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Aug 17, 2009

Players’ nationality issues add to need for amendment

Story PictureWhile the success of Team Belizean Heritage in Cancun won the hearts and support of most Belizeans it also served to re-ignite the discussion about dual-nationality and even the validity of the latest constitutional reform being proposed by the Barrow administration. Under the seventh amendment to the Belize Constitution, government is recommending that persons with dual-nationality be allowed to become members of the House of Representatives. Public consultation on this issue so far has been fiery hot as people from both sides of the political fence have been vociferous in their opposition. When asked, “How does the situation with the dual nationality of the team bolster the need for constitutional reform?” PM Barrow had this to say.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“I want to be careful not to try to exploit what is a unifying event. But it did strike me that this must give some legitimacy to the line I have been trying to push. I honestly believe that we should be all embracing of Belizeans at home and abroad. And when we make use of their talents and their skills and their resources, whether it is in sports or whether it is in other areas, I think that’s the way it should be. And if we’re going to be proud of them, if we’re going to make use of their skills, if we’re going to embrace them, then what goes with that is obviously a need to ensure that they are in no respect treated as second class Belizeans. They must fully be vindicated in terms of being exercised every single right of citizenship that appertains, that is part of that status of being Belizean.”

A check of the FIBA website shows Belize second place classification still subject to the result of an appeal about player eligibility. As we reported last week, if Belize’s appeal is successful, we are guaranteed a spot in next year’s Centro Basket Tournament on the way to the 2012 London Olympics.

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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