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'Bahamas Can Lead Region Over Reparations'

REPRESENTATIVES from the African Diaspora and the House of Rastafari believe that the Bahamas government is in a unique position to lead the region as talks over reparations are set to begin today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to lawyer Dion Hanna and Professor Felix Bethel, one way the government can lead by example ahead of the international community is to have the nation’s crown land reserves turned over to the Bahamian people who have actually worked it since slavery days.

“Specifically we are saying there cannot be any real human dignity if our people cannot be given access to land that is theirs, and right now the only impediment preventing this land being provided to the Bahamian people is the government itself. So when we decided that we will pack our bags and go to Britain, and go to Denmark, and go all over the world talking about reparations from the British, the French, or the Dutch, let us begin this process at home,” Mr Bethel said.

Mr Bethel could not say specifically how the land should be divided, but noted that the conversation should be had and the government should agree in principle as it has been delayed for too long.

Beyond the issue of land, Mr Bethel said there is also the issue of individuals in the Rastafari community wanting the same rights and freedoms as anyone else of any other religious persuasion.

“They want to be respected in their practices and customs, and to be afforded the same types of privileges as Roman Catholics, etc, not be scoffed at, not to discriminated against, or to be mocked or scarred in Her Majesty’s Prison lock up.”

Mr Bethel also made the case for men and women who wear their hair in locks to also be respected.

Priest Philip Blyden, of the Ethiopian African Black International Congress, and chairman of the House of Rastafari (an umbrella group for all other Rastafari groups in the Bahamas) said that the Rastafari community has been at the forefront of reparation talks for the past 40 years. In his opinion, reparations and repatriation are an ideal that cannot be separated, and they have their own legal team and council on this matter. He told The Tribune last night that the House of Rastafari should not only have a seat on reparation talks, but be the leading voice going forward.

Priest Rithmond McKinney, the Ambassador for the Ethiopian Black International Congress, is on the newly formed Reparation Committee and will be in attendance at today’s first conference session at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The 22-person committee which was recently announced will establish the moral, ethical, and legal case for the payment of repatriations by the former colonial European countries.

The committee will discuss a ten-point plan, which includes debt cancellation and an apology, to present to CARICOM in June as a part of the action plan to seek reparations for slavery.

The Bahamas has endorsed an action plan to seek reparations for slavery from former colonisers, including Britain, France and the Netherlands.

Lawyer Alfred Sears, co-chair of the committee, said the committee is an opportunity to achieve restorative justice that will produce healing and reconciliation as they address the legacies of 400 years of slavery.

Comments

Purcell 5 years, 3 months ago

I am still undecided whether these people are parasites, blackmailers or beggars?

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Bahamianpride 5 years, 3 months ago

All of the about plus intellectual masterbaters

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John 5 years, 3 months ago

So what were slave masters and slave traders beside stone hearted cold blooded murderers?

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TalRussell 5 years, 3 months ago

Comrades "Diaspora and da House of Rastafari" your entire premise that, historically black Bahamalander's traced memories of "their African Homeland" through their trauma of slavery and through ideologies of struggle and resistance is even more unbalanced, than if you were to collectively examine the physiological brain imbalances of most of the MP's on both sides of the not so honourable House of Assembly. Nutty as hell.

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Cornel 5 years, 3 months ago

How much money is this costing?

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B_I_D___ 5 years, 3 months ago

The ONLY people who will be getting rich from this fiasco is the lawyers...greedy SOB's...

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Bahamianpride 5 years, 3 months ago

the billable hours got to already be off the charts, consider $250 to 500 per hour for good legal representation, this includes meetings and whatever accommadations.. The dough is rolling, yeah babby.... After this financial rape we're going to have to sue these indivdual for reparations..

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B_I_D___ 5 years, 3 months ago

My guess is that most Bahamians will look at this like some monster cash windfall of sorts and bet their last dollar on coming out smelling like roses...kind of like those who believed the whole Mortgage scheme pitched during the general election and stopped paying their mortgages!!

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banker 5 years, 3 months ago

Ohhh .. I am so repressed. I need reparations and I need it bad. The wounds of slavery hurt me so much, I that I need a compress of cold cash to assuage the pain. I tink dat I grew a dred lock overnight, and I deserve a lil extra of da cash. Never mind dat the dredlock comes outta da bottom end, it is still a dreadlock and deserves the respect of my slavery heritage. It is a sign that I carries for my pore, repressed, enslaved people, who are much less deserving den I. Hell, I should get more money for being pure black -- ne-er mine dose reds who say dat dey is come from slaves -- dems liars and house slaves. I remember actually working the fields (in my repressed DNA memory) and pain of slavery hurts much. Can I get dat cash on my Flowers card?

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newcitizen 5 years, 3 months ago

So they want to divide up the crown land and give it to the people who were slaves that worked it? What the hell are they talking about. There are no people alive today who were slaves.

They're saying the government is standing in the way of providing this land to the Bahamian people? It's CROWN LAND meaning it's already owned by the Bahamian people. We all own it, and it benefits all Bahamians.

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TalRussell 5 years, 3 months ago

Now I got's it way the government rehired Comrade Darold to return the "junkanoon to ZNS," his words this morning, not mine, I swear. Can't wait or the government's newest "talkie taxpayers paid propagandist" to lead he "reparations march" into Rawson Square. Should meet with about as much success as his last Rawson Square march of a hundred or so, met with a few months back.

....// https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XScNZ...">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XScNZ...

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John 5 years, 3 months ago

Can someone teach TAL to write in English..or is that really too difficult?

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Kris 5 years, 3 months ago

Well the repatriation sounds good to me, there are flights leaving everyday from England to Africa. And there many school and job opportunities in Africa also that are housing and supporting their workers an families. That is our Roots from creation and we was taught to think we are not Africans in our minds, to pretend not to be Africans just to be accepted in the white man western world. Time for you'll to look on Google and Search Africa an see how they are prospering and don't be afraid to come home to our Mother Land. The Bahamas is being controlled by Evil an Power. I left the Bahamas in Three years and that was the best thing I ever did for me an my children I thank God for the opportunity to be a living testimony.

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John 5 years, 3 months ago

Its REPERATIONS and not repatriations we are talking about. Give us the money and we can find our own way back to Africa to see how the white man has raped the motherland!

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limeyconch 5 years, 3 months ago

So please tell me why we are not going after the African Slave owners who sold the slaves to the British, Danish and so forth? Oh yeah i forgot Africa is broke!

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Bahamianpride 5 years, 3 months ago

Never heard of any African nations come looking for there long lost enslaved brothers & sisters, so kris u can go back to that primitive existence if u wish, many Africans would give anything to live in the West. Lastly most developments going on in africa are as a result of there relationship with the Chinese, but be careful the great vampire will give u an apple but in return will take a gallon of blood..

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Kris 5 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like a bunch of idiots right now fighting down your own. An you are the people crying about why the country the way it is. It because people like you'll. hating a man or woman for the choice of religion or concept of life. You show an give hate and Opression. The Rastas are not doing the killings,Robberies an the Rape in the Bahamas. You all are Africans so live with it an learn where you come from. An the slaves were stolen from Africa so go an read an stop hating your own Black people.

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John 5 years, 3 months ago

I will be the first in line to get my reparation money and the first to buy a home in lyford cay. Fillipiano maid and gardner and a white chauffer. Bring it on

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John 5 years, 3 months ago

I cant get a Haitian maid and gardener because they will be too expensive. They getting reparation money too!!!

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TalRussell 5 years, 3 months ago

Comrade in meantime best not give away your mealtime KFC coupons. Them large fries might come in handy.

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John 5 years, 3 months ago

Slavery and oppression aint never stop! Why is our government letting a foreign company take billions of dollars in aroganite and other resources out this country and giving the Bahamian people peanuts in return? Now they want charge VAT! SLAVE TRADE AINN NEVER STOP!

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