Rastafari Speaks

From the Rastafari Memorial Summit
held in St. Kitts-Nevis

Date: July 26, 2001

Delegates of the Caribbean Rastafari Organisation representing eleven (11) Caribbean countries as well as London and New York have concluded the Seventh Summit dubbed the Memorial Summit of the Caribbean Rastafari Organisation held in the Federation of St.Kitts and Nevis with several successful outcomes.

These included final preparations for the Rastafari representation at the upcoming World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa; a draft open letter to the OECS Chief Justice; and fine tuning of the constitutional and financial arrangements for the Secretariat of the organisation which is based in Barbados and is accredited to the Conference.

The main thrust of the presentation to the World Conference will be the demand for reparations and repatriation for people of African descent, which in the Caribbean region has historically been spearheaded by the Rastafari Movement. The presentation is calling for legislation to ensure the end of discrimination against Rastafari in the Caribbean Region with special reference to Freedom of Movement, Employment, Education and the Freedom of Religion. The Summit welcomed the common interest of the Government of Barbados whose alliance will be sought by lobby and noted with concern the apathy of other Caribbean governments with regard to the inclusion and involvement of Caribbean representation. Several reparations proposals for necessary trade and diplomatic links with African countries with the ultimate goal of repatriation will also be issued in South Africa.

Arrangements for registration, membership dues, contributions and fundraising at the national and regional levels were discussed and the relevant documents drafted to establish the Secretariat of the Caribbean Rastafari Organisation, which will be rotated every three years. A number of amendments were also made to the draft constitution that governs the operations of the organisation.

Visiting delegates also formed two large motorcades in St. Kitts and Nevis and were involved in the livication of the Nyahbinghi Tabernacle in St. Kitts where memorial tributes were paid to departed elders of the Faith. Delegates expressed heartfelt thanks for the level of accommodation provided and hospitality experienced in the Federation where official and informal arrangements were highly appreciated.

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