Diplomats in Guyana are currently subjected to constant abuse

Dear Editor,
The Canadian High Commission in Georgetown, Guyana is the primary channel for communication between the Government of Canada and a legitimate Government of Guyana. It supports many initiatives, business development, cultural exchanges etc., and other areas of cooperation between the two countries. Most importantly, though, is Canada’s principled involvement in ensuring that human rights practices adhere to international conventions, and that democratic processes are held to the highest standards in Guyana.
HE Lilian Chatterjee, the current High Commissioner of Canada, has been active in ensuring that Canada’s expectation of a free and democratic society is not threatened or lost. So, when HE Chatterjee joined with the other international diplomats and accredited election observers to challenge the broad daylight rigging of the March 2nd election results, she was engaging in what was expected of her by Canada’s Government, the Foreign Ministry, and the people of Canada.
Every decent and democratic-minded Guyanese at home and in the diaspora applauded her efforts.

Soon after the attempted swearing in of an illegal Government via fraudulent election results was thwarted, a petition which apparently originated in Toronto and a letter out of London, Ontario addressed to PM Trudeau appeared in the media. The petition and letter, based on frivolous excuses, are asking for the recall of Lilian Chatterjee as Canada’s High Commissioner to Guyana.
Consequently, a counter petition, in support of HE Chatterjee and other diplomats who are championing democracy in Guyana, was initiated by an apolitical ad hoc group that does not ask for, or accept, donations: ‘Democracy Watch 2020’, and uploaded on change.org (Supporting the Canadian High Commissioner and others championing democracy in Guyana) Current signatories are at 3189 and counting.
Canada has long stood for democracy and freedom in Guyana. Canada has always been generous to Guyana and to Guyanese.
We recall the mass exodus of Guyanese between the late 1970s and the early 1990s, during the last dictatorial rule in Guyana. It was Canada which accepted thousands of people.

Few today would believe that, in 1984-85, refugee claimants from Guyana represented the greatest number in Canada.
Continued support and confidence are required to be placed on our current top diplomat in Guyana, as her engagement is now at a critical stage. Canadians as well as Guyanese will not accept a return to those dark days when there was very sluggish recounting of the ballots deliberately perpetuated by agents of the caretaker Government, coupled with the ever changing directives and “the mid-stream” bending of the rules from the questionably independent GECOM, together with the shutting out of internationally recognised and accredited observers from the process; all which pointed to the conclusion by many that, “this will not end well”.

The freedom of Guyanese is once again hanging in a dangerous balance. We strongly urge our Canadian Government to stay the course; lend our diplomat all the support she needs by strengthening her hand and demanding that local authorities in Guyana facilitate the completion of her work without hindrance. We understand that all the ABCE diplomats in Guyana are currently subjected to constant abuse, but our diplomat seems to be the one most singled out.
H. Ragnauth
N. Dhanai
R. Persaud
R. Singh
S. Barnard
S. Alexander
N. Hanif