Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 4th 2015 Contents A7
January 4, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Members of the Congress of
the People executive discuss
an idea following a meeting at
the party's headquarters in
Charlieville yesterday. From
left (back row) is Secretary
Ramnanan, Deputy Political
Leader Lauren Pouchet,
Secretary Public Relations
Patricia Metivier, CEO Paul
Solomon, Chairman Women's
Forum Chandra Ramlagan,
COP political leader Prakash
Representative Diego Martin
Richard Granger, Deputy
Political Leader Dr Anirudh
Alicia Sharpe, Front row:
Secretary Membership Lisa
Henzel, Chairman Nicole Dyer-
Griffith and General Secretary
PHOTO: CHARLES KONG SOO
The National Carnival Bands
Association (NCBA) is attempting
to resurrect its old plan to reverse
the traditional Carnival parade
This is the same plan that met
with opposition during the buildup
to Carnival last year, before it was
shelved by then acting Prime Minister
The NCBA, however, brought back
the same proposal to two stakehold-
ers' meetings last month. Although
the plan once again met with oppo-
sition from two stakeholders during
the first of these meetings, the asso-
ciation returned two days later with
the same idea.
The Sunday Guardian received
minutes from the two meetings which
show that NCBA head David Lopez
attempted to table the proposal to
reverse the traditional route.
According to the minutes from the
meetings, both the T&T Carnival
Bands Association (TTCBA) and the
National Carnival Development Foun-
dation (NCDF) said they would not
even consider the NCBA proposal.
TTCBA head Gerard Weekes yes-
terday confirmed that he would not
support any change to the route at
"It is weeks before Carnival and
we are discussing something that was
opposed and shelved since last year,"
Weekes said in a telephone interview.
In the minutes, Weekes noted that
at a previous meeting in September
2014, all stakeholders agreed to a
finalised route and "expressed surprise
that in December 2014, there still
appeared to be no final decision."
Yesterday, Weekes also said Lopez
did not have any say on the route
issue, since the responsibility for Car-
nival preparations rested solely with
Culture Minister Lincoln Douglas.
"We held similar discussions about
the route with the previous chairman
and here we are going over the same
process again," Weekes said, adding
that the NCBA continued to make
poor decisions which affected the
entire Carnival fraternity although it
did not control the majority of bands.
Weekes said the TTCBA had sent
a pre-action protocol letter to Douglas
last year urging him to make a final
decision on which association, the
TTCBA or NCBA, had the most
members, but had been ignored.
"Douglas has not acted in good
faith and the process of determining
who represented the most bands has
continued to drag on, so there is no
way to improve the product," he said.
"Weeks before Carnival and band-
leaders are in a quandary. We do not
have a final answer on route regis-
tration; rules and regulations are
largely undecided; there are no guide-
lines for 2015."
NCDF Vice-Chairman J.P Pouchet
yesterday confirmed that he too was
against the NCBA's route reversal. He
described it as "change for change
sake" without any logic to it.
"It is not an improvement to the
route congestion. All we need is better
route management to
improve the flow of the
bands," Pouchet said.
The two groups also
agreed to utilise the
Socadrome again this year.
Last year, in a pilot project,
a stage was built at the Jean
Pierre Complex, Mucurapo,
and used by non-compet-
ing party bands Bliss,
Harts, Tribe and YUMA in
an attempt to decongest
the parade route.
NCBA seeks Carnival route reversal again
Bands sticking to 2014 plan
The TTCBA and NCDF
also put forward
suggestions for the
improvement of the
Make Queen's Park
Savannah an optional
judging point as opposed
to a mandatory one so
bands could use 3 of the
Socadrome in the
final parade route.
However, once bands
presentation at this
point, they should be
allowed to access the
should not be separated
from their bands at any
time along the route.
should be given right of
way along the route
The route should be
extended to include the
use of Charlotte street,
from South Quay.
should be considered, as
there are immense
Charlotte Street (refer to
point 6 above)
A parade route that
includes St James should
CHARLES KONG SOO
Congress of the People (COP) leader Prakash
Ramadhar says he is in support of the death penalty
and will assist the People s Partnership (PP) in
pushing through legislation when the matter is
brought before Parliament again.
Speaking to the media after the party's executive
meeting at the COP headquarters in Charlieville,
Chaguanas, yesterday, Ramadhar said a strong mes-
sage must be sent to those who commit the most
heinous of crimes that they must pay the ultimate
penalty for murder.
"It is important for us to recognise that a message
has to be sent that those who're willing to take life,
that the most severe consequence is available to
them," Ramadhar said.
"That is why the Government had brought leg-
islation in the past to categorise murders, the most
grievous of them, premeditated murders, assassina-
tions. Those are the ones that once one is charged
and convicted, you must pay the penalty with your
The country has already recorded seven murders
for the year and Ramadhar admitted the PP must
deal with the issue.
"Murder is atrocious for all. It is something that
certainly needs to be addressed, but we've taken
steps in terms of the detection of crime, such as
DNA legislation and labs and the use of science to
He said it was easy to talk about the number of
offences, but it was really about the use of technology
to detect who was responsible and then bring them
to justice. Ramadhar said tremendous effort had been
made by the Government to speed up trials, but
before cases could get to trial they must be solved
and suspects arrested, and the use of science would
go a long way towards achieving those ends. He said
in preparation for general elections this year, all party
executives were asked last year to look at potential
candidates for screening, so that they could have
candidates of "good quality."
Responding to whether the COP would go it alone
or remain in the coalition, Ramadhar said the lessons
of 2007 were still with them. He said the COP was
still an independent party, but it had learned well in
working with its partners. Ramadhar said it was not
a perfect equation, but it was one that had worked
well for the people of T&T.
He also said the country was on the precipice of
an economic meltdown when the Government came
into office and the PP had been able to stabilise the
economy and politics of the country.
Ramadhar backs return of hangman
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