6 September 2018
I, Kenton X. Chance, journalist and executive editor of iWitness News, would like to categorically deny reports repeatedly broadcast on WE FM last week, that I journeyed to the People’s Republic of China, as a public relations and translation attaché for a St. Vincent and the Grenadines politician.
The facts are as follows:
I accepted an invitation from the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) to attend their “International Leadership Conference” in Seoul, South Korea from 27-29 August 2018.
As a consequence of this, I left St. Vincent and the Grenadines on 23 August 2018 and return on 31 August 2018.
In order to reach my destination, I travelled to Barbados, New York, and Guangzhou (in southern China). The organisers met the full cost of air travel, ground transportation in South Korea, hotel accommodation and food during the conference. I personally funded, from my own resources, all additional costs, including meals during layovers. I received no payment or reward for attending the conference and I was not asked or otherwise encouraged, before, during, or after the conference, to write or otherwise publish anything about the event.
At no point during my trip did I have cause to speak Mandarin Chinese — a language in which I happen to be fluent — except to purchase food and ask about the locations of stores in the airport terminal during my layovers in China.
I attended no meetings except for the sessions that were part of the conference in South Korea. I made absolutely no interventions during the conference. At the end of the conference, I interviewed two persons, a Christian cleric from Barbados, and a Senator from Haiti, and used the material to produce an article, “When a controversial group pursues a noble ideal”, published on the iWitness News website on 5 September 2018. This article was not vetted by anyone before publication.
Politicians, clergy from various religions (Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism), social actors, and media from around the world attended the conference.
The conference was also attended by Roland “Patel” Matthews, the Member of Parliament for North Leeward in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
He was among delegates that travelled on the same flights as I did and, at in the airport terminal in China I offered to use Mandarin Chinese to help him to order food, a common courtesy that I would have attended to anyone else, and especially to a fellow Vincentian.
This was the second such conference by the UPF that I have attended, the first being in 2009 in Taiwan, when I was a student there. Several other students from my university (most of whom were not journalism of communications students) also attended that conference.
I consider the claim that I had travelled to China as an attaché to a politician to be malicious and intended solely to try to discredit me as an independent-minded journalist.
As a journalist, my profession has taken me to conferences across the world, many of which were attended by government ministers from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I do not recall any claims being made in the past that I had travelled as a press attaché to any of these government ministers, many of whom I have interviewed and written about during those conferences.
I trust that those who have been providing misinformation to the public will proceed to make the necessary corrections now that they are in possession of the facts. This statement is also intended to inform other media outlets and professionals of the facts.
Kenton X. Chance
Journalist & Communications Specialist
Email: [email protected]
You well know that there has been an ongoing attempt for years to label you as a political partisan beguiled or employed by of one party or the other because our people have been so captured by the evil force called “party loyalty” that it is virtually impossible for them to believe that “journalistic independence” is nothing more than an oxymoron.
That half your readers believe that you are “red” and the other half that you are “yellow” speaks volumes to your integrity as an unbiased reporter and intepreter of all things Vincentian.
Keep up the excellent work and never forget that the truth — and only the truth — shall set our minds free from bias, narrowmindedness, pettines, spite, and victimization.
FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
While ‘…thoughts are corrupt; …minds become warped’ and the
…mouths spew corruptible speeches.
Other than the expressed thoughts, never know what is being conjured up in
minds ‘…saturated with suspicion, belief and speculation.’ That is human nature.
The late Leonard ‘Tim’ Hector, ‘…slightly leftist,’ founder of the African
and Caribbean Liberation Movement (ACLM) once travelled with rival
former Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister to Tripoli on Government business.
More recently former Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Minister Asot Michael reportedly
travelled to India [Times Caribbean: 2012] with former St. Kitts Prime Minister Dr. Denzil
Douglas as part of his delegation.’
In these instances, it was about the national interests of both States .
In Kenton Chance’s case, if he did not refute or seek to dispel rumors, it would simply
be ‘ …Freedom of Association.’
The SVG Constitution provides for such [Section 11].
There shall be no need to play ‘…Hide and Seek.’
In whatever way, those with the capacity ‘…must always endeavor to play a role in the
national life.’ In true democracies, it is about ‘…nationalism and patriotism.’
keep them guessing, but keep visitors to your website informed.
As thought-provoking as his commentaries are sometimes, follow the urging of C. ben-David..
Mr Chance, you had to do it – categorically deny the report. But it was a pointless exercise. The pointlessness which can be explained by a critical error – yes critical – you made in your final paragraph.
They were not providing misinformation. They were spreading disinformation.
It means that they will be coming at you again.
These so called “leadership training courses” are one of the many divisive tactics used by the neo-colonialist to continue to manipulate and divide oppressed peoples, and is a real fundamental characteristic of oppressive cultural action.
In his “Pedagogy Of The Oppressed” the writer and revolutionary thinker and teacher Paulo Freire outlines that “…These leadership courses are based on the naive assumption that one can promote the community by training its leaders; as if it’s the part that promotes the whole and not the whole which, in being promoted, promotes the part.
Those members of the communities who show sufficient leadership capacities to be chosen for these courses necessarily reflect and express the aspirations of the individuals of their community. They are in harmony with the way of living and thinking about reality, which characterizes their comrades…
As soon as they complete the course and return to the community with resources they did not formerly possess, they either use these resources to control the submerged and dominated consciousness of their comrades, or they become strangers in their own communities and their former leadership position is thus threatened. In order not to lose their leadership status, they will probably tend to continue manipulating the community, but in a more efficient manner.”
I thought I’d just mention that in passing, as I reflect on my personal knowledge and my understanding of these so-called “leadership training courses.”
Your argument, if true, applies even more so to all the leadership and other training seminars, conferences, workshops, and courses our civil servants, high and low, are engaged in on a non-stop basis sponsored and paid for by all manner of hegemonic foreign governments aimed at controlling the minds of our people.
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