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promotor launches US$3-million lawsuit in Tommy Lee Sparta debacle

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Cabral Douglas son of former Prime Minister of Dominica Rosie Douglas has officially filed legal proceedings at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) against the Government of Dominica over the cancellation of a concert caused by what is describes in court documents as the “unlawful arrest, detention and deportation of Jamaican artiste Tommy Lee Sparta and his entourage without cause”.

Douglas a lawyer by profession had contracted with prominent Jamaican artist management firm Heavy D Promotions Ltd for Tommy Lee Sparta to perform at his privately owned entertainment venue in Dominica over two years ago to mark the opening of Portsmouth carnival.

“I am pleased to announce that formal legal proceedings have been commenced at the Trini dad based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) against the Government of Dominica on my behalf. Article 222 of the Revised Treaty requires natural persons and corporations seeking the original jurisdiction of the court to seek special leave to be heard. So I have done that and the Government of Dominica has been served the relevant documents…” Douglas said in a release. “So after a long winded and unsuccessful negotiation process, I look forward to the opportunity to prove my case in Trinidad.”

On his arrival at Douglas/Charles airport in Dominica in Februay 2014, Lee, 28, along with his three-member team, Tiasha Oralie Russell, Junior Fraser and Mario Christopher Wallace were denied entry, detained in what were described in court documents as “inhumane conditions” and deported the following day causing the cancellation of the much-hyped international stage show, financed by Douglas, giving rise to his monetary damages claims.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of recently elected Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness launching a CARICOM review commission spearheaded by former Prime Minister Bruce Golding, and rising tensions with Trinidad over increased incidence of Jamaicans being denied entry and deported from that CARICOM member state.

However, this is the first recorded case of skilled CARICOM nationals contracted to work in the host CARICOM state being denied entry, which could prove to be a major setback to the regional integration movement as defined by the Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME), which Dominica, ironically, is responsible for implementing in CARICOM’s quasi-cabinet.

Douglas used this occasion to call on Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ government to lead in the fight for the human rights of all Jamaicans citizens.

“I would like to use this occasion to call on Prime Minister Holness and the Labour Party government he leads in Jamaica to join these proceedings which will send a clear message that the blatant discrimination being practiced by immigration officials throughout the Caribbean community against Jamaican citizens will no longer be tolerated.” he said

“Jamaican lives matter…” he added.

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