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Christmas Today For Bobo Shantis

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Bobo Shanti Rastafarians will celebrate their Christmas today. One of the elders of the religious sect, Priest Nyah, said the 500 members of his commune at Wharf Trace, Maracas, St Joseph, will mark the "birth of the Earth" with fasting and prayers from 6 a.m. to noon, followed by an evening of song and celebration.

The commune, which is part of the Ethiopian Black African International Congress, has been in existence since 1984, and the compound includes a church, living and eating quarters, a school and a conference room.

The women make nuts, belts, bags, badges and jewellery for the men to sell. There are 10,000 Bobo Shantis scattered across Trinidad, according to Nyah, who spent eight years in Jamaica, at the Bull Bay headquarters of the Congress. He also had a message for Trinidad and Tobago.

"The Bobo Shantis blast Trinidad and Tobago," he declared.

"This place is now Sodom and Gomorrah spiritually...The government needs to ban women from wearing pants to curb the crime. They say they don't know how to curb crime -that is the first step. The women need to cover themselves up... Is that causing rape and all this setta crime."

Nyah renewed the eternal Rastafarian call for the government to decrease the penalties for marijuana possession.

"Gih we ah chance wid ah ounce at least," he said. Fellow elder Priest Erasto Njoko Jawanza went further to state that the plant should be legalised.

"This is a natural tree," Jawanza pointed out. "They legalise cigarette, alcohol and hemp, so why not the herb? The government has to deal with equality and justice for all.

They should ban the rum and legalise the herb."

Source: Trinidad and Tobago Express
Copyright: 2008, Trinidad and Tobago Express
Contact: Nazma Muller
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