Strategizing the Way Forward to National Development

first_imgI will begin this article with an excerpt from Rev. Martin Luther King’s “Letter From Birmingham Hail” written on April 16, 1963: “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and action of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless effort of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.”As a child growing up in Monrovia, absolutely nothing would have convinced me then that Liberia, a nation with abundance of resources, would today be in a state of underdevelopment and backwardness. Notably, there are two fundamental reasons which account for this pathetic state. The first is the lackadaisical attitude adopted by our policy makers and planners towards implementing policies to positively impact the lives of ordinary Liberians; and the second is the attitude of passivity of ordinary Liberians in advocating for those basic rights and privileges denied them over the years.Irrefutably, achieving national development requires commitment and dedication on the part of both the policy makers and planners, and ordinary Liberians. Obviously, the way forward to national development must be based upon Liberians from diverse backgrounds coming together and reconciling their divergent views and actions.The blunt reality is that words are easily said than done. To embark on a new course, it is imperative we retrospect on Liberia’s past to discover where precisely our missteps occurred during our national existence. The question that naturally springs forth is, were the founding fathers of Liberia prepared to effectively and efficiently manage the nation? The answer is resounding, “No”.Clearly, the administration of Joseph J. Roberts which led Liberia after the nation hastily declared independence on July 26, 1847 felt short of establishing a solid political foundation. Consequently, this created a unique avenue for corruption, nepotism and other vices which are still prevalent in the governance of the nation even up to today.For the benefit of the reader, permit me to reveal an excerpt of a report of conditions in Liberia written by William Nesbit, a black American, who visited Liberia in 1854 during the era of Liberia’s first president Joseph Jenkins Roberts:“And it is humiliating to me to say it, though it must be said, that the majority of them, even including some of his cabinet officers, cannot read and are totally ignorant of the simplest duties belonging to their stations. Every thing is and must be done by the President. He performs the duties of judge, counselor, justice and constable. He receives, disburses, and keeps the accounts, in short, he is the government, the embodiment of Liberia; and when you speak of Liberia, you speak of President Roberts.”The problems in Liberia are aged old, formidable and seem to be defying solution. The case of forging development in Liberia is proving to be a stubborn one owing to the fact that many Liberians have become accustomed to behavior patterns which are counterproductive and anti-developmental. As Martin Luther King rightly stated in his ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’, “human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability.”In other words, development will never be delivered on “Silver Platter”, it will come when Liberians from all walks of life are willing and ready to constructively engage in sacrificial services that put the interests of the nation and its people above the selfish concept of “I, me and myself”. Without the shadow of doubts, most government officials are involved in systematic corruption which had heightened the levels of poverty and misery amongst ordinary Liberians.I definitely do not wish to discredit the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led administration, which had made some gains in the areas of health, educations, road construction, etc. but these gains have so little impacted the living standards of ordinary Liberians.No wonder why almost every Liberian, you talk to will not hesitate to express the desires of seeking greener pastures in the U.S.A. or some advanced countries.Many Liberians have simply lost hope and confidence in what the future of their country holds for them.The way forward to national development is certainly not for ordinary Liberians to sit as spectators and leave their destinies in the hands of gluttonous government officials, but rather to play more pivotal roles in shaping or reshaping their destiny. Now is the appropriate time that all Liberians must work tirelessly to ensure that 167-year-old Liberia takes it rightful place amongst the comity of nations.Let me close with these wise words from Martin Luther King’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’: “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”About the AuthorJahbulleh C. Dempster is former Co-Chairman for Operations of Saye Town. He is currently the Interim Secretary General of the Union of Liberian Artists. His letters as well as articles, which are usually published in the Daily Observer reflect his ardent desire for socio-economic reforms in the Liberian Society.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Govt attack on NTC vicious, blatant – Former Amerindian Affairs Minister

first_imgA recent statement issued by the Indigenous People’s Affairs Ministry (MoIPA) was centered on the National Toshaos Council (NTC) and its executive. It has been described by former Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai as a vicious and blatant attack on the Council and toshaos across the country.Having read the statement, Sukhai said, she is under the impression there seemingly is a disconnect between the MoIPA and the NTC. The former minister said she finds it to be a strange development, especially since the minister sits on the NTC as an ex-officio member.Former Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai“It’s actually like they can’t cooperate, and I don’t think the Government should seek to be indifferent to the NTC…that press statement of accusing the NTC executive is different from what they should be doing. They should be working together, and have full engagement with each other to further the development of Indigenous people in this country,” Sukhai told Guyana Times. Government on Wednesday accused the NTC of disrespecting President David Granger, and launched a scathing attack on several vocal Indigenous representatives who were not toeing the line, but exposing serious malpractices of the current A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change Administration.The MoIPA has accused the NTC and its Vice Chairman, Lenox Shuman, of being confrontational, demanding, and disrespectful in their writings to President Granger. The MoIPA said it has also observed a trend of public posturing by NTC executives, and has stated that the NTC has so far not distanced itself from what the MoIPA described as rather divisive, disingenuous, and sometimes incoherent statements being made by these officials.But while Government has taken umbrage at the writings of these officials to the President, Sukhai has said the NTC has the right to raise concerns affecting its people.“The NTC, as an elected body with Indigenous leaders will, from time to time, be seeking and negotiating with Government on many issues. And that is how it should be. If the NTC has a priority and they feel strongly that the priority is not being addressed by Government, then it’s within their authority to advance representation,” she added.The MoIPA, in its statement, pointed to Shuman and said it has taken note of his issuing call for mass public protest against the Government by the Indigenous citizenry. The Ministry said it would allow the Guyanese public to judge Shuman’s intentions.Further to that, the Ministry said it is aware of countless complaints of alleged disrespectful treatment of residents of St Cuthbert’s Mission by Shuman.When contacted for a comment on Wednesday, Shuman said he was in his village, and could not comment on the matter unless he reads the statement in its entirety.The NTC Vice Chairman said he would also like to be given some time to ‘digest’ what was written about him. He could not be reached on Thursday.last_img read more

Waitress gets 6 months for stealing phone

first_imgA waitress who was charged for assaulting a man and then stealing his cellphone was on Friday found guilty of stealing the cellphone and was sentenced for that offence.Sherryann MarksTwenty-five-year-old Sherryann Marks, of Lot 123 Middle Road, La Penitence, Georgetown, pleaded not guilty to the charge which stated that on July 31, 2019, at Vlissengen Road, Georgetown, she stole one Alcatel cellphone valued at $60,000, property of Collin Woolford.During her address to the court, Marks claimed that she walked away with the phone by mistake and was not given a chance to return it.When the matter was called previously, the Magistrate ruled that there was sufficient evidence that Marks stole the cellphone and as such, she was sentenced to spend the next six months behind bars.Marks was also charged for using threatening behaviour and was fined $10,000, for that offence, since she pleaded guilty to that charge when she made her first court appearance.However, the assault matter against Marks is still ongoing and that ruling will soon be handed down.The Court heard that the Virtual Complainant (VC) and the defendant are known to each other.It was reported that on the day in question, Marks and the VC had a misunderstanding which caused her to become annoyed. It was then the defendant dealt Woolford several slaps and cuffs about his body and relieved the man of his cellphone.last_img read more

File still with DPP

first_imgHigh-profile rape…MotP objects to newspaper headlineThe Ministry of the Presidency has objected to the Guyana Times headline in Tuesday’s edition which stated that the President was being accused of covering up a high-profile sexual assault case involving top officials in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).The article for which the headline was carried had pointed to criticisms made by former President and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, for the lack of response by the Government and, more particularly, the President for failing to take any action against those culpable or at least under suspicion of being guilty in the matter.The matter involves a high-ranking female municipal official, who had filed a Police report against a regional official, alleging sexual assault. According to reports, it was during a work trip when the alleged victim was forced to share a room with the suspect that the assault took place. The woman, subsequent to her Police complaint, wrote to President Granger on November 7, 2016 on the matter, but, to date, he has yet to respond to her concerns.Further, in an effort to seek justice for the young senior official, some 1200 persons signed the petition calling for the removal of the top official, who allegedly committed the act, on several grounds, one being sexual assault. The petition was forwarded to the President, the then Social Cohesion Minister Amna Ally and the Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan. No action was taken.It was based on these steps but yet no action that the Opposition Leader criticised the President, pointing out that Granger could not “claim lack of knowledge on this matter”.The PPP General Secretary condemned this apparent protection of an alleged sexual predator, as he expressed his belief that there was an organised attempt to hide the truth.However, on Tuesday, while the Ministry objected to the headline, it did not say what was “slanderous and libellous” about it, but rather noted that the article on which the headline appeared showed a clear misunderstanding of how Guyana’s criminal justice system works and the presumption of innocence that is a legal right of an accused.Additionally, the Ministry stated in its public missive that former President Jagdeo was aware that it is unlawful for the Head of State, who is the head of the Executive Branch of Government to intervene (or take action against those culpable) in matters that are before the courts (the Judicial Branch of Government) or criminal matters under active investigation.Meanwhile, when contacted late Tuesday evening, F Division (Lethem and other Interior Locations) Commander Ravindradat Budhram confirmed that Police were still awaiting advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on instituting charges.Ever since the matter attracted media attention, the accused senior regional official has come out, denying the reports against him. According to the regional officer’s lawyer, Jerome Khan, the accusations made against his client are false.last_img read more

Jagdeo unclear on legal status of SARA’s Deputy Director

first_img…Supports Bar Association’s criticisms of Heath-RetemyerOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has said he is unclear whether he should refer to Aubrey Heath-Retemyer as the Deputy Director of the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA), because Heath-Retemyer may very well be “squatting on the job”; but he agrees with the criticisms levelled against Heath-Retemyer by the Guyana Bar Association (GBA).Guyana Bar Association President Kamal RamkarranJagdeo claims Heath-Retemyer was not properly elected or selected to his current position at SARA, and the new legislation was not followed when he was put in that position. As such, Jagdeo says, GBA has a right to criticise Heath-Retemyer for seeking to lecture the judiciary about its decisions.“He wants a particular decision. Now, I have big concerns about judicial sloth, but I’m not saying that you should give a favourable position to the PPP (People’s Progressive Party) or an unfavourable position,” Jagdeo declared.He said Heath-Retemyer is seeking to suggest that he is looking for specific outcomes.“Here you have an individual who is trying to tell the judiciary what kind of decisions they must make. And if they make an adverse one to the SARA in protecting people’s rights, they come in for criticism. So it is within that context I support the statement,” Jagdeo said.The Guyana Bar Association (GBA) recently condemned the SARA deputy director for saying that members of the Judiciary needed training so that the Agency’s work could get done. Heath-Retemyer had lamented an apparent resistance by judicial officers to access information from commercial banks, something which is key to the work of the anti-corruption agencies, including the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU).SARA Deputy Director Aubrey Heath-RetemyerHowever, the Bar Council of the GBA, in a statement on Tuesday, bashed the Deputy Director of SARA, saying that his comments could be construed as a “threat” to members of the Judiciary, as well as an attempt to direct the work and functioning of the country’s legal system – something he should avoid.Apart from the situation being alarming and of grave concern, it was also against Article 122 (a) (1) of the Constitution, which states that the Judiciary exercises its functions independently and free from political, executive or any other form of direction and control.The GBA went on to contend that “any insinuation that the Judiciary is somehow lacking in knowledge is unjustified, without merit, and could dangerously shake the confidence of the public in the ability of the Judiciary”. The GBA said Guyana is a democracy where the law is applied by an independent and impartial Judiciary, whose function includes restraining unlawful excesses by the Executive.On Sunday last, former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall had also condemned the remarks made by Heath-Retemyer, and blamed the situation of banks being reluctant to act in supplying the information requested on the fact that several pieces of legislation are clashing.“Some [legislation] require the bank to maintain clients’ confidentiality, and therefore prohibit them from disclosing the information requested, while some require the bank to make the disclosures,” Nandlall had pointed out.He noted that the issue was brought to the attention of his successor, current Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams, whom Nandlall said “is incapable of taking advice”.Meanwhile, Jagdeo said the information requested places an administrative burden on the bank, and raises the issue of privacy. “And those are the issues being contested now, and the courts will rule one way or the other. The court has to balance protecting individuals’ freedom, liberties, rights and the necessity of the Government to do its work. I don’t think it’s a deficiency in the law, it’s the individuals making the political statement,” he opined.The GBA has posited that there is no place for comments like those made by SARA’s Deputy Director, while adding his action should equally be condemned by the Government for not being its view of the Judiciary, and by the citizens of Guyana as being an unjustified attack by an agent of the Executive on the independence of the Judiciary, and done in violation of the principle of separation of powers.last_img read more

Local seniors qualify for influenza vaccines next week

first_imgNorthern Health is encouraging local seniors to roll up their sleeves for the annual influenza vaccine, starting next week.Fort St. John Public Health Nurse Ann Green says the service will offered to those at highest risk for seasonal flu, including people aged 65 years and older, and residents in long-term care homes. [asset|aid=1974|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=ec2c12ea66cca99560c5f803e9d7577e-Ann Green 1_1_Pub.mp3] – Advertisement -Following this round of seasonal vaccinations, the H1N1 flu vaccine will be rolled out in November to everyone who needs or wants it. Green says there also will be a vaccine that helps protect against pneumonia offered at the same time.  Pneumonia is the most common complication of influenza. Green also adds that the influenza shots are the most effective form of flu prevention, in addition to proper hand washing techniques. Advertisement [asset|aid=1975|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=ec2c12ea66cca99560c5f803e9d7577e-Ann Green 2_1_Pub.mp3] The walk-in clinics will be open to seniors on October 13 and 20 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Fort St. John Seniors Hall. The seasonal flu vaccine will be offered again in early 2010 to everyone else who falls under the usual eligibility guidelines. This includes healthy children, and people at risk. Meanwhile, Northern Health announced that effective December 1st of this year, the authority will not be offering non-publicly funded travel vaccines to residents in the north. Advertisement Alternatively, travelers in the Northern Health jurisdiction can visit www.healthlinkbc.ca, or dial toll-free 8-1-1 for vaccine-related information.center_img The health board states the vaccines are not publicly funded, and cites low demand for the service. Northern Health is the last health board in the province to cut the travel vaccine from its list of practice.Instead, Northern Health says it will focus on high-priority vaccine programs, such as seasonal influenza and H1N1. Public health resources will be directed to provide funded and high-priority vaccine services including those for influenza, infant, and school-age immunizations. Travelers still have other options when it comes to getting the vaccine. The Wellness Centre in Fort St. John will still be offering the service. (Call 250-785-3234 for more information) Advertisementlast_img read more

UPATE – Pre-sale tickets now on sale for Merle Haggard

first_imgUPDATE – We understand there was a little mix up at the EnCana Events Centre and the password to buy Merle tix’s didn’t work yesterday. Since we brought that to there attention, it has been fixed and they’ve extended the pre-sale to 9am Friday. Follow the link below and enter the password MAMA and you can buy tickets now for Merle HaggardPre-sale tickets are now on sale for Merle Haggard.All you have to do to get them is join the Moose FM Facebook Page.  To join, click here.- Advertisement -Pre-sale tickets will be on sale from 10am on Wednesday until 10pm on Thursday.  Merle Haggard will be at the EnCana Events Centre on Wednesday March 10th, 2010.  Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday at 10am.Starting on Friday you can get your tickets that day by calling 1-877-339-8499 or online at www.dawsonco-optickets.comMerle Haggard March 10th at the EnCana Events Centre.Advertisementlast_img read more

Trojans triumph, advance to finals

first_imgLOS ANGELES – Gabe Pruitt, Nick Young and Lodrick Stewart suffered through USC basketball pre-Tim Floyd. They experienced some of the lowest moments in Trojans basketball history, and it shows. Third-seeded USC will face fourth-seeded Oregon today at 3 p.m. in the championship game. No player on the current team had won a game in the tournament before this week. The Trojans reached the finals in 2002. “We’re trying to get our first banner inside Galen Center,” Young said. “We came from last place (in 2005) to third place, and now we’re fighting for our first conference championship.” The victory gave USC its seventh win over a Top 25 team. The Trojans are 7-4 against ranked opponents, a statistic that should impress the NCAA selection committee. USC (23-10) is one victory away from equaling the highest total in its 101-year history. The Trojans had 24 wins in 1971, ’74, ’92 and 2001. Some top teams don’t mind getting knocked out early so they can have a few days off before getting ready for the NCAA tournament. But as players who weren’t even invited to the Pac-10 tournament in 2005, USC’s so-called big three value this experience. With every 3-pointer that left their hands Friday and the celebrations that followed, they looked like players who have come a long way to get this opportunity at success. The trio combined to score 33 of USC’s first 34 points and spark the Trojans to a 70-61 victory over No. 11 Washington State in the Pacific-10 Conference tournament semifinals at Staples Center. center_img “We’re not even thinking about seeding,” Young said. “Whoever they place us against doesn’t matter. I’m trying to focus on the now and get ready to get the first ring on my hand.” The Trojans uncharacteristically lived off the 3-pointer in the first half. Pruitt, who scored a season-high 26 points, had all 15 of his first-half points on 3-pointers. “During warmups, I was kind of feeling it and knew if I got open looks I would knock them down,” he said. That brought Floyd to interject, “I hope you’re feeling it tomorrow, too.” Stewart, who finished with 15 points, scored eight consecutive points during one stretch on two 3-pointers and a long jumper, giving USC a 23-14 lead. USC led by as many as 10 in the first half, but Derrick Low hit a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to draw the Cougars within 38-34. The Trojans moved away from the 3-pointers in the second half and focused on getting the ball inside to forward Taj Gibson. “We talked at halftime that we thought that was fools’ gold,” Floyd said. “We saw toward the end of the first half we missed a couple, and they went on a little run.” matthew.kredell@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Woman still fears for her safety

first_imgLAKE LOS ANGELES – The girlfriend of a man killed in Lake Los Angeles is breathing easier but remains concerned for her safety three weeks after the murder suspect surrendered to authorities. Kenneth Finnell, 29, turned himself in Feb.28 at his family’s home in the Dallas suburb of Grand Prairie, Texas, ending a two-week manhunt. “I’m glad they arrested him,” said the woman, a former girlfriend of the suspect, who asked not to be identified. “I was living in fear, and I still am.” Finnell waived extradition and was transported to Los Angeles County, where he was arrested March14 and charged with first-degree murder. He is accused of fatally shooting Everett Haydale, 28, on Feb. 9. Haydale was romantically involved with the suspect’s former girlfriend, and sheriff’s homicide Detective Angus Ferguson said jealousy was likely the motive. Ferguson said relatives persuaded Finnell, previously convicted of drug and weapons charges, to turn himself in. “Think about it, you’re an armed suspect looking over your shoulder the whole time,” Ferguson said.last_img read more

Whittier police looking for vandals burning flags

first_imgWHITTIER – Vandals burned nearly a dozen flags in the southeast part the city over a five-week period, authorities on Thursday. Detective Jared Burns of the Whittier Police Department said 11 flags have been torched – six American flags and five garden banners. All the burnings occurred in the same residential area near the Whittwood Town Center, he said. The neighborhood hit is bounded by Whittier Boulevard to the north, and Lambert Road to the south, and Santa Gertrudis Avenue to the east and Colima Road to the west. Burns said police have few leads on the case, but believe that the perpetrator may be driving a gray or white pick-up truck. Another woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said her American flag had been burned three times. Her home also sustained other vandalism, she said. Wysocki said she had heard that some houses had also been tagged with lipstick and the moniker “Joker,” though she did not know if the incidents were connected. According to Burns, the flags were hanging in front of houses. The burnings began on August 4, with the last one on September 12, he said. Burns warned that residents should not confront vandals, but rather should report any incidents to police. Although most burnings have caused only minor damage and danger, Burns also said to follow basic fire safety. “It it’s something that they would deem is of a serious nature, they would definitely want to contact the fire department,” Burns said. Those already singed by the outbreak of burnings are also taking action. “We’re definitely going to put surveillance out,” Wysocki said. “I want to catch them.” To report information on flag burnings, call Whittier Police Department at (562) 945-8271. airan.scruby@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “Residents should be vigilant,” Burns said. “If they see or hear anything suspicious, give the police a call.” Tammy Wysocki, who lives on Jupiter Street with her husband and children, said the American flag in front of her home was charred and melted about three weeks ago. “If I caught them, I’d wring their little necks,” Wysocki said. “Obviously it can be a bit dangerous.” A new flag already flies in the place of the Wysocki’s charred one. Wysocki said she is not afraid of vandalism, but that her family is watching their home more closely. “My husband was really upset,” Wysocki said. “He’s very patriotic.” last_img read more