TIVOLI APOL­OGY - Hol­ness to Apol­o­gise in Par­lia­ment for Deadly May 2010 Op­er­a­tion

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

The Gov­ern­ment is to of­fer an apol­ogy to res­i­dents of West Kingston over the op­er­a­tion by se­cu­rity forces in the area in May 2010, which left dozens dead and in­jured and cost mil­lions in dam­age to houses and other prop­er­ties.

Jus­tice Min­is­ter Del­roy Chuck told The Gleaner-Power 106 News that the apol­ogy was be­ing crafted, ad­ding, “in a mat­ter of weeks, it is likely that it is to be pre­sented to Par­lia­ment.” The apol­ogy is ex­pected to be de­liv­ered by Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness.

Mak­ing an apol­ogy is one of the 15 rec­om­men­da­tions made by the com­mis­sion of in­quiry into the in­cur­sion. The 900-page re­port was re­leased to the pub­lic in June.

“With the deaths of 73 civil­ians and a sol­dier, the com­mis­sion noted that a pub­lic apol­ogy is nec­es­sary in or­der to as­suage the hurt feel­ings, bit­ter­ness, and re­sent­ment of the peo­ple of West Kingston, and, with a view to pro­mot­ing restora­tive jus­tice and bring­ing clo­sure to this sorry chap­ter in Ja­maica’s his­tory,” the re­port stated. “We rec­om­mend that the Gov­ern­ment of Ja­maica apol­o­gise in Par­lia­ment to the peo­ple of West Kingston, and Ja­maica as a whole, for the ex­cesses of the se­cu­rity forces dur­ing the op­er­a­tion. The Gov­ern­ment is, in the last re­sort, re­spon­si­ble for the con­duct of its se­cu­rity forces.”

Re­gard­ing re­dress, Chuck said a com­pen­sa­tion com­mit­tee is to be set up “soon” and that he hopes it will com­plete its work “in a mat­ter of months”.

A state­ment is­sued on Tues­day by the jus­tice min­istry in­di­cated that the Cabi­net com­mit­tee re­view­ing the re­port of the May 2010 Com­mis­sion of In­quiry is tak­ing steps to come up with a sys­tem to im­ple­ment the com­mis­sion’s rec­om­men­da­tions.

“The com­mit­tee is cur­rently look­ing at struc­tures and the man­age­ment of the im­ple­men­ta­tion process be­cause while some of the rec­om­men­da­tions are short term, such as the apol­ogy that is to be made to the res­i­dents of West Kingston, some rec­om­men­da­tions will re­quire ex­ten­sive ad­min­is­tra­tive changes and leg­isla­tive in­ter­ven­tions that will be im­ple­mented over a medi­umto long-term pe­riod,” Chuck is quoted as sayng.

Chuck, who chairs the com­mit­tee, says the work of the body would bear in mind the ob­jec­tives of the rec­om­men­da­tions, namely, restor­ing and pro­mot­ing trust and con­fi­dence in the State; com­pen­sat­ing vic­tims for prop­erty dam­age, wrong­ful death, and in­juries; con­trol­ling the use of force of the Ja­maica De­fence Force and the Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary Force; and dis­man­tling gar­risons and mit­i­gat­ing the con­di­tions that give rise to them.

Jus­tice Min­is­ter Del­roy Chuck.

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