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Reacting to information disgraced Guyana High Commissioner to India, Mr. Charrandass Persaud is still at his post despite President Irfaan Ali’s announcement on October 26 he was recalled, Shadow Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr. Roysdale Forde SC, is calling on the president to come clean. “President Ali is withholding information from the Guyanese people and this is unacceptable.”
The Alliance For Change (AFC) Tuesday released a statement, accompanied by an invitation as proof Persaud is still at his post and will be a “Guest of Honour” at the India Economic Trade Organisation’s (IETO) reception on Friday, November 25, 2022. The IETO is an official organ of the Government of India.
“Charrandass Persaud should no longer be seen as the face of Guyana in India.” I am appalled the government is not treating the matter dire enough or Persaud’s conduct egregious enough to have had his presence removed from the public spotlight forthwith, said Forde.
According to the shadow minister the nation is owed and deserves the truth surrounding Persaud, his presence still in India, and evidence the India authorities conducted a thorough investigation into the matter between Ms. Sonya Ghosh and Persaud and the findings of assault are without merit.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hugh Todd dismissed the AFC’s November 23 statement. According to Todd “Mr. Persaud is not performing the functions of the High Commissioner to India… he cannot represent Guyana in the High Commissioner capacity.”
The ministry told Stabroek News Persaud is wrapping up logistical issues before returning home. In response to this, Forde said nothing the government says could be taken at face value given they have a credibility problem.
A senior foreign service officer told Village Voice were Persaud recalled forthwith he would not have been the face of the government. Also, the officer advised, there would have been a national advisory who is functioning as Head of Mission until a substantive appointment is made.
Forde said somebody is lying to the nation. He asserted, “it is baffling to any civic minded person why a person who was caught abusing a resident in India, and whom the President informed the nation was recalled from his post in India, is still in place there as Guyana’s High Commissioner and remains its public face there!”
Responding to the question, “In such a situation what the people of India would think of the Government and People of Guyana,” Forde said “crass, crude, uncultured buffoons with no culture and sense of decency.” They must be wondering if Charrandass Persaud is the best we can offer as Guyanese, he declared.
Back in October when the story broke, Forde demanded the government “release the report Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hugh Todd is referring to that claimed the India authorities said Ms. Ghosh’s complaint has not been substantiated.” The report is yet to be made public.
President Al’s in his October 26 address said Persaud and him “agreed” to the recall. The president’s comment followed Todd’s statement on October 25 Ghosh’s complaint was unsubstantiated.
Forde, however, pointed out when the president said there was an agreement with him and Persaud on his recall, it suggested Persaud is being removed because he created some bad publicity. “One would have imagined were Persaud recalled, indeed, whilst he remains in India to wrap up his departure, the Government of Guyana would have made sure he kept a low profile. But as far as the PPP is concerned, the matter isn’t egregious enough and hasn’t created embarrassment for the host country and Guyana.”
“The evidence is documented of Persaud’s behaviour towards Ms. Ghosh which remains unacceptable to say the least. Yet he is the guest of honour at a government event. This is like sticking our finger up in the face of the people of India.” The PPP government must come clean on this matter, reiterated Forde.
Guyanese clamoured for Persaud’s recall after a video (which can be seen below) of him assaulting Indian environmentalist and Associate Professor Ghosh went viral on October 25.
Ghosh in her compliant to the New Delhi police stated “The sheer vulgarity and obscenity of the words spoken along with the intimidating hand gestures and the body posture of the harasser, as can be seen in the video, is a clear sign of the intent of the harasser to outrage the modesty of the undersigned. Further, the words spoke, alone amount to sexual harassment from a bare perusal of the aforementioned provisions of Indian Penal Code, 1860.”
Persaud’s behaviour was widely considered to bring disrepute not only to the Office of High Commissioner, but Guyana and women around the world.