Trades union body outraged at Suriname ousting of CGX

Stabroek News
June 8, 2000

The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) is outraged by Suriname's eviction by military force of the CGX Resources Inc oil rig from its concession off the Corentyne coast within Guyana's territorial waters on Saturday.

It has called for a vigorous diplomatic offensive, which should be accompanied by a clear demonstration on the part of the Government of Guyana that the nation stood ready to defend its territorial integrity by any means necessary.

A release from the GTUC on Monday described the action by the Suriname Navy gun boats as "undisguised aggression designed to undermine Guyana's territorial integrity and to prevent the legitimate exploitation of the resources located therein."

It said that the action of the Republic of Suriname constituted a blatant challenge to Guyana's resolve to protect and defend its territorial integrity and should not be allowed to go unheeded. "... were it allowed to go unheeded, [it] would inevitably lead to incremental challenges to Guyana's sovereignty," the release said.

The GTUC also expressed concern about the apparent absence of the bipartisan institutional mechanisms which ought to be in place to unite the patriotic forces in the country "to meet the challenge posed by Suriname."

The GTUC is calling on the government "to initiate immediate and genuine bipartisan consultations on this transgression of Guyana's territorial integrity and to formulate a robust response based on the collective wisdom deriving from these consultations."

It also calls on the government "to move immediately to pursue a vigorous diplomatic offensive within regional, hemispheric and international organisations including the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the United Nations.

"The specific objectives of this diplomatic offensive must be to secure international condemnation of Suriname's actions and to realise a swift return to the status quo ante", the release said.

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