Some thoughts on the Pan Trinbago controversies…..


Saturday, May 19, 2018
I’ve been trying to follow the controversies surrounding the current leadership of Pan Trinbago from afar and , though I have my personal thoughts , I do not have enough factual information on the issues affecting the steelband community , and so I have refrained from voicing strong opinions , particularly on issues pertaining to the integrity of the leadership of the organization.

I do recognize , however that among members of the steelband community there appears to be immense dissatisfaction and distrust of the current leadership ; a situation that can only be resolved by their removal.

And therein lies the rub.

It seems to me that little has been accomplished so far, except lots of drama ,noise and hot air.
In a way , there is a similarity to the situation in US politics , where there is also a lot of noise , drama and hot air , with little effect.
However , I believe that the Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is quietly collection his facts , making sure all the “t”s are crossed and the “i”s are dotted , and that there are no errors , procedural or otherwise , when he finally drops the bomb on the President of the United States.

There can be no errors or oversights when going after someone of such power.

This also applies to Pan Trinbago.
Have you guys read their mandate ?
We have allowed a corporation to be created to manage the affairs and of steelbands in T&T , and given them enormous power.

Powers granted to the corporation and therefore to their executives include :

Powers given in the act include:
1. Acquire land or any estate or interest in land.
2. Accept subventions and donations and manage and invest all moneys belonging to Pan Trinbago.
3. Construct or acquire national headquarters and invest in the production of steelpan instruments.
4. Acquire any patents, copyrights, trademarks, licenses and the Explore which may directly or indirectly benefit Pan Trinbago.
5. To do anything deemed by its Convention that can be carried out in connection with or ancillary to any other power or objectives.

It would seem to me that the mandate is so broad that it gives the executive extreme power to act , and to use the funds allocated to PT as they see fit , and I assume that would include using funds to protect themselves ( the corporation ) from legal and other challenges.
Which is why it may be difficult to challenge them in a court of law , and shouting matches are obviously useless.

The most logical path to follow , I think , is the political one , which takes planning , patience and work , done in strict accordance to parliamentary laws , with strict adherence to the organization’s by-laws and constitution.

The executive will have to be voted out, and a new executive installed.
And , BTW , it may also be a good idea to review and even modify that mandate.

A place to start would be to make sure that any pronouncements , meetings etc. be held in strict adherence to the rules of the organization , especially for example , insisting on a quorum in any meeting where important issues must be decided and voted on.

Prospective leaders should use old fashioned politics to promote themselves and their ideas to all steelbands , island wide.

Anyway , these are some of my thoughts on this matter ; I do not have an axe to grind , and am trying to be totally objective.

And unfortunately ,though the focus is on Pan Trinbago and the possible mismanagement and misuse of funds (and rightly so ), I happen to think that the major issue negatively affecting the art-form is the lack of a positive vision for the future of the steelband in the culture of T&T, especially in finding ways to generate income from sources such as the carnival , and tourism.

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