CaribWorldNews, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Fri. Sept. 4, 2009: Guyana`s Home Affairs Ministry has dismissed as `false and unfounded,` a report, purportedly originating from the Embassy of the United States of America.
The release reportedly stated that Missionaries belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints have been asked to leave the country because they were engaged in espionage activities.
The Ministry, in a statement Thursday, however, insisted that the 50 missionaries belonging to the church were rejected and ordered to leave because their visas have run out and they have not had valid work permits for various periods since November 2004.
The missionaries have within one month to leave the country.
The ministry`s statement comes as the country`s main opposition party condemned the detention and subsequent expulsion of the missionaries and said it is `worrying that the Government of Guyana, in addition to the violation of a Court Order and the Laws of Guyana, would set such a bad example in the treatment of foreigners while at the same time condemning similar treatment of Guyanese by Caribbean and foreign governments.`
The Peoples National Congress Reform, at its weekly press conference Thursday, added that it has been reliably informed that members of this church have been complying with the law and have used the relevant procedures to represent their interests.
`The official report of the government also deliberately misinforms Guyanese of what transpired, thus the motivations of the PPP/C administration is questionable,` said the PNCR. `Why would a senior police officer when presented with a court order from the High Court indicate that the government did not intend to honor that order? The continuous disregard for the law, the constitution and the judiciary by President Jagdeo was again evident.
`After refusing to accept the court order, the President then invites two of these religious representatives to his office and proceeded to deliver his personal 30-day clemency period for their departure, demonstrating that he is above the law.`