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Port-of-Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee has issued an apology to all women and the entire country, following statements that seemed to link the death of a Japanese masquerader to a culture of lewdness but insists that his comments were taken out of context.
The apology came in the form of a statement from the Mayor's office:
"His Worship the Mayor of Port of Spain Alderman Raymond Tim Kee unequivocally apologizes to women and the national population who were offended by remarks attributed to him following the death of carnival visitor and mas player, Asami Nagakiya.
Mayor Tim Kee says that his comments were completely misconstrued, and one particular headline unfortunately stated “POS Mayor criticises women” drawing fire even before the article was read. Mayor Tim Kee said that he advised women to take responsibility and protect themselves as so many women are the victims of abuse at the hands of others.
He agrees that his comments could have been considered out of line, but despite the anger being expressed from many quarters including feminist groups and activists, he has also received calls of support from several women agreeing with him on the lack of modesty displayed by some women and girls on the streets during the Carnival Celebrations.
There is indeed a concern about the behaviour of both male and female mas players generally as they are now being emulated by children who believe that lewd behaviour and carnival go hand in hand.
He says that it is with deep regret to have to speak of the death of Ms Nagakiya who has been a welcome visitor and close friend of the steel band community in Trinidad & Tobago for several years.
Mayor Tim Kee further states that Members of Council and Management of the Port of Spain Corporation also extend deepest sympathy to the family of Asami Nagakiya.
The circumstances surrounding her death are being investigated and the public would be kept updated by the authorities."