Decline of Our Diplomatic Relations

By Stephen Kangal
November 26, 2014

Stephen KangalAn underlying worrisome diplomatic situation exists today in five of T&T’s Overseas Missions. Diplomatic relations are conducted in accordance with the principle and practices of reciprocity and the comity of Nations. In India, UK, Costa Rica, Canada at the UN T&T representation has been scaled down to the level of junior but also inexperienced young and up-coming diplomats. This resulted from the withdrawal of both career and political appointed Ambassadors.

The PP is telegraphing that their own politically-appointed, in-experienced former Heads are dispensable; their work mandate can be done equally well if not better by inexperienced FSO’s I and II’s with at most three years of experience in the diplomatic field..

To operate five Missions accredited to our principal trading partners/UN without a duly accredited, substantive High Commissioner/Ambassador in place downgrades the tenour of our foreign policy.

This diplomatic faux pas and untenable situation lasted most of 2014, It will persist throughout 2015 because of the General Elections. It will be prolonged for two years until the beginning of 2016.

Has the PP/PM/ Minister of Foreign Affairs addressed the following adverse implications for our bilateral relations, diplomatic sensitivity and reciprocity especially with three states that have had a long history of diplomacy namely UK, India and Canada:

  • It is an insulting and very undiplomatic act meted out to the host or receiving state to have our junior diplomatic officers from five of our important Missions interfacing with the officials of the respective Ministries of Foreign Affairs and their resident Diplomatic Corps;
  • It telegraphs that our bilateral relations with the respective states/International organisations concerned are not important enough to merit reciprocity in the appointment of a fully accredited replacement with full powers to speak on behalf of T&T for a long period.
  • Our officials of junior rank without full powers can only treat with junior receiving state officials ad referendum to POS as to what was discussed and this diplomatic imbalance/inequality will be frowned upon in the respective capitals to our mutual detriment and that of the large T&T diaspora resident in Canada and UK;
  • T&T will be placed almost at the bottom of the List of Precedence in the five receiving states/organisations just after we made a high profile diplomatic and ministerial intervention at the recent UN General Assembly at the United Nations;
  • Our lowly and low-ranking diplomatic presence in diplomatically sensitive India with the advent of the new Modi Administration in office does not augur well for the development of fruitful relations with the new regime.
  • It suggests that outside of Mr. Chandardath Singh who at one time straddled both Beijing and New Delhi, we, that is T&T with a proud and enviable history and reputation of diplomatic achievements do not have or have not produced anyone with the right political/UNC connections to fill the embarrassing diplomatic void now gaping in India.
  • Never in the diplomatic history and annals of Mother T&T have I heard of a non-diplomatic Financial Attache acting as an Ambassador in any of our Missions abroad with FSO One’s and Two’s being parachuted into Heads of Missions as if we are running parlours and internet cafes in these capitals abroad.
  • This regressive scenario conveys the message that the Foreign Relations of T&T conducted through our Overseas Missions are low in the national scheme/priority of things in spite of the frenetic pace at which inexperienced, political appointees/political failures at home were decanted in droves into posts at our Foreign Missions by the PP in a mad scramble to politicize the Foreign Service.

Let it be noted that High Commissioner Singh was transferred to Beijing directly from New Delhi and was never recalled to POS as stated by Minister Dookeran.

2 Responses to “Decline of Our Diplomatic Relations”


  • Reginald Astrologia

    This creditable Commentator is forgetting one simple truth, although there’s a hint that he maybe wishes to avoid the type of impertinence of which writes.
    The simple truth?
    Trinidad has been committed to proving its 3rd World Status ever since its “Independence”.
    The evidence for this(not inferred)truth is world class in its abundance.
    And there aint no need for the GG to apologise for nutting.

  • not only that Reginald but as I find internet articles allegedly written by the alleged supporters of one particular political party, these findings simply prove one thing to intelligent people worldwide…. that while some Trinis attempt to pass for intellectuals and use the net to disseminate fecal matter and Trini racism off as intelligent conversation, it just reveals to the world how small minded and stupid Trinis are in2014 as an oil producing backwater country….. look at http://www.islandmix.com... any attempt by any nonTrini to make an observation as to anything in this country is met by insulting, degraging language designed to dissuade anybody from commenting, leading any reader to believe that Trinis like the country just how it is… entrenched so deep in racial, social andpolitical hatred that God and all using amillion mile pole just to answer any prayers from Trinis… It just shows the world that psychologically and socially Trinis prefer the negative aspects of life not so. Why in this world system with places like Australia 2minutes away, internet phone call wise, would people prefer to stay fecal minded and focused on negativity that robs them of the positive aspects of life? Comfort zones yes?
    It is this crap aspect of Trini society that cannot and will not be eradicated that makes some Trinis offensive and reprehensible to the wider human society that leads the country deeper into the cesspit rather than into the future. Hopefully the education initiative like NESC will lead the next generations into a technological society rather than the ahole politically racist society cultured here…….

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