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The Jamaican government is expected to petition Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II for multi-billion-pound compensation, in an initiative approved by the Caribbean nation’s minister of gender, culture, entertainment and sport.
Olivia Papsey Grange said on Monday that members of the government are “particularly pleased to announce” that they have taken “additional steps toward creating restorative justice for the victims and descendants of the transatlantic slave trade.”
Grange explained that the petition “will be submitted to the Queen of the United Kingdom and/or the Government of the United Kingdom.” Her Majesty is also officially the Queen of Jamaica, as the Caribbean country is located within the British Commonwealth.
The Jamaican culture minister also said his country’s National Compensation Board fully supported the petition and government ministers agreed that “the Attorney General’s Chambers should assess the merits of the petition in the event that the Jamaican government participates in the petition.”
According to Grange, the Attorney General’s Chambers will be responsible for filing the petition “on behalf of the people of Jamaica.”
The issue had already been raised in 2015, when then British Prime Minister David Cameron visited Jamaica and faced similar compensation requests worth $1 billion for the colonial period.
According to historian Thomas Mays Archer Mills, founder of the British Royal Society, such demands are unjustified, because he believes that Britain has already paid its share and fulfilled its obligations as well as “individuals, peoples and nations today should take responsibility for themselves, their actions and attitudes, and stop blaming history and lesser moments.” rich in their past.
Jamaica became a British colony in 1707, and British merchants at that time amassed great fortunes from the slave trade. At that time, according to a document from the British National Archives, Great Britain and Portugal were the two most “successful” countries in the slave trade.