Is Ja a Robin Hood state?

Jamaica Gleaner - - @ISSUE - Tony Deyal

THE EDITOR, Sir: THE CON­TRO­VERSY sur­round­ing the in­fa­mous 85 Red Hills Road in­for­mal set­tle­ment has reached a very trou­bling cli­max. Based on my un­der­stand­ing, the Govern­ment will be pur­chas­ing the land, un­der some am­bigu­ous 1970s law, dis­miss­ing the fact that the le­gal own­ers do not wish to sell the land, but to con­struct a com­mer­cial build­ing.

Is Ja­maica now a Robin Hood-type state? In my view, this is not a morally le­gal trans­ac­tion. I view this no less than a bul­ly­ing tac­tic to se­cure votes and ex­tor­tion at the high­est level.

In con­trast, how­ever, I do see the hu­man­i­tar­ian side of this whole dis­pu­ta­tion. I be­lieve Ja­maicans should have a por­tion of their birth land, but legally so. Can we now af­ford, as a coun­try, the sit­u­a­tion where ev­ery­one be­lieves he can il­le­gally oc­cupy land that is owned by some­one else, and as time tran­scends, the Govern­ment will seize it and pass it over to them?

I’m dis­ap­pointed in our Govern­ment, es­pe­cially our prime min­is­ter, for al­low­ing abuse of power from his Govern­ment. Prove me wrong! If it is good­will, give those peo­ple Crown land to set­tle on. Al­low­ing this pur­chase, even though declar­ing the court’s rul­ing as ill re­searched, af­ter it de­clared the oc­cu­pa­tion il­le­gal and re­jected an in­junc­tion to bar evic­tion, is a slap in the face of moral and eth­i­cal prin­ci­ples. Is Ja­maica now a Robin Hood state? ZAVIER SIMP­SON za­vier_simp­son@hot­mail.com

IT WAS a dark, moon­less night. While this is the first sen­tence of a 1974 Har­lequin ro­mance by Anne Mather, it is also the start of an event that took place once upon a time in Sri Lanka and In­dia many, many moons ago. Ra­vana, who had 10 arms and 10 heads, was the wicked king of the is­land of Sri Lanka. He kid­napped Sita, the wife of Rama, the ex­iled heir to the throne of Ay­o­d­hya (an an­cient In­dian city also known as Saket).

Rama’s re­turn with Sita to Ay­o­d­hya and his sub­se­quent coro­na­tion as king is cel­e­brated at Di­wali. It is said that when Rama and Sita first re­turned to Ay­o­d­hya it was a dark, moon­less night and they couldn’t see where they were go­ing, so that the towns­peo­ple put lit­tle lamps out­side their houses to make sure that the new king and queen would find their way safely home.

This is the story be­hind Di­wali (or Di­vali in Trinidad), the fes­ti­val of lights, which is be­ing cel­e­brated to­day in Trinidad and some other Caribbean coun­tries where there are peo­ple of In­dian de­scent, and to­mor­row, Oc­to­ber 30, in In­dia, where it all started.

The main fes­ti­val is sup­posed to be

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