Rude and out of place

I consider the Chinese ambassador Madam Ou Boqian’s walk out action during Senator Garraway’s presentation at the recent annual media awards ceremony to be provocative, ill advised and out of order.

I agree wholeheartedly with the Barbadian Nation newspaper’s editorial of Friday 16 January 2015, that stated forthrightly, that the Chinese Ambassador’s action at the media awards ceremony in Grenada, was rude and uncalled for.

The Nation newspaper bolstered their opinion by printing a most telling reference. It was a quotation made by their former Prime Minister and Father of Independence, Errol Barrow, who once said in reference to Barbados’ geopolitical standing, that BARBADOS WAS A FRIEND TO ALL, BUT SATELLITE OF NONE.

The newspaper article also stated their endorsement of and admiration for Dr Keith Mitchell’s statement that Grenada’s sovereignty must not be challenged or put into question. I too agree with the Prime Minister’s declaration on this matter. Grenada’s sovereignty must not be held, and especially not be seen to be held to ransom by anyone, be it a David or a Goliath.

The Government of Grenada’s successfully negotiated 50% “haircut” on our country’s debt owed to Taiwan’s Exim bank, that includes a generous moratorium on repayment, with disaster relief clauses, etc, augers well for our nation.

Not too long ago Taiwan attempted to place our country under economic siege, by filing an injunction in the New York courts that attempted to attach and seize all payments and fees collected by our seaports, airport and other major revenue earners. This action if successful in its intentions could have virtually crippled our country, economically. The situation facing our cash-strapped nation was quite desperate then.

So now that this pending and crucial debt relief stalemate has been regularised for Grenada, the government of the day has every right to announce to the citizenry at large the results of this new arrangement.

What is the Prime Minister, Officials of the Ministry of Finance, or as in the case at hand, the Parliamentary Secretary for Information expected to do when announcing this beneficial arrangement to Grenadians? Perhaps, go into a dark room, pull the shades, and cower with trepidation under a bed in order to be able to safely utter the name Taiwan? On Grenadian soil? How ridiculous.

The Grenada Government or its representatives making the statement of a development of such a significant national nature with another country, in no way declared or intimated to China that we are no longer friends. An economic transaction that has far reaching effects on the country’s purse has been successfully carried out, and we cannot talk about it here at home? If there is any apologising to be done it must come from the Chinese ambassador.

Madam Ou Boqian’s actions were rash. Maybe the goodly lady could calm the diplomatic waters and utilise the art of diplomatic ‘slight of hand’ to her benefit, by intimating that her departure from the room during Senator Garraway’s speech was necessitated by the need for her to understandably answer a call of nature in the powder room? Who is to say otherwise?

Roger Byer
Morne Jaloux
St Geo.      

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