Jan 17, 1979 • 1705 • Georgetown-State • 0232

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1979GEORGE00232_e.html.]

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PAGE 01
GEORGE 00232 171743Z
ACTION ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 OCS-06 CA-01 SSO-00 INRE-00 NSCE-00 ICAE-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 PM-05 H-02 INR-10 L-03 NSAE-00 PA-02 ACDA-12 SP-02 SS-15 /074 W
——————107317 171748Z /47 O

R 171705Z JAN 79
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8743
INFO AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN
AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
AMEMBASSY PARAMARIBO
AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 0232

E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: PINT, GY
SUBJ: GOG ANNOUNCES ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO JONESTOWN TRAGEDY

1. THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA (GOG) ANNOUNCED LATE YESTERDAY (JAN 16) THAT ON THE RECOMMENDATION OF CABINET A PUBLIC INQUIRY WILL BE HELD “SHORTLY” INTO THE JONESTOWN TRAGEDY. PRESIDENT CHUNG WILL APPOINT MEMBERS TO THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY, WHICH IS TO BE CHAIRED BY A PERSON OF “JUDICIAL STATURE”. ACCORDING TO THE GOG, ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMISSION WAS DELAYED TO ALLOW FOR THE HANDLING OF MORE “IMMEDIATE” MATTERS, SUCH AS THE CORONER’S INQUEST.

2. SPECULATION AS TO WHO WILL BE APPOINTED HEAD OF THE COMMISSION CENTERS ON JUSTICE J.O.F. HAYNES, CHANCELLOR OF THE JUDICIARY, AND JUSTICE VICTOR CRANE, OF THE COURT OF APPEAL. ALTHOUGH SOME GOG OFFICIALS MAY BE TEMPTED TO URGE PRIME MINISTER BURNHAM TO POLITICALLY INFLUENCE THE CONDUCT AND FINDINGS OF THE COMMISSION, THE CREDIBILTIY OF THE GOG IN THE EYES OF THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL COMMUNITY WILL

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BE DAMAGED IF IT APPEARS THAT COMMISSION MEMBERS ARE BEING SUBJECT TO POLITICAL PRESSURE.

3. COMMENT: GOG HAS BEEN UNDER PRESSURE FOR SOME TIME FROM THE OPPOSITION PEOPLE’S PROGRESSIVE PARTY (PPP) AND OTHER CRITICS (E.G., THE BAR ASSOCIATION AND THE CATHOLIC STANDARD WEEKLY) TO HAVE A FULL INQUIRY. FOR WHATEVER REASON OR REASONS, GOG APPARENTLY NOW FEELS IT MUST HAVE SOME SORT OF AIRING OF THE MATTER.

BURKE

UNCLASSIFIED
NNN

Originally posted on October 19th, 2020.

Last modified on November 3rd, 2020.
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