Jamaica is ready to break away from British Monarch, says PM Andrew Holness.
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Wednesday made it clear to visiting royals the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William, and Kate that the country was intent on becoming independent. He also hinted at the calls for reparations by islanders who are mainly the descendants of slaves under the British Monarchy.
The Duke and Duchess landed in Jamaica on Tuesday as part of their week-long tour of former British Caribbean colonies that coincides with Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years on the throne. There are reports that the visit, which coincides with Jamaica’s 60th year of independence, solidifies relations with Jamaica, so they remain in the Commonwealth.
While at his office, the Prime Minister mentioned that Jamaica wants to be independent. His comments come a day after protesters at the British embassy in Kingston demanded an apology for the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and for reparations to be paid to the ancestors of the slaves.
“There are issues here which as you would know are unresolved,” Holness said to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. “But Jamaica is as you would see a country that is very proud … and we’re moving on. And we intend … to fulfill our true ambition of being an independent, fully developed and prosperous country.”
Prime Minister Andrew Holness did not mention reparations, but there are speculations that his carefully chosen words-“issues” that are “unresolved” hint at the demand.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister had previously said that Jamaica was exploring the plans to become a republic, following sister island Barbados which declared independence last November.
The PM in previous years had said the topic is highly debatably, and the final decision would be put to the people in a referendum. However, the calls for scrapping the Queen as head of state has intensified as Jamaica prepares for its 60th-anniversary celebration this year.
PM Andrew Holness also gifted Prince William a special blend of Ruby Appleton Rum.
“This morning, Juliet and I, as well as Cabinet Ministers attached to the Office of the Prime Minister, together with Permanent Secretary Audrey Sewell, welcomed Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, to the Office of the Prime Minister for a courtesy call,” Holness said. “During the meeting, I had the pleasure of presenting Prince William with a special blend Ruby Appleton Rum created by renowned Master Blender, Joy Spence.”