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PM in sailor mas with All Stars

By Juhel Browne

Prime Minster Kamla Persad-Bissessar played mas yesterday but not with any of the big bands such as Tribe or Harts.

Instead, the Prime Minister decided to play traditional sailor mas with the nation's Panorama Steelband champion—the Neal and Massy Trinidad All Stars.

In an interview with TV6 News which aired last night, the Prime Minister said that she decided to play mas with the All Stars because of a previous experience she had playing mas with a steelband and to avoid any controversy regarding the judging of the Parade of the Bands.

"Many years ago I played Monday mas with Starlift and this is the same section I'm advised, so..and they're great champions. I think, I didn't want to go in one of the normal mas bands because I feel it would be controversial they're competing but the pan is our national instrument and I give them that support ," the Prime Minister said.

She said she had chosen to play mas with the All Stars before they won the Panorama finals.

The Prime Minister spoke as All Stars was making its way from the Greens on Piccadilly Street, onto Charlotte Street before heading to the Queen's Park Savannah.

Dressed in a costume which included a white sailor's hat, a colourful sailor's shirt and white sailor pants, the Prime Minister chipped along to the melodies of the steelband while surrounded by her Special Branch detail who were also wearing similar costumes.

Her official motorcade drove slowly behind the All Stars.

But the additional security did not appear to bother any of the All Stars masqueraders who proudly pointed out that the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago was in the their band.

"It's a pleasure to have her playing in this band" one female All Stars masquerader said of the Prime Minister's presence in the All Stars.

The Prime Minister also gave on update on the activities of law enforcement on the first day of the two day Carnival activities.

"I am advised the police are on top of it, they're doing everything they can to keep it safe and keep it happy," the Prime Minister said.

Asked to comment about Dimanche Gras results, given the controversy that surrounded the now $1 million prize for the winner of the Calypso competition, the Prime Minister said, "That is left up to the judges. I will not interfere in the decisions of the judges."

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