Commissioners sworn-in for probe into Walter Rodney killing

-over 100 to testify

Sir Richard Cheltenham, newly-appointed Chairman of the international Commission of Inquiry (CoI) established to probe the death of political activist Dr Walter Rodney, is hopeful of beginning work in a month’s time.

Sir Cheltenham, a Barbadian national, along with Jamaican Queen’s Counsel (QC) Jacqueline Samuels-Brown and Trinidad and Tobago Senior Counsel (SC) Senath Jairam took the Oath of Office before President Donald Ramotar during a simple ceremony at the Office of the President today.

Dr Rodney, a renowned academic and political activist, died in a car near John and Bent streets on June 13, 1980, after a walkie-talkie, given to him by now deceased Guyana Defence Force member Gregory Smith, exploded. The People’s National Congress (PNC) administration, then headed by late president Linden Forbes Burnham, whose governance practices had been opposed by Rodney, has long been blamed for the murder. The party, however, has continuously denied any responsibility.

Dr Walter Rodney
Dr Walter Rodney

Noticeably absent at the swearing-in ceremony were members of the Working People’s Alliance, of which Dr. Rodney was a co-leader at the time of his death.

Sir Cheltenham, who was knighted in 2005 and is also a QC and the holder of a Ph.D, sought assuage skepticism about usefulness of the CoI in light of the passage of time since Rodney’s death.

“The fact that it happened 30 years or so ago need not be any bar to a full exposure of what took place and for the commission to make some firm conclusions,” he said. He added that he had been advised that there will be over 100 persons testifying.

He added that there are many potential witnesses who did not want to give statements until the commission had been established. With the commission now set up, he said these persons would be ready to come forward to give their statements.

Samuels-Brown, is the attorney for the Office of the Contractor General, an anti-corruption agency. She represents both private citizens and those in public offices.

Jairam, a Guyanese by birth, is engaged in private practice in Trinidad and Tobago, where he is the current president of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago. He was also a former High Court judge.

In June last year, to coincide with the 33rd anniversary of Rodney’s death, the PPP/C administration announced the decision to set up the international CoI, finally yielding to calls made during its over two decades in office.

 

Latest in Local News, News

default placeholder

Northern carriageway of Carifesta Avenue closed to traffic

The northern carriageway of Carifesta Avenue has been closed to traffic. This is to facilitate ongoing improvement and lighting works to the thoroughfare.

The newly appointed Deputy Commissioner General Hema Khan (left) with Chairman of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Board Rawle Lucas. She was introduced during a press conference held yesterday.

GRA sacks heads of Customs, HR

Chairman of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Board Rawle Lucas yesterday announced a major shake-up in the management of the tax body, including the removal of the heads of its Customs and Human Resources divisions for unsatisfactory performance and the appointment of a Deputy Commissioner-General.

European Union Ambassador Jernej Videtič (left) hands over the Coastal Engineering Design Manual for Guyana Sea and River Defences to Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson. (Ministry of Public Infrastructure photo)

$2B in EU funding for sea defences

While urging the swift operationalisation of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC), European Union (EU) Representative to Guyana Ambassador Jernej Videtič yesterday handed over a $2 billion cheque to Minister of Finance Winston Jordan to aid in improving the country’s sea and river defences.

Members of the City Constabulary in their ceremonial dress march along Regent Street yesterday prior to the arrival of the President. (Photo by Keno George)

Put citizens first

With the controversial parking meter contract instigating fractures within the Mayor and City Council (M&CC), President David Granger yesterday reminded city councillors that they are accountable to the citizens who voted them into office.

Injuried: Dhaniram Tribeni

Canal Number One businessman beaten, shot in home invasion

A Canal Number One businessman is now injured after he was beaten and shot early yesterday morning when armed bandits invaded his home and escaped with a quantity cash and jewellery.

default placeholder

City councillor accused of invading Town Clerk’s privacy

A city councillor has been accused of invading the privacy of Town Clerk Royston King and his family after contacting one of King’s daughters about the controversial trip he made to Mexico with the Mayor and other council members.

default placeholder

Chainsaw operator, 16, charged over rape of 10-yr-old

A 16-year-old chainsaw operator was yesterday charged with the rape of a child under the age of 16 years old and later released into the custody of his parents.

Students of Guyana and Suriname who participated in the first Inter-Guianas Spelling Bee Competition, held yesterday at NCERD.

Guyana overall w-i-n-n-e-r in first Inter-Guianas Spelling Bee

Guyana’s students yesterday emerged the overall winners in the first Inter-Guianas Spelling Bee Competition. The Spelling Bee brought together students of Guyana and Suriname, from ages 10 to 14, in a concept of solidarity dubbed “Guianame.” The participants were drawn from several regions in Guyana and from the AlphaMax Academy, which has been the

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: