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Aug 28, 2015

Opposition Senator Files Notice of Motion

Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman is unrelenting on the issue of the incursion in the Sarstoon by the Guatemalan military. Today she wrote to the Clerk of the National Assembly informing him of a motion which she plans to present at the next Senate meeting. That will happen on Thursday, September fourth, two days after an unexpected and just announced Special House Meeting to be held on Tuesday. Shoman is also the Opposition’s representative on the Belize/Guatemala Bi-Partisan Commission, and has been a thorn in the government’s side since the incident in Sarstoon on August sixteenth. She’s made an official request for a copy of the O.A.S. Report and Protest Note related to that incident, and now she taking it one step further.

 

On the Phone: Lisa Shoman, P.U.P. Senator

“The Senate has certain powers under the Constitution and among those powers are powers which enable us to discuss matters of urgent public importance. So the incidents that occurred at the Sarstoon are definitely matters of urgent public importance that should be discussed and the Senate also has the power to bring in Chief Executive officers of Government ministries in respect of any matter of which that person has knowledge by virtue of the office and the execution of their duties. And so as you know the vessels of the Guatemalan navy entered our internal waters and committed an incursion, as the Prime Minister has acknowledged. But also the Prime Minister said in his address to the nation that the B.D.F. are routinely challenged and frequently told to turn back. And we also learned that there was an occasion where they were threatened by the Guatemalan Navy with the ramming of their boat and/or a fire-fight. The Prime Minister also promised to give the nation at least a summary of the O.A.S. report which has not been obtained yet. I have not received any response to my letter asking for the protest note or for the O.A.S. summary. And I think that it is important for Belizeans to know and understand how long the situation in the Sarstoon has been occurring, what steps government has taken if the protest has been made to Guatemala, and also what it is that has been happening in the Sarstoon and how it is that we are going to address those issues. So I am asking that this be put on the agenda of the Senate, and I expect that on September the fourth we will address it and take a vote to see whether in fact we are going to be able to call in the C.E.O. of Foreign Affairs and the C.E.O. of National Security to come and answer questions from the Senate.”

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