Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 12th 2014 Contents A5
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The National Carnival Commission
(NCC) must carefully manage its "hospi-
tality expenses" for Carnival 2014.
NCC chairman Allison Demas says the
Minister of Finance, Larry Howai, has told
the organisation it must control its hospitality
expenses, and therefore, she said, it would
Following Minister of Arts and Multicul-
turalism Dr Lincoln Douglas comments that
government officials and "a friend or two"
were entitled to free access to Carnival events,
the T&T Guardian asked Demas to explain
exactly how complimentary tickets were
Demas said, via text message, the NCC
had up to 1,226 VIP invitees, which matched
the seating capacity of VIP boxes in the
She said these VIP tickets were considered
"non-revenue" tickets. She explained that
people in VIP areas had access to hospitality
lounges, where there were free food and
Howai did not return calls or text messages
about the limit for hospitality expenses.
Demas added: "NCC hospitality extends
to government officials, including all mem-
bers of Parliament and the Senate, the judi-
ciary, Chief Justice, Court of Justice and
Each person was entitled to two compli-
mentary tickets, she said, and certain main
office-holders like the Prime Minister, line
minister (Douglas) and the Chief Justice
were entitled to special VIP box seats at
When contacted, Douglas said he did not
wish to make any further comment on the
On Sunday, he was reported as saying he
did not see a problem with government offi-
cials getting free access to Carnival events
and taking friends along.
"I have gone past that comment... call
me on something of value," he said by phone
PNM PRO Faris Al-Rawi says the Rowley faction
in PNM s internal election is doing polls almost
daily and shows incumbent leader Keith Rowley
"head and shoulders above everyone heading to
Al-Rawi spoke to reporters yesterday outside the
Senate on two polls done by Solution by Simulation
which showed PNM leadership contestant Pennelope
Beckles-Robinson had, among other things, the edge
over Rowley in a national scenario, particularly
attracting ILP supporters and people seeking another
Al-Rawi responded: "We in the Rowley faction
camp in the internal election received a copy of the
(SBS) poll commissioned, we understand, by Mr
Danny Montano on behalf of a coalition of persons."
Al-Rawi said the poll was a "very nice piece of
politicking and sleight of hand, since it does not
deal with the question before the PNM electorate
as to who is the preferred leader in the election race.
It was done on the national election scenario.
"It s not an independent poll, the use of SBS only
gives the appearance of an independent poll."
He said the polls tried to "jump over" the PNM
election process, adding: "Most important in it is
a spectacular item that makes me believe it s not a
"It says the PNM without Dr Rowley is strong
and that cannot be the case when you look at the
PNM having had four successful election runs, with
three victories. So I cannot accept that poll as mer-
Al-Rawi also said the poll had material errors in
it. He said the Rowley camp was doing polls almost
daily which showed a Rowley victory in the internal
He said Rowley would unveil PNM s general elec-
tion strategy after the internal election "and this
will show a 60 per cent victory margin for PNM."
Yesterday Montano (Senate President under the
past PNM administration) said he did not commission
the SBS poll but was part of a small group which
He said the group had come together last year
and decided to "do something for party and coun-
"We had been looking at T&T for a while and
what the alternatives are and what should be done
and the group considered a poll," he added.
Montano said the group had no leader but com-
prised people who were very concerned about T&T.
He said: "I m firm in my mind Penny is the one
who will unite the party and T&T and can lead us
out of the mess we are in.
"It s never been this bad. I have never been involved
in grassroots politics and I am not now, neither have
I ever been an activist but I felt I could not stand
idly by and do nothing."
Montano declined comment on Rowley s leader-
ship, adding: "Rather, I have more positives to say
on Ms Beckles-Robinson. I feel she can lead us for-
ward and I will do what I can to support her."
The PNM s internal election featured in "picong"
before and during yesterday s Senate debate.
As Al-Rawi took his seat, he was greeted with
comments from PP members, to which he retorted:
"Dr Keith Rowley, victor and leader... victorious."
While PNM Senator Lester Henry spoke on leg-
islation, he told the Finance Minister: "A penny for
your thoughts, minister."
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan replied: "Penny
in your thoughts."
Other PP members told PNM members: "Penny
will take them to the cleaners." See Pages A6 and
Less than 24 hours after the
police post at Duncan Street,
Port-of -Spain, opened for busi-
ness, police found a nine-mil-
limetre gun at Mango Rose.
Around 10.30 am yesterday,
they received a report that shots
had been fired in the area and
when they arrived, they saw sev-
eral men with guns running away.
The police then spotted the
gun at the side of one of the nine-
storey apartment buildings.
The post was formally opened
on October 17, 2013 in an area of
east Port-of-Spain which has
been dubbed a "hot spot" and
The $2 million post is a project
of the Housing Development
Corporation (HDC) and is
manned by members of the
CCTV Response Unit, the Inter
Agency Task Force and Anti-Kid-
It houses a holding bay, home-
work and mediation centres and,
according to police, "a small dor-
mitory for numerous officers."
The building is surrounded by
surveillance cameras which mon-
itor the compound, Duncan
Street and the surrounding area.
When a T&T Guardian team
visited it, officers said they had
received 30 reports in their first
day on Monday.
Head of the IATF, senior supt
Carlton Alleyne and acting assis-
tant supt Wayne Mohammed
were visiting at the time.
Alleyne said the police hoped
residents would continue to work
with them to stop the surge of
crime in the area.
"We will have mediation and
homework centres which will be
used in the interest of the com-
munity. We will be acquiring ten
more computers to involve chil-
dren in activities and teach young
people life skills," he said.
Alleyne said members of the
Hearts and Minds Programme
would be working with the
police to provide mediation for
"We are looking for good
things and we cannot do it on
our own. We have to do it togeth-
er and the Police Service and res-
idents will benefit.
"We will have different medi-
ators to assist and refer them and
be in constant conversation with
them. It is an ideal place where
it is safe for them to come," he
in PNM poll
After Howai's statement...
NCC will curb VIP
Duncan Street police post up and running
...but cops have problems with dormitory facilities
Senior Supt Carlton Alleyne, right, who heads the Inter Agency
Task Force, and acting ASP Wayne Mohammed stand outside
the police post at Duncan Street, Port-of -Spain, yesterday.
PHOTO: MARLON ROUSE
need more posts
Jennifer Jones, a resident, said several
more police posts were needed in the
"Yes, it is a good thing. They need to
open ten more for each block," she said.
Brian St Louis, another resident, had
"It is a good initiative," he said, but
added: "The police have to be more
diligent on the job. They does be around
and not around, if you know what I mean.
"Some shots will be fired and 20
minutes later (making police siren
noises). It will calm them down a little bit
but they (police) have to be more
persistent and you won't hear no
A resident from St Paul's Street said:
"We need one up there by the Quarry
and Terrace. Right now is satan
Police Social and Welfare Association
president Insp Anand Ramesar said there
were issues that needed to be addressed
at the post.
He said: "I would give them 100 marks
for aesthetic presentation of the facility.
"They did not take into consideration
the needs and welfare and safety of
police officers and issues, such as having
the dormitory facilities.
"The fire escape is not the best. The
entry and exit facilities are not suitable in
a police environment."
Ramesar said a list of safety issues
surrounding the structure of the building
had been presented to the association.
"While the association understands
there was some effort to treat some of
the issues, it is a clear communication to
the association that it has not been to
the extent that members feel
comfortable, safe and their welfare has
been a consideration in their occupation
and use of that building," he said.
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