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Tuesday 10 December 2019
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Politicians head to Panorama

File photo: Port of Spain Mayor Joel Martinez, second from left, and Phase II arranger Len
File photo: Port of Spain Mayor Joel Martinez, second from left, and Phase II arranger Len "Boogsie" Sharpe, second from right, raises a cheer with soca artistes Marvin "Swappi" Davis, centre, and Ultimate Rejects' Johann Seaton, left, and Joel Aming, right, at the launch of their song Party Start as the band's Panorama tune of choice at the panyard in Woodbrook.

Tonight’s Panorama finals at Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, is clearly the event of choice for the country’s politicians, many of whom yesterday told Newsday they would be attending.

Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis said, “From tomorrow (Saturday) night, I’m going to be at Panorama. On Monday, I’ll be attending mas in Arima. On Tuesday, I’m out of TT on government business.”

Asked if she’d be taking a jump in Arima on Monday, she replied, “I’ll probably play with the band Krave. It’s a band just three years old and are doing very, very well.”

However, she will not be taking her twin children along to jump up as they have SEA exams coming up and must attend lessons.

Opposition Senator Anita Haynes said, “I’ll be doing pan finals on Saturday, and playing mas on Monday and Tuesday.

“I’ll be playing with Tribe, in Machel Montano’s section, Oyo.” Her costume is purple.

Asked who she’ll be cheering for Panorama, Haynes replied, “I support pan in general, and may the best band win. But I’m from South, so I usually support Skiffle Bunch.”

Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat said, “This year I’ll be in Central Trinidad for J’Ouvert. and on Monday evening with Etienne Charles and Friends.”

This latter, he said, is a brass band that includes arranger Pelham Goddard and will also feature the band Dil-e-Nadan, plus other artistes. Its supporting revellers will sport T-shirts, said Rambharat.

“For Tuesday I haven’t decided which band, but my wife and I normally do play on a Tuesday.

“On Saturday I’ll be at Panorama, supporting Exodus.”

He said he has been visiting virtually all the big panyards and intended, last night, to visit the Lopinot-based steelband Supernovas led by Amrit Samaroo, son of the late pan ace Jit Samaroo. Naparima MP Rodney Charles said, “I’ll be going to the Panorama finals and taking it in very quietly. Otherwise I’ll be watching a lot of the shows on television.”

He said he would be supporting bands such as Skiffle Bunch from South Trinidad, where he lives and had gone to school. He said, “Pan Elders will win.”

Asked if he could be persuaded to take a jump and wine on Monday and Tuesday, Charles laughed and said, “At my age, I’ve been there and done that. I’ll leave that to my children and grandchildren. I’ll take it all in, in a more relaxed way.”

Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) leader David Abdulah said, “I go to Panorama every year, and I’ll be there on Saturday. I don’t support one band or the other, but on the final night we’ll see who moves the crowd.” He said he had attended several shows in the run-up to Carnival. “For J’Ouvert, it all depends on how the spirit moves me.”

Attorney-General (AG) Faris Al-Rawi said, “I’m a huge fan of the Carnival period. It’s one of the most productive times in TT, where people work extremely hard and play extremely hard.” Al-Rawi said he was very edified by how well citizens use the country’s spaces during that period, whether going to the beach or liming on street corners. The festival was great for lifting the economy and for spreading love. Asked if he’d be taking a jump and wine, he said he would definitely be around publicly, but not in any one particular band.

“With regards to my MP hat, there are co-ordinating roles in San Fernando West, with the mayor of San Fernando.” He named these as the city’s Carnival parade and J’Ouvert.

Otherwise he had duties to perform as AG, including those relating to habeas corpus matters ongoing in the law courts.

“The members of the National Security Council are on standby, generally making sure all support to the relevant agencies is in place.”

Al-Rawi said both he and fellow member Minister of National Security Stuart Young will do this duty.

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