Opposition warns of CARIFESTA challenge

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, April 21, 2008 – As officials in Guyana prepare to officially roll out its activities the 10th Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA X), the main Opposition People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) has warned that it will make things difficult if the suspension imposed on a private television station is not lifted.

PNCR leader Robert Corbin said there would be “serious protest to make CARIFESTA unmanageable”.
CNS Channel Six was handed a four-month suspension following the broadcast in February and three subsequent rebroadcasts of the private station’s ‘Voice of the People’ programme during which a caller said she would kill the country’s leader if criminals hurt her family.

Mr Corbin said that if the station is not back on the airwaves, the PNCR would have a “difficulty with cooperating” with CARIFESTA being held in the country later this year.

He has called on the public to join his party and owner of the station, Chandra Narine Sharma today when they go to the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) headquarters here to ask the Secretary-General’s intervention in the matter.

Government had indicated that it would reveal the activities for CARIFESTA on Wednesday, ahead of the August opening of the event.

Hosted under the theme ‘One Caribbean; One purpose; Our Culture; Our Life’, CARIFESTA in Guyana will feature a number of activities including the opening and closing ceremonies, culinary, visual, literary and performing arts, community festivals, grand cultural market, child/youth fora, symposia and workshops as well as signal events and super concerts.

The Festival is returning to Guyana for the second time in over thirty-five years, the first being in 1972, when CARIFESTA was born.