Trinidad Set To Host Commonwealth Parley

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[Global: Trinidad]

--Arrangements for the hosting of the 21st Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting, otherwise known as CHOGM are in full swing here.

Security is slowly but surely being tightened as this island gets ready to host at least 50 heads of state and government, including the head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II.

The first of the many ceremonies that are due to take place here between now and the end of this month, took place Saturday when CHOGM Village was opened for the first time to the public. Placed strategically at the waterfront just next to the Hyatt Hotel complex, CHOGM Village has a number of tented booths in which the Trinidad and Tobago government is trying its best to sell the island to the hundreds of journalists due here any time.

The Black Star News is one of a very few news organizations that has its correspondent already on the ground here. The Trinidad and Tobago government is conducting widespread tours for journalists to enable them know what is happening in the country. One of such tours will take journalists to the island of Tobago in what looks like an attempt to have the partner island share the CHOGM limelight.

Two cruise liners have been placed at the seafront not far from the Hyatt Hotel where all heads of states and government are being housed. The cruise liner “The Caribbean Princess” has been put aside to cater for the international media. Rooms on the cruiser start at US$1200 per night for Royal Suite. The lowest priced is the Interior State Room without windows for US$300 per night. All meals are included. The two ships are strategically placed, with the media ship a few minutes walk from the Media Center.

Prime Minister Patrick Manning on Sunday opened prestigious the National Academy for the Performing Arts in downtown Port of Spain. We were able to join hundreds of this country’s citizens who were first to set foot into this conference centre where the CHOGM 2009 meeting is due to be held. Several hundred theatre goers were entertained to a theatrical play; Dance Me, Lover Boy that left many wiping from their faces, tears of laughter.

Queen Elizabeth II, who is the head of the Commonwealth, is due to arrive here next week to open CHOGM and address its leaders. As a frequent world traveler, one hopes she would be ready to face the astounding humidity now prevalent in Trinidad. To avoid the humidity and intense heat, Trinidadian citizens take shelter in malls and shopping arcades. While the Queen will remain in Port of Spain attending various functions, her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince Philip, will travel to Tobago to carry out various royal functions.

But before all of that, there will be a Commonwealth Youth Festival that kicks off this Thursday in Tobago (Nov 21-23) at the Vanguard Holdings and in Port of Spain, Trinidad (Nov 23-27th) on the cruise media ship, the Caribbean Princess. Back Star News will be here in Port of Spain to bring to you all that will take place here at CHOGM 2009 on this Caribbean island of West Indies.


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