Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Sir Kenneth Hall, has called on Jamaicans to recognize the seriousness of the challenges faced by the country, and the need to devise new ways of dealing with these issues.
He said that while “we are proud of our political independence,” and have made significant progress over the past 46 years in creating a democracy in which all citizens are highly valued, and have forged honourable relationships with the nations of the global village, the issues that seek to erode attempts at advancement, need to be addressed urgently.
Sir Kenneth’s Independence Day message was delivered by the Hon. R. James deRoux, Custos of Clarendon, at the flag-raising ceremony held in May Pen on Wednesday, (August 6).
“We are a proud people who place great value on our political independence. In these 46 years, successive governments have made significant strides in the creation of a democratic society in which we value highly the worth of each citizen, while maintaining honourable relations with other nations in this region and around the world,” the Governor General said.
“However, even as we celebrate these achievements and set an agenda for economic progress, let us not forget the new challenges that we face today, particularly in the areas of crime and violence. We must accept that the world has undergone dramatic changes, and in response to the challenges of the new millennium, we must adopt new methodologies and new approaches to address the issues we face today. Lawlessness, which continues to erode the social order and undermine the economic strides we are making, must be urgently addressed and eliminated,” Sir Kenneth emphasised.
He implored Jamaicans to remember the positives, the achievements and the milestones, which provide the nation with hope. He said in spite of its small size, the island had done itself proud by achieving high international standards in many areas, including music, athletics and production. He expressed confidence that the athletes who would be performing in the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, would perform at their usual best.
The Governor General said that the young people, the future leaders of the nation, should be made to understand the critical role they have to play. He called on parents and teachers to focus on providing these young people with a greater understanding of the significance of Independence, and to “inspire them with a vision of the great possibilities that lie ahead.”