A RELUCTANT WELCOME
Tuesday 01 February 2005
Emperor Haile Selassie, whom Rastas consider a living god, granted 500 acres of his own land to Jamaican Rastafarians who wanted to return to Africa. The first came to Shashamene in 1971 to set up farms, and at one point more than 2,500 lived in Ethiopia, filling the streets of the market town with their Caribbean food and multicoloured hats. But their easygoing lifestyle and attachment to marijuana has led to clashes with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Some moved away during the brutal Mengistu regime which overthrew Selassie in 1974, but in recent years they have returned. Now there are about 100 Rastafarian families settled among Shashamene's 60,000 Ethiopian residents, many struggling to make a living in one of the poorest countries on earth. Ethiopians are especially wary of the Rastafarian belief that marijuana should be used for meditation and medicinal purposes. Marijuana is illegal in Ethiopia and every few months the police swoop on Shashamene, burning gardens of marijuana plants and arresting the dealers.
The government also makes its displeasure known by setting up bureaucratic hurdles for the small community. "We have problems getting residency and full work permits in Ethiopia," says a Jamaican community spokesman. "I think everyone accepts we are entitled to be on this land given to us by Haile Selassie but they don't want to make us feel welcome."
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have previous experience...