Jamaica Government Target Freedom of Expression

peter buntingAfter his plaintive lamentation for ‘divine intervention’ to arrest crime woes, and his subsequent interactions with entertainer, Queen Ifrika, National Security Minister Peter Bunting has hit another discordant chord that cannot, in any way, shape or form, harmonise with the melody of well-thinking Jamaicans.

At Tuesday’s sitting of the House of Representatives, Bunting sounded a note that appeared to be blatantly at variance with the tone of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms that guarantees, among other things, the right to freedom of expression.

The minister’s dissonance emerged as he brought proposed legislation to Parliament to cripple criminal organisations, but on the face of it, seeks to muzzle hard-hitting social commentaries in music that, all too frequently, target politicians.

It is an open secret that organs of the State, such as the law enforcement arm and the Parliament, frequently perceived to be at variance with the laws of the land and basic ethical standards that their members are sworn to uphold, are usually the artistic targets of creative and obnoxious deejays and reggae artistes.


The disharmony emerging out of Bunting’s bill is already evident in a query raised by a member of the fraternity. Does this move constitute retaliation by attempting to ‘kill’ the lyrical character of the indigenous genre that is dancehall music?

Cited as the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisation) Act, the bill “makes provisions for the disruption of criminal organisations and related matters”.

Its relevance lies, allegedly, in the observation that “existing laws have failed to adequately disrupt, suppress or otherwise deal with organised crime and the activities of criminal organisations effectively”.

And so, Bunting’s bill argues that “the activities of criminal organisations present a danger to public order and public safety and the economic stability of Jamaica”.

The proposed legislation defines a criminal organisation as any gang, group or alliance, group, network or similar arrangements among three or more persons, whether formally or informally organised.

This begs yet another question: Is this an attempt to quash groups of entertainers who are springing up left, right and centre as young artistes attempt to make headway on the tailcoat of more accomplished partners?

Having spoken to what it characterises as the “pervasive presence of criminal organisations in many communities”, the bill seeks to “restore a sense of security in the Jamaican society”. It was within this context that Bunting’s proposal presumably sought to make a dubious nexus to tough-talking musicians.

Part Two of the bill highlights offences for the disruption and suppression of criminal activities.

Subsection 15 (1) states: “A person shall not use a common name or identifying sign, symbol, tattoo or other physical marking, colour or style of dress, or graffiti, or produce, record or perform songs to promote or facilitate the criminal activity of a criminal organisation.”

It is left to be seen how enforceable this provision will be in practice. Will the ambit or mandate of the Broadcasting Commission be broadened to vet the lyrics of each singer, rapper or deejay?


More fundamentally, the provision of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedom appears to be under attack. In seeking to muzzle hard-hitting social commentators, the bill appears to be on a collision course with the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (Constitutional Amendment) Act, 20ll which explicitly states that: “Parliament shall pass no law and no organ of the State shall take any action which abrogates, abridges or infringes those rights.”

Some of the rights being threatened are:

The right to freedom of thought, conscience, belief and observance of political doctrines

The right to freedom of expression

The right to seek, receive, distribute or disseminate information, opinions and ideas through any media

The right to life, liberty and security of the person, and the right not to be deprived thereof except in the execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which the person has been convicted

This bill perhaps best explains why the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel is so overworked, having to contend with the seeming lack of thought evident in the raw materials that are dispatched to that body to be miraculously fashioned into legalese.

Ninja Man murder trial set for May 2013

Veteran Dancehall superstar, Desmond ‘Ninja Man’ Ballentine will be made to wait a few months for his long-awaited murder trial to begin, but will be afforded an extra amount of freedom until it begins.

Ninja Man will be made to wait until May 2013 to answer a murder charge stemming from a March 2009 shooting incident of a 20-year-old man. The new date was set inside the Home Circuit Court in Kingston on Monday as the case could not be heard due to the fact Ninja Man’s lawyer, Valerie Neita-Robertson is currently working on a murder case involving three policemen.

Ninja Man, his son, Janiel Ballentine and two other men are currently on JA$2 million bail as they await trial.

In the meantime, Ninja Man had his curfew temporarily lifted by the Home Circuit Court for the holiday season, giving him the green light to perform at STING 2012 on December 26 (Boxing Day) in Portmore, St. Catherine. The self-professed Don Gorgon will be allowed to perform without time restrictions between December 8, 2012 and January 7, 2013.

As a condition of his bail, Ninja Man was ordered to be at home from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. each day but had the curfew lifted after his lawyer argued that such a restriction would hurt his earning potential during the holiday season.

Captain Barkey remembered as a true Danchall Artiste and a GALLIS!!!!!

Wayne Hamilton, who was shot to death alongside gal pal Tracy Bennett outside Holiday Motel, taunted Joseph Kernizan in song ‘Nah Lef Joe.’ Police are hunting Kernizan, who allegedly gunned down duo after Bennett begged for her life

Joseph Kernizan, suspect in double slaying outside the Holiday Motel in the Bronx.

The popular reggae singer gunned down with his secret girlfriend outside a seedy Bronx hotel had taunted his romantic rival and accused killer in song.

In “Nah Lef Joe,” released in 2010, Wayne Hamilton, 50, better known as Captain Barkey, sang of bedding a woman, then complaining in the chorus, “She tell me she nah lef Joe.”

Friends said the song was aimed at Joseph Kernizan, 42, the man cops are hunting for killing Hamilton and his lover Tracy Bennett early Saturday outside the Holiday Motel, where the doomed duo had booked a room.

“It’s a song about her not leaving Joe,” said Bennett’s longtime friend Bella, who declined to give her last name.

“He was begging her to leave Joe for a long time.”

People close to Hamilton had repeatedly cautioned him to break off the steamy affair, warning him that Kernizan was “a serious man,” dancehall artist Wickerman told Jamaican entertainment news site One876Entertainment Saturday.

Bennett and Hamilton were about to get in her white Toyota Camry after an apparent early morning tryst at the hot-sheets motel when cops say they were confronted by Kernizan, a music promoter on Long Island who went by the nickname “Country.”

“Don’t do it! Don’t do it!” Bennett wailed, witnesses said, as she and Hamilton were gunned down.

Tracy Bennett begged for her life before she was shot dead.

Bennett, a nurse at a Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, L.I., had been dating the reggae star for five years, friends said.

Meanwhile, she struggled to leave Kernizan, the father of two of her three children.“He was so obsessed with her,” Bella said. As Bennett moved toward independence, even taking out an order of protection against Kernizan, he grew more enraged, the friend said.

“I know he wanted her dead — and the lover,” Bella said.
Other neighbors have said that police were frequently called to the house Kernizan and Bennett shared in Elmont. Hamilton, best known for his 1996 hit “Go Go Wine,” lived in Milwaukee with his wife, Mavis Hamilton.

She knew nothing about his affair with Bennett, even though he alluded to it in song.  “Now that he’s dead, what can I do?” Mavis Hamilton, 48, said. “The memories that I’ll keep is the man that I know that loved me.” She left worried messages for him when she didn’t hear from him after taking him to the airport Friday for his New York trip.”

The scene where a double shooting took place at the Holiday Motel in the Bronx.

Cops arrived to find both the victims dead at the scene. The man was 50, and the woman was 38.

The suspect, described as a bald man, sped away in a blue Honda sedan, sources said.

It was not immediately clear if the victims were staying at the motel. Investigators were still trying to determine the motive behind the brutal double murder.

Damone Jackson, 38, was pulling out of the lot with his girlfriend after they decided to go to another motel when the gunfire erupted.

“I saw the guy running around. He was dancing all over the place,” Jackson said. “Then, I heard the shots. It sounded like about 30 shots. It was like two clips worth.”

Jackson said he was about to go to the office to book a room, but his girlfriend insisted on finding another place to stay.

“I was about to check in five minutes before it happened,” he said. “I thank God that I didn’t come in here. I thank God.”

Vybz Kartel Baby Mama “Shorty” Pregnant For Another Man

Is Vybz Kartel’s baby mama, Tanesha ‘Shorty’ Johnson, pregnant for another man while the deejay is behind bars?

That is the question everyone is asking.

Vybz Kartel was right on point when he says “you cant get pum pum a prison, a next man have your girl when you missing” in one of his latest singles Back To Life.

The rumor mill is in full swing with allegations that Vybz Kartel baby mother, Tanesha ‘Shorty’ Johnson, is several months pregnant for a former member of the now defunct Portmore Empire.

Sources inside the gaza camp told Urban Islandz that the rumors are true, however, Shorty and Vybz Kartel has been separated for quite some time.

“Listen Shorty and Vybz Kartel are not together so even if these rumors are true it has nothing to do with Worl’Boss,”the source said.

“Shorty is her own big woman and she and Vybz are close but he knows she have to go on with her own life. People should stay out of other people business,”the source added.

Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, shares three kids with Tanesha ‘Shorty’ Johnson.

Do you think that dancehall artists getting bun is the new trend?

Is Rising Dancehall Artiste Wasp In Danger?

Reports are that dancehall artiste Wasp now fears for his life after friends of the artiste warned him that men from a neighbouring community were after him.

It is said that, according to the artiste, this all started after an incident occurred in Cassia Park, which left one man dead and another crippled.

It is said that he went on to say that a popular selector in the Cassia Park area was killed and that he has heard that he is next on the gunmen’s list.

It is said that although he has not been receiving death threats sent to his phone, the deejay told sources that a reliable source has informed him that the gunmen were coming for him.

According to reports Wasp went on to say that it would have been better if they had reached out to him so that they could come to a peaceful resolution over the matter.

Due to the threats on his life, it is said that Wasp stated that his parents have had to leave the area because their lives were also in danger.

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Prime Minister finally responds to President Mugabe’s comments


Prime Minister Portia  Simpson-Miller has described comments by the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, as being “unfortunate, misguided and disrespectful of Jamaican men”.
News reports surfaced on the weekend on a radio station in Zimbabwe, that President Mugabe described Jamaica, as a country of “marijuana smokers, where women are now taking charge, since men are always sloshed or drunk”. Mr. Mugabe is reported to have said, that he wishes that Zimbabweans, never follows the footsteps of Jamaicans.
Mrs. Simpson-Miller’s response came by way of a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister Thursday afternoon.