Private sector strongly condemns CGX's eviction

Stabroek News
June 8, 2000

The Private Sector Commission (PSC) has strongly condemned the use of military force by Suriname to oust a drilling rig operated by CGX Energy Inc from Guyana's territorial waters, after it was granted permission to drill there by Guyana.

A press release from the PSC noted that the action by Suriname "endangered the lives of those on board, including American and Canadian citizens" and caused severe economic loss to CGX and ultimately to the citizens of Guyana.

The release noted that Guyana had acted legitimately and within international norms in entering into an agreement allowing CGX to drill for petroleum on its territory. The PSC said that as a sister CARICOM country and one with which Guyana had enjoyed good relations, Guyanese would have expected that Suriname would have handled any differences that arose in a responsible manner through normal channels of diplomacy.

"The present unfortunate and precipitate action by Suriname cannot add to the development of the cooperation and friendship between the two nations which will be part of the ongoing functional relationship between sister countries of CARICOM...," the release said.

The PSC said it welcomed with much optimism the decision by CGX to drill for oil in Guyana's offshore territory. It also said it welcomed the diplomatic initiatives now in progress and urged that Suriname agree to CGX resuming its operation as soon as possible, while the talks continued towards a satisfactory solution to both countries.

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