With the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge about to visit the Caribbean island and Commonwealth member, protests of the royal visit have already begun. Jamaica will seek to join fellow islanders in Barbados in removing the Queen as head of state as British imperialism loses its grip on former colonies.
Many nations in the region have seen campaigns demanding repatriations and apologies for British colonial rule as well as a role in the slavery trade.
Senior figures from within the Jamaican community have written an open letter to the young couple who are currently touring the region.
The list includes business leaders, medics, musicians and politicians.
Speaking to The Independent, one government official said the matter of decoupling had been discussed at the “highest levels.”
Another source said: “The government has had to start the process; the road to becoming a republic is not an easy one but they have long been coming under significant pressure to do it.”
Jamaica has taken steps to remove the Queen as head of state
Barbados has recently become a Republic in a similar move
Some voices are however mounted concern over the move.
According to the same report, Prime Minister Andrew Holness was appointed to the Queen’s Privy Council – a body of advisers to the sovereign – in July, leading campaigners to question his intentions on the republic issue, despite a past commitment to it during his election campaign.
The move has seen some Jamaicans suggest there is little confidence the island will become a republic in the short term future.
A campaigner said: “I doubt the government will move quickly the prime minister just accepted the position on her Majesty’s Privy Council.”
The same person added the importance of becoming a republic isn’t personal but, rather, about the significance of Jamaica “removing the shackles of its colonial past.
Jamaicans are seeking an apology over British colonialism
The Prime Minister of Jamaica has recently joined a privy council
Yet on a Governmental level, steps are being taken to push forward with a strategy to seek repatriations from the British Government over slavery.
Speaking to members of a Government advisory board, Culture Minister Olivia Grange said the time had come to “step up the pace” in dealing with the issue.
She said: “The council must continue to work impatiently for justice for the atrocities committed against our ancestors, and those which flow from this history and persist against our people today.
“We need a roadmap for legal and diplomatic actions which will bring us monetary reparation.
“We need a roadmap that will extinguish a debt we have never owed.”
Culture Minister Oliva Grange said it is time to ‘step up’ the move
Jamaica’s main opposition party said it is aware of a planned protest calling for slavery reparations and apologies – and “agrees” the British monarchy should comply and atone for past atrocities.
Mark Golding, leader of the People’s National Party who is in favour of divorcing the monarchy and lobbying Britain for reparations, said he has been invited by the Government of Jamaica to participate in various events during Prince William and Kate’s visit and he plans to make “his views on these fundamental issues known to the royals”.
Mr Golding said: “Constructive dialogue is the best way to move this process forward, and attending these events provides an opportunity for this.
“The issues at hand are not about current personalities, but rather about the imperative of a principled reckoning with the past, and I intend to communicate directly our position on these issues.”
Should Britain apologise to Jamaica? Will Jamaica become a Republic? Has Barbados set the tone for the end of the British Commonwealth? Let us know your thoughts on these questions, or add your own views by CLICKING HERE and joining the debate in our comments section below – Every Voice Matters!
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will receive an open letter condemning British colonial behaviour
The open letter to the royal couple stated: “You, who may one day lead the British monarchy, are direct beneficiaries of the wealth accumulated by the Royal family over centuries, including stemming from the trafficking and enslavement of Africans.
“You, therefore, have the unique opportunity to redefine the relationship between the British Monarchy and the people of Jamaica.
“We are of the view an apology for British crimes against humanity is necessary to begin a process of healing, forgiveness, reconciliation and compensation.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK