UWI students say no to boycott

April 11, 2016

University of the West Indies(UWI) students are cautioning against calls being made for a boycott of products from Trinidad and Tobago that are available in the Jamaican consumer market.

Trinidadian student, Desireina Delancy, describes as 'immature' the suggestions by groups such as the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association that Jamaicans should not purchase products from her country.

These calls came after another story emerged of Jamaicans being denied entry by Trinidad's immigration authorities in March.

"Those organisations are overreacting because that should not be the solution that they immediately jump to, but instead should look into why these Jamaicans are not deemed fit to enter the country," said the final-year student.

According to Delancy, the issue of denial of entry into her native country is not faced only on Jamaicans.

"It's not just Jamaicans but Antiguans and Vincentians are also sent back to their islands, they should assess why they are denied entry instead of proposing a boycott," she added.

Delancy, who lives on the island of Tobago, told The Star that there is the issue of Jamaicans living and working illegally in her country.

"They are paid less because they are illegal, but it's not just Jamaicans that work there illegally, persons from other islands do it too," she noted.

Another Trinidadian, Brandon Lewis, also cautioned against a boycott being seen as the solution to the continued impasse between the countries.

The management studies major said contrary to the belief that Jamaicans are targeted, that is not the case.

"I know a lot of Jamaicans who live in Trinidad so I don't believe there is a mass denial of Jamaicans into the country," said Lewis.

President of the UWI Guild of Students, Davianne Tucker, who is a Jamaican, agreed with the students from Trinidad and Tobago, expressing a desire for more to be done to address the role of Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

"It is too combative a move (boycott), what we need to happen is a conversation by CARICOM on the improvement of integration among the islands and discussion on free movement in the Caribbean," said Tucker.

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