PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s announcement at the annual Siparia Women’s Association’s Kiddies Carnival competition in Penal that calypsonian The Mighty Sparrow (Slinger Francisco) will be awarded the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago was cause for joy and national celebration.
What was the first response of the PNM leader Keith Rowley? He insults the Government and people of T&T.
When the country should be celebrating the conferring of this honour to the Mighty Sparrow, Dr Rowley sought to input partisan politics on the event, saying it was unacceptable the way the PM made the announcement, “in the cheapest, most classless and political way”. Instead of putting partisan politics aside, Dr Rowley decides to impute negative motives on the PM.
The Opposition Leader then went further to say, “To take them down, as national icons, to her constituency, to play politics with them and their award, and to have the most tacky presentation of an award to Sparrow and Peter Minshall was most improper.”
And then, he removed all doubts about him ever being a national leader when he said “a different location, which was politically neutral, in keeping with the character of their contribution, would have demonstrated proper respect and protocol.”
A different location, politically neutral? Where is politically neutral, Dr Rowley? What you really meant is that Carnival and calypso is not part of the culture of Siparia because it is south of the Caroni! If the announcement was made in Port of Spain, it would have been acceptable?
This was only the announcement—the actual presentation ceremony will be handled by the Office of the President of the T&T.
What did the PNM do to honour our two calypso icons and legends, the Mighty Sparrow and the late Lord Kitchner? One remembers the PNM government’s refusal to confer the highest national award on Lord Kitchener when he was still alive.
Congrats to Sparrow and Minshall. You deserve the credits. You’ve placed T&T on the world map.