Hiscock says temporary closure of visa section has no link to Bacchus affair
February 28, 2004
British High Commissioner Stephen Hiscock yesterday stated that there is no link between the temporary closure of the UK Visa Section here and the accusations by self-confessed death squad informer George Bacchus.
In a statement issued yesterday, the High Commissioner said it had come to his attention that a link had been made between the temporary closure of the Visa Section of the British High Commission and the accusations made by Bacchus against the Government of Guyana.
"I would like to re-assure the Guyanese public that there is no truth in this whatsoever," Hiscock declared.
He said further it remains their intention to resume the visa-issuing operations here in Georgetown soon, and they will advertise again when they are in a position to re-open.
The British diplomat recalled that on December 9 last year the High Commission had advised that its visa office would be temporarily closed and that Guyanese should obtain their visas from the British High Commissions in either Barbados or Trinidad and Tobago. He said further that they had indicated that normal service would be resumed as soon as possible and expressed regret at any inconvenience.
And regarding the most recent allegations made by Bacchus, Hiscock stated: "I made a statement to the press that was selectively reported. In answer to a direct question about whether the international community would intervene in the matter, I made it clear that it was not Britain's role to intervene or interfere in the internal affairs of Guyana."
However, he said, as a long-standing friend of Guyana, they were naturally concerned when allegations were made which appeared to question the integrity of the government.
He had expressed the hope, he noted, that the government would resolve this matter to the satisfaction of the Guya-nese people. And he pointed out too that he did not personally question the integrity of President Bharrat Jagdeo.
"Britain remains an all-weather friend of Guyana and the Guyanese people," the High Commissioner added.