Minister seeks to avert Jamaican protests
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday March 9, 2011 – Minister of Transport and Works Mike Henry has appealed to residents of the north-western parish of Trelawny not to go ahead with protests that he said could endanger the fledging cruise industry in the capital, Falmouth.
Henry said he was concerned about reports of planned road blocking demonstrations in Northern Trelawny to call attention to bad road conditions. He said that could seriously affect the commuting of cruise ship passengers visiting the parish.
“I understand there is a plan to block the roads, Wednesday and Thursday, to prevent cruise ship passengers travelling to attractions like the Good Hope Great House, and I am appealing to these people not to block the roads and prevent the visitors from sightseeing, because this can affect national development,” Henry said, adding that he had informed the Minister of National Security about the matter.
A number of demonstrations have already been staged in the area, in which residents cut down trees to block roads.
Two cruise vessels are expected to visit Falmouth this week – the Freedom of the Seas today and the Voyager of the Seas tomorrow.
Falmouth welcomed its first cruise ship in recent years on February 17, when Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Voyager of the Seas with over 3,000 passengers docked at the newly built US$221 million pier, a joint effort between Royal Caribbean and the Government-owned Port Authority of Jamaica. A 18th century concept of the town, including cobblestone streets, ancient tramcars and the planting of some 500 trees, to give it a special historical flavour, is still being developed.
The grand opening celebrations of the historic port will take place on March 22, when Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise vessel with over 6,000 passengers, will dock.