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Feb 26, 2010

Channel 5 kept out of B.T.L. AGM, but got shareholders’ feedback

Juanita Navarro

Juanita Navarro

On Thursday night’s newscast we promised to report on Telemedia’s Annual General Meeting held at the Princess Hotel.  It is a promise we will not be able to keep, but not because we didn’t try.  When News Five got to the venue, we were told that it was a closed meeting even though other media houses were allowed inside.  So News Five spent hours waiting until after the AGM and tried to get interviews with Lois Young, the Attorney/Secretary for Telemedia and CEO Karen Bevans; both denied our requests.  The B.T.L. Chairman, Net Vasquez, we were told, was mixing with guests upstairs.  We were, however, able to gather from shareholders we spoke to coming out of the meeting that all the tabled resolutions were passed though there were significant abstentions in the voting.  Some of those shareholders complained that the government directors were throwing their weight around and not at all being open and tolerant of opposing views.  Others spoke of the nineteen cents per share in dividends that government has promised to pay shortly.  Here’s a sample of the responses we got from the shareholders as they exited the AGM.

Marion Ali

“What went on upstairs during the meeting?”

Juanita Navarro, B.T.L. Shareholder

“Oh dehn just elect di members fi di Board.”

Marion Ali

“So who’s on the Board?”

Juanita Navarro

“I noh remember.”

Chris Garcia, B.T.L. Shareholder

Chris Garcia

Chris Garcia

“It’s better than what we have been getting over the past few years. I just want to follow what will be happening closely, monitor.  We need to be more involved than before, than sit back and just watch things and not ask questions and make your concerns known.”

Therese Wright, B.T.L. Shareholder

“They were all nominated already, we just finalize it guess when dehn seh do you nominate dis one and do you nominate dah one, all of that was already done.”

Marion Ali

“Did you like that process?”

Therese Wright

“Only thing weh I never really like is that not everybody know these people.  So I think what they should have done, everybody should have come down and then when they say do you Miss so and so dehn come up and then everybody wah know who dah Miss Barnett and who dah Mr. dat cause noh everybody know these people yoh know?”

Erwin Cattouse

Erwin Cattouse

Erwin Cattouse, B.T.L. Shareholder

“I thought I would get more than the nineteen cents per share but I accept nineteen cents.  Dehn seh they will invest the rest in the company so I di look forward fi di company be bigger and better inna di year to come.”

Marion Ali

“Did they indicate when they’re gonna privatize the company again?”

Erwin Cattouse

“Dehn seh sometime in mid dis year or the latter part of this year.”

Marion Ali

“Was a buyer named?”

Erwin Cattouse

“No, they would offer it to the citizens of Belize.”

Marion Ali

“Are you gonna keep your shares?”

Myrna Manzanares, B.T.L. Shareholder

Myrna Manzanares

Myrna Manzanares

“Hell yes, from the get go BTL was a very profitable company and I could see that as insurance for my children.  I will keep my shares, I will never sell my shares, no matter who owns the company.”

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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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