‘If we must die’

CENTRAL MANCHESTER Member of Parliament (MP) Peter Bunting yesterday said Jamaicans who are taking a stand against crime could be putting their lives on the line, but stressed that it was necessary in order to free the country from the clutches of criminality.

“We know that confronting the evil men of violence in the society will involve risk and require great courage,” Bunting said, as he made his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in Parliament.

Bunting, who is also the opposition spokesman on national security, told the House that Jamaica’s crime problems had become even more acute with the actions of the Government in handling the request for Tivoli Gardens reputed strongman, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.

He said Coke allegedly leads a criminal organisation which probably has “more liquid cash than the Government and better armed than the State”, but noted that the Opposition People’s National Party took courage from Claude McKay’s If We Must Die as it sought to make Jamaica a better place.

Bunting also argued that the Shower Posse had demonstrated its “strength, international reach, resilience and viciousness” and said it must be brought down.

In accusing the Golding adminis-tration for having weaved “a complex web of deception” in the handling of the extradition request for Coke, Bunting said Golding’s Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) engaged the services of US law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in the hope that it could secure a “blie” for Coke.

“The prime minister and his ministers have lost the moral authority to talk to anyone about crime and corruption,” Bunting said, much to the annoyance of govern-ment members.

But Ernest Smith, the South West St Ann MP, was unimpressed by Bunting’s presentation.

“Now is not a time to create smokescreens, to make mountains out of molehills and to try and derail, to detract from the economic success of this Government,” Smith said, while arguing that Jamaicans should be focused on propelling themselves out of the clutches of the recession.

His comment was, however, greeted by a sotto voce comment from Opposition MP Roger Clarke who quipped: “You have more nerves than a bad tooth.”

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