The Prime Minister Dean Barrow had an ace in four former Peoples United Party Foreign Ministers to support the Government’s pro-ICJ campaign. While they may not be attached to the referendum unit, at least two of them have embarked on their own campaign to forward the case to the International Court of Justice. Assad Shoman with a group of friends have formed the Citizens for the Defence of Sovereignty (CDS) group. Their aim is to QUOTE “embrace and promote the concept of sovereignty of peoples and the struggle for freedom, justice and equality as integral and necessary components thereof”. Love News spoke to Shoman via phone and the matter of the ICJ is foremost on the NGO’s mandate.
Assad Shoman: “A group of us have formed an organization called Citizens Defense of Sovereignty and we define sovereignty in the broadest terms that included the sovereignty of persons and the people not just of nations and it implies a certain amount of our concern for concepts like Freedom, Justice and Equality and so on so this is an organization that will promote a lot of other things apart from the question of the ICJ Referendum but we were recognized that now is a pivotal moment in the nation and we need to concentrate on that before we move on to other things like for example we said to do something to the centenary of the Belize City uprising. We intend to promote a sort of reform of the constitution so that there can be justice for all but right now we recognize the urgency of working towards ensuring that we use this opportunity to end the claim that is bothering us for so long.”
Jose Sanchez: “ Is this something that is in relation or funded by the Referendum unit or s this completely you on your own?”
Assad Shoman: “It is not me on my own no, it is a few people however we are being supported by some businessmen and some other people who at this moment do not want to have their names known. One of them is Godfrey Smith so he has allowed us to use his office for example and all the facilities of the office etc. and now the business man has loaned us a vehicle which I am using right now here in Belmopan and another one that we met here this year he has given us some cash: a few thousand and so on so it’s that sort of thing. It is a broad movement that is just begging and I think this thing will grow because as people recognize that we have an opportunity that if we lose it is going to have to be really much more difficult for us in the future and we keep on losing what you are losing already which is our natural resources which is our peace of mind really because we have this Government of Guatemala and you can expect the same from successive governments and so trying to impose their will on us and trying to test how far they can approach our sovereignty and our territorial integrity and it is nothing that we feel that we want to leave to our children and grandchildren right so if we have this opportunity we should use it now and we recognize that there are many forces working against ending the claim in this way and getting people afraid that the ICJ would somehow give a piece of Belizean land to Guatemala which nobody can explain to me or to anybody what evidence they could possibly use or what law they could possibly use to justify this sort of thing.”nyone who would like to contribute to the CDS can make a deposit at the Holy Redeemer Credit Union Account number 86146. You can also contribute to the organization by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.