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Suriname apologises to Guyana over police fracas inside embassy

Suriname has apologized to Guyana for the attempted arrest of an employee of the Guyanese  embassy and the assault of Ambassador Keith George in violation of international law, according to the Foreign Ministry here.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that the Honourable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs, has received a formal apology from her Surinamese counterpart, His Excellency Winston G. Lackin, regarding the incident that took place at the Guyana Embassy in Paramaribo on April 1, 2015,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The April 1 incident had stemmed from a man who had parked his vehicle in a manner that had blocked the entrance to the Guyana embassy. Refusing to remove his vehicle, the driver abused and assaulted the guard as well as flashed his penis in front of the mission.

The Ambassador’s driver then went outside to make peace.

Surinamese police were summoned to the embassy where they sought to arrest the Ambassador’s driver on grounds that he had assaulted the errant driver. However, George resisted efforts by the police to arrest anyone inside the mission on the basis that the lawmen would have violated the Vienna Convention.

The cops persisted to the point that they assaulted the Ambassador and tore his shirt.

Following is the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s statement.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that the Honourable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs, has received a formal apology from her Surinamese counterpart, His Excellency Winston G. Lackin, regarding the incident that took place at the Guyana Embassy in Paramaribo on April 1, 2015.

In the same communication, the Surinamese Foreign Minister assured that the Government of the Republic of Suriname has initiated a thorough investigation into the incident that involved two Surinamese policemen seeking to execute an arrest of a staff member on the premises of the Guyana Embassy and which led to the assault on the person of the Ambassador of Guyana to the Republic of Suriname.  Minister Rodrigues-Birkett was also assured by her Surinamese counterpart that appropriate remedial measures will be taken by Suriname and action will be taken to avoid a reoccurrence in the future.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains committed to the continued deepening of the relations between the Republic of Guyana and the Republic of Suriname and is satisfied that both countries have been addressing the incident under reference in a mature, friendly and good neighbourly manner which is testimony to the strong ties of friendship between both Governments.

The Ministry wishes to take this opportunity to thank the staff of the Guyana Embassy in Paramaribo for firmly defending the applicable rules of the Vienna Convention during the incident.

ENDS