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Apr 13, 2016

B.N.T.U. to Hold Forum on Belize/Guatemala Issue

Luke Palacio

Classes on Friday for primary schools across the country have been cancelled as all teachers are expected to head west to Benque Viejo to attend a forum on the Belize/Guatemala differendum.  The meeting is to discuss ongoing tension between both countries due to recent hostility along the southern border at Sarstoon.  The objective of the conference, according to B.N.T.U. National President Luke Palacio, is to bring educators up to speed with what has been taking place at the political level to resolve the issue.  The idea, Palacio says, is to be able to take that newfound knowledge into the classroom as part of the academic curriculum.


Luke Palacio, National President, B.N.T.U.

“B.N.T.U.’s constitution, Objective Number Nine states that the B.N.T.U. is to project and maintain a proactive position on issues of national, regional and international interest that will impact on the independence, sovereignty, social, economic and political wellbeing of our people and our nation.  In that regard, the B.N.T.U. at its forty-sixth annual convention held in Punta Gorda at the end of March passed a resolution as it relates to the matter of the Belize/Guatemala differendum.  And so we believe that this is an issue of national importance and the Belizean populace needs to be educated, needs to be sensitized on how we move forward.  Our goal obviously is that we must ensure that every Belizean, man, woman and child will understand the issues and will be prepared to stand up for Belize.  Hence, the name of our campaign is the Stand Up for Belize campaign.  We launch this campaign this coming Friday, the fifteenth of April at Mount Carmel High School in Benque Viejo del Carmen where we’ll be having presentations.  The featured presenter will be Honorable Assad Shoman, ambassador, and for the government we confirmed that Honorable Wilfred Elrington will be representing the government’s views.  We’re still awaiting word from the main opposition who will be representing them at this educational forum.  And basically what we are seeking as B.N.T.U. is for these bodies, these representatives to indicate to us what their position would be on the ICJ.  We’re not taking a vote on the ICJ at this point but we also want to hear from them their views on that and we also want to hear from them where they are in terms of ensuring that this particular issue, resolving the Belize/Guatemala differendum will be above and beyond party politics.”

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