0

The Jubilee “walkout” through neutral lens

first_img… visitor complains of poor seating arrangementsA public debate has erupted over the “walkout” executed by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Parliamentary Opposition at the momentous 50th Independence Anniversary Flag Raising ceremony over the infamous unavailability of seats, and it appears that there were other special invitees who were greeted with the same catastrophe.According to a viral post on social media, the momentous night was marred with confusion as ushers were running around helter-skelter, trying to locate available seats to place special invited guests as they arrived for the ceremony.After experiencing over 20 minutes of this turmoil, the PPP/C Members of Parliament disappointedly left the celebrations, and some immediately took to social media to vent annoyance.Junior Education Minister Nicolette Henry in her public apology insinuated that the PPP/C Members ought to be blamed for the outcome of the situation, insisting that though other spectators were giving up their seats, the Opposition seemed firm in wanting to leave.While some social media users are arguing that the PPP/C behaved rather petty, others are asserting that the organisers must take responsibility for the calamitous seating arrangements.Weighing in on the trending deliberations, a Canadian-based Guyanese identified as Yolande Anne Gittens on Facebook, shared her perspective on what occurred during the ceremony.Gittens explained that she belonged to a party of nine with the exact VIP tickets however, Minister Henry, who took up the mantle to oversee the entrances, directed only four of the group to proceed up the stairs and then instructed an usher to escort the remainder to the bleachers.Gittens expressed that her colleagues were naturally confused, pointing out that the situation was only resolved following a confrontation.“Confused at our apparent relegation, we milled around unsure of how to proceed, but certain that we weren’t going to go where we were being herded off to like cattle. A standoff at the OK Corral was brewing. Thankfully, it was circumvented by the intervention of the Colonel. We re-joined the rest of our party, and settled in to witness a significant and historic moment in our beloved Guyana’s nationhood,” the post read.However, Gittens and company were completely dumbfounded over the choice of attire by those who were allowed to be seated in the “VIP area”.“Get-ups and they can only really be described as such, ranged from shorts, armless vests and sneakers to a backless fuchsia top with the entire back of a black and white polka dot bra fully exposed. We will not discuss the malodorous smells emitting from some of them. There were rubber slippers, and sneakers a plenty. There was a young man who appeared to be of unsound mind pacing back and forth. This was mentioned to an usher in order for her to get security, unfortunately this did not change anything,” she lamented.From there, Gittens reported that things went rapidly downhill with chaos reigning over the seating arrangements for other special invitees.“An usher came with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, and was worrying about where she was going to seat him. Eventually, he was seated in the area reserved for the Joint Services. What was even more appalling was the fact that no seating appeared to have been reserved for recipients of National Awards. One such person received a pass for her vehicle and was able to park in the stadium, but when she was ushered to the bleachers, there were no seats.She was forced to stand on the tarmac for the entire ceremony. Dr Vibert Cambridge, a recipient, also had no assigned seat. He was eventually given a seat meant for someone else,” she related in her observation.According to Gittens, the blooper of the night came when the Opposition Members were left standing among the crowd because there was no reserved seating—for the Opposition.“There is just no excuse whatsoever for that misstep. I’ve heard all sorts of explanations. Those range from the ridiculous to the sublime. Excuses included the Opposition wasn’t interested in the events; to it’s a learning curve (we had 50 years to get it right); to the minister was set up by a man (name given) who said that seats were reserved for the opposition; to clerks in her office illegally printed tickets. In this vein, reports are that 1500 tickets were distributed and there were only 500 seats. Excuses aside, as the person responsible for the event, don’t you personally ensure that for that section at least everything is as it should be? I hold no brief for the PPP, but the lack of seating is wholly unacceptable,” Gittens unreservedly expressed.She continued, “So too were former heads of the Guyana Defence Force randomly seated in different areas. When enquires were made of the ushers as to whether they had had a rehearsal, I was told no, there was only a briefing that morning. Further, we weren’t given any programmes on arrival, and when we enquired of an usher, we were blithely informed that there were only 30 for the government ministers. About 45 minutes later, programmes magically appeared.”The Guyanese who returned to take part in her homeland’s jubilee celebrations also said she was far from impressed at the performances that night.“Simply put, there was no wow factor or substance befitting such an occasion. The dancing children, as well as the military and police marching bands put their best feet forward. However, there was no imagination put into the programme. This was the perfect opportunity to showcase Guyana from then to now. So much more could’ve been done. I dare say that the Bishops’ High School culture day held earlier, had a more organised, entertaining, and better thought out show. So much more could’ve been done,” her post further stated.In closing, the disappointed spectator posited that the buck stops at Minister Henry, and in this regard, she said a sincere apology is warranted.last_img read more

0

Nominees under consideration –Teixeira

first_imgBY SHEMUEL FANFAIRAs the delay in the establishment of the Local Government Commission (LGC) continues, the nominees fromPPP Chief Whip Gail Teixeiraboth Government and the Opposition are yet to be announced. In an interview with Guyana Times on Tuesday, People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament (MP) Gail Teixeira stated that the Opposition’s nominees are still being considered.“We haven’t concluded our names as yet, we are finalising [them],” she noted. The PPP/C Chief Whip expressed that in a “relatively short while” the names will be confirmed and submitted to the Commission.When asked about the justifications for the delay, the MP reiterated that her Party could not trace the letter which would have informed Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on the submission of PPP/C’s nominees.“The letter which was said to have been sent, we could not trace it, we had to ask back the Minister for it and we got it last week, so we are working on it,” Teixeira expressed.Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan concurred being aware of the Opposition’s complaints that the “original correspondence” had been misplaced and noted that he is still waiting on the Opposition to submit their names for the LGC.When asked about the names of Government’s selected nominees for the Commission, the Communities Minister posited that one collective announcement will be made as soon as the Opposition Leader submits his names for the Commission.Government had promised that the Commission would be functioning from early 2016, but after months of delays and reiterated calls for the body’s establishment, Bulkan stated this month that the LGC will be operationalised by early July. Among its objectives, the Commission will be tasked with monitoring and assessing the performance of the local government organs, administering disciplinary action, and implementing policies such as tax collection. Minister Bulkan will no longer issue directives on local government matters, such as employment but rather, this will fall under the preview of the Local Government Commission.Bulkan had told Guyana Times that nominees for Government’s side would have been known by last week Wednesday but he pointed out that he had not heard word from the Opposition on their nominees for LGC posts.“We have not received a response from him (the Opposition Leader) as yet,” Bulkan told this publication last week.In response, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo told this newspaper that he suspected that the PPP/C nominees would have been chosen by Friday last. Chief Whip Gail Teixeira had earlier this month contended that although Minister Bulkan was “constantly reminded”, the Opposition Leader had not received a formal letter.“The Minister of Communities has to trigger the action to write the Leader of the Opposition to say according to section so and so of the Act… I’ve raised this matter over and over again,” Teixeira had explained in Party press conference.At that time, she noted that three sittings had passed but there were no moves on the matter. Guyana’s Local Government Elections were held in March.last_img read more

0

AFL Commences Regional, Community Isolations

first_imgThe Liberian government, through the Armed Forces of Liberia, has begun to isolate regions and communities that may be considered as sites that are severely hit by the deadly Ebola outbreak in Liberia.The soldiers have set up a blockades stopping people from entering or leaving some regions, counties and communities affected by the Ebola outbreak.Addressing the nation late Wednesday night on the state-owned Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) when she declared a 90-day state of emergency,  President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said under the state of emergency, the government will institute extraordinary measures including, if need be, the suspension of certain rights and privileges as mandated by the Constitution. These extraordinary measures, it is believed, have to do with free movement and assembly.AFL personnel on Wednesday, August 6, began setting up blockades stopping people from the Western region that includes Grand Cape Mount, Bomi and Gbarpolu counties, from entering Montserrado, including Monrovia. Similar measures are also being taken in Lofa County where the Ebola virus first hit when it crossed over from Guinea.It is also reported that government will today begin isolating communities in Monrovia and its environs.The military blockade is stopping people from the western region, where Ebola is prevalent.Counties in this region largely rely on Monrovia for their goods.These measures by the government are in compliance with an agreement reached at a MRU Summit in Conakry, Guinea last week.  The MRU leaders, Presidents Sirleaf, Alpha Condé of Guinea, Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone and Ivorian Health Minister, Dr. Raymonde Goudou Koffie, representing President Alhassan Ouattara, signed a Joint Declaration.  The first three MRU countries, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, are affected by the virus.The MRU Summit, among other things, agreed to impose a cross-border isolation zone at the epicenter of the outbreak at the regional and intra country levels, considered the world’s worst-ever outbreak of the disease.This move, according to the leaders, is aimed at eradicating the deadly disease that has already claimed the lives of over 900 persons. In Liberia, there are over 500 cases reported with 271 fatalities.On Wednesday, residents of Tubmanburg were alarmed over the presence of several personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) who were being transported in the city in truckloads.  This was prior to declaration of the State of Emergency by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.In Lofa, according to county sources, the Ministry of National Defense Thursday deployed armed personnel of the AFL. The AFL troops are stationed in Voinjama, where the Telewoyan Hospital is located and Foya Districts, respectively.Reports from Foya Care Center also say that out of over 30 persons that were admitted from Barkedu, the seat of Quadu Gboni District, since the outbreak, 9 have died and the others are responding to treatment.Thursday, according to health workers, six persons were transported from Quadu Gboni (4 from Barkedu Town and 2 from Wormanor Town) to the Foya Care Center.Barkedu town, which is the biggest town in Quadu Gboni District and the center of the outbreak in Quadu Gboni District, is located an hour’s drive from Voinjama City.  And it is predominantly inhabited by Muslims from the Mandingo tribe. There are calls from many citizens of the county that Barkedu Town, which is known as one of the epicenters of the Ebola virus outbreak, should be quarantined.   President Sirleaf, when declaring the State of Emergency, said the virus threat continues to grow as a result of ignorance, poverty as well as entrenched religious and cultural practices, which continue to exacerbate the spread of the disease, especially in the counties.Some stakeholders in the health sector have accused government of not being proactive enough in handling the situation, declaring the State of Emergency at a time when several Liberians have already been victimized by the virus.Many have said that while the State of Emergency is necessary, people should have been given ample time to prepare. Residents of Tubmanburg had begun to complain of the shortage of rice, the national staple, and other commodities.Meanwhile it is reported that Sierra Leone is ahead of Liberia in implementing the MRU agreement. In Sierra Leone the security forces have now imposed a complete blockade of the eastern region that has been hit by Ebola.The head of the police in the east of the country said police and soldiers had imposed a “complete blockade” of the Kenema and Kailahun districts.No vehicles or persons are being allowed in or out of the districts, except those bringing in essential foods and medicines.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

0

Nettie Peters’ Alleged Killer Testifies

first_imgJefferson Dahn, who is accused of stabbing to death Antoinette Nettie Peters, took the witness stand, on Thursday June 5, alleging that the victim was murdered by her boyfriend, Bonfrer Adidee, a Ugandan UNMIL civilian staff.Dahn, a private security guard employed by Adidee, was indicted for allegedly murdering Nettie in early January 2013.Testifying in the murder case at Criminal Court ‘A’ at the Temple of Justice, defendant Dahn explained that while he was performing his normal duty, his bossman, Adidee, approached him and said he wanted him, Dahn, to do something for him.He alleged that Adidee did not tell him what he Adidee wanted him (Dahn) to do during the discussion.Instead, he asked him to open the compound gate, got into his vehicle and left that morning for work at the UNMIL head office.Following his departure, Dahn further alleged that the victim, Nettie asked him to buy her a Comium scratch card, which, according to him, he did, but was gone for several hours.He claimed that before leaving the compound, he left the gate key with the victim.He also explained to the court that after he returned with the scratch card, he met the compound locked and he decided to knock on the gate.Surprisingly, he claimed, his boss Adidee, who had left for work, opened the gate and asked him to enter the compound.When he entered, Dahn alleged Adidee asked him where he was coming from.“And I answered him that Nettie sent me to buy her scratch card,” Dahn explained to the Court.“He instructed me to follow him into his living room, and I did,” Dahn further narrated.When both of them entered the living room, Dahn alleged that Adidee asked him to go in his bed room and bring Nettie outside.“I refused to obey his order and asked him since I started work with him, he had never asked us to do such a thing. Why it is that he wants me to do that,” the defendant further alleged.Dahn claimed that after he refused to bring Nettie outside of Adidee’s bedroom, his bossman offered a dell laptop, two phones and a bag containing US$600, but he again refused the offer.He further claimed that the UNMIL staff also left his bundle of key with him, but could not say what he wanted him to do with the keys.While he and Adidee were in the living room, Dahn alleged that his UNMIL bossman said to him, “Dahn go bring two glasses, which I did.”The Defendant in his testimony alleged that when brought the two glasses to Adidee, he (Adidee) asked him to open his freezer (ice box) and bring to him a bottle of juice, which he did.“Adidee took the bottle of juice and put it into the two glasses and asked both of us to drink.”After drinking the juice, Dahn alleged “I fell asleep in his living room, and upon waking up I could not see anyone, neither hear a voice.”He added, “While sitting in the living room, it was when I saw blood spreading from Adidee’s room into the living room.”“I then took the bundle of key and opened the door, and it was when I saw Nettie lying on the floor dead,” defendant Dahn explained to the court.“I hurriedly came outside and called one of my friends, Nickerson Tomah, and I explained everything that had happened in the compound to him.”Closing arguments are to follow on a date yet to be announced by the Court, after which the jury will render its verdict.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

0

‘Worst Than the Past’

first_imgThe opposition Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) has termed as “worst” the condition of the state under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf than past governments.Addressing a news conference on Monday in Monrovia, MPC through its political leader Simeon Freeman noted that Liberia’s economic, education and governance systems have broken down as though they did not exist in the past.”Today, Liberia, like the late 80s, is a place of huge capital flight, huge trade deficit, extremely low employment and especially high youth unemployment rate, non-performing educational institutions, very poor infrastructure and non-existing health delivery structure,” the MPC former standard bearer stated.According to Mr. Freeman, outlook of the Liberian economy deprives any well-meaning Liberians of the possibilities to live a standardized and well-organized life that will provide for his/her family.“There is no opportunity for Liberian businesses in terms of capital because of the high interest rate associated with loans from commercial banks,” he said.He added, “Liberians have never competed with Asian and Middle Eastern businesses for several reasons [than is happening now].”Giving his justification, he further said foreigners have access to small interest rate loans from the banks than Liberians.He also stated that the lack of government’s resources to initiate, develop and prosper a non-existent Liberian private sector, and government jobs have historically been a means of employment and wealth creation for some in isolation of the rest of Liberians from the wealth creation chain.Commenting on the education system, MPC termed Madam Sirleaf’s approach as “replicating similar trends of yester-years when the largest employer was government. The maintenance of the same system guaranteed that government will be the largest employer. The largest colleges at our universities are mainly political or arts-related courses while national support to university education is extremely dismal.”“A good quality education in Liberia should cost a minimum of $2,000 per annum,” Freeman said. “This cost,” according to him, “automatically discounts the US$10 million government support to the University of Liberia. When support to education is dismal and the educational focus is non-technical, Government will certainly remain the largest employer,” the MPC leader asserted.The party believes that the negative situation facing Liberia as allegedly created by Madam Sirleaf has greatly deteriorated the image of Liberia.MPC: “Liberian students have a long history of massive failures in WAEC exams and that has worsened under Ellen. Liberia has a history of extremely poor health delivery system and that has worsened under Ellen.Liberia has historically been a source of huge Foreign Direct Investment with little or no benefit to its people; huge benefit to public servants and poor FDI corporate tax payment history. It is worst under Ellen because every natural resource of Liberia has been mortgaged for peanuts to the detriment of the country and in many instances to very shady companies.Liberia has long been a place of growth without development. That indication has worsened under Ellen. While shady investments appeared to have propped up growth, the resultant impact of growth on development is not forthcoming.Liberia has historically been one of the poorest economies in the world.”President Sirleaf very recently told the nation that conditions surrounding the country’s recovery process have made Liberians to fall far behind.Addressing the nation on the state of the economy on Wednesday, May 28, President Sirleaf stated the difficulties in the recovery process have been a result of constraint on the part of government to prioritize everything at the same time.“Our continued post-conflict recovery process is of such that we must continue to do everything at the same time,” she said.The Liberian leader likened the post-conflict recovery process to driving an old bus while at the same time repairing its many deficient and dysfunctional parts.“As we know, for the past years our bus has been parked, some of the parts have gotten rusty, some are unusable, and many of our people were left stranded and abandoned on the sides of the road. From opportunity to morality, our children, and in many respects ourselves, have fallen too far behind,” President Sirleaf stated.The President’s statement that day is, however, in sharp contrast with several comments made earlier that the country has now been placed on the right trajectory for economic growth and infrastructural development.It must be noted, however, that much efforts have been made to restore the country’s damage infrastructures, power, roads, ports and other facilities.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

0

Nimba Electoral District # 9 Captures Trophy

first_imgNimba County Electoral District # 9 has captured the trophy of the week long district league in the grand final played at the Kumasi Sport Pitch in Ganta City, Nimba County to climax the celebration of July 26 Independence Day.The final match between Districts #9 and #3 began at 4pm with District # 3 dominating the first quarter of the first half with District #3 striker William Gala sent a spot kick into the hands of their opponents’ goalkeeper.In the 33rd minute a penalty was awarded to District # 9 after a long kick from the corner touched the hand of one of District #3 defenders and Marcus Paye scored the penalty.District #3 boys tried all techniques to find the equalizer but to no avail till the end of the half. The second half began with District #3 mounting making several substitutions but could not till the game ended. A giant size trophy was awarded the first winner with some unspecified cash while several awards went to 2nd and 3rd winners.The game brought together about ten thousand Namibians to support their various districts and it is the first such a tournament has been held, since the end of the civil-war.The Steering Committee of Nimba Sport Association, headed by Prince Howard told spectators that the tournaments was intended to bring together all talented players that could be selected for the county national soccer team. He said 50 players have been identified from the total number of 225 players.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

0

Pastor Kortu Brown Responds to His Critics on Dual Citizenship

first_imgI read with interest the Daily Observer’s Editorial of Thursday, March 05, 2015, entitled: “Dual Citizenship: Look Up and Forward, Pastor Brown – not Down and Backward” and Letters to the editor captioned: “Dual Citizenship: Liberians Everywhere Take Pastor Kortu Brown to Task” in the same publication, page 5, largely accusing me of being “stupid,” “idiot,” “playing the ethnic card,” etc. because I dared to express my VIEWS on the current debate on dual citizenship in Liberia.I also appreciated the “lecture” provided by the editorial board on the history of Israel and I think it is application to the quest for dual citizenship by some Liberians.But here is what I wrote and/ or have been saying for several days now:1. That the issue of dual citizenship for Liberia is not timely.2. That there are more serious national concerns i.e. children going to school, ending Ebola and rebuilding health system, poverty, fixing our roads, state-wide initiatives to increase incomes at the individual, household, community and national levels, etc. to address at the moment than focusing on an issue that can be addressed later3. That we should be careful how we craft this dual citizenship initiative to avoid a repetition of the concept of the “Country-Congo” divide that plunged the country into a bloody coup and a civil war. Ours, as a nation, has been an experience in self-affliction that resulted in a class system that brought us untold pains to repel. No matter which side of the divide you were then, we know that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. So we must check this “power” that we want to give out because old habits die hard!4. That an alternative to “dual citizenship” could be the Indian model of “Overseas Citizens of India” (OCI) which enables Indians in the Diaspora to freely return to their land of nativity and contribute to the socio-economic development of their country.5. That Liberia could enact the “Overseas Citizens of Liberia” (OCL) Act to accommodate the aspirations of natural-born Liberians who have lost their citizenship due to them “renouncing and abjuring” their citizenship of nativity in a foreign land6. That most Liberians of influence whether [settler descendant or indigenous],” are not deeply committed to this country and will place a foreign country’s interest over and above their land of nativity. As a matter of fact, it was only until recently that most Liberians overseas began to think seriously about dual citizenship. Many didn’t think Liberia was “worthy” of their new found status as either American or European citizens or otherwise. That’s our history, that’s our experience. Should we dodge it or sacrifice it on the altar of a dual citizenship campaign?Now to some of the allegations made against me:1. Playing the ethnic card? : I don’t promote ethnicity and will never do. I am “[part indigenous, I am “part settler”]. Part of my family background is Millsburg. I just spoke my mind and I think am entitled to it. I’m forewarning based on our recent past. A good initiative to return [men and women freed from slavery] to Liberia ended into a “class struggle” between people who returned home and those they met on the ground. That struggle was sustained through mistrust, division, wars, etc. for well over a century and a half based on preconceptions, misconception, am-better-than-you attitude, etc. Therefore no matter how well-intentioned we may be, we must take care not to repeat that unfortunate experience as we debate the dual citizenship proposal. What’s playing-the-ethnic-card about saying that? If in a country where the illiteracy rate is as high as 70% and you try to make two categories of citizenship, shouldn’t you be concerned about the possibility of it contributing and/or resuscitating old social divides like the [settler-indigenous one]?2. Sierra Leone: I didn’t say Sierra Leone is not dual citizenship. It’s www.immihelp.com that reported that. I quoted them with a question mark (?). Mr. Editor, please check my article and see if I did not put a question mark to Sierra Leone. I even mentioned [that] Liberia is not on the list. Daily Observer claims I got most of my facts wrong. I think it’s the paper not reading my facts properly. I’ve a copy of the 2006 Dual Citizenship Act of Sierra Leone3. Israel: This is a country that has seen dispersion, persecution and death for about two thousand years at the hands of her enemies. Jews scattered all around the world – and waited for the Bible prophecy to be fulfilled. That came May 1948. Thank God! For Israeli, they are first and foremost, Jewish. Their situation and devotion to country and people is slightly different from Liberia. Most Liberians overseas say it is the civil war that forced them away from their country and made them “renounce and abjure” their citizenship of nativity. Well, if that is the case, then they don’t need dual citizenship status for them to come back home. A nominee for Minister of Education refused Liberian Senate inquiry in 2014 to relinquish US Citizenship to serve as Minister of Education. Mayor Boris Johnson of London has announced his intentions to renounce US Citizenship and maintain his British citizenship 4. Overseas Citizens of Liberia: To advance the discussions, I have proposed that we adopt the Indian model of dual citizenship, “Overseas Citizens of India” (OCI), where one person doesn’t carry two passports but a “permit” to enter and leave the country and do business as you desire within the confines of the law. This is a one step forward over and above the current rejection without an alternative. But this category of citizens will be eligible for elected office, etc.5. Civil discourse: I plead with you and your readers that we kindly make the debate courteous, polite, and responsible even if we don’t share the same sides of the discussions. Calling names and being disrespectful because someone doesn’t share your view, is disingenuous to be debate because it’s an unfair effort to silence others by attacking their persons, etc. If this discourse is not frank, honest and open then I doubt if we are able to sustain a society of “dual and single citizens” because this will be something we will debate for the rest of our lives.6. Focus: Most supporters of dual citizenship mostly focus on Liberians living in the USA and / or Europe. But there are Liberians all over including West Africa and [other] parts of the world. Secondly, many countries with dual citizenship may not share the experience that Liberia had with de facto dual citizenship for more than one hundred and fifty years.7. My Contribution to Liberia: Well, maybe the person accusing me of doing nothing has NOT been in Liberia for more than quarter of a century. My contributions from emergency relief, rehabilitation, education, agriculture, to peace making and reconciliation, Ebola, etc., are all documented. Check the internet. Goggle Kortu K. Brown and you will read some of that. Secondly, I have not run away from Liberia all through the years of conflict even when I could. My wife and children are all here. I love Liberia and don’t want it hurt again and left bleeding by people who are here today and gone tomorrow when difficulties strike. That’s why I am yelling and admonishing caution on dual citizenship.I hope I have brought some clarity to some of the issues I raised in my previous article. I ask the Daily Observer, a paper I’ve read since 1981, to publish in full my previous article and let the public read the facts I got wrong there. May God bless and guide our country and people.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

0

CDC Extols Media, Health Workers, Others

first_imgCongress for Democratic Change (CDC) over the weekend showered praises on the Liberian media, health workers and the traditional chiefs of Liberia for their valuable contributions during the height of the Ebola crisis.CDC handed the Liberian media the George Weah Peace and Humanitarian Award for their outstanding performance in giving full and exclusive coverage to the epidemic. The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) received the honor on behalf of journalists and media workers in Liberia. According to the Organizing Committee, headed by CDC vice chairman for operations, Mulbah Morlu, the honors presented, the first of its kind in the history of political parties was based on “the tireless and meaningful contributions the media, health workers and traditional leaders played and continue to play in the nation.”“Congratulations for a meritorious service to our people and country Liberia with compliments of the CDC-2015 Induction & Honoring Program Committee,” the certificate reads.Receiving the awards, the National Traditional Council of Liberia Chairman Zanzar Karwor praised CDC for its exemplary action adding, “The first political party to recognize and honor the chiefs, owners of the land, means a whole lot and we are happy.”He assured the party of their support in resolving issues of disputes and other political matters, noting that the doors of the owners of the land will always be opened for any engagement.On behalf of the Press Union of Liberia, Reporters’ Association of Liberia (RAL) president Keith Morris lauded CDC for the honor, stressing that “the media sees this as a positive step in fostering partnership and collaboration with all stakeholders in the political arena of our country.”“This honor does not mean the media will not report on or about the CDC when it goes wrong. Recognizing the media at this time sends a signal that the Liberian media is developing and is up to the task,” Morris said.He encouraged political institutions and individuals to fight to protect and maintain this level of tolerance and democracy that the nation enjoys at the moment, and cautioned them about the danger of slipping off that path.The honoring program was part of the US$1 rally CDC conducted to raise funds for the party’s nationwide headquarters project.CDC anticipated raising US$100,000 to construct sub-offices in the 15 political sub-divisions of the country to enable the party to keep its presence alive, particularly for the 2017 presidential and legislative elections.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

0

Masonic Craft “Must” Lead Liberia? It Is They Who First Must Answer,…

first_imgThe distinguished Liberian entrepreneur and politician, Benoni Urey, Chairman of the Lonestar Communications Corporation, made a pretty important speech on Masonry, unquestionably Liberia’s most powerful secret society.Addressing the St. John the Baptist Feast Day ceremony held at St. Thomas Episcopal Church last Thursday, he said the next President of Liberia “must” be a Mason. That remark sparked many critical comments not only in the Daily Observer’s online edition, but also on the talk shows on several Monrovia radio and TV stations. The comments were overwhelmingly negative. But on hearing these reactions to his address, Mr. Urey called the Daily Observer to deny that he had ever said such a thing. He said he had never called for Liberia to be led by a Mason come 2017.Many people, however, said they saw him utter those very words on television. Mr. Urey was kind enough to send us last Friday a copy of his 11-page address. Here is what he said beginning on page 10: “The New Liberia we envisage will and must be one with a Masonic Head.” He went on to outline the qualities of such a leader, qualities which, he insisted, “[meet] the Tenet of Free Masonry.” In closing, Urey said he looked forward to another “festive day of Craft Masonry when Monrovia will “see the President of Liberia perambulating (traveling on foot, walking-marching) with us on the streets of Monrovia. “Our dreams must come true, our goal we must achieve… The choice is ours.”Who, then, can deny that Benoni Urey wants the next President of Liberia to be a Free Mason? And having himself declared his candidacy for the presidency in 2017, which Mason would better suit that bill than the ambitious, influential and wealthy Benoni Urey who, within a few years hence, will most likely himself be elected Grand Master? We have often wondered what has Masonry done for Liberia? The most that people who have noticed know about them is what they did last Thursday: dressed up in expensive clothes, marched behind brass bands, assembled in the Temple to wine and dine and, because they are the elite of the elite, the cream of power in the society—the top lawyers, judges, politicians, business and professional people—they can easily influence a lot that is happening in Liberia. Benoni Urey said it: “The Masonic Craft over the years has played a significant role in the building and governance ofLiberia. Five of the nation’s Presidents have been grand masters of Masons.” Urey further recalled: “Many problems in government were settled at the Masonic Temple. Good governance decisions were made there. Bad decisions were challenged at the Temple.”There is, then, no question that the Masonic Craft has had an overweening influence on Liberian statecraft. Now come some critical questions:• What have the Masons ever done for the poor, weak, deprived and destitute in our society?• How come this first independent African Republic is, at 168, still at the bottom of the world’s economic development ladder?• How come the Judiciary, as it is even today, has been accused of corruption? This, more than anything else, frightened Albert Porte, the legendary constitutional analyst and pamphleteer who over the years warned that the judiciary is “the cement that holds together the national fabric. Weaken that cement and you weaken the national fabric”—and that and more was happening, leading to the 1980 coup and to the civil war. Have the Masons ever asked themselves what part they played—have they ever accepted any responsibility for what happened to Liberia? After all, they were in the lead. They came second after the True Whig Party; the church came third. That was the triumvirate that ruled Liberian for over a century—the TWP, the Masonic Craft, the church.• So how did Liberia, under their leadership, become a failed state? How did we, having been on the same economic level with Singapore and South Korea in 1960, remain consistently the odd man out in economic and political development? We submit that because the Masons admit that they were in Liberian society the Primus inter pares (first among equals), they should be the first to answer the question, what happened to Liberia?Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

0

Liberia Commissions ‘Internet Exchange Point’

first_imgThe Liberian nation took one giant step Thursday, August 6, into its economic and development drive by the commissioning of the Liberia Internet Exchange Point (LIXP).An Internet exchange point (IX or IXP) is a physical infrastructure through which Internet service providers (ISPs) and content delivery networks (CDNs) exchange Internet traffic between autonomous systems or networks.In essence, the LIXP will ensure that internet traffic intended for local use is kept local and will also help to reduce the cost of communication and increase speed and other benefits to diverse users.Performing the commissioning of the LIXP Thursday, Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai stated that it is an investment in one of the very critical IT infrastructures that helps to keep local internet traffic local and also improve network performance.According to VP Boakai, a few years ago, the concept of IXP was largely restricted to Western countries and the industrialized world. “It’s my understanding that Alexandria in Egypt, Johannesburg in South Africa and Nairobi in Kenya were among the few other places that had IXPs in Africa.”The Liberian VP further stated that the assumption behind the establishment of IXP is to contribute to commerce and trade and to also contribute to raising the living standard of people across the continent.“Therefore, as policymakers, we believe that establishing IXP in Liberia will enable service providers to take advantage of the enormous opportunity IXP provides in creating demand for the local internet users in Liberia,” the VP said.The VP disclosed that Liberia is among the first 10 African countries that have taken practical steps in establishing its IXP with support from the African Union; adding: “We feel obliged to establish this facility in Liberia because we have a duty to our citizens and other residents. That duty is to provide all diverse and potential users a state of the art technology that can enhance their businesses, professional and individual aspirations.”Acknowledging the internet as being central to communication in the 21st century, Ambassador Boakai stated, “It therefore becomes our obligation to prioritize the development of core infrastructure that will enhance its access at a more affordable rate.”Speaking earlier, Posts and Telecommunications Minister and Postmaster General, Dr. Frederick B. Norkeh, stated that because of the IXP technology, internet providers in Liberia will no longer pay transit cost for traffic generated from Liberia to carriers in Europe or in the United States.“It will also support content creation such as NGOs, academic institutions, corporate entities, government institutions and individual users will have access to domain they most need to provide more information about their service and work.”The Posts Master General, who praised the African Union (AU) for funding the LIXP, disclosed: “As for today, exchanging email and other internet services that even use ‘dot LR’ domain intended for local consumption is routed through ‪Europe‬, America or in other countries before terminating to the user in Liberia.”For his part the AU Representative at the occasion, Mr. Moctar Yedaly, told the audience that the AU was present because they are committed to Liberia. He added: “We are here because we believe that that ICT can change the destiny and future of Africa.”Mr. Yedaly disclosed that in 2010, the AU got to know that poor nations in Africa had spent more than 610 million United States Dollars to third parties, including nations in Europe and the US, just on transit fees. He commended the Liberian Government for the initiative.Also speaking, Mr. Daniel Brewer, representative of the LIXP Association, said the Internet is a ‘network of networks’, currently comprising some 45,000 discrete networks. Mr. Brewer further stated that every microsecond, end-users are accessing; exchanging and receiving emails from distant lands or few miles away, transiting video on demand, enabling social media and voice.“Behind all of these successful exchanges is a` network arch, a collection of commercial peering and transit agreements, put in place and signed by operators and service providers to bring this all together. In like manner, the way in which an IXP is managed can impact an entire region’s Internet economy.For her part, Madam Angelique Weeks, Chairperson of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) thanked everyone, including all the services providers — Libtelco, Lonestar, Cellcom and Novafone — for working to together to reach this point.She said discussions leading up yesterday’s commissioning ceremony had started in October, 2013.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img
1 2 3 4 5 471