PERMANENT SECRETARY in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Ambassador Paul Robotham has said behind-the-scenes diplomacy by the ministry resulted in the withdrawal of an offensive advertisement by a German company which depicted the desecration of the Jamaican flag.
Quiet and non-combative
He said the apology tendered by the company, Saturn, was a direct result of a "quiet, non-combative diplomatic way which has secured the outcome we desired."
Raymond Pryce, member of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee, on Wednesday asked Robotham to respond to public perception that the ministry was late off the mark in addressing the issue which became the subject of intense public debate.
Robotham said the ministry's efforts to resolve the issue was "best achieved tactfully, strategically and applying tact and intelligence to the conduct of relations between states, which may or may not involve the media".
However, committee chairman Edmund Bartlett was not convinced that it was the ministry's direct intervention alone that triggered the outcome.
"At very best, the argument could be advanced that a subsequent diplomatic effort resulted in a conclusion, which we are all very pleased about, but that indeed the ministry was very slow in taking off on the matter," Bartlett said.
Lloyd B Smith, in his comments, said he found it "strange" that while the country focused on the flag furore in Germany, the Jamaican flag was being desecrated locally, and he had not seen any efforts to deal with it.