Speech

Statement on meeting with:

Representatives of the Rsatafari Millennium Council, the Leonard P Howell Foundation, Rastafari Youth Initiative, the Rastafari Order of Nyahbinghi, Developers – St. Jago Hill’s Limited, St Jago Hills Citizen Association, a Committee Established by the Office of the Prime Minister to discuss issues of concern to Rastafari, the Ministry of Youth & Culture and its agency the Jamaica National Heritage Trust. 

Following a series of consultations with members of the Rastafari community and other stakeholders, a meeting was held on Tuesday-January 28, 2014 to advance discussion on matters relating to the property commonly known as Pinnacle located in St Catherine. The following was agreed:

  • The dialogue will continue in an atmosphere of mutual respect for the rights, interests and concerns of all the stakeholders.
  • The dialogue on the issues related to Pinnacle is being coordinated by the Committee established by the Prime Minister which includes Ambassador Burchell Whiteman, Professor Rupert Lewis and Ms. Judith Wedderburn.
  • The Ministry of Youth and Culture, which has portfolio responsibility for all cultural issues, as well as the agencies of the Ministry, will continue to carry out the roles of facilitator of, and participants in, the discussions.
  • The developers, who are the current owners of the land, are sensitive to the cultural issues related to the significance of Pinnacle to the Rastafari faith and are open to negotiations regarding further development/construction on five lots adjoining the Great House located at Pinnacle which five lots were in the past identified for the construction of a monument to the memory of Mr. Leonard P. Howell, the founder of Rastafari and to the cultural significance of the Rastafari religion.
  • The developers have agreed that there will no construction on those five lots.
  •  Further inclusive dialogue is to take place regarding the use of the site of the Great House at Pinnacle, which has been designated by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust as a National Heritage Site.
  • Further research, in consultation with the Millennium Council of Rastafari, the Leonard P Howell Foundation and the Rastafari Youth Initiative will be undertaken to determine the existence of other sacred sites with a view to preventing any possible desecration.
  • Further meetings are to be scheduled to continue the discussions with a view to arriving at the amicable resolution of the issues.