Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne bid the High Commissioner of the of India farewell as the High Commissioner’s tour of duty comes to an end.
Prime Minister Browne hailed the High Commissioner for his diligent work during his tenure in the region. The Prime Minister stated that on behalf of his government, he is very appreciative of India’s contribution to Antigua and Barbuda and the strengthening of diplomatic and friendly relations between both countries. The shared Commonwealth heritage between Antigua and India has been a foundation for Antigua and Barbuda’s support of India in the International Fora, especially within the FAO and the WHO, PM Browne highlighted.
“Thank you for your personal efforts in strengthening the relations between our two nations and for your country’s pledge of US1.5 Million to help Barbuda after the devastation of hurricane Irma,” Prime Minister Browne commented.
To help cement the longstanding relationship between Antigua and Barbuda and India, Prime Minister Browne announced the offer of a gift of land to India of which a Permanent High Commission can be established here in Antigua. “This will be a great platform to further the relationship,” PM Browne continued.
The Indian High Commissioner to Antigua and Barbuda is currently based in Guyana and covers the Eastern Caribbean as well.
Before offering his closing remarks, Prime Minister Browne indicated his displeasure and disappointment in the unfortunate remarks made by India’s Finance Minister in regards Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Programme and Mr. Mehul Choksi.
In response, H. E Venkatachalam Mahalingam thanked PM Browne and his government for their full cooperation over the last five years. The High Commissioner congratulated the government for their extraordinary success and thanked the government for their continuous support of India’s candidacies in the international fora.
High Commissioner Mahalingam also thanked PM Browne for his offer of a gift of land of which a High Commission Office is to be established. He noted that his government is planning on opening 35 new missions worldwide with a focus on Latin America, and that this offer from Antigua comes with good timing. “I will convey your offer and concerns to New Dehli and will present an official response before leaving my post,” H.E Mahalingam responded.
The High Commissioner in closing thanked PM Browne for his open communication with the Choksi matter and promised to respond regarding India’s Foreign Minister’s statement.
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Their finance minister passed her place and seemed to basically try to bully A&B. She seemed ignorant of the fact that extraditions takes time especially if the person decides to fight the request and is a citizen. Interestingly only A&B was attacked and not the UK where Choksi’s nephew. Nirav Modi, is fighting extradition back to India. Yet, India’s Finance minister hopefully only out of ignorance, decided to attack A&B extradition process and label us as being uncooperative. How many years did it take India to extradite suspected murdered Maninder Pal Singh Kohil to the UK? The process started in 2004 and it was not until 2007 a Indian court first ordered his extradition. Avtar Singh Grewa, wanted in the US since 2007 for murder, was not extradited from India until 13.09.2011. Yet strangely India’s finance minister felt she could point her fingers at us for a matter where their officials told ours that Choksi was clean. Took India months to even put out a red corner notice on Choksi (did not happen until Dec 2018). In the meantime he was able to leave India, spent months in the USA, and then come to Antigua
Tenman, I agree with you 100%, couldn’t have said it better myself. Everybody, even people we don’t like and who we disagree with, deserve full due process rights under the law. The gentleman is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a competent court of law.
Dear High Commissioner of India, please do not let the door hit you on the way out! The way your country (also known as the very corrupt India government) has tried to hurt the reputation of Antigua and Barbuda is simply amazing and gawd awful. Seriously, our kind PM Browne gives you farewell gifts? You don’t deserve them! Go back to India and please do not ever come back to Antigua (or the Caribbean for that matter), for your government has treated Antigua and Barbuda in a totally unacceptable and disrespectful manner. Adios!
The Commission is based in Guyana, so what did the GTs give him?
One more acre of Antiguan soil owned by another country. The PM must have a land making machine hidden in a workshop somewhere?.
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