Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 15th 2014 Contents A15
Saturday, March 15, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Woman homeless after house gutted by fire
China s ambassador to T&T
Huang Xingyuan on Thursday
insisted that the proposed US$750
million infrastructure ($4.8 billion)
loans from the Asian giant would
be used to benefit T&T s population
and not to bolster the political for-
tunes of the ruling coalition in the
run-up to the 2015 general elec-
During her official visit to China
last month Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar signed an agree-
ment to advance a US$750 million
loan proposal to China s Ex-Im Bank
to construct a port at La Brea and
six industrial parks.
At a news conference on Monday,
Rowley said the Prime Minister
wanted to borrow the US$750 million
"to spend on projects against a time-
frame of an imminent election,"
clearly suggesting the politicisation
of the concessionary financing.
But speaking through an inter-
preter at a news conference at the
Chinese embassy in Port-of-Spain,
Ambassador Huang said: "I would
stress that the funding from China
would be used in projects for the
benefit of T&T people. It is not our
consideration whether this funding
meets with the campaign or any
Told that Rowley had claimed that
the loan funding from China would
be used for electioneering purposes,
the ambassador said: "What I would
stress is that the relationship between
our two countries is not for four
years, but for 40 years or more.
"In the past, no matter which
government was in power, I have
seen that they have focused on the
friendship and cooperation between
our two countries.
"This cooperation is not based on
a slogan but is demonstrated by
mutual support in many fields."
The ambassador said the T&T
people have a need for the construc-
tion of infrastructure and the Chi-
nese side has made a positive
He added: "The development and
diversification of the T&T economy
is in the interest of the T&T people
and has been embraced by both the
current administration and previous
During his state visit to Port-of-
Spain last year, China s president Xi
Jinping promised to make US$3 bil-
lion available to the 15-member Cari-
com body to finance infrastructure
projects. The US$750 million in proj-
ects proposed by the T&T govern-
ment is being funded through this
window, which is being managed by
China s Ex-Im Bank.
When it was pointed out T&T s
request accounts for 25 per cent of
the amount that China proposes to
spend in the region, the ambassador
said both China and T&T will need
to make "special efforts" to justify
T&T getting one-quarter of the
Huang said: "It is not intended
that the US$3 billion will be distrib-
uted evenly. We must take everyone s
interests into consideration. We will
assess where there are better projects
that are more beneficial for the local
people and that have done better
preparation. The Chinese loans also
need to meet risk evaluations that
not every proposal will meet."
China $5b loan not for elections---Ambassador
PETER RAY BLOOD
Carnival bandleader Rosalind
Gabriel has admitted that her jun-
ior band did go off route at the
Carnival Saturday Junior Parade
of the Bands, staged by the
National Carnival Bands Associ-
The "official" route stipulated
that children s bands would begin
their parade at Adam Smith Square,
Woodbrook, but Port-of-Spain
gave participants an alternative
option of beginning their parade
at the traditional starting point in
On Thursday, Gabriel said: "My
junior band did go off route by
beginning on St Vincent Street and
not at Adam Smith Square. We did
this in rebellion to the route the
NCBA set out for us to follow."
But Gabriel had a different
response when it came to the senior
Parade of the Bands on Carnival
Monday and Tuesday.
She and Ronnie Mc Intosh, who
both won their competitions
downtown, did not place in the
top six in the NCBA-sanctioned
competition, which mandated
bands to parade at least three com-
Through their attorneys, both
bandleaders requested the score
sheets from the NCBA, with the
organisation asking for a seven days
to produce the sheets. The NCBA
events sent their score sheets on
Gabriel said, "I got the score
sheets from the NCBA yesterday
evening. I now have an expert judge
coming in to review the sheets.
"The sheets state that I was dis-
qualified for breaching Rule 10.3,
which states that the band went
"I am stunned by this, as my
band never went off the route that
NCBA gave us. Exactly what Sam
Lewis instructed we followed. It is
a mystery where my band went off
This Carnival the NCBA kept
track of bands in the parade by
using GPS technology.
"After I go through these sheets
with the judge and my attorney
(Michael Quamina), I will then
make another approach to the
NCBA for them to show me
where my band went off route,"
"I understand that other band-
leaders are also requesting score
sheets from the NCBA, so this
thing can have a snowball effect
in the end, as many people are not
satisfied with the results."
Among the senior bands Gabriel
says are requesting results from
the NCBA are Colorz Fuh So,
Showtime and D Krewe. Junior
bands doing the same include Clas-
six Productions, Carnival Players
and D Midas Associates.
Also contacted, Mc Intosh said,
"The NCBA sent a fax to my attor-
ney requesting seven days before
it could respond to our requests.
My attorney, Denise Gouviea, has
requested score sheets for my band
and what penalties were attached.
The NCBA said it would need
seven days to get everything. Right
now we re in a wait-and-see
About what action might be
taken if bandleaders are dissatisfied
with the outcome of the impasse,
Mc Intosh said: "The mood that I
am in right now, and the mood of
my attorney and Rosalind, we are
taking this thing right down to the
wire. It is years that masqueraders
have been persecuted as far as mas
results are concerned and nobody
has ever challenged it. We intend
not letting up."
Gabriel s attorney Michael
Quamina, saying he could not
divulge much, given the sensitivity
of the matter, said,"If, after review,
it is determined that the NCBA did
not act fairly towards my client in
any way whatsoever, we will
approach the courts for relief."
Gabriel penalised for going off-route
'We stuck to road rules'
A 64-year-old woman is now homeless after a fire at her
Malabar home on Thursday afternoon.
Police said shortly after 12.15 pm fire officers from Arima
responded to a report of fire at the woman s home at Daniel Trace,
along with police from the Malabar Police Post.
The upper floor of the two-storey concrete house was gutted.
Eyewitnesses said the fire officers ran out of water and had
to wait close to 25 minutes before they got help. The T&T Guardian
noticed the water hose used by the officers was leaking and much-
needed water went to waste.
The owner of the house, Pearl Pierre Jones, said she shared
the upstairs apartment with a business partner and her son and
grandchildren lived downstairs.
The cause of the blaze and the extent of the damage are yet
to be determined, fire officials said. (JL)
Above: A fire officer from the Arima Fire Station reacts after a hose burst minutes after receiving a fresh supply of
water. The officers were forced to wait 25 minutes and look on helplessly as a two-storey family home burnt during a
midday fire at Daniel Trace, Arima on Thursday. PHOTOS: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Left: A fire officer climb onto the balcony of a two-storey house to get a vantage point at Daniel Trace,
Arima on Thursday.
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