Today the Belize Progressive Party – BPP, issued a Press release regarding statements they claimed were made by one Government representative at the first Teachers ICJ Educational Forum held in Orange Walk on May 24th. The BPP, which also has a seat at the head table, say they take issue with Ambassador Stuart Leslie’s comments as the International Boundaries Commission (IBC) representative when he claimed that, “the Special Agreement/Compromise has already been ratified by the Senate…”. We spoke today with Robert Bobby Lopez, Treasurer of BPP who was present when the comments were made.
Robert “Bobby” Lopez, Belize Progressive Party: On the 24th of May in Orange Walk Town at the BNTU stand up for Belize Tour presentations, Ambassador Leslie representing the government of Belize, International boundaries commission stated that the compromis had already been ratified by the senate. We ask for clarification and further information regarding the date, and he referred us to the clerk of the national assembly. In keeping with our due diligence, the BPP visited the clerk of the national assembly to find out if this was so because to our knowledge it had to been ratified and we’ve been calling for the ratification of the compromis and to the amendment of the compromis. Well we have found out that that is not the case.
Lopez says that the Belize Progressive Party intends to lodge a most stringent rebuke of the miss-information propagated by the GOB and its representatives because, he adds, Belizeans must be provided with the most accurate information in order for informed decisions to be made.
Robert “Bobby” Lopez, Belize Progressive Party: The BPP is very concerned about these misleading, deceptive statements being made by the government’s presenters on the ICJ plan to take Belize to the ICJ and we call on the government for a retraction of such a statement that is misleading. We also call on the government to bring the BPP and others to the table. You have mentioned that over 100 presentations have been done by the presenters. And if such misleading facts are being fed to our people, this is a travesty and we decry such statements and so the BPP is calling for a retraction and clarification, and we’re calling for our government to put the compromis to the senate and further, to put the amendment to the senate for ratification before we go to any referendum. Our constitution demands no less.
The BPP releae also says that ” ..we applaud the BNTU on its earnest efforts toward attuning the populace as to the full range of options at their disposal. Moving forward, we implore all Belizeans to continue to do your due diligence, in order to ensure you know precisely what are your options and their respective merits, … we must not take the utterances of the powers that be, as gospel, especially when as much as half of our 8,867 square miles is at stake of being ceded to Guatemala, if you decide to take this matter to the ICJ.” Regarding the BNTU ICJ Educational Forum, the team travels to Punta Gorda for the forum which will be held on Thursday night at the Father Ring Parish Hall. The tour then resumes on Tuesday on May 31st in Belmopan at the George Price Center.