Dear Editor,The question is: When would GECOM, and especially this PNC-led Coalition, come to the stark reality that Guyana must have General and Regional Elections? That is the question on everyone’s mind. And may I add: When would GECOM and this Government stop the delaying tactics and get on with the people’s business of conducting a free and fair election and one that is free from fear in this country?These are all pertinent and searching questions, the answers to which are, up to now, not forthcoming from these two entities. All we are getting thus far are excuses after excuses, too numerous to mention.It is high time this foolishness comes to an end.September 18th, 2019, like the morning sun, looms bright and clear on the horizon; yet we are locked in gloom as the burdensome weight of a PNC Government, through its instrument GECOM, keeps us head-locked in foolish and nonsensical arguments, while we are no closer to experiencing the dawn of a new day; a fresh start.We want elections! The Constitution and the people say so, and theirs is the only voice that matters!Next Wednesday would mark another deadline that would have come and gone all because a Government is hiding behind some ludicrous excuses and refuses to meet the electorate. Guyana has laws, and our country is supposed to be governed by a Constitution. That Constitution states emphatically in Articles 106 (6) and (7) what ought to be done when a government falls.It is nine months to the date, and the dictates of the law have neither been honoured nor respected. Why is this so? It then becomes clear that this Government is most fearful. And why should they be? Why the fear? Why the apprehension? Is it that they see defeat coming?The head of this Coalition Government is supposed to be an ex-army man; he should then stand like the brave and go back to the people who brought him to power in the first place. Why the cowardice? Do not this President and his Government know that they have to face the electorate after the successful passage of a No-Confidence Motion?Yes, they are well aware of this. So let us get on with the nation’s business, sir.Any Government — and this one is no different — when you have done your work, you must face the electorate for a fresh mandate to continue the “good work” started four year ago.Then I say: Let us get a clear evaluation of that work, whether good or bad, from the perspective of general election!Respectfully,Neil Adams
The Government of Guyana has stated that Venezuelans wanting to escape the deplorable conditions in their home country caused by a deteriorating economic crisis, are welcome here, but they must enter through legal means.This position comes three days after 14 Venezuelans were deported after it was found that they had entered Guyana illegally.According to Minister of State Joseph Harmon on Wednesday, Government has a humanitarian responsibility to accept Venezuelans coming here in search of better lives but maintained that they should not do so illegally.In fact, he stated that Guyana is part of international agreements to give support to countries in situations like Venezuela.“We have made it clear that on humanitarian grounds we will not turn back Venezuelans who come to seek help here in Guyana… so anybody coming from Venezuela for food and things like that, we support people who come to Guyana on those grounds,” the Minister noted.However, he outlined “We of course have our responsibility to ensure the integrity of our borders and that the immigration procedures which are applied to persons coming to Guyana, we will apply those procedures.”Asked whether Government would consider relaxing restrictions on those Venezuelans entering the country illegally, Harmon shutdown the idea and reiterated that Guyana’s laws must be adhered to at all times.“Any person who comes to Guyana and are deported, have actually violated some parts of our laws… the Government will not tell the courts how to act. The fact that the persons were brought to court meant there would have been some offence that was committed,” the Minister of State posited.On Monday, 14 Venezuelans were deported to the neighbouring state after they were found illegally in Guyana. Among those refugees deported were five mothers and nine fathers who were miners.According to court documents, the group of Venezuelans illegally entered Guyana by sea in the vicinity of Iterinbang, Cuyuni River, Region Seven.With the help of a translator, the refugees explained that they departed Venezuela with the hopes of finding jobs in Guyana to support their families back home.The women explained that they were punishing in Venezuela since there were no jobs and only limited food available. Meanwhile, the men told the court that it was a struggle to provide for their families in Venezuela, as such, they came to Guyana in search for work.Sources have confirmed that an additional 100 more are expected to be deported in the coming weeks.Back in May, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro had declared a 60-day State of Emergency as the country experiences economic turmoil following the decline of oil prices on the world market over the past months.Reports coming out of the Spanish speaking nation reveal that there is a massive food shortage and limited access to basic health care and basic amenities, such as electricity. Reports of rampant outbursts of looting and violence are also emerging from the neighbouring country.With the situation in Venezuela deteriorating and no evidence of an economic turn-around, it was predicted that there will be a refugee crisis in the region as persons from the Spanish speaking country are likely to flee to neighbouring nations. (Vahnu Manickchand)
Cocaine in rum at CJIADwayne King, 32, of 165 Stanleytown, West Bank Demerara, who was implicated by his girlfriend Vanessa Moore, for smuggling 2.945 kilograms of cocaine in El Dorado rum at Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) was on Thursday sentenced to 60 months imprisonment and fined $30,000.Dwayne KingIt was alleged that Moore had 2.945 kilograms of cocaine in El Dorado rum in her luggage at (CJIA) while she was booked to travel to London on November 9, 2015.King was later arraigned on the same charge.The prosecution informed the court that the man befriended the woman to gain her trust to use her to smuggle the cocaine.The prosecution added that investigations later revealed that Moore had been in the company of King before she was apprehended and that the defendant had fled after the drugs were discovered.It was further explained that Moore had been given the two bottles of rum by King, who had asked her to deliver them to a friend in London.Moore, who was initially charged with trafficking in narcotics denied the allegation and told the court that her London address is 78 McDonald Hills.The prosecution’s case are that on the day in question, the Guyanese citizen was an outgoing passenger en route to London via Port-of-Spain when she was subjected to a routine search of her luggage, which unearthed two bottles of rum – a 12-year and 15-year old El Dorado rum.After the discovery of the illicit substance, Moore told the Police that her boyfriend had given her the rum to take to London to give to a friend.The charges were later dropped against Moore after King had turned himself in to Police in the presence of his attorney.
A man and his sister on Monday appeared before Magistrate Alex Moore at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts charged with assault.Junior Gordon and Malika Smith both pleaded not guilty to the offence that they were cross charged with.Junior GordonIt is alleged that on September 1, 2016, at Lot 67 West Ruimveldt, Georgetown, they assaulted each other.However, Gordon was also slapped with two additional charges of using threatening language and attempting to restrict Smith from gaining access to parts of the home they share.The prosecution contended that on the day in question, the defendant nailed boards across an outside toilet and bathroom to prevent the Virtual Complainant (VC) from gaining access.When Smith questioned her brother about this, the agitated man threatened to kill her and reportedly assaulted her.The VC told the court that she has received numerous threats from her brother on numerous occasions and was very scared of him.However, the defendant told the court that the VC threw something at him which moved him to take such actionsThe matter was reported and he was arrested.The defendant later pleaded guilty to the threatening language and ‘attempting to restrict’ charges and was fined $20,000.The siblings were granted $15,000 bail on the assault charge for which they are scheduled to next appear in court on September 30, 2016.man and his sister on Monday appeared before Magistrate Alex Moore at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts charged with assault.Junior Gordon and Malika Smith both pleaded not guilty to the offence that they were cross charged with.It is alleged that on September 1, 2016, at Lot 67 West Ruimveldt, Georgetown, they assaulted each other.However, Gordon was also slapped with two additional charges of using threatening language and attempting to restrict Smith from gaining access to parts of the home they share.The prosecution contended that on the day in question, the defendant nailed boards across an outside toilet and bathroom to prevent the Virtual Complainant (VC) from gaining access.When Smith questioned her brother about this, the agitated man threatened to kill her and reportedly assaulted her.The VC told the court that she has received numerous threats from her brother on numerous occasions and was very scared of him.However, the defendant told the court that the VC threw something at him which moved him to take such actionsThe matter was reported and he was arrested.The defendant later pleaded guilty to the threatening language and ‘attempting to restrict’ charges and was fined $20,000.The siblings were granted $15,000 bail on the assault charge for which they are scheduled to next appear in court on September 30, 2016.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) As the Community of Hope Agriculture Project (CHAP) in Du-port Road Paynesville, introduces the new method for planting rice to increase yield namely, “system of rice intensification ( SRI)”, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has urged residents residing in the urban parts of Liberia to rise up and grow more food to end hunger in the country.The Liberian leader made the call on Saturday, May 10, in Paynesville, when CHAP launched the first harvest of rice cultivated through the SRI practice.SRI is an innovation that changes the conventional practices of rice growing, enabling the rice plant to better express their production potentials. It consists of producing rice with less seed, less water with either no fertilizer on a soil that is rich with organic matters.This new way to plant rice was adopted by Liberian farmers last year in Kakata, Margibi County. The aim is to increase the production of rice in Liberia for self-sufficiency.Speaking at the occasion, President Sirleaf said that Liberia can only become food secure provided Liberians are willing to grow more food.She lauded members of CHAP for the initiative to engage in agriculture activities and promised to pay the laborers hired to work on the farm.“I am highly impressed about your active participation in to farming activities in the urban areas. When I first heard that there is some group of citizens farming here in Du-port Road, I was shocked. This is why I visited your field in 2008 and was impressed thereby mentioning your contributions in my Annual Massage [to the nation], as part of my government’s achievements toward the fight against hunger,” she told the farmers at the program.At the same time, considering the constraint faced by urban farmers to access to land, the Liberian President disclosed that there are plans to lift the moratorium on the sale of public land in the country.According to her, when this is done urban farmers will be able to contribute greatly to the nation’s food security.Liberia’s Agriculture Minister Florence Chenoweth, who also spoke at the program, said the Ministry of Agriculture, will provide technical support to the Du-port road farmers.She called on the Du-port farmers to exercise patient as government would do all it can to address the land crisis facing them.For his part, the Executive Director for CHAP, Reverend Robert Bimba, said that farmers in the country are encouraged to adopt the SRI practice to increase the yield of rice.“CHAP is implementing the SRI practice in Liberia, with support from the Ministry of Agriculture and other partners. The project is currently being piloted in three counties, including Montserrado, Grand Gedeh and River-Gee Counties,” he disclosed.Reverend Bimba said that ownership to the Du-port farm land was needed to enable the farmers increase their production.“We are appealing to the government so that we may have complete access to this farm land (Du-port Road) for production,” he mentioned.He said that though the land was given by permission from the city government of Paynesville, many times farmers have been stopped from farming on the land.
Public Works Minister Antoinette Weeks has been summoned by the Senate to answer to “contempt” charge brought against her by two Senators, H. Dan Morais of Maryland County and George T. Tengbeh of Lofa County.The Senate Plenary took the decision Thursday, May 29, based on complaints from both senators relating to the “poor state” of road networks in the country.In a communication addressed to plenary, Maryland County Senator Morais expressed concern over the “inability of Madam Weeks to expedite the pavement of Harper-Fishtown Highway, which the Senate ratified since September 2, 2013 and the image of Liberia in the British Parliament bordering on alleged bribery that the Minister was asked to investigate since August 1, 2013.” The Fishtown-Harper Highway project is a loan agreement between African Development Bank (AfDB) and Liberia, intended to connect the Southeastern counties with the rest of the country and as well provide jobs for hundreds of Liberians in various disciplines.According to Senator Morais, he communicated the plight of the region to Minister Weeks in early March 2014, but every attempt to personally meet her proved futile.Relative to bribery allegation, Senator Morais disclosed that he was confronted with the matter during one of his diplomatic shuttles to the United Kingdom (UK) involving Ministry of Public Works for signing of certificates for works completed by a British company. Sen. Morais: “The matter was referred to me by Mr. Robert Curzon-Jones in the presence of two members of the British Parliament. I, however, demanded documentation in support of the allegation, and upon receipt of same, I wrote the Minister on August 1, 2013. I received a response on September 12, 2013 from Christian G. Herbert—the then acting minister acknowledging the Ministry’s indebtedness to GAP International, Inc. owned by Curzon-Jones, but with explanations which, in my mind, supported the alleged request for bribes as indicated by Curzon-Jones.I wrote Minister Weeks on March 18, 2014 because of the negative image it has on Liberia. Again, I received no reply and therefore communicated to Senator Oscar Cooper, Chairman on Public Works requesting his intervention.He later informed me that he had done exactly as I requested and was awaiting response from Minister Weeks. To date, I am yet to receive any such response on both counts as mentioned.”The Maryland County Senator added, “It is against this backdrop that I herein request the summoning of Madam Antoinette Weeks, Minister of public Works to appear before full plenary of the Senate to answer to the insolence to me as Chairman on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the entire Senate.”Lofa County Senator George T. Tengbeh also expressed similar concerns about roads connecting the Northern part of Liberia and maintained that Madam Weeks had been unwelcoming to most of their inquiries.In the wisdom of the Senate, it is pivotal for Madam Weeks to answer to these questions on next Tuesday in Monrovia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A locally established journalism institute, the Peter Quaqua Journalism Training Program, has received accreditation from the Ministry of Education (MOE) to operate fully as a training institute for journalists in Liberia.The newly established program, to be operated by the MediaAid Foundation, is named in honor of Peter Quaqua, former Press Union of Liberia (PUL) president, who now serves as president for the regional journalists group, the West African Journalists Association (WAJA).The program will offer a nine-month intensive certificate program comprising 27 major Journalism courses to aspiring, beginner and mid-level journalists in Liberia.According to MediaAid, the program is in response to the lack of an established Journalism school in the country.Furthermore, the group says there is also no sustained training for middle-level journalists.MediaAid, the sole operator of this training program, cautioned that it will not admit high school drop outs.In addition to its training curriculum, the Peter Quaqua Journalism Training Program will conduct seminars, workshops, field trips, students/trainers foreign exchange and compulsory internship for students.MediaAid began this year and is operated by some Liberian journalists. The group, in partnership with the Indonesian oil palm company, Golden Veroleum-Liberia, has trained workers of about 15 community radio stations in the voice-editing program, Adobe Audition of Cool Edit.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The idea of an international festival is to attach a brand, culture, sound of music or particular experience that is supposed to be quite intense, like the displaying of phenomenal works of art or a particular genre of music. People will, especially marketers, associate that brand, culture, community, music with that experience, and be reminded of why it is so important or worth listening to.That is the hope and aspiration of Boweh Foundation Limited’s (BFL) CEO and Founder, Mr. Jerry Boweh; BFL Director, Mrs. Lena Thomas-Marshall; and Mr. Eleazer Ikpeze, for marketing, managing, promoting, developing and raising funds for the showcasing of all ‘projects,’ both charity and business, pertaining to Liberia. Their interest for creating and connecting Liberia’s heritage and roots, and creating a social and economic traffic to Liberia has this year inspired the team of three to host the ‘Lift Liberia International Festival’ from August – December 2016.In preparations for climaxing with the popular, annually celebrated Notting Hill Carnival in London this year, Boweh Foundation Limited will host its occasion with a month packed with activities and events. The ‘Lift Liberia International Festival’ will debut in London this August, before travelling to Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and back to London. ‘Lift Liberia’ will then be brought to Liberia from November 28 – December 4, 2016, an exciting revelation to the Liberian public, who have yearned over the years to be able to participate in big events.According to BFL, “The festival will display Liberia’s arts, culture, food, music and its people. Some of the events scheduled are the Liberian arts exhibition, concert, football tournament and a Liberian Day. All these events will climax with the Notting Hill Carnival in London.”According to the team, the main objective of the festival is to “revive, strengthen and proudly identify with the heritage of Liberia.” “We wish to achieve this through celebration of cultural diversities and building cultural capacities through the medium of arts and sports on a festival platform. We also want to create a way to rehabilitate, reconcile, unite and develop together as a people without political, religious or social differences.Through the various activities and interactions, a better relationship can be built and informal learning can be enhanced (to) promote Liberia positively on the global platform,” Boweh Foundation said in a statement.Liberia will, for the very first time this year, be actively involved in the Notting Hill Carnival, where they will be able to feature cultural performances and some Liberian musicians, added the BFL.Some of the participating local luminaries, like popular and highly acclaimed artist Leslie Lumeh of Daily Observer newspaper and former Daily Observer newspaper cartoonist Chase Walker, will be exhibiting their artworks. There are still many guest appearances (under wraps) and featured artists to announce. LIB LIFE will continue to update in this column as information surfaces.Meanwhile, Boweh Foundation Limited is the mother company that strongly promotes and collaborates with Diaspora organizations in capacity building at all levels. Revealing Liberia’s untouched culture, history and connections around the world, their activities vary from presentations to organizing high level events to achieve their goals and purposes. Sadly, tickets are sold out for what seems to be a highly anticipated event; and not to let the cat out of the bag, they are working towards getting some very big names and actors onboard. LIB LIFE will get an exclusive when that happens.More on the ‘Lift Liberian International Festival’ from BFL:Cultural Exhibitions – LiberiaStreet CarnivalThis will be approached like Carnival in any country but relating to what the participants want to bring to the show through our theme and direction and their creativity. We hope to design the street event with colors, sounds and some visual entrainments as a memorable site not to easily be forgotten. This will include Liberian schools, organizations, institutions and individuals. This will also invite the Diaspora to participate where they feel comfortable for participation.Art & Craft ExhibitionExhibit all art collections and presentations, and where the exhibition is staged, have a food and drink court attached.(Contact BFL on www.liftliberia.org)Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
House Speaker J. Alex Tyler along with Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue, presiding officer of the ‘renegade’ members, including top officials, are expected to face-up in the Traditional Palaver Hut in the headquarters of the National Traditional Council of Liberia (NTCL) on 24th Street Sinkor, this morning.The NTCL, under the leadership of Chief Zanzan Karwor, which statutorily promotes unity, good governance, peace, reconciliation and traditional healing, is expected to host members of the divided Lower House in an attempt to break the stalemate on Capitol Hill.Chief Karwor announced the convening of the meeting on Tuesday, August 16, after the Council met the two parties, during which a kola nut of peace and reconciliation was extended.Traditional CouncilLegislation has transformed the composition of the traditional council to provide to it elements of democracy, opened up an opportunity for such councils to achieve cooperative governance and have a strong voice in development matters, including entering into partnership and service-delivery agreements with the government.Many believe that while the country awaits the ruling of the Supreme Court this would be the final bid to break the deadlock in the Lower House.At the end of today’s meeting, many Liberians are hoping that either Speaker Tyler would recuse himself or the renegade lawmakers would be convinced to go in Chambers to use procedural voting to get Tyler to recuse himself.Either of the two means that a parallel session will definitely cease and work on the Expenditure Component of the 2016/2017 Fiscal Budget will resume as well as other normal business at the Legislature.Power of the LegislatureThe beginning of the parallel sessions in the Lower House on Thursday August 11 created a stalemate in the Legislature. According to Article 29 of the Constitution, ‘the Legislative power of the Republic shall be vested in the Legislature which shall consist of two separate Houses.’Parallel SessionsThe emergence of parallel sessions on August 11 saw one group led by Speaker Alex J. Tyler, with the Chief Clerk and the Sergeant-At-Arms in attendance, and the anti-Tyler bloc conducting its own session at the William R. Tolbert Joint Chambers.Physically, there have been an increasing number of lawmakers present at the Joint Chambers, while the Tyler side has seen a considerable defection of allies.Tyler is reported to have said that he will not recuse himself or resign as Speaker of the House of Representatives once the call for his recusal or removal is based on what he described as an inducement from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.At a news conference last Thursday evening after another occurrence of parallel sessions by members of the House of Representatives, the Speaker maintained that there is no law in the Liberian Constitution or standing rules of the House of Representatives that calls for recusal.“It is dangerous for our country. Those who claim to be standing on moral grounds are doing the same things they are accusing others of doing. Nobody is going to frighten anyone. We are trying to avoid conflict. All of you know what is obtaining. I know you have to do your job, but that needs to stop,” Speaker Tyler contended.Government BreakdownThe Daily Observer has observed that the Executive has resolved not to recognize either side owing to letters from the anti-Tyler bloc to the Executive as well as the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Central Bank of Liberia placing a freeze on ‘certain line-items’ on the bank account of the House of Representatives.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) conducted its Annual Awards and Dinner Night at the Paynesville City Hall on Friday, July 1, bringing together journalists, government officials, civil society organizations, international organizations, well-wishers, among others.The president of the Press Union, Kamara Abdullai Kamara, in his statement, urged the media to cooperate with the Press Union of Liberia to promote solidarity among media groups in the country, and further encouraged the media to help ordinary citizens by providing them with accurate news and information during the upcoming general and presidential elections.Mr. Kamara said that the awards are the result of the sacrifices and creativity put forward by journalists in telling their stories, and said the awards should serve as an impetus for them to work harder.Representing the Liberian government, Assistant Minister for Information Services at the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), Wellington Geevon Smith, assured the PUL and its membership that the government will not do anything to hinder press freedom in Liberia.He stated that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf signed the Table Mountain Declaration and the Freedom of Information Act as clear indications of the government’s commitment to press freedom.He urged the media to help protect the democracy that is being enjoyed in Liberia, and called on PUL officials to sensitize its members on the difference between journalism and social activism.Several journalists and media institutions received awards for various areas of reporting. The Journalist of the Year went to Rodney Sieh of FrontPage Africa newspaper; Environmental Reporter of the Year was awarded to Julius D. Jeh of Fabric Radio; while Anthony Stevens and MaeAzango won the Health Reporter and Development Reporter of the Year awards, respectively.Other awards included, Photo-Journalist of the Year, Columnist of the Year, and Investigative Reporter of the Year as well as Newscaster of the Year, Business and Economist Reporter of the Year, Women’s Rights Reporter of the Year, and Human Rights Reporter of the Year.Fabric Radio was awarded the Best Radio Station of the Year, while Power Television and Front Page Africa were awarded as Best Television Station and Best Newspaper of the Year respectively.The 2016 PUL Awards and Dinner Night was supported by the United States Agency for International Development, SRIMEX Oil and Gas, United Nations Development Program, Coca Cola, Kailondo Petroleum, INTERNEWS, and the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP).The PUL selection is based on submission of entries as required by a committee the authority set up to scrutinize each of the entries a reporter or a radio station would submit.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)