The government of Jamaica has moved to demand reparations for Black people from the Queen for Britain’s role in the transatlantic slave trade.
It was stated that a petition is being prepared and will be submitted to Her Majesty and the UK government.
Harping on the development, the minister for Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grangesaid: “We are especially pleased to announce that we have made further steps in our strides towards seeking reparatory justice for the victims and descendants of the transatlantic slave trade.
“The petition is to be presented to the Queen of the UK and/or the Government of the UK.”
It was gathered that the move got a nod from the country’s Opposition – the People’s National Party (PNP).
Mark Golding, leader of the PNP, while speaking with newsmen, said: “The Opposition supports, and has supported for quite a long time, the call for reparations for slavery.
“PNP has been part of the thrust to seek reparations for the ongoing effects of slavery; a commission on reparations was established some years ago and that has continued across administrations in Jamaica so I would say there’s bi-partisan support for the effort to try and get an acknowledgement of the righteousness of the cause.
“There’s also a Caricom initiative to seek reparations which Jamaica is part of and support for that initiative has been bi-partisan.”
It would be recalled that Jamaica became a British colony in 1655. Records have it that between then and 1838, it stole over three million African people away from their homes across the continent and trafficked them across Atlantic Ocean as part of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Reports had that enslaved Black people were forcibly brought to British-owned colonies in the Caribbean, including Jamaica, and sold to work on plantations, cultivating sugar and other crops; brutalised and dehumanised all the while.
It was also stated that through its engagement in the trade, Britain benefitted from immense financial profit which set the very foundation for the country as we know it today.
Remarkably, records also have it that following emancipation, in one of the largest loans in history, the UK government borrowed £20 million from the Treasury to compensate slave owners for the inconvenience of not having enslaved Africans to make them rich.