Keith Diaz, Pan Trinbago’s president is unhappy with the allocation given. He said to Newsday after the National Carnival Commission’s (NCC) launch of Carnival, no one was looking at the development of TT’s culture. The commission announced yesterday pan was given $20.5 million.
NCC’s launch happened at the VIP Lounge, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain. Diaz said in these times culture “raised its head” and “would bring revenue to this country.”
“I am displeased about a few things like the allocation. We are the organisation who made cuts and submitted to Government. When Government come and say x,y,z we go to our organisation and make cuts and we come back.”
Diaz said the problem of bringing bands from Tobago to Trinidad was something he needed addressed “as serious as possible.”
“In 2016, when we faced the scenario of $2.7 million with the band coming from Tobago, I get stick, I get lash, I get hit left, right and centre and that is a problem for 2018 right now.”
Diaz said he did not know where the commission or ministry would find the money to get bands from Tobago to Trinidad. “I saying it outright. Last time, I take the bundle on my back and I get licks for it. I not sticking that. Your bands coming from Tobago, where we getting the allocation money to see about that?”
Speaking to the player’s remittances, Diaz said the organisation did not know where it stood with that since it had shifted so many times over different administrations. Diaz said he was making no commitment to that since he did not know where he stood with it.
He added that people should be thankful to the pan yards which accommodated young players since it kept many of them away from crime.
Diaz said he is going to request a meeting with Colin Lucas, NCC’s chairman since the events had him “really disturbed.” Diaz said he had received a letter from Lucas and did not wish to disclose its contents until the pan executive met with him. After this, he added, a press conference will be held.
“We have over 176 steelbands participating in a national Panorama for 55 years. We can’t get the kind of support. I see people raise their head and they get money. When they come to the pan, cut it,” the visibly agitated Diaz said.
Asked about becoming financially independent, Diaz said last year, the organisation was denied The Greens last year but got approval this year for it and other events like Champs of Steel were supported by a few. While the organisation tried its best, he added, the support was minimal.
Diaz said he was deeply disturbed by these happenings and “when I get disturbed something will come after.”