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Oct 23, 2018

Sedi Says Residents in the South Have Had a Change of Heart

Recently, several groups, including the Belize Progressive Party and the southern caucus of the People’s United Party publicly said ‘NO’ to taking the territorial claim to the I.C.J.  The grouping calls itself the Belize Peace Movement and met recently in Belmopan. Today, Foreign Minister Sedi Elrington told News Five that after hearing the facts of Belize’s case, residents from the south recently had a change of heart. Elrington says that he is confident that following the education campaign, taking the claim to the I.C.J. is the best choice Belizeans can make.

 

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“I spent last weekend in Dangriga and PG; Stann Creek West and PG…i grew up in both districts so I am very familiar with them. Without exception, as soon as I had finished explaining to people what we are about and what the process is about, without exception they had agreed was that we should go to the I.C.J.  The only people who don’t agree that we should go to the I.C.J. in general—most people—are those who have a political agenda. There are some who have sought to politicise an issue which is a national issue. Now a politician in opposition can afford to do that because if it backfires, he doesn’t have a responsibility. But a politician who is in government has an obligation to govern so we can’t tell you falsehoods; we can’t give you fake news, we can’t misrepresent the facts to you, we have got to tell you straight because if anything backfires, we have got to deal with it. And consistent to what we have been saying, I noticed coming on your TV a wonderful interview from an international lawyer from Mexico who cannot over praise the virtue of going to the I.C.J.  Here is an objective, professional, knowledgeable practitioner before the I.C.J. who is telling you this is the best choice you can make. And what was his argument for that, you can’t continue to have an enemy behind you for the rest of your life. If the United Nations is telling you that—and the I.C.J. belongs to the United Nations—if the Commonwealth is telling you that, if CARICOM is telling you that, if the ACP countries is telling you that, if every international organization is telling you to the I.C.J., if every political leader who has dealt with the matter here in Belize as well as internationally is telling you to go to the I.C.J., on what basis can these other people in Belize, these few people that have access to the media, what makes them so much more intelligent and informed than all these institutions, organizations, dignitaries, intellectuals and practitioners. How is it? It is a common sense matter.  Even if in fact you will not get a hundred percent satisfaction at the I.C.J., it is much better than to put your life at the risk of the Guatemalan military. So only the political opportunists, those who have no love for country, but who want to advance their political, personal agenda in my view are saying no.”


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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