Minister of National Security Robert Montague. (FILE)
KINGSTON – The Jamaica government, worried at the “negative connotation”: that the words state of emergency (SOE) may have on the island as a tourist destination, is now referring to the situation as “enhanced security measures”.
National Security Minister, Robert Montague said that the some which was recently extended for a further 30 days in St James, where the tourism capital, Montego Bay is located, said that “we will no longer refer in St James to the state of (public) emergency.
“We are in the tourism capital. Tourism is the life blood. A state of emergency has a negative connotations overseas and therefore, we would like to refer from hence forth to the enhanced security measures,” Montague said as he addressed stakeholders here on Sunday.
He said the aim is to protect the tourism industry.
“The government has declared a State of Emergency. It is not a limited State of Emergency. Let, us make it very clear, it is a state of emergency in St James. But after today, we will make the reference as enhanced security measures. We must dance a yard before we dance abroad.
“We have to get the language right, so that when we speak of it from hence forth, we speak in to the market place, so we can protect the tourism industry that in turn produce the dollar,” Montague said.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness who sought the extension of the SOE late last month, said other significant operations will be pursued during the extension to May 2.
He said the operations are targeting the facilitators of the importation of guns and the operators of illegal lottery scamming.
“We must take back control of our country. We must dismantle organised crime,” he said.
More than 200 people have been detained under the SOE. (CMC)