Prime minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, has issued an apology to Rastafarians ahead of the anniversary of the deadly coral gardens massacre.
People all over the world know about the Bob Marley’s version of Rasta but are completely ignorant about the hardship, struggles and discrimination that the real Rastas had to face.
Former prime minster of Jamaica, Alexander Bustamante, once ordered the police to “Bring in all Rastas dead or alive”. So what became of such a prime minister? Jamaica made him a national hero.
While no amount of apology can ever be enough for all the innocent Rasta lives that were lost, the Rasta community says that Holness’ gesture is a good start.
The Rasta community had issued the Jamaican Government a 13 point document, which they believed should be fulfilled if the Government is serious about its apology. Among the 13 points are the following:
• Assistance from government to develop a Rastafari Monument/Museum in the Coral Gardens area of St James.
• In addition, at least 100 acres of land to be allocated for the use of members of the Rastafari community in each county
• And for government to recognize the right of Rastafari believers to repatriate to Africa and assist in facilitating those who desire to do so.
• Free healthcare and medication for Rastafari elders.
Andrew Holness says he will be meeting with his cabinet to discuss how many of the Rastas request can bet met.