Former Prime Minister Edward Seaga criticised the Government yesterday for betraying its vow to protect residents of embattled Tivoli Gardens, arguing that the assault by the security forces had caused widespread suffering for the most vulnerable.
Seaga, the former member of parliament for West Kingston who has been praised as the ideological architect of Tivoli Gardens, demanded that the lockdown be lifted to grant trapped residents access to food and medication.
“I am absolutely not happy. This is not what the minister of national security promised. He promised the people that they would not be harmed, and now they are fearful and starving for food and drink,” he told The Gleaner yesterday.
“The Government should lift the embargo they have over the area and allow the people to leave to look for food and drink,” he continued.
Seaga, who represented the West Kingston constituency – in which Tivoli Gardens is located – for more than 40 years, said he had been receiving calls from his former constituents about their ordeal.
“People have been calling for food and water, that they are not allowed to leave, and that they are penned in. It is a desperate situation and they are calling me. But I am powerless. I tell them to contact their member of parliament (Bruce Golding),” he said.
The army and the police attacked gunmen who had barricaded Tivoli to prevent them from arresting suspected drug lord Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.