By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The speech delivered by acting Foreign Affairs Minister and Education Minister, Priya Manickchand at the US Ambassador’s residence last evening has been described as an assault not only on the Ambassador but on diplomacy by the private sector and Parliamentarians.
Last evening (July, 02) during the US independence celebration at the home of the United States Ambassador, Brent Hardt, Minister Manickchand unleashed Government’s wrath on the Ambassador, calling his conduct ‘unprofessional and undiplomatic’; this did not sit well with those gathered and the Minister was booed throughout her speech and left in a hurry with Government’s Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira.
Alliance for Change Member of Parliament, Trevor Williams told iNews shortly after the event, that it was a deliberate attempt to embarrass and castigate the work of the US Ambassador.
Williams noted it is no secret that Government and the US have differed on certain policies, “but to launch such an intended attack at such an occasion and at his home is disappointing and embarrassing to the nation as a whole.”
Meanwhile, A Partnership for National Unity’s Member of Parliament, James Bond who was also at the celebration, was lost for words when iNews approached him for a comment.
However, he quickly recovered from the shock and questioned who wrote Manickchand’s speech.
“It is a diplomatic broadside on the side of the Minister; I don’t think it was the forum for such a broadside,” Bond told iNews.
He said the integrity of the Ambassador and the United States Government were attacked.
“It is very strange politics, very strange diplomacy, I don’t think she wrote that speech by the way, that’s not her tone, that’s not Ms. Manickchand, I felt that message came from a quarter of the PPP civic party, if you analyze the Party itself, there is the moderates, the conservatives then there’s the extremism, that is from the extremist Party of the PPP.”
Bond also believes it was deliberate that the acting President, Samuel Hinds did not attend the function since he is a moderate and would not have read or delivered such a speech.
While delivering her prepared speech, Manickchand did not speak in her usual passionate, confident self. This raised questions amongst those gathered as to whether she was forced to read the speech from a faction of the People’s Progressive Party Government, since her tone seemed overly different.
Meanwhile, Honorary Secretary of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Ramesh Dukhoo said the Ambassador has been a great friend to the PSC and the country as a whole and reiterated the Commission’s support for his continued calls for the holding of local government elections and deemed him “a professional diplomatic”.
He also explained that the Ambassador’s calls for local government elections stemmed from calls by Guyanese organizations that see the need for these constitutionally required elections.
“It is unfortunate that the responses to his suggestions about taking Guyana forward have been dealt with in the manner that it was”.
He also believes that the Minister was forced to read the speech and said, “If I was a professional and I was a Minister I would have rebelled against the establishment.”
Meanwhile, tempers flared between Government’s Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira and City Mayor Hamilton Greene during the Minister’s Presentation but before the situation escalated, persons intervened and calm prevailed.