Terrorist threat delays artists' UK trip

Staff Writer
FRANCISTOWN: Alleged terrorist attacks have resulted in a trip that some Batswana youths had to take to London being postponed.

Some members of Ghetto Artists were supposed to fly to the United Kingdom (UK) to attend a conference last Saturday, but could not do so after receiving a letter from organisers in London.

The conference, which was supposed to take place from January 26 has been rescheduled to February 2-12.

Ghetto Artists outreach programme manager, Katlego Mononyane said that they received a letter from the Local Organising Committee (LOC) on the eve of departure.

In the letter Reverend Charles Williams, secretary of the LOC, says that the new development was precipitated by a privileged report that they received from British metropolitan police stating that "some participants who will be arriving in London are planning to carry out an act of terrorism".

Williams stated that on candid advice of the security operatives, the John Major Foundation decided to postpone the conference until further investigations have been carried out.

"This is to ensure adequate safety of arriving delegates. We are using this medium to reach out to all intending participants with regards to this postponement," the letter says. 

Williams further states that the decision was taken not only by the organising committee but also by other


"This decision was taken in an enlarged gathering of the LOC, officials of the foundation, British Metropolitan Police and Trina Tours," he added.

He goes on to say that even though the postponement is an inconvenience, it is vital at this point.  "We are aware that this postponement may be quite disheartening and sudden to a lot of intending participants around the world, but from our sincere perspective we believe that it will be in the best interest and safety of all participants."

The letter further states that visas and hotel bookings for all the participants will be taken care of as far as the new dates are concerned.

"We have received a confirmation on all your hotel bookings from the hotel and we have told them to change dates. Our travel agency has also been directed to make changes in your visas and flight bookings," he further said.

Four members of Ghetto Artists are scheduled to travel to London for an HIV and AIDS conference at the  invitation of the John Major Foundation. Former United States (US) President, Bill Clinton, is one of the officials expected to attend the conference.



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