Major 2006 plot to kill high profile targets
Leaked US embassy cables reveal…
– Ramotar, Brian Tiwari, Roger Khan, Sattaur, Benschop’s juror
– execution team headed by ‘Fineman’, McPherson
Shortly after controversial talk show host, Ronald Waddell was killed execution-style, a major assassination plot was uncovered, with a hit list including the names of the then US Ambassador Roland Bullen, Odinga Lumumba, and PPP’s General Secretary, Donald Ramotar.
This is according to another of the leaked cables from the US Embassy in Georgetown that has been making its rounds on the web and in Guyana.
According to the secret document sent on February 28, 2006 by Roland Bullen, the US Ambassador, the information on the plot was passed on by former Army Chief, Major General (ret.) Norman McLean.
Guyana’s most wanted at the time, Rondell “Fineman” Rawlins, and former army personnel Godwin McPherson were named in the cable as the ones spearheading the operations to kill the “targets.”
Among the other targets were former Registrar of the High Court, Sita Ramlal; McLean; Chancellor (ag) Carl Singh; Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon; GECOM’s Chairman, Dr. Steve Surujbally; a juror in Mark Benschop’s treason case; convicted drug trafficker, Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan; owner of contracting firm BK Int’l, Brian Tiwari and Commissioner General of GRA, Khurshid Sattaur.
Over the past days, the cables released by whistle-blower website, WikiLeaks, have been making the news in Guyana highlighting the US thoughts, some embarrassing, on Guyana and on politicians during interactions.
Already, President Bharrat Jagdeo, has dismissed the seriousness of the cables, which spoke among other things, of the infamous Roger Khan arrest and appointment of Commissioner of Police, Henry Greene.
According to the cable, Ambassador Bullen met with McLean in February 2006, days after Waddell was laid to rest, and was provided with the hit list which reportedly came from a policeman who had access to the Buxton village, considered then as a hotbed for criminals.
“This paper described a discussion regarding an operation to kill high profile people in retaliation for the murder of Ronald Waddell. Ambassador Bullen’s name was one of thirteen names listed. This paper described a discussion that reportedly occurred February 4 after Waddell’s funeral procession.”
According to press reports and McLean’s information, when the funeral procession reached Buxton, some members of the crowd removed Waddell’s body from the casket, told police, the media, and other members of the procession to wait while they paraded through an area known as “the Gulf”, where persons in black masks carrying AK-47s fired shots into the air as a final salute to the man who had praised the vigilante “Buxton resistance”.”
The US Embassy noted in the cable that while it was difficult to evaluate the credibility of the threat, it was cognizant of the fact that McLean was a serious and experienced security professional. McLean said his source offered to obtain further information, but McLean advised him not to.
McLean said he brought the matter to Ambassador’s attention because he believes the source is credible and he believes that retaliation for the Waddell murder was inevitable.
According to the cable, the embassy immediately moved to beef up the security of Ambassador Bullen, changing vehicles and the routes and times of his travel and even asking the police for personnel.
According to the Embassy, from information it had, after the funeral of Waddell, a number of persons met and discussed forms and retaliation.
In general, the hit list contained names of persons associated with or lending some form of support to the ruling administration of the People’s Progressive
The embassy later developed intelligence which stated that reconnaissance started in several areas including Bel Air where there was a known building where elements of the so-called ‘death squad’ hung out and where Ramlal lives.
The killings were expected to start later than February month, around the Mashramani celebrations period.
“The scenarios could be hits direct and by staged vehicle accidents.”
The entire purpose was to cause chaos and confusion, “disrupt the likelihood of investment and frustrate” the national elections that year.