Campbell's Commentary OPERATION MATLOCK. Unmasking the Diaspora Voice
By Aubrey Campbell
NEW YORK, NY. Tuesday, February 25, 2020—Folks, I get it. Today is Tuesday but not Super Tuesday. What I don’t get, however, is the silence from concerned Jamaicans overseas regarding the corruption charges being leveled at the person(s) purporting to represent and speak for/on behalf of the Diaspora.
Hold on, hold on! Sorry.
Last week, I did promise that this week, I would deal with the matter of the Diaspora Voice, in that I would try to peel away at the façade to see by what authority this medium exists. That investigation is still ongoing but don’t’ hold your breath, because at the end of this missive, you and I should be a bit closer in solving that mystery, if indeed it is!
Ok, so you have an Auditor General’s (AG) report clearly implicating an individual, the head of his company and his partner(s) in dubious and serious wrongdoing, that is, accepting an offer of money that was given to them – or so they claim – after the head of the company – BSS - was shown the ‘bids’ from other bidders and told to match it!
Here’s part of the Daily Gleaner story of January 20, 2020..”The records listed Leo Gilling, Kimone Gooden and Balfour Peart – three Jamaicans residing in the US – as the principals of BSS. Peart acknowledged that he had been pals with CMU President Professor Fritz Pinnock from their days at Munro College in St Elizabeth”.
Folks, what is alarming here is that up to the time of writing, I am/was not aware of any statement or action on the part of the government of Jamaica via the usually vocal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade (MFAFT), or the overseas missions at the level of the Consulate and/or the Embassy!
So, here we go again, a Diaspora without a voice, yet there is a medium called ‘The Diaspora Voice’, emblazoned with the certified, designated logo of the Jamaican Diaspora and nobody knows its origin or who is its editor/composer!
Are you with me?
And here is why the silence is so loud, deafening if you will. The MFAFT spent considerable resources on pushing back at sections of the Diaspora that just wanted a bit more clarification on its proposed roll-out of the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council (GJDC), a new outfit to replace the aged out Advisory Board Member (ABM) set up, that’s been there since 2002.
The concern was the ‘make up’ of the council which would be decidedly pro-government of the day. The government brushed the concern aside, the way you do unwanted crumbs from the dinner table!
They have since elected, selected and sworn in, the new council in keeping with their ‘mandate’ for more robust engagement of the Diaspora.
What is also most interesting is that while the government was busy canvassing and campaigning for its new council, Leo Gilling, just back from the Biennial conference in Kingston, was busy nominating, electing and swearing himself into office as the face and voice of the Diaspora!
Here’s how and tell me to my face, if I’m wrong in coming to this conclusion at this point. Remember now, that in the summer of 1976, the University of Cambridge returned the letter ‘u’ on my Mathematics papers at Ordinary Level, not Advance, ordinary!
My sources tell me that as many as seventeen (17), count them, seventeen task forces are registered with the State of Florida, under the name of Leo Gilling!
You only do that if you are seeing $ signs, decorated with the face of the Father of the Nation, Benjamin Franklin!
I had no clue whatsoever that Gilling had gone ahead and put all these task forces together and then created an umbrella unit to manage them, the Jamaica Diaspora Taskforce Action Network – JDTAN. Taskforce here being one word.
One of the two ladies heading up the Agriculture Task Force is Kimone Gooden. Scroll back up and read the clip from the Daily Gleaner story of January 20…!
Do you know what the headline on that story says..’Big Coincidence – CMU staff gave figure and asked me to beat it, says boss of company formed when bids were invited..’
Now, you tell me if that is not straight out of the POTUS Donald J. Trump playbook!
Well maybe not The Donald but another of the ‘impeachables’, William Bill Clinton. There was gullible Leo Gilling on a stage in Puerto Rico last week, shaking the hand of Bill Clinton at some symposium on the environment and the need for planting trees in Jamaica and God knows where else! Part of some Clinton Global Initiative, and don’t get me started on that, either!
I would assume that Lavern Kiston (Canada), who heads the Environment Task Force was there in tow!
There is a school of thought that says you do not provide answers to questions that you were not asked, for fear of incriminating yourself.
Last week, Karlene Largie jumped to Leo Gilling’s defense and for who she is, you would have thought that she is head of the Education Task Force. No, she is not. The head of the Education Task Force is Leo Gilling. I repeat. The head of Jamaica Diaspora Task Force on Education is Leo Gilling. He is the one determining how UJAA’s money is spent on education!
My granny – dearly departed – always tell me,..’tief nuh like si tief wid lang bag’ and that is why Rupert Francis, a career military man from Up Park Camp and listed as the head of the Crime Intervention & Prevention Task Force outed out Leo on the front page of the Gleaner/USA of February 13, by calling for him to step down!
If you heard my radio program last Saturday morning, you would have gotten a better sense of who Francis is and why he has the dagger at Gilling’s throat, literally and figuratively!
Read my lips!
Here’s where the dots can be connected to the Diaspora Voice. ‘An October 2019 news release from the JDTAN Press Room in Miramar, Florida, reads…’ On October 7, the JDTAN structure was finalized and Jamaicans across the globe were invited to join forces. In just over a week, 150 persons responded to the call eager to invest their intellectual capacity in the land of their birth in service to national and global development. Volunteers self-organized around 15 sectorial areas… aligned to Jamaica’s Vision 2030 National Goals as well as the global SDGs’ – Sustainable
Development Goals, which are a United Nations benchmark for measuring the human development index!
When members of Jamaica Diaspora USA/Northeast region said they wanted more clarity on the composition and remit of the GJDC, they were rebuffed and called names!
Karen Dunkley, the ‘good doctor’ must be scratching her head and wonder what she got herself into because Leo is the face and voice of the Diaspora!
Yes. The same logo that adorns the JDTAN press release is the very same one that is affixed to the Diaspora Voice medium, that nobody could decipher, last week!
And BTW, there is a task force on/for Rewards and Recognition, meaning that you will have to go thru’ Leo, to be considered for national honor and award!
Ruel Reid, Fritz Pinnock, Leo Gilling just raised the corruption index in, almost at the same time that the US State Department and meddling, loud-mouthed ambassador Donald Tapia, pulled the funding rug from under the NIA, thereby short-circuiting the fight against corruption and Transparency International (TI, google them), is taking note while the government is silent.
And what they say about silence..?
Next week: Is Jamaica’s education system broken…?
And while I’m at it, The Power Hour takes a long, hard look at Guyana at the crossroads: Saturday, 11.00 am – 12.00 noon, WSNR 620 AM, www.radio620am.com. Another ‘must-have’ conversation!
You have the floor!