Guyana’s current High Commissioner to India, Charrandass Persaud, has now been accredited as Guyana’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, presenting his credentials to Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Persaud presented his credentials to Rajapaksa on December 21. In a social media post announcing the official appointment, the former Guyana Member of Parliament (MP) expressed hope for a more fruitful relationship between Guyana and Sri Lanka.
“Sri Lanka earns over $4 billion US per year from tourism and is 43 thousand square miles with a population of 21 million. It also has a vibrant coconut industry and its cinnamon is worldwide,” Persaud said.
“Sri Lanka is beautiful and very clean. I hope the bilateral relationship between Sri Lanka and Guyana can be more vibrant and proactive one,” the new High Commissioner further explained in his social media post.
Guyana first established diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka on July 14, 1974. Prior to Persaud’s appointment, High Commissioner Dr David Pollard had served as Guyana’s envoy to Sri Lanka from 2019.
Persaud was accredited as High Commissioner to India back in March of this year. He had been living in Canada since fleeing Guyana under the weight of death threats immediately after he used his conscience vote to side with the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) during the No Confidence Motion (NCM) of December 21, 2018.
The former A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government argued vehemently but unsuccessfully, first at the National Assembly and then at the High Court, that the motion was not validly passed. Among its arguments was that 33 was not the majority of 65 and that Persaud was not qualified to be in Parliament because he held dual citizenship with Canada.
The coalition Government found success at the Appeal Court, which overturned the no-confidence vote. All the while, the constitutional deadline of March 2019, by which time Granger should have called elections, expired. But the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which upheld the passage of the No-Confidence Motion, vindicated Persaud.
However, the former APNU/AFC Government found other means of delaying the calling of elections, including the use of House-to-House Registration. In the meantime, under the former Government, an investigation was pursued by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) into Persaud and whether he was bribed to vote the way he did.
This investigation never went anywhere and there are many who have theorised that it was politically motivated. Persaud returned to Guyana only after the Government changed hands, making an appearance during a sitting of the National Assembly in October of last year.