Speaker of the House of Representatives, Pearnel Charles (left), accepts the relay torch from Karim Murray (fourth right) a participant in the Reparations Youth Baton Relay and Rally. (Photo credit: JIS)
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday November 24, 2017 – Speaker of the House of Representatives in Jamaica, Pearnel Charles, says compensation should be awarded for the many indignities heaped on the country’s ancestors during the period of slavery.
“We cannot undo the injustices of slavery, but we can honour our ancestors by demanding that their contribution be properly recognized,” he said during the Reparations Youth Baton Relay and Rally earlier this week, adding that the British Government felt it was just to compensate the planters, who had already benefited from slavery, by awarding them £20 million, the equivalent of more than £20 billion today.
“I encourage all Jamaicans not to dismiss the issue of reparations offhand but to try to understand the reasons behind the call and the implications it would have for our society.”
Charles commended the CARICOM Reparations Commission, and the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, through the National Council on Reparations (NCR), for staging the Reparations Youth Baton Relay and Rally.
The CARICOM initiative is aimed at building awareness among young people across the region about the issues surrounding the reparations movement and agenda.
Relays have been held in Barbados, Guyana, Suriname, St Lucia, and Antigua and Barbuda.