Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 14th 2017 Contents news A11
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 guardian.co.tt
panic after boat
Hundreds of pan players from Tobago went into
panic mode yesterday after they were informed the
TT Spirit fast ferry which was supposed to take
them back home had broken down and they feared
they may be stranded in Trinidad.
The players, including a number of children who
had to attend school and working people who had to
go back to their jobs, came to Trinidad to participate
in Panorama semifinals on Sunday and were
put up at Cascadia Hotel in St Ann's by the
National Carnival Commission (NCC).
They were supposed to check out
at 12 noon yesterday and leave for
Tobago on the TT Spirit at 4 pm.
However they were told the ferry
shut down in Tobago. Panicking,
they told the T&T Guardian yes-
terday morning they had nowhere
to go when they checked out the
hotel at lunch time.
They said they were told they
would have been accommodated
on the cargo vessel, the Galicia, but
said as far as they knew this vessel
had no seats.
They said they got letters from
Pan Trinbago which they took to the
children's schools and their employers
requesting they day off on the Monday
after Panorama semi-finals but had to
get back to their regular routines from
However, the matter was resolved a couple
hours later when they were informed the boat
was repaired and had set sail from Tobago at
10.25 am and would return to Tobago on the 4
A relieved Beverly Ramsey-Moore, one of the
players, said, "The matter was resolved. We under-
stand the boat is limping to Trinidad but it's coming."
Blind school still closed
It has been one week since the
School for the Blind, Santa Cruz,
closed its doors over problems re-
lating to the school's administration
- leaving nine students uncertain
when classes would resume.
Speaking yesterday, officials of the
Council of the T&T Blind Welfare As-
sociation (TTBWA) confirmed the closure
would continue until an agreement was
reached with the Ministry of Education
over the removal of the school's principal.
Up to yesterday, TTBWA executive of-
ficer Kenneth Suratt said no resolution
had been arrived at.
Challenging the ministry to decide
quickly, Suratt said the Council met last
Friday in an emergency session during
which they called for the principal and
his wife to be removed immediately,
along with an acting principal to be
agreed upon only after consultation
with the TTBWA.
Suratt said, "Once these demands are
met by the Ministry of Education, the
school will be reopened immediately."
During a meeting on February 6, the
TTBWA called for a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) to be introduced
to govern the professional relationship
among the School for the Blind, the as-
sociation and the Ministry of Education.
Admitting yesterday that the MoU was
"a work in progress," Suratt revealed the
council had submitted a draft MOU to the
ministry in June 2016, following which
a counter proposal was presented by the
ministry last Tuesday.
Suratt said the council had 30 days in
which to respond, adding that they were
carefully considering the draft.
He said they were hoping that, "All
parties can close negotiations within
Stating that the next move was up to
the ministry, Suratt accused the min-
istry of playing games as he said they
kept making excuses by claiming they
had no authority to effect the removal
of the principal and his wife from the
The principal's wife currently
holds the post of senior teacher
at the School for the Blind.
Following a "lock in" the pre-
vious week during the principal
refused to leave the school's prem-
ises, Suratt said the man eventually
left last Monday, leaving only the
TTBWA's ten domestic staff mem-
bers and two security officers on
Hoping the ministry would re-
spond to their demands soon, Su-
ratt said while the Teaching Service
Commission (TSC) was responsi-
ble for hiring and firing teachers,
senior teachers and principals and
also deciding on their place-
ments - the ministry had
the authority to trans-
fer such persons
ing that the
his wife's mis-
handling of the
to the ministry,
Suratt said, "They
are making excuses
about needing the
TSC to do it, but the
ministry can transfer him
to another school."
Ministry officials later as-
sured that were working fever-
ishly to arrive at amicable solu-
tions regarding the issues raised as
they were very concerned about the
students being away from school
for an extended period of time.
Activitst wants IC to
Social activist Ravi Maharaj has
written to chairman of the Integrity
Commission (IC) Zainool Hosein
requesting that an investigation
be done into the action of Prime
Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
Maharaj made reference to the pro-
motion by Rowley for sales of his au-
In a letter dated February 13 to Hosein,
Maharaj wrote, "In September 2016,
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley un-
veiled his autobiography entitled "From
Mason Hall to Whitehall: His name is
Keith Rowley" that is now being sold at
bookstores and other retail outlets at a
price of three hundred dollars (TT$300).
"Since then, Dr Rowley has made
several appearances at bookstores and
other venues for the sole purpose of pro-
moting the sale of this book, while he
remains Prime Minister of the Republic
of Trinidad and Tobago."
Maharaj said the Prime Minister is not
the first politician in T&T to either write
or promote their own autobiography
for sale to the public, it appears that
he may be the first PM to do so while
in office, and following the introduc-
tion of the Integrity in Public Life Act
"As such, I am requesting that the
Integrity Commission of T&T, inves-
tigate this matter as it pertains to Part
IV of the Integrity in Public Life Act,
titled Code of Conduct. Specifically, in
Section 24 which relates to the Use of
Office of a Person in Public Life, sub-
section (2) states: 24. (2) A person to
whom this Part applies shall not - (d)
directly or indirectly use his office for
Maharaj claimed it would appear
that Rowley's insistence on using
his rank and office as Prime Minis-
ter while promoting and selling his
autobiography is a clear and flagrant
violation of the Integrity in Public Life
Act, and should be held accountable
for his actions.
The popular lunchtime concert series Soca
in Bsquare returns to Port-of-Spain from to-
morrow. Woodford Square will come alive with
performances by top soca artistes, the pulsating
rhythms of steel pan and the infectious energy
'Life is On in Bsquare, the free public concert series,
officially kicks off at 11 am and hundreds of fans are
expected to descend on Woodford Square hoping to
catch the performances of their favourite artistes.
bmobile has put together an mix of traditional and
new artistes including Ella Andall, Explainer and
Lord Nelson, MX Prime and Ultimate Rejects, Omar-
dath Maharaj, Orlando Octave and the reigning Soca
Monarch, Voice. Musicians from the popular and
versatile band, A Team, will be accompanying all
of the performers.
Camille Campbell, TSTT's vice president, mar-
keting said: "Carnival is an integral part of Trinidad
and Tobago's culture and economy so for bmobile,
our various investments in Carnival comes down to
doing what is best for the public we serve.
"Soca in Bsquare is the modern incarnation of the
days when the Police Services band did public per-
formances at the Woodford Square bandstand and
we are proud to carry on in that tradition of serving
the public in this way."
Campbell said for many people Soca in Bsquare
is the rare opportunity for them to see a full scale
concert performance of some of the season's top
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