New Years’ decision upholds values

On behalf of the Cayman Islands’ National Youth Commission, I express our unconditional approval of government’s recent decision to uphold the traditional and legal positions on Sunday entertainment.

There has already been wide public consultation on this subject and the people’s wishes were accepted by the government. This reflects the standards outlined in The National Strategic Plan (Vision 2008). In particular, the opening pronouncements of the document’s Beliefs and Vision Statement, respectively affirm the Cayman Islands’ belief ‘In God and traditional Christian values,’ and envision these Islands as ‘a God-fearing community based on traditional Christian values.’

We acknowledge that the Vision 2008 document also makes a commitment to ‘strengthening our position as a leading tourist destination and financial centre.’ However, we do not consider those objectives to be incompatible with our wider obligation to protect Cayman’s heritage, traditions and Christian values.

The Youth Commission sees the government’s position on these issues as a very positive message to young people and families. By taking a strong stand in favour of our traditions and values, they are helping to instill in our young people a sense of identity, national pride and dignity.

The laws and traditions in question have not deterred tourists all these years, and in fact were part of the charm and attraction of our shores. While we have to be sensitive to visitor expectations, we should keep in mind that Cayman has been marketed as a special and unique tourist destination, and we have already lost some of our ‘special’ features. We should not give up any more.

Caymanians frequently travel as tourists also, and when we go abroad we have to accept the customs of our destination, sometimes at personal inconvenience. We similarly believe our visitors will respect our rights and abide by our own customs and traditions.

The Commission encourages the public to support the government as it continues to implement the National Strategic Plan and the National Youth Policy.

The issue of amending the Sunday Trading Law is another controversial topic and the Commission hopes to see public support for the status quo. Sunday is our traditional day of rest and time with family. For many, it is the only time that parents and children can be at home together.

The country has already pledged to protect the traditional Caymanian heritage and the family unit, and we expect to see the needs of our youth and families given due priority in all policy decisions.

We will continue to progress as long as we put God and our people first.

Jenny Manderson,NYC Chairman

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