As the debate continues to escalate with the public spat involving the leader of the People’s Democratic Patriots (PDP) and Deputy Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), Watson Duke, and the Secretary in THA leader and deputy leader of the PDP, Farley Augustine, receives news from the Roxborough Folk Performers Company that he has received no money from the THA to help him on a cultural tour in New York.
The Roxborough Folk Performers, in a statement yesterday, said. “We wish to inform you that to date neither the Roxborough Folk Performers cultural group nor any individual has received any money or check from the Tobago House of Assembly, to contribute to our current exhibition of the Tobago culture in New York.”
This follows Chief Secretary Augustine saying at the THA’s weekly press conference last Thursday that more than $400,000 in partial sponsorship had been given to the group for their trip.
Augustine also said that members of the diaspora in the United States had been contacted to help and would be reimbursed by the THA at a later date.
He was responding to a Facebook post from Duke last Wednesday in which the PDP leader accused the THA of failing to provide funding to 27 “starving” members of the Roxborough band who performed at various events last week.
Roxborough Folk Performers added in their statement yesterday: “There is a need for all cultural actors to work together to find solutions in the future to support cultural investments in a timely manner, to avoid situations like this.
“The Roxborough Folk Performers Cultural Group is focused on promoting the culture of Tobago and sharing elements of our culture across the diaspora to further Trinidad and Tobago’s tourism push and make Tobago the greatest little planet island. ”
The Roxborough Folk Performers Cultural Group was formed in July 2008 and has been part of many national festivals such as Best Village Competition, Tobago Heritage Festival, National Music Festival, Carifesta and other cultural events .
Over the years, the group has had a tradition of showcasing Tobago culture nationally and internationally, he said.
Augustine said he would issue a statement this past weekend indicating the review of Duke’s role and responsibilities, but as of press time last night, the statement had not yet been sent by e -mail.