Archive for the ‘2011’ Tag
Portia Simpson Miller of the Peoples National Party takes her oath of office today, so I thought I’d write a few thoughts about her. She became Jamaica’s first female PM, officially in 2006 when she took over from PJ Patterson but this is the first time she has been elected into the job through popular mandate. She beat the Jamaica Labour Party’s Andrew Holness, the result winning 42 out of 63 seats on Dec 29th.
It’s not surprising she won after the debacle of the one term Bruce Golding JLP government.
The PNP have traditionally been a party representing the poor, she promises trust in the government – something that is needed more than anything. She hasn’t convinced me yet to be honest as she seemed distinctly quiet over the whole Dudus-Golding affair and she has been accused of not being smart enough to lead the country – I don’t think that matters really – Reagan and Bush ran the US remember! Here’s a profile of her which was broadcast in 2007 CLICK HERE.
The point is, she really needs to clean up politics by cutting off the links with the criminals, maybe it’s good to move away from the rich elite of Jamaica and the JLP, let’s hope she works to lift Jamaicans out of their poverty.
When someone mentioned to me a short while back, “you know Kartel is in prison?” My reaction was, “I wouldn’t be surprised”. But I’ve still been enjoying his track ‘Tell you seh’ nonetheless.
It seems that the path to prison could have been foretold as there were growing bad vibes swirling around the man. Last time I was in JA, a number of people were talking to me about how they hated him and they told me of alleged violent attacks mentioning his name. I put this down to a general ground swell of rumour which inevitably follows a man like Kartel who courts controversy and has an entourage all trying to live up to a reputation in a place where violence and gun crime is more than just part of the lexicon. Add to this mix, a self destructive element – skin bleaching and the recent spat with Corey Todd – all signal a ticking time bomb. In a small place like JA, making more enemies than friends is a dangerous position to find yourself.
The real question which of course must be asked is, ‘is he guilty?’ If he is, then this would spell the end of the Gaza era.
I was talking to a friend today who was telling me about Kartel’s club in New Kingston called “The Building” and how he’s got his fingers in all these pies – well, it turns out that he’s been cut out.
After disagreements with his business partner, Corey Todd after alleged threats to Todd’s life, the club was closed for a couple of weeks and is reopening on July 1st. It will be changing its name to Club Riddim without Kartel. Read more and line ups here
I found this photo of Kartel with the govt Information Minister Daryl Vaz which seems pretty odd to me.
So what are people thinking about kartel nowadays? Everyone i talk to is saying how he’s losing his way and casting Jamaica in his own freaky image.
Certainly, losing his business partner would not be a great move in building the Gaza Empire.
And this shocking statement by Todd is really signalling where Kartel is at nowadays. In it Todd is reported to say that if anything happens to me, then you know where to look.
It adds to the rumours of violence circulating around the dancehall star. This is such a shame as he used to be lovely.
Here is Corey Todd talking about the end of this business relationship.
For an internationally renowned singer and reggae star, more used to partying and concerts and drugs, 10 years is indeed a long time for Buju Banton to spend in a Florida jail. But he’s reported to have took the news calmly and he was lucky in a way as the judge threw out an extra gun charge. So it could have been worse. He said in a statement, “The days that lie ahead are filled with despair, but I have courage and grace and I’m hopeful, and that is sufficient to carry me through, the man is not dead. Don’t call him a ghost.”
It happened at the Quad nightclub in new Kingston on Bounty Killer’s b’day. As Mavado arrives with his entourage, there’s a scuffle and armed police shoot his friend, who later dies in hospital. All in the presence of TV cameras.
All I have to add is did the police really deem it necessary to have a presence at this event? I think the club security would have been a better idea.
This is Mavado’s answer to the incident. He says the gun was “popped” with no provocation.
The main thing going on before that date is the motion filed by Dudus lawyers to throw out wiretap evidence, used in the extradition order against him. That would be pretty crucial in the case – his lawyers argue that it contravened Jamaican law to hand it over to the Americans.
But as Coke continues to be holed up inside a cell in the US, how are things on the outside in Tivoli Gardens. West Kingston?
The govt say they are dealing with crime with an ‘iron fist’ reporting 700 fewer murders over the last year. The police also say they are making significant inroads in efforts to eradicate gangs, dismantling 50 per cent of the 57 targeted since the New Year. Is it leading to safer streets and will it last I wonder?
Christopher Coke, aka Dudus has been in US custody on narcotics and firearms charges for nearly a year now and there is still no sign of a trial date. He made his 7th court appearance in Manhattan today – Tuesday May 10th, 2011. No-one’s talking to the press yet, but despite this, there’s already a book out about him, called ‘Jamaica’s First President’ , he was known locally as the Prezzie for short.
So what is going on in Tivoli gardens since his removal? At the time, there was much talk about the power vacuum that would be left behind in his wake, which would lead to more violence and gang warfare. I wrote this blog post about it around that time and also Kingston Mayor Desmond Mckenzie met with US Embassy officials, as detailed in a leaked wikileaks cable – read more about that here.
Meanwhile, the Jamaican JLP Bruce Golding government has stubbornly clung on to an illusion of power, through an enquiry into the Manatt Phelps and Phillips affair – which basically showed how the Golding govt were protecting Dudus from US extradition all along as they were telling the Jamaican people something else entirely. It led to an admission in Parliament that he had lied to them previously. Naturally, his reputation is shot to pieces, but he thinks he can claw it all back for the general election next year.
Judging by a useless opposition leader by the name of Portia Simpson miller, this is not beyond the realms of imagination.
Happened ages ago I know, but just updating the blog and in case someone was not aware, the wikileaks website revealed what we all knew about the Coke extradition and pretty much makes this whole Jamaican govt enquiry completely redundant (at a cost of JA 40 million), but they carry on regardless and the Jamaican people have to eat it.
What was revealed (see below), is nothing at all we didn’t know and perhaps PM Bruce Golding and the JLP would have been forgiven, had they not tried to lie their way through the whole thing.
The mayor of Kingston, Jamaica, tried to dissuade the US government from extraditing a local druglord because he correctly predicted it would ignite violence and unleash a challenge to the state, according to statements attributed to the mayor within leaked US diplomatic cables.
Councillor Desmond McKenzie, mayor of Kingston and St Andrew, allegedly told US officials in September 2009 that the Americans’ request to extradite Christopher “Dudus” Coke on narcotics and firearms charges risked “serious repercussions” and would “risk destroying everything the government was trying to do on the economy and crime”.
When Jamaican officials eventually tried to arrest Coke in May 2010 violence did indeed break out between gangs loyal to the druglord and state forces. At least 73 people were killed as the government declared a state of emergency. Coke was eventually captured and extradited in June.
The mayor also allegedly told diplomats Coke had collaborated with the Jamaican government in various crime crackdowns. The confidential cable states: “The mayor said that in recent years his administration had worked with Coke to reduce crime in the inner cities of Jamaica, particularly in West Kingston. If he now were extradited this would ‘leave a vacuum’, and matters would be much worse.”
The cable continues: “McKenzie noted that in recent days several of his “contacts in the communities” had told him they “would not take this [Coke's extradition] lying down”.
A further cable claims Lorna Golding, the Jamaican prime minister’s wife, told a US embassy official that the extradition request “had been orchestrated as a means of embarrassing her husband politically” by people – including US congressman Charles Rangel – sympathetic to her husband’s political enemies.
The cable states: “In an often surreal and disjointed conversation, Mrs Golding alleged that Congressman Rangel is a ‘sympathiser’ of the opposition People’s National party (PNP) who is ‘manipulated’ by PNP elements in the Jamaican diaspora in the US and is ‘whispering in secretary Clinton’s ear’ in order to ‘downgrade’ the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the government of Jamaica.” Excerpt taken from here