Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 15th 2015 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, December 15, 2015
In its first major decision since
the new Board was appointed,
the National Carnival Commis-
sion (NCC) will now directly
manage the mas element of Car-
nival, a role up until this year
was performed by the National
Carnival Bandleaders Associa-
The commission has also
removed the registration fee for
competitive and non-competitive
bands so that bandleaders and
individual mas makers around
the country can now play for free.
The decisions were announced
in a statement released from the
commission s communication
manger Kevon Gervais yesterday
afternoon and was strongly sup-
ported by two of the three main
While T&T Carnival Bandlead-
ers Association (TTCBA) presi-
dent Gerard Weekes and National
Carnival Development Foundation
(NCDF) head Mahindra Satram-
Maharaj were in full support of
the move, NCBA head David
Lopez said he would meet with
his executive before making any
Lopez is expected to comment
Prior to yesterday s release, the
NCBA has been in charge of the
mas element of Carnival, includ-
ing the Parade of the Bands and
junior carnival competitions.
In his statement, Gervais said
NCC had resumed direct man-
agement of the Mas element of
Carnival 2016, which includes the
Junior and Senior competitions,
Individual competitions, Junior
and Senior Parade of the Bands,
J Ouvert and Traditional Carnival
Gervais, in an interview fol-
lowing the release, said the NCC
met and held discussions with
all three mas stakeholders over a
"The NCC felt the decision was
taken in the best interest of the
development of mas in T&T.
Asked whether the decision
received unanimous support from
the stakeholders, Gervais said
"not all decisions would reach a
He said decisions still needed
to be taken for the best interest
"The majority felt this was the
way it should be done."
Despite there being less than
two months before Carnival 2016,
Gervais said the NCC was pre-
pared to resume its direct respon-
sibility over mas.
"Everything will be in place for
The NCC has the institutional
knowledge and more than 25
This means all participants
must now register with the NCC
for their respective competitions.
In separate interviews yester-
day, both Weekes and Satram-
Maharaj said the change was
Weekes said the TTCBA had
been clamouring over the past
few years to improve the man-
agement of Carnival as we felt
the NCBA had not been doing a
good job," Weekes said.
The TTCBA has held several
protests yearly over the NCBA s
holding the responsibility for mas
activities for the carnival.
"We thought that the NCC
taking control was a positive step
in ensuring the success of Car-
Satram-Maharaj said the
change was one he had proposed
for several years.
"We found that the monies
allocated to mas never trickled
down to the people bringing out
"Mas practitioners never really
benefitted from the allocation."
He said there had been no
motivation for mas makers.
Satram-Maharaj said he was
in full support of the decision.
He also commended the NCC
for removing the registration fee,
saying the fees were in poor taste
and was unfair to smaller bands
and individual performers.
The number drawn yesterday on CNC3 Crime
Watch for the Read Watch Cash promotion was
Our Read Watch Cash promotion team is now
in search of a new winner!
If the number at the back of your yesterday s
Guardian was 129313 you have won $9,500 cash.
You have until 3pm Tuesday to come to the
Guardian office, Rodney Road, Endeavour, Chagua-
nas with the newspaper containing the winning
number (in the order it was drawn), and photo
identification to claim your prize.
Remember to keep your "today " and tune into
today s Crime Watch on CNC3 at 6pm to find out
if you have won.
Read Watch Cash---
NCC to take
over 2016 mas
Two Defence Force
officers in court
JENSEN LA VENDE
Two members of the protective
services appeared before different
Port-of-Spain magistrates yester-
day. A Coast Guard officer charged
with unlawfully killing a child and
a soldier charged with driving
under the influence of alcohol.
In the drunk driving matter 32-
year-old Jason Scipio pleaded not
guilty when he appeared before
Magistrate Rehana Ali.
Scipio, of Emerald Drive, Dia-
mond Vale, Diego Martin, had an
alcohol level of 42 micrograms of
alcohol for every 100 millilitres of
The legal limit is 35. The test was
conducted some three hours after
he allegedly knocked down 63-
year-old Hilton Joseph who was
attempting to cross the Western
Main Road, St James, around 6 pm
on Saturday. Scipio, an instructor
at Tetron Barracks will re-appear
in court on December 22.
In the second court matter, 33-
year-old Emile Garraway was not
called on to enter a plea when he
appeared before Chief Magistrate
Garraway was granted $150,000
bail after no objections were made.
Garraway was ordered to surrender
his passport and report to the
Arouca Police Station every Monday
and Thursday between 6 am and
Garraway, who is represented by
Israel Khan SC and Karunaa Bis-
ramsingh is charged with the
unlawful killing of 23-month-old
Khristha Knutt on December 7.
Khristha, who would have turned
two in January, was reportedly dis-
covered unresponsive after which
there was a botched attempt to
resuscitate her with an electrical
While she was noticeably absent
from her child s funeral last Friday,
Tiffany Rawlins, Khristha s mother
was present in court yesterday
when her boyfriend appeared.
The few other relatives in the
courtroom sat in silence as the
charge was read and bail granted.
He will re-appear on January 11
Registration forms are
available for free
downloaded at ncctt.org,
and are also available at
the NCC offices at the
Grand Stand, Queen's Park
Savannah, Port- of- Spain
between hours of 9 am to
The NCC said further
information would be
provided on the
competition rules and
regulations at a future
date, including revised
parade routes as well as on
all other matters that
impact on Carnival 2016.
Coast Guard officer
Emile Garraway is
escorted to a prison
vehicle at the Port-of-
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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