By Abdoulie Nget
|Minister Bajo and ambassador White|
The United States ambassador to The Gambia said her country’s democratic culture allows even immigrants to criticise the government and its leadership.
Ambassador Pamela White said, these however are rights denied to most by the governments and leaderships of their countries of birth.
She made this observation on Friday at Coco Ocean on the occasion of the 235 independence anniversary of U.S.A.
U.S. gained Independence in July 1776 from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
“U.S is a nation of immigrants,” Ambassador White told a gathering of people from different walks of life who joined the U.S embassy in Banjul to celebrate the national day, as well, wine and dine.
“People come to our shores from every nation on earth for a myriad of reasons, but all with the goal of seeking better life for themselves and their families.
“In landing on our soil, they find that they have the right to criticise their adopted country and its leadership - a right denied to most by the countries of their birth.”
Ambassador White said democracy is a continually evolving process, noting that events that unfolded in Tunisia and Egypt and similar unfolding in other countries manifest that it is a universal right that if too long denied people demand.
“It is a journey filled with unexpected events and detour and just when we take for granted the liberties, rights and privileges so embedded in democracy, is when we are most vulnerable to lose them,” she said.
The Gambia’s minister of Fisheries and Water Resources reiterated similar remarks. He said, the whole world has with time come to recognise July 4 as a symbol of freedom, liberty, autonomy, sovereignty and self governance.
“This has remained the bedrock of American existence and foreign policy to this day. It has at many a time been the basis of American intervention in countries such as Iraq,” he said.
On bilateral ties
“We have worked to build on the strong relationship,” Ambassador White said, referring to bilateral ties with Gambia, which she said is cordial and based on mutual interest and respect.
She commended president Jammeh`s efforts towards advancing the status of agricultural development, women and education.
She added: “President Jammeh’s constant vigilance against terrorism and drug trafficking are admirable and should be emulated in other African countries.
“We stand with him in solidarity to better the lives of Gambians and increase the mutual trust, respect and interests between the two countries.”
She mentioned a series of interventions by U.S, including efforts to enhance the skills of Gambian military.
“This month in Banjul, Gambian Armed Forces will host Africa Endeavor. Over 350 military personnel from African nations will meet in Banjul to learn communication techniques and protocol,” she revealed.
Ambassador White added: “Over 100 members of the Peace Corps staff work here in Banjul and in communities throughout the countryside.
“Our young and some not-so-young Peace Corps volunteers work alongside Gambians in education, agriculture and health sectors. They live, eat and share compounds with host families, forging strong ties that last a lifetime.”
According to her, in an increasingly interconnected world, no one nation can solve the problems of economic and social development, terrorism, environment, narco (drug) and human trafficking and a host of other issues.
In this regard she said “Today, more than yesterday we need to tighten the bonds of friendship that bind the Gambia and the United States.”
The minister of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters Lamin Kabba Bajo buttressed that the multilateral engagements between the Gambia and U.S remain strong, especially at the level of the United Nations.
He conveyed the Government of The Gambia`s appreciation and gratitude to U.S, assuring that the Gambia government is willing and committed to work with the U.S in ensuring global peace, security, and social justice.