Ethio-Africa Diaspora Union Millennium Council
Jamaica Afro-Centric Commission
South Camp Road
Kingston, Jamaica, W.I.
876-482 7571 / 868-7863
Most Honorable Prime Minister
PM Andrew Holness ON, MP
Office of the Prime Minister
1 Devon Road
August 3rd, 2021
Blessed Greetings Most Honorable PM Andrew Holness;
“No nation can divide within itself and remain powerful…To meet together, to take council with one another and to act in mutual cooperation, has proved a most fruitful method, both in secular and spiritual fields. Henceforth the way is open to follow this path…” (H.I.M. Emperor Haile Sellassie I)
Re. Human Rights Violations and Crimes Against the Rastafari Community:
Calling for a Public Bill – The Human Rights Violation and Race Discrimination Act. The Executive Directors of the Ethio-Africa Diaspora Union Millennium Council aka Rastafari Millennium Council (RMC), in collaboration with the Executives of Spanish Town House of Nyahbinghi and in support of a planned Protest Demonstration by Rastafari Community Members, are very deeply concerned and outraged by these recent Human, Cultural & Indigenous Rights violations committed against Members of our Community and other African conscious person(s) reportedly:
• The brutal trimming of our Rastafari youth and Nursing Student, Sister Nzinga Candace King at the Four
Paths Police Station by one Corporal Mitchell.
• The brutal marring of our Rastafari Ancient, Binghi Irie Lions in the Linstead Hospital that significantly contributed to his demise.
• The refusal of admittance of a young girl of the African Conscious Virgo Family where the former Principal of Kensington Primary School told her parents to cut her hair to secure a place.
• The refusal of Mannings Hill High School for students not to wear Bantu Knots (Chiney Bumps). The case of the Virgo Family sparked heated debates as the supreme court ruled that the school may bar the 7 years old as Judge Sonia Betrtam-Linton upheld the laws within the Education Act! Similar outcry was made against the
edict of Mannings Hill High School, where Bantu Knots and African-Centric tradition was banned.
Most Honorable Prime Minister, it is this engrained societal prejudice, born of our colonial and post-colonial history that we bring to your attention. While the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) has made an Apology in Parliament for the Coral Gardens Massacre of 1963, as with the Education Act relating to the school issues, there remains within the Laws of the Land directives that outlaws and criminalize Rastafari and other Indigenous Afrocentric groups who patterns their Lifestyle with the Traditions of Africa. The legally unanswered atrocity against our Elder Binghi Irie Lions (William Holmes) that literally contributed to his early demise last year and the most recent atrocity committed against Sister Nzinga occurring about a week before Emancipation Day requires not only an analysis of the extant colonial laws that are still on our books but the deeper socio-economic issues at play. The GOJ Coral Gardens Apology, therefore, ranks only as being mere lip service as long as the old colonial laws against the Rastafari Community remains intact and that socio-economic issues surrounding our Community Intellectual Rights and Reparatory Justice are not concurrently invested in.
From as early as January 25th 1937, a letter was sent to His Excellency Sir Edward Denham by the Chief Executive of the Island to complain about a “RASTAFARI CULT” that threatens the status quo of British colonial Jamaica. Similar cries are pointing to the OBEAH ACT that was instituted specifically because the colonial powers felt that African Centered spirituality was a tool that assisted the Maroons in their victory. In respect of the Rastafari Community these points were raised and still persist in the majority Christian ethos of the nation:
Further to this, the ‘Moral Rearmament Movement’ (MRA) of the 1950’s established by Governor Sir Kenneth Blackburne that attempted to conform and or convert the Rastafari Community was just a move to “Christianize” Rastafari into the present colonial Church Cultures.
The recent victories in the recognition of Rastafari Faith and Culture under United Nations Treaty Bodies as well as Intangible Culture Heritage and Indigenous Rights Protocols under UNESCO with the aid of the World Intellectual Property Rights (WIPO) should have commanded and demanded the GOJ to immediately reform the Laws of the Land as it pertains to Indigenous African Retentions in Jamaica. The fact that our delegation from the Indigenous Treaty MARCH, April 17th 2016 was well received by Yourself and other Senior Ministers of Government, against the backdrop of these recent Human Rights violations, the highest authority’s gesture of acceptance has now been blurred. It cannot be countenanced that the very attempts to protect the Rights of both the Maroons and the Rastafari Communities by a Practice Notice issued by the Jamaica Intellectual Property Rights Office (JIPO) from 2012 and further extended to develop a National Policy on Indigenous Rights in 2017, that the Supreme Court of the land seems oblivious to these fundamental Human Rights developments or at best remains shackled by old colonial oppressive laws! The Supreme Court, however, has within its authority to recommend changes to these archaic laws or via Test Case(s) set precedent. The political Will to push for these Constitutional changes beginning from a Parliament Apology for the Coral Gardens atrocities is woefully lacking!
How contradictory it is that the oldest UN Treaty Body – The UN Committee of the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – C.E.R.D. ratified from June 4th 1971 by Jamaica, has as its current Vice Chair, Prof. Verene Shepherd – a Jamaican!
Most Honorable Prime Minister, we recommend Your immediate intervention through the powers of the Office of the Prime Minister to effectuate an Afro-Centric Commission to research the connected changes in legislations and call for a Public Bill – Human Rights Violation and Race Discrimination Act to enforce the current developments to Protect the Indigenous Rights of Communities against blatant crimes of Human Rights violations! We expect nothing less….
One Perfect Love!
From the Executive Directors of EADUMC Ltd.
Ras Kremlin (Rudolph Bailey)
Prophet Greg (Robert Mogg)
Cc. The Governor General
Sir Patrick L. Allen ON GCMG CD KStJ
Leader of the Opposition
The Right Honorable Mark Golding MP
The Attorney General
Marlene Malahoo Forte QC, JP, MP
The Office of the Public Defender
Mrs. Harrison Henry