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Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC MP, at the UNC's virtual meeting on Monday 28 September 2020. (Image courtesy UNC)

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has called on the Government to stage a virtual carnival next year.

During an event titled “Spotlight on the Budget” on Monday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced that Carnival 2021 was not on due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking hours later at a UNC virtual meeting, Persad-Bissessar said she agreed with the position of the Prime Minister given the way the pandemic was ravaging the world.

But in the same breath, she called the move “short-sighted and visionless.”

She said we are now living in a virtual world and with a virtual carnival, there could still be an avenue for stakeholders to benefit.

“So all the people who participate in Carnival—all the artistes, and all the really talented, creative people—can have a chance,” Persad-Bissessar said, noting Government had a ministry that was supposed to be dealing with digitisation.

“We can have a Carnival across the world—virtual. It can become a forex earner for those who are involved in this massive event each year.”

She added: “Apart from the actual revellers on the streets, you can have virtual events, Prime Minister.”

The Opposition leader pointed to the Divali Nagar, which she said is doing nine nights virtually.

Other Carnival stakeholders such as bandleaders have also since echoed the call being made by Persad-Bissessar.