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Shut up! Adams tells Seaga
BY ERICA VIRTUE Observer writer [email protected]
Monday, May 31, 2010
CONTROVERSIAL and verbose former Senior Police Superintendent Reneto Adams last week strongly recommended silence for former Prime Minister Edward Seaga, who has come out swinging against the government and military operations into Tivoli Gardens, a community that he built in the 1960s and which became the centrepiece of his and the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP’s) political support for more than four decades.
Adams, who crossed path with Seaga on several occasions during his 41 years as a police officer, and who had either led or was apart of security operations in the community, called Seaga a hypocrite
“For Mr Seaga to have come out and speak as strongly as he did, about the disruption and dislocation in Tivoli Gardens, I want to say that it is highly hypocritical…”, the outspoken retired crime fighter said, minutes after he concluded the keynote address at the Rotary Club of Kingston luncheon at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel last week.
In a stinging broadside against the JLP, and Prime Minister Bruce Golding, his former protégé, Seaga again defended the residents of Tivoli Gardens and said that a massacre had taken place in the community.
He put the death toll at 125, instead of the 73 given by security officials, based on information he claimed to have received from the community. Charging, too, that bodies had been buried as part of a cover-up, based on information he received, Seaga accused Prime Minister Golding of ineptitude.
Adams in 2001 led a police and military team in the community, to ward off a planned attack on Wilton Gardens (Rema) which had suffered more than 100 casualties at the hands of Tivoli Gardens gunmen over the years, with some last week, showing the scars of what they say was Tivoli brutality.
After the four-day standoff in 2001, 27 persons were killed, including security personnel, and Adams crypitically warned then that “Jamaica would pay dearly, dearly, dearly” for the fortification of the community, which has used strong-arm tactics to maintain political support for the JLP in the Corporate Area.
The community is currently under occupation by members of the security forces led by the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) who are in search of Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, who was indicted last August by the United States on drug and gun-running charges.
The 80-year-old Seaga, who relinquished the helm of the JLP in 2005 to Golding, emerged from political hibernation after retirement to academia, in a combative mood which belied his advanced years.
According to Adams, Seaga “nurtured this location, this environment and these people, to the extent that the security forces under a JLP government could not bear the onslaught anymore, that they had to put the police and the army to deal with it in a most effective and efficient way.”
“Dare I say, Seaga has only himself to blame…” said Adams.
“I would recommend that instead of criticising, he goes in and try to reorient the people, on a line of decent and civil living. That is the recommendation I would give him,” he said.
For its part the JLP has offered no official response to the former leader’s charge that the party was split down the middle. However, the party has been distributing an audio of Seaga, responding to a question about “Jim Brown” (real name, Lester Lloyd Coke) the father of Christopher Coke, and who was the leader of the criminal Shower Posse, which was inherited by his son, Dudus.
The audio received on Saturday from a JLP operative quotes Seaga saying that Jim Brown was a protector of the community.
“Look at the man in terms of how the community respect and treats him as a protector of the community,” Seaga’s voice was heard saying, to loud roars in the background.
But Jim Brown’s notoriety spread way beyond Jamaica’s shores and the Shower Posse, which he led, and to which more than 1,400 deaths in the United States has been attributed.
The elder Coke died in a mysterious fire while in custody awaiting extradition to the United States.
Not known for tact, South West St Catherine Member of Parliament Everald Warmington has recommended that Seaga go quietly, somewhere, even as he described him as “a bitter old man”.
Seaga, who is now a distinguished fellow at the University of the West Indies, has been consistent in his criticisms of Golding’s leadership capabilities, describing his departure to the NDM as not a problem.
“It is mischievous for Seaga to be saying that Bruce should have gone in there and defended the people. The prime minister of the land with all of the advisors came to the conclusion that it was necessary to go in there and get criminal gunmen. I want to say to Mr Seaga that it is unwise and unprofessional for him to be criticisng the prime minister in such a fashion,” Adams said.
He said it was uncharacteristic for governing parties to have this kind of offensive into communities that are their political strongholds, but it was apparent that their backs were now against the wall.

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