Sneak Peek : Top News Stories of 2007

Here is a quick round-up of the stories making news in Jamaica next year:

March 2007

“Roots” citizenship law causes chaos at RGD

Registrar General’s Office at Twickenham Park, Spanish Town, Jamaica

The introduction of a new citizenship law requiring Jamaican citizens to prove African descent is causing chaos at the RGD. The Head of the Registrar General’s Department said yesterday that members of the so-called plantocracy and other light skinned Jamaicans have been flocking RGD offices islandwide as they seek to have their African descent verified.

“These people are rude and my staff find them difficult to handle. Some of them seem to believe that the RGD should be able to find their great-great-great-great grand-aunt right away, without realising that these women were usually slaves and their birth was never registered with us,” she said.

She advised those persons who still own their own plantation to search the estate records for their grand-aunts before applying to the RGD. “They are more likely to find their great-grands there than here.”

June 2007

Jamaica invades Cayman

The Jamaican government announced yesterday that it had invaded Grand Cayman and intended to set up a puppet administration that would report directly to Jamaica House. Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller said yesterday that the invasion became necessary after repeated attempts by the territory to expel Jamaicans resident in the islands. “It is unfortunate, but I have a responsibility to my people. Many Jamaicans live and work in Cayman, and I cannot overlook the humiliating treatment to which they have been subjected.”

The invasion reportedly took twenty minutes and the invading forces were led by Venezuelan troops. Prime Minister Simpson Miller said she was grateful to President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela for his continuing support in this and other matters.

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The JDF patrol skies over Cayman

The Cayman Islands are officially a part of the United Kingdom. However since the break up of the United Kingdom earlier this year, it is not clear whether the islands are an overseas territory of England or Scotland. Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Scotland and Prime Minister David Cameron of England issued a joint statement deploring the invasion.

U.S. President George W. Bush was said to be very concerned about the presence of Venezuelan troops in the Caribbean and advised that he “would be sending Condi down there as soon as she gets back from Iraq”. President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela

Most Jamaicans responded positively to the news that Cayman would soon be part of Jamaica again. Mark Wignall,Observer columnist and one of the Prime Minister’s fiercest critics, said he was pleased with the Prime Minister’s new assertiveness and said he thought the invasion could be a turning point for her administration.

August 2007

UWI professors bemoan loss of US influence in the world

Members of the Faculty of Social Sciences at University of West Indies, Mona Campus shocked the private sector and former students across the Caribbean today when they issued a joint statement bemoaning the loss of U.S influence in the world. The statement said that the UWI felt that the new world powers, Russia and China, showed little respect for the rule of law, democracy or human rights. Only the former “sole superpower”, the United States of America, could be said to have consistently promoted these values within its own borders.

The statement went on to say that UWI Social Science Faculty members were concerned that Russia and China were pursuing their own narrow political and economic interests on the global stage.
Chinese leader Hu Jintao and Russian President Vladimir Putin

In a tersely worded response, the Russian Ambassador urged UWI Faculty members “not to take themselves so seriously” and said he hoped they were not saying that Russia no longer acted as a “bulwark against U.S. hegemony in the Caribbean”.

The Chinese Ambassador said the Chinese people had always had a great respect for education and urged the UWI professors to take up scholarships offered by his Embassy and to become students in China as soon as possible. He felt that the University of the West Indies would benefit from having educated Faculty members.

December 2007

General elections postponed indefinitely, PM to form Government of National Unity Prime Minster Simpson Miller

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller yesterday announced that she was postponing general elections indefinitely. She said this had become necessary because the Oppostion was male-dominated.

“It is a fact that most adults of voting age are female. It would be a betrayal of Jamaican women to allow a male-dominated Opposition to contest an election at this time. I am therefore going to form a Government of National Unity.”

The Prime Minister said that she had invited UWI Distinguished Fellow Edward Seaga to represent the Opposition in the National Unity Government. Edward Seaga, Distinguished Fellow at UWI

Mr. Seaga said he had agreed to serve in Prime Minister Simpson Miller’s Cabinet as long as he could be Minister of Finance. He said he was “looking forward to trying one or two things I didn’t get to in the 1980’s”.

The Prime Minister also announced that JLP Senator Colonel Trevor McMillan will replace Peter Phillips as Minister of National Security “as of yesterday”.

Leader of the Opposition Bruce Golding is said to be in England, locked in a meeting with the island’s nominal head of state, Queen Elizabeth (the Last).

(More sneak peeks, previews and reviews over at Problogger )

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