Bartlett Criticizes Gov't for Excluding Opposition from Diaspora Conference Planning

Release Date: 
Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 16:15

Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade, Ed Bartlett, is criticizing the Government for its failure to include the Parliamentary Opposition in the planning and organization of the 6th Bienniel Jamaica Diaspora Conference to be held in June at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

Mr. Bartlett says the Diaspora Conference should be showcasing a nation united around an agenda for development, but instead, the Government has deviated from that tradition, marring the upcoming Conference with a kind of politicking we could well do without.

Mr. Bartlett said: "The Diaspora community is a valuable asset to our country and has been contributing to our nation's development in so many ways. By excluding the Opposition from the planning and consultations related to the Conference, the Government is pursuing a form of politicking that has no place in modern Jamaica. The Government should recognize that it would have been better served by presenting a unified front, and acting in a manner that reinforces the fact that the Diaspora is a non-partisan grouping of persons and should not be subjected to the vagaries of political one-upmanship."

The Opposition Spokesman said: "It is quite unfortunate for members of the Diaspora to be reaching out to me as Foreign Affairs spokesperson for information regarding the Conference, only to learn that the Opposition, quite unprecedentedly, has not been included in the planning and is therefore not in a position to provide pertinent information. The Government's approach to this year's Conference is an unfortunate display of politicking which will only serve to polarize the Diaspora, and is another mark against how this government manages the affairs of Jamaica.

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