Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 20th 2016 Contents It verged on the bizarre. After
declaring the Zika virus issue a
national public health emer-
gency, the PNM administration
yesterday kept its collective rear
end firmly anchored to respec-
tive Parliamentary seating when
the House Speaker called on
MPs to stand to indicate all who
supported an Opposition-pro-
posed debate on Zika as a mat-
ter of urgent national impor-
Opposition MP Dr Tim
Gopeesingh had sought and
received approval for the debate.
But while the Opposition-plus-
Prakash stood following the
Speaker s request to stand to
indicate support for the debate,
the Government bench held its
Either folks didn t feel it polit-
ically necessary, or perhaps there
was no need for the red-white-
and black legend of "Let s Do
Hopefully, Health Minister
Terrence Deyalsingh would have
participated in debate and not
merely given the Opposition his
stock in trade response (to media
queries yesterday afternoon): "I
had a press conference this
morning, come to the press con-
But it was left to UNC MP
Roodal Moonilal and PNM s
Colm Imbert to bring another
issue du jour---how much certain
crime show hosts may have
gone beyond their respective
watch on crime---into the Parlia-
ment in debate on a Police Serv-
ice Commission nominee.
"He (Moonilal) implied some-
thing wrong with TV shows
hosted by police but Beyond the
Tape was on under the UNC!"
Imbert crowed gleefully.
(Tuesday s episode of what
might have truly been a "reality
TV" show host clash---one in
blue and one being busted---
indicated that at least one player
didn t seem to "get" that con-
flict of interest would have aris-
en with his hands-on hauling off
of his rival to the pokey).
Beyond both that incident and
yesterday s Parliament, over a
week after the death of Japanese
pan player Asami Nagakiya,
police haven t yet produced an
arrest. Since Nagakiya wasn t a
local, the pool of people to be
investigated should have been
small enough to manage quick
results or at least indicated
whether a national or non-
national might be involved. The
length of time has hinted at
complexity in the matter.
Government s "adroitness" in
handling the issue may have also
been revealed in confirmation
from the Japanese ambassador
soon after the incident, that the
only person who d called him up
to then, was the President. No
mention of Government officials.
By yesterday though, despite the
thorniness of T&T s international
image, Government was taking
comfort in the fact that a Japan-
ese cruise ship was in port.
Still, ruling party affiliates
haven t helped in the matter.
Former Port-of-Spain mayor
Raymond Tim Kee s demission
from office was a given once a
furore flamed out over his state-
ments indirectly involving
Her death negatively spotlight-
ed T&T on the world map and
Tim Kee s comments simply
magnified it tenfold.
Prime Minister Keith Rowley
who flip-flopped on Tim Kee s
statements---likely due to inter-
national notice of the overall sit-
uation---however, won no love
from protesting Tim Kee sup-
Claiming not to be PNMites,
the giveaway was their cry of
"No Tim Kee, no PNM!" Their
indication of a new trend of
protest to ensure their wishes
are met, received (equally loud)
reply from Government s veto of
their request for Tim Kee to
remain. PNM sources said the
challenge to the party hierarchy
from the councillors and pro-
testers supporting Tim Kee was
swiftly put down internally.
Rowley, sanctioning Tim Kee s
resignation, signalled intent to
act in national interest over pop-
ularity or partisanship.
A position which also marked
his Caricom debut earlier this
week. What repercussions flow
this, remain to unfold.
Management of these other
trends may enter Government s
March Tobago retreat. Rowley s
view that while his team has
done "reasonably well," there s
always room for improvement---
and that his MPs are new---
would have confirmed how
much the Government requires
Some reflection may also be in
order in the Opposition whose
stocks suffered a twinge with
Prakash Ramadhar s resignation
from COP s leadership, an
uncoupling which serves both
Ramadhar and COP.
The former may be free to the
encumbrances of leadership and
the latter to choose the required
personnel for the job COP
decides it wants to do now.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, February 20, 2016
We must not agree that Carnival
is debauched, or that it is going
to die. Here is why.
Who would have thought that we
could devise a war, a stage, a gayelle,
sans stick, sans knife, sans guns? Just
sans humanite. A wargame of wit.
Dramatic, feisty, enthralling, full of
play, bringing the audience into play. A
mock game of the quickest and high-
est intellects. A blind man, a politician,
a sage, a woman tiger.
Were the wits of Shakespeare, the
European court, that quick? Perhaps.
And not a shot fired. No one killed an
Iraqi child. Just satire, irony, vitupera-
tion, parody, polemic of the quickest
order. And both victor and van-
quished, the Gypsy and the Blind Man
walk off the stage, one escorting the
other. Blood; that is, brotherhood.
Who would have thought that you
scramble in the slums, pick up a tin,
beat into it a tune? Making something
from garbage, wreckage, nothing.
Souse from pig foot. Soup from
cowheel. Bhaji from bush. An orches-
tra, communities of beaters, players,
panmen, brought into a choreography
of drama, dance, music.
Lil boy, lil girl, schoolchild, fat man,
thin man, idler, businessman. Japan-
ese, Norwegian, American. Did
Tchaikovsky in Saint Petersburg ever
sound so good? Perhaps. Organisa-
tion and discipline from steel.
Who would have thought that we
could string up some feathers, a hip
and some bone on two tall sticks and
produce Picasso? Africa? Europe? A
king? Taken an old icon, the Moko, in-
tertext with it another old icon, the
operatic dance, swan, to make a new
icon? To rise against the sky, walk,
dance, play? To make a moving Taj,
Taj Mahal? To say, mean something.
All on an impermanent stage? Genius.
Who would have thought that ca-
lypso's old khaki pants would bust?
Couldn't fit any longer. Would have to
be stripped, darned, re-sewn into
soca. Into a bit of rock, punk, reggae,
ragga, hip hop, soul, kaiso at the So-
cadrome? Neon, jamming, stalking
lights, athletic dance, the spectacular
and the primeval?
In front of a crowd of five, ten, 15
thousand? The pop, outpopping politi-
cians and their political rallies? Youth
toting guitars, blasting lyrics, doing
gymnastics, not guns. The art of the
Who would have thought that vio-
lence, coup, overthrow could be sub-
verted with lyrics, licks, laughter?
With bois, guntalk, picong, buffoonery,
bellicose ribaldry, rather than Bakr.
And Cro Cro, Chalkdust, would still
be there, old brigadiers and snipers.
And nobody ever shot them, hanged
them, dropped a bomb on their
heads? A gayelle of talk, stupidness,
banter, truth, falsehoods, ethnic de-
fence and attack. And nobody ever
killed a Hutu. Civilisation and dis-
Who would have thought that you
could play a king with mud? Assault a
kingdom with ketchup rather than
blood? With old paint, blue, old engine
oil? Scraps of ply, timber, a thumbtack
and an ole nail? Playing the Opposi-
tion Leader with a pose: I Always Op-
posing! Play a slave with a log of
wood---Woodslave---dragged up the
High Street? Make your own theatre,
dialectic, with scraps of this and that?
And have some fun? And go national,
international? Facebook and insta-
Who would have thought that you
could make a war with a cork-full of
rum, a drum, and two lengths of poui?
Mooma mooma your son in the grave
already. But no one really ends up in
The worst is a little drawing of
blood, a buss-head. Put down your
guns and take up a stick, a boxing
glove. Stick is a tribute to the ancient
martial art of war, control, temper;
rather than viciousness, ignorance,
stupidness---violence and youthman
blood. Martial art, not slaughter and
And who would have thought that
you could own the Government road
for two days? Just be something big,
grand, a march, a promenade, a fiesta,
a parade. Buckle, bands, beads, feath-
ers, tinsel, rhinestones, big sound.
Walk right down the middle of the
road, dance, half or quarter-clothed,
with no SUV, van, truck, maxi taxi to
block you, just people.
A grand mercantile product. Trade,
exchange, bazaar, money-making,
forex. A chance to play yourself: thin
man, fat man, big belly man and
woman, KFC fat, no pressure. Rich
people, poor people, not exactly mix-
ing, but edging up to each other. Eros,
God of wine and gyration, followed by
Christ, the Lent.
Carnival is the most intense ex-
pression and depiction of our intelli-
gence, creativity, genius, capacity for
sustainability for survival and suste-
Our predilection for peace, not war.
Talk, not rage. Democracy not authori-
tarianism. Of African-European-
French-Creole heritage, it is
antagonistic to the round of corrup-
tion, violence and death with daily be-
sets our nation. An expression of
ancient African ethics, social art and
Idisagree completely with the idea that
Calypso Fiesta is responsible for killing
the calypso artform. It is dying from lack
A good calypso requires a certain
amount of intelligence to write. It re-
quires a brain attuned to our peoples and
their circumstance. It requires a knowl-
edge of calypso rhythm.
Calypso was dealt a dying blow by the
advent of soca. Soca appealed to the
younger generation. Soca is more about
dance and prance. Calypso is about social
commentary, for the most part. Very oc-
casionally a great calypso would come
along. Bassman comes to mind. This
could not have been written by Shadow
unless he had a feeling for our conscious-
ness. We can all identify with that tune.
How can we get back to writing good
calypsoes that our people will love? Polit-
ical offerings are fine, but to be loved
they must have a humourous aspect to
them, they must have a catchy chorus,
not be the boring commentaries that
they have become.
The money that was lavished on the
pitiful offerings, over the last few years,
was certainly no help. It rewarded medi-
ocrity. I am no calypsonian, but I do ap-
preciate a good rendering.
I suggest our budding calypsonians go
back over all the great calypsoes of the
past, even consult with the likes of Black
Stalin, to recover the essence of a win-
ning calypso. Or they just all go and
plant peas in Tobago.
In a letter to the editor of February 8
concerning to the control of mosqui-
toes, I did mention that what was re-
quired was a cleansing of the river in
Diego Martin which empties into the sea.
This is one the main breeding ground for
mosquitoes in that area.
When I lived on Morne Coco Road, the
ceiling of my house used to be con-
stantly swamped with mosquitoes at
night. I used a broom and squashed
them scores at time. They are a plague
and only with the use of pesticides the
influx could be reduced.
They are very difficult to eradicate
from homes in that area. I observe that
there is now a Zika alert in Diego Martin
and action is being taken to avoid any
outbreak of this virus in the area.
Without a proper clean up this area,
Diego Martin could become first breed-
ing ground on this island for mosquitoes
carrying the Zika virus.
STOCK TAKING IN GOVT, OPPOSITION
Soca dealt death blow to calypso
Diego Martin river a mosquito breeding ground
The ethnic of Carnival
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