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Gov't still determining how to share trust fund among survivors of Coral Gardens incident

Culture Minister Olivia Grange has said challenges in determining how a trust fund should be shared among survivors of the 1963 Coral Gardens incident, have caused the hold up in compensating them.
 
Ms Grange provided an explanation for the delay in a media release Thursday.
 
The survivors have expressed frustration with the slow pace of disbursement from the Trust Fund.
 
Ms Grange said $12 million is in the trust fund which is in the care of the Administrator General's Department.
 
She said the Office of the Public Defender, which conducted a comprehensive survey of the socio-economic and living conditions of  the survivors, said it was unable to find a yardstick by which to recommend individual monetary compensation.
 
As a result, Ms Grange said the issue of a fair mechanism to determine compensation continues to occupy the Ministry's attention in light of the conclusion of the Public Defender.
 
The minister said she is determined to expedite the process so the survivors will not have to wait much longer.
 
The Coral Gardens incident refers to a series of events that occurred in Jamaica from April 11 to 13, 1963. 
 
Following a violent altercation at a gas station in Montego Bay, St. James, there was a massive state crackdown against Rastafarians.
 
Elder Care Home
 
In the meantime, Ms Grange said the Government, with the help of the Rastafari Coral Gardens Benevolent Society, has identified land that will be used to house a permanent Elder Care Home for the victims. 
 
She said in the interim, temporary facilities will be used.
 
Ms Grange said wheelchairs, furniture and furnishings have also been provided to survivors by Food for the Poor, the Ministry of Social Security, and private donors.
 
Additional initiatives to assist the survivors should be implemented next month.
 
 


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