The Carnival Development Corporation says it recognises the economic importance of rural carnivals but will leave up to the police decisions about whether to shut down these events because of violence.
“I think first they (police) will assess the situation and if they think it is in the public safety to shut it down then they shut it down,” chair of the Carnival Development Corporation Dennis Ambrose told the media this week.
He was responding to a question about the impact on the economies of rural communities during carnival when celebrations are stopped because of violence.
Ambrose had spoken against carnival violence after a fight in Layou on Saturday brought the J’ouvert celebrations there to an abrupt end.
“I think we have always seen good reason with the police when they have to address situations like this. But I think public safety is paramount and while you said economic activity comes alive in the carnival, whether it is rural areas or central carnival, but you can only maintain so much vigilance and most of these violent acts are just spontaneous,” he said.
“We have seen good responses so far by the authorities to address things like that, and the CDC stand firmly behind the rural activities and this is why we invest so heavily in the activities, financially and giving other technical support to all the activities.
“Shutting down the carnival if there is violence, I think that is a decision for the police. The CDC cannot — I don’t think we have the expertise, have the knowledge to say don’t. We leave that up to the police,” Ambrose said.