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Small turn out in Zone 4 of Lion’s Club public speaking competion

Small turn out in Zone 4 of Lion’s Club public speaking competion

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Ministry of Education officials and other stakeholders in the Lions Club South Public Speaking competition will be assessing the reason for the poor participation of schools in this year’s competition.{{more}}

This was announced at the end of the preliminaries on Thursday September 30, 2010. Thursday’s zonal competition saw two out of six schools competing. The schools were the Troumaca Ontario Secondary School and the Petit Bordel Secondary School.

The topic for the zone four competition was: “Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke is symbolic of an unhealthy alliance between drug lords and politicians.”

Emrecia Lewis, representing the Troumaca Ontario Secondary School strongly agreed with the topic presented. Lewis, speaking for 11 minutes and 20 seconds, outlined that such an alliance between a drug lord and a politician is truly unhealthy. “It is unhealthy for our people and national security, it is unhealthy for our social and economic well being, and it is unhealthy for our image,” she said. Lewis further stressed that politicians are responsible for setting up policies and laws to make sure that order is maintained. She questioned how can politicians be trusted if they are involved with criminal entities.

Quoting from several Internet newspaper sources, Lewis sternly defended her position on the topic. She stated that the state of emergency declared in Jamaica in June, 2010 when it was announced that Coke was to be arrested, came about as Coke was ‘several things to several people’. She explained that to the US Government, he was a dangerous criminal responsible for trafficking drugs; to the poor people of Kingston, he was the man who fed them when they were hungry, gave them money, sent their children to school and buried their dead. To the Jamaican Labour Party, Lewis stated, he was an ardent supporter who received special privileges.

Also strongly agreeing with the topic, Atika Franklin, who represented the Petit Bordel Secondary School, stated that politicians have one goal only, which is to get re-elected. “Many politicians have one single and exclusive goal – to get reelected. His sole responsibility is to his party and its members,’ she emphasized.

Franklin added that many politicians align themselves with drug lords to intimidate the poor of the country. Referring to the state of emergency declared in Kingston in June this year, Franklin stated that it was ‘a direct challenge to the Government’s power, by gangs that were nurtured by successive Governments for over thirty years.”

She further stated that leading politicians rely on gang leaders to dominate their neighbourhood and “deliver works come election time.” In return, Franklin stated, gang leaders “were given Government contracts, arms, protection from the law and more or less total control of their neighbourhoods.”

Franklin also stated that Coke was a powerful, leading figure feared by foes and friends alike and that the unrest that occurred in Jamaica was the full extent of the alliance of drug lords with politicians.

The impromptu segment saw Franklin presenting on the ‘Fast Ferry’ in 1 minute and 36 seconds, during which she outlined the cost effective, speedy method of travel. Lewis presenting on ‘Trafficking’, spoke for a brief 36 seconds on drug trafficking.

The finals of the competition will take place on October 21, 2010.(OS)