Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Hugh Todd has clarified that Charrandass Persaud is no longer representing the Government of Guyana in India, and is currently wrapping up his affairs in that country in order to return home.
This statement was made in response to claims that have been made on Wednesday by the Alliance For Change (AFC), minority party in the Coalition Opposition, that Persaud continues to function as Guyana’s High Commission to India, and is slated to attend an upcoming event even after being recalled.
Persaud is a former AFC member and Member of Parliament under the APNU/AFC administration. He was expelled after he took that infamous “conscience vote” on a no-confidence motion that toppled the Coalition Government in December 2018.
The AFC has said it confirmed that Persaud continues to function as Guyana’s High Commissioner to India. “The AFC received reports of this, and was able to confirm that Persaud is scheduled to be a “guest of honour” at the India Economic Trade Organisation’s (IETO) reception on Friday, November 25, 2022,” the party stated in its missive.
The IETO is an official organ of the Government of India, and according to the AFC, both President Dr Irfaan Ali and Minister Todd are allegedly “aware” of this, and have even “approved” Persaud’s attendance at the event.
When contacted on Wednesday for a response, the Foreign Affairs Minister told this publication that the invite being circulated is not accurate, since Persaud is not aware of the event or who is hosting it. He added that Persaud has already ceased attending events on behalf of the Guyana Government.
“Mr Charrandass is not attending any event. In fact, he is not even aware of such an invitation, because he is really not checking the office emails. He is not representing Guyana, and has not represented the Government of Guyana at any function following his conversation with His Excellency the President,” Todd related.
According to the Minister, Persaud is in the process of wrapping up his engagements and preparing to return home. However, he explained that this is a process that takes some time. Nevertheless, the Minister is hopefully that Persaud would be able to have this done at the earliest opportunity in order that he might return home.
Persaud, who also served as Guyana’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, was recalled from his diplomatic postings last month by President Ali after a video began circulating of him verbally abusing a Muslim Indian woman at his official residence in New Delhi.
The Head of State has said that Persaud has agreed to accept “full responsibility” for his actions, and will return home.
The incident reportedly occurred in August 2021, and Persaud claimed, during his conversation with President Ali, that it was not a complete demonstration of what exactly had taken place, and that this matter was already dealt with by the relevant authorities in India, and he was vindicated of any wrongdoing.
In the video which made its rounds on social media, Persaud, while standing at the gate of his residence in India, is heard telling a woman: “You probably want the dog to f**k you, that is what you want. And I don’t care. I don’t care who you are…f**k you.”
This issue had sparked widespread condemnation of Persaud’s action and behaviour, with agencies such as the Women & Gender Equality Commission not only expressing its utter dismay at Persaud’s “vile and disgusting” actions, but also bashing the Foreign Affairs Ministry over its handling of the matter. Nevertheless, the Commission said it was pleased with “swift and decisive” action taken by President Ali to immediately recall Persaud from his post.
Meanwhile, President Ali’s announcement on Persaud’s recall has also been lauded by some APNU/AFC Opposition members.
Out of fear for his life, after he had received death threats, Persaud had departed Guyana immediately for Canada on the night the coalition Government was toppled.
Persaud returned to Guyana following the swearing-in of President Ali, and was subsequently accredited as High Commissioner to India in March 2021. He was accredited as Guyana’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka last December.