News from the OPM

May Pen to Williamsfield Leg of East-West Highway Nears Completion
Government Providing Targeted Support to Jamaicans Who Need it
“Don’t Take Violent Behavior Lightly”, Prime Minister Cautions as he Visits Mother of Kemesha Wright
Prime Minister Condemns Brutal Killing of Mother and Four Children
Government On a Mission to Ensure Proper Shelter for All Jamaicans
SOE for the Parish of St. Catherine
Prime Minister Holness Welcomes Endorsement by the Republic of India of Minister Kamina Johnson Smith for Commonwealth Secretary General

Prime Minister Holness Welcomes Endorsement by the Republic of India of Minister Kamina Johnson Smith for Commonwealth Secretary General

May, 24 2022
Prime Minister Andrew Holness today welcomed the announcement by the Republic of  India endorsing Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, for appointment as Commonwealth Secretary General. India’s endorsement complements those of the Government of the United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, Singapore and the Maldives, who recently registered their support for Minister Johnson Smith “I am pleased with the expression of public support by the Government of the Republic of India for Minister Johnson Smith, for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General; this endorsement is indicative of the confidence Minister Johnson Smith enjoys and will certainly add to the growing momentum of her  campaign which has been exemplary.” In the meantime, Minister Johnson Smith has reacted to India’s endorsement with expressions of gratitude and restated her committment to working towards the achievement of the shared goals of the Commonwealth.
Prime Minister Hails as “Significant” Trinidad and Tobago’s Endorsement of Jamaica’s Candidature for Commonwealth Secretary General

Prime Minister Hails as “Significant” Trinidad and Tobago’s Endorsement of Jamaica’s Candidature for Commonwealth Secretary General

May, 22 2022
Prime Minister Andrew Holness today welcomed the announcement by Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr. Keith Rowley, that his country endorses Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, for appointment as Commonwealth Secretary General. Prime Minister Holness described the endorsement as quite significant, noting it is the first public endorsement of Jamaica’s candidature by a CARICOM member state. “I am very happy with Prime Minister Rowley’s endorsement of Minister Johnson Smith. Caricom has had the opportunity to hear  and see Minister Johnson Smith in action over the last 6 years as she has executed her role as Foreign Minister within the region and I am certain they would agree that she has been, and continues to be a very strong and sage voice which would be impactful within the context of the Commonwealth.” In the meantime, Minister Johnson Smith has expressed deep gratitude for Prime Minister Rowley’s endorsement and says she is committed to working towards the achievement of the shared goals of the Commonwealth. Minister Johnson Smith is currently in St. Vincent & the Grenadines as she returns from the Agri-Investment Forum in Guyana, where she had the opportunity to meet…
Prime Minister Andrew Holness Says Mask Requirement to Be Re-instituted

Prime Minister Andrew Holness Says Mask Requirement to Be Re-instituted

May, 20 2022
Says Jamaicans must take extra precautions as the country faces the fifth wave of the COVID19 pandemic Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that the mask wearing requirement will be re-instituted in short order, as the COVID19 positivity rate has increased. In that regard, the Prime Minister is urging Jamaicans to take extra precautions as the country faces the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. He says as the positivity rate seemingly increases, there should be an abundance of caution. The Prime Minister says that while the pandemic will be a “continuing feature of life going forward”, Jamaicans, like persons in other countries worldwide, will for some time experience recurrent bouts of infections from this disease. In the meantime, the Prime Minister stated that “after two years, everyone should know how to behave in order to protect themselves from the virus.” He also encouraged persons to get vaccinated. The Prime Minister said:“I am urging all Jamaicans to act responsibly; by now we know what to do. If you have not yet gotten your vaccine, I encourage you to do so. Vaccine sites are still open, and vaccination is ongoing, get vaccinated. Wear your mask, particularly indoors, but wear them generally,…
Prime Minister Andrew Holness Welcomes the UK’s Endorsement of Minister Kamina Johnson Smith for Commonwealth Secretary General

Prime Minister Andrew Holness Welcomes the UK’s Endorsement of Minister Kamina Johnson Smith for Commonwealth Secretary General

May, 20 2022
Jamaica welcomes the endorsement by the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, of Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, for appointment as Commonwealth Secretary General. Responding to the announcement of the UK’s support, Prime Minister Andrew Holness says it signals confidence in Minister Johnson Smith’s capabilities and demonstrated competence. The Prime Minister said, “The support of the United Kingdom, along with those of other Member States indicates that Minister Johnson Smith is increasingly enjoying confidence in her ability to positively transform the Commonwealth in keeping with the hopes and aspirations of its Members.” For her part, Minister Johnson Smith has warmly welcomed the UK’s endorsement and the confidence expressed in her ability to seize the opportunities ahead, through her vision for the Commonwealth to deliver meaningfully for all of us in a rapidly evolving world drawing on her diplomatic and managerial experience. Minister Johnson Smith has been leading a strong and convincing campaign across the Commonwealth. She recently wrapped up a tour of several African countries where she was very warmly received. Minister Johnson Smith is currently in Guyana where she continues to meet and share her vision for the Commonwealth with…
Prime Minister Urges Public Sector Workers Not to Create a Crisis for the Country

Prime Minister Urges Public Sector Workers Not to Create a Crisis for the Country

May, 13 2022
Says the Posture of the Government is One of Understanding and Dialogue Towards a Solution that is in the Best Interest of Everyone Prime Minister Andrew Holness is again urging public sector workers to seek to resolve their labour concerns in a way that does not disturb the ecosystem and revenue intake of our country.  The Prime Minister said industrial actions such as strikes without notice can destabilize the entire country and destroy the gains that have been made, putting the country in a worse off position to address the issues of the country’s workers. Speaking at the official opening ceremony of the Area 4 Headquarters of the Jamaica Fire Brigade in Montego Bay, Prime Minister Holness said, while we are faced with an ongoing pandemic and shocks from a war overseas, “we must not create shocks for ourselves.” Prime Minister Holness said; “We must not bring crisis onto ourselves because the posture of the government is not an antagonist one. The posture of this government is to take on the challenges in a respectful way because we recognize that the power of the government does not only lie in the authority of the legislation but it really lies in…
The Hon. Barbara Gloudon, OJ, FIOJ – A Cultural and Media Giant has Transitioned

The Hon. Barbara Gloudon, OJ, FIOJ – A Cultural and Media Giant has Transitioned

May, 12 2022
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has expressed deep sadness at the passing of broadcast journalist, playwright and historian the Hon. Barbara Gloudon, OJ, FIOJ. Affectionately called Miss G, she died at age 87 years old. Miss G served in media for more than 40 years, dating back to the early 1980s when she entered the field of broadcasting as host of Radio Jamaica's talkshow, Hotline. Additionally, she presented the weekly Anglican radio show, “Think on These Things”, on Radio Jamaica for many years. She also wrote radio plays, the most successful of which was the long-running "Wrong Move", which also aired on Radio Jamaica. Notably, she served for decades as the lead writer of Jamaican classics in the pantomime. In 1975 Barbara Gloudon received the honorary title of Order of Distinction and later in 1992 was awarded the Order of Jamaica. In 2012, she received the title of Fellow of the Institute of Jamaica, FIOJ. In the 1970s Barbara Gloudon served as Deputy Director of Tourism. Prime Minister Holness said: “My sincere condolences to the media and theatre fraternities, the family and friends of Barbara Gloudon. Jamaica has lost a woman who has helped to shape the history and culture of our…
President of the Republic of India His Excellency the Hon. Ram Nath Kovind to Pay State Visit to Jamaica

President of the Republic of India His Excellency the Hon. Ram Nath Kovind to Pay State Visit to Jamaica

May, 07 2022
The Government of Jamaica is pleased to welcome the President of the Republic of India His Excellency the Honourable Ram Nath Kovind to the island on a four-day State Visit. President Kovind will be in Jamaica May 15 to 18. The visit comes as Jamaica celebrates 60 years of political independence and also marks 60 years of diplomatic relations between Jamaica and India. President Kovind is the first President of India to visit Jamaica. During the historic visit, the Indian President will receive a ceremonial welcome at the Norman Manley International airport and will be met by State and Government officials. He will pay a courtesy call on the Governor General His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen. President Kovind will also meet with Prime Minister Andrew Holness and engage in other activities including laying a wreath at the shrine of Jamaica’s first National Hero the Right Excellent Marcus Garvey and hold an engagement with the Indian community in Jamaica. President Kovind will leave Jamaica on May 18.
Government of Jamaica Will Not Allow Abuse of Our Citizens by the Security Forces – PM Holness

Government of Jamaica Will Not Allow Abuse of Our Citizens by the Security Forces – PM Holness

May, 07 2022
Citizens must also change how they respond to authority and law enforcement Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government of Jamaica absolutely rejects the abuse of Jamaica’s citizens by law enforcement. In response to recent videos that have surfaced of altercations between law enforcement and citizens in the Denham Town community, the Prime Minister said he has been in discussions with the Chief of Defence Staff and the Minister of National Security who are closely monitoring the conduct of the officers. The Prime Minister said; “The Government of Jamaica will never, in any way empower our security forces to abuse our citizens. Everyone who wears a uniform and is under oath to serve and protect, must understand  that directive of the government.” Sections of the Denham Town community have been under a Zone of Special Operation for several months. However, there has been an increase in reports of challenges between citizens and the security forces. The Prime Minister underscored that the incidents are unfortunate, and noted that directives have been given to the security chiefs which are to be properly and thoroughly executed “to ensure the preservation of life and the enhancement of the security of the citizens.” He stressed…
Expansion of National Service Corps Will Mitigate Against Imminent Skilled Labour Shortage – PM Holness

Expansion of National Service Corps Will Mitigate Against Imminent Skilled Labour Shortage – PM Holness

April, 22 2022
“We have underutilised capacity in our population which we must bring into the labour force in a structured and organised way,” said Prime Minister Holness. Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government is seeking to expand the Jamaica National Service Corps (JNSC), to facilitate the training of more young people and to promote the meaningful engagement of unattached youth. Noting that Jamaica is currently experiencing challenges in meeting the demand for labour, the Prime Minister says the programme will ensure growth in the labour force, while simultaneously empowering our youth to be productive members of society. Importantly, the Prime Minister says the programme will absorb significant 'leakage' from the education system and divert young men from illicit activities including gang culture, the underground society, and a life of crime. Prime Minister Holness says the challenge with labour could become chronic and could have significant negative impacts on Jamaica’s growth and development outlook. Importantly, Prime Minister Holness clarified that, “It’s not that we are short of people; that’s not the problem. We are short of labour.” In order to be counted as a part of Jamaica’s labour market, one must be 14 years or older and actively seeking employment over a…