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.
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,
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.