Observer column for MON 30 September 2013
by Jean Lowrie-Chin
|Health Minister Hon Dr Fenton Ferguson and SSP Lewis, Head of Police Traffic Division at World Remembrance Day Service for Crash Victims - Webster Memorial Church|
Now, if you have ever been on the road when our two major political parties are on the campaign trail, you would have seen abject recklessness. There are party supporters hanging out of bus windows, some barely balancing on top of vehicles. When you brainwash people into thinking that they cannot trust in themselves and their God, but trust only in you to ‘eat a food’, it destroys their dignity and results in brutishness. Come on now leaders, let us see you banish this double-standard and agree that you will no longer be contributing to this indiscipline, born out of desperation.
Because, make no mistake about it, it is indiscipline that killed those children on our roads. It is indiscipline that has caused our road safety statistics to soar way beyond last year’s encouraging figures. On September 26 road fatalities had jumped to 219 since the beginning of the year, compared to 187 in the previous year.
|Zoleka Mandela and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at the UN Forum|
“I welcome the UN Secretary General’s inclusion of road safety as a health priority in his report ‘A Life of Dignity for All’,” said the Prime Minister. Let us take that message of dignity to our political platforms to promote greater self-respect among all Jamaicans. It is only then that we will feel safer on our roads, and indeed in our homes and communities.
The madness that unfolded in a Nairobi Mall last weekend reminded us that the evil of terrorism can strike anytime, anywhere. We extend our sympathy to the people of Kenya. Followers of all faiths including Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, need to ask ourselves if we have been diligent enough in spreading our message of peace, love and respect. This calculated, cruel terrorism tells us that we have not. Let us make the effort to soften the hearts of our disaffected human family with the understanding and compassion that is the foundation of all these great religions.
|Governor General Most Hon Sir Kenneth Hall unveils a 'Bold Ones' bread truck featuring logos of the small manufacturers sponsored by National Bakery. Looking on are Lady Hall, National/Continental Chairman Gary 'Butch' Hendrickson and Steven Sykes.|
Hope Zoo benefactor and generous philanthropist Kenny Benjamin, ground-breaking scientist Dr Henry Lowe, and tireless outreach worker Gloria Palomino were honoured in this category. Congrats also to the great outreach organisations and nominees in arts and culture including colleagues Hon Barbara Gloudon, Marjorie Whylie, Winston ‘Sparrow’ Martin, and Sonita Abrahams.
Jamaicans held our collective breath as we awaited the arrival of Tessanne Chin on stage for her audition on “The Voice” on NBC. She did not disappoint – the competition requires that at least one of the four judges who start out with their backs turned to the stage, turn around and offer to coach her. As she belted out Pink’s ‘Try’, every single chair turned and we enjoyed the ‘begging’ by her judges - she chose Adam Levine of the Maroone 5 Band to be her coach. Tessanne – a true Jamaican blend of Chinese, African, European and Cherokee united us and made us proud with her well-developed talent, her authenticity and humility. Kudos to Jimmy Cliff for his mentorship and to Shaggy for encouraging her to audition on The Voice. Let’s get her those votes!