NCC head warns of legal action over Divas calypso tent
National Carnival Commission (NCC) chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters does not appear to share the view of the attorney for the Divas calypso tent that a dispute over funding can be resolved amicably.
Peters has said he is now going to take legal action and is having a letter drafted by his attorney, arguing that libellous comments were made about him and the NCC.
Lawyer Martin George, acting on behalf of Divas, run by Rudolph Ottley, says preliminary discussions with his client on Monday were followed by a long telephone conversation with Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO) president Ainsley King.
George wrote to Peters on Sunday claiming discrimination after TUCO left out Ottley’s all-women tent from the official listing for the Taste of Carnival.
That letter called on the commission to revise the list to include Divas and provide for it to receive an equal share of the financial and material assistance offered to the selected tents.
On Tuesday George said some options had been discussed, a letter would be sent to TUCO “and hopefully we will be able to get some resolution.”
On Monday, George had said Peters had called him and they were trying to resolve the matter “amicably.”
But on Tuesday, when Peters was asked if he intended to take legal action, even though George said their talks were cordial, said nevertheless, people now “knew” he was a person who didn’t like women, who was biased against an all-female calypso tent and who chose one tent over another.
“It is not true at all. There is no truth to it. And the people who don’t know me and Martin had a cordial conversation, they do ‘know’ all of that.
“So I want them to note also, I have nothing to do with all these things they are accusing me of. Whoever made it possible that all of these people in the world were wrongly informed about me and scandalising my name, they would also have to make it possible that all the people understand that that is not true. However, they do it, it has to be done.”
He said the comments did not only libel him but also the NCC, “of which I am the chairman. It has also been brought into odium because of this nonsense,” he said.
The commission had nothing to do with selecting anybody and was simply a facilitator, he added.
“The same medium they used to tell people that nonsense, they better use it to correct it and correct it soon, because somebody is going to pay for it.”
Peters said he did not select anybody or any tents for the Taste of Carnival. He said TUCO is responsible for calypso in Trinidad and Tobago and the NCC had “absolutely nothing to do with calypso and its selections or whatever they are doing.
“If TUCO is putting on whatever and they want to hire, whomever they want to hire, there are a million other people apart from Divas Calypso Tent or calypso singers that are not hired.”
He said whatever type of show the organisation has, and whatever type of entertainers it wanted for a particular show, he saw no objections to it.
He asked, “So it means, that anytime they hire somebody, they have to hire you too? Or if they want four tents, one of the tents bound to be yours because you have a tent?”
Peters said he did not know how that works but he is an entertainer, singer and tent owner, and if he has a tent that has the capabilities that anyone is looking for, anyone who wants to hire his tent can do so.
Conversely, if anyone does not want to hire the tent, they are also free not to do so, he said.
“I have no control over that.”