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UK envoy in Papua New Guinea has Indian lover

August 03, 2003 20:04 IST

Divorcing his longstanding wife, the British High Commissioner in Papua New Guinea, Simon Scaddan, who had earlier served in India, now has an Indian 'lifelong companion', Pablo Ganguli, a tabloid reported on Sunday.

Scaddan (59) met Ganguli (29) in 2000, when the young man was a student in Calcutta.

"He was, I would say, a very creative student. I met his parents and they approve of the relationship. He joined me here a year later and he has been an absolute bonus to my work, bringing his own amazing talents," Scaddan told The Mail.

The envoy has ended his 39-year-old marriage to Frances (59).

"The days when gays could be blackmailed are over," Scaddan told the tabloid at the high commissioner's residence in Papua's capital, Port Moresby.

"Most reasonable people have got used to the idea. Some have not. But they will need to," he said, adding that his ex-wife and two grown-up children had been very supportive about his coming out.

A spokesman of the foreign office said in London: "Today's foreign office increasingly reflects the UK's highly diverse society. We need to make sure our diplomats are true representatives of Britain."

According to the tabloid, Ganguli has resigned from Connect-UK, an organisation that introduces British arts and culture to Papua New Guinea, in anticipation of moving to Edinburgh when Scaddan retires there next year.

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