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As Jamaica begins its transition to a Republic, the country intends to maintain the best of its heritage and culture, says Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte.
The Minister was speaking at the first Indian Diaspora Conference, held on March 26 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.
“We intend to preserve the best of our past and present that has made us a stable democracy, while affirming our self-determination and cultural heritage,” she said.
The event, organized by the High Commission of India, featured a photo exhibition and documentary that chronicles the journey of Indian indentured laborers to Jamaica, from 1845 to the present. The Indians were brought by the British to supplement the labor force, which was then enslaved Africans.
Minister Malahoo Forte commended India’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency Rungsung Masakui, for hosting the Conference, which, she said, was taking place at a time when Jamaica is embarking on the most comprehensive and consequential constitutional reform work to be undertaken in the nation since the attainment of political independence in 1962.
She said the Conference was also being held when the Government of India had assumed the Presidency of the G-20 (Group of 20 countries) and the leading voice for the Global South on the international stage.
Mrs. Malahoo Forte, who spoke on the topic ‘Shaping the India-Jamaica Identity,’ said her father, who is of Indian descent, had raised her to honor the core Indian values and to be proud of her heritage, according to Jamaica Information Services (JIS).