Burnham’s PNC was part of plan, conspiracy to assassinate Dr Rodney – CoI Report


The International Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate the death of Working People’s Alliance (WPA) Leader, Dr. Walter Rodney has concluded what has long been believed by many, that is – without any doubt, the Forbes Burnham-led Peoples National Congress (PNC) Government and other agencies operating on behalf of the State were responsible for the historian’s assassination.
According to the CoI Final report, which was leaked and seen by INews a few hours ago, Dr Rodney was killed as part of a State organised assassination with the knowledge of then Prime Minister Forbes Burnham, with attempts made by State security forces at the time, to shield and protect the man thought to be directly responsible for carrying out the assassination – Gregory Smith.

Dr Walter Rodney
Dr Walter Rodney

“Given the manner in which the country was run, coupled with the threats issued by Prime Minister Burnham to the members of the WPA and the evidence of Mr Robert Allan Gates, we conclude that Prime Minister Burnham knew of the plan and was part of the conspiracy to assassinate Dr. Walter Rodney”.
The Commission concluded that Gregory Smith was not acting alone “but had the active and full support, participation and encouragement of, and/or was aided and abetted by the GPF, the GDF, agencies of the State, and political directorate in the killing of Dr. Walter Rodney”.
Noting that Dr Walter Rodney was a man of large and significant stature, both in Guyana and beyond at the time of his death, the Commission found that he could only have been killed in “a State organised assassination with the knowledge of Prime Minister Burnham in the Guyana of that period”.
The Commission particularly pointed out that Guyana at the time was a controlled society and Burnham had a large and detailed knowledge of whatever was being done by the State and its agencies.
The CoI said that in the end “it is clear to us that the Police were unprofessional, extremely inefficient in turning a blind eye to obvious, or deliberately botched investigation in Dr Rodney’s killing, or were complicit with others, including the GDF in hiding or shielding Gregory Smith from facing the brunt of the law for having murdered Dr. Walter Rodney.

Forbes Burnham
Forbes Burnham

“Mr. Lewis, then Head of Special Branch and later Commissioner of Police is dead. We find, however, that there is prima facie evidence that he, along with Major General, Norman McLean (Ret’d), then Chief of Staff of the GDF and Mr Cecil ‘Skip’ Roberts, the Deputy Commissioner of Police and Crime Chief, had significant roles to play in the conspiracy to kill Dr. Rodney and the subsequent attempt to conceal the circumstances surrounding his death,” the report stated.
The three-member panel, which consisted of well respected international legal experts, that was involved in probing the death of Dr Rodney last Tuesday handed over the Final report to the Attorney-General’s secretary following instructions reported to have come from President David Granger of his unavailability to receive the report in person. It is now more than a week since the report was handed over, but so far President Granger has not made the findings of the inquiry known to the public in spite of mounting pressure, particularly from the Opposition PPP/C, for the President to release the findings of the report.
Former President Donald Ramotar, in a press statement two days ago, had said the APNU/AFC Government appears to be moving to undermine the findings of the Inquiry in an attempt to avoid releasing the truth surrounding the death of the international historian.
Ramotar, under whose tenure as President, had established the three-member Commission to probe the circumstances which led to the death of the WPA founding member back in 1980, slammed the Government, saying that its posture and handling of the findings of the report was an indication it was gearing up to reject the report in its totality.
He highlighted that the circumstances surrounding Rodney’s death has left a gaping wound in the conscience of the Guyanese society and it has also damaged the reputation of our country among democratic and peace loving people in the world.
The members of the Commission were; Queens Counsel Sir Richard Cheltenham (Chairman) from Barbados, Senior Counsel Seenauth Jairam from Trinidad and Tobago and Queens Counsel Jacqueline Samuels-Brown from Jamaica.
Rodney, a political scholar and social activist died in an explosion some 36 years ago. The WPA, the political party he founded, like many other organisations and groups, has since that day been pointing fingers in the direction of the then PNC administration. Rodney was said to be a thorn in the flesh of the government of the day, and was considered an emerging presence of hope for those who were mistreated by that regime.
On June 13, 1980, a bomb, planted in a walkie-talkie exploded on the lap of Dr Walter Rodney as he sat in his brother’s car outside the Georgetown Prisons.
The device was reportedly given to him by an army sergeant, William Gregory Smith, who reports say had been used by the PNC government to assassinate its main political opponent.



  1. Walter and his brother must be held responsible for Walter`s demise.Where did they get the `walkie talkie`from?not being military or para-military individuals.This is a question I did not hear the Commission asked,or tried to find out.I believe,the COI was a poppy show.Flawed from beginning to end.It was merely hearsay all the time.NO FACTS,BUT FICTION.Some of these PUPPETS commenting in this column are just repeating what they heard.Can`t think for themselves.

  2. During the inquiry Mr. Gouviea testified that any instrument using a red light to ascertain if it’s working is a device, not a walkie-talkie.

  3. Thank you. Granger has all the answers. The current clique of APNU “leaders” act like they are saints, but they were instrumental in supporting Burnham’s dictatorship.

  4. Good comment. There needs to be a COI into the GDF and GPFd urging the PNC/Burnham dictatorship. Many of the current leaders were military and police operatives at the time of Rodney’s assassination. These people need to be brought to justice. Do I need to call names?

  5. Oh! You need to ask Fineman and his gang from Buxton but unfortunately, the police killed him so that no question could have been asked. The dead carry no tales.
    What about three other COI’s? Lusignan, Bartica and Agricola!!! And probably more: the murder of Vincent Teekah and Shirley Field Reidley? May be some of the architects are still around at city hall and elsewhere.

  6. That’s the most puerile and idiotic comment that has ever appeared in this medium concerning the COI into Walter Rodney assassination. This person seems to be living in another planet all on his/her own; an undiscovered planet orbiting its own sun.
    Do some research and so that you could contribute meaningfully.

  7. The cruel dictator Burnham used a bunch of “red men” to destroy Walter Rodney. The distinguished historian spoke out against the “mulattos” in Jamaica who thought they were superior to the others because of their colour. Burnham used this to brainwash the “fair skinned blacks/mulattos/Portuguese (mixed)” who worked in the military apparatus in Guyana at the time. He may have told them that Rodney would get rid of them if ever he takes power in Guyana. A team of “red men” went after Walter Rodney, and as revealed by the COI, with the help of the state, Walter Rodney, a son of Guyana, was assassinated.

    It was a time when the major institutions of the state were not functioning. As revealed by the COI, “Major General Norman McLean (ret’d) and others played significant roles in the conspiracy to kill Dr Rodney and cover up his death”.

    Norman McLean went to the Haj hoping to wash away his sins. Haji McLean should be jailed for life. This fu##ing hypocrite walks around Guyana freely, and chairs something called the Private Sector Commission.

  8. What should Rupert Roopnarine do now? He sold himself to the party that assassinated his leader. Wonder what he should do now? What would I do if i were in his place. ..

  9. The GDF, so this means President David Granger is implicated given he was a high ranking member of the army at that time and also the likes of Mayor Hamilton Green, etc. It is interesting to see how they will react to this. It will be interesting to see what Kaieteur News will say, Adam Harris in particular. There is an old saying that one should not throw stones if he has glass windows. I think I know the answer, the obvious answer as to how and what will be the response of the Government. They controlled the media so we know the outcome. I am just saying this up front. You can never fool the people all the time.

  10. I don`t believe,the WPA or Rodney was ever a thorn in the flesh of the PNC.Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham was the smartest,intelligent and best President Guyana had ever produced.Even Rodney knew,as intelligent as he was,that a `walkie-talkie`was used strictly by the military and para-military in this country.How did he come about having one?was he a military or para-military personnel?what was his mission?These were questions I did not hear asked or answered.Rodney and his brother had to have knowledge of what that particular equipment entailed,but I believe, their timing was not right,in what their mission was.

  11. The PEOPLE of Guyana know what the PNC will do to cling to POWER! Do we think Granger is any different? Lets wait and see…These crooks rig elections, pull all stunts to dismantle the PPP party and full their pockets….Take a careful look at what GRANGER is doing – The pattern is the same as BURHNAM….ANy army based country suffers economically….this is a true fact around the world….so If the Guyanese were dumb enough to let them into power….or they were duped/rigged…..they have another 30 years of suffering to come before these guys will give up power….making the BROOM new on every election to sweep the funds into their pockets….We all knew Naga join the PNC for money….Ramjattan and Rupert sold the great work on Walter Roodney because these DUNCES could not take the WPA to the top….they lack the skills set Sir Walter Roodey had….it is a fact!

  12. Burnham’s PNC was part of plan, conspiracy to assassinate Dr Rodney – CoI Report…
    What a waste of money on this COI when in fact all Guyanese even the unborn knew that Banom wipe out Rod-Knee..But the beauty of this is A B C countries were deaf dumb blind to all this because of their most favored puppet Banom were their stooge and slave.
    PNC-Guyana Police and Guyana Army to this day continue to be Governed by themselves..Take a look at our AG Brazil Wille our Passport minister Wasnot Flex..Remember they talked about directing police in the other direction to deadly crimes that was taking plce? Again A B C countries official are in cahoots with these very people again.
    Banom had no other choice but to wipe out the main threat– that threat to Banom was how dare anyone infiltrate his GDF-
    Folks- be ware be very aware our newly installed President was a GDF big man too-
    Be reminded that A B C countries said they all saw free fair transparent and credible election May last year but none of them ever saw ONE SINGLE FAKE SOP.

  13. These are the things that young and inexperienced Guyanese need to know and understand why under the PNC this country was crippled economically and socially. It is sad that in today’s government there exists elements of that horrid time in Guyana’s history. As we watch today we can see a return slowly of these dangerous times, the manner in which SOCU operates is indicative and a clear manner of PNC politics and policies.

  14. If the opposition party could try to investigate Mr Rodney death what happened decades ago, what about the agricultural minister under the ppp government Mr sawh that was gunned down brutally with his family we need to bring to justice the persons who conspired his death, not only the persons who actually did it


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