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Conundrum Print E-mail
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Written by By Thamar Jones   
Thursday, 18 April 2019 00:00

For context to this discourse, please allow me to share a little background of my past.  I was once a senior member on the Belize Workers’ Union’s negotiating team representing the workers at BSI’s two sugar mills at Tower Hill and Libertad, and for the workers at Pomona and Salada in the Stann Creek Valley.  The fundamental lesion I gleaned from all my trade union training, which included an eight-week seminar at the George Meany Center for labour studies in Silver Spring, Maryland, was that negotiators must take into consideration the goals of both parties and have alternative plans of action in case no one comes to an agreement. All representatives sitting at the table must be open to possible compromises since any win-win outcome will be based on concessions made by both sides; for example, higher wages rates in exchange for increased productivity.

That said, two of the suggested alternative plans being forwarded by the leadership of the People’s United Party as they crusade for a “NO” vote to the International Court of Justice, are (1) to freeze the claim, or (2), to resume miscarried negotiations. These “NO” advocates are barefacedly claiming proprietorship to the phrase “all litigation come with risk”, a statement I cannot challenge, but to which I can safely contend that 50 years of negotiations with Guatemala have yielded futility, since their goal is to gain Belizean territory whilst ours is to preserve all our territory. I am not convinced that Guatemalan negotiators will simply drop their country’s claim over Belize after being swooned by someone’s ruggedly handsome face, or freeze the claim after a protracted stare from Courtenay’s eagle eyes. They will not yield to Belize’s inalienable right to its integral existence unless we concede land or sea, a proviso we cannot agree to, since this would defeat the term “territorial integrity”. There can be no compromise as it pertains land cession on our side. Therein lies the conundrum; negotiations are doomed to flop even before we meet at the table.

So then, after decades of the same monotony of fruitless negotiations, facilitations, and mediations, I believe we should now proceed to arbitration for a definitive solution to end the claim. While some may disagree with my “YES” position, Belizeans must demand that we be given the opportunity to exercise our democratic right to tell the world how we feel about the course to the ICJ, whether “YES” or “NO”. I applaud the Government for taking firm action on Friday to grant us this right.

I watched the entire debate on the said Friday and am convinced that the PUP does not merely want to delay the referendum; they want to DENY the referendum. All that talk about being willing to support a constitutional change where a 66% majority would have been required was unmitigated political posturing:  a naked lie. They would have loved to have claimed victory over the Prime Minister again.

As to the fear-mongering by Cordel Hyde about Belize having everything to lose and nothing to gain, he should be shamed for baring his duplicity, having accused Hon. Erlington of the same tactic. To him I suggest, follow the Rt. Hon.  Said Musa and vote “YES” to end the claim; it’s the only option at this stage in our nation’s history. Take care, brothers and sisters. We all love Belize, I  trust.

 
Easter Deh Yah! Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 18 April 2019 00:00

I can’t lie; Easter has totally snuck up on me this year. We are down to the final days before the holidays and I have not so much as purchased a swimsuit. I’m mentally writing a last minute shopping list as we speak…

Sunblock, flip flops, swim suits… where’s my straw hat??? No seriously where did I “store” my straw hat and beach bags? Can’t recall… Oh well-- sunblock, flip flops, swim suits, straw hat, and a brand new beach bag.

As the weather warms up and school closes for the Easter break, there are many fun things to enjoy. It’s a great season for young people to start something new or launch a new project. Here are some ideas, in case you don’t yet have plans.

Get Outside

Lucky for us in Belize, the weather is perfect for beachy relaxation and outdoor adventures such as:

Creating an Easter egg hunt for younger kids.

Designing a scavenger hunt with friends.

Going for a hike.

Watching the sunrise and sunset.

Attending a ball game.

Going for a picnic at a local park.

Checking out camping opportunities.

Biking a couple miles.

Camping in your backyard.

Taking your dog/pet for a mile-long walk.

Visiting a historical site.

Going to the beach

Make Something

Whether you’re experimenting with a new recipe or creating a new craft, making something will give you a sense of satisfaction. Here are some ideas:

Try out some new smoothie recipes.

Invent a new snack mix.

Produce a video.

Create a reading wish list.

Make handmade jewelry.

Create a sidewalk mural with chalk, use a spring theme.

Make a playlist of your favorite inspirational, get up and go songs.

Plant a flower garden on your window sill.

Plant a vegetable garden.

Paint or decorate eggs.

Start a small business with little or no startup cost.

Learn New Skills

This break from school is a wonderful time to assess your skills and consider what new responsibilities or tasks may be beneficial to learn. Such as:

How to open your very own saving account.

How to establish a budget.

Cooking a new recipe each week.

Photography.

Do a Good Deed

It’s also a great time to do something kind for other people:

Offer free babysitting for one night to someone who could use the break.

Volunteer in a community effort.

Spring clean the house and yard.

Perform random acts of kindness every day for a week.

Maximize the Fun

Get your mind off the busy school year and look for fun ways to relax and de-stress. Try these:

Have an overnight or all day Saturday movie marathon.

Get a new hairdo.

Join a book club.

Get your community’s events list for the spring and attend an event.

I hope these ideas help! Now back to my list!