For­eign Min­istry writes Cana­dian High Com­mis­sion on ‘pro­to­col breaches’ over Char­ran­dass Per­saud

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The Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs has con­firmed that it has for­mally ap­proached the Cana­dian High Com­mis­sion in Ge­orge­town seek­ing an ex­pla­na­tion in re­la­tion to what it said was cer­tain breaches of pro­to­col by one of its diplo­mats, who es­corted APNU+AFC par­lia­men­tar­ian Char­ran­dass Per­saud to a flight leav­ing the coun­try on De­cem­ber 22nd.

A re­lease is­sued by the min­istry yes­ter­day said that in keep­ing with nor­mal diplo­matic pro­ce­dures, a Note was dis­patched on Jan­uary 7th to the High Com­mis­sion and meet­ings were sub­se­quently held on Wed­nes­day and yes­ter­day with Cana­dian High Com­mis­sioner Lil­ian Chat­ter­jee.

The min­istry said it “is duty bound to seek clar­i­fi­ca­tion on re­ports of breaches of diplo­matic pro­to­col by a for­eign mis­sion. This process is on­go­ing and the min­istry is work­ing with the Cana­dian High Com­mis­sion to en­sure that the mat­ter reaches a sat­is­fac­tory con­clu­sion.”

The min­istry has not re­leased the text of the note de­liv­ered to the High Com­mis­sion.

A state­ment is­sued on Jan­uary 7th by Ogle Air­port Inc (OAI), in re­sponse to me­dia re­ports, the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the air­port said Per­saud, who was a pas­sen­ger on an out­go­ing LIAT flight on the morn­ing of De­cem­ber 22nd, 2018, was ac­com­pa­nied by Mr. Richard Be­liv­eau, Mis­sion Se­cu­rity Of­fi­cer of the High Com­mis­sion of Canada, to­gether with Mr. Pe­ter Ram­sa­roop.

“Mr. Be­liv­eau pre­sented him­self and his Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs ID Card to the Air­port Duty Of­fi­cer and re­quested a pass to ac­com­pany a pas­sen­ger to the air­craft. Mr. Pe­ter Ram­sa­roop also re­quested a pass say­ing he was part of Mr. Be­liv­eau’s party. The Air­port Duty Of­fi­cer, in ac­cor­dance with an es­tab­lished cour­tesy prac­tice as is re­quested by the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs ex­tended to diplo­matic per­son­nel, granted a Pro­to­col pass to both per­sons. The passes were duly re­turned in ex­change for their re­spec­tive ID doc­u­ments on their de­par­ture from the Air­port.

“Both Mr. Be­liv­eau and Mr. Ram­sa­roop, as well as Mr. Cha­ran­dass Per­saud, were sub­jected to full and com­plete screen­ing be­fore en­ter­ing the De­par­ture Lounge in ac­cor­dance with the re­quire­ments of the Avi­a­tion Se­cu­rity Pro­gramme ap­proved by the Guyana Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity,” the state­ment ex­plained.

It is cus­tom­ary for per­sons in any coun­try to reach out to their diplo­matic rep­re­sen­ta­tives for a range of con­sular as­sis­tance. In this case, Per­saud, a cit­i­zen of Canada trav­el­ling on a Cana­dian pass­port, said that he felt he was in grave dan­ger af­ter vot­ing on De­cem­ber 21st in the Na­tional As­sem­bly with the op­po­si­tion PPP/C on a mo­tion of no-con­fi­dence against the APNU+AFC gov­ern­ment. His vote re­sulted in the mo­tion of no-con­fi­dence suc­ceed­ing, thereby trig­ger­ing the hold­ing of new elec­tions within three months.

Since Per­saud’s vote, he has been tar­geted by the gov­ern­ment and its agen­cies on sev­eral fronts. His be­ing es­corted through the Ogle air­port is now the sub­ject of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. He has also been ac­cused of be­ing in­volved in bribery and this is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the po­lice. The gov­ern­ment has also lodged a court case say­ing that he was in­el­i­gi­ble to vote on the mo­tion by virtue of his Cana­dian cit­i­zen­ship.

Char­ran­dass Per­saud

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