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Wednesday, April 26, 2006
The time has come to harness our energy and apply the full strength of the law
-Canadian High Commissioner at Sawh’s tribute ceremony

Georgetown, GINA, April 25, 2006

Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Mr. Bruno Picard while paying tribute to the late Minister of Fisheries, Other Crops and Livestock and acting Minister of Agriculture Satyadeow Sawh today, called on all leaders to unite for the good of the country, saying that the killing is not only a Guyanese tragedy but also a Canadian one.

The High Commissioner was among several persons paying tribute to the Minister at Castellani House before his cremation at Good Hope, East Coast Demerara.

Mr. Picard said Minister Sawh extended his hospitality, his friendship and his kindness to him on several occasions since his arrival in Guyana in 2004.

“As Minister of Agriculture, we found him an indefatigable, enthusiastic, reliable partner.”

He said that in the history of a country there are defining moments - moments when an entire nation is called upon to set aside its differences to address difficult challenges and today, Guyana is faced with such a defining moment, the High Commissioner said.

He called on all leaders whether from government, opposition parties, civil society, religious sector, the security forces and the diplomatic corps that all must unite with Guyanese and hopes that with the leadership and international friends “ it finds the strength and wisdom to take the right steps to bring long lasting peace and security to this nation for there can be no sustainable development without peace and security.”

The Canadian High Commissioner said that he is aware that there is some anger and feelings of desperation out there but said this is not the time for anger, rather “the time has come to harness our energy and to apply the full strength of the law to those responsible for taking the lives of so many innocent people.”

He also noted that it is also a time to pull together to build Guyana and that “ we have an obligation to succeed in this endeavour, in the memory of the loved ones we are grieving today, we would expect nothing less from all of us, ” he said.

Guyana and Canada have shared about 40 years of relations and Canada has stood with Guyana in “ fair and bad weather” according to the High Commissioner.

The Canadian High Commission, the United States Embassy, the European Delegation and the British High Commission have issued a joint statement condemning the killing of the Minister, his siblings and security guard.

‘As friends of Guyana, we support all those in leadership positions and in civil society who have called for a strong stand against violence and demanded that those responsible be brought to justice.”