Why is Portia Simpson being criticized for declaring a state of emergency in Jamaica after Hurricane Dean hit?
Is it because elections can then be postponed?
- joeLv 51 decade agoFavorite Answer
Read this it is from the Jamaica Observer!
End that State of Public Emergency now
Page 1 Editorial
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Let there be no doubt or equivocation about our position. This State of Public Emergency declared Sunday night cannot and must not stand.
We believe that there is absolutely no justification for it and, if it were meant to help, then it has had the very opposite effect, by creating a perception in the outside world, and among tourists, in particular, that Jamaica is not open for business.
A State of Public Emergency is an extreme action to be taken only after the most careful evaluation of a potential crisis facing the country. Conceivably, the prime minister might have thought, amidst the howling winds of Hurricane Dean, that it was necessary to take such strong action to provide the security forces with extraordinary powers to deal with any widescale looting and disorder during and after the storm.
We note that under former Prime Minister P J Patterson one was declared at the time of Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
But there is a big difference between the declaration in 2004 and Sunday night's declaration. In the case of the former, the State of Public Emergency was called before the arrival of the hurricane, a proactive move that benefited from the lessons of Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 when there was massive looting.
In this latter case, the declaration came after hurricane conditions had begun to affect Jamaica, and might have been, at best, an after-thought which itself would be no consolation to anyone.
But even had it been an after-thought, immediately after the passage of Hurricane Dean Sunday night, there were indications - and by morning it had become abundantly clear - that the prerequisite conditions for a State of Public Emergency were non-existent and there was no need for it. We, therefore, were expecting that the first order of business yesterday morning would have been to rescind the declaration.
If the Government feels it needs to take strong measures in the current situation, it should be sufficient to utilise the curfews that were imposed prior to the arrival of the hurricane.
While it remains in force, the State of Public Emergency threatens the Jamaican economy with potential loss of earnings which we can scarcely afford, particularly from the vital tourist industry which, ironically, reports minimal damage. Tourists have a penchant, and who could blame them, for cancelling plans to visit countries where they are unlikely to have a pleasant vacation.
With the intense interest in Jamaica by the international media covering the storm, the message would have been sent rapidly around the world that Jamaica is not a place to vacation at this time.
We get the feeling that little thought was put into the matter of declaring a State of Public Emergency. Notice that a matter as important as this was left to a government functionary to read to the Jamaican public on a radio station.
Moreover, the nation's experience with a State of Emergency gone awry is an unhappy one and does not inspire confidence in governance. We hope that this dictum will not be used as an excuse for postponing the general elections indefinitely, thereby prolonging the election campaign which has been getting increasingly violent.
The country wants to be over and done with it, in order to get back to normal.Source(s): THE JAMAICA OBSERVER.
- 1 decade ago
I support her on it, the timing is off, the way this Hurricane was to be a MAJOR diaster, islandwide I would have done the same. Who would have thought the utilites would have been restored so quickly in the Corporate Area?!
How would this get votes?! You mad?! Everyone hates a State of Emergency from the Big man to the little man.
I dont beleive its a delay tactic. Who would go out to vote after the Hurricane DUH people the GG would have okayed the postponement of the elections.
Portmore experienced crazy looting.
- 1 decade ago
Originally i was all for it until i got to fully understand exactly what it means.
It means we as citizens have no rights at all. It doesn't only mean criminals. It doesnt mean rema or tivoli. It means every single one of us. It gives the police, army fire brigade etc the authority to search at will to arrest at will without due cause with out warrant. Simply on a whim, simply at their discretion. It also gives them the right to confiscate.
A section of the statute also says that if someone be it the media or whoever is speaking to an issue true or not. TRUE OR NOT. they can be arrested if an authority figure (even a fireman) deems that their utterances can incite violence in the public.
There is no need for a state of emergency now. Especially with the current political climate. And especially in light of what happened in the 1976 state of emergency.
This is a blatant violation of human rights and the abuses have already began.
It is interesting to note that you only need grade nine education to join the police and defense forces and also the fire brigade. GRADE NINE.
- pamulaLv 44 years ago
Dean will extra advantageous than in all probability result Jamaica In a pair of days i've got faith. yet with a hundred forty five MPH winds genuine now if it hits Jamaica head on, there will be harm and skill outages prolly everywhere i could carry off some months so issues gets straightened out from the aftermath.
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- 1 decade ago
Yes, as Joe pointed out, a delay tactic. Just because she can. ;-)
- 1 decade ago
All in the name of POLITRICKS dear.All in the name of POLITRICKS!!!!
Although I personally do not disagree with her,she is not however,doing it for the safety of the people, but rather it is for political reasons.
I agree with Joe the observer sums it up well.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
because she is just doing it for VOTES DUUUUHH