Recently reassigned Minister of Housing Valerie Adams-Yearwood said the motion she moved in the National Assembly last week to honor Former Member of Parliament Abdul Kadir; was one which she was instructed to do and those instructions came from the government’s Chief Whip in the National Assembly, Amna Ally.
“I followed instructions of my chief whip so I will ask you to call her and let her comment on it, I don’t operate on my own and if I am instructed to do a motion in that regard, I have to comply, I did not do it on my own it was an instruction from my chief whip” Minister Adams Yearwood told Big Smith Crime Watch.
Abdul Kadir died last year in a United States Prison where he was sentenced to life for plotting to blow up the John F. Kennedy Airport back in 2007. Kadir prior to that, served in the National Assembly of Guyana as a Member of Parliament for the Peoples National Congress Reform. He resided in the same community where Minister Yearwood resides.
On Monday, the United States of America Embassy in Guyana made it’s discomfort with the motion known through a statement to the press.
“The U.S. Embassy in Georgetown condemns the resolution by Guyana’s National Assembly, reportedly honoring the life and work of convicted terrorist Abdul Kadir. 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. Members of the National Assembly, therefore, chose to honor 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 stated in its release.
The embassy further noted “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.” The National Assembly’s resolution of April 26 draws into question that reputation. It also comes on the heels of Guyana’s historic cooperation with the United States on the extradition of an alleged murderer. Members of Parliament have placed this resolution in direct contradiction to the efforts of security cooperation between our two countries. With this resolution, honoring 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.”
Contacted for a comment on the matter, Government Chief whip Amna Ally said that the motion was nothing new and that the government at the time of the resolution, did not think that it would cause this sort of reaction. The minister said that the motion followed tradition.
“This is not a case where anyone supports terrorism or condones it in whatever form but it is a question where it is a norm that you know; we table sympathy motions and express it to the family. And you know Mr. Kadir’s Motion is not the first ever motion that has been done, I don’t know if you were young enough to have recalled that Ronald Gajraj was fingered in many of the killings and death squads and all of that and the Parliament tabled a motion, we call it sympathy motion to express sympathy and condolences to the relatives and so on of Ronald Gajraj. So it is not a case where the government of the day is supporting terrorism it’s a situation where because this man was a Member of Parliament we table a motion”
The minister said that the motion has nothing to do with government’s operations but rather just one of expressing condolences to the family of the former Member of Parliament.
The minister was asked if she thinks that given the circumstances now and the release by the United States Embassy that Guyana should revisit the procedures of offering sympathy motions and if those will be guided by the characters of those, the motion intends to honor.
“That is a possibility, that is a possibility maybe the Parliament would have to revisit these things because you know, I don’t know that it dawned on anyone, am; that this could have been a factor but you know, like I said that is conventional and it has nothing to do with support for terrorism” The Government Chief whip indicated