Following the executive council meeting of the Caribbean Rastafari Organisation (CRO) held in St. Lucia from September 27 to 29, a decision was taken to write to the Caricom heads who have not set up reparations commissions in their regions as yet, calling upon them to get some urgency going in this direction.
Below is a copy of the letter sent to Dr. Kenny Anthony, Prime Minister of St. Lucia.
The Caricom Heads of Government have established a Reparations Committee chaired by the Hon Freundel Stuart to further the case for reparations for the crime against humanity that was the African Slave Trade and the consequent African ‘Maafa’ or holocaust.
At the subsequent inaugural Reparations Conference in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (15- 17 September) the role and work of Rastafari in keeping alive the African consciousness and promoting the cause of reparations was acknowledged and acclaimed and the Caricom representatives were urged to establish reparations committees with broad based representation from civil society and those involved in the quest for repatriation and reparation, and to further the linkages between the African Diaspora and the African continent.
The Rastafari community and the Caribbean Rastafari Organisation, of which the Iyanola Council for the Advancement of Rastafari (ICAR) is a longstanding member, have been involved in the cause of repatriation and reparations, having participated in the World Conference Against Racism (Durban, South Africa 2001), the African Union – Caricom conferences (Jamaica 2005 and Barbados 2007) and are also participants in the Caricom/Civil Society deliberations as a member of the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC) and are ideally suited and willing to avail our knowledge and experience in furthering this noble quest.
The CRO executive meeting held in St. Lucia (27– 29 September) proposes the urgent establishment of the St. Lucia Reparations Committee and urges that the Rastafari community and the CRO representatives specifically be prominently represented on this committee.
Anticipating your urgent attention and favourable consideration.
Burnet Sealy/Bongo Wisely Tafari (Chairman CRO Inc.)
Franklin Francis/RasFrankiTafari (PRO CRO Inc.)