MP Benjamin: Mother of All Carnival Suffers PNM Abuse
Citizens are now questioning if the ‘Mother of All Carnivals’ is being held in a foreign land, because with just a few days away, Regional Corporations are waiting to see their allocation of the $147 million that was issued to the National Carnival Commission.
This is just another episode of ‘Lights, Camera, No-Action!’, another ‘bait and switch’ gimmick to pull wool over the eyes of our citizens. Carnival remains an integral part of our culture, an integral part of who we are as a people.
The Government’s treatment of our culture leaves much to be desired, a culture that many nations around the world envy, yet it is being treated with such scorn and disregard.
The PNM’s cruel and unfair action of withholding the alleged allocation of $147m promised to the NCC for Carnival celebrations has resulted in the cancellation of a myriad of carnival activities. Regional Corporations have been forced to scale down on Carnival activities or cancel them completely due to late subventions from the NCC.
It is evident, that the Government has not placed any priority on safeguarding and preserving our culture, particularly as we are trying to breathe new life back into our land after the Covid-19 pandemic. Carnival is one of Trinidad and Tobago’s major economic drivers, but based on this latest development one has to wonder if they want to drive this country into the ground.
The prestigious King and Queens Carnival Competition hosted by the San Fernando Regional Corporation was cancelled due to a lack of funding from the NCC. The Penal/Debe Regional Corporation has cancelled its Carnival celebrations altogether. The Chaguanas Borough Corporation has not received any funding. Bandleaders in San Fernando have lamented that they are yet to find out whether any prize money will be given or if judging of the bands on Monday and Tuesday will materialize. So many questions.
Our culture should be treated as a valuable, vibrant and valid sector, yet is being treated with absolute neglect and disdain. After two years of cultural drought, it is absurd that in 2023 the PNM administration is suppressing it in this manner. We are already dealing with the on-going fall out of the pandemic on our culture and now the Government is further seeking to stifle it. Stay tuned for another episode of ‘Lights, Camera, No-Action!’