Dear Editor,
1. I HAVE NOTED an article in your publication dated December 11, 2019 captioned “Five Diplomats Fired. President wholly misinforms media on reason – MOFA Source,” that made a libelous reference to me, which I’m directing you to retract.
2. I’m slightly bemused by your reference to me to accrue attention, though I’m constrained to confirm that Rickford Burke does not work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the government of Guyana in any capacity. To attempt to associate me with any decisions by the government is therefore more a source of comedic relief than the political mischief it seeks to engender. It has not escaped me that the persons you have attacked in your article have one thing in common: Our religion, which is clearly the target of attack by your source. Let your intent be therefore known! It will be dealt with condignly.
3. Contrary to your allegations, commonsense dictates the unlikelihood of the Minister of Foreign Affairs undertaking changes to significant diplomatic postings without sanction from Cabinet and/or the Head of State. Obviously, your purported source is demonstrably committed to discrediting the Foreign Minister, as well as undermining President David Granger and Guyana’s national security. The latter should be most concerning to the nation. It seems tinged with treasonous intent.
4. The article cited Ambassadors to be allegedly recalled, and posited that one such Ambassador is instrumental to Guyana’s case against Venezuela that is sub judice before the World Court. If this is true, such engagement by the particular Ambassador would be a classified matter of national security. It would, therefore, appear that Guyana Standard’s unmasking of the name of this official to the country’s enemy, especially when that official is currently at post and potentially in harm’s way, is a consequential and egregious breach of Guyana’s national security that warrants review by the Guyana Police Force.
5. The claim that the five Ambassadors alleged to be under recall are disliked by me is as indubitably false and irrelevant, as it is ostentatious and vacuous. This impotent design at political mischief is laughable. Factually, what the alleged source does not know is that I have an excellent relationship with Ambassador Cheryl Miles, for whom I have the highest regard. Not only do I consider her a ‘family-friend’, but revere her as the mentor and Dean of Guyana’s Foreign Service. Furthermore, I know Mrs. Clarissa Rheil very well, and admire her public service. She’s one of my mentors; I worked with her closely as a youngster when I served as Special Assistant to President Desmond Hoyte. She herself would consider the claim fantastic and absurd.
6. Mr. Bishwaishwar Ramsaroop is also someone with whom I’ve worked since my days in the GYSM, and for whom I have the utmost respect and enjoy a cordial, respectful relationship. I do not know Dr. J.R. D Ford or Mr. Hamley Case. I have never met, seen or spoken to them. I have no basis to form an opinion of him. On the other hand, I know Ambassador Bayney Karran well. We worked together in the national interest when he served as Guyana’s Ambassador in Washington. We had an excellent working relationship; the best of all our diplomats, past and present. He has always been respectful and cordial. I have no basis to despise him. Indeed, he will be shocked if I did. I have never expressed disappointement, disapproval or discontentment with any of the named Ambassadors. And even if I did, I’m sure that the government would dismiss them out of hand.
7. I delineated my relationship to the referenced officials to demonstrate the spuriousness of your entire article, which is evidently predicated on malicious intent.
Its misrepresentations and fabrications singularly discredit your entity as a reliable news source. The putrid sleaze and libel in your article expose your publication to civil liabilities which will be pursued, failing an immediate retraction.
Rickford Burke
Caribbean Guyana Institute for democracy (CGID)

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