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Sehon Xandra Marshall

Former diplomats Sehon Marshall, left, and his wife, Xandra Marshall.

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The Vincentian diplomat designate who was punched in the mouth by her husband — a Vincentian diplomat — at their New York home in late November has had her employment offer by the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) withdrawn.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, however, told the media on Tuesday that he did not think that Xandra Marshall had been made a victim yet again after the domestic violence incident.

“No, not at all,” he said in response to another question after he told the media that his government did not sign a contract with Mrs. Marshall after the incident.

He said that decision was informed by “a number of matters”.

“Matters in which I am not going into,” Gonsalves told the media.

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“It was felt [to be] best for the Foreign Service and in particular the Consulate not to go through with the appointment,” the prime minister said.

“She is not made a victim in that regard. That is a decision which the state took in relation to how it perceived the interest of the Foreign Service,” Gonsalves said.

Mrs Marshall had been on the job as Deputy Consul General at Kingstown’s consulate in New York for one week when she called police in the North American city after the brawl with her husband during the pre-dawn hours of Nov. 24, 2017.

After the fiasco, both she and her husband, Sehon Marshall, a counselor at the SVG Permanent Mission to the United Nations, were ordered not to return to work.

Mr. Marshall was recalled and later resigned his post, bringing to an end his career as a diplomat, which began in November 2014, when he was appointed to the position that his wife later filled.

Asked at the press conference what was Mrs. Marshall’s employment status with his government, Gonsalves reiterated Mrs. Marshall’s employment status at the time of the incident.

He said she had been offered employment as Deputy Consul General by way of a Cabinet decision.

“No contract was signed. We did not get around yet to inform the American government that Mrs. Marshall was appointed the Deputy Consul General,” the prime minister said.

“I didn’t even know, I must tell you this, that the ministry had, on the basis of the Cabinet decision — but without the contract signed, the permanent secretary had told her to go to work because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, officials from the accounting division, were in North America, as they do from time to time, to talk to the staff about the Financial Administration Act, the regulations under all the accounting standards which they have to meet and rule so that we will have proper accounting and transparency and everything else.”

The prime minister said that Mrs. Marshall “was invited in to be there” when the foreign affairs officials were in New York.

“So her contract was not signed either by us or by herself before this incident arose, nor was the State Department informed that she was appointed to the position of Deputy consul general.

“So all that the ministry did was to inform her that they would no longer be signing the contract and they just didn’t inform the US authorities.

“In short, she is not employed with the government,” Gonsalves said.

5 replies on “Decision to contract new diplomat reversed after abuse (+Video)”

  1. Tell me, had this incident not occurred would the contract still not have been signed? If the contract would have been signed had this incident not occurred, then this is clearly a case of woman being victimized, not only by her husband who allegedly beat her up, but by the state of SVG because she reported the incident to the police thereby bringing shame to our little country.

    I rest my case.

  2. It is clear that this couple had a misunderstanding which escalated; but the matrimonial status as SVG diploma to America would reflect them as husband and wife. So it is inappropriate for the SVG government (or any Government for that matter), to recall only one of the couple as nothing has legally been filed for the other.

    We all would agree that the foreign affairs ministry should not operate as a family business. Mr and Mrs Marshall are a couple and they have to get their personal problem resolved, should they chose to issue legal separation papers? It is not for the SVG government to maneuver the separation of couples appointed as Diplomat.

    I do hope that the SVG Government have learnt from this and avoid doing these foreign job placements by word of mouth. In addition, there is no policy establishes that if one member of a couple is a Diplomat; the other has to be employed within our SVG government’s foreign offices. These are the favoritism that continues to cause conflict within our Foreign affairs Ministry, creating estranges marriages. Just take an assessment and you will identify the facts in support of my comment as it relates to this matter.

    I support the decision of the Government in refraining from pursuing the contract, stepping back and allow this couple to sort out their personal problems, which has again created more embarrassment within our Foreign Affairs Ministry. Unfortunately seem to have become a common practice in some of our Diplomats failing to make up proud.

  3. Kenton, the word “alleged” seems to have been omitted from your article. I know most reputable media housed, erring on the side of caution has ensured they included this word but nope, not you. If I was Mr. Marshall, I would have sued you.

    The bigger news outlet did it but really did I expect better from a commess driven, refuse to fact check blog?

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