Culturama not established to create difficulty; Nevis Culture Minister calls for violence free summer cultural festivity

Minister of Culture on Nevis Hon. Hensley Daniel
Minister of Culture on Nevis Hon. Hensley Daniel
NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (JULY 10, 2012) — Thirty-eight years ago when the founders of Culturama, Nevis’ major annual cultural summer festival, began the activity, the intention was not to create difficulty. Those were the words of Minister of Culture on Nevis Hon. Hensley Daniel as he made an urgent call for a violence free July 27 to August 07 Culturama.

The Minister was at the time delivering remarks at a press conference hosted by the 2012 Culturama Committee on July 6th, 2012, to officially launch the annual festival’s activities. He said while he recognised the engagement of the security forces in recent times, persons should strive to return to the times when there was absolutely no involvement in Culturama by the Police.

“Thirty-eight years ago when the founders established Culturama, it was not intended to create any kind of difficulty.  I am sure for those of us around at that time the police was never involved in Culturama, only in so far as it was to do with permission to have jamming

“Because of the anti social behaviour and the tendency towards gang violence, we have had over the years to give a direct role to the police. We certainly want to reduce the role of the police in so far as it relates to intervening,” he said.

While he recognised the engagement of the Army and Police the Minister said he had become weary of the attention that had to be given to the security forces in recent years during Culturama.

However, the Culture Minister who is also the Minister of Health on Nevis had words of caution for those who planned to be disruptive and warned them their actions created problems for everyone.

“All of us want to enjoy Culturama and so they must not by their own individualistic and selfish behaviour in an effort to settle score or whatever disrupt the festival. I am sure Officer Brandy will say, as long as there is a difficulty on the road in Charlestown, we will stop the jamming and we will stop the party and that is unfair to the large majority of people who are well behaved citizens.

“I want to urge all of us and all those who may be tending towards violence and anti social behaviour to bear in mind that this has a cost. I am the Minister of Health and I just left a long discussion this morning, in an effort to provide medical attention for people who are being wounded terribly by guns and the intention is to save them and this is going to cost us thousands and thousands of dollars,” he said.

According to Mr. Daniel, the festive Culturama season was a time vendors made money and if violence disrupted the activities at various venues it would be unfair to them.

“We are using Culturama to facilitate the making of money by our vendors and so on and if we have to curtail the activities in the Complex and in the Village because of violence, it is making it very, very difficult so to do.

“I want to thank the security forces for their active engagement at the very top of Culturama and to say to the public, let us reduce the need for the intervention of the Police during the festival. We have a week or two to enjoy ourselves let us do so in a civil and orderly manner. It was not good last Culturama we were just about ending the festival and then there was some fatality. That is not supposed to happen; we are supposed to be a peace loving country. Culturama does not envisage that kind of behaviour,” he said.

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