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  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says incidents like what happened in Coral Gardens, St. James, in 1963, where members of the Rastafarian community suffered injustice at the hands of the State should never be repeated.
  • Dr. Chang, who was addressing the 56th Commemoration of the Coral Gardens Atrocities at the Pitfour Nyahbinghi Centre in Granville, St. James recently, said that while there is no amount of money that can justify “atrocities and brutal behaviour” against a fellow human being, the Government has set aside a sum total of $30 million in a Trust Fund to atone for what took place.
  • “The agreement was for $10 million; it is now at $13 million and the Ministry of Culture is looking to increase that to $30 million,” Dr. Chang told the gathering that turned out for the event.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says incidents like what happened in Coral Gardens, St. James, in 1963, where members of the Rastafarian community suffered injustice at the hands of the State should never be repeated.

Dr. Chang, who was addressing the 56th Commemoration of the Coral Gardens Atrocities at the Pitfour Nyahbinghi Centre in Granville, St. James recently, said that while there is no amount of money that can justify “atrocities and brutal behaviour” against a fellow human being, the Government has set aside a sum total of $30 million in a Trust Fund to atone for what took place.

“The agreement was for $10 million; it is now at $13 million and the Ministry of Culture is looking to increase that to $30 million,” Dr. Chang told the gathering that turned out for the event.

“There is the need to give some level of comfort and essentially reparation to our brothers who suffered at the Coral Gardens event, one of the most horrific incidents in our history,” the Minister said.

Dr. Chang further assured that the Government, in good faith, will do everything to speedily deliver on its promise.”

The Minister said that in another good faith gesture, the Government, in addition to the Trust, “has settled on a home in Coral Gardens for the Rastafarian elders” who are in need of accommodation.

“The agreement is to pay for the rent. As we proceed, we expect that shortly the brothers who need to be put in a home will settle in there and associated activities will be in place. I will personally follow up with the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, Hon. Olivia Grange, to ensure that it is being put in place,” the Minister noted.

Dr. Chang added that at the request of members of the Rastafarian community in Western Jamaica, “a fine piece of land” has been acquired by Government for them to get involved in the lucrative agricultural sector.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in 2017, publicly apologised to the Rastafarian community for the incident.

In a statement to Parliament, Mr. Holness acknowledged that the ordeal had been a source of pain and hurt for the Rastafarian community. “The Coral Gardens incident was a grave injustice,” he said.