Parliamentary resolution on Abdul Kadir ‘in direct contradiction’ to security cooperation – U.S. Embassy

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The United States embassy in Georgetown has condemned the Parliamentary resolution honouring convicted terrorist Abdul Kadir.

“Members of Parliament have placed this resolution in direct contradiction to the efforts of security cooperation between our two countries,” the U.S. embassy said in a statement.

The resolution was passed in the National Assembly on Friday with the 33 government Parliamentarians voting for it. The Opposition PPP was absent and later condemned the government for passing the motion.

“With this resolution, honouring a convicted terrorist, members of Guyana’s National Assembly have left a stain on their legacy as representatives of the Guyanese people and on their commitment to the rule of law,” the embassy stated.

Kadir was sentenced to life in prison in the United States after being found guilty of plotting a 2007 terrorist attack at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and died in prison last June.

“Members of the National Assembly, therefore, chose to honour a man who conspired to kill innocent people from across the United States and around the world.

“This resolution is an insensitive and thoughtless act, which demonstrates the National Assembly’s disregard for the gravity of Kadir’s actions,” the Embassy added.

The Embassy noted that while speaking at an International Peace Conference recently, U.S. Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch held up Guyana as “a model to the world on religious tolerance and understanding.”

US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah Ann-Lynch

Now, she said last Friday’s resolution draws into question that reputation.

The Embassy said it also comes on the heels of Guyana’s historic cooperation with the United States on the extradition of an alleged murderer, Troy Thomas.

The motion passed in the National Assembly, with only the government Parliamentarians present read: “Be it resolved, that this National Assembly records its deep regret on the death of Mr. Abdul Kadir, on 28th June, 2018, and pays tribute to his dedicated service to the Parliament of Guyana as a Member of Parliament where he served in the Eighth Parliament, from 17th April, 2001 to 2nd May, 2006, and to the people of Guyana.”

“The people of Linden and Guyana have lost a great man, a stalwart, a bold and courageous man,” said Valerie Patterson-Yearwood, Minister within the Ministry of Communities as she presented a motion.

Minister Patterson-Yearwood said Kadir was a “fruitful man” who had nine children and 43 grandchildren.

She quoted one of his grandchildren as saying “it did not matter how persons saw our grandfather” and that he was a “hero” who tried to “pass on his knowledge” to them in the best way he could.

The Minister quoted the same grandchild as saying Kadir was a very religious and independent individual.

Kadir had maintained his innocence and had told the court: “The God that created us all and knows our inner thoughts knows I’m innocent,” he said. “At no time did I ever pose a threat to any person or property in this country (USA).”

Kadir was born on December 8, 1961, in the village of Buxton, East Coast Demerara, as Michael Seaforth.

He converted to Islam in 1974 and changed his name. In his political career, he served as Mayor of Linden.

He was a chemical engineer by profession.

Minister Patterson-Yearwood noted that “being a man who travelled extensively, throughout the Caribbean, South America, Canada, England and the Middle East, Abdul Kadir was fluent in English, Spanish, French and Arabic.”

The motion was passed with the resolution that the Parliament directs an expression of its sympathy to his sorrowing widow, children and relatives.

Some of Kadir’s relatives were in attendance for the passage of the motion.

Members of Abdul Kadir’s family in the National Assembly on Friday

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