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Mixed reactions from West Kingston residents to PM's apology

Residents of West Kingston react to Prime Minister Andrew Holness's apology for the May 2010 incursion
 
 
There are mixed reactions to Prime Minister Andrew Holness's apology to the residents of West Kingston for the May 2010 security forces operation.
 
Speaking on Wednesday in the House of Representatives, Mr. Holness apologised for the loss of life, damage to property as well as the pain the residents endured during the period.
 
RJR News visited Tivoli Gardens on Thursday and sought reactions from some residents.
 
A woman who identified herself as Malvia did not believe the apology should have been delivered in the House of Representatives, but said the Prime Minister should have instead walked through the community and apologise to the people directly affected by the incursion. 
 
Another resident, however, did not see any significance to the apology given by the Prime Minister. He argued that the people had been looking forward to the government's promise of compensation but that has not been forthcoming. 
                                                   
Some residents also believe that it would have been more appropriate if Bruce Golding, who was Prime Minister in May 2010, delivered the apology.
 
"Bruce (Golding) shoulda really apologise too, yes, because him was the Prime Minister at the moment. But Holness, it mean good fi wi because at a least him have feelings like everybody, so him say him sorry," said one male resident.   
 
The apology was one of the 15 recommendations presented by the Sir David Simmons led West Kingston Commission of Enquiry.
 
It said a public apology was necessary in order to calm the hurt, bitterness and resentment of  the people of West Kingston, and with a view to promoting restorative justice and bringing closure to what it called a sorry chapter in Jamaica's history.
 
Compensation                                                 
 
In the meantime, details have been released on the methods used by the West Kingston Compensation Committee to determine the amount to paid to the estate of those killed during the May 2010 security forces operation.
 
The report from the West Kingston Compensation Committee said as it relates to the vast majority of the estates of persons, much of the arrangements relating to employment and dependency were informal. 
 
For instance, in cases where there was no documentary proof of  earnings, but information sufficient to conclude that a deceased individual was employed or had prospects of being gainfully employed, the minimum wage was applied in the assessment process.
 
The Committee said information relating to the deceased persons' living expenses was equally imprecise in most, if not all, cases. 
 
Submissions were made by lawyers representing the deceased persons' estates as to what would be the likely percentage of the individual's income that would have been spent on personal expenses. 
 
The Attorney General has not challenged this approach and has accepted in most instances the proposed percentages by counsel for the estates.
 
The West Kingston Compensation Committee also noted that the percentage approach has often been utilized by the courts in similar circumstances and accepted that, in the absence of exact figures, that approach was the best principle available.
 


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