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Rastafari culture soon be promoted in Caribbean schools

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August 9 Georgetown Guyana: The Caribbean Rastafari Organisation (CRO) furthered plans towards the creation of a Rastafari CXC booklet during the course of its annual gathering. The 10th Regional Gathering of the CRO closed yesterday at President's College, East Coast Demerara after a week of deliberations. The CRO/Guyana Rastafari Council (GRC) event started on July 31 at the National Cultural Centre with an opening ceremony. 
The gathering was attended by delegates from 11 nations including Guyana, Jamaica, Antigua, Anguilla, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts & Nevis, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and North America.

Sister Asheba Trotman, newly appointed co-Chair of the CRO, said the booklet came into being after it was realised that the study of the Rastafari culture was on the educational agenda. A booklet would assist the youths as in recent years school children have been making inquiries about the culture.

Ras Frank I, Chairman of the CRO said Rastafari is on the cutting edge of the war against marijuana mainly waged by North America. The thinking that prevails is that on an individual basis nothing is going to be achieved. It is therefore envisioned that lobbying Caricom as a whole would be the best avenue.

At a Health and Nutrition Seminar held at Saint Stanislaus College on Thursday night the Guyana Association of Alternative Medicine (GAAM) Drs. Harold Peters and Imkrai Aowmathi declared their associations' intention to lobby for the legalisation of marijuana which the Rastafari community uses as a sacrament.

Members of the Guyana Rastafari Council (GRC) and the Caribbean Rastafari Organisation (CRO) at the 10th Regional Gathering at President's College, East Coast Demerara. From left are Ras Abdalla, Chairman of the Conference Committee, GRC; Sister Asheba Tr

With regard to the 500 acres of land, acquired by the GRC at Aurawi, located 18 miles from Linden and 83 miles from Georgetown along the Soesdyke/Linden Highway, Frank I said its development required a period of detailed planning.

Deliberations and workshops at the conference examined the creation of a sustainable development plan. Possible land use includes establishment of a Rastafari Development Institute.

Frank I said the delegates to the conference were taken aback by the grave concerns expressed by local brethren with regard to police discrimination, harassment and even brutality.

Reports of such incidents have tapered off as the profile of Rasta has escalated in the Caribbean, he noted.

Sister Asheba said recently Rastafari sisters at ports of entry have been treated like terrorists by being asked to remove their turbans while Muslim sisters are not treated in like manner and asked to remove their hijabs.

The conference also set on stream plans for an annual Rastafari Cultural Festival.

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