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Sunday 19 January 2020
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Charles: Khan ‘out of order’ to attend Guyana investment meet

Rodney Charles
Rodney Charles

NAPARIMA MP Rodney Charles chided Energy Minister Franklin Khan as “out of order” to attend last Friday’s Investment Outreach held at the Hyatt by the Guyanese Government whose validity is now under dispute.

“The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the highest Court in Guyana, recently ruled that the present government in Guyana led by president David Granger should operate as a caretaker government with the primary purpose of calling elections as soon as possible to determine the will of the Guyanese peoples. “That is its only job.”

Charles doubted the hosting of a function to attract TT investments met the threshold of caretaker responsibilities.

“If, in fact, a TT minister of government attended an official function in our country last week hosted by the Government of President David Granger to raise investments, that would be entirely out of order.

“It would also be inconsistent with the spirit of the recent ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice and also our policy of non-interference as repeatedly articulated by Dr Rowley regarding Venezuela.”

Charles asked what happens if the opposition wins the pending Guyana general elections.

“How will it view our actions in the run up to the elections? Will this affect our relations with Guyana?”

He alleged the Government’s foreign policy was based on "vaps" and short-term thinking.

Charles said that policy violated democratic principles, non-interventionism, the rule of law and TT’s national interest.

“It is clearly not in TT's national interest at this time to appear to be taking sides either with the present caretaker government of David Granger or with the opposition. Given all the circumstances, our national interest will be best served by being scrupulously neutral.”

He reiterated the UNC’s past calls for the urgent establishment of a TT High Commission in Georgetown, as Guyana is set to produce over 700,000 barrels per day of oil by 2020.

“Guyana will soon become the energy capital of Caricom and we should be seeking to leverage our century-old expertise in energy to the mutual benefit of both countries.”

He said the US was using Jamaica and Barbados as energy hubs to supply Caricom. “If we are not careful, under this Rowley administration, TT will be entirely irrelevant to Caricom,” Charles warned.

Newsday was unable to reach Khan for a response

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