Saturday, April 15, 2006
Bandits at work
JG - Scotiabank defends decision to close ambassador's account
Scotiabank defends decision to close ambassador's account
published: Thursday April 6, 2006
SCOTIABANK JAMAICA has maintained that its decision to close the U.S. dollar account of a Cuban Ambassador is consistent with international laws and laws of countries in which it does business.
The bank closed the account of the Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica, Gisela Garcia Rivera because the account was in violation of Bank of Jamaica guidelines governing U.S. legislation the bank said. Such legislation prevents Cuban nationals and those from some other countries from holding U.S. dollar accounts.
In a letter to The Gleaner yesterday, Senior Vice-President of Scotiabank, David Noel said the bank's action was within the bounds of usual practices and policies of major banks around the world.
He explained that drafts and cheques relating to U.S. dollar accounts must first pass through U.S. corresponding banks. If money belonging to any of the embargoed countries passed through that account then their assets would be frozen.
"This has been our experience and necessitated a review of our policies related to U.S. dollar accounts. The Bank of Jamaica has published guidance that specifically refers to the U.S. Patriot Act and requires that "banks and other financial institutions operating in Jamaica that have established correspondent accounts or any other business relationship with banks in the U.S. should be aware of the provisions of this act".
As such, Mr. Noel said it would be "prudent for us to be mindful of the impact that such U.S. laws could have on accounts maintained in U.S. banks."
But Cuban Government official Dr. Ricardo Alarcon suggested that the bank was in contravention of Jamaican law when it closed the account.
"It (Scotiabank) is supposed to act and abide by the clear laws and regulations of the host country. It's supposed to abide by the Canadian laws without disregarding the Jamaican laws," he said.
Scotiabank is Canadian owned.
There is no known law in Jamaica barring embassies from holding accounts in any currency in any bank.
Friday, April 14, 2006
re: "Save Fran O'Brien's"
Addendum 1: TC Override at From My Position. . . On The Way! has weighed-in on this.
Supplement 2: Toni at Bear Creek Ledger has also put her oar in the water.
Annex C: Sgt. B. Rockford at The Gun Line is now on the firing line as well.
JG - BNS ,Cuba and the US Patriot Act
BNS ,Cuba and the US Patriot Act
published: Wednesday April 5, 2006
BY WAY of a protest statement by the Jamaica-Cuba Friendship Association, it has come to public knowledge that the Bank of Nova Scotia has discontinued maintaining accounts for the Cuban Embassy in Jamaica in U.S. currency.
The Canadian-based bank operating under Jamaican law here says it is complying with the directives of the U.S. Patriot Act that Cuban Embassy accounts should be maintained in local currency. Furthermore, the bank has stated that it will no longer be able to facilitate transactions for the Cuban Embassy involving cross-border transfers or international drafts. The reason stated is that the parent company in Canada operates in several jurisdictions and has to comply with international laws.
We are not aware that American law is international law or can override Jamaican law in our jurisdiction.
The expressed purpose of the hastily passed Patriot Act, as stated in its preamble, was "to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and for other purposes." In the United States itself concerns about the potential violation of civil liberties there have led to the amendment of the Patriot Act to incorporate no fewer than 30 civil liberties safeguards.
We are not aware that the new banking stipulations have been applied to any other legitimate diplomatic mission operating in Jamaica. In effect, the Cuban Government and its embassy here have been branded terrorist organisations to which the provisions of the anti-terrorist Patriot Act must be applied across the world. The Cuban-American conflict over the communism of the Castro regime has descended to a new low.
The power of the U.S. dollar as the leading currency in which international business is conducted is now being used to apply further pressure to Cuba under the very thin disguise of the Patriot Act, and could easily be used to exclude others from the international market.
We raise the issue here because of its diplomatic significance. There is no Jamaican law barring any embassy from operating accounts in any currency in any of the banks operating here. The sovereign Jamaican Government maintains normal diplomatic relations with Cuba for which we do not need and have not sought U.S. permission. The international community does not consider or recognise Cuba as a terrorist threat to any other state at this time.
The matter of the cancellation of the U.S. dollar accounts of the Cuban Embassy is significantly bigger than a private banking matter or even as another dimension of the Cuban-American struggle. The Jamaican Government cannot and should not avoid engaging the issue at the diplomatic level. The threat is not merely to Cuba, but to our own sovereignty. While we cherish our friendship and our very productive relations with the United States these cannot be on any terms dictated by the other side. An unofficial friendship association cannot be the sole voice of protest.
THE OPINIONS ON THIS PAGE, EXCEPT FOR THE ABOVE, DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE GLEANER.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
re: "Why I never vote based on party affiliation"
re: "State Department Travel Spending Challenged"
re: "WHERE IS BILAL HUSSEIN?"
re: "Not Just Mexicans" & "Arrival of aliens ousts U.S. workers"
re: "THE MILITARY OPTION -- INEVITABLE END OF THIS IMMIGRATION ANARCHY?"
re: "Germany: 'Honour killing' brother jailed"
re: "No student visa for pro-American Iraqi boxer"
Having lots of experience doing visa interviews for both athletes and students, it's certainly possible that the young man was qualified for the one visa but under-qualified to receive a student visa to the U.S. As it noted in the article, something like 75 percent of all student visa applicants are successful in receiving a student visa.
re: "The Rumsfeld Mutiny"
Observant Consul-At-Arms readers may have noted some recent stagnation on my "NOW READING" list. Basically, I'm bogged down in the quagmire that is Col. McMasters' "Dereliction of Duty," a truly meticulous work that details the failures, at the highest levels of the Pentagon and White House during the Vietnam Conflict, to maintain a working relationship with things like the truth, reality, and each other.
I just hate it when dumb-ass parallels are imputed between the Iraq Campaign of the GWOT. I hate it even more when one of them starts to seem accurate.
Let Sleeping Bandits Lie
JG - Cuba says Scotiabank has broken int'l law
Cuba says Scotiabank has broken int'l law
published: Wednesday April 5, 2006
CUBA BELIEVES Scotiabank violated international law by closing the United States dollar account of local Ambassador Gisela García Rivera, which it said it did to comply with United States legislation.
Speaking on behalf of the Cuban government, Dr. Ricardo Alarcón, said: "It (Scotiabank) is supposed to act and abide by the clear laws and regulations of the host country. It's supposed to abide by the Canadian laws without disregarding the Jamaican laws."
Dr. Alarcón was speaking to The Gleaner while on a trip to represent Cuban President Fidel Castro at the swearing-in of Portia Simpson Miller as the new Prime Minister last Thursday.
IN COMPLIANCE WITH BOJ GUIDELINES
However, Scotiabank maintains that its decision was taken in compliance with Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) guidelines governing U.S. legislation which embargoes several countries, including Cuba. Nationals of these countries are prevented from holding U.S. dollar accounts under such legislation which includes the Patriot Act and the Helms-Burton Act.
Cuba has been embargoed by the U.S. since its 1960 revolution.
"Various laws, including the Patriot Act, govern your corresponding banks within the U.S. and if you are making U.S. dollar transactions then you will have to make transactions with those banks. Were this an issue over Jamaican or any other currency then we would not have to have taken the decision," said Senior Vice-President of Scotiabank Jamaica Legal and Compliance Department, David Noel.
Dr. Alarcón and Mrs. Rivera maintained it was common practice for Cuban embassies worldwide to operate local U.S. dollar accounts as the world's favoured foreign currency.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
re: "The Road to Iraq’s New Democratic Government– and this week’s column"
WT - Latin American flags not welcome at upcoming immigration rally
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Latin American flags not welcome at upcoming immigration rally
By Keyonna Summers
April 4, 2006
The organizers of an upcoming pro-immigration rally on Capitol Hill and in at least 10 other cities are encouraging protesters to leave their Latin American flags at home.
"The flags at these events show what a great multicultural community we live in," said Kim Propeack, a spokeswoman for immigrant-advocacy group CASA of Maryland. But, "the immediate goal that we're seeking at these rallies is for immigrants to be more integrated into the American community and to have a right to legal residence, so we are encouraging people to bring U.S. flags."
Mexican, Salvadoran and Guatemalan flags and slogans at pro-immigration rallies across the country have sparked controversy between Americans who say the flags represent immigrants' and illegal aliens' disdain for U.S. laws and pro-immigration advocates who say the flags represent ethnic pride.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia is calling for an apology from a Woodbridge principal who, citing concerns about disruption, last week barred from class a kindergartner and second-grader whose shirts read "Latinos Forever" and "100 percent Latinos."
Steve Camarota, research director of the District-based Center for Immigration Studies, said the flags and slogans represent protesters' identities as "Mexicans in a foreign land."
"It does show a lot about how these people perceive their identity," he said. "They're probably just saying they identify themselves as Mexicans, and they're demanding a change in the law to accommodate them as Mexicans or as foreigners, which is kind of troubling because you hope that people would ask for a change and say, 'We're really part of this community.' But that's not the sense you get if someone's made a conscious decision to wave a foreign flag."
CASA is helping to plan Monday's National Day of Action for Immigrant Rights, a nationwide protest expected to draw thousands. The group was instrumental in planning rallies last month, complete with immigrants holding flags and signs that espoused their Hispanic heritage and chanting slogans in Spanish such as "Latinos Unidos" and "Si se puede" ("Latinos United" and "Yes we can").
Miss Propeack said the flags and slogans represent the protesters' hyphenated-American status.
"The people are proud of their heritage, and they're dying to come to this country, and just like people who hang up 'Irish parking only' signs on their basement hangout room or other indications of heritage pride that we treat as welcome in the U.S., these flags are another indicator of that," she said.
But those who favor tightened borders say the flags are a slap in Americans' faces.
"There's a difference between pride and protest," said Stephen Schreiman, president of the Maryland Minutemen, an illegal-alien watchdog. "If this was a celebration of the diversity of America and people marched with pride down the streets with ethnic flags being led by the U.S. flag, that's one thing. But these people are marching in the streets in protest of the laws of the United States. They're protesting the sovereignty and saying the United States doesn't have the right to enforce its own laws, and they're doing it with flags of a foreign country, and that's intolerable."
CASA has been getting its pro-American message out via Spanish-language radio stations, which played an instrumental role in drawing thousands to protests last week in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.
Pedro Biaggi, the morning drive-time disc jockey for El Zol (99.1 FM), is encouraging D.C.-area Hispanics to carry American flags Monday.
"The American flag is something to look up to and something to respect, [and] anytime someone thinks we are going against, that we need to stop and think about it," he said. "It isn't about how proud you are to be where you're from; it's about how proud you are to be an American, which is what we're asking to be."
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
JO - US visa fee up
US visa fee up
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
JAMAICANS applying for visitor's visas to the United States yesterday began paying more, as the US consulate is now applying a rate of J$66 - US$1, pushing the non-refundable visa fee to J$6,600.
The US consulate, in a statement yesterday, said other consular fees will also change as a result of this exchange rate.
A non-immigrant visa application fee of US$100 or the Jamaican equivalent must be paid at any Paymaster Jamaica Limited branch.
re: "Immigration on the Brain"
Screening mission continues (II)
WT - Poland's stressing of U.S. ties irks EU
Poland's stressing of U.S. ties irks EU
By Andrew Borowiec
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
April 4, 2006
NICOSIA, Cyprus -- A new conservative government in Poland is annoying its EU partners with an assertive anti-Russian, pro-American foreign policy that is seen to undermine EU efforts to "speak with one voice."
Polish officials say the United States is much better able than the European Union to offer military security to Poland and other former Warsaw Pact members -- an idea that appeals to countries long exposed to Russian domination.
Diplomats say Warsaw has been stressing ties with NATO and the Bush administration at the expense of its relationship with Brussels since the election in the fall of President Lech Kaczynski and the formation of a conservative government backed by the Catholic Church. Under Mr. Kaczynski, Poland has been pressing to bring neighboring Ukraine into NATO, a move that would strengthen a buffer zone against Russia.
Poland was a major supporter of Ukraine's Orange Revolution in 2004, angering Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the recent elections in Belarus, which confirmed the autocratic power of pro-Russian President Alexander Lukashenko, Poles were accused of interference and Polish diplomats and journalists were described as spies. While visiting Paris in February, Mr. Kaczynski told French President Jacques Chirac that the planned European Constitution, rejected by France and the Netherlands, had no hope of being ratified by Poland. "What interests the Poles is the future of Poland, not of Europe," he was quoted as saying. Meanwhile, negotiations are in progress for the installation of U.S. military bases in Poland as well as in Bulgaria and Romania, two countries scheduled for admission to the European Union next year. Some bases are said to be already operational.
The Polish government also has recalled 10 ambassadors appointed by the previous administration and promised a thorough investigation of its diplomatic service. Polish organizations in Canada and elsewhere have said some embassies were staffed by former communists "who have secured control of emigre organizations and their media."
Late last week, criminal charges were filed against Poland's last communist dictator, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, who installed martial law in 1981 to crush the Solidarity labor movement. About 100 people were killed and more than 10,000 were imprisoned without charge. If convicted, Gen. Jaruzelski, 82, faces up to 11 years in prison. He has said the imposition of martial law was essential to prevent an invasion by the Soviet Union.
Monday, April 10, 2006
re: "Muslim Immigrants in Germany: Reaction to Discrimination"
re: "Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland, April 29, 2006"
"April 29, 2006 marks the 28th year for the oldest Celtic celebration in Maryland. Chosen in 2000 by Congressman Steny Hoyer to represent Southern Maryland in the national "Local Legacy" project of the Library of Congress’ Bicentennial celebration, The Southern Maryland Celtic Festival and Highland Gathering highlights the heritage of the Scots, Irish, Welsh, Manx, Bretton, Cornish and British.
The festival is scheduled on the last Saturday of April every year from 10 AM to 6 PM Rain or Shine on the 560-acre Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum. Look for the distinctive yellow flyers each year around the beginning of the year so you can start inviting friends and neighbors to go with you and share our common heritage (or learn about someone elses!). While your pets aren't going to to turned away there is usually a crowd and occasionally show animals. It would be less stressful for them if you left your furry friends at home that day.
More than 50 clans and societies have information to share. Three performing stages offer continuous music and dance featuring internationally known recording artists and groups. Watch craft and country-dance demonstrations and listen to harp, and Scottish fiddling while storytellers weave tales near grazing sheep alongside historical displays, crafts and food. There is a Celtic market place for foods and gifts provides an old world atmosphere. All-day Competitions include pipers, fiddlers, highland dancers, athletes, drummers, pipebands and celtic harpers."
some thoughts from an LJ-er
"When Christianity first became adopted by the state, under Constantine, he made no attempt to force conversion on anyone or discriminate against them - unlike the pagans who had fed believers to the lions, previously. If that is not an act of restraint, I don't know what is. That would be a desirable model to follow. It should no more be ignored than any other models that people prefer to trot out.
Having given that one example just to show that examples can be given, and that I'm not afraid of having them requested, I would point out that it is always possible to cherry pick what we would most like to be representative of our prejudices; but doing so is futile. We need another approach to identify what is and is not relevant, or we could go round in circles perpetually.
The first approach is to identify what a religion stands for, and not what has been done in its name. If we check what people are supposed to be doing according to their religion, we can criticize the religion. If they are not, we can criticize them for not following their religion.
When the Islamic are not persecuting those of other faiths, it is because they have no opportunity, or are not taking their religion seriously.
The best case for condemning Islam is surely the Koran, which defines what is wrong with it; the next best is the way Muslims organise their societies, which are abhorrent to western sentiments. And those western sentiments are the result of two thousand years of Christianity steadily moving us away from the standards and practices of the pagan societies that preceded them. Todays pagans are just not pagan enough to qualify as pagans of former times - yet. Show me where they have sacrificed someone as a blood eagle, and I'll say that they have begun to live up to their potential.
When a supposedly Christian state persecutes particular Christian sects, or other religions, except in that they have broken the law that is common to all, and are dealt with under the law that is common to all, they are departing from Christianity.
The second approach would be to say, what is the problem we have today, rather than some conceptual problem that exists hypothetically.
In that case it is quite clear that Islam is the foundation of a massive wave of intolerance, and because we have been silly enough to pander to it, may have come to believe that it is entitled to be pandered to, because we have continually done so. It threatens its own with death should they convert (and the case in Afghanistan recently is not unusual, I have known Christian converts from Islam living in hiding from their families in Great Britain), considers the word of a woman or a non-Moslem as worth half or less than that of a Moslem, applies ruthlessly strict codes against proselytisation within the boundaries of Islamic states, and has shown absolutely no capacity to move from a history of totalitarianism towards anything better, without outside interference.
I consider there to be only one faith more dangerous to Christianity today than Islam - and that is Political Correctness, which has taken a nominally Christian society and subverted it until it does not think it reasonable to fight in its own defense, to implement laws that would have the support of the majority, or defend the everyday practice of its tenets from the ruthless and deliberate distortion of the US constitution by those who refuse to make even trivial investigation into what is meant by its wording.
Today we have Islam as a force because PC has called on us to bow down to it for decades, purely so that it can be used as a weapon against Christianity. Now that that has backfired on the secular, they prefer us to lie down and die for their consciences. Instead, I prefer that we should fight to free those living under Islam from totalitarianism and the threat of death if they convert. By doing so we would expose the central lie of Islam - because its entire agenda to covert the world by force would be destroyed, and its victims would be left to contemplate its utter failure."
re: " ‘Visiting Permanently' and Other Things I Don’t Understand"
Two of the Bandits
S&S - Army unit tries to restore order in ethnically-mixed Khalis Unrest brings troops back to city considered ‘stable’
European Stars & Stripes
Army unit tries to restore order in ethnically-mixed Khalis Unrest brings troops back to city considered ‘stable’
By Andrew Tilghman, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Sunday, Tuesday, April 4, 2006
Andrew Tilghman / S&S Lt. Col. Thomas Fisher drinks tea and talks about security in Khalis with a local Iraqi army commander. Andrew Tilghman / S&S Local men stroll past a U.S. Humvee in downtown Khalis, where a surge in violence during the past week has drawn increased U.S. attention.
KHALIS, Iraq — With a string of kidnappings, assassinations and an attack on a mosque last week, this small city with a mix of Sunnis and Shiites about 50 miles north of Baghdad has seen a surge in violence in recent weeks.
“When I first got here, everything was under control,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Fisher, the battalion commander who oversees a sweeping area of cities and farmland in western Diyala province, where tensions have run high since the Feb. 22 bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra.
“This is where the fight has come next,” said Fisher, of the 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 4th Infantry Division.
The increase in attacks here comes about one year after U.S. troops determined Khalis to be one of the most stable cities in Diyala and set in motion plans to remove much of the battalion based here. In June 2005, most of the Army battalion based here was shipped to Ramadi to help a Marine unit with the uprising in Anbar province. A small task force of 100 troops remained here to work with the Iraqi army unit.
In January 2006, troop strength in the entire area was reduced incrementally and Khalis was handed over to the U.S. battalion based in the nearby provincial capital of Baqouba.
The nature of the recent violence has evolved from last year, when attacks on U.S. and Iraqi troops were common, soldiers said.
“Now the insurgents are not targeting us anymore, said Col. Abdulla, the Iraqi army battalion commander based in Khalis. “Now they are targeting the innocent civilians.”
Local government officials are especially at risk. A top aide to the city’s mayor was killed recently in a bombing that also killed his son and his driver, Fisher said.
Some troops speculate that the insurgents have fled to this area after extensive U.S. military operations in surrounding cities — particularly the massive sweeps conducted in the Samarra area after the bombing there.
“We’ve applied a lot of pressure elsewhere, so they’ve come here now,” Fisher said in a recent meeting with Abdulla. Others believe that the insurgents have strategically targeted the area.
“The insurgents are trying to disrupt the progress that was made,” said Maj. Isidoro Santana, who works in the civil affairs unit that arrived in Khalis last summer. “What I see is the peacefulness has brought the attacks.”
Locals suggest some of the attacks do not stem from the traditional Sunni insurgents but from local Shiite militias, sparking a cycle of violence that draws reprisals from the Sunni fighters.
“We need to get the militias off the streets because it makes people mad and it gives the terrorists a reason to come here,” said Salem Jawad, a Sunni leader on the local Khalis legislative council.
Santana agreed that the recent violence targeting civilians causes political problems because it is often unclear who is attacking whom.
“It throws a lot of doubt about who to blame. It opens the door, we can blame a lot of people,” Santana said.
Fisher said Khalis is becoming one of his top priorities. He said he plans to move some U.S. troops into the area and spend more time working with the Iraqi soldiers to quell the attacks.
Khalis marks a contrast to the surrounding area, where attacks, roadside bombs and assassinations have dropped in recent months. Fisher told the Iraqi commander that this may be the last stand for the region’s insurgents.
“I think that if the fight is successful here, it will be pretty much over,” Fisher said.
re: "The Message I Understand, The Oath I Swore"
Sunday, April 09, 2006
re: "Iraq Liberation Day"
John at Castle Argghhh! has this, ready to be filed in the "you two get over it already!" bin, to say:
"And certain agencies of the US Government, notably State and the CIA, need to get over their hissyfit about things not being done the way they would have done it, and be far more involved and supportive of getting things done under the new paradigm, than just pissing and moaning about the loss of the turf war over how things should have been done.
There is much to argue about and ponder - but we shouldn't let that distract from trying to get the job done that needs doing now. But it would seem that seeking adult behavior in the battles of turf, and in the arena of politics is almost too much to ask today."
re: "School credit for pro-illegal kids?!"
This is precisely the sort of thing that motivates me to never move back to Maryland, let alone Montgomery County and have to subsidize this kind of nonsense with my tax dollars.
Vote with your feet, and your choice of where to pay state income tax.
re: "Does Iran want war?"
re: "The New Math"
"So far the Iranian president has posed as someone 90-percent crazy and 10-percent sane, hoping we would fear his overt madness and delicately appeal to his small reservoirs of reason. But he should understand that if his Western enemies appear 90-percent children of the Enlightenment, they are still effused with vestigial traces of the emotional and unpredictable. And military history shows that the irrational 10 percent of the Western mind is a lot scarier than anything Islamic fanaticism has to offer."
re: "Bill Frists Blog getting no love"
re: "The Sunday lesson"
re: "Your Congressman Is An Idiot"
JO - Chief of protocol says sorry to PM, Bruce'Seats for Cabinet ministers, Golding were taken by unauthorised persons'
Chief of protocol says sorry to PM, Bruce'Seats for Cabinet ministers, Golding were taken by unauthorised persons'
Monday, April 03, 2006
GOLDING. left the function
THE foreign ministry's chief of protocol, Sandra Grant Griffiths has issued an apology to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Leader of the Opposition Bruce Golding, over the lack of appropriate seating arrangements for Golding and his wife Lorna at the swearing-in ceremony of the prime minister at King's House last Thursday, which led to the couple leaving the venue.
In a letter to the editor of the Observer, Grant Griffiths said a thorough investigation of the matter revealed that at approximately 4:30 pm certain unauthorised persons occupying seating reserved by labelling in the ceremonial area for members of the Cabinet and the leader of the Opposition, refused to relocate and "in order to avoid unpleasant incidents, given the imminent commencement of the ceremony, a decision was taken to immediately insert an additional row of VIP seating as quickly as possible"."The plan for additional chairs was explained to the displaced ministers and the leader of the Opposition, who were kindly asked to accommodate the necessary adjustment."
However, she said Golding declined the invitation."It is most regrettable that the customary protocol arrangements, whereby seating reserved on behalf of the opposition leader for official or ceremonial occasions is made available to him or her, could not be implemented in accordance with the standard procedure for all our high officials, both present and past. The leader of the Opposition, who had every right to be disturbed by the unprecedented development, left the ceremonial area. Upon being made aware of the turn of events, I left the foyer of King's House where I was engaged in other pressing duties and intercepted the leader of the Opposition. I apologised and invited him to allow me to escort him to the seat which was now available. He declined," said the chief of protocol.
She added: "I left the ceremonial area at precisely 4:20 pm to receive the platform party, including the prime minister and the prime minister-designate, as well as the visiting heads of government of Caricom. This was in fact a part of the procedure to have all in readiness for the ceremonial procession to commence at 4:52 pm. At the time of my departure from the ceremonial area, the reserved seats for the Cabinet and the leader of the Opposition were intact. "It is deplorable that in my absence gross interference disrupted those seating arrangements. Persons not assigned any responsibility for protocol seating, together with a lack of cooperation by guests and others, who were being called upon simply to behave with the appropriateness that the historic occasion warranted, adversely affected the recognition due to the Cabinet, the leader of the Opposition, and Mrs Golding. This disruption was not confined to the section under the management of the ministry's protocol officers but also affected the adjacent areas assigned to other teams," said Grant Griffiths.
She said that in light of the matter, the permanent secretary of the foreign ministry has decided to send a submission to Cabinet, with a view to ensuring the institution of an integrated and unified state protocol framework to guard against the possibility of the recurrence of such a situation in the future.