By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Outgoing US Ambassador Brent Hardt was this evening accused of unprofessional conduct by acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Education Priya Manickchand.
Speaking at the traditional US Independence celebrations, Minister Manickchand’s speech was interrupted by loud heckling as she responded to Ambassador Hardt’s criticism of President Donald Ramotar for not calling local government elections.
During her speech, Manickchand launched a stinging assault on the Ambassador and accused him of meddling and crossing the red line in Government’s business.
As the Minister continued her attack, the crowd became extremely hostile towards her and heckled throughout her speech; this somehow did not seem to faze her, as she read the entire speech that was prepared.
The acting Foreign Affairs Minister in a cold tone said there are international rules by powerful countries such as the U.S that is anything but democratic and cited the Security Council as one such institute that lacks democracy.
She noted that many impositions are brought upon Guyana by the U.S; however, because the State is powerful, Guyana has no choice but to comply.
“Democracy and the rule of law is not only about local government election which I am confident the Guyanese people would resolve in the near future but must be practiced by all who choose to preach it at all times,” Manickchand said.
She reflected on the activities of the Ambassador since his appointment some three years ago saying, “His remarks to the recently created NGO Blue Caps has in our judgment gone beyond the boundaries of professionalism and diplomacy, for a professional foreign service with appointment of Ambassador to make such declarations, accusations, allegations and innuendos about the executive president of Guyana or any country for that matter is to our mind totally unacceptable”.
It was after making those remarks that the crowd began its uproar and started to boo the Minister.
Earlier in his address Ambassador Hardt reiterated his call for the holding of local government elections and said the “President has a historic opportunity to advance Guyana’s political, social and economic development by being the President who restores elected local governance to Guyana”.
Manickchand took the Ambassador to task for making this pronouncement again on local government elections and deemed his behaviour as “totally unacceptable.”
That again sent the crowd in an uproar in total rejection of the Minister’s sentiments, but this did not stop her from delivering her address. At one point, no one could hear what she was saying.
At the end of Manickchand’s speech, the Ambassador in an unprecedented move, took to the podium again and said, “What a send off.” He then challenged the government to provide evidence that he has not acted in the interest of the country.
Manickchand and Presidential Advisor, Gail Teixeira walked out of the ceremony shortly after.