Thursday, 03 September 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has ramped up its campaign in support of the building of the Forward Operating Base at Sarstoon Island.
In today’s briefing it introduced a set of T-shirts for those who support the campaign. President Geovannie Brackett suggested that Government would try to distract Belizeans during this patriotic month but called on Belizeans not to forget about our security and sovereignty.
He said, “This is a month of distractions and settling scores. And so we would like to settle some scores of our own. If it is this easy to settle scores with Fortis, what we want to know is, why can’t they settle the score for our nation’s sovereignty? We will not be distracted by the giveaways, the bouquets, the platitudes.
We want to know, when will you build the base at Sarstoon Island? Not yesterday, not tomorrow, not six months from now, not after the general election, after someone else is killed, but NOW!”
Brackett says the organization reiterates their demands not only for the building of the base but for the firing of Wilfred Elrington as Minister of Foreign Affairs and the review of agreements with Guatemala.
Also in support was activist Patrick Menzies, who while excoriating the Government’s version of events insisted that Belizeans must truly stand up beyond talking and fight. If we cannot stand up for our children, he said, then we do not deserve to be here.
Newly appointed liaison to the Belize Territorial Volunteers, Harley “River of Fire” Burn, questions the Government’s veracity on the BDF’s activities in the area, saying he saw no soldiers on the water while Guatemala has theirs in place. Belizeans must stop swallowing everything that the Government gives them, he said.
But what’s next? Brackett says personal solidarity is key and the groundswell is building. He is content to push forward and wait on the Government to respond. But across town, PM Barrow told reporters that COLA will continue to do what they are best at – pressure; the Government, meanwhile, will take care of business.
The Prime Minister was also asked in his capacity as chair of the National Security Council what he knew of Guatemalan aggression against the Belize Defence Force (BDF) on the Sarstoon River.
He explained that reports of shadowing BDF boats and the occasional escalation. Since no shots were fired the Prime Minister says there is nothing to worry about, as the BDF are keeping calm and carrying on.
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