Posted: Tuesday,July 31, 2018. 8:29 a.m. CST.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
This article was written by Richard Harrison, Belizean investor in production and services businesses in Belize. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration degree from Lancaster University.
By Richard Harrison: Some people have questioned the fact that I am both for UNITY and for the NO to ICJ vote.
They claim that I would use the 15,000 who celebrate in Belmopan on Sep 21 and credit them to the NO vote. I would never do such a traitorous thing.
I have been very consistent in saying that the UNITY initiative takes precedence over my NO to ICJ vote…but my right to work in the group promoting UNITY should not compromise my right of choice in the ICJ matter.
I will never seek to exploit the people or force them towards my way…quite unlike some other people.
There is strength in UNITY…not in division…the ICJ divides us…self-determination, independence and sovereignty unites us.
On Sep 21, 15,000 patriotic Belizeans will make their way to Belmopan, our national capital, to celebrate as never before in the history of Belize…enhancing the official ceremonies where our leaders will address the nation on matters of great importance…including issues surrounding the ICJ initiative…there will be private and public sector floats, schools, scouts and guides, churches, decorated bicycles, horses and motorcycles, live bands and artists, DJs, models, associations and unions, NGOs and civil society, banks, insurance companies, service companies, airlines, tour operators and guides…and production companies giving out small quantities of all that Belize produces….Belizeans are known throughout the world as friendly, smiling, kind, humble, fun, proud people…and on this day we will be the best of ourselves.
This years Independence and Sovereignty celebrations are special because the ICJ referendum will be held April 10, 2019…and there will be special challenges for our country whether we vote yes or no.
UNITED we can face and overcome any challenge…divided our enemies will have our guts for garters.
This massive show of UNITY will give us a much bigger bang for the buck…than having many, scattered, small celebrations…so with the same money we can achieve a lot more.
This grand event will serve to energize all Belizeans with hope…with the strength that comes from massive UNITY…and will allow them to do what energized united people do….not in the least, it will cause a surge in the sluggish registration of voters…and thus a strengthening of our democracy.
It will also attract media from all over the world to broadcast live and allow Belizeans to tell their story to the world community…and especially to the people of UK, Mexico, Israel, USA and Guatemala, with their diplomats present…that we desire to continue to be self-determined, independent and sovereign over all our territory…and that we seek and will appreciate their support…that we will undertake deep and broad economic, judicial and political reforms that will shift us from the path to ROGUE state and unto a Singapore-like, rapid development pathway….a progressive beacon of hope and peace in the legitimate world community.
This kind of development cannot happen without the people acquiring a high level of purpose, ambition, discipline and determination…all of which this great initiative…managed with excellence…will inculcate into all our people….the catalyst for rapid transformation to first world country over the next 25 years.
All the people of Belize will be able to show Belizeans and the world….what they are doing…what are their ambitions…and their desire…a trading place for ideas, relationships and resources.
Many people have asked that the event also be used to make a few basic demands…so that there be some short-term general gain for the people from the investment.
So far we can summarize a small menu of the more common suggestions:
1. To reinforce the general public support for the BNTU/GOB agreement…demanding tighter timelines on delivery.
2. To suspend ministerial discretion from all our laws until we can have a national development plan in place with a comprehensive set of deep and broad economic, judicial and political reforms aimed at achieving the objectives of the plan.
3. To demand elimination of all taxes except the consumption tax on fuel…in a zero-sum balance by broadening the base of the consumption tax 6 months after fuel tax adjustment…as a means of making the economy more competitive and productive.
4. To demand $25 million investment by BSSB, and enhanced by GOB and multilateral cooperation grants…over the next 3 years…in the expansion and improvement of health services at KHMH, Western Regional Hospital and San Pedro.
5. To demand allocation of $6 million annually for reforestation…especially for rivershed forests; wind, water and fence buffers; pine and mixed hardwood forests and mangrove rehabilitation where destroyed.
We are still receiving more suggestions…so that from a wide menu we can pick the top 3 to formulate our demands for this year….if this objective gains broad appeal from Belizeans.
At the same time we are also requesting from the public inputs with regards options for actions that can be taken if the people vote no or yes to ICJ. All Belizeans should participate in this exercise, because it will be a secret vote…and all of us will have to work and live with what the majority decides. These will be summarized and published by August 15. We are asking that those inputs be preferably bullet points and concise…and sent as inbox attachment, or whatsapp 501 620 3535 or email: [email protected]
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