Tomorrow is Peace Day

Peace Day will be observed tomorrow under the cloud of a country so racked by crime and violence that there are two zones of special operations being executed.

In a release, Peace and Love in Society (PALS) said that this year's theme is a heartfelt 'Peace Wi Seh!' and that, more than ever, social intervention has to be recognised as an important element of crime reduction.

"In this regard, PALS has sought to contribute to crime reduction through its programmes for schools, youth out of school, and parents in communities that experience severe social conditions," stated the release.

"PALS supports community policing by being a resource at citizen-community meetings, and has trained monitors in west Kingston who have shared the responsibility with the police of ensuring that youth are compliant with the police-imposed curfew."

PALS said that all agencies in Jamaica involved in peace-building efforts need funding from the Government not only to strengthen their programmes, but to help them sustain them, as it is well known that only long-term engagement will change the culture of civil disobedience and aggression.

"No one wants a resurgence of violence in St James once the presence of the security forces is gone. Peace-building programmes are critical for any chance of rehabilitation and stability. We keenly await the implementation of the social interventions to follow the withdrawal of the security forces," the release said.

PALS commended the private sector for its support of programmes, but called for the sector to give more in order for efforts to make a sustained impact.

"We also call for others, as crime alleviation is everybody's responsibility, and every citizen should play his part. We must be willing to say "No more! A peace wi seh!" and do what is necessary to halt crime. It has been too easy for us to pass off responsibility to the Government, NGOs (non-government organisations), and the private sector. We all live in one society, so peace is everybody's business," PALS said.


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