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Oct 9, 2015

COLA Holds Public Meeting in Pickstock

Wilfred Elrington

COLA, for some time, has been calling for the head of the Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington. Their campaign started when an effigy of the Minister was burnt in front of the offices of the O.A.S. off Coney Drive. The advocacy organization has consistently said that Elrington has not represented the best interests of Belize. That campaign has now moved into the Pickstock Division where on Thursday night they held a public meeting. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A public meeting, coordinated by grassroots organization COLA, was held on Thursday night before a small, diverse audience of residents from Pickstock.  Also in attendance were supporters of the People’s United Party and the newly formed Belize Progressive Party.  Apart from the humble turnout, the message delivered by the guest speakers was very clear, the incumbent area representative, Foreign Minister Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, has got to go.

 

Delroy Herrera

Delroy Herrera, Member, COLA

“Belize is a sovereign nation and that Wilfred and the Guatemalans should go and fly a kite. Go fly a kite. That’s why we have stuck to consistency to bringing the principles that Belize sovereignty lies not within Wilfred Sedi Elrington, but it lies within the Belizean people like our forefathers like Phillip Goldson, like lee Richardson, like George Price and the list goes on and on and on. Now, we know the will of the Belizean people; we respect the will of the Guatemalan people, but we at COLA want to tell the Guatemalans, to hell with your ratio in your population to Belize’s population, regardless of whatever consequences we at COLA have to take on at the end.”

 

The move to depose Elrington as Belize’s chief diplomat was introduced back in July, well before his recent so-called blunder at the UN General Assembly.  That incident has only served as fuel for the pressure group to call for his removal from the House of Representatives altogether.

 

Geovanni Brackett

Geovanni Brackett, President, COLA

“When Sedi started, Sedi had a track record of losing. Sedi started just like this; pelinky. But we saw him in government. The difference though with COLA, when we finish, we will finish strong. You don’t get intimidated by who is here and who is not here. I can tell you confidently that they are jumping in their boots right now. They know that people are afraid to come out but they know that every time people read, people in the Pickstock, people around his country know very well that they have a fake minister, who is fake in everything that he does. I wonder if he is scared of his shadow because every time Sedi talks, Sedi talks about how powerful the Guatemalans are; how powerful and big they are in military. Man Sedi stop do commercial fi Guatemala noh.”

 

Other impassioned guest speakers expressed their disdain for the preferential treatment that foreigners, including Guatemalan nationals, are purportedly receiving by from government.

 

Guest Speaker

Guest Speaker

“Now is the time to demand your piece of the Jewel. Fight for what is yours; this is yours. Nobody but ours. We must defend it at all cost. I am wearing a big hadt tonight; COLA has a big hat on its head. On November fourth, we must to bring a big broom and sweep weh dehn breda yah. This dah weh we need fi do. God Bless Belize.”

 

According to outspoken activist Murphy McLaren, Belizeans, for the most part, have had enough of being disappointed by political parties that rise to power only to lead by autocracy.  The Belize-Guatemala dispute, he said, never mentioned ceding any territory.

 

Murphy McLaren

Murphy McLaren, Executive Member, COLA

“No one discussed territory, no one, except the U.D.P., Sedi Elrington and the leadership of this country. We cannot let Sedi get away; it is not only about Sedi…the cabinet has to endorse Sedi. So while we are saying get rid of Sedi, I am saying get rid of the whole government because these people have consistently betray us. It is a deep betrayal we have been going through; dictatorship at large.”

 

A head count of attendees by officers assigned to the event puts the overall number, including those scattered across New Road, somewhere in the area of about two hundred people. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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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