Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Responds to Liberia's "Ministry of Disinformation" and the New Liberia Newspaper

(Press Release)

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted May 20, 2002

A back page article contained in the Friday 17 May issue of the New Liberia carries report from one (fictitious) Cecelia Wonkee in Abidjan about a party I am supposed to have hosted at my residence in Abidjan on 4 May to celebrate the capture of Gbarnga by the LURD dissident. I am responding to this rather stupid story only because those who continue to place our country in a state for laughter and ridicule must be countered.

In the first instance, the Ministry of Disinformation and staff of the New Liberia are so confused in their efforts to lie that they cannot even get their dates correct. On Saturday 4 May I was very much at home, in Liberia, meeting with partisans and friends.

Since my return I have had no party at my home and it is preposterous to think that I would be celebrating a LURD victory since I do not believe that the LURD activities as reported by the Taylor propaganda machine are true.

Infact, we now have significant intelligence information to the effect that much of what is happening is planned and orchestrated by the Taylor forces to intimidate the people as a means of averting and controlling a fast approaching people's rebellion.

When I was home a couple of weeks ago, in the spirit of constructive and positive dialogue, I shared with several of those in power, some of my views as to what it takes to heal the deep wounds of our nation and to find a way to start the process of economic recovery on which so much of our national progress depend. Of course, I was not prepared to become in any way a part of a corrupt and dishonest regime and neither was I willing to say anything but the truth to the world regarding the real causes of the suffering of the Liberian people.

My determination to remain honest to myself and to the struggle for our country's redemption is probably the basis for the lies that are continued to be told regarding the events surrounding my arrival home on 29 April and the new one regarding the party in Abidjan.

Those who control the New Liberia should realize that lies will not help a failed state; propaganda will get you no more than immediate gain as it is bound to be exposed. The best recipe for redemption can be found only in responding to the needs of people; allowing them the exercize of their fundamental rights, providing basic needs and the freedom of economic and political choice. All else will fail as surely the record shows today.

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