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Mr. Rayale’s Visits: Are They Photo Opportunities Or A Real Diplomatic Work
Photo opportunities is an occasion that lends itself to (or is deliberately arranged for) taking photographs that provide favorable publicity for those who are photographed. The phrase is usually thought of in a political sense, relating to politicians who do things such as plant trees, pick up litter, and visit senior citizens, often during election cycles, with the intent of photographers catching the events on film, generating good publicity.
One attribute of photo opportunities, which differentiates the photo opportunities, from a news conference, is that no questions are permitted to be asked of the subject. Thus, photo ops are often criticized as being a method by which the politician or other photo-op subject avoids having to answer potentially embarrassing questions from the news media, or to respond to potentially embarrassing situations.
In recent years, political photo opportunities have become quite elaborate and some can have extremely high budgets.
In 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush landed in a fighter jet on an aircraft carrier as part of a photo opportunities leading up to his announcement of the end of major combat in the War on Iraq. Bush also covertly traveled to Iraq to greet U.S. troops on Thanksgiving in 2003. Although the trip may have been risky or even courageous, it is also accurately described as photo opportunities because reporters were not permitted access to the President or any of his senior advisers.
Publicity is the deliberate attempt to manage the public's perception of a subject. The subjects of publicity include people (for example, politicians and performing artists), goods and services, organizations of all kinds, and works of art or entertainment. From a marketing perspective, publicity is one component of promotion. The other elements of the promotional mix are advertising, sales promotion, and personal selling. Promotion is one component of marketing.
But while President Bush right or wrong might have been doing what he thought as invading Iraq was an American interest, Rayale might be on a mission of personal interest.
President Rayale has made many visits to countries around the world with the view that he will bring back hope, prosperity and possibly recognition for Somaliland. But some Somaliland politicians view those visits differently. They are claiming that the President is doing all this for his own advantage rather than for Somaliland.
On the other hand, Mr. Rayale is defending himself by accusing the opposition leaders of not having a good alternative government to the current administration. He also criticized the opposition parties’ lack of vision and creativity.
He is shrewd at using the media to push his image as modern politician ready to breathe life into Somaliland’s hidebound political system, and he has faced accusations that he place style and image over substance. Quoting from one of the opposition leaders who said about the President, he only knows how to board a plane.
The public watches his smallest actions and gestures, because he uses his abroad visits as a political weapon with such mastery."
The Somaliland media has traditionally been discreet about covering politicians' private lives, steering clear of sensitive issues and sparing them the relentless attention faced by his political counterparts in Britain, South Africa, Germany, Norway and Belgium. These are all countries that the president had visited. While visiting these countries the President had courted companies and private businessmen without the knowledge of his entourage and accompanying ministers.
His world is so secret that sometimes there are reported incidents of quarrel between him and the first lady while on these visits. So I think it is high time for Somaliland media to investigate what is going on behind the scene of these visits and what are these quarrels about. As unanimously sometimes quoted from some of his cronies, these quarrels are all about investments and deposits around world.
In all these visits of president Rayale the primary benefactor was just him not Somaliland as whole, this is because he has entered into agreements with private businessmen, he has had health checks, he became a shareholder of private companies in Norway and in South Africa through third parties and he exchanged illegal fishing boat crews with large sump of money.
No real surprise that after almost four years, this Government of middle-management still has no coherent foreign policy and will doubtless only spring into action when the clock is at five to twelve. Four years in office and still two years remaining of his tenure, he is hoping to increase his chances for re-election in the midst of corruption, controversial laws, poverty, high unemployment, quarter of Somaliland’s territory occupied by enemies, low military morale and without Education and Health policies.
And again this current visit might be another publicity seeking stunt. While he will also have his follow-up check of his teeth in Germany, the President said just before departing from Hargeysa that USA is part of his tour, but embarrassingly said he was invited by a group of youth who have last year invited opposition parties as well.
On the home front, the appointed peers will remain tainted by recent extension of tenure which president Rayale did it deliberately to undermine the authority of the lower house, and while the elected members will be left with the difficult task of convincing the public that they are worth voting for, president Rayale is adamant to stick to the extension of the elders time in office.