In central Trinidad, covered in tangled vines, towering trees and green vegetation as far as the eye can see, one can find the evidence of a once thriving cocoa, coffee and citrus industry.
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Douglas hails Carnival 2014 the best ever
Arts and Multiculturalism Minister Dr Lincoln Douglas says Carnival 2014 was one of the best ever and thanked the security officers for contributing in no small way to its success. Speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair, Douglas said consultations for next year’s event will begin shortly to ensure there was improved planning for the national festival. He said his ministry, via the stakeholders, including the National Carnival Commission (NCC), were committed to a more organised, attractive, interesting and engaging Carnival for national and international participants.
He said there were visitors from some African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana and the Cameroon. Douglas said a Nigerian company “invested over $1 million” towards taking the winning of the Panorama band, Petrotrin Phase 11 Pan Groove, to play in that country. Douglas said the ministry and Carnival stakeholders, including the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (Tuco), had to deal with the issue of copyright, the parade of the bands route and the viability of the Socadrome venue. He said that venue will be looked as the Government, while committed to tradition, was also looking at new approaches to expand Carnival. Research data that was initiated earlier this year, he said, will be looked at and others will be engaged to formulate the best way forward.
The prize structure of the Carnival will also be examined, the minister said. Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar later said that it was not proper for anyone to seek an increase in prize money days before Carnival. She said that was the case this year as some calypsonians requested a first prize of $2 million. Persad-Bissessar said the Government allocated millions of dollars to stakeholders and it was their responsibility to determine how much of that allocation was used as prize money. National Security Minister Gary Griffith said there were some issues which must be addressed in the future, including traffic congestion, the sale of alcohol to minors, and the use of glass bottles during J’Ouvert celebrations. Griffith said the National Operations Centre played a critical role towards the success of the security measures as all agencies knew what each other was doing.