PNPYO QUESTIONS THE ABILITY OF THE OFFICE OF THE DPP TO SECURE JUSTICE FOR CITIZEN

The People’s National Party Youth Oganization (PNPYO) is of the view that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Police did not work collaboratively and effectively enough to secure justice for the family of 17 year old Kingston College student Khajeel Mais in light of the “not guilty” verdict handed to Mr. Patrick Powell in the case of Khajeel’s shooting death. As a result there are some poignant questions that the DPP and the Police should answer.

 

The DPP has lost a number of cases based on lack of evidence. In the case just concluded, the prosecution seemed to have been solely dependent on the testimony of the Taxi Driver, who became a “hostile witness” and changed his statement. Did the witness sign to say his statement was true and if so, will he be charged with perjury in short order? In addition, why wasn’t the focus and reliance on getting scientific and forensic evidence?

 

It was revealed that Mr. Powell refused to hand over his firearm for testing within the five year delay of the case being heard. We understand his right to refuse surrendering his firearm, however we are not convinced of the collaborative effort of the DPP and the Police in ensuring all avenues were explored in obtaining the weapon. Has Mr. Powell been renewing his firearm with the Firearm Licensing Agency (FLA) over the five year period? If yes, was the FLA contacted and empowered to get the ballistic history of the firearm to match it with evidence from the crime scene? If he has not been renewing his firearm license, it would mean that he is now an illegal holder of a firearm and if this is so; will he be charged?

 

The PNPYO is extremely disappointed in the way in which the cased progressed and concluded after five years of delay. We are of the view that it is a travesty of justice and both the DPP and the Police need to get their act together when handling these cases because as is, justice is NOT being served.

 

We offer our condolences to the family and friends of Khajeel Mais.

 For More Information:Andrae Blair

President, PNPYO

Tel: 581-8733

Email: andrae_blair@yahoo.com

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PNPYO RESPONDS TO JLP CLAIMS OF HYPOCRISY

Kingston, Jamaica:- The PNPYO is flabbergasted that the JLP could consider ‘hypocritical’ our commendations for the Minister to celebrate the successes of our athletes, while offering, what the JLP themselves have admitted are commendable alternate recommendations.
The PNPYO is of the firm belief that the proposals are of a developmental nature and we would hope that the current JLP administration would want to take them on board.

If the JLP were truly of a developmental mindset they would see that the implementation of an Athletics Sculpture Park and a Sports Museum would not only honour the proud achievements of our athletes but would be monumental attractions in significantly developing Jamaica’s sports tourism product.

What better way to honour the legacy of our athletes than to develop the Athletics Center of Excellence which will act as a catalyst to ensure Jamaica’s continued success as an athletics super power.

The PNPYO is an organization with a developmental outlook and we are only interested in having conversations geared towards the growth and development of Jamaica. We hoped that the JLP would have been able to develop such a culture, but alas they have proved once again the “Old Habits Die Hard”.

For More Information, Contact:

Andrae Blair

President, PNPYO

Tel: 581-8733

Email: andrae_blair@yahoo.com

PNPYO SAYS SPEND THE J$82M ON SPORTS LEGACY PROGRAMMES 

Kingston, Jamaica:- The People’s National Party Youth Organization commends the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, Youth and Culture, the Hon. Olivia Grange, in continuing the tradition of celebrating our athletes and we once again congratulate Team Jamaica on its stellar performance at 2016 Summer Olympics held in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. However, the PNPYO believes that the J$82M spent on the execution of the celebratory activities could be put to better use if the Government focused on projects that will honour the legacy of the athletes and subsequently benefit Jamaica’s athletics program for the foreseeable future.Minister Grange has stated that J$40M will be allocated to cover the actual expenses of the celebrations, with the other J$42M million disbursed to cover cash prizes to the individual athletes, coaches and managers. Minister Grange has revealed that the event will be funded using the Sports Development Foundation, the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports, and Education Fund (CHASE), the Ministry of Tourism, and a number of private sponsors. Nevertheless, the PNPYO is recommending that even $42 million of that total cost could be used to commission 3 legacy projects:

– The establishment of a Jamaica Sports Museum.

– The creation of a Jamaica Athletics Sculpture Park.

– The creation of The Jamaica Athletics Center of Excellence.

The Center of Excellence will be equipped with all the requisite facilities to provide training for our athletes, first world physiotherapy facilities, nutrition needs, as well as being staffed by management professionals who can continue to provide adequate guidance and management to our athletes, particularly the young and upcoming who are yet to establish themselves and are unable to afford those much needed services.

We would further recommend that all three projects, be jointly managed by the Sports Development Foundation and that the proceeds from all three ventures be used for the management and maintenance of the Athletics Center of Excellence.

It is important that we do not execute large celebratory events just to “tick a box” or to revel in great moments but we ensure that while we celebrate we also envision projects that can bring tangible benefits and impact the future of our rich athletic history. Again, the PNPYO extends a very hearty congratulation to our athletes.

 

For More Information, Contact:

Connoly Black

Opposition Youth Spokesperson on Tourism & Sports

Vice President of the PNPYO

blackconnoly@outlook.com

Andrae Blair

President, PNPYO

Tel: 581-8733

Email: andrae_blair@yahoo.com

Using Music & The Arts To Eliminate Political Apathy

“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up in mine, we can work together.” — Lilla Watson

I believe this quote is perfectly adequate to initiate the conversation about how we can alleviate the systemic problem of political apathy amongst the youth in Jamaica. Political apathy can be simply defined as the indifference on the part of any citizen of any country with regard to their attitude towards political activities. The youth in Jamaica are heavily affected by this unfortunate sociopolitical issue, that could be significantly inhibiting progress in our island. It is not very difficult to find empirical evidence to substantiate the true cause of political apathy amongst youth but there are a number of assertions I would make as to why this problem exists.

Prior to making these assertions as to why political apathy exists, it is first important to highlight that this is an issue for many countries including the United States of America. The Huffington Post describes political apathy as a nefarious disease plaguing our nation with devastating efficiency. It is rooted in the lack of awareness young people have on pertinent political issues. As a result of this lack of awareness, politicians exclude young people from the political process because not only are they lacking interest but also lacking in nuanced political perspectives. This lack of nuanced political perspectives disables them from making informed political decisions. American author Martin Wattenberg investigates this with an indelible sense of intricacy and detail in his book “Is Voting For Young People?”  Wattenberg provides statistical evidence to prove that young people are indeed not informed enough on political issues and the evidence he presents shows that this has been an issue for quite some time. On July 2, 1964 the civil rights bill was passed. This bill outlawed any form of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or nationality. Just by the nature of the law, it is beyond reasonable to predicate that this was a very important day in American history. Despite the fact that this law affected the entire society; only 77% of young people heard about the bill as opposed to 80% of people between ages 30-44.

In more recent times like the year 2004, young persons were asked if they heard a lot about the U.S planning to hand over civilian authority to Iraqi leaders and only 23% of young persons were aware of this political issue. Based on the statistical evidence presented, it is noticeable that the percentage figures decrease significantly between the years 1964 and 2004. This statistical observation leads me to my next reason young people are not voting based on the content of Wattenberg’s book and that is the transformation of communications technology. He believes that the paradigm shift in communication from traditional forms such as print media to social media is one of the major factors inhibiting young people from voting.

Millennials are often disenchanted with politics in Jamaica because of the perpetual disappointments and continuous string of unmet expectations they have witnessed or have heard of. As a result of this , many of our youth see politics as an ineffective and irrelevant construct. Additionally, millennials are motivated to action or suppressed to inaction based on perception. If the perception of any institution or societal construct is negative , the youth tend to show a significant lack of interest and politics is no different.

The beauty of perception is that it always has the power to change. It would be remiss of me to postulate the potential causes of political apathy without making assertions about the potential solutions. The unending love our youth have for the arts and more specifically music is the solution to any perception oriented challenge we face as a society. For many years, members of the upper echelons of the Jamaican society and even politicians themselves have placed unfair and uninformed indictments on dancehall and reggae music. In the face of dire political apathy, it is time to evolve and in some ways restore our demented view of dancehall and reggae music. We must now embrace that this often criticized and ostracized music might be a major part of the solution. The Electoral Office of Jamaica needs to use local celebrities to do advertisements influencing persons to get enumerated and to educate people about the positive reasons they should vote.

History has also proven that our culture and music is suitable for helping to fix pertinent social issues. If we think back to the 1990’s when HIV/AIDS was one of the most poignant social issues in the country, it was the words of Buju Banton that warned Jamaicans to be cautious while they engaged in their activities of passion. The timeless cliche that; history repeats itself could prove to be true if we aim to use our music and culture to help address the issue of political apathy among our youth in Jamaica.

 

Written by : Stefan Bowes

Contact : Danishka Williams

                   danishkawilliams@gmail.com

                 Opposition Youth Spokesperson on Entertainment & Culture