Saturday, April 21, 2018

This is Chinese provocation; Gambia must vehemently condemn the flag-raising incident

Chinese citizens plant their national flag on Gambian soil 
Gambia is the smallest country on continental Africa.  It is also the most accommodating to foreigners. 

We have played a gracious host to Chinese since 1965 without any significant hitch because the national identity or sovereignty of the Gambia was never questioned by Mao's China.

We welcomed the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with China in 2016.  We are proud to have played an important role that led to the breaking up of relations with Taiwan. 

The diplomatic relations with Taiwan was a marriage of convenience that benefited Taiwan in the form of Gambia's automatic vote at the United Nations in exchange for cash that went into the former dictator's pocket.  The Gambian people were the losers in this symbiotic relations.

It was a result of our experience with Taiwan that influenced our decision to warn in a recent editorial the government of Adama Barrow that The Gambia is not for sale.  It appears that our warnings are not being heeded.

To avoid being misconstrued, and our views deliberately skewed to serve the selfish interest of some politicians, civil servants and partisan sycophants, we will reiterate our earlier statement regarding foreign direct investments.

We issued the following statement earlier in our Facebook :  "Gambia desires foreign investment, and encourages foreign investors to invest in our country, but not at any price." And then added that "We must never compromise our personal integrity nor the integrity of our delicate environment."

The fish feed plant at Gunjur has been a sore point between the Chinese company and the communities around the coastal town because of the raw toxic waste from the plant is polluting the steams, small waterways and the ocean which is threatening both the livelihood and a way of life of a people.  The very existence of the people living in the area is threatened. 

By planting the flag of China, singly and on the coastal zone of The Gambia is not only an affront to the territorial integrity of our country but it is thumbing China's nose at us, as a country and as a people.

We are therefore calling on the Government of The Gambia to convey to the Chinese Government our country's absolute and total condemnation of the illegal act by a handful of recalcitrant Chinese businessmen who are presumably the proprietors of Golden Leaf fish meal factory.  The act is an illegal attack on the sovereignty of The Gambia.