The progressive People’s Party (PPP), has described as undiplomatic the tone of a letter addressed to the government by the Chinese Mission in Ghana on the illegal mining menace in the country.
The party said the contents of the letter was an affront to Ghana’s sovereignty and must be disregarded.
The Chinese mission in Ghana over the weekend issued a strongly-worded letter to Ghana’s Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, over Ghana’s fight against illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey.
The mission in its letter expressed anger at the manner in which Ghana is dealing with the issue of illegal mining and has criticized the media for targeting China in their reportage on the matter.
It said if nothing changes about the nature of campaigns against illegal mining in the country, bilateral relations between Ghana and China would be affected.
It also served a strong caution to the Government that “it will be extremely harmful to the bilateral relations” between the two countries if there are reports of a casualty during the arrest of Chinese involved in illegal mining in Ghana.”
The Mission said the government must minimize the mass arrest of illegal miners and deal with culprits on individual basis.
Campaigns against illegal mining in the country have in the last few months intensified with Citi FM championing a #StopGalamseyNow campaign, that is gaining momentum, rallying various stakeholders to address the menace which has left devastating effects on the country’s environment.
Evidence from media reports and CSOs, including police arrests, suggest the high involvement of Chinese in the activities, but according to the Chinese mission in the country, its [Chinese] government attaches great importance to the illegal mining issue, and is firmly against the involvement of Chinese in illegal mining in Ghana.
The Chairman of the PPP, Nii Allotey Brew-Hammond, said the government must indicate to the Mission that it cannot dictate to the country how it must approach the fight against galamsey.
“It was not very diplomatic. They have channels to our government. And for them to write a letter and have it out in the public, I believe it is a sign of disrespect to our government and our government should take it as such that a letter is coming from an Embassy telling them what to do and what not to do. I believe that we should not take that letter seriously, but we should let them know that they have erred.”
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana