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Sep 29, 2005

Collection of Prime Minister’s speeches released

Story PicturePrime Minister Said Musa is no stranger to book launchings and art openings at the Image Factory–hey, his son owns the joint–but today the P.M. was the guest of honour as Belize’s latest published author.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting
The book, “Belize: A Caribbean Nation in Central America; Selected Speeches of Said Musa” was officially launched this morning in Belize City.

Editor of the book is Minister of Information Godfrey Smith.

Godfrey Smith, Editor, Selected Speeches of Said Musa
“I think the utility of this book lies in that it offers an objective reader, a student, a researcher, a public officer, a historian, an international observer a chance to understand the core values of Said Musa, what he stands for, the philosophy that underpins his political thinking, his decision making, his ideas and expressions. It is only by reading it, as well the best expression of a person and his thinking and belief comes often times not from what he says in an off-handed way, but from what he is forced to sit down and crystallize in a speech, in an address, in a piece of policy.”

Today’s book launch is part of official celebrations in commemoration of the P.U.P.’s fifty-fifth year of existence.

George Price, Former Prime Minister
“Said Musa, the Right Honourable Prime Minister and Leader of the People’s United Party, carries on the work of the peaceful, constructive, Belizean revolution. It’s not a dead revolution, it’s a dynamic, it’s alive and self-renewing in the flow of time.”

As for the author himself, Musa says the body of work is representative of the collective wisdom of the People’s United Party.

Prime Minister Said Musa
“I’m hoping that the book will afford people an opportunity to get into the mind of Said Musa and understand a little better of how I operate and why I operate the way I do.”

Janelle Chanona
“Are you afraid that somebody is going through your speeches with a fine tooth comb and say you see, Mr. Musa didn’t get this done, he didn’t do this, he said he was going to do this?”

Prime Minister Said Musa
“That is always the risk that a politician must make, but in fairness to the people too, we must lay it out and say, this was what we intended, these are our objectives. If we haven’t fulfilled all of them, at least let’s show the high percentage that we have been able to carry out. I don’t think we’ll ever or any government for that matter will ever be able to carry out all its commitments a hundred percent, but if we can reach seventy-five, eighty percent, I think that’s a pretty good record.”

But even with recent public protests suggesting otherwise, Prime Minister Musa appears unfazed.

Prime Minister Said Musa
“I am humbled and deeply honoured that you the members and supporters of the People’s United Party entrusted me with that responsibility. It was a large shoe to fill and I’m not sure I’ve filled it yet… and that’s kind of suggesting I’m not ready to give up yet.”

“When so many people feel that governments can be removed?well not so many, some people?that governments can be removed just by calling for their resignations or talking about forcing them out of office, well Belize has never had that experience and we will never have that experience under the People’s United Party.”

Another hallmark of the P.U.P. anniversary will be a rare television interview with former Prime Minister George Price.

Yasser Musa, P.R. Officer, P.U.P.
“I felt that I was in an important place because obviously he’s still very clear in his thinking in terms of how he presents his ideas. As he said today, the clarity of thought, the measuring of his words, and that will come across in the interview. He has very strong opinions about things. He talks about all kinds of things like the book he was reading, “The Da Vinci Code” which is a controversial book. So he’s not a man that just deals with the past, he deals with present issues as well as the current state of contemporary life.”

And in words to his interviewer, Price imparted timely advice to P.M. Musa.

George Price
“You get things done, because so often in government, we decide on something and it’s not done… You have to be behind people to do things to do things every time. Don’t tell us it’s under, it’s processing, or it’s in so or so place. We want it done.”

Copies of the book are fifty dollars for the hard cover version, forty for the paperback. According to Prime Minister Musa, proceeds will be used to pay off publication expenses and to assist the People’s United Party. The interview with Price, which appears on the P.U.P. produced television show, Forefront, airs tonight at nine here on Channel Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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