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Permalink 11:32:06 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Commentary, News

Dudus Captured and extradited... Al Miller, Idiot

I could have written about this a little earlier, but I prefer normally to wait until the smoke clears before I give my opinions on any form of really important happenings, and what happened on Tuesday was one of those really important happenings. Exactly one day after my last post where I stated outright that Dudus is still at large, I was being contacted through email and my phone that Dudus was now in Police custody. I knew better than to take this news as a joke as it has been proven time and time again that my word of mouth news is normally more accurate than the official news.really backward

Dudus safe**Taken from Jamaica Gleaner

Needless to say it was right, and Christopher Dudus Coke was in fact now in police custody. The account of his capture still has about 3 different versions, but for the most part the essence of the story was, he was caught in a spot check while traveling from an unknown location to Kingston in the company of the Reverend Al Miller... but more on that part later. Once the police had gotten hold of him he was treated with the utmost security and secrecy as he was taken to an undisclosed location, so the shootout and war that most people expected didnt happen... as a matter of fact he was captured wearing a wig and really looking quite non-threatning.

Dudus in wig**Taken from Jamaica Gleaner

He was quickly given what can only be described as the quickest court date in the history of independent Jamaica, in a make shift court that was created just for this occasion due to security concerns, where he waived his rights to have a trial locally and stated that he wanted to be extradited straight to the US, in a statement by the strongman, he said that while he does believe that he could have argued his case successfully locally, he wanted to argue his case in the US to fully prove his innocence.

After he signed his extradition papers things really began to sped up as a private Learjet with US Marshalls and Drug Enforcement Agency Officials was on its way to Jamaica to carry Dudus to New York to face trial. Needless to say, the journey from the court to the airport was also quite the secure one, as under full army guard he was transported to the airport and is now in New York safely. One must commend the JDF and the police for their excellent work in ensuring his safe passage, though to be honest I didnt think they would have faced any trouble as this seemed to be exactly the way Dudus wanted it. My only hope now is that during this case, if Dudus really does have evidence against many of our politician's corruption (after all the possibility exists that he actually has none at all), he will begin to sing like a church choir and put all of these people to justice. I also hope that his trial is as fair a trial as possible, because after all a man must have the chance to properly prove his innocence.

Dudus in New York**Taken from Jamaica Gleaner

However my article does not end there. There is now one pressing matter that is on my mind and that is the actions of one Reverend Al Miller. Most of the accounts of the story of Dudus' capture state that he was being escorted by Al Miller, and Al in fact gave a statement from the onset that he was actually planning to carry Dudus to the American embassy and hope that he will be safely carried to the US. Now I am sure anybody who has the ability to read and comprehend will understand from the onset that there was a number of things wrong with his actions, chiefly being that he was breaking the law! There are no ifs, ands, or buts here, the man was carrying a known fugitive of the law away from our local police.

Even if as he stated he was planning to hand up Dudus, one does not simply drive pass 2-3 police stations to carry the man into the custody of the police. Also you cannot while inside of Jamaican jurisdiciton try to have this man placed in another jurisdiction within which he doesn't belong, it just does not happen. Needless to say Al Miller was eventually arrested and charged for Harbouring a fugitive, and preventing the course of justice. However I think they forgot to charge him for public stupidity, but thats just my opinion.

Al Miller Interrogation**Taken from Jamaica Gleaner

What also disturbs me about the Al Miller situation is the fact that after listening to some talk radio for the past couple of days, people have been coming to his defence... This is yet another showing of my belief that our Jamaican society is really backward in their thoughts. People believe that just because he is a man of the cloth he should be treated differently, and that he can do no wrong. Well I have some news for you, while he is living on the earth he is still bound by the laws of the land.

However it would seem that the saga of Dudus in Jamaica has drawn to a close, one can now only look towards the trial to see what will come to light and what will happen to Dudus.

Permalink 10:32:56 am, by amilnal
Categories: Business

Young Jamaicans Represent for Cancer Survivors

Singer and Songwriter Cherine will be singing a slightly different tune this weekend. On Saturday June 26th Cherine, who takes on the hat of Team Captian , will mobilize a passionate and driven group of young Dancehall- SOULdiers (members of Team Dancehall Soul), to help raise funds for cancer awareness, research and outreach at Jamaica Cancer Society's Relay For Life. .

With several activities planned, Anderson is excited about the prospects. All proceeds of Cherine's EP's "The Introduction-Dubstyle" sold at the event will go towards the outreach efforts. No stranger to giving back to her community, Cherine started her own Reach-One Child Foundation in 2003 and has been helping need-based students with supplies and partial tuition scholarships. Working with the cancer society is a first for Anderson. In addition, she is aware of the seriousness of cancer as well as its effects on patients and their families. Cherine adds "My sister Natoya was the one who told me about the event. We lost both our grandmother's to the battle but on a positive note, I know many more people who are survivors. Early detection gives everyone a better chance at fighting this thing so I am committed to doing all I can to help with the JCS's outreach initiative especially for people who can't afford to be screened and tested. " .

Team Dancehall Soul is comprised of members as young as nine years of age to retirees. While some members know firsthand about the disease others are on board for moral and emotional support. Cherine's sister Natoya Morrison, who also works with her management team, shares "Support from family is extremely important, and this is the major reason that we've been supporting the event over the years. Part of the proceeds help to fund support groups for both the victims and their families." .

Relay For Life is a unique, fun and challenging fundraiser that reaches into our communities to bring together neighbors, friends, work associates and families to celebrate those who have survived cancer and to remember those who have not. The concept involves a team of walkers/runners competing against each other with the intent of raising the most money. This year's Relay For Life will be held on Saturday, June 26th at the Police Officers club on Hope Road, with activities staring at 6pm. It is an overnight event because "cancer never sleeps."

Permalink 10:05:07 am, by amilnal
Categories: Culture, Business


Jamaica’s most famous and beloved actor Oliver Samuels, described as the King of Caribbean comedy, will be the new media voice for the partnership between Capital & Credit Reggae Money Express in Jamaica and the online money transfer company The new advertising campaign rolled out in the tri-state area in recently..

Oliver Samuels hardly needs an introduction to Jamaican audiences in the Diaspora. He was a pioneer and foundation member of post-independence Jamaican theatre, and he has appeared in at least fifty hit theatrical productions to date, including thirteen LTM pantomimes, appearing alongside late icons like the Hon. Louise Bennett Coverley and Ranny Williams. Oliver is arguably Jamaica’s most compelling ‘roots’ voice with a colorful mastery for the Jamaican dialect, and as the spokesperson for Capital & Credit Reggae Money Express, he will appear in the joint television, radio and newspaper advertising campaigns for the collaborative service between the two brands for sending money to Jamaica. The joint campaign between and Capital & Credit Reggae Money Express forms part of both companies’ efforts to expand their money transfer service to Jamaica. The campaigns will run simultaneously in Jamaica and in the New York tri-state region, and will create awareness for conveniently sending money online to Jamaica, as well as easily receiving money in Jamaica..

"We are pleased to be working with Capital & Credit and to have Oliver on board in our new, joint advertising campaigns. He is extremely popular and his name is synonymous with Jamaica and laughter," said Julian King, SVP of Business Development and Marketing at and fellow member of the Diaspora community.. recently brokered the new partnership with Capital & Credit Remittance Limited, one of Jamaica’s most respected remittance institutions, to expand their Cash Pickup service at over 70 Reggae Money Express locations island-wide and Bank Deposit service to send money directly to a bank account in Jamaica. This dynamic partnership now provides beneficiaries in Jamaica with four times more locations for receiving money, including at C.O.K. and Lasco..

“We at Capital & Credit are proud to partner with and to help grow their money transfer service to Jamaica,” added Sheron Dixon-Brown, General Manager of Capital & Credit Remittance Limited. “ offers Jamaicans living abroad with the convenience of sending remittances from the comfort of their home computer directly to a Capital & Credit Reggae Money Express agent location in just minutes.”.

“Many of us at personally understand the importance of sending money to our families living back home. That is why we are proud to make our service more convenient for our loved ones in Jamaica by offering more locations island-wide,” added Julian King.


Permalink 10:13:03 am, by amilnal
Categories: Sports

Brazil: The Ultimate Bandwagonist Side

Spain may be a lot of folks' favorite for the World Cup, but Brazil remains in the back of our subconscious as the team to truly fear. It sure would be nice to see Spain or Holland win their first World Cup, maybe England get their second, or the Maradona circus keep-up with its early pace. These would be pleasing headlines. But, Brazil hovers above this World Cup like the Nazgûl Ring Wraiths from Lord of the Rings. They descend-upon and devour whatever is in front of them. This Brazil relentlessly hunts for number six..

It never felt like the Ivory Coast had much of a chance in Sunday's match. Sven-Göran Eriksson said that, "to beat Brazil, you must be almost perfect." Well, the Ivory Coast was not perfect, but the Ivory Coast is a team a lot of folks felt was Africa's best chance in the World Cup. The Ivorians seemed very much outclassed in a game that was touted as a marquee match-up in the group phase. It may be that even if you play perfectly and Brazil play flawed, Brazil will still pretty much beat you senseless..

The partying, overindulgences, and lack of focus from Brazil 2006 have been transformed into an efficient Dunga-designed Brazilan Sparta. As routinely described by the Vickapedia, Brazil's physical preparations are meticulous and best-in-class. Their depth and quality of talent are superior to most, bar Spain and the floundering French. Further, this talent is ideal personnel to play an organized defensive counter-acting style of football. Lúcio, Maicon, and Júlio César played pivotal roles for José Mourinho's defense at Intermilan. Gilberto Silva and Felipe Melo provide additional protection in front the defense and bite in the midfield. Kaká and Robinho launch counter-attacks at light-speed. And, Luis Fabiano finishes with ruthless execution. Nevertheless, there surely must be some chink in their armor?.

In the Confederations Cup final, the US nearly found a way to beat Brazil but in the end just enraged them, at least if you judge by the second half of the match. Against the Ivory Coast, Brazil's vaunted team discipline slowly eroded away under relentless hacking, dubious tackling, diving, and theatrics from the Ivorians resulting in Kaká being sent-off after two yellow cards, albeit the second from an Oscar worthy performance from Kader Keita. However, this hardly seems like a chink in the armor. Perhaps national pressure boils beneath the surface of a team that is not playing the beautiful football its country craves so much. In its place now resides an effective and at times ugly brand of football. If this pressure is rising, we have yet to see it. Searching for a significant flaw in Brazil's game may be as difficult as trying to catch a fly with chopsticks like Mr. Miyagi..

The closest thing to a flaw may well be that Brazil hasn't figured out yet how to work in Dani Alves to the staring eleven. Macion, the #1 right-back in the world is backed-up by Alves, the #2 right-back in the world. Now there's a real problem? We are grasping at straws here. Instead, let's grasp at some chopsticks. Brazil doesn't have the one person on the planet outside of Mr. Miyagi that can catch a fly with chopsticks. They don't have Lionel Messi. .

Permalink 09:57:39 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture


Braata Folk Singers is set to make its New York launch on Sunday June 27 at 4 pm with an additional show at 7pm at the Lang Recital Hall, Hunter College North. After a year of well received performances across New York City, the group will kick off its anniversary season with this first offering. Tickets for the event are $25 and will serve to assist the company’s fund raising initiative. Presented by Braata Productions, this launch will be the first in a series of concerts planned for venues across the New York tri-state area. .

The show titled, “A Likkle Braata” coincides with the observance of Caribbean American Heritage Month and will be among several events planned for the period..

The concert will comprise the group’s young but varied repertoire including market and revival songs. It is hoped that patrons will take a stroll down memory lane as they hear old favorites with new interpretations, as well as be introduced to some new songs. To pay homage to cultural icon the Honourable Louise Bennett Coverley popularly known as “Ms Lou,” the program will include a special suite of songs reminiscent of the ‘Ring Ding’ years. According to musical director Garnet Mowatt, “A group like this would have never been possible without the pioneering work of someone like Ms. Lou. We are indebted to her and so we found it most fitting to showcase and thank her through this segment.” .

The aim is to share the richness, variety and significance of Jamaica's musical heritage with Jamaicans overseas and the wider Caribbean Diaspora. "This inaugural season is special because of the significance and importance of the group's work. There is no other consistent group in New York providing this kind of entertainment, and it is very important to the group to entertain while maintaining authenticity and keeping the traditions alive," noted Andrew Clarke. .

The multi-talented and dynamic ensemble is aided by Clarke who is the founder and doubles as artistic director with Garnet Mowatt, PhD candidate at Mississippi State University serving as musical director and Karlene Largie and Jermaine Rowe assisting with choral movement. The concert will feature Jamaican folk music by various composers, arranged by Clarke and Mowatt. .

Braata Folk Singers intends to make this an annual affair to share with Jamaicans and other Caribbean nationals, through music, the values of "old Jamaica" and the need to rekindle lost values. The concert is also seen as timely as it provides positive and uplifting entertainment, given what is happening in Jamaica and the rest of the world.


Permalink 09:17:43 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Business, Commentary, News

Lest we forget: The effect of the World Cup

For the last two weeks and for the rest of this month men all around the world will be rejoicing in the glory of that one event we wait 4 years for, and that is the world cup. The world cup is an event we have to wait for with bated breath as for the month that it goes on for, battle lines are drawn, bandwagons are ridden  and everybody becomes a football fan and a football analyst even if you dont watch football for the next 4 years. Such is the level of fanaticism that comes with the world cup. But alas since the world cup has began we the public have started to overlook a number of issues which I hope is really only a temporary thing and that we will continue to press on these issues. Issues such as:

The state of Emergency

Many of us seem to have forgotten that we are still under a state of emergency  and that our police force is currently still at war with the criminal forces in Jamaica, the state of emergency has also gone on for just about a month also which is the constitutional limit for it to continue without a parliamentary vote on the issue. While we can rejoice in the fact that this war is what has led to the recent fall in crime in our island. We still must police our government and not allow them to go act without the public backing. There is also the issue of the early operation in Tivoli Gardens and the numerous people who lost their lives as a result of the operation. We must remember that invistigations into the operation are a necessity to ensure that the police and soldiers acted well within their rights and did not violate any human rights laws or committed any blatant murders as well. This issue is far from finished and must be placed under heavy scrutiny.

The lies of our Prime Minister

This is closely related to the previous issue but it is so important that I think it deserves its own subtopic. We as a a country must not... no we cannot forget that our Prime Minister has lied to us. He has lied to us about the government's involvement in the dudus issue, he has lied to us about the inclusion of the Manatt, Phelps, and Phillips firm in the government's lobbying efforts and has probably lied about a number of other things too but which have yet to come to light. We the public should still be pushing for Bruce Golding's resignation as he has certainly lost any level of moral authority to truly lead our country.

The BP Oil Spill

I have never really written on this issue directly, as a matter of fact it was really a more of a side note in another article on the possibility of Jamaican oil being found. However We must not forget that the gulf of mexico isn't really that far from Jamaica, and all that oil that is continuously spewing out is going to spread and reach further into the caribbean, sea thus affecting... yes, you guessed it Jamaica. Maybe its about time Jamaica have a say on the issue before it reaches us, after all it has reached as far as the florida pan handle, we aren't that far off.

Dudus is still at large

Need I say more...?

Dudus in a dress**Taken from Jamaica Observer

JPS wants a rate increase again

The price of fuel has fallen in Jamaica, the exchange rate has more or less stabilized and JPS has reported a nearly 700% growth in profits... I'd like that to sink in for a moment before I state that despite all of this, the JPS is putting in a request to the Office of Utilities Regulation for an increase in the amount they get to charge for their service. Its not because of an increase in operating costs or even because of exchange rate problems... nothing at all, its really just because they can. Why can they... because it is in their contract... truly a move which can be seen as nothing more than one which is done in spite to the Jamaican public.

JPS rate increase**Taken from Jamaica Observer

Of course there are a number of other issues as well but these are just the issues that are at the forefront of my concerns. But alas maybe a distraction from our economic problems is exactly what we need.


Permalink 02:03:55 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Sports, Commentary

Jamaica's Chance of Remaking it back to the world cup

All the excitement of the world cup has certainly taken over much of the world, I mean even Americans who dont normally like the sport have jumped on the world cup wagon and started to express their appreciation of football (yes its football, not soccer). I guess it was bound to happen eventually, football is after all the one sport of the world. Next to athletics there is really no other sport that is more played everywhere around the world. Jamaica has always had somewhat of a football culture, a culture that peaked around 1998 when we managed to be the first english speaking caribbean island to qualify for the prestigious world cup. We have also produced alot of world class footballers including our current team captain Ricardo Gardner (currently playing for English Premier League club Bolton Wanderers), Ricardo Fuller (Stoke City former EPL team), Luton Shelton and countless other Major League Soccer stars. When you combine all of this together one has to question why it is that we have not been able to qualify for the world cup (or even reach the final CONCACAF qualifying round for that matter), since our triumph in '98, Jamaica has certainly fallen from glory.

Falling reggae boy**Taken from JFF website

I have been pondering the question for a while, the question being what is it that these other countries... - Brazil, Spain, Argentina, France, etc., - Have over Jamaica in terms of football why it is that they are constantly performing at the top level and play in almost every single world cup (or in Brazil's case every world cup). It certainly isn't passion... ok to an extent it isn't passion, I mean after all there are very few countries that have the passion of places like Brazil, and England in their love of football where it becomes basically a religion. I mean in these countries people riot, cry, and even commit suicide (see 1950 world cup where Brazil lost 2-1 to Uruguay) over their football... Chances are that will not happen in Jamaica. However we are more passionate than the alot of countries that are now football giants such as the USA, but still nothing.

I've also heard the argument that money is the problem, yet again I have to disagree with that. After all we did manage to qualify in '98 with a budget that is less than it is now (anybody remember the Bora Milotinovic saga... 1 million dollars a week?), and I'm pretty sure that we are spending a decent amount of money on our football, especially since we are building a football academy and have sponsorship at levels greater than even our successful teams such as our netball team. So its obvious its not a monetary problem. I will disagree that its a matter of coaching staff as well... to an extent. I say this because in the 2nd coming of Simoes to our coaching staff, there were some obvious mistakes made by the man and he clearly did not bring our strongest team to qualify, that goes without question. However our current coach Theodore Whitmore (also a past member of the '98 world cup team) has shown the creativity and knowledge necessary to bring forth excellent performances out of our national team, so its not a coaching issue either.

So what is it?

My simple answer is that Jamaica's footballers lack the necessary discipline and professionalism to return to our previous levels of success. This is something that needs to be changed not just at the national team level, but from as low as kindergarten and primary school level. Jamaicans typically look at football as a showing of skill and as a sport for fun, unlike our counterparts everywhere else that look at football as a profession, and a means to make a living. Even our local clubs perpetuate this idea where the majority of our footballers only play football as a by the way kind of sport. I think in order to build a Jamaican football team that can put forward consistent, world class performances we need to build up this discipline.

Another thing that needs to change is our love of skilled plays. This love of wicked moves and twisting up our opponent's legs is a love that will not necessarily make us better footballers overall, after all the teams that were once minnows to us (such as the US and Japan) can right now beat us handedly without so much as a single step-over, or pile. It is because of these simple problems that we have that I hope that programs such as our partnership with F.C. Valencia will help to build up our young footballers and make even better future footballers out of us so our talent will be more better applied. Can Jamaica make it back to the world cup? I say yes, but not without advancing the sport at all levels and advancing the mentality of the players as well.

We no longer need to allow the rest of the football world to advance to levels above where we currently are. We need to do like all of those countries have done and realize our problems and come to reasonable solutions to them.


Permalink 10:20:14 am, by amilnal
Categories: Business, News

Sagicor Life Jamaica Still Supporting Haiti

Sagicor Life Jamaica presented Five Million Dollars to the Haiti relief and recovery project undertaken by the Jamaica Red Cross.The cheque was presented at a luncheon at Sagicor Life Jamaica's corporate offices on Wednesday June 16. An update on the status of the recovery and relief efforts was also provided by former Jamaican Prime Minister now CARICOM's Special Representative on Haiti The Hon. P.J. Patterson and President of the Red Cross, Dr. Jaslin Salmon. .

Haiti is still recovering from a deadly January 16 earthquake that killed thousands and eliminated a significant portion of the country's infrastructure. .

President and CEO of Sagicor Life Jamaica Richard Byles, presented the cheque to Dr. Jaslin Salmon. In expressing his gratitude to Sagicor, Salmon explained that more than one million people are still in temporary shelters, and there are considerable challenges in getting supplies to them. "There is no available space for erecting permanent structures because all that rubble is still there, and no place to put that even if we move it," he noted..

Dr. Salmon added that with the hurricane season being here, the relief and recovery needed to continue quickly. "Sagicor Life's donation helps us to build up the Haitian Red Cross, which will build support with the Government to help more with the relief," he noted..

The Rock Tower (ROKTOWA), an art studio and gallery in downtown Kingston which facilitates a cultural exchange between Haitian and Jamaican artistes (The Haitian Artistes Project) was also presented with a cheque from PanCaribbean by President and CEO Donovan Perkins.

Mr. Patterson used the opportunity to provide an update on the progress of the rebuilding process. He stated that considerable work still needed to be done in Haiti, as several Government institutions, records, and buildings were destroyed, thereby crippling the country's electoral process. He asserted that this was one of the most critical areas to now focus attention because there is no Government in place to make crucial decisions about rebuilding the country.

Mr. Patterson praised Sagicor Life Jamaica's donation to the Red Cross, and explained that similar contributions from other entities are needed to help rebuild infrastructure in Haiti..

"Private sector involvement is crucial at this time, billions will be needed over the next few years," he stated. Mr. Patterson also expressed his appreciation to Sagicor for keeping Haiti in the news. This was echoed by the President of the Jamaican Red Cross, Dr. Jaslin Salmon, who explained that with the hurricane season being here, the relief and recovery needed to continue quickly. "Sagicor Life's donation helps us to build up the Haitian Red Cross, which will build support with the Government to help more with the relief," he noted..

Representatives of The Haitian Artists Project also expressed their appreciation to PanCaribbean, a subsidiary of Sagicor Life Jamaica, for its donation to their project. Through this initiative, ten Haitian artists were invited to participate in a three month residency program in partnership with the University of the West Indies. During this period, twenty copies of a limited edition book titled From the Trembling Heart will be produced. The project's spokesman Hubert Neal, explained that the work is progressing smoothly and should become a historic testimonial of the overwhelming effect of the earthquake on the lives of Haitians as seen through the artistes' eyes..

Mr. Byles, announced that the funds donated were only a fraction of the company's total commitment to Haiti. .

"The Sagicor group has committed US$250,000 towards Haiti, and today we presented the Sagicor Life Jamaica portion of $5 million. Our staff of PanCaribbean and Sagicor Life had also pledged to assist. This will be donated later to another organization," he announced. .

Haiti was severely damaged by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that killed several hundred thousand people and left over one million homeless. Several nations have given support to the Caribbean nation, but relief and recovery efforts still continue.

Permalink 10:05:55 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture


The Caribbean is a melting pot of cultures, peoples, and traditions. But Jamaica is credited with the birth of a genre of music that is said to have encompassed the world, and we call that Reggae. .

While the original messengers and prophets of the sound of Reggae such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown and Garnet Silk and more are no longer with us, modern day musicians are taking on the mantle of spreading the sounds of Reggae..

The Uprising Roots Band, often noted as one of the real reggae roots bands in Jamaica, continues to spread the sounds and positive vibrations of reggae music through their songs and performances all over the world. .

The band is readying to release their debut album later this year, something that the entire Uprising Roots Band family is excited about. From their East Kingston studio, The Uprising Roots Band has released three singles which are enjoying regular rotation in reggae-loving regions of the Caribbean, Europe and North America. The singles, Brightest Light, Skyfiya, and Know Yourself are shining examples of what the band is all about. .

A five-piece-Rastafarian outfit, the band remains true to their love of music – which dummer and lead vocalist, Rashawn 'Blackush' McAnuff says is an integral part of their formula for success..

“Everybody in the band loves music. Just the sounds that come out of the instruments and the way we, as a group, can make that work and make those sounds into music. That for us is what everything is all about,” McAnuff says..

The Uprising Roots Band is a complement of a talented set of musicians, who are really very much in love with the many ways they can please the ear, uplift the mind, and soothe the soul with their music and creativity, which is what McAnuff thinks makes their music “real and true reggae”..

It is true that they effortlessly channel a remarkable kind of energy and meld together instruments and vocals to stamp their own style on whatever project they undertake and this makes their music especially memorable, and will continue to use as they spread the sounds of reggae with future releases.


Permalink 08:35:36 am, by amilnal
Categories: Culture, News

JA Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett And Team Embark On N.A. Campaign To Win Back Hearts and Minds...

As the Jamaica Tourist Board led by the it’s super-charged Leader (possibly the most optimistic and hardworking man alive) Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, embarks on its campaign to win back hearts and minds, post recent events of mayhem and chaos on the Island, a round table with key Media partners (or as designated herewith…family) in the Diaspora was among the first order of business.

The message was clear, the Diaspora media is important to the newly minted public relations effort. We were charged to disseminate information in clear and unambiguous terms about where we now are and where we are going; that it was critical to the integrity of the brand—Jamaica (that is), to communicate a positive message.

As we go about our business we meet people, we interact, and we deliberately or unwittingly confer on them the deep desire to visit this place from which we wonderful folk are derived. And before we can say “Jamaica”, we’ve created a tourist but a very important point to consider, seriously.

Who we are says a lot about where we’re from, so those of you “out of liners” (my words) take heed; Jamaica needs you but only with your best behavior in tow. In the words of the Minister, “the recent events are a game-changer; we cannot continue to do business as usual.” Image the Minister reiterated is important, “you are an extension of the Brand.”.

It was important the minister said, to focus on the best and brightest the island has to offer; the iconic nature of her citizens, our unassailable qualities and cultural attributes—the music, the arts, sports and the beauty and uniqueness of the island’s flora and fauna. .

The Diaspora the minister explained is the first line of defense and maybe in this case attack (my word and maybe not the most apropos), but message understood. 10% of all visitors to the Island he says come from the Diaspora. A special campaign targeting the Diaspora is in the works. That was welcome news to all especially to Patrick Buddington of Carib Zone Media, who asked, “Will there be special messaging targeting the Diaspora?”.

For those concerned about the show of force and how that played negatively to the Diaspora and main stream media, Minister Bartlett was clear, the show of force was unprecedented he declared, but the state was under attack. It is important he says that the world sees that the Government is in charge. In his introductory remarks the Director of Tourism, John Lynch, declared the state of affairs in the travel arena stabilized. This he said was based on reports from the marketplace that future bookings have begun to show improvement. In his words “last week was bad, this week is better.” He spoke to the near normalcy in Kingston as people go about their life of work and nightlife; and commended Director General in the Tourism Ministry Carole Guntley for her stellar work in manning the communication room set up at the Hilton Hotel during the crisis.

And what about the cancellations; a matter which Wayne Cummings president of the National Hotel & Tourist Association (NHTA) said was cause for concern. The minister again reiterated that the JTB’s focus was on future bookings. The role of community tourism was put into focus. Director General Guntley, laid out the blue-print for the program. The bed & breakfast model is being pursued especially along the south coast corridor. Residents with more than four rooms are being encouraged to register; communities who think they have something to offer should submit their programs. There are incentives such as micro-loans and tax-free cover for participants. The master plan she continued will include numerous attractions: The Calabash Literary Festival, Appleton Attractions, the Cockpit Country, and the Trelawny Caves, among them..

Ken Williams, radio broadcaster, urged the Minister to rely more on the Diaspora as we are the frontline in the effort to repair the country’s image. In wrapping up his presentation, the minister reemphasized that the way forward is to present the country in the best light, articulate a message against violence, and formulate a strong commitment to social programs and education, with early childhood education as the centre piece. The political will he says is there, now, the national will is being summoned..

The tourism minister was accompanied by Director of Tourism, John Lynch; Director General in the tourism ministry, Carole Brady; Deputy Director of Tourism, David L. Shields. Accompanying the team was Geneive Brown-Metzger, Jamaica's Consul General, New York.

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The Small Sandal Shop

A married couple was on holiday in Jamaica. They were touring around the marketplace looking at the goods when they passed this small sandal shop.

From inside they heard the shopkeeper with a Jamaican accent say, "You!

Foreigners! Come in, come into my humble shop."

So the married couple walked in.

The Jamaican said to them, "I have some special sandals I think you would be interested in. They make you wild at sex."

Well, the wife was really interested in buying the sandals after what the man claimed, but her husband felt he really didn't need them, being the sex god he was.

The husband asked the man, "How could sandals make you into a sex freak?"

The Jamaican replied, "Just try them on."

Well, the husband, after some badgering from his wife, finally gave in, and tried them on. As soon as he slipped them onto his feet, he got this wild look in his eyes, something his wife hadn't seen in many years!

In the blink of an eye, the husband grabbed the Jamaican, bent him

violently over a table, yanked down his pants, ripped down his own pants,and grabbed a firm hold of the Jamaican's hips.

The Jamaican then began screaming; "YOU GOT THEM ON THE WRONG FEET!!!"


Photo Highlights

Christopher Martin
from Photo Album

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