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The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) in a statement yesterday said former Staff Sergeant Ubraj Narine was disembodied from the Guyana National Reserve of the Guyana Defence Force, with effect from Tuesday December 13, 2022 for conduct ‘Unbecoming of a soldier.” Pt. Ubraj Narine is Mayor of Georgetown
But attorney-at-law Roysdale Forde, SC who is representing the mayor in cybercrime charges brought against him- and Member of Parliament Sherrod Duncan- said the army’s decision is ill-conceived.
According to Forde, the mayor was not on active military duty and therefore cannot be disembodied.
A former senior military officer corroborated Forde’s statement and told this publication embodiment refers to the period of active duty and given the mayor was not on embodiment (active duty) the cannot be disembodied.
According to the officer the government is stepping on dangerous grounds and this is the first time he has heard the Army, that should be non-political, has allowed itself to be used for partisan political purposes.
Further, it was advised if a reservist is deemed unsuitable for duty he/she will not be summoned. Reservists are governed by military law and regulations during the period of embodiment (active military duty).
However, according to the army because Narine on Monday December 12, 2022, was allegedly “engaged in a civil protest action during which he uttered words that are considered to have promoted racial and religious intolerance, as well as political dissonance.”
The army has accused Ubraj of making several disparaging comments against President Irfaan, Commander in Chief and his government. And according to the army, as a member of the GDF, albeit Regular or Reserve, Narine is required to conduct himself in a manner that upholds the professional image and integrity of the Force.
“Members of the Force ‘Regular and Reserve,’ are required to adhere to the policies, regulations and protocols of the Force; the Values and Standards of the Guyana Defence Force are examples of such. These require, among others, adherence to Core values such as Discipline, Integrity and Loyalty.
“Similarly, it requires members of the Force to adhere to core standards such as Responsibility, Respect for the law, Respect for others, Correct Conduct and Appropriate Social Behaviour
“Mr Ubraj Narine’s conduct on Monday December 12, 2022 violated the above mentioned and others.
Both Forde and the retired officer concluded the army’s action smacks of political interference. The officer told Village Voice he is very disappointed in Prime Minister Mark Phillips, who as a former Chief of Staff, should not have allowed the army to sully its good name.
Technically, Ubraj remains a reservist, the officer said.