Dr. Chang: a fine diplomat - SoS Touray
Friday, May 02, 2008
Dr Omar Alieu Touray, the secretary of state for Foreign Affairs has said that Dr Patrick Chang, the outgoing Taiwanese Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Republic of Taiwan to the The Gambia, had during his three-year stay in The Gambia, demonstrated in many ways the qualities of a fine diplomat.
Addressing the State Banquet hosted by President Jammeh on Thursday night in honour of Dr Chang at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, SoS Touray paid homage to Dr Chang for his relentless efforts towards the socio-economic development of the country.
We reproduce the full text of SoS Touray's speech:
"We are gathered here this evening to bid farewell to our dear friend, His Excellency Dr. Patrick Chang, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of China to the Republic of The Gambia. We all know that sending off somebody always embodies two irreconcilable emotions.
On the one hand, you have the feeling of happiness for meeting and celebrating with friends; on the other hand, there is the feelings of sadness associated with parting. Our gathering this evening is no exception. While we are all happy to see each other again in this Jaama Hall, we cannot keep feeling sad at the thought that we are all parting with a friend who is so close to our hearts.
Previous speakers have said a lot. The Director of Press and Public Relations of the office of the President said what I wanted to say and so did Uncle Tapha Saine in his short intervention. All these go to bust some of the misconceptions about diplomats in general and ambassadors in particular. Believe you me, these misconceptions have a remote origin. For example, a 14th century British poet and diplomat had this to say about the ambassadors "An ambassador is an honest person sent abroad to lie for the good of his country".
Well I beg to differ, and I believe all the diplomats in this hall will agree with me. To me an ambassador is an honest person who builds bridges between his country and the host society, an agenda-setter, and an artist who transcends cultural boundaries.
Dr Chang is one such ambassador. Since his arrival in The Gambia in January 2005, has worked tirelessly to raise cooperation between The Gambia and Taiwan to a higher level. His sincerity, dedication and commitment have indeed boosted the Taiwanese-Gambian partnership which now covers all sectors of the Gambian economy, from agriculture to education, health infrastructure and culture.
Now Dr Chang is leaving at a time when Taiwan has become a household name in this country. This is largely due to the excellent relations The Gambia and Taiwan have forged over the years.
We do hope that in your new functions, you will continue to give adequate attention to the Gambia's relations with Taiwan. And we also hope we will see you here again in the near future.
With these few words, may I ask all of you to raise your glasses and drink to ambassador Chang's health.
Long live Gambian-Taiwanese relations. Thank you for your attention.