Malahoo Forte batting for SOE extension
Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte, member of parliament for West Central
St James, says that based on the feedback she has been getting, residents in the western parish want the ongoing state of public emergency (SOE), which is slated to end on August 2, to be further extended.
Malahoo Forte, who was speaking at Saturday's launch of the St James Emancipation and Independence celebration, indicated that she planned to take back that message to Parliament next week when a resolution for an extension is to be debated.
"We hear the parliamentary Opposition say they are not sure if they going to extend it, and I ask myself, why is that there is disagreement about continuing something that is taking us in the right direction?" said Malahoo Forte.
Based on the latest statistics released by the Jamaica Constabulary Force, since the introduction of the SOE, there has been 67 per cent decrease in murders in St James over the comparative period last year. There have been 52 murders so far this year, while at the same time last year, there were 157 murders.
"As I go across the parish, I hear so many people saying they never knew order could be restored to the streets and the public space," continued Malahoo Forte. "Peace has been restored in a way where people can now go about their business."
Malahoo Forte's position was supported by Montego Bay's mayor, Councillor Homer Davis, and St James' custos, Bishop Conrad Pitkin, who were both present at the launch.
An impressive list of activities was presented at the St James Emancipation and Independence Celebration, which will reflect this year's national theme, 'Jamaica 56 - One Love ... One Family'.
The activities include the Big Stage Parish Finals on Saturday, July 21, at Sam Sharpe Square; the Emancipation Parish Vigil on Tuesday, July 31, at Sam Sharpe Square; Independence thanks-giving church service at the Word of Faith Deliverance Centre, in Catherine Hall, and the Old Hits Flava at Dump Up Beach on Sunday, August 5.
On Monday, August 6, there will also be an Independence Civic Ceremony to be held at Sam Sharpe Square, followed by an Independence Road March at Dump Up and an Independence Gala, also at Dump Up Beach.