Categorized | News, Regional

St. Vincent and the Grenadines government recalls US-based diplomat

By Kenton X. Chance

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Nov 27, CMC – The St. Vincent and the Grenadines government Monday said it had recalled one of its diplomats accredited to the United Nations amidst a report that he punched his wife, also a diplomat, in the mouth last Friday, in the presence of her mother.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said his government had recalled “for consultation”, Sehon Marshall, 43. a counsellor at the island’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

Sehon-Xandra-Marshall
Sehon and Xandra Marshall (File Photo)

Kingstown has further instructed Xandra Marshall, the Deputy Counsellor General in New York and her husband, not to report for work until further notice.

Gonsalves said his government is treating the matter “with utmost seriousness and is considering all the alive legal options in this matter.

“From what I have said, you can deduce certain possible conclusions, certain outcomes, really, but, as always, we have to act sensibly, deliberately, firmly as all circumstances and the law and the guiding principles admit,” he told listeners to Star FM, a radio station owned by the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP).

The main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) had called on the government to recall the diplomat after the New York Post newspaper reported last Friday that police officers who responded to the incident at the family’s home where Mrs. Marshall was allegedly slapped in the face, could not arrest her husband because he has diplomatic immunity.

The NDP said that it is ““deeply concerned about allegations of domestic abuse and violence against women” adding that the “reported allegations are extremely serious allegations of violence and domestic abuse and they cannot be treated lightly.

“We in the NDP categorically condemn any and all forms of violence against women,” the party said, noting that the incident allegedly occurred as the global community observed International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women on November 25.

Gonsalves said that the government had condemned the alleged incident, which he said “degenerated into domestic violence.

“I really regret that this matter has happened to a young promising family, a family of great promise, including the three children which they have: ages 13 and nine and three and this must be a difficult and challenging time for everybody concerned — the family and I, for one, in addition to what we have to do and which we are doing as the state, I have offered up prayers for them because they are human beings which are involved, including children.”

The incident occurred less than two weeks after Mrs. Marshall, 36, was appointed, and even before she has signed a contract with the government.

Marshall has become the second diplomat who Kingstown has recalled since 2014.

He was first appointed to replace Edson Augustus, who was recalled in 2014 and fired amidst reports he had taken money from persons in the United States, promising to help them to secure U.S. Permanent Resident Cards.

Marshall was transferred to the United Nations in August 2014, and his wife appointed to replace him earlier this month.

Gonsalves said Monday that his government takes a very strong position against domestic violence, saying this is reflected in the government’s policies and programme, including the passing of the Domestic Violence Act.

“So, the government unreservedly condemns domestic violence,” he said, telling listeners that the matter ceased being a private issue when it was reported to the New York Police Department.

“Once they got involved, the state authorities of the host country became involved, and thus, it moved from a purely private matter to one involving state-to-state relations and it involved what you may call the praxis of diplomacy.”

Gonsalves said that the relevant authorities in the United States and the island’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Ronda King, have been in touch with each other.

He said he expects that a formal diplomatic communication would reach King later on Monday.

He said he had spoken to the Marshalls separately by telephone over the weekend and there are elements of their stories that are at variance.

“But, on many core issues, one can discern agreement,” he said, noting that Mrs. Marshall’s mother was present when the incident took place.

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The Montserrat Reporter - August 18, 2017

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by STAFF WRITER 

By Kenton X. Chance

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Nov 27, CMC – The St. Vincent and the Grenadines government Monday said it had recalled one of its diplomats accredited to the United Nations amidst a report that he punched his wife, also a diplomat, in the mouth last Friday, in the presence of her mother.

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Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said his government had recalled “for consultation”, Sehon Marshall, 43. a counsellor at the island’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

Sehon-Xandra-Marshall
Sehon and Xandra Marshall (File Photo)

Kingstown has further instructed Xandra Marshall, the Deputy Counsellor General in New York and her husband, not to report for work until further notice.

Gonsalves said his government is treating the matter “with utmost seriousness and is considering all the alive legal options in this matter.

“From what I have said, you can deduce certain possible conclusions, certain outcomes, really, but, as always, we have to act sensibly, deliberately, firmly as all circumstances and the law and the guiding principles admit,” he told listeners to Star FM, a radio station owned by the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP).

The main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) had called on the government to recall the diplomat after the New York Post newspaper reported last Friday that police officers who responded to the incident at the family’s home where Mrs. Marshall was allegedly slapped in the face, could not arrest her husband because he has diplomatic immunity.

The NDP said that it is ““deeply concerned about allegations of domestic abuse and violence against women” adding that the “reported allegations are extremely serious allegations of violence and domestic abuse and they cannot be treated lightly.

“We in the NDP categorically condemn any and all forms of violence against women,” the party said, noting that the incident allegedly occurred as the global community observed International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women on November 25.

Gonsalves said that the government had condemned the alleged incident, which he said “degenerated into domestic violence.

“I really regret that this matter has happened to a young promising family, a family of great promise, including the three children which they have: ages 13 and nine and three and this must be a difficult and challenging time for everybody concerned — the family and I, for one, in addition to what we have to do and which we are doing as the state, I have offered up prayers for them because they are human beings which are involved, including children.”

The incident occurred less than two weeks after Mrs. Marshall, 36, was appointed, and even before she has signed a contract with the government.

Marshall has become the second diplomat who Kingstown has recalled since 2014.

He was first appointed to replace Edson Augustus, who was recalled in 2014 and fired amidst reports he had taken money from persons in the United States, promising to help them to secure U.S. Permanent Resident Cards.

Marshall was transferred to the United Nations in August 2014, and his wife appointed to replace him earlier this month.

Gonsalves said Monday that his government takes a very strong position against domestic violence, saying this is reflected in the government’s policies and programme, including the passing of the Domestic Violence Act.

“So, the government unreservedly condemns domestic violence,” he said, telling listeners that the matter ceased being a private issue when it was reported to the New York Police Department.

“Once they got involved, the state authorities of the host country became involved, and thus, it moved from a purely private matter to one involving state-to-state relations and it involved what you may call the praxis of diplomacy.”

Gonsalves said that the relevant authorities in the United States and the island’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Ronda King, have been in touch with each other.

He said he expects that a formal diplomatic communication would reach King later on Monday.

He said he had spoken to the Marshalls separately by telephone over the weekend and there are elements of their stories that are at variance.

“But, on many core issues, one can discern agreement,” he said, noting that Mrs. Marshall’s mother was present when the incident took place.