If the need arises, the Guyana Government will take legal action against Suriname authorities following the seizure of Guyanese fishing boats there.
The Attorney General (AG) and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall said that he was instructed by President Dr Irfaan Ali to write the Surinamese President, Chandrikapersad Santokhi, seeking a probe and if possible, compensation. President Santokhi is also the current Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
The seizure of the boats was addressed by President Ali during his recent visit to the East Coast of Demerara (ECD), where he assured those affected that the government will be pulling out all the stops to resolve the matter.
Nandlall, during his recent “Issues in the News” programme, said that the missive will be dispatched soon. He explained that the intention is to secure an investigation and possible compensation, but if the alternative is litigation, the Guyana Government will move in that direction.
“The process will begin with a letter from me on behalf of the Government of Guyana on this matter requesting an investigation and compensation if it is found that the Suriname authorities acted illegally,” he said.
In August, the fishermen’s boats and fishing equipment were seized after they were found fishing in Surinamese waters. Reports in the local media indicated that the three fishermen were also fined.
Meanwhile, a Surinamese delegation is scheduled to meet with Guyanese authorities soon to iron out issues surrounding the granting of 150 coastal fishing licences to Guyanese fishermen as agreed upon by President Santokhi during his visit to Guyana last year.