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‘Nobody asking where the money gone?’

Published: 
Sunday, January 8, 2017

T&T is the land of bacchanal. Whether it be politics, sports, carnival or some national issue, there is always some chaos and confusion. The topical issue is carnival with pan men and mas aficionados demanding something of and from the Government.

This is a repetitive question, when will we get it right in T&T? Carnival is touted as a billion-dollar industry. why are the audited accounts from the various bodies not be made public, particularly since its “we thing?” Let us be privy to them. Why is it the stakeholders do not demand accountability and transparency on how the revenue generated is spent or allocated?

Why is it every year prior to Carnival celebrations groups have to beg for monies for their respective organisations? Decades of carnival celebrations and we cannot get it right. Governments come and governments go and the goal post shifts around to individuals’ whims and fancies. Why can’t it be standardised so that whichever government is in power it must follow what is in place?

Why can’t the various competitions such as the Soca Monarch, Chutney, Panorama, Extempo, Kings and Queens, Children Carnival and other groups be allocated a particular amount and be weaned off the dependency syndrome after some time.

Why after all this time they aren’t self-sufficient? How many times have we heard this organisation or that organisation is in the red and debts are simply written off? Are the monies being spent on high salaries or wages, or feeding nepotism that 10 months later sectors are demanding monies to pay participants or workers? We as citizens need to know, because clearly those involved are not asking. I wonder why?

Today it’s pan men. In T&T we continue to do the same things over and over and want to obtain a different result. Pan men had an entire year to raise their grouses with Pan Trinbago and yet days before the so-called greatest show on earth are threatening to boycott pan. This is not about you guys, this is the national instrument which is regarded around the globe and treated with contempt at home.

Thousands of citizens sit at home enjoying pan music, do not deprive them because of your failure to address shortcomings within the pan fraternity during the last 12 months.

Former Pan Trinbago vice president Byron Serrette resigned citing fraud, collusion and other improprieties and called for proper governance, transparency and financial independence towards a global positioning. Where were the voices of the pan men in supporting such a call?

In T&T, the new normal is when a person stands for what is right he/she is ostracised or demeaned and nothing happens. As the saying goes “the more things change the more they remain the same.” That’s where we are at as a country today. Wrong has become right and right has become wrong for the greedy and corrupt among us.

Like every organisation, leaders have their (supporters or cabal), who turn a blind eye to their wrong doings, while others simply don’t turn up to vote, but complain the most thereafter.

A pan boycott! Really, you think someone taking you seriously? This is Trinidad, it’s always a handful of people standing for what is right and the rest sitting idly by the wayside hoping others fight on their behalf, and reap from the derived benefits. Trinidadians stand for nothing, just talk.

Pan men are calling for Diaz and his group to go shouting no panorama in Carnival. You all sat by while pan was removed from the streets of the capital and in parties and now you want to act. I suppose better late than never.

While you all fighting among yourselves at home boasting that “pan is we thing” foreigners are experimenting with pan at universities, colleges and privately. We don’t even have a pan headquarters and no one is asking whey the money gone? Really!

Rossana Glasgow