Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 28th 2014 Contents A14
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, August 28, 2014
In an effort to establish T&T as the home
of the steelpan and showcase the national
instrument on the world stage, Pan Trin-
bago will host a steelband conference next
August, which will see 38 steelbands from
across the globe converge at the Queen s
Acting Pan Trinbago president Bryon Ser-
rette spoke of the plans for the inaugural
conference yesterday, following the launch
of the International Conference and Panora-
ma (ICP) Web site at the Central Bank Audi-
torium, Eric Williams Plaza, Port-of-Spain.
Serrette said the estimated cost of the
conference was $25 million.
And while the pan body is currently in
talks to solicit funds from Government and
the private sector, Serrette said they have
embarked on a number of fund-raising ini-
tiatives aimed at whipping up support from
The Web site will facilitate the smooth
registration for visiting delegates, as well
as provide an interactive experience for users
who can browse photo galleries, learn about
local pan icons and glean information about
Scheduled to be held from August 5 to
7, 2015, the competition will showcase the
formal history of the steelpan, its creation
and evolution, the economic and industrial
development and subsequent impact.
Revealing that they were currently in the
process of negotiating with steelbands
around the world to attend the conference,
Serrette said the Web site would ensure a
"smoother" flow of information and was
one of the first steps in that process.
Asked where the idea for the conference
had originated, Serrette explained that Pan
Trinbago hosted the Panorama competition
yearly, which was an integral part of the
carnival landscape, hence they were seeking
to "establish T&T as the home of pan the
world over and set up a world organisation
for pan here, so what better way than to
bring the steelpan playing world here."
Stating that they had already met with
representatives from the national airline car-
rier Caribbean Airlines (CAL), the Ministry
of Tourism and the hoteliers association,
Serrette said another round of meetings
would take place soon to finalise packages,
comprising airfare and accommodations.
"They are very much interested in the
project," Serrette assured.
He added that each team participating in
the competition would be limited to 60 play-
ers, with 75 per cent of them required to be
nationals of their home country.
The remaining 25 per cent can be foreign
players, selected from anywhere in the world.
Serrette said: "We have done that to level
the playing field because some of our steel-
bands perform with 100 and 120 players
sometimes. In this way, no steelband coming
from any part of the world will feel over-
The steelband conference will be held
every four years and Serrette hopes it will
attain the same stature of other competitions,
such as the World Cup and Olympics.
During her opening remarks, head of the
ICP secretariat, retired permanent secretary
Roslyn Khan-Cummings, said the steelpan
had the potential to "become the primary
non-energy export with its natural linkages
to tourism, manufacturing, community
development and entertainment industries."
Plan to bring world
for pan conference
38 steelbands invited for next year's event
Web Designer Aaron Besson gives an overview of the International Conference and
Panorama's (ICP) Web site during the launch of the ICP at Central Bank Auditorium, Port-
of-Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
Deputy leader of the Movement for Social Justice
(MSJ) Dr Roosevelt Williams is warning that social
unrest and resistance will not end if the Constitution
(Amendment) Bill 2014 is made law.
In an interview, Williams said the MSJ would
pursue all legal channels to stop the implementation
of the act, noting that the party will join with other
civic groups to mobilise the citizenry to take action
against the Government.
His comments came as Independent Senator Dr
Rolph Balgobin signalled his intention to support the
bill once "reasonable changes" were made. Govern-
ment needs only one independent vote to pass the
bill with a simple majority.
However, Williams said even if Balgobin supported
the bill, the people had the power to stop it from
He added: "Given the context of what exists now
where we have two dominant parties ethnically based,
we believe in the event of a third party, people will
go back to their base and vote on the basis of race.
"The runoff will allow a minority candidate to
govern and this is not right. This will undermine our
He also said the Prime Minister s proposal to have
a $10 million fund for MPs was a recipe for nepotism
"We are totally against this $10 million fund because
we have seen what happened with Life Sport.
"We are worried that our ministers will have a $10
million fund to play with. With another election
looming in 2015, we are of the opinion that there
could be corruption and mismanagement of this
fund," he added.
Asked what the MSJ would do if the bill is passed,
Williams said: "We are going to give all the support
to the legal channels and we are going to mobilise
real people power. If it is passed in the Parliament
it will not mean an end of resistance. We will oppose
this at all levels."
Williams said the fundamental constitutional
change should not have been sprung on the popu-
He said if there was broader consultation, people
would be more willing to accept.
"There are few people in the country who under-
stand this. You cannot say low quality reporting is
responsible for this. It is up to the Government to
have consultation so that people can understand this
bill," Williams said.
MSJ official warns
of social unrest over
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