The result is that the Government of Jamaica, like other governments, had to spend millions and billions of dollars to build schools and health systems and that is one of the social democracies that have to be repaid,” he said.
Furthermore, Professor Beckles is calling for the creation of a Caribbean Sustainability Fund. “We need a fund, a Marshall Plan to help to clean up this mess that we inherited, that we have been trying to clean up; but we cannot do it by ourselves, because we did not create it, and despite our best efforts, it is overwhelming us,” he said.
“Britain needs to be brought to the table to discuss the process of reparation, and if we can take this conversation to the higher level and make these demands… then these should become the basis of a summit,” he said.
Meanwhile, Director, Centre for Reparation Research, Professor Verene Shepherd, in a message said the discussions are anchored within the context of history, human rights, the right to development, ethical and moral obligation, legal justification and political responsibility in the postcolonial age, looking at government responses to reparation and comparing different national/transnational political contexts.
Jamaica is ready for the Olympics, says Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange.
She was speaking with JIS News at the inaugural staging of the Racers Grand Prix held on Saturday (June 11) at the National Stadium in Kingston.
The international track and field event, organised by the Racers Track Club, attracted some of the world’s leading athletes.
“I think tonight is just awesome. We have the best athletes in the world tonight and the best athletes in Jamaica and we have had an excellent turnout. What this means is that we are ready for Rio,” she said. Continue reading Ready for Rio says Grange→
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has announced that the largest single development of hotels in Jamaican history, being undertaken by Karisma Hotels and Resorts, is now ready to proceed as the hotel chain has signed the relevant documents to move forward with the development.
Dancehall legend and ‘Don Gorgon’ Ninja Man, gave the ninth season of Magnum Kings and Queens the nod of approval on last Saturday’s edition of the show.
Ninja Man joined the show’s panel of judges Skatta Burrell, Miss Kitty and Professor Nuts as a guest and was completely floored by the level of talent of the show’s top six performers: Magnum Princes Zigma, Shemdon and Accid and Princesses Clymax, Mi Ya Estro and Mystery P.
“Ah the best Magnum show this. Accid did have the wickedest lyrics inna the show. Ah the best artiste dem this weh me ever see pon Magnum, me nuh care what nobody say. This is the show!” said the Gorgon.
“It’s not my first time being a guest judge on Magnum [Kings and Queens]. Seeing what Magnum is producing right now – this time the team sit down and really fine tune and pick a proper set of artistes; and these artistes are some artistes that deliver, them have good lyrics, them know how to perform… them remind me of the eighties artistes because me get to laugh, me get fi enjoy good lyrics. Me need some of the artiste them weh a record right now fi take a page out of them young people book. Yuh nuh haffi go the slack way and the nasty way and the careless way. Lyrics deh weh you can talk weh people can laugh,” reiterates Ninja Man.