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'There is no other sovereign authority in Jamaica,' Holness declares

'There is no other sovereign authority in Jamaica,' Holness declares

Posted  108 Views updated 7 months ago

Prime Minister Andrew Holness today declared that under his leadership "not one inch of Jamaica will come under any other sovereign authority", dismissing the rhetoric of the Accompong Maroons that they are a sovereign people. 

Holness made the declaration as he addressed a press conference this morning, called to declare a Zone of Special Operations for Parade Gardens and other communities in Central Kingston. 

Asked by The Gleaner during the presser about the decision by his government to disengage with so-called 'sovereign' Maroons, an obviously upset Holness said what was being asked of the government was for it to use taxpayers' money and grant funds to fund another 'government'. In early December, the Government of Jamaica had issued a directive to all ministries, departments and agencies prohibiting the allocation of funds to any area that has declared itself sovereign.

"There are some threats that the average citizen looking on might think innocuous or popular and take a liking to it because the discussions that are held in places that should know better does not highlight the threat," the prime minister said. 

"Jamaica is a unitary, sovereign state. There is no other sovereign authority in Jamaica other than the Government of Jamaica. Let me make this absolutely clear. None." 

"What you are asking is for the Government of Jamaica to take taxpayers' money and grant fund to fund another government. This is not a local government- a parish council government that is under our constitution. Are you crazy?" he asked Gleaner editor Andre Wright. 

"Do you know what you are asking? This is the stuff of how guerrilla wars come and states breakdown." 

He continued: "You expect me to stand here as prime minister and fund activities that could lead to the breakdown of your state?" he asked. "Never." 

Since Colonel Richard Currie was elected to lead the Accompong Maroons in St Elizabeth 11 months ago, he has insisted that Accompong is not a quasi-state and has consistently referred to the community as the 'State of Accompong.' His stance is premised on a peace treaty signed 284 years ago with the British, who were the colonial rulers of the island at the time. 

Over the centuries, however, the Maroons have adhered to the laws of Jamaica, participating in social, economic, and other activities, including education; while, at the same time, have continued to celebrate their history and maintain their customs and practises. 

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