Under the theme, “United Struggles for Workers’ Rights, Democracy and a Secure Future,” the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) will organise its 21st Delegates Congress to be held from August 20- 23, at Bath, West Coast Berbice.It is expected that hundreds of delegates coming from GAWU’s wide range of memberships; with majority being the field and factory workers of the largest Unit – the Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc (GuySuCo), will be present at the Union’s highest decision-making forum along with a number of fraternal organisations.With its packed programme expecting to last three days, the Congress will ensure that workers are given recognition for their devoted service to the Union.The assembly for these delegates will also allow the presentation of the General Council’s report with discussions which would cover a variety of issues and include a broad assessment of specific global events, as well as the domestic developments since the previous congress among other important topics.After being elected by the Congress delegates, the new General Council of the Union will be tasked with fulfilling the decisions and finding solutions, which will then be disputed and permitted by the Congress.The Union expressed pride in having represented and protected it’s entity from attempts which served to create division, since their last congress, highlighting that with an optimistic approach, they have intentions for their unity and militancy will ensure a industrious congress.
A man has been killed following a mining accident in Omai Gold Mine in region seven (Cayuni/ Mazaruni on Tuesday, the Ministry of Natural Resources has said late Tuesday evening.The Ministry confirmed that there was at least one fatality on Tuesday as a result of a mining accident in the Omai area.While all the facts are still yet to be determined, reports are that an excavator was trying to lower an engine into a mining pit when it toppled and the operator became submerged resulting in the fatality.There are no details at this time regarding the identity of the person who is reported to have died.
Paul Julien, who leads us through parts of Liberia in the early 1930s, was born into a Roman Catholic family and devoted to that religion his whole life. During his travels he regularly stayed with missionaries. He speaks of them with great respect and admiration. On August 30th 1932 Julien writes to his parents: “When the rain stopped for a moment I went to the Catholic mission, that operates a simple, small church at the edge of the village [referring not to Monrovia but to Kru Town]. I was received warmly by the three Irish religious men, who immediately offered me their guestroom.”The next day Julien would shift from Madam Richards’ guest-house, where we found him last week, to the fathers. In the book, written 8 years and several trips to other countries later, Julien says that “There are few periods of my African life that have caused such intense memories as my stay at the mission in Monrovia. I knew that the brave missionaries lived a sober life – oh, why shouldn’t I just say they lived in poverty, and that the pastor, Father O’Leary, had trouble keeping the household going, but that the optimistic spirit and the vitality and warmth radiating from Mgr. Collins made one forget every lack of luxury.”By the time he wrote this, the missionary he met as Mgr. John Collins had been promoted to the post of Bishop of Liberia. The mission also was a consulate. Collins was representing the Vatican with the Liberian government.”A search for a Legation that is as modest as this Mission on the West-African coast and completely devoid of pretences, would be without success worldwide.”On August 4th 1932 Julien informs his parents that “My route will be: Monrovia, 10 days forest; Gbarnga, 6 days forest; Sanequellie [sic], 4 days forest; Gwecké, 1 day Beyla; 3 days road Niger-Kankan; 3 days train Conakry. With delays it will take about 5 or 6 weeks.”September 6th he sends them a message that he arrived in Kankan, which means that all worked out as planned. It is remarkable how the experience of time changes in Julien’s writings. Looking back, still in appreciation of the missionaries, it sounds as though the hike did not take a month but almost half a year: “I am sure that my trip to the distant Niger, a route that had to be covered fully on foot during the height of the rainy season, would not have been without accidents if I wouldn’t have had the huge privilige of using the extensive knowledge and experience of Mgr. Collins. The Vicaris had, albeit along a different route, made the first part of the journey, up to Sanequelleh [sic], himself, which was invaluable to me because up to now there are only sketchy maps available of Liberia’s interior that are highly unreliable and that fail to mention even places of importance. It was then July 1932, and before that same year ended I would have reached the Niger to the astonishment of the authorities of French Guinea, who had never had a European traveler coming from the south.”There is a moment in which Julien’s exchange with the missionaries touches another important story in Liberia’s history of the late 1920s and early 1930s: the influence of the League of Nations in Liberia following their inquisition into forced labour and slavery, and the threatening bankruptcy of the country. Father Collins tells him that the authorities consider him to be a League of Nations spy and see his research as a scapegoat because he was the first European in years to travel through the interior.A letter written by Pro-Vicar J. Kennedy, who replaced Bishop Collins while he was on leave due to ill health, testifies to Julien’s intentions to return to Liberia. The letter is dated November 29, 1946, a year and a half after the end of the Second World War. It tells Julien that, “The Centenary Celebrations of Liberian Independence occurs on July 26, 1947. A great celebration was planned, and Foreign Nations were expected to participate. Owing to World conditions, the celebrations will be now purely domestic, and instead an Exposition has been fixed for 1949.” Kennedy advises against Julien’s travel-plans: “I could not advise you to come to Liberia next year. Accomodation is almost impossible to obtain at present, and costs are very high. The construction of a new harbour at Monrovia has brought many people to the town and increased the population. This harbour may be completed by August of next year. One of the reasons why the Centenary Celebrations have been changed is because of the lack of accommodation for visitors and the impossibility of obtaining building materials.’Julien never set foot on Liberian soil again. But thanks to what he left behind we will be able to see the Krutown community of the 1930s next week.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Emmanuel Swen, commonly known as Poor Boy, is accused of killing his friend and roommate Jerry Lewis in cold-blood on August 20, 2015 in the vicinity of Caldwell, Monrovia. The police have yet to apprehend him.“Since the incident occurred, we have yet to lay eyes on him, but we believe his mother knows where he is. She has not been arrested for any charges, but we’ve asked her to help us in finding the suspect,” stated a source at the LNP headquarters.Poor Boy is said to be a gravedigger by profession and may be lurking around graveyards in Sinoe County or somewhere along the Ivory Coast border. He is also described as being a heavy drinker, with a raspy voice.“He loves to cut shot and gets visibly drunk,” added Handfoot, the victim’s sister.On August 20, 2015, Jerry Lewis, commonly know as X-Poly or Success, was stabbed multiple times in his head, chest, shoulder, back, arms, hands and stomach. Witnesses say Poor Boy attacked him after he and Success had a misunderstanding.Meanwhile, the police need your help in finding the accused. Poor Boy is 5’5’-5’6 in height and was last seen in the VOA community with his child’s mother, whose name has not been released.Anyone having any information is asked to call the Liberian National police or 0777-472-772/0886-510-178Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A Commercial Court’s decision to lift a temporary ban that the Ministry of Commence (MOC) placed on the importation of Pop Drink into the country has raised several unanswered questions about the Court’s stance on the matter, although the case is pending before the court.The MOC in October 2014, placed a ban on the importation of the product, based on a complaint filed by BAF Trading Corporation alleging that the Liberia Industrial Property Office (LIPO) cancelled its 10-year right granted by the LIPO and subsequently issued the exclusive right to H.K. Enterprise, a Lebanese owned business to import Pop Drink into the country. The 10 years covered 2010 to 2020.When the matter was taken to the Commercial Court by BAF Corporation claiming that H.K. Enterprise was still importing the drink on the local market in spite of the ban, the court authorized H.K. Enterprise to continue with the importation of the product, while it hears BAF’s complaint.Article 43 sections 1 and 2 of the 2003 Industrial Property Act say “the use of a registered mark in relation to any goods or services for which it has been registered by any person other than the registered owner shall require the agreement of the latter.”Section two further provides that “the registered owner of a trademark shall, in addition to any other rights, remedies or action available to him, have the right to institute court proceedings against any person who infringes on the mark by using, without his agreement, the mark as aforesaid, or who performs acts which make it likely that infringement will occur.” It also added: “The right shall extend to the use of a sign similar to the registered mark and use in relation to goods and services similar to those for which the mark has been registered, where confusion may arise in the public.”It was based on the violation of the LIPO Act that BAF Corporation’s legal team sought the intervention of the Court to nullify the LIPO’s trademark issued to H.K. Enterprise that gave it the exclusive right to import Pop Drink, a right it (H.K. Enterprise) continued to enjoy. In the ministry’s communication under the signature of Minister Axel M. Addy, and addressed to BIVAC for the enforcement of its mandate, which copy is with the Daily Observer, stated: “We request your compliment and write to inform you that the MOC has placed temporary ban on Pop Drink from importation into the commerce of Liberia effective Friday, October 31, 2014.”The document further reads, “The ministry has received information from the Liberia Industrial Property Office which led to H.K. Enterprise being granted the exclusive right to import the Pop Drink thereby canceling a 10 year right granted to BAF Trading Corporation.”The communication had it, “We understand that BAF Corporation has some issues with their oversea trading partner who supplies the Pop Drink and have instructed the Industrial Property Office to restore the right of BAF Corporation effective January 1, 2015.”Concluding, Minister Addy assured the parties that the market is thoroughly regulated to avoid excess supply of the drink on the market without hampering fair play in the commerce of Liberia, adding, “We use this medium to intervene in the market and provide the protection of consumers and business enterprises.”The case continues.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
“It is our hope that as we receive this new facility, the problem of turning away patients because of lack of space will be addressed,” Dr. Jerry Brown, Medical Director at the ELWA Hospital, stated last Saturday while addressing the dedicatory ceremony of the newly erected facility spearheaded and financed by the Christian organization, Samaritan’s Purse. The magnificent hospital stands across from the old ELWA Hospital, which was built and opened in 1965, with Dr. Robert Schindler, a young surgeon, as its first Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Jerry Brown, the hospital’s current Medical Director, known as one of Liberia’s Ebola heroes for his celebrated and highly successful management of one of the Ebola crises in Liberia, said “It is now time to look beyond the facility to build a resilient healthcare delivery system that will be impactful to people of the country.”He emphasized that at the time they operated in a facility with less space, many good Liberians and others died from curable diseases. Since the facility is now expanded, they are hopeful of overcoming those confronting problems that claimed more lives in the past.Dr. Brown also stressed the need for attractive salaries and benefits for doctors and health workers in the country, pointing out that in the presence of modern and well equipped health facilities, coupled with motivated health workers, the expected healthcare delivery system will be built.Dr. Brown expressed optimism that assistance from Samaritan’s Purse and other partners in conjunction with government’s development agenda will soon cause other countries to refer patients to Liberia, rather than Liberia continually sending patients to other countries including Ghana, Nigeria and the United States.He then called on the facility’s Liberian workers to help maintain it a new standard so that its funders will not see it in a dilapidated condition in the future.He added that with the availability of the new facility, they will soon install their microscopic panel in the laboratory to enhance testing, and will recruit and train more medical doctors and Physician Assistants to meet the health needs of Liberians.Samaritan’s Purse Liberia Country Director Kendell Kauffeldt, in a historical overview of the project, noted that the hospital is also meant for spiritual healing as it enhances the spread of the true word of God so that Liberians will be able to put their trust in Him.The SPL Country Director added that budgetary support is also needed to help continue operations at the hospital.The erection of the modern health facility is coming at the time when the Liberian government is striving to build its vulnerable healthcare system, exposed and severely tested by Ebola in 2014.In consonance with the SPL Country Director, Rev. Dr. Franklin Graham, Chief Executive Officer of Samaritan’s Purse, said the project serves as a channel for spreading the word of God to the people of Liberia, “and those that are working there should reflect Jesus Christ in their output to enlighten Liberians about the true word of God.” Franklin Graham is son of the renowned Christian evangelist, Dr. Billy Graham, who is now retired and 98.In her remarks, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf recalled the cardinal role of the ELWA Hospital during the health epidemic that struck the country two years ago, acknowledging that the premises were used to build the first Ebola treatment center, where patients were transferred.President Sirleaf also commended Samaritan’s Purse for building and rehabilitating airstrips around the country, including a new one in Lofa County and a rehabilitated one in Tappita, Nimba County.She commended the Christian organization for the modern healthcare facility that she said will complement government’s effort to build a resilient health sector following Ebola.The dedication was also witnessed by Vice President and Mrs. Joseph Boakai; Senator Peter Coleman, MD, and Chair of the Senate Health and Medical Committee; Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn; Attorney General Frederick Cherue and other government officials; the DeputyChief of Missions of the United States Embassy and other Embassy staff; and other distinguished personalities.William Eiphick, former ELWA Director, in an exclusive interview, expressed delight for the facility which funding, he said, came from several Christian organizations around the world.Although he could not state how much was invested in the facility, but said it took a huge amount of money to bring it to where it is. He expressed the hope that Liberians are going to maintain it in line with the rationale for which it was erected.ELWA staff Oretha Nyounuway also expressed happiness for the new facility and said it will help to reduce the space constraint that had confronted them over the years.The newly dedicated ELWA health facility comes next to the 100-bedroom Jackson Fiah Doe (JFD) Memorial Hospital in Nimba and the John F. Kennedy Hospital, the largest referral hospital in the country.The new ELWA Hospital was built by a Liberian-owned firm, the CJ Construction Incorporated. In a turnover remark, the Senior Managing Partner of CJ Construction, James Johnson, dispelled notion by some that Liberians are not honest in working and do not put out good performance.He said the modern facility funded by Samaritan’s Purse was built by Liberians without outside input.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Colleagues at Liberia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations have commended former Minister Counselor for Press and Public Affairs, Mr. Abu Kamara, for his “dedicated services” to the Mission and the country at a farewell ceremony last weekend. According to a dispatch from New York, his colleagues described Mr. Kamara as “hardworking and friendly with proven ability to discharge his duties with commitment and efficiency, while showing great appreciation for ethics, professionalism and the spirit of teamwork.”Ambassador Lewis Brown, in his remarks, said that the Mission was proud to identify with Mr. Kamara, who had shown dedication to his job. He added that it was pleasing to identify with his staff in recognition of their dedicated services and promised to keep the tradition alive. Ambassador Brown admonished Mr. Kamara to remain committed to his new assignment and ensure that he justifies the confidence reposed in him by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Presenting a plaque on behalf of the Mission, Counselor at Permanent Mission Ms. Gail Farngalo said they were pleased to have known and worked with Mr. Kamara and that they were confident he would serve in his new post with dedication and determination.Responding, Mr. Kamara expressed gratitude to his colleagues for the honor and promised to remain in close contact with them. He said that he cherished the gesture and the cordiality which existed among the Mission’s staff. He, however, asked for forgiveness from those he might have offended during his tenure there, and assured his forgiveness to those that might have offended him as well.Meanwile the Consul General of the Liberian Consulate in New York, Mr. Rudolph Sherman, accompanied by his deputy Mr. Jimmy Barchue paid a courtesy call on Mr. Kamara to bid him farewell. Mr. Sherman said that their visit was based on the friendly relations they established with Mr. Kamara and the rest of the staff over the years and wished him the best in his new assignment.Mr. Kamara thanked the two diplomats for the courtesy call and expressed the hope that the bond of friendship which they developed over the years would continue.Mr. Kamara departed the United States on Monday, October 31, to take up his new assignment as Minister Counselor and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Liberia near Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Before his new assignment, Mr. Kamara served as Minister Counselor for Press and Public Affairs at the Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations from February 2010 to August 2016. He also served as the Mission’s expert at the UN’s First Committee on Disarmament and International Peace and Security Affairs. He previously served as Assistant Minister for Information Services at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A rift between members of the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA) resulting from allegations of election rigging intensified yesterday at Civil Law Court ‘A,’ with members exchanging harsh words outside the courtroom.The election, held on February 18 of this year in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, included 556 delegates from the 15 counties, where Madam Alice Yeegahn secured 70 percent of votes among 10 presidential candidates.Members of LMA leave the Civil Law Court exchanging harsh wordsThe court issued a “Stay Order” on the induction of Madam Yeegahn and other elected officials due to a statement by petitioner Elizabeth Sambullah’s legal team, accusing outgoing president Madam Lusu Sloan of being behind the rigging of the elections in favor of Madam Yeegahn.Judge Yusif Kaba, hearing the case, decided to reserve his ruling on whether or not the court should nullify the result of the February 2017 election as requested by the defeated candidates, including Madam Elizabeth Sambullah.Kaba’s decision came after entertaining final legal arguments by lawyers representing both parties (Sloan and Sambullah).Madam Sambullah’s lawyer alleged that outgoing president Sloan was seen canvassing and recruiting voters for Yeegahn.Atty. David Woah claimed that the Elections Commission knew very well that the outgoing president was supporting Yeegahn but permitted her to select the 53 voters from their Central Office in Monrovia, and distributed voters allotted to each market in Montserrado County.Woah further argued that the commission chose to conduct the process during the night without any voter education, and permitted two of the LMA’s security officers, one of which, he claimed, was Abraham Ballot, a supporter of Sloan and Yeegahn.He also alleged that the pair allowed Ballot to be assigned to the controversial Polling Center #3, “where Ballot was seen holding hands of some of the illiterate voters and placing them on spaces provided against the name of Yeegahn.”In counterargument, Sloan’s lawyer, Cllr. Sunifu S. Sheriff, said the allegation of denying people from participating in the process was misleading and erroneous.He argued that the allegation was far from the truth, because the LMA constitution does not give the president the right to select a delegation for any election. “It is the Superintendent of the County that is responsible to select voters to vote in an election, contrary to the claim,” he added.Cllr. Sheriff also argued that those selected to vote from their respective counties were given the opportunity to vote, “and they voted.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Outgoing President Lusu Sloan LMA leaves the Civil Law Court yesterday
Rev. Duo makes remarks as she accepts the call to leadThe National Patriotic Party (NPP) has endorsed the candidacy of representative aspirant Rev. Tenial Watta Duo to contest the lone seat of Montserrado District #12 in the upcoming October polls.The party presented Rev. Duo to the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), the merger which NPP is a part of, and the electorates at a ceremony held at the Richard C. Hunter School on the LPRC Road in Gardnersville, outside Monrovia.Clarence Wilson, the party’s Montserrado chapter chairman, described Rev. Duo as a hardworking woman who has served not only her party, but residents of the district.“We know there will be primaries, but it is our appeal to the CDC, the mother organization to which we belong now, that it accepts this lady,” Mr. Wilson said.She noted that Rev. Duo is unmatched in her sacrifices to serve and has no competition in the NPP for District #12.He said the presence of Rev. Duo in the district has raised the NPP’s flag highest since 1997.“The NPP is proud of this lady, because she has kept the party alive in this place and everywhere she has been. As of 1997, this is the next time our party’s flag is flying in this part of Montserrado,” the chairman said.Mr. Wilson, who also serves as the secretary of the Montserrado Chapter of the CDC, said it was amazing that Rev. Duo single-handedly constructed and turned over to the head office of NPP a well-furnished office for use by partisans.Rev. Duo, who is a pastor at the Living Word Christian Ministries, said she appreciates the party for her exclusive preferment over other aspirants, most especially without going through the headache of a primary.“Believing and strongly holding ‘Above all else the people’ as the motto for the NPP, I promise that self will never overcome and prevent me from doing what is right for the people of this district and the country as a whole,” she declared.She cautioned detractors to distance themselves from any smear campaign aimed at the downfall of their newly found coalition, the CDC.She said the office was constructed at the cost US$5,000 and is for all politicians irrespective of party affiliation.Len S. Yartoe, Liberia People Democratic Party Montserrado Chapter chairman, said the LPDP fully supports Rev. Duo’s candidacy and will work along with NPP and the CDC to ensure that she is elected on October 10.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
“Our focus is peace for Liberia,” Madam Thompson (L) told the gathering comprising executives of PurdueA former deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Ms. Una Kumba Thompson, has called on Liberians to maintain a peaceful and non-violent approach during and after the ensuing elections.Madam Thompson said as the country prepares to go to the polls on October 10, the need to sustain the peace by shunning a violent approach to electoral issues cannot be overlooked.The former deputy Foreign Affairs Minister is the chief executive officer of the Women of Liberia Peace Network (WOLPNET) and president of the Swanee Women’s Coalition, an organization which supports women’s advocacy for their rights, empowerment and peace in Liberia.Launching the ‘Pen –Pen Peace Network non-violent campaign in Monrovia on the theme, “I Love my Country; This is Why I Say No to Election Violence.,” Thompson challenged politicians not to preach hate messages during and after the electoral processes, but rather seek peace to carry out the country’s development agenda.She also called on the commercial motorcyclists otherwise known as the pen-pen riders to fully support the electoral process if they are to make an informed decision at the polls, “because peace is security, development and human rights abuse.The campaign was organized by the Purdue Peace Network-Liberia. The head of the organization, Grace Yeah Yeanay said the month-long campaign will cover Nimba, Margibi, Montserrado and Bong counties, targeting 64 communities in Montserrado alone.Prior to the weekend launch, the Purdue supported Pen-Pen Peace Network (PPPN) has held a series of activities highlighting the importance of peaceful elections.The Purdue Peace Project (PPP), according to Yeanay, convenes regularly to help the citizens address immediate threats of violence to the pending elections in their community.The reason, Ms. Yeanay said, is to continually monitor and evaluate the projects in order to maximize its impact so that everyone will live in peace and harmony especially during election year.The PPP is a university-based political violence prevention initiative that does peace-building work in fragile states and conducts research to advance knowledge about political violence prevention at the local and community level.In 2013, a group of motorbike riders or the Pen-Pen riders formed a local peace committee, called the PPPN, to promote peace in the country. Since September 2015, the PPPN, in support of the Purdue Peace Project, has been planning and implementing a campaign aimed at promoting peace before and during the upcoming October polls, and fostering good relationships between Pen-Pen riders and officers of the Liberia National Police.Since then, numerous activities, such as soccer tournaments, town hall meetings, radio talk shows, distribution of flyers, and round table discussions have taken place characterizing the campaign’s launch.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)