Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tivoli COE: Tivoli's Audacity to challenge the JDF

" In the end, the incursion into Tivoli played out like a well written movie script. The army surgically wrestled the community from the grasp of the criminal elements that had imprisoned its residence and had the audacity to challenge the government and by extension, the law enforcement agencies of the state."

That is an excerpt from a book written by a former JDF Officer, Major Stanley P. Ford ( Ret) entitled "Core Values : A Soldier's Story". Interestingly, the Introduction is by
Stewart Saunders Major General (Retired ) CD, JP, MSc, psc 
Chief of Defence Staff 
Jamaica Defence Force 
21 January 2012

 The view expressed by Ford must be given tremendous weight; and to some extent reflects the perspective of those in the officer corp of the JDF at the time. The then Chief of Staff would have sought the correction of any egregious error in any account of what was a catastrophic exercise. In fact Saunders reinforced the veracity of the account given by stating:

" This work gives a highly factual account of military service and the story is told with passion and humour."

  • Will the Tivoli Commission of Enquiry get around to exploring this perspective and investigate how such may have influenced the treatment of the remaining residents of Tivoli ?
  • Before the deployment of troops, were they advised that they were about "to go to war in Tivoli and some might not return"?
  • Was The JDF full mobilized and put on a war footing for the  Tivoli Gardens incursion?

The most disconcerting of the quote is that "the incursion into Tivoli played out like a well written movie script." It will be interesting to ascertain exactly who were the "scriptwriters", "main actors", "supporting cast" and the "games played" that ultimately involved the death of more than 76 persons.

Let us view closely the "screen credits."

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