The Price of Peace Is Inexpensive, But Failure to Pay Can Be Costly

first_img“Let the people march—it is their constitutional right,” Albert Porte told President William R. Tolbert Jr. in Bensonville on April 13, 1979. “And keep the security in the background.” “That,” added the aging pamphleteer “would be a good compromise.”But Tolbert, emboldened by his wealthy and psychologically rigid Attorney General, Counselor Oliver Bright, would have none of that.Bright should have known better, because he was a good lawyer, well acquainted with the Liberian Constitution. But being a rich, ultra-conservative young man, there was a disconnect—“a great gulf”— between him and the ordinary, poor, idle, hungry young masses that passionately followed Bacchus Matthews, the brave and determined young fellow who led them through his Progressive Alliance of Liberia (PAL).“The government will not compromise,” President Tolbert barked back at Mr. Porte, who nonetheless continued to plead with, even beg, the President to reconsider.For his part, Attorney General Oliver Bright got on state radio, ELBC, and demanded that the march NOT take place, “otherwise we will shoot.”That was enough to provoke the defiant Matthews, great, great grandson of James Spriggs Payne, Liberia’s second President, and his eager and waiting followers. But there was more. Oliver Bright sent his police to PAL’s Gurley Street office, behind which stands the Gender Ministry, where they stormed PAL’s office, breaking up furniture and confiscating documents.By the time the word reached Carey and Broad Streets, the young people, many of whom did not belong to PAL, but had heard and were just waiting to join any trouble, started breaking into and looting shops, overturning vehicles and burning tires. Oliver Bright’s violence against PAL had quickly turned the peaceful march into a full scale riot!By the time the march reached the Information Ministry on Camp Johnson Road toward the Mansion, Police Director Varney Dempster pulled out his Magnum revolver. He later insisted he didn’t open fire, but shots were heard and three people were killed on the spot. The pandemonium escalated, leading to hundreds of deaths and the near destruction of Monrovia, costing US$100 million in damages, which the Liberian government later had to pay!Most government officials, including Oliver Bright, immediately went into hiding as President Tolbert remained besieged in the Executive Mansion. If the 1970s progressives had had a serious plan, they could have taken over the government on that day. But they had none, and many of them, including Matthews, ended up in jail. What is the point of this lengthy historical narrative?Its aim is to appeal to, urge, cajole, even beg, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, her Attorney General, Benedict Sannoh and Police Director Chris Massaquoi NOT to repeat history. Remember that from the 1960s (Togo), just as the Independence Movement had begun, and throughout that decade and the 1970s, there occurred successive coups d’état throughout Africa. But Liberians, enjoying their citadel of peace and stability, always said, “It can never happen here.”In this Editorial, we are NOT asking for another April 14 and its bloody, tragic aftermath. No! We are saying that history is staring us in the face with its “symbols,” which Edwin Barclay is hoping we will not “misread” (See Barclay’s poem, “Human Greatness” published in today’s edition). We do not think that Vandalark Patricks, despite his loud mouth, means any harm. He was only saying what most everyone is rightly or wrongly perceiving. We pray GOL will give a liberal interpretation to the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and deal leniently with him.This is an inexpensive approach to peace. GOL should not choose the more costly option. One last, IMPORTANT thing: President Sirleaf received great international and local acclaim for signing, on July 21, 2012, the Table Mountain Declaration. This Declaration challenges all African governments to commit themselves to repeal all draconian laws on their books against freedom of speech and of the press. Ellen was the second African leader to sign it—an act which was immensely appreciated. Unfortunately, the Liberian media, including the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), and Civil Society, have failed to follow through and ensure that these draconian laws are repealed by the Liberian legislature. True, the President should have made good her pledge by engaging her Legal Advisor andJustice Minister to research these laws and prepare bills to the Legislature for their repeal. The media and Civil Society should have pressed the Executive Mansion to do the follow-up work. We must all now act quickly to ensure that this is done expeditiously.Meanwhile, we pray that the President will remember her Table Mountain commitment and find a way to caution her Justice Minister to refrain from prosecuting Patricks using these same laws. This is a matter of sacred commitment and honor, for which we immensely thank her.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

I don’t envy Koeman! New Southampton boss warned he faces impossible task

first_imgChris Perry believes Ronald Koeman faces a near impossible task trying to rebuild Southampton.Koeman has seen a host of Saints stars depart this summer after taking over from Mauricio Pochettino in the St Mary’s hotseat.Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren, Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers have all moved on, while Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez are expected to join former boss Pochettino at Tottenham.The remarkable fire sale has understandably left supporters feeling seriously concerned, and former Saints star Perry shares their fears.Southampton finished eighth in the Premier League last season, but Perry claims Koeman will need to work miracles with a new-look squad if they are to finish anywhere near the top ten this term.Speaking on The Sports Bar, he said: “Undoubtedly, Southampton have a fantastic academy and have great belief they will bring players through to replace those players. The amount of experience they have lost through the team, in Lovren, Lallana, Lambert and Shaw is going to be very hard to replace though.“I know they have brought in a couple of players from the Dutch top division that obviously Ronald Koeman knows, but are they going to be of the quality to replace those players? I don’t think they are. So, you have got to be looking further down the table at where they are going to finish next season.“If you look at Spurs last season, they brought in nine new players and struggled to integrate them all into a side. They never really clicked throughout the whole season. Ronald Koeman has got three weeks to try and put a side together that is going to be facing Liverpool. I don’t envy his task at all.“He is coming into a new club, he has got a completely unsettled side, and he has going to have seven or eight new players he has to integrate into the team. I think it is going to be very tough for him.”last_img read more

Dry-Marsers Score Points

first_imgThose looking for water on Mars in hopes that life would grow in it had some setbacks this week.  National Geographic and Mars Daily reported on work by Gwendolyn Bart (U of Arizona) who found gullies on the moon similar to those on Mars thought to be formed by water.  Since the moon never had liquid water, this puts some doubt on the Mars-water claims and hints that other processes could have formed the gullies.    Also, MSNBC reported that Andrew Steele of the Carnegie Institution is claiming a non-biological origin for the carbonates in the Martian meteorite ALH84001 (see Carnegie Institution press release).  Both these negative claims have their critics, however, as shown in the stories on Mars Daily and page two of the National Geographic articles.    As the hunt for water and life continues, bystanders might instead opt for a thrill ride through the Martian Grand Canyon Valles Marineris posted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.Take the thrill ride, and while enjoying the scenery, notice the utter lack of flowing water, trees, deer, mountain lions, wildflowers and sentient beings taking digital photos from the rim.  No Martian national park can compare with our Grand Canyon.  Percival Lowell would have been so disappointed.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa wipes out Cuba’s R1-billion debt

first_imgSouth African flags fly high in Joburg. The country has cancelled Cuba’s debt. (Image: Bongani Nkosi) President Jacob Zuma receiving an honour from Cuban President Raul Castro. (Image: The Presidency) MEDIA CONTACTS • Zanele Mngadi Media enquiriesThe Presidency +27 12 300 5431 or +27 82 330 1148 RELATED ARTICLES • SA, US tighten trade relationship • South Africa-China trade ties to strengthen • SA to strengthen ties with Britain • South Africa, Brazil cement tiesBongani NkosiSouth Africa has cancelled Cuba’s R1.1-billion debt owed to it, a decision that the government said will help accelerate trade between the two countries.Cuba racked up the debt in the 1990s when it bought a series of diesel engines from South Africa.An agreement cancelling the sum was signed on 7 December 2010 during a state visit to the Caribbean nation by President Jacob Zuma and a delegation of ministers.The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said trade between the countries had plummeted over the years because of the debt. South African businesses could no longer deal with Cuba on a credit basis as the country had reached its credit limit.“South African businesses demanded cash in advance because the Export Credit Insurance Corporation could no longer insure Cuba’s orders as it had exhausted its credit limit,” said DTI minister Rob Davies in a statement. “We are re-opening the credit lines so that we can start trading actively again. “It is not as if Cuba could not repay the debt. The problem is that [the debt] was becoming a hindrance to trade and economic development between the two countries,” Davies added.Trade between South Africa and Cuba has dropped drastically since 2008. In that year South African exports to Cuba earned the country R82-million, but by 2010 the amount had dropped to about R1-million, according to the South African government.“It is envisaged that this package will help boost trade and investments between the two countries which had stagnated,” said Zuma’s spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.South Africa also extended credit guarantees to Cuba worth R70-million, which according to Zuma will “insure South African suppliers for exports to Cuba”.In total, South Africa finalised a R210-million credit line package for Cuba. This amount includes the credit guarantee and a R40-million fund to boost Cuba’s agricultural sector, which has been struggling since a hurricane hit the island in 2008.“We are convinced that these support mechanisms will kick-start a new, more dynamic mutually beneficial trading relationship between our two fraternal countries,” Zuma said in his speech at a business forum.Call for Cuban investments Business moguls from both countries attended the forum. Zuma invited Cuban businesses to invest in South African industries such as aerospace, chemicals, agro-processing and ICT, among others.South Africa’s new infrastructure development programme could produce ample investment opportunities for Cuban businesses, Zuma said. He said the government will spend more than R694-billion on the programme over the next three years.“Cuban companies and skilled personnel can explore opportunities in this programme,” Zuma said.Cuba’s health boost Cuba, a socialist nation currently undergoing economic reform, has been a long-time political ally of Africa. Its army was instrumental in mounting struggles against colonialism on the continent.Diplomatic relations between South Africa and Cuba began in 1994 when the former became a fully democratic nation.Today, Cuba plays a significant role in South Africa and the rest of Africa’s health sector. Each year Cuba offers medical scholarship to 80 South African students. More than 500 South African youngsters from poor communities have benefited from the programme, which creates opportunities for them to study in Cuba.A further 2 000 youngsters from various other African countries have also received such scholarships in recent years.Many Cubans play an active role in the South African economy. There are more than 400 professionals including doctors, architects, engineers and technical experts “rendering services to South African communities”, said Zuma.“Cuban doctors have for many years provided service to people in need of essential medical care,” the president added.* The South African Rand was R6.93 to the US Dollar at the time of publishinglast_img read more

Congress is behind attacks on workers: Gujarat Minister

first_imgGujarat’s Minister of State for Home Pradipsinh Jadeja has said around 20 Congress leaders, along with some social workers, have been identified for instigating violent attacks on migrant workers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in the State. He accused the Opposition party of orchestrating violence to defame the BJP government ahead of the Assembly elections. The police have arrested 533 people, based on 61 cases, for over 75 incidents of attacks on Hindi-speaking workers following the rape last week of an infant, allegedly by a migrant worker from Bihar, in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat. “The police have identified 20 Congress leaders and a few other social workers who have been involved in inciting and orchestrating violent attacks,” Mr. Jadeja told journalists, adding, “Nobody will be spared by the police.”“This is an attempt to disturb peaceful environment in Gujarat and hamper its industrial production,” Mr. Jadeja said. The attacks have triggered an exodus of over 20,000 migrant workers, who form a significant chunk of the labour force in factories in Gujarat.Mr. Jadeja, however, refused to name any specific Congress leader involved in the violence.Alpesh denies chargesMeanwhile, Congress legislator Alpesh Thakor, who is at the centre of controversy, said he would never allow violence against any community and said there was a conspiracy to “blame him and his community for violent attacks.”“This is a conspiracy to drag my name and blame my community for violence. This is the BJP’s low political game to finish my political career,” Mr. Thakor said.The Ahmedabad crime branch on Tuesday arrested one Rahul Thakor, social media convener of Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena, a social caste group headed by Mr. Alpesh Thakor, for spreading hate messages on social media.Extra police deployedFollowing the attacks, authorities have deployed extra police in industrial estates and localities where migrant workers live.At a meeting in Gandhinagar, Chief Secretary Dr. J.N. Singh has directed all district collectors and police officials to meet the migrant workers, assure them safety and also book those who are trying to create tensions between migrants and locals. “In a video conference with district officials, we have issued several measures with regard to recent attacks on migrants and how to control the situation. Fortunately, no incident of violence has been reported in the last 48 hours,” Dr. Singh told The Hindu.last_img read more

Sania Mirza defeated in US Open women’s doubles semifinals

first_imgCara Black (right) returns a shot as Sania Mirza looks on during the semifinal doubles match of the 2014 US Open on Thursday, September 4, 2014, in New York. Photo: APIndian tennis star Sania Mirza failed to make it to the finals of the US Open women’s doubles in New York on Thursday.Sania with her Zimbabwean partner Cara Black was trounced in two sets by 2-6, 4-6 by Swiss tennis legend Martina Hingis and Italian Flavia Pennetta.Earlier, on Thursday, Sania Mirza moved one step closer to clinch a third doubles grand slam title as she entered the mixed doubles final.last_img read more

10 months agoCardiff boss Warnock: Liverpool can end Man City’s title defence

first_imgCardiff boss Warnock: Liverpool can end Man City’s title defenceby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCardiff City boss Neil Warnock believes Liverpool can end Manchester City’s title defence on Thursday.The Reds could go ten points clear of Pep Guardiola’s side with a victory and Warnock believes they are one of the world’s best sides on current form.“I don’t think they [Tottenham] are title contenders but I think they are going to have a great season,” he said.“It’s such a strange thing, I think they would be [challenging] in a normal situation but we’ve just got two incredible teams at the minute.“At the moment [Liverpool] is just flying.“If Liverpool do get a result on Thursday it is very difficult to see anything else [other than Liverpool title win] really.“You can never say never but at the moment I would say Liverpool are as good as anybody in the world let alone England.“But football changes quickly, one or two injuries or loss of forms and someone takes over.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Womens soccer Buckeyes down rival Michigan off of Princes gamewinner

OSU junior forward Nichelle Prince (7) dribbles the ball during a game agaisnt Minnesota on Sept. 17 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost 1-2. Credit: Lantern File PhotoIn a rivalry game against Michigan Saturday night, the Ohio State women’s soccer team returned to Columbus with a much needed victory.  The Buckeyes edged the Michigan Wolverines 2-1, with a winning recipe that combined early scoring in both halves and strong defense and goalkeeping. OSU improved their record to 10-5-3 (4-3-3 Big Ten), while Michigan lost its third game over the last five matches, falling to 9-4-3 (5-3-2 Big Ten).  Junior forward Sammy Edwards propelled the Buckeyes to an early 1-0 lead in the fifth minute, corralling a loose ball inside the Michigan goalkeeper’s box, with a shot finding the back of the net.OSU sophomore goalkeeper Devon Kerr’s strong play received praise from coach Lori Walker, as Kerr was named the player of the match for the Buckeyes. Kerr registered five total saves, including a crucial one-on-one faceoff versus Michigan’s Ani Sarkisian, who broke through the defense, taking a shot which Kerr dove to save.Kerr’s only goal given up on the night was in the 32nd minute, where she deflected a shot and Michigan took advantage of the rebound, evening out the score at 1-1.The Buckeyes returned from halftime with aggressive play that paid off. Senior forward Nichelle Prince scored a goal from short distance in the 53rd minute, reclaiming the lead for OSU at 2-1.The game continued to be competitive on both sides late into the contest. The Michigan offensive attack proved a test for Kerr, but ultimately, her two crucial saves from short distance held strong for the Buckeyes. Likewise, Prince had one last late opportunity in a shot that bounced off the Michigan crossbar, nearly widening OSU’s lead to 2-1.  The Buckeyes finish the regular season at Penn State Wednesday night at 6 p.m. read more

Ross Richardson tips Ohio State mens track and field as conference national

The Ohio State men’s track and field program completed its new coaching staff with the hiring of Ross Richardson as an assistant coach. Richardson will specialize in working with the team’s throwers.Richardson, whose hiring was announced Wednesday, will join a coaching staff led by Ed Beathea, who was hired in June as coach of men’s track and field, and Brice Allen, who Beathea chose to be his associate head coach and recruiting coordinator in July.An OSU athletic spokesman did not respond to a request for salary information.The 2012-2013 track and field season will be Richardson’s fourth straight season with a different university. After five seasons from 2005-2010 with one of OSU’s Big Ten rivals, Purdue, Richardson had a one-year stint with Miami (Ohio) University, then worked last season with Virginia. Over the course of his career, Richardson has coached 11 All-Americans and 21 NCAA championship qualifiers.Richardson said he considers OSU to be “one of the most prestigious athletic departments in the country,” which drew him to accept the position with the Buckeyes.“I’m excited to be here,” Richardson said. “There’s a lot of people here (at OSU) who win championships, and I think the track program has that kind of potential to be a continuous conference contender and have a national prominence.”Beathea explained that Richardson stood out among the potential candidates for this coaching position.“When I called around and spoke to other respected throws coaches across the country when we were starting the search, considering candidates, his name came up amongst all of them,” Beathea said. “I interviewed three, and Ross was, for what I was looking for, the strongest candidate.”Richardson replaces Kevin Mannon, who served as OSU’s throws coach from 2004-2012. According to Beathea, Mannon resigned from the position this summer, which led to the search for a new coach.Richardson expressed that his goal is to keep OSU’s throwing program moving in the right direction.“I think anytime you go anywhere new, you’re just hoping to build on what was done there before,” Richardson said. “They’ve had a great tradition of throws, and a great tradition in the track and field program altogether, and my hope is that we can just continue to build on that tradition.”Beathea, Allen and Richardson will be the only paid coaches for men’s track and field, but additional coaches will work as volunteers.Beathea said Brian Brillon will return to coach horizontal jumpers, while Richard Warren will continue working with high jumpers. Beathea said the program is also searching for another volunteer coach to work with pole vaulters and decathletes.Beathea said that there are two common points of emphasis shared among his coaching staff.“We all agree in the importance of the championship season,” Beathea said. “Above and beyond anything else, we also all agree in the importance of recruiting.” read more

Football Ohio State promotes Ryan Day to offensive coordinator

Ohio State announced the promotion of Ryan Day to offensive coordinator from co-offensive coordinator on Jan. 23, 2018. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorAfter being rumored as a potential candidate to join former Ohio State player and assistant coach Mike Vrabel’s staff with the Tennessee Titans, Ryan Day will stay on staff with the Buckeyes with his promotion from co-offensive coordinator to offensive coordinator.“Ryan is clearly a very talented coach who has been an outstanding addition to our program,” head coach Urban Meyer said in a press release. “He has been approached by other schools numerous times this off-season for coordinator and head coach opportunities, and by the National Football League for a coordinator opportunity. I am pleased that he has elected to continue to work on this staff and to lead, mentor and coach the terrific young men we have in this program.”Day served as the team’s co-offensive coordinator with Kevin Wilson last season in his first year on Meyer’s staff.The university release said Day will remain the team’s quarterbacks coach and “work with Kevin Wilson to lead the Ohio State offense with additional adjustments to his responsibilities forthcoming.”Day was an integral part of an Ohio State offense that finished sixth in scoring per game and seventh in total offense.Meyer said in December that Day turned down an offer to become the head coach in the Southeastern Conference, but that was never confirmed.Day was scheduled to make $800,000 in his second year before the promotion. read more