CGID urges region to express outrage at Guyana killings
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Wednesday July 25, 2012 – The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) has strongly condemned the shooting deaths of three people protesting electricity hikes in the mining town of Linden last week and is supporting calls for a Commission of Inquiry into the matter.
“The peoples of the Caribbean region must express outrage at these killings and solidarity with the black population in Guyana,” said president of the United States-based CGID, Rickford Burke. “What democratic government will shoot and kill protestors who block a bridge?”
Burke said the buck stopped at Guyana President Donald Ramotar and Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee’s door, and that Acting Police Commissioner Leroy Brummell bears equal responsibility.
He also urged Opposition Leader Brigadier David Granger to be more assertive.
“I hope Mr Granger as leader of the party that is the political representative of the people of Linden will relinquish his non-confrontational posture and adopt political measures to wrest from the government a genuine account of the chain of command and who issued the orders to shoot.
“He must also understand that his supporters expect him to ensure criminal prosecutions must be a consequence of any inquiry or a term of resolution of this horrific incident,” the CGID president added.
Burke called on Guyana President Ramotar and parliament to appoint separate Commissions of Inquiry into the killings and urged that “supporting investigators be drawn from overseas”.
Meanwhile, the European Union has welcomed the Guyana government’s commitment to hold an investigation into the events that led to the carnage on Wednesday.
In a statement, the European Union Delegation said it was urging authorities to launch the probe “as soon as possible” and endorsed a statement issued earlier by the United States, Britain and Canada that appealed to all parties to “work together in a spirit of national unity to prevent any further violence incompatible with the right of people to peaceful protest.”
The European Union said it wanted the existing tension be resolved through an open and inclusive dialogue.
The Donald Ramotar administration has said it will set up a public inquiry into the clashes, a decision backed by the interior ministry.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs fully supports the call and the decision by the Administration to establish a Commission of Inquiry with an international dimension yet to be determined. As an integral part of the Administration the Ministry of Home Affairs stands ready to cooperate with the Commission when it is established and in keeping with the agreed Terms of Reference,” the ministry said.