‘Another side of Laventille’
By Leiselle Maraj Saturday, August 4 2012
Port-of-Spain Mayor, Louis Lee Sing said yesterday that the current Government was doing nothing to help the people of Laventille.
He was speaking at the launch of Another Side of Laventille, a book compiled by the Laventille Steelband Festival Foundation(LSFF), which was held at Angostura House, Eastern Main Road, Laventille. The organisation also launched their website.
Lee Sing was a specially invited guest at the event, but given the no-show of invited speakers, including National Security Minister, Jack Warner, he was promoted to opening speaker. He said he cautioned the former People’s National Movement administration that not much was being done for the area during their time in office. Residents however, he said, are worse off under this administration.
Lee Sing said he has been in the area several times listening to the plight of residents, and trying to ease tensions. “Once there is work in the community, there seems to be an escalation of violence because somebody wants a contract, and people incapable of managing contracts are getting contracts and using resources from contracts, to buy guns. This unacceptable travesty is being experienced by those in Laventille,” he explained.
He said however, that while most people consider the area to be the “Baghdad of Trinidad”, he considers the people of the area to be peaceful, caring and committed citizens. Lee Sing said he has repeatedly called on State officials to make sure the Trinidad and Tobago of tomorrow is better than it is at present.
He commended the LSFF on the launch of their book and website as it shows their progression.
Arts and Multiculturalism Ministry representative, Roy Augustus, said the launch shows the professionalism of the movement. “The book should be named ‘The Real Laventille’ because it allows the national community to see what Laventille is really about,” he said.
LSFF Chairman, Michael Cooper, said the launch represented a journey of 14 years made by the volunteers who make up the LSFF. “The steelband and all its derivatives represent the greatest opportunity lurking within the gloom that many cast on our communities,” he said.
He said the book shows the opposite of media perceptions that people residing in the communities of Laventille are deviant. “We showcase, brilliance, excellence, resilience, determination and performance of the highest standards anywhere from people who came from the bowels of our communities. Our young people and older folk must know what these communities have produced, and be inspired to know that they too can achieve as much as they dare to dream,” he said.