The recent announced shakeups in the Foreign Service would affect a few stalwarts of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR).
From reports, ‘Cammie’ Ramsaroop, a former Vice President under the PNCR and chairman of the party, and Clarissa Riehl, a former Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and a high-ranking party executive, are among the two names who will no longer be ambassadors.
The other ambassadors and representatives whose contracts will not be renewed are Bayney Karran, Hamley Case and Cheryl Miles.
Ramsaroop is the High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago; Miles is the Ambassador to Venezuela; Karran heads the embassy in China; while Case is the High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Riehl is the High Commissioner to Canada.
President David Granger had made it clear earlier this month that ambassadors and other representatives should be rotated and not be posted for prolonged periods on overseas missions.The shakeups came after the Ministry earlier this month confirmed a report by Kaieteur News that Director-General Audrey Jardine-Waddell will no longer be there and will be reassigned.
She is expected to be appointed an ambassador.
“The Government of Guyana has recently undertaken a number of administrative actions with a view to promoting greater efficiency in the discharge of the core mandate and essential functions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at a critical moment in the nation’s history,” the Foreign Ministry had said.
Among other things, the designation of Director-General will be replaced by that of Permanent Secretary, similar to what obtained in other ministries.
Charlene Phoenix, who joined the Ministry in 1996, was appointed as Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with effect from 2nd December 2019.
It was initially disclosed that Jardine-Waddell, who served as Director-General since 2015 when Elisabeth Harper stepped down to run as Prime Ministerial candidate for the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), has been transferred as part of a “rebalancing” of the ministry.
The Ministry had also announced that a decision has also been taken to bring an end to the services of a number of Heads of Missions, especially those who might have enjoyed an extended tenure of duty beyond the official limit.
“As it is well known, the tenure of an ambassador is approximately three to five years. However, for a variety of reasons and factors, some of our ambassadors have been abroad for as long as two decades.”
The decisions were taken, the ministry explained, because the situation has become an impediment to other younger and rising Foreign Service Officers whose performance and professional competence might require that they should be appointed to the summit of the Foreign Service.
On Friday, former Foreign Minister and now Foreign Secretary, Carl Greenidge, said a number of ambassadors will no longer be staff members of the ministry.
He said that most likely they will have to find other opportunities… other jobs.
With regards to Miles, Greenidge said that her contract has been terminated and the ambassador has been instructed to wrap-up at the end of December.
Her termination would come as Guyana gets ready for election and with a major case before the World Court on the border claims by Venezuela.
Guyana is insisting that the matter was settled more than100 years ago and that Venezuela, now in the throes of economic turmoil, has been bullying Guyana.
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