The African Heritage Foundation (AHF) is incensed not only by the thoughtless destruction of the fruit trees planted for the physical and economic sustainability by Ras Ijuijah Lashley, family and friends over the decade’s past, we also find the response to the situation from the Ministry of Transportation and Works (MTW), totally unacceptable and saturated with non-truths.
A couple years ago the AHF assisted the Lashley family navigate attacks from the Ministry of Education and the Welfare Department pertaining to their children’s education and wellbeing. It was at that point that the AHF would have met this Rastafari family, and spent considerable time with them. In fact, members of the AHF assisted in doing some clearing of the land to make way for the cultivation of more food. The land as it was at the time, filled with Cherry Trees, Dunks Trees, Jamaican Ackee Tress, Coconut Trees, Breadfruit Trees and I am sure others that we did not observe at the time.
Video of the Iration before MTW destroyed it.
It was also at this time that we would have learned about the many Rases who would have been members of that Rastafari commune in the “early times”, and some of the harassment and tribulations they would have went through for the mere sake of being Rastafari.
The AHF is asking, what is it about this Rastafari family that draws the irate of the Barbadian government constantly? Anyone who is familiar with this family can attest to the peaceful, loving and respectable manner in which they conduct themselves. The Lashley’s children are pleasant and very well behaved and are a stella example of Rastafari youth in Barbados.
More of the Iration and the Coconut tress when they were young.
In an article published in the Nation newspaper on the 17 May 2021, Attorney at Law Mr. Lalu Hanuman has noted that legal redress for this family is available by law. In the article he is reported saying that once the family has occupied the space for more than 30 years, they had legal rights to claim the land as their own. Providing the proof that Ras Ijuijah has lived on that land for more than 10 years is simple as many Rases and even members of the two parties that have ruled Barbados since independence can attest to the length of time that Rastafari family has been there.
What is it about the Rastafari family that warrants such disrespect from the Barbadian government? Presently Ras Simba, founder and present president of the AHF is duelling the said government in the courts of law in an attempt to prove that the Rastafari home, just like any other Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Baptist or Ifa home, is a place of worship and should be recognized and respected as such.
The AHF is asking any persons who have backgrounds in engineering to visit the space and make a report on the feasibility of the MTW’s side of this story, that work was being done to clear a waterway. As mentioned before, the AHF would have spent time on this family’s premises, and we cannot for the life of us, understand where the supposed water from this waterway is to go after it leaves the Rases space.
The AHF is also asking for lawyers and more politicians to step forward in support of this family. Attacks against the Rastafari family must stop. As stated, previously this family has lost their means to generate income, and while a case for compensation will be made, monetary donations to assist this family get through this crucial time are needed and appreciated.
We close this short article by reminding Barbados that over 5 years ago a Rastafari mother of two, while traveling on the ABC highway, struck an obstacle in the road that led to the death of her son. It was noted by the Ms Mia Mottley who was in opposition at the time that the structure was illegal and that firm action would be taken against the perpetrators who erected the structure. What has happened since then is Ms Mottley is now Prime Minister and the Rastafari mother in question is not facing charges relation to the death of her son in a high court of law. What happened to the entity responsible for the structure? They went on to do big business with Ms. Mottley in her capacity as prime Minister, and has never for a second be made to answer for failing to remove a structure that was deemed illegal and hazardous to road traffic by the relevant authorities.
Do not let the MTW pull the wool over yours eyes in this situation. Just as they were unconscionable in their illegal dumping of garbage in a natural water spring at Bath St. John, they are unconscionable in their actions as it pertains to this article.
This is the barrier that the MTW said was erected. Clearly this is a fence the Rases put up sometime before MTW and the bulldozer arrived.
Rases working on the land before.
MTW bulldozer devastation to the orchard of the Rases
Ras Ilive of F.O.R.W.A.R.D Temple Yard reasoning on the situation at hand.
A walk through the land to see the destruction MTW has done.
Justice will be done. The Rases must be compensated.
The MTW and the government of Barbados must know that this family does not stand alone.
These last 3 images were taken in 2010.
African Heritage Foundation