GEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA) -- Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar has approved the establishment of an international commission of inquiry that will look into the circumstances surrounding the murder in 1980 of acclaimed historian and Working People’s Alliance Leader, Dr Walter Rodney.
This decision was announced by Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon on Thursday, during his post-Cabinet press briefing, and comes on the 33rd anniversary of Rodney’s death.
The cabinet secretary stated that previous reports on the Walter Rodney killing, conducted in the 1980s, were unsuccessful and inconclusive in determining key reasons such as cause, motive and agents responsible.
“We need to have the matter dealt with comprehensively and closure provided in this matter,” Luncheon stated.
It was noted that, in 2005, a parliamentary inspired international commission failed to address many outstanding issues.
Luncheon said that within the terms of references (TORs) of the expected and intended commission of inquiry (COI), those reports would feature. “A 33-year old intervention, one cannot dispose of the historical, and therefore I can assure you that those would be a part of the subject matters pertaining to Dr Rodney’s murder that would become a part of the Commission of Inquiry.”
The TORs for the proposed COI will not be as contentious as that of others such as the Linden COI, Luncheon said, in response to a query, noting that contributions will be made by family members of the deceased, former political allies in the PPP, WPA and his colleagues internationally. This collaboration should result in putting together a suitable set of TORs for the COI to be concluded in the shortest possible time frame.
Rodney was killed on June 13, 1980, when he attempted to activate a walkie-talkie radio, which exploded in his lap. The booby-trapped device was given to him by former GDF Sergeant Gregory Smith, who later fled to French Guiana, where he remained in exile until his death several years ago.