Monday, December 14, 2015

Unfazed, Kula presses his ICC and ATT briefs in Guyana


Unfazed, Kula presses his ICC and ATT briefs in Guyana


Terence Netto

13 Dec 2015, AM 11:23

Abortive may have been his quest to get Malaysia to sign on to a slew of international treaties aimed at keeping the peace, but DAP national vice-chair M Kulasegaran appears to have gained some headway abroad.

After attending a Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) meeting in El Salvador earlier this month, the MP for Ipoh Barat, who is secretary of the PGA chapter in Malaysia, made a detour to nearby Guyana, on the northern tip of South America.

He was pleasantly surprised to find that the Prime Minister was a fellow Tamilian, Moses Veerasamy Nagamoothu, a veteran journalist who took office in May after a long time as the opposition leader.

Guyana has a population of about 750,000, the majority being of Indo-Guyanese descent.

It is a former British colony and English is the official language.

In a 75-minute meeting with Nagamoothu on Dec 8 in the Guyanese capital of Georgetown, Kulasegaran pressed the case for Guyana's accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and for enlistment with the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), two instruments Malaysia signed up to join but is reluctant to ratify.

“He inquired about my involvement with the PGA and I took the opportunity to make the case for Guyana’s joining the ICC and ATT,” said the Ipoh barrister who returned last night from the trip.

“To my pleasant surprise Prime Minister Nagamoothu gave me his email address so that I can initiate the process of discussion towards Guyana’s eventual signing up and ratification of the two treaties,” he disclosed.

At the PGA conference in El Salvador, Kulasegaran was appointed to the board of the PGA which was a recognition of his efforts, albeit abortive, to get Malaysia to ratify the ICC and ATT treaties.

One hundred and twenty three countries have joined the ICC and 78 nations have enlisted wth the ATT and another 54 countries have signed but not ratified the treaty. Malaysia remains a signatory to both treaties, having balked at ratification.

In his talks with Nagamoothu, Kulasegaran was informed of the PM’s interest to visit Malaysia.

“I will convey his interest to the Prime Minister's Department here as I think there is much in the unexplored tourism industry in Guyana to interest Malaysian entrepreneurs,” he said.

Kulasegaran was interviewed on Radio Guyana during which he spoke of his pleasure at being able to visit the country whose racial diversity reminded him of his home country.

He said that ties between the Guyana and Malaysia should be forged for mutual benefit in tourism and mineral extraction.

Guyana is rich in bauxite and gold deposits.

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