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Oct 12, 2016

Church Senator reveals threats to home and family

Ashley Rocke

Perhaps the most controversial representative of the social partners, Pastor Ashley Rocke, whose position on two occasions has angered the churches, declined chairmanship of the Senate Select Committee for fear of his personal well being and that of his family.  According to the clergyman, he has received numerous threats in the wake of his contentious stance on the senate inquiry.  For her part, trade unionist Elena Smith also turned down the post on the basis that P.M. Barrow is scheduled to meet with the Belize National Teachers Union on Thursday.  That meeting should also serve to address the N.T.U.C.B.’s concerns about the composition of the committee.


Pastor Ashley Rocke, Church Senator

“The call for the chair of the committee we feel is a very delicate issue and because of the last month or so with all the backlash that I’ve experienced, all the backlash that I’ve experienced and even threats to my family, I have decided that I would not be giving myself to this position.”


Lee Mark Chang

“Thank you.  Senator Smith.”


Elena Smith, Senator for Unions

Elena Smith

“Good morning.  I believe that we are aware that the Prime Minister has informed the NTUCB via a letter to the BNTU’s president that he would be meeting to discuss the eight point agenda of the BNTU and we are aware that those points also include the senate inquiry.  And so, as the person representing that organization I would prefer for that meeting to be held first to see if there will be a change in the position of the NTUCB and to see if there is anything additional that would be added to that meeting with the prime minister and then we go from there.  So while the NTUCB has had a position before as it relates to the composition, there may be some changes and personally I would prefer to have that meeting first before I would accept or [decline] chairmanship of this committee.”


Lee Mark Chang

“Thank you.  Senator Salazar.”


Aldo Salazar, U.D.P. Senator

“I don’t have anything else to add but perhaps Dr. Barnett can.”


Lee Mark Chang

“Doctor Barnett.”


Dr. Carla Barnett

Dr. Carla Barnett

“Yes, as Senator Salazar said earlier when we discussed it, we agreed that in keeping with the approach that government had taken from the start that we would not want government to be in the chair of this committee.  The suggestion has always been that the chairmanship should come from the social partners, whether it’s the churches, labor or the business community and that remains our position.  However, if it turns out when we meet next time that there can be no consensus among the social partners on the selection of a chairman, we will have to proceed and government may have to assume.  It is not the preferred course that we would want to take but the work of this committee really needs to begin in earnest.”

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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1 Response for “Church Senator reveals threats to home and family”

  1. Hatari says:

    That’s what happens to Turncoats!

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