PM Lauds Overseas Nationals for Contribution to Education and Community Development
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
|Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson|
Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has applauded Jamaicans living in South Florida for their contribution to the island as reflected in their overwhelming support for education and community development initiatives.
Speaking at an appreciation reception hosted by Jamaica's Consul General to Miami, Richard Allicock in Fort Lauderdale on Friday (Oct. 10), Mr. Patterson said all Jamaicans and the Government appreciated the work being done by nationals in Florida and the impact this has had in helping to create a better quality of life for the entire society.
"In this connection, I would like to pay special tribute to the Jamaican overseas community not just in terms of remittances, but in terms of their commitment to supporting educational advancement in Jamaica.. we appreciate all you are doing in education and in community development, as we work to create a better quality of life for our entire society," Mr. Patterson stated.
He congratulated the six Jamaicans who have been elected to serve the City Council of Dade and Broward counties, noting that the involvement of Jamaicans in the political system of South Florida could have a positive impact in "directing the thoughts, actions and decision-making process at the county level."
Updating the Jamaicans on developments locally, Mr. Patterson pointed to significant Government expenditure in physical infrastructure, education and health.
"We've been making significant investments in two principal areas during the life of this administration. The first is in physical infrastructure, in our roads, in our water supply, in housing ..we are expanding our airports and our seaports. All of this is laying a sound foundation for sustained economic growth and the creation of jobs for our people to improve their standard of living," the Prime Minister stated.
Turning to investments in health and education, the Prime Minister said, "the health of a nation is the wealth of a nation and in today's world of instant communication and technology, knowledge is power and the sooner you start putting the young ones on the knowledge track, the better it is for the nation as a whole."
He highlighted the need for a constant flow of reliable and trustworthy information between nationals at home and abroad to prevent the misinformation that sometimes occurred.
"I think it is very important that there be a flow and an access to instant but reliable and trustworthy information. Certainly, we want an informed society.
We have a very well established democratic process, we have had changes of Government that has always been accepted by the people, we have a country where the rule of law prevails, we respect the independence of our Courts and there is the right to descent and the freedom to express oneself .but it is important that people be properly informed," the Prime Minister stated.
Prime Minister Patterson also pointed to the need for sound values and proper attitudes, noting that no society could exist in the absence of such principles. He said the absence of values and attitudes led to the absence of discipline, loss in productivity and crimes of varying kinds.
The event was attended by a wide cross-section of the Jamaican community in South Florida, members of the consular corps and friends of Jamaica.