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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Carnival 2008 launches and leaves questions unanswered

All the Minister of Culture, Marlene Mc Donald could say during the launch of Carnival 2008 yesterday was that mas on the move was a success for 2007, therefore it will continue for 2008. There was even an official Carnival song launched "the road so nice we doing it twice" which totally PISSED me off! There they go again with the MYOPIC view that we masqueraders so enjoyed mas on the move that a stage was not necessary; I will however save what I have to say for the subsequent email which I will be sending out along with the petition.

When pressed for answers as to why the initial construction of a stage and spectator stands was demolished and moved to the Eastern end of the Savannah none of the representatives of State or N.C.C. could give an answer; the Trinidad Express gives full details on this soap opera saga of Carnival 2008:

C2K8 launch raises questions
by Wayne Bowman

Thursday, December 20th 2007

National Carnival Commission chairman Keston Nancoo made a dash for the exit in an attempt to evade questions from the media, as did Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs Minister, Marlene McDonald, following yesterday's launch of Carnival 2008 at the Hilton Trinidad in St Ann's.

The question-and-answer segment, which followed a long-winded NCC public relations exercise masked as a media conference, was over after only two questions from reporters.

And still, only one question received a credible answer from Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Gilbert Reyes, who responded on what assurances he could give that there would be no police brutality upon members of the public during Carnival, as well as what measures would be put in place to ensure that plainclothes officers properly identify themselves before taking action.

Reyes said his officers would be out in full force from February 1 to ensure citizens' safety for the Carnival period.

Nancoo failed to provide satisfactory answers to questions on the challenges of switching from the original plans for C2K8 to the new one that was presented, as well as why the Panorama final was being held at Skinner Park, San Fernando, although the majority of panmen, including some from the South/ Central region, are in opposition to returning to that venue on Carnival Saturday.

Nancoo responded by saying that people need to exercise maturity in such situations, adding that it was Pan Trinbago that chose to return to Skinner Park and that the NCC was only facilitating the organisation's request. Asked how come neither Pan Trinbago president Patrick Arnold nor any other representatives of the pan body were present for the launch, Nancoo called for the launch to be ended and headed straight for the exit, alongside McDonald.

Arnold was, in fact, on the ferry heading for Tobago at the time of the launch, and no other member of the Pan Trinbago executive had been scheduled to attend. Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation president Michael "Protector" Leggerton was also notably absent.

Although the National Carnival Development Foundation has the majority of large bands in its membership, it was also represented at the launch, during which time the route for the Parade of the bands was revealed.

In her address, McDonald reminded the nation that in spite of their close proximity this time around, Christmas comes before Carnival and she admonished that the two festivals must be kept apart and people, "remain loyal to the traditional Christmas practices that can't be dislodged".

She called on the nation to enjoy the parang and religious celebrations of Christmas before getting started with Carnival.

In the same turn, McDonald said that because of the closeness of the two seasons, as well as the fact that everyone's focus a few weeks ago was the general election, time is of the essence and the Culture Ministry must play catch-up to have everything ready in time for C2K8.

"We will fearlessly confront the challenges and make use of the opportunities created in Carnival 2007," McDonald said, adding that the Ministry and NCC will build and improve on the present foundation as the nation moves towards realising Vision 2020.

SOURCE: Trinidad Express
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