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Liberian Government Violates the Constitutional Rights of Radio Veritas
A Liberian lawyer, in an Open Letter to the Liberian government, through its Minister of Information, Hon. Reginald B. Goodridge, Sr, argues that the government of Liberia refusal to renew the short-wave license of Radio Veritas, a Catholic Radio Station, is a violation of the constitutional rights of that entity. This is the second time in less than two years that the government has shut down this station.

U. S. Disengages from World Conference on Racism?
There's a kind of conservatism in Washington D.C. these days that is making its marks on the nation as to how the United States deals with both domestic and international issues that confront the Bush administration. That kind of conservatism has got many to think and believe that other than attacking crucial and on-going issues head on like his predecessors, the Bush administration has opted to do the opposite by either boycotting a conference, and constantly refusing to be a signatory to treaties that will benefit mankind.

Can Mano River Union Countries Achieve Peace?
Peace initiatives and agreements seem to never be in short supply in the West African region, especially among the Manor River Union (MRU) countries - comprising Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - which have been embroiled in crisis for well over a decade. The problem with the peace agreements is that just as they are signed, they are broken, by either one party or the other never upholds them or simply finds them as a convenient tool to regroup or a breather for removing pressure.

The Democratic Alternative to Armed Violence
It was around Christmas 1989, some twelve years ago, when the BBC announced that a group of armed dissidents had entered Liberia aiming to overthrow the government of Samuel K. Doe. Just ten years earlier, Samuel K. Doe had sprung into the international political scene by assassinating the president of Liberia and the chairman of the organization of the African unity.

Global Witness Director Speaks on Timber and Sanctions
Despite efforts by Liberians residing in the Diaspora and some international organizations such as Global Witness in arousing UN attention to the link between the prevailing terror in West Africa and Liberian timber, the Security Council did not include timber in the sanctions imposed on Liberia. Global Witness, an environmental human rights group, is spearheading efforts to expose the link between the timber industry and arms supply to the RUF in a bid to persuade the Security Council in including timber in the sanctions regime. Recently, The Perspective talked with Patrick Alley, Director of Global Witness, to obtain firsthand information on its position on the inclusion of timber in the UN sanctions.

Taylor Threatens to Impose "State of Emergency"
Is there a threat to Liberia's security? So says President Taylor who addressed the nation last weekend in a live television and radio call-in show dubbed "Issues with the President," using a trial balloon to test the public pulse, and perhaps preparing the way for a decision which has long been speculated to be in the making, President Taylor told Liberians that imposing a state of emergency was necessary in light of the current security and other conditions in the country.

The Stem Cell Debate, Politics and Ethics
Perhaps a stem cell tissue, one of the 60 lines President George W. Bush spoke about during his nation-wide broadcast days ago could have spared him few more years to live; maybe not. However, dad died many years ago after scientists in the United States began discussing the use of stem cell tissues to cure diseases like diabetes, alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injuries and other diseases that afflict mankind.

West Africa and the Moratorium on Small Arms
Recently the Moratorium on Small Arms in West Africa was extended. Set in place in October 1998, the moratorium was extended on July 5, 2001, by the current ECOWAS Chairman, President Alpha Omar Konare of Mali. But the extension has been described by many as inadequate and carried out in a "light handed manner."

Languishing Behind Taylor's Locks and Keys Without Trial
Recently, the legal counsel for former Auditor General Raleigh Seekie and five others detained at the Monrovia Central Prison on charges of treason have filed a motion to dismiss the charges against the detainees.

Judge Moves to Put Stop to Theft in the Name of God
The recent conviction and sentencing of the leaders of Greater Ministries is a triumph of truth. The head of the Greater Ministry International Gerald Payne and several of his associates were given long-term sentences by court in Tampa Florida on charges conspiracy and fraud. The world knew nothing or little about the activities of Greater Ministries International in Liberia until this paper exposed the criminal activities the company and its officials in Liberia, Niko Shefer and Felix Kramer were engaged in.

A Cry Out For Help - Set Mr. Dean Free!
The recent news of the arbitrary arrest yet again of another journalist by the Liberian security forces is very disturbing and should draw the immediate condemnation of the "free" international press.

ATU Recruits in Maryland County for Lofa War
As fighting flares up again in Lofa County, there is allegation that President Taylor's dreaded ATU forces assigned to Maryland are recruiting Marylanders for the war in Lofa. During President Taylor's visit to Maryland, he replaced the entire police force with 100 troops of the Anti-Terrorist Unit. The president said that the troops will remain in the county until a police force is trained. Maryland County has an infamous history of ritualistic killings.

Writing for Change and History
Perhaps Liberia would be better served if this period of our sad and sordid history is well-documented and written about so that those who will assume the mantle of leadership and the generations to come will learn the important lessons of this period. This is why some of us write and make no apology for what we write and say.

Gold, Diamond and Investment "In the Name of God"
The Greater Ministries International Church, Greater Diamond Company, Rock Church International, Freedom Gold, Greater Group of Africa, Amalia Gold and Diamond, etc., have become synonymous with scams, unscrupulous investors, hustlers, con artists, hiding under the cloak of religion and posing as investors, doing business in Liberia. These organizations, using clever marketing schemes, religion and bribery, associated with organized crime in America, Europe and the world, have found willing partners in the Taylor regime, that is now combing the Liberian economy, transforming it into a hub for money-laundering, arms-trafficking and drug-smuggling.

What This (2003) Election Should Be All About (Part 2)
As Liberians look forward to the elections of 2003, the subject of "accountability" should be one of the major issues to consider. The recent scandal at the Liberian Ministry of Defense involving so-called "ghost soldiers" has not helped the NPP government's already "negative" international image either.

What This (2003) Election Should Be All About
As the year 2003 rapidly approaches, many Liberians at home and abroad, are "curiously" looking forward to the upcoming presidential and general elections that are scheduled to be held in their beloved country. Given Liberia's continuing "bad" image as a "pariah nation" and its virtual isolation from the rest of the civilized world, they doubt whether their war-ravaged country will actually be prepared to hold "free and fair" elections when that day comes around.

Lack of Support Hinders the Growth of Liberian Artists
Like many aspects of its very rich tapestry, Liberia is blessed with many gifted and talented musicians. From Grand Gedeh to Lofa; from Cape Mount to Cape Palmas; the country's tapestry shows a richness and diversity that is yet to be harnessed to its full potential. But sadly, the continual corrosive effects of its politics have done more harm than good in elevating Liberia's cultural landscape to much greater levels.

Ex-ECOMOG General On The Defensive
General Anold Quainoo, the Ghanaian national who became the first Commander of ECOMOG - the military outfit established by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) - to intervene in the Liberian civil war and help restore peace among the warring factions engaged in power struggle, has recently been on the defensive in explaining his tenure as ECOMOG Commander in Liberia and how he reportedly aided and abetted in arranging the assassination of the late Samuel Kanyon Doe.

The Death of Minnie King Dunbar: "The Liberian Lady in the Library"
On Saturday, August 4, 2001, Dr. Minnie King Dunbar died of a brain aneurysm in Miami, Florida after falling suddenly ill about five days earlier. "Minnie", as she was popularly known, was a librarian and an adjunct professor in the English Department and School of Business at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami.

We Make no Apology for Truth and Justice
We do not want to engage in a tit-for-tat discourse with the mouthpiece at the Liberian Ministry of Information. But it seems almost impossible that the hired pens will ever relent in their efforts to distort the issues and impugn the characters of individuals with whom they disagree.

The Rotten Carcass, not the Maggots
In view of recent barrage of assaults launched on The Perspective and its partners by Taylor's verbal mercenaries at the Ministry of Information, it became appropriate to revisit the sagacious words of Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh in which he ably addressed the necessity of dealing with the hired pens at the ministry.

Is Charles Taylor Serious About Peace?
I have been listening to and watching with keen interest all the talks, maneuvers and posturing by the Liberian ruler, vis-à-vis the issue of ending the horror and terror he has brought upon Liberia.

UN Investigates Maritime Funds
Considered as a major source of external revenues, which has sustained past and present regimes since much of the nation's economy has been shattered Liberia's Maritime funds generated from ships flying the Liberian flag - popularly known as a "flag of convenience" - because of the country's lax maritime laws which many in the shipping industry has exploited, now appears to be in trouble.

Liberian Federation Calls For Pressure on Taylor, LURD to Cease Lofa Hostility: Members of the Federation of Lofa Associations in the Americas issued a statement in which they called on the international community to bring pressure to bear on Mr. Taylor and LURD (Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy) to cease the hostility in Lofa. They also called for pressure on Taylor to end the destibilization of the West African sub-region.

Congratulations "Super Eagles", Go Africa!
After months of anticipation and some "wrecked" nerves, it is now history that Nigeria's very talented Super Eagles did clinch Africa's last berth for the upcoming World Cup tournament that is slated to be held in Korea/Japan in 2002 by convincingly beating Ghana's Black Stars 3 - 0 almost two weeks ago in Port Harcourt.

Peace in Pieces is not Peace
Since his arrival on the West African political scene, Mr. Taylor has proven himself incapable of maintaining or creating peace around him. With his past record in mind, his recent overture towards his political opponents is bound to surprise many. Therefore, Liberians and others in the sub-region have certainly held their breath over the past few weeks and are waiting where he would take the country.

Taylor's Foot Soldiers, "Flowers" and the UN Sanctions List
"Give a man the flower he deserves while he is alive" does apply to almost every situation even in what is seen as a crisis situation. There are times when situation demands that "best friends" be accepted and willingly avail themselves and be proud of their alliance.

Settling The Liberian Palaver: In Search of a New Vision - An Apology for Change: More than anything else, settling the Liberian palaver which is a "big palaver," will continue to be the fundamental challenge confronting the nation, says Conmany B. Wesseh, a veteran democratic activist and Executive Director of the Center for Democratic Empowerment. Wesseh argues that historically, the major source of Liberia's perennial problem lies within the "quality of governance" the country has had. How the affairs of state have been managed, the absence or breakdown of institutional structures, the disproportionate participation by large sections of the population in the decision making process that affect them, among others, form the crux of the Liberian problem. He further argues that unity, justice, reconciliation, human security, etc. should form the basis of a new vision.

The Education Palaver: An Impediment to Socio-cultural, Economic and Political Advancement in Liberia: Education should be viewed from a comprehensive and practical perspective to settle the Liberian palaver, Malakpa contends. He argues that the underpinnings of education must be based on morality, ethics and the "African attitude of beholding to the masses." These remarks were made at the July 26 weekend Town Hall meeting held in Atlanta, Georgia, under the theme: "Settling the Liberian Palaver."

Who Set The Standard?
I read with amusement, Peter Kieh Doe's platitudes floated on the Internet about The Perspective's laudable efforts in informing the world about the actual happenings in Liberia, as well as his bizarre invectives, insinuations and barrage of calumnies against one of Liberia's foremost female journalists, Musue Noha Haddad.

Liberian Officials Test Strength of UN Travel Ban
As Liberian officials and supporters of Charles Taylor fight to have their names removed from the UN travel list, some official are bent on testing the strength of the ban. They have concluded that the ban is like the one imposed by the Clinton administration which Liberian officials have routinely violated. Liberia's West African neighbors were charged with the responsibility to enforce the sanction regime. To date, it seems that Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone are performing their duties.

Fighting Flares in Liberia and Threatens Ivory Coast (Washington Post)
DANANE, Ivory Coast -- The smoldering interconnected wars that have plagued West Africa for 12 years, killing untold thousands of people and driving millions from their homes, have flared again, this time in Liberia, close to its border with Ivory Coast.

Grand Gedeh Association Calls on President Taylor to Release all Political Prisoners: On Friday, July 20, 2001, President Charles Taylor released from detention Mr. Bai Gbala, Counselor David Gbala and Senator James Chelley. The three were among thirteen Krahn civilians and several military men who were imprisoned by the Liberian Government following the 1998 Camp Johnson Road incident, during which more than 300 Krahn men, women and children were massacred. The following week, Mr. Taylor announced that he had dropped all charges against his political opponents in exile.

"Taylor Responds to Pressure," Says Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
President Charles Taylor has made several moves in recent days. He had freed three of thirteen prominent Krahn leaders who were imprisoned on treason charges, pardoned exiled opposition leaders and declared the month of August a reconciliation month, and reliable sources in Monrovia say there is plan afoot to free the remaining ten political prisoners including Mr. Raleigh Seekie. ECOWAS Secretary General, Lassana Kouyate and Ambassador Streeb from the Carter Center are currently visiting Monrovia. Why is President Taylor making all these overtures? Is he sincere or is this a gimmick to lure political opponents, real or imaged, back to Monrovia to be liquidated upon arrival?

U.S., Canada Contribute to Startup Sierra Leone Court
With the UN Security Council's endorsement of the establishment of a war crimes tribunal for Sierra Leone, several countries have begun to contribute funds needed for the operation of the court. The U.S. is reported to have contributed $5 million but have pledged an additional $15 million over a three-year period. The government of Canada has also contributed $2.25 million towards the court's establishment.

Going Forward With Sierra Leone's War Crimes Tribunal
The idea of setting up a war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone, similar to the ones in Rwanda and other places, is really not new, as it has been floating around for quite some time now. But for obvious reasons, the country's brutal so-called Revolutionary United Front (RUF) seems to be the only group there that would not want to see it come to reality.

Taylor's "General Amnesty" Put to Test
In what appears to be a test of the general amnesty President Taylor granted to opposition politicians in prison and outside the country recently, the Unity Party (UP), the second runner-up in the 1997 general and presidential elections, has issued a challenge by calling upon the government, its Justice Ministry, to drop treason charges against its standard-bearer, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, as a condition for her return into the country.

Technical Education: One of the Vehicles To Settling Our Liberian Palaver: Education, but more importantly, technical education should be embraced as a cornerstone of a new educational philosophy in a reformed Liberia, argues Marcus Dahn. Dahn further argues that the paucity or neglect of technical and vocational education which emphasizes science and technology has contributed to much of Liberia's backwardness. He calls for the adoption of the 2-year technical educational approach based on the American model. Implicit in this criticism is the overemphasis on liberal arts education which has not addressed the country's needs, but also not mentioned is the absence or lack of an industrial sector that would absorb Liberia's future technocrats. These remarks were made at the LAMA's Town Hall meeting held this past weekend in Atlanta, Georgia, under the theme: "Settling the Liberian Palaver."

"The Path to Building a New Liberia"
Charles Brumskine, former President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate and Senator of Grand Bassa County, served as Guest Speaker for Liberia's 154th Independence Anniversary celebration in Providence, Rhode Island this past weekend. Mr. Brumskine, a former ally of President Taylor, later broke ranks, and was chased out of Liberia by Taylor's security. He now lives in exile in the United States.

Liberia Lacks "Rule of Law," Says Brumskine
Former President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, now in exile in the United States, Counselor Charles Brumskine, says unless a substantial amount of resources used to prosecute wars be diverted to empower the people, democracy in Liberia will remain a farce.

The Future of Liberia's National Security
The Liberian Association of Metropolitan Atlanta (LAMA) Town Hall meeting on "Settling the Liberia Palaver" held this past weekend in Atlanta, Georgia, was not only spirited but provocative. The views expressed by the myriad of speakers made interesting food for thought which also point to the difficult road ahead in "searching for a new vision" in a post-Taylor era. Mr. Mathu Gibson Liberia Contemporees United Patriotic & Strong, better known as the Contemporary Opposition, whose founder and president is T. Q. Harris, argues that Liberia needs a strong national security structure to guarantee its stability. Mr. Gibson says the Contemp UPS has a plan to develop the Liberian military into a professional force.

  Out of the ashes of the Liberian civil war emerged a new society. What is it like? Read all about it and join the conversation. It is in The Perspective - the publication devoted to Liberia's democratic future. Subscribe today@ $25.00/year (international rate is $35.00/year).
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