Caribbean Report 26-08-1988



Table of Contents

1. Headlines (00:16-00:52)
2. The leaders of Jamaica’s two main political parties the People’s National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), sign a peace agreement aimed at curbing violence at the next general elections constitutionally due before the end of the year. The BBC correspondent Allan Tomlinson (assisted by Canute James in Kingston) reflects on scenes of violence from the previous elections in 1980, where there were an estimated 800 deaths due to violence, and reports on the current state of affairs. The leaders of both parties, Michael Manley and Edward Seaga both sign off on an accord which was drawn up to curb the violence. The also agree however, that it is not a guarantee that this will govern the behavior of their supporters. The same signing ceremony also saw the swearing in of retired Appeal Court Justice James Carr as the new political ombudsman. Carr is expected to play the role of referee, and will be backed by a team of senior police investigators. This move is geared towards giving the peace accord some “teeth”. Jamaicans recall however, that a previous peace agreement failed, and given the proliferation of weapons and violence in Jamaica, the atmosphere is as tense as it was in 1980 and the potential for violence remains high. (00:56-04:24)
3. Jerry Timmins brings the day’s financial report. (04:41-05:36)
4. BBC correspondent Derek Wilson reports from Rome where just prior to leaving for home, Archbishops and Bishops from Haiti are congratulated by the Pope John Paul for assisting Haitians in their “agonized search for true democracy”. The group of nine leaders, which was led by Archbishop Francois Gayot head of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Haiti, was encouraged by the pontiff to keep up their good work, while remaining within the boundaries of purely religious evangelization. He also cautioned them not to become involved in the politics of Haiti, and not allow the current drive against illiteracy to be exploited towards political ends. The bishops were also urged to fight increasing pressure from numerous religious sects and to help Christians overcome the traps of superstition and magic. He also urged them to do more to promote the family. (5:40-07:17)
5. Andy Edwards reports on Jamaican sprinter Grace Jackson’s performance at the MOBIL Grand Prix series in Berlin, in her bid to win the overall women’s prize. (07:21-08:45)
6. London’s Notting Hill Carnival set to hit the streets amidst hopes of an absence of the violence and crime that surrounded the previous year’s event. At least 10,000 policemen are expected to be on duty for the event, backed up by over 500 hand-picked stewards. Carnival Committee Chairman Alex Pascall views the presence and preparation of the stewards as a triumph, noting their level of training and readiness. Hugh Crosskill interviews Chief Steward Peter Reynold regarding the role of the stewards. Reynold notes that the stewards would be there to assist the police, help the community, and to relate what is going on to people who come from outside. They are also to provide key information on the best vantage points to view processions, provide first aid and other information. It was noted however, that the stewards have no powers of arrest. There are opinions that given the previous year’s events, which included a murder, that the Carnival had gotten out of hand and was unsafe. However, some felt that it should not be stopped. (08:48-11:57)
7. A look at Caribbean affairs over the past week as reposted in the British press. (11:58-14:29)