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Promoter blames $2m for ‘madness’
Southex CEO George Singh, promoter of the Soca Chutney Monarch Competition, said yesterday he was pained that after 20 years of hard work to make it a premier event, one irresponsible act is threatening to tarnish the show’s image. He referred to the behaviour of second placed contestant, Ravi B, who caused members of the audience to “pelt something” as a sign of their disappointment over the results, which saw Rikki Jai copping the first $2 million Chutney Soca crown. He added: “At the end of the day, people are commenting, not on the grandeur of the show, the stage or the fantastic performances, but about this incident.
“We have worked too hard to make Chutney Soca a premier show and if we have to make an example of this incident to send a message to other artistes that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated, then so be it.” Singh said he believed the $2 million first prize which Government promised winners of various Carnival competitions was responsible for the madness that followed the Soca Chutney Monarch finals at Skinner Park last Saturday. He warned promoters of the International Soca Monarch, National Calypso Monarch and Panorama competitions, where the $2 million offer has also been made, to take precautions.
Singh added: “I will do my damage control and put measures in place to ensure this never happens again but I do not know if Ravi B will ever recover. I think he may have destroyed his own promising career.” Singh confirmed the police have requested a copy of the television footage from the show to see if Ravi B breached any law by his action. He said he also met with his lawyers on Tuesday and they too were studying the tape with a view to taking action against the artiste, including disqualifying him.
“This is now out of my hands. Two Government Ministers have called for the police to lay charges against him and the Commissioner of Police also has commented on the behaviour,” Singh said.
Arts and Multiculturalism Minister Winston “Gypsy” Peters, who, along with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, left the show before the incident is on record as saying Ravi B’s behaviour was intolerable and it was now a matter for the law to take its course. Similar sentiments were expressed by Housing Minister Roodal Moonilal, who described the incident as a national disgrace. Singh expressed surprise that police officers who were on duty that night did not arrest anyone for inciting violence, pointing out that, in addition to the missile pelting incident on stage, three doors at the back of the dressing rooms were kicked down.
ACP Fitzroy Fredericks said when the police looked at the tape they would determine whether Ravi B breached any law. “We will have to look at it and see what comes out of it and if any laws were breached, then the chips will have to fall where they may,” Fredericks said. Ravi B has apologised for his behaviour, expressing shame and regret.
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