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Jamaica Must Stand Firm Against Arbitrary Banning of Entertainers - Minister Crawford

Ministry of Tourism | 2012-07-18 15:05:00

State Minister for Tourism and Entertainment, the Hon Damion Crawford has urged the nation to take a firm stance against the arbitrary banning of Jamaican entertainers by countries within the Caribbean Community, CARICOM. In making his contribution to the on-going Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday Minister Crawford, underscored the need to ensure free movement for Jamaican entertainers including dancers, singers and other artists.

Terming it “a sore point currently being faced by our industry,” Minister Crawford said, “we must stand against the arbitrary banning of our entertainers from performing on shows in some of these countries on the basis of lyrical content.” He also urged his fellow Parliamentarians to stand firm on the across the board adherence to the Treaty of Chaguaramas by all member states.

Despite his comments the State Minister was quick to highlight his support for CARICOM and the broader one Caribbean movement, and was quick to point out that “this is in no way suggesting support for lewd and crude lyrics.”

The Minister noted that over the years Jamaica has enforced treaties almost solely for only tangible goods. “We police the blocking of patties, beer and other manufactured items while seemingly ignoring the enforcement of these treaties for services,” he lamented. Minister Crawford said “I wonder when was the last time we reviewed the content of some of the products we import from these same countries banning our service export.”

While encouraging the continued efforts to promote the export of the nation’s tangible goods he reminded the House that Jamaica is a net exporter of services, adding that an increased effort must be placed in the protection of the service sectors. The Minister added that “one of the few ways Jamaica will benefit even from the Economic Partnership Agreement, EPA, is through services in general and entertainment in particular.”

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