PM expresses outrage at killing of children
Thursday, October 31, 2002
PRIME MINISTER P.J. Patterson yesterday expressed sorrow and outrage at what he said was the targeting of children by criminals and gunmen.
In a statement on the spate of killing of children across the island, Mr. Patterson said:
"It is with a sense of deep sorrow and outrage that I note the alarming trend emerging in our society where children are now being specifically targeted by criminal, terrorist gunmen on their rampage of death and destruction through our communities.
"My sorrow and outrage, I am sure, are shared by all well-thinking Jamaicans. On their behalf and on behalf of the Government, I extend heart-felt sympathy to the mothers and fathers, family and friends of all those who have lost children or whose children have been hurt.
"The outrage which accompanies our sorrow reflects our growing awareness that there are elements in our society, who are so morally depraved that they would wantonly take the lives of innocent children to satisfy their objectives which are born in minds and souls twisted by hatred and cruelty. This outrage should motivate us all to join hearts and hands and do whatever we can to rid our country of this scourge.
"On the Government's part, I have already spoken on our resolve to rid this country of gunmanship once and for all. I reiterate that we will continue to do whatever is necessary to strengthen our Security Forces to work untiringly towards this objective.
"But the Government and the Security Forces cannot do it alone. The guns are being wielded by sons, brothers, husbands and fathers who live among us and who are nurtured and protected by elements in our communities. Until every single daughter, sister, wife and mother, stands up and says enough, no more this scourge will not end.
"I call on every community organisation and leader, every private sector entity and NGO, every church and every institution, all political parties and their supporters to exert all your moral authority and employ all your creativity in the effort to rid our land of this pestilence."