Dear Editor: I write in reference to your page one editorial of Tuesday May 25, 2010 edition of the Jamaica Observer, captioned "It's been a long time coming".
Before, going into the contents of your editorial, I would like to express my sympathy to the families, friends, and relatives of members of the security forces and the decent and law abiding citizens of Tivoli Gardens and adjoining communities who have lost loved ones in the current civil unrest in Western Kingston.
With that said, I wholeheartedly support the sentiments echoed by your editorial. In fact, I allude your editorial to a well-outlined lesson for the crisis that now engulfs Jamaica, albeit its tardiness.
Interestingly Betty-Ann Blaine, Chris Burns, Jean Lowrie-Chin, Lloyd B. Smith are among the few of your columnist who in past and recent times have commented and warned readers of the danger that had been forthcoming. If my memory serves me right, Betty-Ann Blaine had gone as far as appealing to the Jamaican electorate, just prior to the last general election, to withhold their votes as means of protesting the unbecoming behavior of our politicians.
The problems and the mayhem that now beset Jamaica, as well as the beatings and bad publicity inflicted upon her by the foreign press in recent times must be placed squarely on the shoulders of our self-serving politicians. Some of that blame must also be attributed to the private sector. Truth be told, the private sector plays a very integral part in the funding of political parties. While there may be nothing illegal about the private sector funding political parties, the private sector has a duty to see or for that matter ensure that politicians and political parties, especially those receiving its funding behave as how decent citizens ought to behave.
Based on television footage coming out of Tivoli Gardens, it is indeed frightening to see general purpose machine guns (GPMG) at the ready mounted on army vehicles in such vicinity. Equally frightening is the intelligence coming from the security forces that the men operating in Tivoli Gardens have had at their disposal grizzly 50 boar rifles, and were very well prepared to use them. GPMG's and grizzly 50 boar rifles are extremely lethal weapons and are not usually recommended for close-quarters encounters. By definition, Tivoli Gardens is a close-quartered environment.
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