‘Distasteful!’ Terrelonge under fire for controversial Instagram posts Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Alando Terrelonge, has come under fire over posts made to his Instagram account on Tuesday, in which the images of two former prime ministers of Jamaica were blocked out. 

The images are said to be those of PJ Patterson and Portia Simpson-Miller, both of whom led Jamaica under separate People’s National Party (PNP) administrations.

Terrelonge is in the United Kingdom (UK) promoting the launch of the 10th Biennial Diaspora Conference to be held in Montego Bay, St James from June 16 – June 19. The now controversial posts were made to his Instagram story. 

The posts have since been deleted but not before screenshots of them started circulating online.

In the first photograph, the state minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for St Catherine East Central and a JLP member, is seated in a room having discussions with a woman. 

On the walls of the room are photographs of five of Jamaica’s former prime ministers, but those of Patterson and Simpson-Miller are covered by Jamaica flag emojis. 

However, the photographs of former Prime Ministers Edward Seaga and Bruce Golding, as well as current Prime Minister Andrew Holness—all former and present Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leaders—were not hidden by emojis.

“Big tings happening in Jamaica 🇯🇲 Taking the message to the Diaspora! See you in Kingston, June 16 – 19,” read the text on the post, with the ‘Welcome to Jamrock’ reggae hit by Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley added. 

Also, the photographs of Patterson and Simpson-Miller are hidden in the second photograph that was posted to Terrelonge’s Instagram story, while those of Golding and Holness are visible. 

“Highlighting the positive achievements of our government as we look forward to welcome the Diaspora June 16 – 19,” it read.

As the posts on the state minister’s Instagram story were widely circulated late Tuesday, some social media users viewed the action as, “distasteful” and “disrespectful” to two of Jamaica’s former leaders.

“Disgusting and low. Not one of their shoes he (Terrelonge) could walk in,” a man wrote on Instagram.

“PJ (Patterson) was a stalwart in the foreign affairs space. Jamaica was known and respected internationally. Mama P commanded respect…,” he added.

Said a female Instagrammer: “Wow… Distasteful to say the least. How do you say you are representing Jamaica in the diaspora and then post something like this on social media?@andrewholnessjm yuh house really wah clean up.” 

Commented another: “How tacky and distasteful.” 

A man shared that, “Whatever good work he (Terrelonge) is doing now becomes marred by petty politics. Kmt silly billies.” 

However, a male Instagram user defended the action, citing past incidents where the PNP also played politics regarding national issues.

“I don’t blame him for hiding them. Painp (PNP) made a big fuss when BOJ and Nigel Clarke put Seaga and (Michael) Manley on the same money.

“And they also took the green out of the Jamaican flag at a big national event that was held in Montego Bay,” the man stated.

On X, formerly Twitter, attorney and PNP candidate for St Andrew North Central, Christopher Henry, in posting screenshots of Terrolonge’s now-deleted Instagram stories, wrote: “No, but this is disgusting! 

“I did expect much better @terrelonge2016,” he continued.

Commented another X user: “This is actually really messed up… to block out prime ministers? What party affiliation have to do with fact/history?” 

Journalist Damion Mitchell asked: “What really could have inspired one to use emojis of the Jamaican flag to block the images of former Prime Ministers PJ Patterson and Portia Simpson-Miller?” 

Said a man on X: “I benefited from Portia’s JEEP (Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme), so I could never support such a petty & disrespectful post by a government state minister at that.” 

Meanwhile, the People’s National Party Youth Organization (PNPYO) has also vehemently condemned the state minister’s actions.

Describing the action as irresponsible and disrespectful, the PNPYO said it portrays a reckless disregard for the principles of statesmanship and diplomacy and is tribal and demeaning to the office that he holds.

While calling for an immediate apology from Terrelonge, the youth arm of the PNP is urging Prime Minister Andrew Holness to swiftly implement the promised social media policy for government members.