Prime Minister’s Divali call for unity was hollow
It is clear that the present government is handing out millions of dollars to only one section of the population under the guise of culture. It is an indisputable fact that Trinidad and Tobago is a multi-ethnic society with various groups of people practicing many cultural forms.
TT$5. million in taxpayers’ money has been spent on this year’s Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sport and Community Development, Angela Edwards, said it was well worth it. Which group in society mostly participates in Best Village?
For Carnival 2024, Cabinet has approved grants payable in the sum of TT$15 thousand in support of conventional bands and $7,500 in support of single pan bands. These grants would be made available to a total of 153 steelbands: 94 conventional bands and 59 single pan bands. Which group in society mostly plays steelpan?
For 2024, the Government will give the National Carnival Commission (NCC) more than the $147 million that was allocated to it last year. Which group mostly sing calypso, extempo, soca, own calypso tents, own mas camps, play tamboo bamboo, and participate in Canboulay?
Someone needs to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) application to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts to find out how much money was given to craftsmen/women for Divali in support of bamboo bending and pottery making.
It is ethically and socially wrong for a government to be partisan in handing out money when all groups are paying taxes. We know that this is a strategy to win votes, but giving away money to party supporters willy-nilly is not right. In this light, the Prime Minister’s Divali call for unity, equality and inclusion for every creed and race in society is hollow. The facts and statistics do not align with his empty words.
November 13th 2023.