Young Jamaica, the youth arm of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), is deeply offended by the absence of representatives of the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) at a significant civic occasion on February 24.
The event was the wreath-laying ceremony held at the National Heroes’ Park in commemoration of the birth of the nation’s first prime minister, JLP founder and National Hero, Sir Alexander Bustamante.
“In a show of what can only be considered as vulgar partisanship, the PNP refused to provide the common decency and accord the service with the honour and respect deserved for one of our country’s stalwarts,” Young Jamaica said in statement.
“In the presence of diplomats, government officials and school children, the PNP displayed gross disrespect to all in attendance. They failed to offer a single representative for the function, provided no apologies for absence and showed utter disregard for the civic responsibility entrusted to it as the nation’s Opposition.”
Young Jamaica said the PNP’s absence was the latest incident in a “disturbing trend” over the years to “diminish the value of national events and protocol, apparently for their narrow interests”.
The JLP youth arm argued that the PNP’s absence from the ceremony highlighted “the growing contempt that its members have for the Government and the disturbing seeds of discord they wish to sow amongst the population”.
Said Young Jamaica: “Thankfully, our people continue to reject their approach as an alternative to good governance.
“We call on Mark Golding, the Leader of the Opposition, and the beleaguered president of the once respected PNP, to offer an apology to the Government and most importantly, to the people of Jamaica, for the absence of the Opposition members at the ceremony. The nation deserves bold, mature, and united leadership, underpinned by respect, decency, and order.
“Leaders of this country must portray statesmanship in order to foster a better nation for our people as directed in the words of Sir Alexander Bustamante: ‘Without discipline, we cannot succeed; and with disorder we will fail’.”