ST JOHN’S, Antigua – In the ongoing Panorama saga, LIME Hell’s Gate Steel Orchestra has put the Carnival Development Committee (CDC) and Antigua & Barbuda Pan Association (ABPA) on notice of its intention to boycott the competition and file suit if the decision declaring a joint winner is not rescinded.
In letters to both the CDC and ABPA last week, Hell’s Gate warned that its participation in the 2012 contest hinges on the withdrawal of the March announcement that Hell’s Gate and the Hadeed Group of Companies AMP Halycon Steel Orchestra were to share the title.
In March, Minister of Culture Eleston “Namba” Adams had made the declaration, months after the judging system had resulted in Hell’s Gate being declared the winner last Carnival.
Adams said an “anomaly” in the judging method resulted in the ranking system being used to arrive at a winner, while the rules circulated to the Steelband Association required the competition to be judged using the aggregate sum of all scores.
According to Stafford Joseph, subsequent to Adams’ announcement, he requested a copy of the National Panorama Rules & Regulations that dictate the terms of competition from Pan Association president, Patrick “Stone” Johnson.
Joseph alleges that the documents he received had been falsified, saying, “In our opinion (it was) concocted to fit the decision that was made to decide that the bands were actually tied.”
He added, “And quite clearly whatever was done illegally, in our opinion, and we still hold that opinion.”
In his May 22 letter, Joseph noted that the decision to contest the decision was based on the grounds that “there exists no moral or legal basis for making that decision.”
Attempts to reach both Patrick Johnson and Minister Adams have been unsuccessful.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)