By NAN STAFF WRITER
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Mar. 22, 2022: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge concluded day three of their tour to Belize Monday with a visit to Caracol, a large ancient Maya archaeological site and as they head to Jamaica today, advocates their are demanding reparations.
Professor Rosalea Hamilton of the Advocates Network, in an open letter backed by 100 supporters and published in the Independent, urged William and Kate, who are representing the Queen as she marks the 70th Anniversary (Platinum Jubilee) of her coronation, “to start with an apology and recognition of the need for atonement and reparations.”
“You, who may one day lead the British monarchy, are direct beneficiaries of the wealth accumulated by the British state over centuries, including that stemming from the trafficking and enslavement of Africans,” Professor Hamilton wrote. “You, therefore, have the unique opportunity to redefine the relationship between the British monarchy and the people of Jamaica.”
She added that the network believes that an apology is needed for British crimes against humanity, including but not limited to, the exploitation of the indigenous people of Jamaica, the transatlantic trafficking of Africans, the enslavement of Africans, indentureship and colonialization to begin a process of healing, forgiveness, reconciliation and compensation.
“We encourage you to act accordingly and just “sey yuh sorry!,” Professor Hamilton urged.
“To boldly lead a youthful generation in the hope that it is possible to create a future where ‘the philosophy which hold one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned”; where there is no “first class and second class citizens of any nation”; where “the colour of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes”; and, finally, where “basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race,’” she added, quoting the words from Emperor Haile Selassie I in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on 4 October 1963, made popular by Bob Marley in the song “War.”
“As a Rastafarian, Bob Marley embodied advocacy and is recognised globally for the principles of human rights, equality, reparations and repatriation. We urge you to use these words to create a new narrative and reality of peace for your generation and generations to come,” she ended.
The Royal couple will arrive in Jamaica today for a three-day visit as well.
Reparations has not been mentioned as a part of the tour.
According to Kensington Palace, “Their Royal Highnesses are keen to understand more about the impact that the pandemic has had across the Caribbean, and how communities have pulled together to respond to the challenges they have faced.”
Barbados severed ties with Briain on Nov. 30, 2021, becoming a republic after almost 400 years of various forms of British rule.
Calls for Jamaica to become a republic especially intensified after Barbados left the Commonwealth and Jamaica’s prime minister Andrew Holness declared in December 2021 that “Jamaica has to become a republic.” Holness added, “We have put together a plan to move towards that in a way that is meaningful and substantial in function and form. That is what we are going to do.”
Belize’s leader, too, has spoken about the need for a change in government structure. Prime Minister John Briceño said in July 2021: “Probably one of the things we will be talking about in the near future [is] whether we want to stay with the parliamentary system, or do we want to go to a republican system, or find a hybrid between a parliamentary system and a republican system?”