Editorial:The Chinese mission must come again!

Chinese Galamsey Operators Cuff Some Chinese men arrested for engaging in illegal mining

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 Source: todaygh.com

LAST week it emerged that the Chinese diplomatic mission in Ghana was not happy with our concerted effort to deal with the canker called Galamsey, which practice continues to wantonly destroy our water bodies, farmlands and environment. The reaction of the Chinese mission, we learnt, was based on the fact that the Ghanaian media was biased towards them insofar as reportage on Galamsey was concerned.

THAT has triggered a caution letter from the Chinese mission to the ministry of lands and natural resources stating that the new war against Galamsey could derail bilateral relations between the two countries—Ghana and China. In the opinion of Today this sounds more of a threat from the Chinese mission.

SERIOUSLY, we cannot understand why fighting a menace like Galamsey which we all (including the Chinese mission) agree and admit is unlawful and devastating could be interpreted as jeopardising relations between Ghana and China. Are the interests of the few Chinese nationals engaged in illegal mining and whose acts are causing danger for local communities whose environment and sources of fresh water are at the verge of destruction more important than saving our future? Is the Chinese representative saying that Galamsey is good and that it must be allowed to continue simply because some of their nationals are earning good incomes from that?

IF the series of discussions of the former minister for lands and natural resources with Joy FM are anything to go by, then the Chinese mission is clearly aware of the destruction some of their nationals in the Galamsey business have caused and continue to cause this country. The former Minister in his interview sessions with the Accra based FM station has made it clear that when the former government started arresting some Chinese nationals in illegal mining in 2015 for prosecution, the ambassador then sent a letter of complaint to the former President. Unfortunately, their threats this time will not work because the future of our country is being compromised by Galamsey operators and this is the time to stop them.

IT is a fact that some Chinese nationals are in the thick of illegal mining in the country. It is a fact that their unethical operations have seriously destroyed our sources of fresh water and if care is not taken to arrest the situation, the country may have to import water in a couple of decades. It is also a fact that farm crops, farm lands and our environment have suffered badly by illegal mining. So, should we continue to allow the destruction to go on in the name of what they term bilateral relations?

ANYONE will admit that relations between the two countries have been cordial since the 1950s but that cordiality has indeed thrived on understanding and respect for each other and not on impunities and disrespect. Yes, the two sides may want to talk in the name of diplomacy but we still think that those Chinese nationals involved in mining illegally must be stopped and this time round, for good. That is the message of the Media Coalition against Galamsey.

CAN anybody imagine Ghanaians in China involved in illegal mining there and even to the extent of polluting their river bodies? It will never happen and that is why Today thinks that the letter from the mission to our minister for lands and natural Resources is not in good taste. We have been accommodating to a fault but this protest is just not right.

HERE we are contending with Chinese galamseyers in our own country. Absolutely preposterous! This will happen nowhere except Ghana, obviously because our laws are so weak that any foreigner can come in and do whatever he/she pleases whilst we look on. And that has been the problem with Galamsey.

THE fact is that we must not be cowed by anyone, local or foreign, in our determined quest to uproot Galamsey. If dealing with Chinese who are engaged in Galamsey will strain our relations with China then so be it! Our priority should be protecting our water bodies and not thinking of a strained relation with China.

THIS is where Today agrees with the President and Chairman of Groupe Nduom (GN), Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, when he makes the point that government must respond to the letter from the Chinese Embassy. And like Dr. Nduom pointed out on his weekend Ghana Great and Strong programme, government’s deafening silence on the said letter to the ministry of lands and natural resources was not helping matters. Alas the ministry information has come out strongly to respond to the Chinese mission letter. We hope the Chinese will understand and appreciate our efforts to end Galamsey!

WITH government’s reaction we hope it is now clear to the Chinese that the fight against Galamsey will continue unabated and that the law will deal with anybody found culpable—be it Chinese national or not. Pure and simple!

Source: todaygh.com
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