Antigua St John's - Wisdom, moral understanding and just cause is what is expected of the Prime Minister as the LIME Hell’s Gate Steel Orchestra writes to his office demanding an intervention and appropriate settlement of the ongoing impasse between the band, the Pan Association, the Carnival Development Committee (CDC) and the Culture Minister.
The impasse surrounds the recent CDC decision requiring LHGSO to share its 2012 Panorama first spot with the Hadeed Group of Company’s AMP Halcyons. This Solomonic solution comes several months after the CDC initially announced only one winner.
Spokesman for LHGSO Stafford Joseph told Caribarena that the band has approached the Prime Minister because the Pan Association and the Carnival Development Committee (CDC) have failed them. The PM has been asked to respond by Monday June 11.
“I expect some form of wisdom; some form of moral understanding; some principle … and I expect that as someone who is just he will come up with some decision in this issue,” Joseph said. “Both the CDC and the Pan Association have washed their hands of the blood of Hells Gate.”
Joseph went on to note that the band expects that, as a former president of the Pan Association and a lover or pan in Antigua and Barbuda, the PM’s decision would be just and in accordance with his understanding of the rules.
Stafford Joseph is also a past president of the Antigua and Barbuda Pan Association.
He said his concern remains that after eight months the decision announced by Culture Minister ‘Eleston ‘Namba’ Adams is indeed alarming, especially considering that the CDC had no board in place at the time.
Joseph maintains that the decision was political, since it seemed to have been made independently by the Minister. He is also at odds with the changing of the rules governing pan performance and judging.
“To date, all you can get from the Association is that they were not part of the decision. I pay you to represent me, not to come and tell me that you leave the decision up to the CDC, which does not represent Pan in Antigua & Barbuda. I find that to be very inept in the Association’s leadership. The Association is saying nothing at all. It is speaking aloud and saying nothing,” the LHGSO spokesman said.
He declined to share the exact content of the letter penned to the Prime Minister, but has maintained that:
“My problem is not with any steel band and it is not with prize moneys. It is about principle. Our problem is that based upon principles and morals and the legality of the Minister, without a board being constituted of the CDC, making a decision like that, it is totally out of sync with any kind of ethics,” Joseph said.
He added that for the LHGSO to enter Panorama 2012 under the current conditions, it would in essence be condoning the actions of the Association, which failed to represent its member, and the “unlawful” actions of the Culture Minister.
“The Association has created the problem because it failed to represent the bands by saying openly that it left the decision up to the CDC,” Joseph said.
The letter penned to the Prime Minister will not be released to the press at this time, said Joseph, but if Monday comes without a response LHGSO will disseminate the content of the letter.
Attempts to reach Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer for a comment on the matter were unsuccessful. Efforts to reach Culture Minister Eleston ‘Namba’ Adams were also futile. CDC Chairman Kayode O’Marde said he could not comment on the matter at this time.See related stories:
Pan Association Denies Panorama Decision
Hells Gate Threatens Boycott