Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 19th 2015 Contents SHARLENE RAMPERSAD
Teenaged model Ravina Rampersad yes-
terday defended the actions of herself and
Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley in the face
of a raging social media firestorm which devel-
oped over photos of them wining in a band
during Carnival in San Fernando on Tuesday.
She said they were merely participating in
the Carnival festivities like everyone else and
it was "Just a little wine."
Rampersad, 17, of Marabella, and Rowley
were photographed wining together along the
city's streets in Ivan Kalicharan's band Bazodee.
They were among revellers in the section Land-
However, the photos caused a firestorm on
Facebook after they were posted when it was
discovered Rampersad was a teen. While some
people defended it others did not, saying it
unbecoming of Rowley.
Rampersad also pulled down her Facebook
page yesterday after she received scores of abu-
sive and negative comments on the photos. In
the face of those comments, however, Ram-
persad eventually took to her Twitter account
to dismiss the criticisms against Rowley and
herself, saying, "Carnival was amazing despite
the controversy taking place. But never the less
I had a great time."
In another tweet, Rampersad poked fun at
the issue, saying "Is just a wine, Just a little
The photos, taken by photojournalist Trevor
Watson, were shared, liked and commented on
thousands of times on Facebook over the course
of the day.
Controversial discussions on race relations
were also prevalent, as some users were accused
of having an issue with the photos because
Rampersad is of East Indian descent.
Critics of Rowley called on him to explain
why as an aspiring prime minister, he would
allow himself to be seen with a woman other
than his wife Sharon.
Others slammed the media for ignoring Row-
ley's behaviour, while highlighting that of Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Rowley was also accused of damaging his
reputation ahead of the upcoming general elec-
tions, while his supporters said he had done
Efforts yesterday to reach Rampersad for a
direct comment were unsuccessful.
Also contacted yesterday, Rowley said he had
no comment on the matter.
Watson, who has been reproached for the
post, defended his right to take the photo-
"I am a photojournalist and I was only doing
my job," he told the T&T Guardian yesterday.
He denied he was threatened for posting the
photo, but on one of his Facebook posts he
wrote, "They go vex with me but say what....I
am a photojournalist. When I capture your
images in the public domain and they appear
on Facebook and the Express newspaper please
do not inbox me asking how I can sleep and
try to make me a demon...I can assure you I
sleep very well...so next time you want to show
off your bad behaviour before the print and
electronic media think twice."
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Thursday, February 19, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Machel Montano has successfully defended his
Road March title, placing first and second in the
annual Carnival competition.
Montano, who also won the Power Soca Monarch
on Friday, placed first with his song Like a Boss,
which played 390 times at judging points across
the country and second with his power soca song
Erupt, which played 37 times.
Groovy Soca Monarch Olatunji Yearwood placed
third as his song Ola was played 22 times.
In a release yesterday, the Trinbago Unified Calyp-
sonian Organisation (Tuco) said Montano's win,
though by a large margin, was surpassed by the
song Palance in 2010 by J.W and Blaze and Fantastic
Friday by Super Blue in 2013.
Montano has won the competition seven times.
The record for most Road March wins belongs
to deceased calypsonian Lord Kitchener, who won
the competition 10 times.
Montano ranks fourth in terms of number of
Yesterday, Montano told CNC3 he was happy to
secure another win, noting it was not the first time
more than one of his songs had finished in the top
three. He said Like Ah Boss was actually made for
the 2014 Groovy Monarch title but they decided
to hold it back because they felt Happiest Man
Alive would bring it and it didn't.
"...So we always like to keep a bullet in the cham-
ber just in case yuh know, because we really want
to succeed, not on a competition level but we want
to even compete with ourselves and make sure that
we could do the best thing for the country to smile,
to make everybody smile and share that happy
The results for Downtown Carnival competition
were also released by Port-of-Spain Mayor Raymond
Ronnie and Caro's Ah Come Back Home (Large
Band), Mas Passion's Maskerade (medium) and
Rosalind Gabriel and Village Promotions' A Tribute
to Cito Velesquez (small) were the winners.
Tim Kee expressed his appreciation to mas bands
and spectators for participating in Carnival, saying
mas had "come back" to downtown. He said the
number of bands passing the South Quay judging
point had doubled from last year, with big bands
such as Tribe and Island people making a return.
He also praised collaborative efforts between the
National Carnival Commission (NCC), corporation
and former National Security Minister Gary Griffith
for the return of mas to downtown.
"We were successful, more spectators and the
stands were filled more than at other judging points,"
Tim Kee said.
I had a great time---teen
ALL PART OF CARNIVAL
People's National Movement (PNM)
deputy leader Rohan Sinanan says it is
stupid to make an issue of pictures of party
leader Dr Keith Rowley wining on a young
lady in San Fernando on Carnival Tuesday.
Sinanan was with Rowley in the Ivan
Kallicharan band Bazodee where the PNM
leader, in shorts, sleeveless tank top and
decorative "pretty mas" accessories, was
photographed wining on the young
masquerader in the section Landslide.
The photos caused a firestorm after
several photos circulated on social media
website Facebook yesterday of Rowley
winning on the young lady - alleged to be a
young model - who wore an extremely
revealing costume from the band.
There were mixed comments about the
scenario on Facebook and other sites about
it, but Rowley, the young woman and the
photographer who took the photos were
also on the end of negative attacks.
Sinanan however dismissed any negative
sentiment, saying it was stupid to try to
make an issue of the matter since it was
Carnival time. He said he had not seen the
pictures and was only hearing about them.
He said Rowley received a warm welcome in
San Fernando and many people of all ages
had come up to him while he was in the
band, treating him like a celebrity and
wanting to take pictures with him.
Various other PNMites also defended
Rowley, noting that it was Carnival, a festive
time and he has traditionally been a "mas
In previous years, Rowley has traditionally
worn full sailor costume and played mas in
Port-of-Spain with a medium-sized band
called Just Friends.
Machel wins 7th
Road March title
Facebook furore over wine with Rowley
San Fernando bandleader Ivan
Kalicharan said yesterday he sees
nothing wrong with a young
woman in his band wining on a
masquerader who happens to be
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
"That is the culture of Trinidad
and Tobago. I don't see anything
wrong with anybody dancing with
anybody. How can you stop that?"
the veteran masman asked in
relation the raging controversy on
the photo of the duo who both
played in his band Bazodee.
He said it was not the first time
a celebrity or prominent person
had played in his band and he did
not understand what all the fuss
"Two years ago President
Maxwell Richards played in my
band, and you think people came
and shake his hands. No they
dance and wine on him. But those
pictures were not taken and
Kalicharan said he was not privy
to who Rowley danced with as
Landslide, the section in which the
two played, was at the back of the
He offered, "Mr Rowley is a
target. Any politician playing mas
is a target or any prominent person
playing mas is a target for the
media to sell their papers so they
will target anybody." - With
reporting by Gail Alexander and
BANDLEADER: THEY BROKE NO LAW
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley enjoys himself with fellow masqueraders in the
Lanslide section of Ivan Kalicharan's 2015 Carnival presentation Bazodee on High
Street, San Fernando, on Tuesday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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