PAJ Sends Open Letter to Prime Minister Simpson-Miller

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Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

British Prime Minister David Cameron Photo: Wikimedia

British Prime Minister David Cameron
Photo: Wikimedia

The Press Association of Jamaica, concerned about the failure to arrange press briefings for either the British Prime Minister or the Japanese Prime Minister during their visits to Jamaica, has sent the following open letter to Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller.

 

OPEN LETTER TO PRIME MINISTER PORTIA SIMPSON- MILLER

Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller
Office of the Prime Minister
1 Devon Road
Kingston 10

Dear Madam Prime Minister:

The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) notes with great concern that

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe  Photo: Wikimedia

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Photo: Wikimedia

there will be no opportunity for the press to ask questions of you and
British Prime Minister David Cameron on the occasion of his visit to
Jamaica, or of you and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during
his visit.


The PAJ is especially concerned, following as these visits do, the
recent visit of US President Barack Obama, where questions were
restricted to one from a Jamaican reporter and one from an American
reporter.

We regard it as critically important that the press be allowed to
interact with eminent visitors to our shores where those visits
concern matters of national importance, and wish to put on record that
we view the organization of these visits as inadequate when they are
limited to video and photo opportunities for the press.

While we understand that the wishes of the visiting heads of
government must be taken into account, we note that it is usual for
such visits to include press conferences, both when these heads of
government visit and when they host other heads of government.,

We refer to a very few examples, namely, the September 25, 2015 joint
press briefing at the White House on the occasion of the visit of the
Chinese President to the US; the joint press conference held by
President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron at the White House on
January 16, 2015; the joint press conference held at Downing Street by
Prime Minister Cameron and Chinese premier Li on June 17, 2014 during
the 2014 UK-China summit; the joint press conference at the White
House on April 28, 2015 between President Obama and Prime Minister
Abe; Prime Minister’s Abe participation in a joint press conference
with French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Presidential
Palace on May 5, 2014; and a joint press conference between Prime
Minister Abe and the French President during President Hollande’s
visit to Japan on June 7, 2013.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller Photo: Wikimedia

Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller
Photo: Wikimedia

We strongly urge you and your administration to make it a priority to
include, and to push much more vigorously for actual press briefings
with visiting heads of government. We regard this as an indispensable
aspect of such engagements, and we believe the people of Jamaica are
being short-changed by this side-lining of the press.

Sincerely,

Dionne Jackson Miller (Mrs.)
President

 

 

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  • Ricky Walker says:

    Keep up the excellent job of highlighting these issues that are very important to the Jamaican people. You are the voice of the Jamaica People.

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