I quote from a letter in yesterday’s Stabroek News written by Mrs. Zorina Gafoor about a concert that is about to descend onto the car park of MovieTowne this Sunday for the second time in five months. Mrs. Gafoor has a sick 75-year-old mother that she had to move out of the house when GTT had a similar concert on CARICOM Day in July.
Here is an extract from that letter, “Soca in the Parking Lot.” – I heard with great trepidation of plans to host a “Guyana Carnival” event at MovieTowne on Sunday 8th December. Just a mere 5 months ago, I had cause to write about the discomfort my family and I experienced during the GTT singing competition which was held at the same venue on Caricom Day. Residents in my community were forced to endure ear shattering music way into the night; some persons were forced to leave their homes”.
I called the acting Chairperson of the “Noise Nuisance Task Force,” Dianne Rajkumar, personal aide to the chairman of the task force, Minister Khemraj Ramjattan. She informed me that it is not the police that issue permits for such concerts. The application has to go to a magistrate. She added that if permission was granted, then it was done by a magistrate.
I spoke to Assistant Commissioner Thomas, who is Regional Commander for Region #4 (Agricola – Cummings Lodge). I conveyed to him what Ms. Rajkumar had told me. I spoke to him on Tuesday, a day before the publication of Ms. Gafoor’s letter. Commander Thomas confirmed that if there is an open air concert at the MovieTowne car park, then the application has to be laid before a magistrate. He said his role is to ensure that his ranks are there at the event to preserve law and order and prevent violations of the law.
The commander told me on Tuesday that he knew of no concert being held at MovieTowne and he had no strategic plan to deal with the occasion, since it was non-existent at the time of speaking. I responded that it was a mystery then, because the advertisement had been playing on radio stations for two weeks prior, and it was after my wife summoned me to look at the advertisement on television, that I called Ms. Rajkumar, then him.
I informed the Commander that I was making a formal complaint with him. He suggested that I submit the complaint to him on his cell phone of being disturbed on the day in question, but not before, since he did not know about any event sponsored by the Guyana Carnival organization. Mr. Thomas advised that I deliver my complaint if I am being violated on the day of the concert
I spoke again to Ms. Rajkumar, directing her to Mrs. Gafoor’s missive in Wednesday’s newspaper. She said she would read it on Thursday morning (today) and get back to me. I asked her if I could appear today in front of the task force. She explained that it only meets the third Thursday in each month, and it is not open to the public. She added that complaints can be made to the police station or her directly, since she chairs the meeting in the absence of the minister.
Mrs. Gafoor’s husband is a senior business manager with one of the most prominent investment companies in Guyana. I am suggesting to this lady that she gets her husband’s company to lodge a complaint with the Private Sector Commission about corporate irresponsibility. Why is MovieTowne renting out its car park facilities to host a concert with performers from the Caribbean when the CARICOM Day extravaganza was a nightmare?
Is this corporate responsibility? MovieTowne’s parking facilities sit right in the heart of several communities, including Pattensen and Liliendaal to the west; Turkeyen to the south; Cummings Lodge, University Gardens and Gafoor’s gated community to the east.
The CARICOM Day extravaganza was an abuse of civilized society. Our houses were literally vibrating. Please see my column of Wednesday, July 3, 2019 with the caption; “GTT, MovieTowne, the police and shit-hole Guyana.”
In that column, I described the types of residents that live opposite MovieTowne. We have two high-level UN diplomats and a senior official of USAID. Across the road from MovieTowne is the residence of the UNDP’s envoy to Guyana.
I ask all Guyanese from school kids right up, why would any corporate body rent out their facilities to concert organizers to hold an event in districts where thousands of people live? Why would a magistrate give permission for such an atrocity? Finally, why should any civilized nation accept this?
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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