October 30. 2013
The Honorable Patrick Allen ON, CD.,
Governor General of Jamaica
The Hon. Michael Pert, Speaker
The Parliament of Jamaica
Attn: Mr. Speaker.
On behalf of the L.P. Howell Foundation and the Global Rastafari Family as a whole we extend our greetings to the Honorable Speaker, members of parliament and staff.
The purpose of this letter is to draw your attention to the continued grave injustices against the Rastafari people and specially to events that have been occurring at Pinnacle. Despite the fact that Lot 199 of the Pinnacle property has been declared a National Heritage site, the estate as a whole remains under the purview of the St. Jago Hills Developer Michael Lake and his family. This developer has excavated, dynamited, and redeveloped the area which includes the communal burial areas at Gungo Walk and the front of the Pinnacle estate. Mr. Lake is now encroached on Pinnacle heights; having sold the lot that contains the remains of Mrs. Tenneth Bent Howell, who since 1943 had being lying there in rest. The private buyer of said lot has since cleared the land and burnt it in preparation to erect his home. Not long ago, a concerned resident at Pinnacle raised concerns over the excavated remains that had been exposed when Mr. Lake gave the homeowners association at Pinnacle permission to construct a community center over a large communal burial site. These continued acts are tantamount to cultural genocide of the Rastafari people of Jamaica and the world at large, an act that has effects serious and far reaching consequences.
We ask what government in the world would tolerate such actions. The past 80 years have been a challenge for the Rastafari community. We have seen our African centered cultural tradition of Self Reliance and Self Governance pummeled economically, accompanied by wanton and reckless acts of aggression against the Rastafari community. Today, in 2013, the second Maafa is happening in the most cruel and disrespectful manner against Rastafari families that survived the illegal, immoral subjugation and displacement by the Jamaican government. In Pinnacle, families are being cleared off the foothills of Pinnacle to build a highway. Are these the actions of a contrite state or a state that persists in cultural genocide against Rastafari?
Meanwhile, this honorable parliament reasons on decriminalization of Ganga and making churches legal that you and the Hon. Justice Minister know are not of the Rastafari Movement. Is this a new trend towards government Christianization and redefining of the Rastafari Movement? Pinnacle was destroyed by subsequent Jamaican governments under the guise that they were growing Ganga. The newspapers tell the grave tales of cultural genocide. Over four thousand (4,000) Rastafari, Rastafari houses, crops and possessions were burnt with the security forces chasing them out to the Sligoville road. Are these the actions of a contrite government of our own people? We know why Pinnacle was destroyed and it was not because of Ganga but self governance of Africans post slavery and emancipation without crime. As Leonard Percival Howell said in, “The Promised Key,” The state of the people is the state of the government.” Government must do better. by Rastafari allowing them to freely practice their culture and faith as African descendants without any interference from said Crown and Westminster government. We as a people are over 80 years old. Rastafari is now 80 years in rising in Jamaica from January 31, 1933 to now, which makes it older than both political parties that have formed successive Jamaica governments. This is Jamaica Mecca of Rastafari.
This year, every fiber of our being will be tested as we seek solutions to assist our people with growth to their fullest potential. In light of the above mentioned actions, we demand an investigation as to how St. Jago Hills Development squatted at Pinnacle and received a title to the land after Mr. Leonard Howell passed. Who in the Jamaica government gave the Pinnacle lands to this developer to build low income homes? For no sooner than the Lake family got their hand on title they began selling Pinnacle privately for billions of dollars encumbering the Pinnacle estate by the use of bonds and debentures and single handedly have set out to destroy the rich history of Pinnacle and legacy of Mr. Howell.
We ask that you no longer turn a blind eye to what has been happening in your own backyard. We also ask for your assistance in helping to halt the destruction of Pinnacle which reflects the history of of the Rastafari people that is part in parcel of the glorious history and culture of the Jamaican people.