The widow and family members of slain historian and founder leader of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Dr Walter Rodney have commenced a worldwide petition, calling on Government to make the findings of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into his death public and the recommendations therein acted upon.
The widow is continuing to fight for justice for the death of her husband, who died in a bomb blast some 36 years ago. She, along with her children, friends and supporters, began circulating a petition throughout the Caribbean and around the world, calling for justice for the renowned scholar.
The petition is also calling for a change in the manner of death stated on Rodney’s death certificate, from “death by misadventure” to “murder”, for the change of his profession from “unemployed” to “Historian/Professor”, for the overturning of the conviction of his younger brother Donald Rodney, and to expunge any related criminal history.
The petition has also fired at Government, stating that its celebration of the life of former Prime Minster and People’s National Congress (PNC) Leader Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham during the celebration of Guyana’s 50th independence anniversary was a revisionist account of Guyana’s history. The findings of the CoI report have fingered the former Prime Minister as the mastermind behind Rodney’s death.
The statement said “enough is enough”, speaking to those who have continued to cover-up what it said are the staggering facts and findings in the CoI Report.
Details coming out of the 18-month investigation – heard evidence from numerous witnesses – revealed that the Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham regime of the 1980s had been very forceful and had used its political power to injure smaller and defenceless political parties.
Rodney, a world respected political and social activist, died in June 1980, after a communication device he was examining exploded in his lap.
In the report, the three Commissioners – Barbados Queen’s Counsel Richard Cheltenham, Jamaican Queen’s Counsel Jacqueline Samuels-Brown and Trinidad-based Guyanese Senior Counsel Seenath Jairam – concluded that given all the relevant facts, events and circumstances set out in the report, they could do nothing else but establish that William 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 Guyana Police Force (GPF), the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) – both agencies of the State – and the political directorate including Prime Minister Forbes Burnham in the killing of Dr Rodney.
The Working People’s Alliance on Monday issued another call to Government to allow the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) report to be laid in the National Assembly