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Activists protest scaling down of Siparia Fete

Monday, April 8, 2013

Community activists are planning to mount a massive demonstration today outside the Siparia Regional Corporation to express displeasure over the restructuring of the annual Siparia Fete. They are also calling for the resignations of chairman Leo Doodnath and chief executive officer Gowrie Gene.



Spokesman for the disgruntled group, Debbie Cameron, said the event will be held for two days instead of eight and this has inconvenienced scores of people who already made sizeable investments in the celebrations. 



She said the Siparia Envirofest Committee, which comprises of 245 people, has been working tirelessly over the past few weeks making preparations for the fete. Among the activities planned were a car and bike show, boxing, Siparia talent show, Daisy Voison memorial, police band concert and the Learie Joseph comedy show.


“We are disheartened and angry. Community activists, who put out  their money, they cannot have their shows. People already printed fliers and tickets. What should people do now?” Cameron asked. She said small business operators will also suffer losses. Cameron said the committee is usually responsible for organising the event but at the last moment, the Siparia Regional Corporation decided to take over.


Public relations officer of Siparia Envirofest Committee Ramona Le Ben said they intend to put pressure on the corporation to bring back the fete to its original format. She said some stakeholders had to call and cancel events and this was reflecting badly on the committee.


Contacted for comment, Doodnath denied that the fete was restructured. He said the corporation’s activities will be held over two days but the committee is free to stage any activity it chooses. “We have not stopped anybody from organising any activity that they so wish to do,” he said.


“The military parade is on and the Ministry of Community Development is organising a Belle Fest with 28 dancing groups,” Doodnath said. He said the corporation gave permission for the basketball court to be used. He also said the savannah fete is on. Doodnath said the comedy show and other events scheduled by the committee can go on as scheduled once they get permission. 


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