From the Editor’s Keyboard

SLPP Goes International

3 July 2006 at 02:45 | 361 views

Victor Reider(photo), the ruling SLPP’s National Pubicity Secretary gives a blow by blow account of a recent visit to Sierra Leone by some top officials of the Communist Party of China. China is one of the major providers of development assistance to Sierra Leone.

By Victor Reider, Guest Writer

June 27, 2006 was a big day for the leadership and members of the Sierra Leone Party’s (SLPP) with the arrival of a powerful six man Chinese delegation led by Hon Ma Wenpu, Vice President of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) and former Deputy Secretary General of the CPC.

This visit is a return visit to the SLPP delegation that was in China in April this year less than two months ago. You will recall that this high level seven man delegation was headed by the National Chairman OF the SLPP Alhaji UNS Jah and during that visit, very fruitful deliberations were held during which some very useful conclusions were reached including the current return visit.

The delegation, upon arrival, was received at the airport by the Hon. Victor Reider, National Publicity Secretary and the Head of Political Affairs at the Chinese Embassy here in Freetown among others. They were treated to a lavish cultural display at the Helipad where the rest of a cross section of the Party’s leadership led by the National Chairman was waiting to welcome Hon Ma Wenpu and delegation. After the traditional masked devil parade at the Helipad, the delegation was driven in state to the Hotel Bintumani where they spent two days while they were here.

True Friends

On the first day of their visit, they have been able to have audience with the Hon Vice President Solomon Berewa who was also in China Less than two months when he went on a working trip as guest of the Chinese Government.

At the meeting with the Hon. Vice President, Hon Ma Wenpu noted that November this year will mark the 50th anniversary of the relationship of China with Africa. And at the same time this year we shall celebrate 10 years of the relations between the SLPP and the CPC. He emphasized that they in China cherish this relationship because it has been the bed rock of the inter-state relationship between our two States.

He spoke very highly about the role that the President and people played in enabling the relationship between China and neighboring Liberia in the pursuit of a one China policy. And that today this effort has borne fruit, evidence of the fact that his delegation is coming from Liberia and will be going to Cape Verde via Senegal.

At this point, the Leader of the Chinese delegation stressed the interest that they have in Africa on the basis of mutual respect in inter-state relationships. He went on further to say that the relationship between the two countries continue to grow from strength to strength in spite of the changing World.

At the Presidential Lodge, the Chairman who led the delegation briefed H.E the President about the visit of the SLPP delegation to China in April at the invitation of the Communist Party of China and that the six man delegation was here to return the said visit.

H.E the President, after attentively listening to the head of the team, spoke about the commitment that Africa in general and Sierra Leone in particular has to China as was demonstrated by the support that China received from Sierra Leone at the United Nations when China was to have become member of the UN Human Rights Commission and how instrumental he personally was to encourage Liberia to give up Taiwan for a one China policy. Thus confirming the Vice President’s earlier submission.

He spoke about the challenges that we are faced with as a people in our reconstruction effort. To this end, he called on Hon Ma Wenpu to convey our need for the construction of the BEKONGOK hydroelectric power plant, which process he said has already commenced but that it should be expedited. Dr Ahmad Tejan Kabbah also intimated the head of the delegation that this project will benefit the neighboring countries such as Guinea and Liberia and that it will go a long way in consolidating the China/Liberia relationship. In a related development, the delegation visited the cement factory and Fourah Bay College.

Hon Victor REIDER
National Publicity Secretary