– threatens disclosure of delinquent taxpayersThe Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) is threatening to publish the names of those delinquent companies and individuals with outstanding tax payments to the Council.In a statement on Thursday, the M&CC expressed its concern that several businesses within the capital city continues to disregard their civic obligation to ensure the payment of their property taxes.Despite the Council recently winning some $300 million in judgement against some businesses for failing to honour their responsibilities, the Council said it was still experiencing immense difficulty in getting property owners to pay their dues to the Georgetown municipality.“Council is owed more than $2 billion in property taxes,” the statement revealed.M&CC Public Relations Officer Debra Lewis explained that this sum has accumulated over long periods of time since persons have blatantly disregarded the law.“The Council intends to pursue all legal options available to the municipality through the Municipal and District Councils Act, Chapter 28:01,” she stated, adding that this would include “parate execution”, which is a debt recovery process under the law. This procedure is special to banks as it allows the resale of property mortgaged to the bank. The mortgage is organised without going through court proceedings and the institution itself is given the power to hold an auction for the sale of the property by the appointed auctioneer.According to Lewis, “some businesses have seemingly divorced themselves from their obligations and it is highly regrettable that it must reach to this stage.”Moreover, the Council said it was also working feverishly to have proper valuation and re-valuations so that the sums property owners pay reflect the true value of their property.The Valuation Department under the direction of the Finance Ministry has oversight for these valuations of properties. It is noticed, however, that even when properties are sent to the office for valuation or revaluation from the Treasurer’s Department, “they are subjected to certain delays”. The last valuation of properties in the city was done in 1997.The M&CC has long been battling with taxpayers who default on paying their rates and taxes with some property owners owing hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Council revealed in September last year that about 300 businesses were in default.In light of this dilemma, the Georgetown M&CC offered delinquent taxpayers waivers on interest through a one-month amnesty exercise. This programme saw residential property owners receiving total amnesty on interest, while companies and businesses had to apply to the Council for between 50 per cent and 75 per cent amnesty on interest.A special committee was appointed by the Council to oversee the affairs of the amnesty project.
Sinking economyThe Mid-Year Report presented by Finance Minister Winston Jordan last week confirmed our worst fears. The economy is decelerating with all the key sectors displaying signs of extreme distress and compounding the situation is the fact that Government wants Guyanese to believe in a fairy tale – that the El Niño phenomenon was responsible for the dismal economic performance.This is according to Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Opposition Member of Parliament Irfaan Ali. In his analysis of the 2016 Mid-Year Report, the former Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister said: “It is not too late for the Government to reverse the economic collapse.”Ali, in his assessment, said in order for Government to turn things around, it had to start by accepting the economy was in “reverse gear”, then craft an appropriate economic plan that would place the country back on a positive growth trajectory.Public Accounts Committee Chair, PPP/C MP Irfaan Al“We must remember that the first step to solving a problem is to accept it exists. Hiding our heads in the sand like the proverbial ostrich will not help. It will only create more false hope in the short term,” Ali advised.Ali, an economist by training, has since observed that in addition to the stagnant economic growth rate, “even more depressing is the fact the local economy decelerated for a second year in succession, amidst the recovery of international commodity prices and the Golden Jubilee celebration that was expected to resuscitate or breathe new life into a slowly dying economy.”He has surmised that the poor performance of the economy may be attributed to notable contractions in key sectors that were masked by the increased production reported by the large mining companies, namely Guyana Goldfields Inc and Troy Resources.“For the first time in our recent history, the entire economy is carried by one sector… not so long ago, our economy benefited from growth in multiple sectors, including agriculture, services and manufacturing which helped us to weather the stormy external environment,” Ali pointed out.Taking a jab at Government and its resort to blaming weather for the poor economic performance, Ali recalled that Guyana was able to survive the global economic and financial crises and managed to record positive growth, when economies in the Caribbean and the rest of the world were collapsing.“This year El Niño alone disrupted the entire economy… almost every sector was adversely affected by El Niño, according to the Minister of Finance in his half-year report,” a sarcastic Ali remarked.He suggested that while the poor performance of several industries may be attributed to the uncertainty created from the review/renegotiation by the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government of concessions granted to foreign investors, “the Minister would like us to accept his fairytale story that El Niño was responsible”.Ali is of the opinion that without a doubt things were “dry” in the country, “We have a drought with respect to ideas from the Government to move the country forward economically.”He reminded too of the growing criticism emanating from the Opposition camp that to date the Government was yet to present aFinance Minister Winston Jordancomprehensive economic plan for Guyana.
A Brazilian man was chopped to death during an altercation with another man at Sourie Backdam, Puruni, Region Seven on Friday evening. The dead man has been identified as 47-year-old Helio Batista Xavier Neves.According to reports, an argument ensued between the now dead miner and another man over the disappearance of some parts belonging to an excavator. The argument quickly turned into a scuffle during which the suspect armed himself with a cutlass and dealt Neves several blows to the body.The Brazilian sustained severe injuries and was rushed to the Bartica Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The suspect has since fled the scene. The Police were summoned and a manhunt has been launched for the suspect.Police have recorded some 91 murders so far this year.
…as President vows to topple “mother of all crimes”President David Granger’s recent pronouncement that his Government intends to legally dent the narco trade in Guyana, is being described by General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and former Security Minister, Clement Rohee as rhetoric.PPP General Secretary Clement RoheePresident David GrangerPresident Granger during the recording of his weekly telecast – The Public Interest – said that drug trafficking is a key antecedent of crime and he pledged to bring it to an end.Guyana is regarded as a key trans-shipment point for drugs and according to the President this is helping to fuel the country’s spiralling crime situation. While acknowledging that it is not the only factor for crime, the president said that once illegal drug continues to enter Guyana, it would be very difficult to control crime.The president, while dismissing the notion that his government did very little during its 16 months in office, Granger said that it is unfair to look at just the last 16 months, adding that “You cannot ignore the fact that this has built up over the last 16 years.”He went on to highlight that his administration thus far has established the National Anti-Narcotic Agency under Major General (ret’d) Michael Atherly and has been engaging the National Security Committee, which he (the President) chairs on a more frequent basis.“We have set up the institutions. The National Drug Strategy is being re-issued. We are conducting investigations into an aircraft coming into our airspace and taking other measures to make sure that narco-trafficking comes to an end. I personally chair the National Security Committee every week. We won’t take extreme measures but we are definitely going to bring narco-trafficking to an end,” Granger said, adding that the National Security Committee has been examining activities and initiatives for the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), the anti-narcotics unit of the police, GRA and Customs.However, the President said that the law enforcement agencies lack the necessary resources to fight the drug trade.“We do not have the resources. We do not have the aircraft to patrol our borders, we do not have the ships to patrol our sea space, we do not have the vehicles to control the land space to bring these crimes to an end but we are working on it. We are trying to help the police be able to get where the crimes occur,” he said.However, Rohee during a Monday press conference at his PPP Headquarters, Freedom House, Robb Street, Georgetown, said that the President was only making excuses for his administration’s failure to fight crime, pointing to Barry Dataram fleeing the jurisdiction undetected, just before a city magistrate handed down a hefty fine and a jail sentence on him for trafficking in almost 300 pounds of cocaine.“I have this to say, if drug-trafficking is the mother of all crimes, then Granger’s administration is the father of all excuses,” Rohee declared.He said President Granger should move from “speculation and hypothetical propositions” about the sources of crime in a Guyana context and present the statistics and the evidence to justify his assumption.“He hasn’t done so; yet he is bold enough to make these reckless statements,” Rohee argued.The former Security Minister said the President, a former Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), is gloating about the establishment of a National Anti-Narcotics Agency; his weekly meetings of the National Security Committee; the establishment of a US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Office here and the re-launch of the National Drug Strategy Masterplan, yet Dataram was able to escape.“If Mr Granger couldn’t stop Dataram from escaping how will he bring an end to Narco-trafficking?” Rohee asked.He also raised a number of questions regarding how Dataram managed to flee the country: “Who facilitated him with fake documents? Was a deal cut in exchange for his escape? How come law enforcement knew that he crossed the Corentyne River to Suriname, and that he did not go to Brazil or Venezuela? How did he manage to elude Operation Dragnet? How come he was able to know when and where road blocks were set-up and to avoid them?”Rohee described the escape as “a shame and disgrace.”He also took the President to task over his declaration that the local law enforcement was ill-equipped to tackle crime and the drug trade, but is not using his office to procure the necessary equipment of which he spoke.“While they were in the opposition, they pressed for these items to be procured for law enforcement, however, now that they are in the government there is nothing stopping them from buying these items for law enforcement. Again, all we are hearing are excuses and more excuses from the father of all excuses,” Rohee said.
In early 2013 President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf herself admitted that Liberia’s educational system was “in a mess.” It has alas gotten worse since then. Not only are our elementary and high schools in crisis due to poorly trained teachers, corruption and indiscipline among the students. The student explosion that followed the cancellation of tuition from public primary schools made classroom space and facilities woefully inadequate. In many schools, both primary and secondary, there are backrooms filled with broken chairs. Then the problem of teachers–who are not only inadequate but in many cases poorly trained. Up to 1959, before teachers colleges were created, there were “Teachers Institutes” each January throughout the country, where teachers were given refresher courses in various subjects to equip them with new skills for the new academic year. This was discontinued when teachers colleges were built in various parts of the country. It now appears that the need for refresher courses for teachers continues, to keep them equipped with fresh instruction in the various subject matters and in special skills in handling the new generation of students, especially in the post-war classrooms. There are also the problems of curriculum and textbooks. This newspaper has urged that Civics be returned to the Curriculum. We have also joined a few scholars in calling for the writing of Liberian textbooks reflecting the local culture that would make instruction and learning more adaptable to the Liberian situation. But we are still using foreign textbooks which are largely irrelevant to the Liberian reality. This is not the case in other West African countries, which insist on using local textbooks. This pays off: the children learn faster because the texts and illustrations are more adaptable to their national experience. But somehow the Education Ministry has not been able to establish and maintain a well staffed and financed textbook writing program. In the late 1980s and early 1990s the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored and financed local textbook production. Perhaps these and other burning educational issues may be considered at the US-Liberia Partnership Dialogue Conference which begins today in Monrovia. The issue of higher education is another critical problem in Liberia. The recent crises at the University of Liberia have underscored this problem. Corruption within the faculty and staff are at the center of UL’s problems. This has led to the enrollment of ill-prepared students, who enter using money and sex as their admissions credentials. Also, students at our universities, especially UL, are not taught or encouraged to read because the instructors are more interested in selling their pamphlets than sending students to the library and insisting on the development of an efficient and well stocked library at UL. Today’s conference has a loaded educational agenda.The Conference will also consider Energy, but thankfully, progress is being made in this sector—the rebuilding of the Mount Coffee Hydro, the plan for mini-hydros throughout the country and the West African Power Pool Program designed to electrify rural Liberia. The other BIG problem to be tackled at today’s Conference is Liberia’s poor performance in Agriculture. We still eat what we do not grow–rice, our staple, being the principal example; but we are compelled quickly to add many other foods, including vegetables, beef and poultry and eggs. We cannot boast of a single veterinary doctor. Our tree crops development is at a standstill. No one talks about Liberian coffee anymore; cocoa farmers are crying for encouragement; and so are our rubber farmers, most of whose trees were destroyed during the war. Today the Cote d’Ivoire has surpassed Liberia as West Africa’s largest rubber producer. This is a shameful crisis about which no one seems to care. The people responsible for agriculture do not even talk about it. All of these problems can be easily solved with seriousness, focus and commitment by all concerned, especially the people in government who are in the driver’s seat. Many of them were trained in the United States, where they learned about the dynamic role of the Department of Agriculture in the transformation of American agriculture that made the USA the world’s leading food producer. We pray that this Conference will seriously tackle some of these issues and help us find a way forward. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
One of 13 persons on trial for staging mercenary activities in neighboring La Côte d’Ivoire on Thursday, May 22 denied any involvement.Testifying at Criminal Court ‘D’ defense’s team 12th witness, Isaac Taryon, who has become partly blinded in the eye told the court that “I did not fight any of the wars in Liberia, so why should they accuse me of fighting in La Côte d’Ivoire.”“I don’t know anything about war. Ask any of the warring factions’ heads whether they know me of being part of their groups,” the defense witness furthered. “I’m just a mere farmer, who is a victim just because I am a member of the Krahn tribe.”According to him, during the war in Liberia, he fled and sought refuge in La Côte d’Ivoire, but later returned and resided in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.Narrating about his arrest and subsequent indictment, Taryon told the jury that on July 12, 2012, at about 8 p.m., he drove some Ivorians on his motorbike to the PTP’s refugee camp.“When we got to the camp, it was around 8 p.m. and the security at the gate prevented us from entering,” defendant Taryon alleged.“They told us that they were advised by their bosses that nobody should enter the camp after that hour, because state security was arresting people who they claimed fought in La Côte d’Ivoire.”He said, after he was stopped from entering the PTP’s refugee camp he decided to go to a nearby shop to have some drinks.“When I entered the shop, I saw lot of Ivorian refuges there so I decided to offer them some drinks (alcohol). It was while we were drinking, my friends yelled and said the security officers are coming let us run from them,” he stated.“I told them that I was not going anywhere because I was not one of those they were in searching for.”“But, when they arrived at the shop without asking me any questions, they arrested me and charged me of being a rebel. I am not a rebel and I never fought any war,” defendant Taryon protested his arrest. The case continues…Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Mr. Editor:I am always at a loss each time a Western leader pleads with an African colleague not to look with disdain on women who pervert the natural use of sex by unnatural acts and men who give up natural sexual relations with women and burn with passion for each other as doing so will violate their individuals’ rights (human rights).I am confused because besides being inimical to the African values, it was the nationals of these same Western countries that taught the African man about Christianity. This was or is being done through the Holy word of God, the Holy Bible. The Holy Bible tells us that God, the Creator of the universe, destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because the people of that city were engaged in such obnoxious and evil acts.The case in point is Obama America’s imposition of sanctions, the freezing of aid and travel ban on the Republic of Uganda because the Government of that country failed to recognize the so-called rights of Ugandans and others within Uganda who practice these shameful acts.Given the western advocacy that the rights of the doers of these acts be protected, I am inclined to believe, especially in this age of ours when the warfare between “good” and “evil” is so fierce, that America and her Western allies are acting as “agents” of the satanic world.America is always in the constant habit of supporting immoral tendencies: abortion, divorce, homosexuality, lesbianism, and so on and so forth, in the name of respecting people’s rights. There is no such thing as modernity or reform as far as the precepts of God is concerned. God’s Laws are always static and never dynamic.To those few African Countries that have enacted anti-gay laws: Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda; I say well done and forward march! Those that are yet to enact legislations in this respect, including my native Liberia, I say join the bandwagon and enact anti-gay laws. African nations must avoid being carried away by Western aid at the expense of eternity.The courage as shown by the aforementioned countries reminds me of the late President Ahmed Sekou Toure of the Republic of Guinea who in 1958 opted for independence, rather than servitude and for his native Guinea as opposed to riches from Guinea’s colonial master, France,.I hope that sooner, rather than later, African leaders will muster the courage to say a resounding “yes” to anti-gay legislations in their respective countries; and when that happens, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who has been our Providence, will continue out of His many bounties.Kind regardsShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The secretary general of the Liberia Immunization Platform (LIP), a civil society group based in Monrovia recently disclosed that 20 percent of 24 million children globally did not get vaccinated.Mr. James B. Ballah was quoting the global reports on the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) of the World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF).The LIP official noted that most of the 24,000,000 children that were not vaccinated live in the poorest countries, where many factors combined to thwart attempts to raise vaccine coverage rates.These included fragile or non-existence health service infrastructure and difficult geographic terrain.The LIP executive further disclosed that the global partners’ statistics revealed that 40,000,000 children are yet to be vaccinated and immunized through the collective Expanded Program of Immunization globally.“In spite of the enormous challenges, LIP believes current civil society advocacy groups have organized to strengthen the immunization coverage of Liberian children throughout the country,” said Mr. Ballah.“. . . by 2012, the Global Alliance Vaccine Immunization (GAVI) could boast that the global alliance had supported immunization for an estimated number of 440,000,000 children globally.”Such an enormous numerical achievement of listing could be the combined populations of United States, France and United Kingdom.The LIP boss intimated that GAVI support had contributed to the prevention of 6,000,000 future deaths caused by preventable infectious diseases.The LIP official also disclosed that GAVI had committed US$ 8.2 billion to all the entity’s alliance programs, including used and under used vaccines and health system strengthening programs in the world’s poorest countries.He admonished the delegates at the first General Assembly of LIP to consider the fact that they are the prime movers of the entity’s immunization initiatives throughout the country.“It is the mothers, fathers, children, community caregivers, Liberian Government, donor partners and traditional chiefs and all Liberians that are equally responsible to save the life of that child,” Mr. Ballah asserted.The LIP secretary general thanked the Catholic Relief Service of Liberia for its technical, financial and administrative capacity support during the few years of their partnership and collaboration.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) As of yesterday, young girls and women throughout Liberia who desire to pursue quality education up to high school level are being provided the privilege to do so free of charge, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announced yesterday in her State of the Nation Address.President Sirleaf said her government had on several occasions demanded quality education, but the process had suffered a series of setbacks as evidenced by the mass failure of Liberian students in exams administered by the University of Liberia and that of the West African Examination Council (WAEC).Based on a number of observations in the process, she announced ‘free education’ for girls, but this privilege remained at the primary and secondary levels of education.At the same time, the President has called for an increase in student enrollment while maintaining that the February 2 date for resumption of classes remains in spite of mixed reactions from the public.To support the President’s pronouncement, the Ministry of Education (MOE) had earlier announced that basic education (grades 1-9) will be free of charge in all government-owned schools. This free education applies to both boys and girls.Meanwhile at the secondary school level (grades 10-12), registration fees are being reduced to the minimum amount of L$700. This amount includes maintenance, activity and tuition fees.As for the fee to be paid to the West African Examination Council (WAEC), the MOE said the fee will be determined by the National Monrovia Head Office.Other fees will be determined by the Parent teachers’ Association (PTA) of individual schools, which will include fees for identification card, PE T-shirts, etc.Article 58 states: “The President shall, on the fourth working Monday in January of each year, present the administration’s legislative program for the ensuing session, and shall once a year report to the Legislature on the state of the Republic. In presenting the economic condition of the Republic, the report shall cover expenditure as well as income.”
Georgia Blazers basketball coach Nathaniel Patten, father of Edward Grimes, 19, popularly known as Trokon on Warren Street (Monrovia), who suffered an electric shock, along with his manager, Charles Swaray, last week Wednesday, are out of danger.“My son Trokon is back home,” Coach Patten told the Daily Observer last Friday. “He is doing fine.” The incident took place on last Wednesday, April 8, when Trokon attempted to remove live wires that had knocked his manager off, from his body and he was also knocked down.Swaray, according to a woman who only identified herself as his mother said, “I spoke to my son and he is doing fine.” Swaray was admitted at the S. D. Cooper Clinic while Trokon was admitted at the JFK Memorial Hospital. The Daily Observer learned that Swaray was still under observation last Friday, because he could not move two of his fingers.Coach Patten, who took Georgia Blazers to the last basketball championship, said, “When the incident happened and immediately I got the news I was sure that my son would be alright.” He said his faith as a Christian gave him the assurance that his son and his manager would be out of danger.“Trokon has been working with Swaray for the last four years,” Coach Patten said, “and they have been doing fine. Trokon is being taught as an electrician.”He explained that what happened last Wednesday was an accident. Swaray owns a generator for his cold water business, and it was during a process to connect some wires that he was knocked off, and became unconscious.When Trokon realized what had happened, additional information said he cut the power source of the generator, but did not realize that a nearby deep-freezer was still active, and according to Coach Patten it was when his son torched the freezer that he was knocked down and also lapsed into unconscious.He said because of being a dutiful son, the whole community prayed for his son, along with his manager. “I’m thankful to God that everything worked well,” Coach Patten told the Daily Observer.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Liberia’s football giant BYC I yesterday lost to LISCR in the quarterfinals of the President’s Cup 5-4 in penalties with the decisive spot kick by goalkeeper Tommy Songo.The loss marked the first defeat to BYC I since the scourged of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in March 2014.The debut Coca-Cola pre-season tournament was remarkably clinched by Coach Robert Larteh’s boys but their second dream ended embarrassingly yesterday.The game was characterized by tension between fans of both teams with BYC’s fans drumming, yelling and shouting, while LISCR fans sang after a mini-band.In the 55th minute an inarguably foul was called by central referee Christopher Nanakar which caused an indirect kick in the penalty box and provoked heated debate and near fight amongst the fans.One of LISCR’s fans jumped on the field and almost slapped referee Nanakar.In yesterday’s first derby, BYC II convincingly beat Nimba United 2-0. Strikers Eratus Wee and Terry Sackor were on target.On Wednesday, former Liberian football Most Valuable Player (MVP) Trokon Myers struck the opening goal from 21 yards.LISCR’s skipper and hit man rotated the score before the break.BYC I’s co-MVP Van Dave Harmon headed in the equalizer in the 64th minute, but nine minutes later Fallah leveled the score through an impressive pass from skipper Varney.Meanwhile, according to the semifinals fixture, which is scheduled for Friday, May 29, IE hosts LISCR FC at 2:00pm, while Keitrace FC meets BYC II at 4:00pm.FC Fassell has taken a bye to the ‘best-out-of-three’ finals.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The plight of 25 Liberian students who are presently stranded in Cairo, Egypt without any source of income has once again resurfaced with an appeal to the Liberian government to come to their assistance.Mohammed Kiawhen, president of the Liberian Students Union in Cairo, in a letter to the Daily Observer, said without financial support, all the students are ‘struggling to simply survive in a strange land that has been too difficult for them.”The letter said since 2011, financial allowances arrangement from the Civil Service Agency, (CSA) was discontinued.“We were awarded scholarships by the Liberian government through the Ministry of Education in the same manner as other beneficiaries in various partner countries.“Students in Egypt, like all other students, upon hearing of scholarship awards through advertisements submitted necessary credentials which were further scrutinized and vetted by both GoL and the Egyptian government through its Embassy in Monrovia.”Kiawhen’s letter said the 25 of them were selected as qualified candidates in which they were to undertake studies in undergraduate studies in various academic disciplines.“We were supposed to study engineering, medicine, accounting and computer science, and so on,” he wrote.However, Kiawhen said, “Upon our arrival in Egypt, we were made to undergo Islamic and Arabic studies at Al-Azhar (University) on the grounds that this was the actual scope and content of the scholarship and not what the Ministry of Education in Liberia had incorrectly made us (students) to believe.”Kiawhen said, “All this while we have been actively pursuing means of transferring to the requisite fields of studies, including engineering, medicine, computer science, etc.”He said, “Fortunately, the Egyptian authorities agreed in a meeting with the delegation of the Inter-Ministerial scholarship Committee (IMSC), headed by Ms. Robtel Neajai Pailey, during which both partners unanimously asserted that such could be effectuated through an official communication from the Liberian government through its embassy near Cairo.”Accordingly, Kiawhen said, “We (25 students) continued to contact both the MOE through its scholarship department and the Inter-ministerial Scholarship Committee to implement the said agreement (immediate transfer of students to departments in alignment with GoL capacity building strategy) but to no avail since 2011 up to present.”He wrote: “The delay and or failure on the part of GoL (Ministry of Education and Inter-ministerial Scholarship Committee) to implement the immediate transfer of the students and the sudden stoppage of our allowances for about two and half years has consequently resulted to endless suffering and lack of our progress, educationally, morally, socially, medically, among others.”Kiawhen appealed to the Government of Liberia to restore their allowances and to enable them complete their respective academic activities.A letter signed by then CSA Director George Werner, (now Education Minister), said: “The program in Egypt was evaluated and decisions were made about two years ago. Going forward, the Liberian Embassy in Cairo plays a vital role as do we ourselves.“The students know this. The students themselves know that we will not honor any communication from them until they comply with our policy and reconcile with the Liberian diplomats in Cairo. We have had too many exchanges and the students were told to return home.“The Egyptian authorities were told to facilitate the process of their return home. The Liberian Embassy facilitated these communications. The policy has not yet changed.”In a related development, Foreign Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan spoke recently at the occasion marking the official celebration of the 63rd Anniversary of the July 23rd Revolution of the Arab Republic of Egypt and at a farewell dinner in honor of Ambassador Lofti, whose tour of duty had ended.He made no mention of the plight of the stranded students in that Arab country. However, the Minister said that the relations between Egypt and Liberia have been cordial, mutually respectful and beneficial, with Egypt providing technical assistance to Liberia including short-term training programs and long-term bilateral scholarships. These opportunities are based on Technical Cooperation Agreement between the Egypt Fund for Technical Cooperation with Africa and the Government of Liberia, which continues to greatly impact the human resource development of the country. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has made additional appointments in government affecting the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Internal Affairs, Youth and Sports, Booker Washington Institute, Harbel College and the John F. Kennedy Medical Center. The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Senate where applicable, an Executive Mansion release has said. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the President appointed Mr. Dehpue Zuo , Deputy Minister for International Cooperation and Economic Integration and Cllr. Deweh Gray, Deputy Minister for Legal Affairs. The President named Mr. Ennish L. Fahnbulleh, Assistant Superintendent for Development, Grand Cape Mount County and Mr. Jumah Gull, Superintendent, Suehn-Mecca District, Bomi County of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.Mr. Lance Gbargoyon was named Deputy Minister for Youth Development and Ms. Kula Fofana, Assistant Minister for Youth Services of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.Members of the Board of Directors of Booker Washington Institute appointed by the President include the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Ministry of Youth & Sports and an alumnus of the BWI Alumni Association.Also appointed to BWI’s Board of Directors are National Social Security and Welfare Corporation,Firestone Plantation Company, a representative of Margibi County Administration, Mr. Kenneth Y. Best, Institutional Historian and prominent businessmen H. E. Upjit Singh Sachdeva (Jeety), Mr. Bill Morris, Mr. Cherif Abdallah and Mr. Ezzat Eid. Also named to the BWI Board are Mr. Alexander Cummings, Eminent Liberian and the Institute’s Principal and CEO as Secretary to the Board.Harbel College Board of Trustees appointed by the President includes Mr. David S. Menyongar, Chair and Ms. Regina Benson, Mr. B. McCarthy Weh, II and Msgr. Dr. Gabriel B. Jubwe as Community Members. Others are Dr. Michael Slawon of the National Commission on Higher Education, Hon. Jim W. Tornonlah and Hon. Edward Karfiah both representing County Authority.The rest of the Trustees are Mr. Wil Bako Freeman and Cllr. Winleta Anynn Henries of Firestone Plantation Company. The Board of Directors of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Center comprises several Statutory Members which are the Ministry of Health as Chair and the ministries of Finance and Development Planning, Justice and Education.The Chief Medical Officer of the Center, the Dean of the Medical School, University of Liberia, the President of the Liberia Nurses Association and the President of the Liberia Medical and Dental Association have also been appointed to JFK’s Board.Non-Permanent Members to that Board include Ms. Eliza Thomas, Ms. Nadu Cooper, Mr. Joash T. Hodges, the Liberia Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Oscar Bloh, representing Civil Society.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A 14-year old orphan, whose parents died during the civil-war, died after falling from a golden plum tree in Monnisuah Town, in Zuzohn Session, in the Blaydah Chiefdom, Glakon Statutory District #2 ‘A’, Grand Bassa County.The uncle of the deceased, Joseph Gareway, told this newspaper over the weekend that Dehkpoe Garway met his untimely death when he climbed a “golden plump tree in the town to pick some plums and accidentally fell and broke his neck.”He explained that Dehkpoe left their residence in Monrovia to spend time with some of his relatives in Monnisuah Town when the incident occurred.“After the boy’s death, some of the relatives in that town called me via cell phone and I went there for the burial,’’ he said.The Unification Town Chief (UTC) who resides in Monnisuah Town, Robert Yeah has meanwhile passed a law forbidding people from climbing golden plum and other trees to avoid a repeat of the incident.He warned parents to adhere to the law and stop sending their children to pick plums, oranges and doing any other dangerous work.He said besides the death of young Dehkpoe, many others have fallen from plum, orange, and palm trees in the chiefdom leaving some seriously injured and others crippled. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The fire was so intense that passengers could rescue any belongings from the busA 36-seater privately owned commercial bus carrying 56 passengers from Ganta to Monrovia was yesterday gutted by fire near the Bong County town of Palala, about 10km from the St. John River, with no casualty reported.The bus left Ganta at about 9 a.m. local time, but on approaching Palala, passengers reported extreme heat in the cab, and smoke coming from under the bus, which resulted in a fire.Passengers watch as the bus burned with their belongings suck in the storage compartment.The fire intensified, leading to a stampede that subsequently left most of the passengers sustaining minor injuries, police officers who later came on the scene told the Daily Observer.“All the passengers’ loads, including valuable items, burned because the fire was so huge that nobody could take anything out of the bus,” a police spokesman said.The owner of the bus, or the company – Amos Transport Service, and the driver are yet to be identified. Eyewitnesses said the driver and his conductor (car boy) fled the scene of the incident.The bus was white in color, and loads or luggage were placed in secure cabins under the passenger seats.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
– Advertisement – MOPAJOB Condemns the Clara Town Incident and urged that it stop immediately or else the law will take its course A group in support of the presidential bid of the ruling party’s candidate, Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, has blamed the major opposition political party, Coalition for Democratic Change, for the unfortunate incident that took place recently in the slum community of Clara Town.VP Boakai had gone Last Wednesday to receive endorsement from a pro-democracy group, Friends For the Future (3F), but was met with jeers from several supporters of the CDC, who considered the township their stronghold.The CDC supporters constructed roadblocks to impede the VP’s movement. The situation was saved by officers of the Liberia National Police.At a press conference yesterday in Monrovia, the Movement for the Presidency of Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai (MOPAJOB) termed the incident as a wave of misbehavior, barbarism, hooliganism and disgruntled attitude on the part of the opposition partisans, under the disguise of expressing their rights of expression and dislike of the Vice President Joseph Boakai.“During the endorsement ceremony conducted by Friends For the Future, some groups believed to be strongly supported by [opposition] political parties decided to throw stones at the VP in the middle of his acceptance speech, also in Kakata on July 15, 2017 where the VP had gone for another endorsement by the people of Margibi county, similar act was carried out,” MOPAJOB Co Chairman Wolobah Kesselly explained.Mr.Kesselly in a press conference yesterday at MOPAJOB office in Monrovia said that these acts by unscrupulous groups have the propensity to cause pandemonium thereby undermining the hard earned peace the citizens are enjoying.He told the media that the incident was planned by the partisan of the Coalition for Democratic change in order to create a serious problem in the country that causes electoral violence.“We have shifted blame on the CDC because of one of its members, Representative Acarious Gray, who welcomed the act and appreciated those who throw stones and booed the Vice president,” he said.According to Mr. Kesselly MOPAJOB seriously and strongly condemns the unlawful and unwanted groups and their supporters therefore requested them to immediately stop what they have started or else the law will take its course.“We urged such groups to stop now because our intelligence should not be taken as our weakness or laziness and our tolerance should not be misconstrued as stupidity. Our principal VP Boakai is a peace-loving person, a caring father and seasoned diplomat who does not believe in any form of violence but peaceful dialogue,” MOPAJOB Co Chairman urged.MOPAJOB also called on the National Traditional Council of Liberia, Chiefs and elders of the 15 sub political divisions of Liberia, religious leaders, civil society organization, US Embassy and United Nations to join the organization in condemning the act for a peaceful and violence-free election.MOPAJOB is a registered political movement with its principal objective of doing everything possible in a civil manner to mobilize registered Liberians voters for vote for Ambassador Joseph Boakai during the forthcoming general and presidential elections.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)