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Sep 13, 2006

Former Jamaican P.M. is Independence guest

Story PictureOn September twenty-first, 1981, Percival Noel James Patterson, only recently defeated in the 1980 Jamaican general elections, stood proudly as a special guest of the Belize Government as the Belize flag was raised for the first time. As Foreign Minister under Michael Manley he had been a strident advocate for Belizean Independence and as a private citizen worked closely with Belizean negotiators and the framers of our independence constitution. Now, twenty-five years later, P.J. Patterson returns as a newly minted elder statesman, following sixteen years as Jamaica’s Prime Minister, having retired in February to be followed by Portia Simpson Miller. In the quarter century since 1981, Patterson has accumulated a wealth of experience and over the next several days he will share it with government officials, as well as the Belizean public. Patterson arrived by private jet this morning and sat for a short press conference at the Radisson. What follows is a preview of what he’ll be sharing.

P.J. Patterson, Former Jamaican Prime Minister
?I have retired from public office, but my interest in promoting the territorial integrity of Belize and the welfare of its citizens has in no way abated. The bottom line is this, you can?t beg or borrow your way out of financial troubles you got to work and earn your way out. And that means you?ve got to increase your export earnings and that means you have to boost your level of productivity. Make no mistake about it there is no nation in the world whose history is confided to successes alone. But you learn from your disappointments and you should endeavour to ensure that they are not repeated.?

On Thursday, Patterson will address a luncheon sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, while that night he will be conferred with the Order of Belize and present a lecture on the challenges facing small Caribbean states. On tomorrow’s newscast we’ll hear more from Patterson on a wide range of issues facing Belize, the region and the world.

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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