Today marks six days that the Belize Territorial Volunteers and a group of about 85 Belizeans were denied access to the Sarstoon as a result of the Sarstoon Law passed by the Government of Belize which restricts any vessel or civilian from navigating the River for one month without proper authority. But even though days have passed the issue continues to be a hot point of contention. Today, the Belize Progressive Party expressed disappointment over Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s action which the party claims intentionally imposes upon the rights of Belizeans to move freely on the Sarstoon River. In the release issued today by the party they express their commitment to the Belizean people to ensure that such disrespectful treatment of the Belizean people shall not be summarily dismissed.
According to the BPP there are four key areas of concern as it relates to what they describe as Belize’s constant submissive reaction to Guatemala’s claim over Belize’s sovereignty.
First, PM surrendering sovereignty over the northern portion of the Sarstoon River, by way of enacting the S.I., in light of Guatemala’s current, physical control of the area, and Guatemala’s response to the issue, must be assessed.
Second, the consideration by the GOB to further placate the Guatemalans, by amending Belize’s Referendum Act and the clear objection to the crafting and submission of protocols for consideration by the Government of Guatemala, concerning the use of the Sarstoon River by Belizean civilians.
And lastly, the immediacy with which Belizeans must register to vote, as the recent actions by the Prime Minister provides a credible indication of his possible intent to accelerate the referendum process and thereby intentionally excluding Belizeans from exercising their right to vote.
The release ended with the BPP reiterating their unwavering disapproval to the recent actions taken by PM Barrow by stating and we quote “By virtue of his unilateral edict to enact and apply the “Public Safety Regulation” to purposefully inhibit Belizeans from exercising their constitutional right to free movement, Prime Minister Barrow demonstrated his contempt for any form of expression that is not in line with his agenda. This has elucidated a very troubling concern which evokes the legitimate question as to where his allegiance truly lies.” End quote
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