President Paula-Mae Weekes has paid tribute to the late Nobel Laureate Sir Vidia Naipaul who died at his home in England on Saturday.
The full text of her statement follows:
Recent advisories from the United Kingdom and United States of a threat to disrupt T&T’s Carnival did not deter tourists and masqueraders from celebrating Carnival yesterday.
Tim Baker and his new bride, Laura Forde, and senior citizens Douglas and Kathy Collins, from England, as well as American bachelor Tim Danza showed up on the drag at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, to witness the splendour and beauty of the Parade of the Bands.
They said even though they heard about the possible “terrorist” attack for Carnival, it could not stop them.
Several masqueraders from the large band Tribe and Lost Tribe admitted that they felt generally safe with the high police presence in the capital city.
Having tied the knot recently, Baker, from the town of Hackney, said all his life he wanted to come to our shores to witness Carnival festivities.
“I told my wife Trinidad would be such a good place to spend our honeymoon and enjoy the celebrations. She could not have agreed more,” he said.
As Baker packed his suitcases on Friday, he heard about the threat in our country but did not let that dissuade him.
“There are terrorist threats all over the world so nowhere is safe. As a matter of fact, we felt safer here than in the United Kingdom, which faced four terror attacks in 2017,” Baker said.
The Collins said nothing could have kept them away from our celebrations.
“Oh yes, we heard about the threats through the embassy and news…but what the heck, that couldn’t stop us. Nowhere is safe now with these terrorists. Why become a prisoner in your home?” said Kathy, who sat in the covered stands of the drag sipping a cold beer.
Even though Douglas complained that every year Carnival seemed to be poorly organised, he just loved the warmth of our people, food and revelry. “We just love the vibes and road party. That is what keeps attracting us to your island,” Douglas said.
Tribe and Lost Tribe masqueraders Janelle Bovell, Gina Garcia and Gregory Moore said they have been playing mas for years and had no intention of giving up Carnival just so.
“We think the police have been doing their work to make Carnival safe and secure. There was also a high police presence. We walked the entire Carnival route and enjoyed ourselves,” Bovell said.
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