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Wednesday 22 May 2019
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Get Diaz out

Pan Trinbago writes minister, NCC

Culture Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly and Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz at the Queen’s Park Savannah in January.
Culture Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly and Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz at the Queen’s Park Savannah in January.

MEMBERS of Pan Trinbago’s central executive have written to the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts calling for the revocation of Keith Diaz, Pan Trinbgao’s president, as its appointee to the National Carnival Commission’s (NCC) board.

Diaz and Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, confirmed yesterday to Newsday that they had received a letter.

This is the latest development in the ongoing dispute between Diaz, pan’s central executive and its membership.

Last Friday, police were called to Pan Trinbago’s Park Street, Port of Spain head office after some members rushed into a meeting of executive members and demanded that they leave.

Diaz said yesterday he was now seeking legal advice.

Speaking to Newsday by phone, he said, “Right now I am by a legal luminary. The letter states, ‘Revocation of an appointment of nominee.’”

He said these latest developments surrounded a meeting date between himself and other members of the central executive, and said he is challenging the central executive calling a meeting.

“They are saying, the central executive committee of Pan Trinbago, that it was a duly constituted meeting. It was not duly constituted, because they informed me of a meeting and I informed them that the meeting would take place on May 28. They went ahead and keep a meeting and that is what they have been doing...

“They are doing things without consulting with me and I am in the office every day,” he said.

When asked why the letter was sent to Diaz, Richard Forteau, Pan Trinbago’s secretary, said, “Diaz did not pick himself to go anywhere. A letter came to the secretary, a letter did not come to Diaz, you know. A letter came to the secretary of Pan Trinbago asking the central executive to select someone to represent us on the board of the NCC.”

Explaining the background of the dispute, Forteau, part of the dissenting central executive, told Newsday Diaz had written to him on May 7 about the preparation of circulars to the member steelbands. The letter, which he read to Newsday, asked him to prepare a circular to invite members to attend a special convention on May 17 to amend the constitution to facilitate a change in the election date.

Forteau responded with a letter on the same day to say under “article nine, section three, subsection b, that the secretary shall issue notices for, and serve as the secretary to, the general meetings of the general body and keep accurate minutes of all such meetings and shall cause copies of all such meetings to be printed and distributed to members entitled to attend same at least 28 days to the next such meeting.”

In his response, he quoted Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh’s judgement on May 3 which granted an injunction to the central executive.

Forteau said Boodoosingh ruled that other meetings required 28 days’ notice. Forteau’s letter therefore told Diaz that the meeting required 28 days’ notice and not ten days.

The letter also asked for the central executive committee to be convened according to the constitution. Forteau said it ended by saying he was available to meet with Diaz “at his earliest convenience”

to discuss “the foregoing and receive your instructions to call the central executive meeting in order to discuss the aforementioned matter.”

He said on May 8, Diaz sent a letter calling the membership to a special meeting to discuss the amendment of the constitution for the elections to be held.

Forteau said Pan Trinbago’s constitution made it clear the president must summon meetings through the secretary.

The central executive wrote to to Diaz again on May 9 calling for a meeting of the central executive on May 11, 14 or 15. Diaz responded, he said, via a letter on May 14 saying he was “not disposed” to any of those dates but would be able to meet on May 28. The central executive, Forteau said, then had to go back to the court to address the issue and was granted an ex-parte injunction stopping the meeting on May 17.

“We have a runaway horse treating with. We are trying to see if we can get things happening, and while all that is happening the steelbands who participated in Panorama 2018 are still waiting to receive payment,” Forteau said.

He added that Pan Trinbago has some money from NCC and Diaz went to the NCC seeking money to pay salaries for April. The NCC told him, Forteau said, if he wanted the money, he had to get signatures from the other members of the central executive.

Forteau said Boodoosingh’s 14-page ruling called on the central executive and Diaz “to get together and sort the thing out. And since then we have been calling on Mr Diaz to have meetings.”

Gadsby-Dolly said to Newsday, “We did receive a letter yesterday that was asking for the revocation of Mr Diaz as the appointee of Pan Trinbago on the board of the NCC.

“That letter has been passed to our legal department for consideration and I am awaiting the brief from our legal director with respect to how we proceed under these circumstances.”

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