Minister of Finance, the Hon. Colm Imbert, MP, has taken note of media coverage of a recent discussion in a Joint Select Committee (JSC) of Parliament, where an Opposition MP proposed the imposition of new taxes on cultural artistes.
In a Media Release on Friday (23rd February, 2024), Minister Imbert said the Minister of Tourism and Culture “has already debunked the false narrative that the Opposition MP's random thought was a Government plan. However, it appears from the coverage and commentary that followed this JSC meeting that there is a mistaken belief that a JSC is a policy making body and that a JSC has the power to change our tax laws or to initiate such a process.”
The Minister added, “It also appears that there is a mistaken belief that if any member of a JSC proposes something, including Opposition MPs, however outlandish their proposals may be, that these proposals will automatically find their way into the Government's fiscal measures. For the avoidance of doubt, Parliamentary Committees, while essential for our system of democracy and for transparency in matters of State, are simply empowered to enquire into, and examine and report on, various matters.”
The Media Release concluded by saying, “Unlike the Cabinet, JSCs are not responsible for initiating and deciding on policy or the direction and control of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and a JSC certainly cannot formulate a plan to impose new taxes. We trust this clarifies this issue.”
The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts is clarifying statements circulating in the media as it relates to the taxation of artistes that perform abroad.
In a Media Release today (Thursday 22nd February, 2024), the Ministry said the matter was raised by Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Mr. Rodney Charles, at yesterday's Joint Select Committee (JSC) on Foreign Affairs, wherein the MP suggested that consideration should be given to collecting revenue through taxation from artistes that perform abroad.
The Ministry is advising that currently, “no such measure is under consideration by the Ministry nor the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Such a measure can have restrictive implications and negatively impact the industry. Additionally, all cultural practitioners, including artistes working both locally and abroad, are presently subject to the tax provisions of the country, as are all other citizens.”
The Ministry said it continues to encourage the export of Trinidad and Tobago's cultural products and “remains committed to developing the industry through working with all of its stakeholders to redound to the benefit of all citizens.”
The Trinbago Unified Calypsonians' Organisation (TUCO) has announced that Mical Teja is the Road March 2024 winner with his song ‘DNA,’ which was played a total of 341 times on the road. The announcement was made by TUCO this afternoon (Wednesday 14th February, 2024) at a Press Conference held by the National Carnival Commission of Trinidad and Tobago (NCC), at its VIP Lounge, Queen's Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain.
According to reports, the winner is set to receive $250,000.
TUCO also announced that Ian Alvarez (Bunji Garlin) came in second place with his song ‘Carnival Contract,’ which received 225 plays. Meanwhile, Patrice Roberts came in third with her song ‘Anxiety,’ which received forty-eight (48) plays.
Pictured Above: Rick ‘Rick Ram’ Ramoutar.
Rick ‘Rick Ram’ Ramoutar has won the $400,000 top prize at the Chutney Soca Monarch (CSM) 2024, beating eleven (11) other contestants, including his wife, Vanessa ‘Sexy Vanessa’ Ramoutar. This year’s CSM theme was the ‘Colours of Chutney.’
Ramoutar’s hit ‘Luuuzzaarr’ (pronounced ‘loser’), earned him 407 points at the competition, which was held at Skinner Park, San Fernando, last night (Saturday 10th February, 2024). The results were announced around 2:30 AM on Sunday morning.
There was a three-way tie for second place with Sexy Vanessa, who sang ‘Suno Suno Balana,’ TT dancehall artiste Lady Lava (Keisha Harris) and Shazeena Sabrina Ramsumair, also known as ‘Shazzi,’ with ‘XXX Drama (Move On).’
Rawytee Ramroop placed third and was also crowned ‘Queen of Chutney Soca’ for her song ‘Whining Down to the Ground.’ She received a cash prize of $100,000. Kavita Ramkissoon, also known as the ‘Chutney Empress,’ also came in third with her song ‘Driver.’
Ramoutar wiped away tears of joy as his family as other supporters rushed to congratulate him. “After 17 years, it truly means a lot to me. Having my family alongside me truly means a lot, and the love and support from everyone, not just this year but from when my career started,” he said following the announcement.
His song ‘Luuuzzaarr’ was written in response to those who speak badly about him, referring to him as a loser. Ramoutar and his wife Vanessa wrote the song, which was produced by Big Rich In The Pungalunks.
Southex organised the competition in collaboration with several organisations. Ramoutar also thanked Southex’s CEO George Singh, his supporters, and everyone who had a part to play in this song, including Tony Cuttz and Vicardi Singh, Master Saleem and KI.
Ramoutar dethroned last year’s CSM winner, Ricardo ‘Daddy Chinee’ Melville.
Pictured Above: Phylicia Rashad at Bamboo Cathedral, Chaguaramas. Photo Credit: Tourism Trinidad.
UPDATE (10/02/24): Rashad says her visit to Trinidad has opened her eyes. Just before her departure today (Saturday 10th February, 2024), she vowed to take a piece of this country with her.
American actress, Phylicia Rashad, most-famously known for her role as Clair Huxtable in ‘The Cosby Show,’ is currently in Trinidad on vacation, just in time for Carnival 2024.
Tourism Trinidad facilitated a short cultural tour for Rashad earlier today (Wednesday 7th February, 2024) to Chaguaramas, where she stopped at U-Pick Farm, the Golf Course, and the Bamboo Cathedral.
Rashad experienced her first taste of local corn soup and also attended a performance from Hadco Phase II Pan Groove on Tuesday.
Accompanying Rashad on her tour is Simone Fredericks, wife of Prof. Wayne Fredericks, former Principal of Howard University, where Rashad is Dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts.
Rashad first gained fame for her work in the television series ‘The Cosby Show’ (1984–92) and later became the first African American woman to win (2004) a Tony Award for best actress; she won the honour for her performance in the play ‘A Raisin in the Sun.’
Controversial local recording artiste, ‘Kman 6ixx,’ was granted $40,000 bail with a surety, when he appeared before Master Margaret Sookraj-Goswami at the North High Court today (Monday 5th February, 2024), after he was charged with gang-related offences. Two (2) women were also charged for possession of ammunition.
According to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), Kashif Sankar, aka ‘Kman 6ixx,’ was charged with offences under the Anti-Gang Act, 4 of 2021, specifically:
In addition, Kashif Sankar, Nikita Payne, and Aryan Sankar were jointly charged for the offence of possession of ammunition.
The TTPS said the arrest and charges stem from an extensive investigation conducted by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) Gang Enforcement Team, into videos posted on social media platforms by the artist, Kman 6ixx. “This inquiry spanned from March 2023 to the present and focused on Kman 6ixx's activities, during which time he was observed singing and using expressive gestures in videos that seemingly incited violence and promoted the Sixx gang, accompanied by his alleged self-professed affiliation as a gang member to intimidate the public.”
On Friday (2nd February, 2024), Officers from the SIU, in collaboration with various units, conducted a targeted operation at the Clifton Lane, St. Paul Street, Port-of-Spain area. The Officers executed a warrant at Kashif Sankar’s residence, which led to his arrest along with two (2) women for the possession of ammunition.
After the arrests, inquiries were conducted by various agencies, both within and outside the TTPS. Following the completion of the investigation, an audience was held with Senior Superintendent Paponette and Legal Officer Ali of the SIU. Subsequently, instructions were received to prefer charges against the accused.
The two (2) women were both granted bail with surety in the sum of $10,000.
More on this as it becomes available.
Pictured Above: Weston ‘Cro Cro’ Rawlins (left) and Inshan Ishmael (right).
High Court Judge Frank Seepersad ordered four-time Calypso Monarch, Weston ‘Cro Cro’ Rawlins, to pay $250,000 in compensation to businessman and social activist, Inshan Ishmael, for defamation.
The compensation was ordered this morning (Monday 29th January, 2024), as Justice Seepersad upheld Ishmael’s case over Rawlins’ song “Another Sat is Outside Again.” Justice Seepersad ruled that Rawlins’ lyrics could not be considered fair comment, were malicious and intended to damage Ishmael’s reputation.
Ishmael went live on Facebook this morning to announce he won his defamation case against Rawlins.
Ishmael announced in a Facebook post on 13th February, 2023, “I DOH PLAY, I DOH BACK DOWN! THIS IS THE FIRST OF 3 GOING OUT THIS WEEK...PRE-ACTION PROTOCOL LETTER DELIVERED TO CRO CRO...”
According to Justice Seepersad’s ruling this morning, “This Court will not condone or accept any position which advances a narrative that social media comments or commentary by calypsonians are sacrosanct or that calypsonians should be free to say whatever they feel as they ‘speak their minds’ even if their content is divisive, derogatory, deceitful, dishonest or defamatory.”
Rawlins allegedly penned the song following social media furore towards Ishmael based on his comments on the celebrations hosted by residents of Beetham Gardens, after fellow resident Kareem Marcelle was called to the Bar in November 2022.
In his judgment, Justice Seepersad noted that Rawlins did not deny that the song was directed at Ishmael, though he attempted to conceal his [Ishamel’s] name.
Justice Seepersad dismissed Ishmael’s claim in relation to the Copyright Organisation of T&T (COTT), as he noted that the body merely collects royalties for its members, including Rawlins. He also pointed out that the song was not registered.
Ishmael was represented by Richard Jaggasar, Nigel Trancoso and Andre Cole, while Rawlins was represented by Gilbert Peterson SC, Keith Scotland, and Marcelle.
More on this as it becomes available.
UPDATE: Ravi B shared the following statement on his Instagram account: “Took me a good while to process and come to terms with this one. I'm lost for words. My basketball buddy. Who am I suppose to talk to now about Lebron games? Rest in peace my brother. Gonna really miss you. Condolences to the Drue family and to Patrice Roberts.”
Antiguan Soca star Ricardo Drue has died. Drue, who was the lead singer of the A-Team Band, was found unresponsive in his room in Antigua this morning (Tuesday 12th December 2023).
According to reports, he was rushed to the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre after allegedly suffering a heart attack. He was subsequently pronounced dead around 12:00 PM. He was thirty-eight (38).
Drue was living in Trinidad but was said to be visiting his family in Antigua at the time of his death.
Senator the Honourable Randall Mitchell, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, extended his “deepest condolences” in a Media Release today, to the family and friends of the beloved Soca artiste and songwriter.
Antigua-born Drue, who was engaged to Soca superstar Patrice Roberts, was a frontline singer for the popular local A-Team Band and also performed with Imij and Co. and D'All Starz bands. He was well known for his Soca hits ‘VagaBond,’ ‘ID (Stamp Yuh Name)’ and ‘Professional.’
Minister Mitchell said he “affirms Drue's contribution to the local, regional and international cultural sectors.” He added, “The Soca fraternity and indeed the Carnival community have suffered a great loss with his passing. His years of work as an entertainer have undoubtedly helped to spread the Soca genre across the world and brought happiness to many. He certainly will not be forgotten.”
The Media Release concluded by saying, “The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts sympathizes with the family, friends and loved ones of Ricardo Drue during this time. May his soul rest in peace.”
Meanwhile, Drue’s fiancée, Patrice Roberts, has been receiving an outpouring of support following his untimely death. She posted a video of Drue and herself to her Instagram account with the caption, “I do anything to hear your voice...wake up!”
Roberts was reportedly live on air on radio when she learnt of Drue's death.
More on this as it becomes available.
[Source: CCN TV6]
Pictured Above: Soca Star Iwer George.
Following the backlash over Iwer George’s recent song, “Happy People,” which includes the entire national anthem, the Soca star said this afternoon (Wednesday 22nd November 2023) in a lengthy statement, that he will release a new version of his song without the national anthem attached. The new version of the song should be released this Friday (24th November 2023). He is also asking his fans and the people of Trinidad and Tobago to delete the previous version of his song.
George faced heavy criticism over his use of the national anthem in his song, with even Prime Minister Keith Rowley responding to a journalist’s question about the controversy, by saying he would “rather if the national anthem is not treated in that way.”
George said he was first alerted to the controversy when he was contacted by the media.
Read George’s entire statement below:
IWER GEORGE STATEMENT
What are your thoughts about “Happy People?” Let us know in the comments below.
The cast of ‘Friends’ honored Matthew Perry on Monday (30th October 2023), two (2) days after he was found dead at his home in Los Angeles.
In a joint statement to People from Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer, the cast said, “We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family. There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss.”
The statement continued, “In time we will say more, as and when we are able. For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”
Perry died on Saturday (28th October 2023) after an apparent drowning in a hot tub. No drugs were reportedly found on the scene, and no foul play is suspected in his death.
Following his death, Perry's family shared a statement with People, saying, “We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of our beloved son and brother. Matthew brought so much joy to the world, both as an actor and a friend. You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love.”
A representative for the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's office told Fox News Digital on Sunday that an autopsy “was completed today, and toxicology results are pending.”
Perry, who was born in Massachusetts and raised in Canada, was only twenty-four (24) years old when he began portraying Chandler Bing on the sitcom ‘Friends,’ which became one of the most-watched shows on television. The sitcom debuted on NBC in 1994 and starred Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer.
More on this as it becomes available.
This is a developing story - refresh this page for updates.
[Source: Fox News]
Youthere1 is a website focused on providing useful information, breaking news, entertainment and online shopping in Trinidad and Tobago.
© 2024 Youthere1 Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.