ST JOHN’S — Veteran mas’ builder Alister Thomas said vendors would have lost thousands of dollars in spoiled goods over the “knee jerk” cancellation of the Last Lap celebration due to violence.
“Those vendors and merchants who spent so much, how are they going to recoup that? We must understand when you are managing state of affairs you can not have panic reaction,” Thomas said.
He also said the decision by the relevant authorities could have a rippled effect on the country’s image, which is heavily dependent on tourism, as they showed “the criminal elements they had surrendered.
“Yes, you look at security but you have to look at the fallout effect. Can you manage the fact that people all over Antigua would see the country as a place they would not visit because we had to cancel a national festival because of an incident?” Thomas asked.
A number of shootings Tuesday evening forced authorities to immediately cancel the traditional Last Lap jam through the streets of St John’s.
The shootings left three people nursing gunshot wounds, among them a 62-year-old woman warded at the hospital after a bullet punctured one of her lungs.
Police Spokesman Corporal Frankie Thomas said it was the best thing to do in light of the incidents that occurred.
The law enforcement official said leading up to the festival, patrons were forewarned as to the type of conduct that was expected this Carnival. (Antigua Observer)