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Guyana Govt. Defends Unfair Treatment Of Nationals In Barbados

CaribWorldNews, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Thurs. June 25, 2009: The Guyana government continues to vent its concerns to the Barbadian authorities about the frequency of reports about Guyanese nationals being treated unfairly on the island.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat at the Office of the President Dr. Roger Luncheon during a post-Cabinet media briefing Wednesday, said Cabinet, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, continues to keep an eye on the unfolding events on the island.

`Cabinet, recalling the pledge by the Prime Minister of Barbados to President Jagdeo to investigate and deal with such allegations, instructed its Honorary Consul Mr. Norman Faria in Barbados to follow-up on that offer and to compile reported cases and to examine them,` Dr. Luncheon said.

The problem of unfair treatment of Guyanese nationals in Barbados has been a concern of Guyana for many years and was recently complicated with the announcement of the island`s Prime Minister David Thompson of a new immigration policy whereby undocumented immigrants were given an ultimatum to regularize their status or face expulsion from the island. Only those living on the island eight years of more prior to 2005 have been granted amnesty.

The issue has gained the attention of almost the entire region and has prompted varying sentiments by many including Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states who have questioned the integration movement.

President Bharrat Jagdeo said recently that he will not sit idly by and watch Guyanese be ill-treated elsewhere and had even spoken to the Barbadian Prime Minister about the matter during a CARICOM meeting in Trinidad and Tobago.

The President had recently urged that Heads of Government of CARICOM persuade the Barbadian Government to change its policy.

During yesterday`s press briefing, Dr. Luncheon said Cabinet, while discussing the issue reiterated its commitment to furthering integration in CARICOM.