Chief Richard Currie, leader of the Accompong Maroons, has denied claims by Prime Minister Andrew Holness that Jamaica is a unitary state.
“Jamaica is a unitary sovereign state. There is no other sovereign authority in Jamaica other than the Government of Jamaica. I want that to be absolutely clear: None. And under my leadership, not one inch of Jamaica will come under any other sovereign authority,” Holness told reporters.
“This is not a government saying that they are local government, or a parish council government, which is under our constitution. Are you crazy? Really! Do you know what you are asking? This is the stuff of how guerilla wars come [about] and state breakdown. Wake up, Jamaica. Don’t court foolishness and problems. Wake up.” Holness said.
“People have died as a result and you expect me to stand here as prime minister and fund activities that could lead to the breakdown of our State? Never!” he added.
The Maroon‘s simply want to hold onto their land and their legacy. Accompong Town is an indigenous Maroon community. It still has a hold some autonomy under the independent Jamaican government. However, Holness refuses to fully acknowledge their power.
In early December, the Jamaican government issued a directive to all ministries, departments and agencies prohibiting the distribution of funds to any area that has declared itself sovereign— sending a clear message to the Maroons.
Holness’ recent comments provoked a blistering reaction from Currie.
“A statement that was made today [Sunday] by the prime minister regarding the Maroons and sovereignty and it’s an issue that has been of contention for sometime and an argument that has been discussed all across the media and the airways. And we really have not had the opportunity to properly address the issue at hand but the outburst, which I would call it, has demanded we now really tackle and deal with this elephant in the room once and for all,” said Currie at a press briefing on Sunday.
Currie then cited a letter written by British Parliamentarian Tom Driberg and entered the House of Commons on July 6, 1962.
“One month before Bustamante would have received the Charter to have a responsible Government from the Monarch within the Commonwealth. Nowhere in the Charter for Jamaica does it say Jamaica is a unitary sovereign state,” said Currie. “I implore Jamaican citizens to do a bit of research with me, go over the information. The Charter and Constitution of Jamaica came after the British Monarch signed an agreement with the Maroon Government.”
Currie added the Maroons would not join the country’s municipality as long as the government continues to be a “professional at begging the world,” who continues to “sell out our natural resources.”
“Those who are willing to be righteous at all cost and defend their estate from theft and those who remain as house slaves and gatekeepers for the corruption of leaving the Maroons out in 1962,” Currie adds.