To the Prime Minister & Government of Trinidad & Tobago. -
without prejudice -
Your election promises included an offer of $2 million TT to the winning band, however most recently your cabinet then voted to remove $200. TT from the $1000.TT performance fee currently paid to all Pan players for the preliminary round of Panorama.
The math is very simple for the world Pan Community to see:
You offered $2 million, but then took away $200 from 10,000 pan players - which is equivalent to ( $ 200 X 10,000 ) = $2 million.
The Pan was already getting $1million...so you really offered $1million.
You are offering $1million with one hand, and taking away $2 million with the other hand; therefore the math shows that in reality, you are taking away $1 million from the Pan Community in 2011.
We are simply calling on your government to reverse this policy of taking away the $200 from the people who need it the most; and restore the full $1000 TT to the people who play in the Preliminary round of Panorama -- the hard working, mostly youths and mostly female, pan players of Trinidad & Tobago.
Remember the Government in the 60's diverted our young men from violence into music by putting more into the Steelband and arts, creating all that is now paying dividends for T&T. We find it strange that now as our youth and country is devolving into another round of violence, this Government responds by adding to the distress of youth who are remaining on the positive. Instead, we should be expanding the potential of Steelband and the creative arts, and supporting youth to innovate and expand into new ideas for Steelband to offer to the world.
The following signatures are from nationals in the diaspora, along with the rest of the world who have adopted the Steelpan, and also the local Pan Community of Trinidad & Tobago.
We thank you for your attention and time, and we request and trust you will do the right thing and correct this situation.
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