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The truth, the whole truth and nothing but…

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EDITOR: I refer to the June 10 column by the Unity Labour Party (ULP) in local papers and must put the record straight. I am normally inclined to disregard

trivia, but am also aware that erroneous information, regularly repeated, could take on the aura of truth if left unchallenged.{{more}}

The specific section “The Cases of Linton and Kingsley”, portrays an ethos of benevolence and magnanimity. Clearly, this is admirable and the attitude that one would expect from a national leader… if only it were true! I cannot speak for Dr. Linton Lewis, but I reserve the right to speak for myself.

I was one of the first visitors to the newly-elected Prime Minister on his first official day in office on the 30th March 2001. I congratulated him on his party’s victory and presented him with my letter of resignation as Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the Organisation of American States (OAS). He was very gracious, as he is wont to be. His comments to NBC Radio 705, on his first day activities as Prime Minister, adequately portrayed our encounter.

We discussed a number of matters pertaining to the administration of our country’s foreign affairs ‘to the benefit of

St. Vincent and the Grenadines’. To his credit, I note that much of what was discussed on that occasion has been implemented. I have always extended due respect and deference to the office of Prime Minister, but I did not request any favours then, or subsequently.

However, when asked if there were any further matters that I wished to bring to his attention, I requested that the payment of my terminal benefits, including my gratuities and other monies owed to me, be duly expedited. This was agreed. To date, more than four years later, I have received no payment whatsoever, as all my terminal benefits are still being inexplicably withheld.

In relation to my appointment as Director of the Office of the General Secretariat of the OAS in the Republic of Suriname, in November 2001, I adherred to normal protocol by informing my government of my appointment to a senior position in an organization of which we are a member. I expressed the expectation of support in that capacity, as per usual. I am completely unaware of receiving any letter from the Prime Minister for transmittal to anyone. It is a figment of someone’s imagination.

Furthermore, if it is deemed necessary to constantly refer to instances, real or imagined, of expected dispensation of routine official duties, it is puerile and unfortunate.

Kingsley C. A. Layne, C.M.G.

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