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Feb 9, 2000

Bel-China houses under construction

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It was a hot issue for a while but lately things have been pretty cool in the area around UDP headquarters near the Bel-China Bridge. That is until today, when the steady noise of a pile-driver marked the beginning of Government’s construction on land which the UDP claims belongs to the party. We found the Ministry of Housing’s Rufus X on the site and asked him just what was going on.

Rufus X, Ministry of Housing

“Well we are building three, two family units…we call them town house, this side of the red and white building and we will be building one or two more on the other side. These buildings, they will be designed to take two families, they will be fully equipped in modern living conditions and everything, and they will be constructed under the supervision of the Ministry of Housing.”

Stewart Krohn, Reporting

How, assuming that these houses have not already been earmarked for certain families. How would people who want to live in these houses go about applying?

Rufus X

“Well they can come to the office at the Housing and Planning and make an application. And I think that preferential treatment will be given to people especially in this area.”

Stewart Krohn

The UDP has said in some of their past press releases that anybody purchasing houses on land that they claim belongs to them, is going to be in trouble once the court decides, in what they think will be their favor. Should anyone in the public be deterred from applying for these houses because of that?

Rufus X

“Not at all, I am not even trying to sympathize with the UDP at this moment, because they know for certain that, you Mr. Krohn and myself could not have gone on any piece of land and decide to build a house and claim it. And they understand this clearly from the beginning, what was the real deal in this land dispute here.”

Stewart Krohn

So you don’t have any worries about that some future decisions by the Supreme Court might unravel what you’re trying to do here?

Rufus X

“No worries at all. I am not even thinking about it, this land belongs to the Government and the Government is building homes for the people.”

Stewart Krohn

Do you or does the government that you represent in this operation have any plans to interfere in any way with the UDP headquarters that’s already there?

Rufus X

“Oh no! They have been given a proposition to buy it, they can go in at any time and pay for it, this piece that they’ll be sitting on. I suppose there would be a problem if they refuse to buy it. Mr. Barrow once said in the beginning that they will not pay one red penny. I mean I have seen him personally say that on television, so that’s the only problem. If they lose their land, if they lose their building, that’s because they want to lose it.”

Under the last administration the UDP was given the land, valued at around six hundred thousand dollars, as a free grant. The PUP has stated that the transaction was done illegally and the land thus belongs to government. The matter is now pending in the Supreme Court. When contacted today by News Five, UDP Mesopotamia Representative Michael Finnegan said that his party had asked the government to hold off on any action until after the court could make its decision and that the UDP would abide by what the court said. By going ahead unilaterally, Finnegan said that the government has shown bad taste and bad faith. Such action, he continued is bound to effect how the UDP reacts to other bi-partisan issues, notably the dispute with Guatemala in which the PUP is seeking the cooperation of the UDP to create a united national policy.

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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