The article published by The Shift and re-published by Yumi Toktok Stret criticizing Ni-Vanuatu Foreign Affairs advisor Shiv Shankaran Nair as being blacklisted twice by World Bank has prompted him to write the ‘right to reply’ below.
Thank You for giving me the right to reply on an article you published linked to a scurrilous blog post in Malta.
It is true that twenty years ago, I was given an administrative ban by the World Bank, based on their allegation that I had been a non executive director of a company which had participated in a cartel on a tender. I have always denied the allegation and the fact remains that the Bank had no evidence that would have stood up in a court of law, and therefore avoided every legal challenge citing diplomatic immunity. When you are young, you shrug of these challenges and proceed with life, little was I to know that twenty years later they would be dredged up, not to attack me, but to attack the Prime Minister of Malta.
The last thirteen years I have lived in Malta, and my children grew up there and we consider it home. When a socialist government came to power after almost twenty years of rightwing rule, I tried to help using my contacts and relationships to bring investments into the country I called home. This resulted in a relentless and personal attack by rightwing opposition bloggers, who were angry that I was helping a government they saw as “the enemy”. It was then that this story of my ban by the Bank twenty years ago was brought out and paraded as “evidence” that the Prime Minister of Malta was corrupt, as he had asked my help. The point is that eventhough English is a rich language, how many different ways can you repeat the same story?. The opposition bloggers have maintained a relentless attack on the government, eventhough the PM has been returned to power by the largest majority ever recorded in Maltese history.
I first interacted with Vanuatu when Mr. Edward Natapei reached out to seek a personal introduction to the then President of Georgia, Misha Sakashvilli, after Vanuatu’s disastrous recognition of the breakaway Republic of Abkhazia. This resulted in a huge amount of Western pressure on Vanuatu. Misha Sakhashvilli had been a former employee of mine in Georgia, prior to winning a Muskie scholarship and going to the US, so I managed to link Mr.Natapei and Misha, and the issue was solved to everyone’s satisfaction. During this time, I made a lot of Ni Vanuatu friends and established relationships in Vanuatu, which have strengthened over time. A few years ago I took Vanuatu nationality and since the present government came to power, have tried my best to use my global relationships to benefit my adopted country. I worked hard to initiate the joint UK Vanuatu Campaign against plastics in the Ocean, as well as issues relating to Climate Change, Trade and support in our fight to have a Standard of Vulnerability Index.
I do all of this in my time and at my expense. When Malta became the first European country to enact legislation to regulate blockchain, I had the organizers of the biggest blockchain conference to invite a Vanuatu delegation. The Maltese PM met the Vanautu Minister as did the Maltese Regulator. Both pledged assistance to Vanuatu in regulating crypto currencies and the blockchain.
Again, the Maltese bloggers who hate the government have tried to link me and the allegations about my past to try and throw mud at the success of what they see as an “enemy” government.
This is not going to stop me trying to do my best for my adopted country. These racist Maltese elite, think that any black or brown person who has done well must have done something wrong. I can say, hand on heart that no accusation or judgment has ever been made in any civil or criminal court anywhere in the world against me. My worst transgressions have been an unpaid parking ticket and a point on my license for speaking on my mobile while driving in London. As for my so called links to The Chinese Government, I wont even credit it with a reply, except to say that there are very few successful businessmen anywhere in the world who have not dealt with the Chinese.
Shiv Shankaran Nair is currently the Chairman Emeritus of Suez Holdings and Vanuatu’s Envoy Extraordinary to The Commonwealth in London.
His background is in Financial Engineering and Government Advisory roles. He is also recognized as a leading practitioner of Conflict Resolution and Consensus Building among Sovereign states
Mr.Nair has spent the past twenty years in putting together some of the most iconic infrastructure projects in Africa and Latin America, using Chinese Exim credits, so much so, that the Economist magazine once dubbed him “China’s secret weapon in Africa”.
As an entrepreneur he has set up, added value and sold several companies, especially in the “Economies in Transition”. He bought, developed and sold off British Borneo Petroleum, an old midcap oil company. In 1995. Along with two local partners he set up the first post-soviet insurance company in The Republic of Georgia, and in 2004, when it had become the largest independent insurer in Georgia, sold it to the Bank of Georgia.
He has acted as advisor on FDI, National Strategic Planning and Financial Engineering to the Governments of Nigeria, Ghana, Soviet Central Asian Republics, Vanuatu and Malta,
As a specialist in National Conflict Resolution and Consensus Building, Mr.Nair was called upon to attend the Somali Round Table, representing a major Middle Eastern Country. He also acted as mediator between the Government of Niger and major Chinese Oil Company in the dispute on the Agadem block, and represented another Chinese oil major in their negotiations with the Kurdish Regional Government.
In 2013, he was appointed as Special Envoy of the Government of Vanuatu to initiate talks between Vanuatu and the Republic of Georgia on the issue of the de-recognition of the breakaway republic of Abkhazia.
In 2016,The newly elected Government of Vanuatu appointed him their Trade Advisor for Europe, with a mandate to seek assistance to clean up Vanuatu’s offshore banking, gaming and shipping sectors.
The untold stories of Shiv Shankaran Nair are on this blog here.