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Tensions ease

marciadottin, [email protected]

Tensions ease

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JAMAICANS in downtown Kingston seemed to breathe easier yesterday as they went about their business following a week of high drama that saw security forces and residentsof Tivoli Gardens draw lines over plans to extradite Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke,who is wanted on gunand drug chargesin United States.But in the event of an uprising by foot soldiers and supporters of Coke, Jamaican security forces yesterday beefed up personnel around the Kingston Public and Victoria Jubilee hospitals.In a release to the media, Ministerof Health Rudy Spencer said the safetyof health workers wasof paramount importance.“The welfare of our staff is our number one concern and so we are goingto be acting swiftlyand doing all we canto make improvementsin the area of security.”  Some hospital staff were being transportedto and from workby the security forces.The minister also said police would increasetheir patrols aroundthe hospitals andcontinue to provideescort services to people leaving the facilities.Military planeThere were alsoreports of a United States military plane landingat the Norman Manley International Airport Friday stirring speculation that the forces hadnailed one of America’s “most wanted”. Over the past days a number of countries have issued travel advisories cautioning their citizensof the possibility of civil unrest in “the landof wood and water”. But the quietnessand economic activityin Kingston yesterdaywas business as usual– if only temporarily, according to a Jamaica Observer report.“. . . Nothing not going on today man, everything all right; you don’t see the market full same way,” said a handcart vendor inside the Coronation Market, metres from where residents of Tivoli Gardens mounted a metal blockade on a road leading into the community.“Monday is holiday so you know them [police] not going to come for ‘Dudus’ until ’bout Tuesday, and plus people have to get them food for the holiday,” said one customerwith a laugh.(JS)