Apr 30, 2019 News
The US Embassy in Georgetown yesterday issued a stinging rebuke of the National Assembly’s motion last Friday, which paid tribute to the late Member of Parliament (MP) Abdul Kadir’s service to the Parliament of Guyana.
In its statement, the embassy said that the resolution was insensitive and thoughtless, and would leave a stain on the legacy of the country’s law-makers. However, the Government of Guyana, in a statement hours later, said it is all a big misunderstanding…that is a tradition in the National Assembly to honour Members of Parliament who have passed away.
The motion was presented by former Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Valerie Patterson-Yearwood.
The statement from the US Embassy said it is condemning the resolution by the National Assembly, reportedly honouring the life and work of convicted terrorist Kadir.
Kadir, who was 66 when he died in a US prison last year, was sentenced to life by a court after being found guilty of plotting a 2007 terrorist attack at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
“Members of the National Assembly, therefore, chose to honor a man who conspired to kill innocent people from ac
ross the United States and around the world. This resolution is an insensitive and thoughtless act, which demonstrates the National Assembly’s disregard for the gravity of Kadir’s actions,” the US Embassy said.
The embassy pointed out that while speaking at an International Peace Conference recently, U.S. Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch held up Guyana as “a model to the world on religious tolerance and understanding.”
The National Assembly’s resolution of April 26 would draw into question that reputation, said the embassy.
“It also comes on the heels of Guyana’s historic cooperation with the United States on the extradition of an alleged murderer. Members of Parliament have placed this resolution in direct contradiction to the efforts of security cooperation between our two countries.”
According to the embassy, with this resolution, honouring a convicted terrorist, members of Guyana’s National Assembly have left a stain on their legacy as representatives of the Guyanese people and on their commitment to the rule of law.
However, according to the Government statement, it is clear that the motion in the National Assembly
“It is well known that there is a time-honoured convention of the National Assembly to observe, in a standard and solemn form, the work of former members who are deceased. The observance of this tradition has never been selective, and has included, over the decades, persons of all political parties and persuasions who served in the National Assembly.”
Government said that it regrets the interpretation given to the motion passed in the National Assembly on April 26 on the death of Kadir.
“The Government of Guyana asserts that it had no intention of conveying the impression that the motion was designed to honour a former MP convicted of terrorism in another jurisdiction. The motion recognises the member’s service as a parliamentarian.”
The statement also stressed that the Government of Guyana continues to condemn terrorism in the strongest possible way.
“The Government of Guyana reaffirms its commitment to continue and intensify the fight against terrorism in any form and is proud of its record to date in this regard.”
Below, for clarity, is the motion as passed by the National Assembly:
SYMPATHY ON THE DEATH OF MR. ABDUL KADIR, FORMER MEMBER OF PARLIAMENTBE IT RESOLVED: That this National Assembly records its deep regret on the death of Mr. Abdul Kadir, on 28th June, 2018, and pays tribute to his dedicated service to the Parliament of Guyana as a Member of Parliament where he served in the Eighth Parliament, from 17th April, 2001 to 2nd May, 2006, and to the people of Guyana;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That the National Assembly directs that an expression of its sympathy be conveyed to his sorrowing widow, children and relatives.
(Notice Paper No. 180 (M 127 Govt 68) published on 2018-12-13)
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