Borderline between military linkages to Government

first_imgDear EditorI refer to a letter that appeared in another section of the media on November 4 written by a “Concerned Citizen” which criticised the government’s decision to hold Cabinet meetings at the GDF headquarters. The concerned citizen asked “where are the voices of Dr David Hinds and Freddy Kissoon”—an obvious inference that we have been silent on the issue.On so many occasions I have heard that line—where was Hinds when so and so happened or why didn’t Hinds speak up when so and so was happening? The truth is that Hinds did comment on the issue to which the letter writer refers.No single individual can be everywhere or speak on every issue. But maybe it would help if people did a little bit of research before they make some sweeping assertions. This is relatively easy to do in the age of the internet. Further, maybe editors can use the “editor’s note” a little bit more to correct some of these glaring inaccuracies which when allowed to go unchallenged could be interpreted by readers as the truth.For what it is worth, the writer of that letter should be informed that I did comment on the Government’s decision to hold Cabinet meetings at the GDF headquarters in a news item on October 26 under the headline “Meeting of Cabinet at GDF HQ pilloried by Jagdeo – presidential complex undergoing urgent repairs” In an invited comment by Stabroek News I made the following observations.The Government’s decision to hold Cabinet meetings at the GDF headquarters, while not politically explosive, is bad optics and not tactically sound. At the end of the day, there are political consequences for such actions. The explanation that there were security concerns seems plausible on its face, but may not be worth the political cost.We have to believe that the Government tried very hard to find an alternative meeting place for Cabinet meetings. But I would have stayed away from the GDF headquarters for two reasons. First, by going there, the government is playing into the hands of the opposition, which has already raised the issue of the militarisation of the government. For the PPP’s support base this linkage of the military to government has long been a sensitive issue with ethno-political overtones that the government ought to do everything in its power not to feed.But there are also murmurs about the over-reliance on ex-military personnel among government supporters. Ours is a society in which political optics matter even among supporters and perception quickly becomes reality. We are also a society whose political culture is partly grounded in a separation of the military from the government; we don’t have a history of military coups and are not accustomed to seeing ex-military people in high political office.Mr Granger rose to political prominence, not because of his military background, but primarily because there was and is a perception that he is a decent man who is not tainted by the old politics. I think that a section of the society expected that his closest advisors would include some of his military comrades, but he has to be careful not to veer too much in that direction. In my estimation, we are at the borderline as far as the military linkage to Government is concerned.Sincerely,David Hindslast_img read more

The suicide rate reduction is real

first_imgDear Editor,The Caribbean Voice wonders why Ms Annie Balliram (whose letter was recently published in the local media) is casting doubt on the 2015 suicide rate for Guyana, which shows a reduction from 44.2 to 30.6 per 1000,000, and not all or any other previous rates. After all, it is the same global organisation, WHO, that has been putting out these rates annually using the same yardsticks, processes and methodologies et al. According to Ms. Balliram, “a significant reduction in suicide can come about only by addressing the abnormally high levels of stress arising out of the catastrophic social, economic and political conditions. Stress mechanistically drives suicide directly or indirectly by disrupting brain functions, thereby unleashing mental illness (e.g. depression, schizophrenia, etc.) or substance abuse (e.g. alcoholism), or both. Stress basically hijacks the brain in eliciting suicidal behaviours.”This limited characterisation by Ms Balliram runs counter to the complete picture, which, in the context of Guyana, indicates the following: Prone to copycatting, a practice referred to as the Werther Effect, suicide ideation is the result of depression and/or anxiety triggered by helplessness, hopelessness, powerlessness and loneliness. These triggers are catalyzed by low levels of self-acceptance and/or feelings of inadequacy/low self-esteem, as a result of abusive and dysfunctional relationships; lack of empathetic communication, teenage affairs and pregnancy; rape and incest; an inability to deal with problems (lack of coping skills) and/or unbearable pain – physical or emotional – poverty, unemployment and substance abuse (and to a significantly lesser degree psychosis, bipolar disorder and some other mental illnesses).If Ms Balliram had taken the time to get the facts, rather than merely speculate, she would have learnt about the work done by NGOs like The Caribbean Voice (in August alone: three mental health outreaches and three workshops in three different regions, costing over 0,000; two feature articles and six letters in the local media based on researched data; suicide prevention messages daily on radio and TV in all three counties; extensive – tens of thousands of views and thousands of interactions – social media information dissemination and advocacy; twelve counselling cases handled, and a number of meetings to explore collaboration and plan upcoming activism; Monique’s Helping Hands, Guyana Foundation, the Mibicuri Community Developers, the Counselling Center at Corriverton established by ex-magistrate Krishnadat Persaud, the St. Francis Community Developers, Prevention of Teen Suicide (POTS), Help & Shelter, Red Thread, Crossroads Counselling & Mental Health Services and a host of others who give their time, efforts, skills and resources, many on a voluntary and all on an ongoing basis, to address all the triggers their cause and result in suicide ideation and suicide).The work of these suicide prevention entities is holistic, comprising counselling and follow-up, training of first responders and gatekeepers (to foster the community support through proactive interventions and follow-up), information dissemination and awareness building (including safe use and storage of pesticides), advocacy and lobbying (that led to the establishment of the suicide helpline, and that is focusing on a range of other measures, including counsellors in schools), a lot of it through stakeholders’ collaboration. In effect, interventions are neither a ‘band aid’ approach nor are they ‘marginal’; and they certainly do not result in merely ‘transient gains’.While we agree that a lot more needs to be done, we are confident that, in total, the impact of the work of these NGOs and activists, combined with the incremental work done by Government, especially by the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs in the hinterland areas and the Ministry of Public Health through the MPH/GAP training and other measures, would certainly justify the suicide rate reduction from 44.2 to 30.6 per 100,000. Besides, both a content analysis of the media and empirical and anecdotal data garnered by The Caribbean Voice and other stakeholders do actually support this level of reduction.The Caribbean Voice does agree with Ms Balliram that genetics has a role in suicide. However, that is still to be clearly defined. Besides, there are differences regarding this in the scientific world, with some dubbing it a controversial issue, stating that because of the complexity of suicide, more studies, data and replication are needed. In effect, the tests to identify potential risks in order to develop treatment modalities are still a long way off, and thus cannot impact suicide prevention anywhere in the world anytime soon.Meanwhile, we are happy that Ms. Balliran has taken such a keen interest in suicide prevention in Guyana. Now The Caribbean Voice invites her to walk with us on this journey to save lives and empower people, so her passion can take concrete manifestation and so she would become aware of the reality on the ground, and not ignore, disregard and/or negate the tremendous work of suicide prevention organizations and activists, which will not only continue, but expand in time.SincerelyThe Caribbean Voicelast_img read more

EAC stuns NU in Filoil hoops; Cardinals cruise past Chiefs

first_imgWill you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? The Witcher series prompts over 500,000 reprints of Andrzej Sapkowski’s books Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption PLAY LIST 02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Eagles claim title over Archers MOST READ The Bulldogs were slowed by their 39 turnovers. The Generals may not have capitalized on that, scoring just six points of those errors, but National U simply could not find its groove due to the lost possessions.Meanwhile, Mapua scored its first win in the tournament after crushing Arellano, 85-65, in another game.A 25-4 start was all the Cardinals needed to snap a three-game slide and hand the Chiefs a second straight defeat.ADVERTISEMENT Pagadian on tighter security for 100,000 expected at Sto. Niño feast Solon urges Solgen to reconsider quo warranto petition vs ABS-CBN The rebuilding program of the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals just scored a huge win.EAC stunned National University, 77-73, for its first win in two outings in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup.ADVERTISEMENT Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Eduard Folayang gets new opponent for ONE Manila card Jethro Mendoza led the Generals with 20 points, including eight straight in the dying minutes of the game to tame the Bulldogs.In a match where both teams swapped leads, EAC finally got over the hump on an 11-2 run for a 58-52 spread going into the final period.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsJP Maguliano added 12 for the Bulldogs.It was a sorry loss for NU, which got 17 points from Dave Ildefonso who scored 17 while Chino Mosqueda and Isaa Gaye added 11 and 10, respectively. LeBron James stretches lead in NBA All-Star Game fan voting View commentslast_img read more

‘I Love Liberia Very Much’

first_imgThe deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD), which ravished the nation and brought it to its knees in 2014, has left in its wake stories that will be told for generations. It has even gone down in Liberian and world history as the worst form of the EVD ever to hit mankind. The World Health Organization (WHO) said 10,666 persons contracted the virus in Liberia. Of that number, nearly 5000, precisely 4,806 died from the virus. More than half of that number was cremated, which is totally against the traditional manner in which Liberians handle their dead. However, there are hundreds of others, who, by the grace of God, survived the scourge. One of the survivors, who has credited his survival from the disease to God’s miraculous intervention “in the affairs of man” is Dr. (MD) Kent Brantly.Dr. Brantly was the first American to contract the EVD, while trying to selflessly save his patients, who had come to the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) Hospital’s emergency room. Brantly had, by then, been working with ELWA for at least eight months. He had to be flown back to his home country for advanced medical treatment. After spending three weeks at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, he walked out of the hospital an EVD survival. Our Health Correspondent caught up with him last Thursday, on the compound of ELWA hospital. He had come back to extend thanks and appreciation to his Liberian and US colleagues who looked after him when he fell sick before he was flown out of Liberia. Below is the interview:Daily Observer(DO): The Daily Observer is with Dr. Kent Brantly, one of the Americans who contracted the deadly Ebola virus disease in Liberia. He had to be flown back home for treatment and he’s back in Liberia. Welcome to this interview, Sir.Dr. Kent Brantly (KB): Thank you very much.DO: Now tell us why you are back in Liberia.KB: I came back to see my people (chuckled).DO: Your people?KB: I came back to see the people who are my friends and colleagues, co-workers and brothers and sisters for the time that I lived and worked here to tell them thanks; to thank the Government ofLiberia for all that they did to make my treatment possible. To celebrate and rejoice with all of Liberia for May 9 that it has come and gone and that there’s no more Ebola in Liberia right now. It was very important for me and my family to get to come and see people who mean so much to us; who prayed for us and took care of me when I was sick.DO: If I am understanding you right, you have not come back finally?KB: No, we are not back yet finally. We are just here for a short visit. We are trying to discern the future and see what God would have us do in the future, but right now that’s still all up in the air.DO: Why have you changed your mind and don’t want to stay in Liberia?KB: I love Liberia very much. I love the Liberian people. This really was our home for those nine months. There is nothing that makes me not want to come back to Liberia. I was supposed to be here for two years and the two years are almost up but because of my illness and things that have happened since then, life is just very different so my wife and I are trying to determine what next step to take.DO: Life is so different, are you saying that life has become difficult for you now?KB: Not that it’s so difficult. It’s that we expected to be living here for two years. All of a sudden we are back in America. We didn’t expect to be there. Our circumstances are so different than we ever could anticipate. And now it is like having to go back to the drawing board to figure out what we are doing next.DO: Are you proud that you are an Ebola survivor?KB: I don’t think I can use the word proud. I am very thankful to have survived Ebola. DO: For our readers’ sake, could you give us your experiences that you had when you were infected with the virus?KB: It was very difficult…DO: Difficult, what do you mean?KB: I saw in my own body the same symptoms that I had watched so many of my patients go through with the running stomach and the vomiting and the bleeding. All of the patients I had seen patients with all those symptoms had died except for one who survived in the small unit at that time. So not only are those things difficult physically, but as a physician, seeing those same symptoms in my body was so difficult to deal with knowing that I was probably going to die.DO: Did you fear that you were going to die if you had stayed in Liberia?KB: It wasn’t just the matter that I was going to die if I stayed in Liberia or not but I felt that I was going to die because I had Ebola, whether I was here or in America. I was trusting in God through my illness. I was thinking about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, those three Hebrew boys, who were told to bow down to the King’s idol. They refused and the King said ‘I am going to throw you into the fire.’ They said, ‘O King live forever. Our God can save us and He will but even if He doesn’t, we won’t bow to your idol.’ I was saying to God, I know that you can save me but even if you don’t I want to remain faithful. I was trusting in God in all of it.DO: Tell us about the moment on the day you landed back in the United States. I saw a clip of you walking from the ambulance into the hospital. What was going through your mind?KB: To be honest with you at that moment, I had no idea about the significance about what was happening. I was in that ambulance with one paramedic. He’s the one who had helped me walk off the airplane and had put me in the ambulance. He said to me, “Do you think you can walk into the hospital?” And I said I don’t know how far it is. And he said, “It’s not very far. It’s right there, but there are some stairs.” Then I asked, “How many are they, are they more than jet steps?” Because coming down the plane had been so difficult. And he said, “Well, it’s probably more but they are not as big and steep.” He also said, “But if you can’t do it, we’ll wheel you in on the stretcher. But if you can walk, we’ll just go in through this door right here.” And I said ok. I had no idea that there were news helicopters flying above us. I had no idea that the world was watching and I didn’t know that Franklin Graham, the President of Samaritan’s Purse, in a meeting a few days earlier had said that “Wouldn’t it be a testimony to the power of Jesus Christ if Dr. Brantly walks off that airplane!” I had no idea about that but I think that is exactly what it was. So many people have told me that seeing me walk off that ambulance, they praised God and it gave them hope, but at the time I had no idea that it was so significant.DO: Doc, during your explanation like this, what feeling comes to you when you are explaining what happened to you?KB: It’s not hard for me to do that, it reminds me of what God has done in my life and that is my motivation for who I am and what I do. For me to recall my own story reminds me of the power of God and of his calling on my life to love Him and to love my neighbor. Sometimes it brings up emotions but it also reminds me of my God and Who I am supposed to be for Him. DO: What message do you have for those Liberians who turn down Ebola survivors and give them all sorts of names?KB: I think it is really sad for Liberian Ebola survivors to have a stigma against them because they have been through so much. I saw a bumper sticker on a car that said, ‘All Liberians are survivors.’ That’s very true. We need to remember that all Liberians are survivors especially those who had the sickness. They’ve been through even more. We need to not be stigmatizing them. We need to be having even more compassion on them. DO: We understand that there was a 14-year-old boy who had donated blood to you when you were sick. Have you met him since you came back?KB: Not yet but I hope to.DO: But have you been in contact with him since you got well?KB: Yes, I was able to send him a letter and I was able to get word from him that he had received my letter. I will always be thankful to that boy and to his family for their willingness to donate blood for me when I was sick. I thank God for them.DO: Back in the States, how long did you stay in the hospital?KB: Almost three weeks.DO: After you were discharged, there was this image of you and President Barack Obama. Tell us what was happening in that meeting.KB: Since I was released from hospital and recovered, I have had the opportunity to meet the President of the United States to testify before Congress of the United States, both the Senate and House of Representatives about Ebola and in all of those meetings, I tried to emphasize the real urgency in getting the United States and the international community to respond and come to the aid of West Africa. It was a tremendous honor to be able to play that role, to call for help in those ways. It was tremendous to be able to do that. DO: Doc, what do you hope to see the Liberian Government do when it comes to improving our health sector in order to prepare for any future epidemic?KB: I had the great privilege to attend the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland just a month ago with the United States delegation. The focus of the whole meeting was building resilient health care systems. Ebola has highlighted the need for resilient health systems, not just meeting the Millennium Development Goals but having systems that can absorb and respond to problems like this Ebola outbreak. I think my hope for Liberia is not limited to the health sector. For the Ministry of Health to have a resilient health system, you need to have a resilient community. I think it is more complex than simply building better hospitals or clinics. That is a big part of it but it also has to do with education and infrastructure and the rebuilding of communities and the economy. They are all pieces of the big puzzle. So my hope is that in the years to come Liberia will build herself into a resilient community. DO: Personally, how hard has this been for your wife and kids?KB: When I was sick, it was very difficult for my wife in America, 3,000 miles away from me, but she was surrounded by families. She was with her family and my family. That was a tremendous blessing. They really supported her. She received emails and messages from I think 40 different countries, of people saying ‘We are praying for you.’ And so we had a lot of encouragement and support during that very difficult time. My children are very young: they are six and four. They knew at the time that I was sick but they didn’t know that I had Ebola. They knew about Ebola; you know we have been living here and everybody in Liberia knew about Ebola. We didn’t tell them until I had recovered and we told them exactly what it was. We are so incredibly thankful to God to be able to come back to Liberia, this place that we had to leave so suddenly. My wife and children had left and gone to the States for a family wedding, expecting to be gone for about two weeks and then they would come back and now it’s been almost a year. I was not expecting to leave when I did or the way I did and it was all very sudden. So we are so thankful to be able to come and visit this place, to thank the people and to rejoice and celebrate with Liberia. The last portion of this interview will appear in our next Health Column on Tuesday, July 7. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Cypha Da King Set to Release First Solo album: “The Kingdom”

first_imgRapper and Producer Cypha D King has finally released a date for his debut album. With much anticipation from his fans, artists and those who know his lyrical prowess, Cypha is cooking up an 8 to 10 track album, just for them.“It’ll be special. The album will be free for download online… working on the website now,” he shared.Cypha has been silently, but with much impact, producing songs for artists like Queen V, Takun J, DenG, Soul Fresh, F dot A, Sweetz and much more. Known as “Mister Yes Sir,” his punch lines dominates tracks he’s featured on or produced, promising “there is more where those came from.”Tracks from the upcoming album have been sampled, and is being played on radio stations. “Blow your mind,” which is a ladies favorite, shows a seductive side of Cypha’s music.IN HIS OWN WORDS – Interview with Cypha Da KingLIB LIFE caught up with Cypha Da King in the following interview:LIB LIFE: If producing is your “area,” as the cliché goes, tell me how you became a rapper.Cypha: I’ve always been a writer, do verses on one or two people’s stuff, doing features. And for awhile, people have been telling me to do an album. As a producer, when you do certain tracks, you have an idea of how you want it to sound at the end. It’s hard to get it out of certain artists, and sometimes I end up writing it myself the way I want it. I just feel Liberians are at a point now where we can measure up to guys like MIA and Ice Prince based on our talents. As for me, I’m more like a sacrificial lamb. The music business is not too much about music anymore so you have to be marketable and they have to like you. You have to know how to carry yourself as an artist, and a lot of artists aren’t there yet. They may be there musically, but everything else-wise, like the whole package, is not there. You can rap from now until 2020, that doesn’t mean you are marketable. You can have punch lines but can you writea love song? Can you write something they can dance to in the club? LIB LIFE: What can artists do to get to that stage?Cypha: Do your homework. Study the music. Since in Africa, I listen to all the African rappers and see what they use that’s good for them, and what they do that doesn’t work for them. You take bits and pieces from here and there and put it out there.Listen to the album and you’ll know why I am a sacrificial lamb. “The Kingdom,” wherever you are and wherever you are comfortable, and you are in that place where you know you rule and you are a king in that area, that’s your kingdom. Whether it’s in your house, your office, your car, the street, in the hood, wherever you know you rule and you lock it down, HNIC (head n**ga in charge), that’s your kingdom, that’s you.The album is very diverse. I didn’t want to do too many collaborations; being though that this is my very first official album. Dec 19, 2015 is the release date and it will be something different, not your typical album from a rapper, stuff that people won’t expect me to be doing. LIB LIFE: Tell us how it all started because you’ve put in a lot of work to come this far.Cypha: Let’s take it way back. My mother always had me playing in the school since 16 or 17. It started when my mother had me playing the keyboard when I was four. It has always been in my blood. I played African drums in the church; played saxophone in the school band; played drums in a band; played in a rock band; and interned in a studio. So it’s been a long time. LIB LIFE: Sounds like you are familiar with different genres of music?Cypha: Yes.LIB LIFE: A lot of people don’t know that you were born in America to Liberian parents. What inspired you to want to affiliate yourself with the Liberian music industry instead of American music?Cypha: My first trip to Liberia was in 2006. I spent five or six months seeing how everything was on the ground; definitely to see where the music game was. On that trip, I decided that I needed to come home and lend a helping hand as much as I can with studio, productions, writing, advice and consultation. In 2008, DJ Blue, Hazem and I opened Blue links Records on Camp Johnson Road.LIB LIFE: Your objective of coming out here to motivate, stimulate, enhance and develop the industry has worked out to the satisfaction of the people. And because of that your track record is amazing. During the heat of Ebola, your team used music and jingles to keep so many people from contracting the deadly virus – and have been recognized by international NGO’s for your efforts. Do you feel that you’ve done what you set out to do out here?Cypha: Yes we have! Blue Links and our team. Blue Links started in 2008 and the first song we did was “Where I’m from” featuring Queen V and Nasseman. Our first HD video had a big release, it was the first time any song had that much impact behind it. After that we worked with Takun J, Nasseman and various artists. I am a producer and can produce music, jazz, Hip Co, jazz and all types of music.When it comes to business, Hott FM and Blue Links, and soon to be Hot TV…I don’t really talking about my business too much…most businesses I invest in privately and wait for them to bubble to a certain point, then the public will know about them. I consider myself to be a businessman. LIB LIFE: Can you hold your own?Cypha: Without a job, I started my own hustle from throwing parties at the club, the Blue Links, radio shows at three to four different radio stations. It’s like the Liberian dream, move to Liberia and become successful. I’m not rich, but far from being broke. There’s a lot of stuff out there that overshadows good Liberian music. I need your support morally and financially. If you see a song on iTunes for $99, buy it. I might make the whole album free. I want to do something different. I want it to be where people won’t have a choice but to have the album… download it!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Dialogue Among Peace Messengers: Partnership for Peace, Dignity for All

first_imgAs young Liberians prepare for the International Peace Day and the official launch of the Amman-Declaration on Youth, Peace and Security declaration, Messengers of Peace –Liberia Inc (MOP) would devote its column for the month of September 2015 to the perspectives of youths on Peace and Security Issues.By the way of introduction, Amelia Washington was born on 10th September 1998 to a Christian family; she attends Len Millar High School as a 12th grade out-going senior. She says peace means right, justice, and unity, lawful and free from violence.She joined MOP as Volunteer Peace Messenger to help young people stay away from violence, to educate young people on their rights and to unite youth especially so as to make the country we find ourselves in a suitable place. Amelia is an inspiring young lady. In her own words, Amelia writes:I have never served as volunteer in my community but getting into peace volunteerism is my first incursion to volunteerism. I believe that Messenger of Peace will help me learn about peace, to be a peaceful person to help me build up my career to be outspoken.In the next five (5) years, I see myself as an advocate for peace, a law abiding citizen and independent woman who stands for her word and a devoted child of God that mama Liberia can boost of.I dream of a peaceful Liberia where citizens will inform others about peace so as to transform our country positively.My message to young people is that they should stay away from violence and focus on education because it is the key to success. A biblical quote 2 Timothy 2:15, “ Let me win if I cannot let me be brave to make an attempt cause one day my opportunity will surely come” guides my day.The outcome of the global forum on youth peace and Security Council that was held in Amman Jordan to ensure an inclusive and integrated approach to peace and security motivates me. Young people should be engaged in shaping lasting peace in our communities as positive contributors to peace, justice and reconciliation. We need to work as partners to ensure the implementation of the action point which says that we as young people are essential in transforming conflict, countering violence and building peace yet, our effort remain largely invisible, unrecognized and even undermined due to lack of adequate participatory and inclusive mechanisms. Youth should also dissuade themselves from violence and focus on peace building, gender equality and also the empowerment of youth socially and economically. Amman Declaration on Youth, Peace and Security will serve as a blueprint in the work of MOP-Liberia as it presents a common vision and road map towards a strengthened policy framework to support other organizations in transforming conflict, preventing and countering violence, and building sustainable peace, and recognize the involvement of youths in peace building activities in and around Liberia. Until next week, when we come to you dialogues among peace messengers: “Partnership for Peace-Dignity for All-Part 3”, Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace prevail on earth.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Troubling Signs for TU

first_imgThe academic instabilities that have marred the University of Liberia as a result of continuous demonstrations and protest by students of the premier state run university might surface at the William V. S. Tubman University in the southeastern region if proper care is not taken.This potentially troubling situation looming at TU is emerging as news emanating from Maryland County reveals that there is a plot to obstruct the May 31 commencement convocation of the of the university.This is because the new president of the university, Dr. Edward Lama Wonkeryor, who has been appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to succeed outgoing president Dr. Elizabeth Davis-Russell, is not a native of Maryland County.Speaking at a press conference in Monrovia on Tuesday, Robert F. Neal, II, Assistant Professor of Finance at the TU’s College of Management and Administration, said the citizens are planning this mass protest as an effort to intimidate President Sirleaf to rescind her decision and heed to their demand.He said some influential leaders of the county are orchestrating a mass demonstration that would obstruct the ensuing May commencement exercises of the university.“This plot is being masterminded by some influential stakeholders of Maryland County, who have vowed to see that the President rescinds the appointment,”The county leaders are however demanding someone from the county or a southeasterner to be appointed.He disclosed that series of mass citizens’ meeting were held on Monday in Pleebo where the participants resolved to carry out the protest on the date of the graduation. “Dr. Wonkeryor was selected through a search committee “Some leaders of the county are inciting young people in the county to stage a mass protest so that the graduation ceremony will not go on. And this I think is very unacceptable because TU is not a property of Maryland neither the Southeast, but the country,” Prof. Neal said, adding that the act that created TU can be liked to that of UL. “These are national institutions supported directly by government. These are not community colleges here.”Reports also revealed that academic activities might come to a standstill if the demand of the citizenry is not adhered to by President Sirleaf. The citizens are contending that the new TU president was handpicked by the outgoing president, Dr. Russell – a statement Neal bitterly differs with.He indicating that these people are misinformed, indicating that the process was free, fair, transparent and comprehensive. He said this is not the case, ratherHe said the argument that only Marylanders should head TU places Marylanders in other parts of the country in a very dangerous situation. “So are we saying that Marylanders across the country who are qualified should only work in Maryland? Our constitution provide employment rights to everyone” “I think what we are giving birth to here is pushing for a kind of xenophobic situation here that tomorrow we will be pushing other residents out of the county.”He said it is regrettable that some of his brothers who are being misinformed will support such action. Mr. Neal, a native of the county-who hails from Pleebo Sodokan district, said that it is unfortunate that citizens of the county would think that the university president should by force come from the county.“TU does not belong to us as Marylanders; we are only privileged to have it in our county,” Neal said. “While should we be excluding other Liberians who are qualified to be appointed? This, I think is discriminatory and we must desist from these things if our country is to progress.” He disclosed Dr. Wonkeryor was selected by the Senate Faculty of the university out of eight candidates who applied after the position was advertized for close to a year.He said if President Sirleaf succumbed to the citizens’ pressure and reverses her decision, it would serve as a bad precedent.The stakeholders have planned to do all they can to ensure that Dr. Wonkeryor does not take up his post.The planned demo is being reportedly masterminded by some officials of the county including lawmakers and local leaders, who want to ensure that the new President of the State-run University comes from the county.When asked to identify some of the officials that are against the appointment of Dr. Wonkeryor, Neal said, “It is no hidden secret. Some of these people are Senator Dan Morais, Representative Bhofal Chambers and, we are also being told, Representative James Binney. These are the lawmakers that are calling for the university to be headed by a Marylander or a Southeasterner,” he said, describing their argument as weak and out of order.“I’m not granting this press conference because I favor Dr. Wonkeryor, but because we the people of Maryland are peaceful and tolerant people and I don’t want the image of the county and its people tarnished,” he said.Dr. Wonkeryor, Provost at Cuttington University, was recently appointed by President Sirleaf after he was selected by TU’s Board of Trustee.He was one of eight applicants vetted by a search committee who comprised of representatives from the Commission on Higher Education, President Sirleaf’s office and others.Dr. Wonkeryor edged out Dr. Emmanuel K. Bailey, who was the other finalist. Some of the candidates that were vetted include Dr. Isaac Adetunde, one of the Deans at TU, Dr. Zechariah Gaye of Grand Bassa County Community College and Dr. Anthony Woart, a Marylander based in the United States.When contacted via telephone, Senator Morais told this reporter that his office should be respected and not anyone just calling and talking about accusation like he is a little boy.The Maryland Senator, who neither confirmed nor denied the allegation, said, “My young man I’m a Senator and I need to be respected,” adding that he is not answerable to the reporter, “so you can go ahead to do whatsoever you want to do. He continued, “Young man, I respect you and respect the paper that you work for, so please treat me with respect too. And if I even asked you now, who is accusing me you will not be able to tell me, but all [you] can say is allegation, allegation.” He then hung up the phone.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Slow start doesn’t get in way of Matthew Hermosa 1st IronKids’ age group crown

first_imgMatthew Hermosa running to the finish line at Saturday’s Alaska IronKids. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netCEBU CITY— Matthew Hermosa had a smashing debut in the age group of the Alaska IronKids, winning the gold medal in the boys 13-14 bracket in just his first try Saturday at Shangri-La Mactan here.The 13-year-old from Paref Springdale School clocked in at 35:08.33 in the 16.4-kilometer swim-bike-run course and he admitted that he felt the pressure of competing in his home province.ADVERTISEMENT Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? “There was pressure earlier, even until the start of the race it was still there,” said Hermosa, who hails from Talisay City, in Filipino. “I overcame it by using it as motivation, by smiling, and I was happy because my whole family is here.”Hermosa has bagged three gold medals in total in his IronKids stint, but this was his first in the age group.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsHermosa started out slow and came out of the 400-meter swimming course at fifth then worked his way up to second at the end of the 12-kilometer bike race.Trailing Go for Gold teammate Earol Belonguil, Hermosa pounced on a late opportunity to overtake his older contemporary to become Cebu’s champion in the age group. DENR suspends entrance fee collection to Bohol’s man-made forest Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ ‘Game of Thrones’ spin-off on Targaryens may premiere in 2022 Asian stocks follow Wall Street higher after US-China deal TECO donates $100,000 to typhoon-stricken Sorsogon Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted “During the run, I was still at second so I decided to pace myself where I sprint, then rest, but I saw my opponents getting tired so that was when I pushed myself going to the U-turn and eventually the finish line,” said Hermosa.“I’m just ecstatic and grateful for this win.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite PLAY LIST 02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption02:48ABS-CBN franchise has ‘natural deadline,’ no need for quo warranto — Gatchalian Duterte lambasts Catholic Church anew in curse-laden speech before Filipino Baptists LATEST STORIES With the rise of e-commerce, is it also the end for our beloved CD-R King? Kiefer Ravena gets a side role for Gilas as he stays on the sideline at Spain tournament View commentslast_img read more


first_imgCONGRATULATIONSTOMR. AND MRS ALASKAI MOORE JOHNSON FOR THEIR SUCCESSFUL WEDDING. WE WISH YOU MANY HAPPY YEARS TOGETHER BY GOD’S GRACE. FROM THE DAILY OBSERVER FAMILYShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img