Chief Secretary responds to statements made on Carnival in October

Chief Secretary Orville London.
THA Chief Secretary Orville London is urging Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Arts and Multiculturalism Minister Winston “Gypsy” Peters to desist from making any statement or taking any action that will serve to undermine the integrity of the process to determine whether there should be an October Carnival in Tobago.

“We have made a commitment to deal with the issue and one sends very worrying signals when one makes statements that would signal to the members of the committees and to the public at large that decisions have already been made and therefore there is no need for us to have discussions,” London told reporters at Friday’s post Executive Council media briefing.

He said he will put it down to the enthusiasm that one sometimes have around Carnival time but hoped that in these times when “I think things have settled down that we will all understand the importance of protecting the integrity of the process”.

London said he will say nothing to undermine the process regardless of what his personal views were. “I will keep them to myself until such time as the committee reports. I am hoping that other spokespersons at other levels will do the same,” he added

He said at the meeting with Peters on February 28 it was agreed that two separate committees be set up to look at four questions, should there be a another Carnival in Tobago, if so should that be a replacement Carnival or should it be a second Carnival, if so when should that Carnival be held and if so what kind of Carnival it should be.

The THA committee members which met on Tuesday (March 15 2011) for the first time are Dr Ellis Burris, Chief Administrator, as chairman, Norris Jack, senior adviser representing the Office of the Chief Secretary, two members of the Festivals Commission, Elvis Radgman, representing the Division of Community Development and Culture, Renninson Quashie, representing the Division of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport, John Arnold, representing the Division of Tourism and Transportation, Vernie Shields, chairman of the Tobago Division of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Carol Ann Birchwood-James, President of the Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Association and Winston Gordon, cultural icon.

The committee has to weeks to submit a report to the Secretary of Community Development and Culture, Tracy Davidson-Celestine.

Both Persad-Bissessar and Peters in describing the 2011 Carnival as a resounding success said it was now onto the Tobago Carnival in October. Peters also said plans for the Carnival were being finalised


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