A Position Statement by The ULAA Council of Eminent Persons (UCEP)
On behalf of the officers and members of the ULAA Council of Eminent Persons (UCEP), Inc., an organization comprising of former ULAA National Presidents and Chairmen of the National Board of Directors, call on President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the Unity Party (UP) Government to immediately release journalist & managing editor of FrontPageAfrica, Mr. Rodney Sieh.
Madam President, just a few days ago, you sent out SMS messages to Liberians that read: "I thank God for 10 years of peace and for your contribution to this great achievement. Let's strengthen our bonds and prosper together. Always keep the Peace."
Madam President, "Only justice brings peace!” Peace is NOT MAINTAINED by violating the rights of others, especially, a young man who writes and speaks TRUTH to POWER.
Madam President, how soon you forget! When your freedom of speech and movement was violated, we wrote and fought along with you, until you were set free. Little did we know, you were going to do the same to others that was done to you, and with impunity!
Madam President, in most democratic societies, the free press serves as the conscience of the people -- to make government accountable to them. As a result, the free press is committed in bridging this gap; by providing the public with relevant and useful information. In many cases, such information centers on issues regarding healthcare, education, the economy, civil and constitutional rights, and the environment. The availability of the public to this information affords the people the opportunity to better understand their government, its direction, role and impact on their daily lives. This commitment by the “patriotic” media is based on ethics and morals, upon which it is obliged to be honest, sincere, critical and to give laurels where and when expedient. This is the role the managing editor, Mr. Rodney Sieh and the FrontPageAfrica newspaper has played, and continues to play in a society that is infested with malpractices.
Mr. Rodney Sieh must be set free to provide the services that the Liberian people at home and we in the Diaspora look forward to daily. The government’s mutiny and calculated intimidation will only continue to expose the undemocratic and dictatorial nature of the Unity Party (UP) government to the world. Democratic government of any country is accountable to the people and the mass media serves as the means of communicating the message.
Madam President, the Liberian people are SMART! They are able to distinguish a KARTO (Paid) want-to-be journalist from the REAL STUFF. Professional journalists and reputable newspapers should be free to report the truth and not be sanctioned as you and the Unity Party government is doing to Mr. Rodney Sieh and the FrontPageAfrica newspaper.
Madam President, “Truth does not [have] to yield to lot of dressing up.” One, who is a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, CANNOT resuscitate the past to rain assault on the press and journalists; while allow corrupt officials of government to roam the streets of Monrovia with ill-gotten wealth. Mr. Rodney Sieh must be set free! He has not committed any crime. He should be rewarded for his commitment and dedication, and not imprisonment.
Like Patriot Rodney Sieh, we are driven by the love of our country; the desire to seek justice in order to bring about lasting peace and unity to our beloved LIBERIA. It is in this respect; we demand the release of FrontPageAfrica’s managing editor, Mr. Rodney Sieh and the re-opening of the newspaper’s office, unconditionally.
Issued on this 24th day of August 2013, in the City of Winston-Salem, NC, USA.
David K. Flomo
EP David K. Flomo
Secretary, UCEP, Inc.
Chair, UCEP, Inc.