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May 3, 2016

P.U.P. Will Test the Controversial Sarstoon Law

John Briceño

As we said a little later, an expedition planned by the Belize Territorial Volunteers for the Sarstoon this past weekend was halted by elements of the Belize Coast Guard and the Police. In fact, the expedition didn’t even get off the ground, so to speak. The Prime Minister had no apology today, and instead hoped that the BTV has gotten the message. But here’s what. The P.U.P. has declared that it is planning an expedition to the Sarstoon, since the Party condemned the recent regulation which prohibits Belizeans from going to Belize’s side of the controversial river. But the P.U.P. maintains it will test the controversial law by visiting the area. The party will also embark on consultations with social partners.


John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader

“On the third one we believe it is unconstitutional what the government is doing so we believe that it is only right, on behalf of the people of this country, especially our indigenous people down south, the Mayan people down south and the Garifuna whose livelihoods depend on fishing on the Sarstoon river, we believe that we have the wherewithal, the legal expertise, to take out this challenge against the government. The fourth, as a national executive and members from parliament, we decide that it is important for us to show to the government and to the country that we do not agree with this law and we are going to challenge it not only by talking and press conferences but to go on the ground, to go out there and to go to the Sarstoon river and to challenge the government for stopping us from going there. We believe that the national party council when it is presented that quite likely there are going to be other members of the national party council that are going to want to join us and if that were the case that we are going to welcome them to join us. The national party council consist of about three hundred party members from across the country. On the fifth one the launching of the national campaign, I will ask deputy leader Cordel Hyde to elaborate a little on that matter.”


Cordel Hyde, Deputy Leader, P.U.P.

“It is just to say that we will be meeting with the social partners to discuss with them what we intend to do and to try to come to some common agreement as to the way forward. We believe that the party leader has gone above and beyond the call of duty in trying to cooperate with the government on this issue and that at a certain point that becomes counterproductive, because we believe the government seems to believe that they can do certain things here and get away with it and we don’t respond. And I think the time has come where we have to respond. It is not just the P.U.P. who is upset with what has happened, it is across the country all the significant social partners and all the people across this country are venting are pretty angry about what is happening and I think as a responsible opposition party, we should consult with those persons and try to chart a positive way forward.”

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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