At an Artists Coalition of TT press conference yesterday, Ramlal presented a letter dated November 20, 2009 from the ministry acknowledging receipt of his letter dated October 12, 2009 and stating that the ministry was unable to “accede” to his request.
Ramlal used the letter to rebut reigning Chutney Soca Monarch, Ravi “Ravi B” Bissembhar’s comments on Tuesday that his (Ramlal) statements that they were not allowed to use NAPA, were misleading.
“I spoke with him last night (Wednesday) at 10.46 pm and he indicated to me to make sure that it is clear that he never said that,” Ramlal said of a conversation he had with Bissembhar.
Ramlal noted that he was not an enemy of the State or an enemy of McDonald. He said he has worked with every government that has come along.
He explained that he wanted to host such an event before the country loses its culture. “We were hosting 25 countries who were sending their artistes down. We must have it here on an annual basis because we would not want to be in a situation to go to Alaska to know that is where our artform is now being showcased,” Ramlal said.
Ramlal pointed out that his foundation has never had the opportunity to see NAPA on the inside and were only aware of the technical intricacies of the facility through ACTT. “We understand now that the ministry is going to have a group of photographers and journalists tour the facility but we are saying a semi or technical group of parties can also make that visit collectively.”
Ramlal admitted he was apprehensive to make statements about NAPA as he still had to approach the ministry for upcoming events. “I am hoping that the minister and the ministry do not find a reason not to continue supporting us. We depend on their support,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ravi “Ravi B” Bissembhar said that the ministry has not contacted him since he demanded his image be removed from electronic advertisements in which he appears to be endorsing NAPA.