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May 19, 2015

Says Elrington Should Resign

Eamon Courtenay

Courtenay took special exception to a statement made to News Five by Foreign Minister Elrington last week. Elrington claimed that, quote – “At this point in time, we don’t know when we are in Belizean waters. We don’t know when we are in international waters,” end quote. Elrington went on to say that, quote – “In the case of Belize outside here in the sea, it doesn’t matter. It’s not delineated, so how can we when we go to Court say man you are in Belizean waters and more and more we are going to get challenged by the Judiciary when it comes to that,” end quote. But Courtenay claims that the Maritime Areas Act of 1992 is clear in that regard, so any doubt or confusion exists.

 

Eamon Courtenay, Former Foreign Minister/Attorney-General

“The duty of Wilfred Elrington as Foreign Minister, if he is labouring under confusion as to where our waters are, he has a responsibility to make the detailing of those lines. We go further he said in his statement that you can’t prosecute people because you don’t know how far people are in which area. Well we do have GPS, we do have a compass and these things can tell you North, South, East and West, it can tell you where your latitude and longitude is. I have never heard anybody in our B.D.F. or in our Coastguard say that they were lost and they did not know where they were, that they did not have instrumentation to find out where they are. If it is that Mr. Elrington is saying that the police and the B.D.F. and the Coastguard do not have the equipment to tell them where they are in latitude or longitude; then it is his responsibility to equip them where they are in order to do that.  It is absolutely unacceptable for the foreign Minister for the Attorney General of Belize, to tell the Belizean people that we are lost when they are at sea. He may be lost, I want to suspect that the coastguard will reject the assertion of the Foreign Minister; whether they are in Belize of they are in Guatemala. Let me just close of by saying that the Maritime areas act specifically sets out in a number of sections that the courts of Belize have jurisdiction in criminal matters, in civil matters, in our territorial waters and in our exclusive economic zone. The attorney general needs to read the law before he speaks, if he doesn’t understand or if he doesn’t know the law, get advice. If he doesn’t know where Belize begins and Belize ends in the sea something is radically wrong and he ought not to be our attorney general.”

 

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1 Response for “Says Elrington Should Resign”

  1. kmh says:

    The foreign minister is an embarrassment to the nation. What hold does he have over PM that he cannot be replaced? One has to wonder.

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