PRIVATE Secretary to the Governor-General (GG) Nigel Zagiri Maezama says the front page article in the Island Sun on Tuesday was misleading and contain errors.
He stated it in an email sent to Solomon Star last night.
“Government House (GH) did not refuse to hold a credential presentation ceremony for the new Ambassador of the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC) to Solomon Islands, as reported in the article.”
Maezama stated that a verbal request was made by the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC) through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET) who then informed Government House about the request.
“In reply to this, we accepted the request in principle provided a number of documents required for such a ceremony are received by us prior to the event being held.
“These documents include a formal written request from the MFAET to Government House to hold the ceremony, the Ambassador’s CV, a copy of the Ambassador speech, a copy of the Governor-General’s reciprocate speech (which is usually prepared by MFAET) and the Ambassador’s official guest list.
“This same approach is applicable to all countries,” he said.
Maezama further added that MFAET in turn advised GH that they would seek further clarification from either the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet or the officials from the PRC on the request.
“MFAET got back to us through an email and advised that after seeking clarification from the officials of PRC that a formal request would be sent later by PRC and therefore, the credentials presentation would no longer be held.
“So to state that Government House had refused to hold the ceremony is totally incorrect,” he clarified.
The Government House respects the decision made by the government to switch diplomatic ties to PRC and will accommodate the wish of the government to facilitate the credentials presentation by the Ambassador provided, the procedures that governed such a ceremony are followed correctly, Mr Maezama explained.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Solomon Islands Electoral Office Mose Saitala also told this paper last night that the article is so blatantly misleading that it puts a big question mark on the integrity of journalism in the country.
Saitala made this sentiment as one of the candidate to be sworn in as the CEO for SIEC at 2pm on Tuesday.
By ANDREW FANASIA