One day after the Indian High Commissioner criticised Director of the Department of Public Information Imran Khan for a comment made on social media, State Minister Joseph Harmon today said that the personal view expressed by the Government official does not represent the view of the Coalition Government.
“It does not represent the position of the Government. We have excellent relations with India and we continue to work on those relations. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement which we have with that country and we would like to work to ensure that it gets better”, Harmon said.
Harmon noted that while government does not have much control over what persons post on their personal social media accounts, he said all they can do is ask holders of government offices to restrain from making such statements.
“This is what I would call an aberration rather than a norm that someone who actually has a Government position but expresses a personally view….It is not the view of the Government, it is an individual’s view and that is the distinction I would like to make…I am advised that the Prime Minister is addressing the issue and is likely to make a statement soon”, Harmon asserted.
Khan on Wednesday posted a comment on his facebook page, questioning whether the Indian High Commission was interfering in the country’s internal affairs and was attempting to engage in destabilisation of the coalition government.
His statement was in relation to the recently concluded People of Indian Origin Parliamentary Conference held in New Delhi, where a 23-member Guyanese delegation attended upon invite from the Indian Government.
The delegation comprised of 17 Opposition and three government parliamentarians as well as three Mayors – all of Indian heritage.
The DPI Director asked whether the Indian High Commission deliberately invited only three Government backbenchers and specifically ignored ministers of Indian heritage.
However, in response to Khan, Indian High Commissioner Venkatachalam Mahalingam explained that the top hierarchy of both the Indian and Guyana Governments are aware that the invitations were for 23 Members of Parliament and three Mayors of Indian Origin who are not ministers.
The Diplomat said that the comment was reckless and intentionally misleading, while adding at the action by the government official is unfortunate, irresponsible, unprofessional and mischievous.
The post has since been removed by Khan.