|'Pay us for slave labour' |
Gov't, Opposition agree on need for reparations / $52 billion would suffice, says Holness
|by Balford Henry Sunday Observer writer firstname.lastname@example.org |
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Jamaica, which gained international acclaim for its part in the fight against South African Apartheid, is getting ready to throw itself behind the controversial Reparations Movement seeking compensation for chattel slavery.
|ASSAMBA. we believe the movement cannot be strictly Jamaican, bearing in mind our common concerns and history|
Both the Government and Opposition appeared last week to agree on the need for reparations from Britain out of its profits from the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which uprooted millions of Africans to give forced labour in the so-called New World, including Jamaica.
While the Government has not yet named a figure that would be sufficient compensation to Jamaicans, the Opposition suggested that the $52-billion price tagged to the Education Transformation project would suffice.
"The task force report says we need $52 billion to finance the transformation. We, as Jamaicans, should say to the British Government, and the case is quite clearly laid out, that our Parliament should make a direct claim on the British Government for them to fund our education system," said Andrew Holness, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) spokesman on education.
"I am not saying that they should fund it in perpetuity. (I'm suggesting) That they make a one-off payment to invest in the human resources of this country through our education system," Holness told the House of Representatives.
But the Government signalled its intention to seek a collective position with other Caribbean Community (Caricom) nations who share a common history of slavery.