CaribWorldNews, PORT KAITUMA, Guyana, Thurs. Nov. 19, 2009: The government of Guyana is remembering the victims of the 1978 Jonestown tragedy.
Thirty-one years after the Jonestown catastrophe, Guyana`s Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Manniram Prashad joined the Charge d` Affaires of the United States Embassy in Guyana, Karen Williams, to unveil a plaque at the Port Kaituma site.
The unveiling ceremony yesterday took place on the 31st anniversary of the murders by American Jim Jones. `In memory of the victims of the Jonestown Tragedy, November 18, 1978, Jonestown, Guyana,` the simple white plaque read Wednesday.
Both officials said the tragedy was cruelty to the highest extent and urged that people remember this event so that it will not be repeated.
Jonestown was the informal name given to the People`s Temple Agricultural Project which was set up in the northwest of Guyana, formed by an American cult led by Jones. It became internationally notorious when on November 18, 1978, 914 people died in the settlement as well as on a nearby airstrip. The Temple members died from apparent cyanide poisoning in an event termed revolutionary suicide. The poisoning in Jonestown followed the murder of five others by Temple members at the Port Kaituma airstrip. Among those killed there was U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan. The tragedy put the South Ameican nation in the global spotlight and three decades later, it is still remembered as THE destination of the horrific mass murders.
Jonestown is located at Port Kaituma in the Matarkai sub-region of Region One (Barima/Waini) in the South American jungle of Guyana and is 25 minutes drive from the Port Kaituma airstrip.