Com­pen­sa­tion could come to west Kgn res­i­dents within nine months

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE -

RES­I­DENTS OF west Kingston are one step closer to know­ing if they will be com­pen­sated, and by how much, for the May 2010 po­lice-mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion in their com­mu­ni­ties that left a trail of death and de­struc­tion.

The Gov­ern­ment has es­tab­lished a Com­pen­sa­tion Com­mit­tee to in­ves­ti­gate claims of losses aris­ing from the op­er­a­tion in west Kingston.

The com­mit­tee is to be chaired by re­tired pres­i­dent of the Court of Ap­peal, Jus­tice Sey­mour Pan­ton.

The Gov­ern­ment says the other mem­bers will be named soon, adding that the com­mit­tee’s work should be­gin by the end of this month.

The set­ting up of the body is in keep­ing with rec­om­men­da­tions made by the com­mis­sion of en­quiry into the op­er­a­tion.

Cabi­net has in­structed that the Com­pen­sa­tion Com­mit­tee com­plete its work within nine months of its ap­point­ment as was rec­om­mended in the com­mis­sion of en­quiry re­port.

The West Kingston Com­mis­sion of En­quiry had con­cluded that res­i­dents of west Kingston who were im­pacted by the po­lice-mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion be com­pen­sated fairly and promptly.

“Since there al­ready ex­ists in the pos­ses­sion of the Min­istry of Labour and So­cial Se­cu­rity and the Of­fice of the Public De­fender a sub­stan­tial body of rel­e­vant and use­ful doc­u­men­ta­tion re­lat­ing to loss and dam­age of prop­erty, we do not en­vis­age that this rec­om­men­da­tion will in­volve a pro­tracted ex­er­cise,” the com­mis­sion re­port read.

Pre­vi­ously, the Gov­ern­ment, through the Min­istry of Labour and So­cial Se­cu­rity, paid out nearly $100 mil­lion to res­i­dents of west Kingston who were dis­placed as a re­sult of the op­er­a­tion.

The min­istry has said that the money was not com­pen­sa­tion but was paid in re­sponse to hu­man­i­tar­ian needs.

Mean­while, the Ad Hoc Com­mit­tee of Cabi­net, which was set up by Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness, has sub­mit­ted re­ports to the Cabi­net pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion on the progress of the min­istries of Jus­tice and Na­tional Se­cu­rity in im­ple­ment­ing 14 of the 15 rec­om­men­da­tions.

It is ex­pected that the fi­nal re­port of the Ad Hoc Com­mit­tee will be made be­fore the end of this month.

That re­port will form the ba­sis for state­ments from the prime min­is­ter, and the min­is­ters of jus­tice and na­tional se­cu­rity to the Par­lia­ment.

Hol­ness es­tab­lished the Ad Hoc Com­mit­tee in June to ex­am­ine and re­view the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Com­mis­sion of En­quiry and ad­vise the Cabi­net on the way for­ward.

FILE

A Tivoli Gar­dens res­i­dent protests deaths from the po­lice-mil­i­tary as­sault of 2010. Here, she and scores of oth­ers marched on Gor­don House on May 27, 2014, in their bid to de­liver a let­ter to then Prime Min­is­ter Por­tia Simp­son Miller.

PAN­TON

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