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Aug 25, 2011

Corozal BNTU says no to 9th Amendment

Another group that came out today against the ninth, is the northern rural branch of the Belize National Teachers Union.  The union, in its entirety, discussed the revised ninth amendment at a consultation in Belmopan on Wednesday. While it deferred its official position until October, the Corozal Rural Branch of the union is saying a resounding no to the ninth. According to the branch president, David Acosta, none of the teachers in attendance at the consultations were in favor of the bill. Acosta told us in a telephone interview that even though government has promised to trim the language in the amendment to section sixty-nine, there is still offensive wording in the proposed changes to section two.

Via Phone: David Acosta, President, Corozal Rural Branch, BNTU

“After the consultation, I can safely say that the Corozal rural branch of the Belize National Teachers Union is saying no to the ninth amendment bill. Even with the—with what was presented to the Council of Churches, our problem is subsection two to section two of the constitution. What the government is doing when they say that they are going to try to trim the language of the amendment and they are going to drop parts of section sixty-nine (nine) and things like that, they are still not saying anything on sub-section two of section in the constitution. If they pass subsection two of the constitution, they can bring in any other law as long as they wait the window of ninety days. They can easily bring back the eighth amendment bill about preventative detention, they can easily bring back the law that says that no court shall challenge any law passed by the National Assembly on whatever grounds whatsoever; so they can easily bring it back because of that subsection two that they want to add. So we believe that that law is not good for Belizeans because it is removing our rights. So BNTU Corozal categorically states no to the ninth. And miss, I am telling you something right now, if we have to take to the streets, we will. And it will not just be Corozal rural branch you know. It is going to be the whole of BNTU. We will take to the streets, we will close schools and we will do whatever needs to be done so that government does not continue to tamper with the constitution and take away our rights as Belizeans.”

According to Acosta, all branches of BNTU will form individual positions and forward them to the headquarters that will then be considered to determine the overall position of the BNTU.

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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