The Rastafari Coral Gardens Benevolent Society is describing as ‘unreasonable and disrespectful’, the announcement of the trust fund to be established by the government to compensate victims of what’s dubbed the Coral Gardens massacre of 1963.
In rejecting the Prime Minister’s apology tendered in the parliament yesterday, the Society says they’ve gone ahead with plans to take legal action against the government in an international court.
More than half a century after the Coral Gardens massacre, Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday apologised to survivors.
Eight members of the Rastafari community were killed and others displaced during altercations with the police.
Prime Minister Holness described the event as a grave injustice.
He also announced that a trust fund of no less than $10-million will be set up for the survivors. But Secretary of the Rastafari Coral Gardens Benevolent Society, Pamela Williams, says that’s not enough.
Ms. Williams says the Society has filed a complaint with the Ministry of Justice, seeking an acceptable form of redress for her members.
She says the Prime Minister can still go further with the apology.
In the meantime, UWI Professor of History, Verene Shepherd, is congratulating the Prime Minister for apologising to Rastafarians for the Coral Gardens Massacre.
She says the apology is historic, as governments don’t readily apologise for wrongs.
She says it’s been hard for those who’ve been calling for an apology to live with what she calls ‘this brutal history’.
However, Professor Shepherd agrees that the trust fund of no less than 10-million dollars to compensate victims is insufficient.