June3, 2000

The Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas
Prime Minister of St.Kitts & Nevis and
Chairman of Conference of CARICOM
St Kitts & Nevis
West Indies


I am writing to bring to your attention a situation that has arisen between Guyana and Suriname in light of a decision by the Government of Guyana to grant a licence to CGX Resources Inc, a Canadian based Petroleum Company to explore for petroleum in their concession located in the offshore area within the national territory of Guyana.

Thus far, the two Governments have exchanged notes through diplomatic channels reflecting their respective positions on the matter. Copies of the Notes are attached for your information and guidance, as well as two press statements issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Latest developments as of Friday and Saturday, June 2 nd and 3 rd respectively are that the Surinamese authorities despatched Military aircraft and Coast Guard vessels to the site where the CGX rig was located. In so doing, Guyana’s airspace and territorial waters were violated. Moreover, this intimidatory presence and use of threatening language by the Surinamese Navy posed a serious threat to the safety and security of CGX’s personnel and equipment. Consequently, the company was forced to cease operations and relocate to another prospecting area within the concession granted to them by the Government of Guyana.

In light of this situation, the Government of Guyana has lodged a strong protest with the Government of Suriname about these unwarranted actions.

I must draw to your attention the lack of good faith on the part of the Surinamese side since these actions were executed even while I was in contact with President Jules Wijdenbosch and Foreign Minister Rohee was negotiating with his Surinamese counterpart an agreeable date and time for a meeting between the two sides, with a view to finding a peaceful and mutually acceptable resolution of our differences on the matter.

I now understand that a meeting is being arranged in Trinidad and Tobago in a few days time.

You recall that at the time of the debate at the level of Heads concerning Suriname’s application for membership in the Community, the question of the border dispute between Guyana and Suriname did gain some prominence especially during the Sixth Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Community which was held in Belize in February 1995.

In this regard, I wish to draw to your attention the following decisions adopted by Heads at the Belize Meeting.

    1. " agreed that in the interim, Member States and the Secretariat make every effort towards the resolution of the Guyana-Suriname Border Controversy as well as other outstanding difficulties which impede the development of relations between the two countries;"
    2. " Also agreed that following the approval of Suriname’s application, these efforts be maintained with a view to persuading Suriname as a member of the Community and Common Market to develop with Guyana, the type of relations appropriate to Member States;"

      In light of these decisions, I am writing to you to:

    1. protest vigorously the aggressive actions by Suriname-a CARICOM Member State against the territorial integrity of Guyana, another Member State of the Community;
    2. alert the Community through you to these recent developments in respect to our relations with Suriname
    3. remind the Community through you about the decision adopted by Heads at their 1995 Inter-sessional Meeting in Belize; request that you use your good offices as Chairman of the Community to take whatever action you deem appropriate at the political and diplomatic levels consistent with the decisions of the Heads.
      With highest regards
      Yours sincerely,
      Bharrat Jagdeo
      President of the Republic of Guyana

      Cc: Dr. Edwin Carrington
      Secretary General- CARICOM Secretariat