DE RUEHGE #0124 0342037
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 032037Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3091
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 000124
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PGOV PINR ASEC KCRM GY SUBJECT: DONOR COMMUNITY TO ISSUE NON-VIOLENCE STATEMENT IN WAKE OF WADDELL MURDER
REF: GEORGETOWN 111
1. Ambassador and Chiefs of Mission of the UK, Canada and the European Union (ABCEU) met with leaders of the ruling PPP/C and several opposition parties, including the Guyana Third Force, the Alliance for Change, and the Working People's Alliance, to emphasize the need for non-violence following the January 30 murder of journalist/politician Ronald Waddell (reftel). The opposition PNC/R failed to send a representative. The ABCEU's talking points avoided directly linking Waddell's murder with pre-election violence, instead identifying concern that the recent spate of violent killings continue to erode political stability, the investment climate, and public confidence.
2. Several political leaders identified this weekend's funeral and planned procession through the volatile areas of Albouystown and Buxton as a possible trigger for violence. Guyana Third Force member Joey Jagan identified the Waddell murder as a "watershed" in Guyana's political history for which "somebody will pay". Jagan was critical of the funeral procession as an incitement to violence. Keith Scott of the National Front suggested that each of the political parties should send representatives to this weekend's funeral for a collective display of mourning and should also issue an all-party statement urging peace.
3. Khemraj Ramjattan of the Alliance for Change and Ravi Dev of ROAR said the Ambassador's offer to the GOG for the FBI to lend support to the investigation should be made public. Sheila Holder of the Alliance for Change pointed to a percieved stall in the investigation of the recent murder of Daniel Thompson that has undermined the public's confidence in the Guyana Police Force. Donald Ramotar of the PPP said his party has no problem with categorically condemning violence, but that the ABCEU should consult with the police force to see if it needs assistance before making such an offer publicly. The ABCEU chiefs agreed after the meeting that making the offer public would be premature.
4. The ABCEU has issued the following joint statement condemning all forms of violence in Guyana. Begin text:
We, the High Commissioner for the United Kingdom, the Ambassador of the United States of America, The High Commissioner for Canada and the Ambassador reprsenting the European Union, join our voices with those who have expressed concern with the crime situation in Guyana and we condemn all forms of violence in the strongest terms.
We are concerned not only as members of the international community representing countries who care for Guyana and its future, but also as responsible residents of this country and of this city.
Violence and the resulting culture of fear undermine the stable functioning of society, eroding everything from democratic development to the investment climate to civic life.
As friends of Guyana, we invite all those who are in leadership positions to take a strong stand against violent crime and to demand that those responsible for violent crimes be brought to justice. We urge all citizens who have information to cooperate fully with police investigations.
We encourage the Guyana Police Force to persevere in its efforts to investigate all crimes thoroughly so that those responsible can be brought to justice
In this regard, we support the work of the Guyana Police Force and all those involved in the fight against crime. Moreover, the Governments of the United States of America and of the United Kingdom will continue their efforts to support and strengthen the Guyana Police Force. End Text.
5. COMMENT: With emotions running high following Waddell's murder, the coming funeral procession will no doubt be a political event. Each of the ABCEU representatives stressed the need for appropriate policing to ensure that the funeral procession does not incite violence. END COMMENT.