Charrandas Persaud recalled from India post
President Irfaan Ali on Wednesday announced that Guyana’s High Commissioner to India, Charrandas Persaud, has agreed to vacate his post after he was reprimanded over a video which surfaced on Tuesday showing him verbally abusing an Indian woman, in clear contradiction of the rules that govern the conduct of Guyana’s diplomats.
The President said that while Mr Persaud was cleared by the Indian authorities, his conduct was not in keeping with what is expected of Guyanese diplomats. Mr Persaud, the President stated, agreed that it was in Guyana’s best interest for him to return “home”.
The President reprimanded Persaud on Tuesday night after seeing a video of what took place. He said even though Mr Persaud explained that the short video did not capture the full scale of what happened, his behaviour was still unacceptable.
The President said he reviewed the video after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had released a statement saying the case was closed.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ memo on the duties and responsibilities to Guyana’s heads of missions overseas dictates that they “demonstrate the highest standards of personal integrity, deportment, efficiency and diplomatic refinement in all conduct to maintain and accentuate standing and influence”.
Further, heads of missions are obligated to “develop and maintain personal warmth, charm and collegial relations with all staff of the Mission, colleague diplomats and representatives and nationals of the host country.”
In the video, Mr Persaud is heard hurling obscene abuse against the woman. The incident occurred last year but only came to light when the video was released.
The Foreign Ministry had noted that through communication on September 3 last from the Indian authorities, the complaint by the woman of “sexually abusive words” had “not been substantiated.”
However, in the video, it was clear that Mr Persaud used such language. He said: “If you want the dog, take it and put it between your legs…you probably want the dog f%$k you”.
Opposition Shadown Minister Amanza Walton-Desir has called for Mr Persaud to be recalled from New Delhi.
Diplomats are bound by a code of conduct set out in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and a recently issued memo.
The memo, issued on August 10, 2022, specifies that heads of missions should “adhere to the cardinal principle of not using privileges and immunities as a sword but as a shield and promote, portray and project a favourable image of Guyana at all times.”