Never Changes: Free the Journalists
(By Kolec E. Jessey)
The arrest of the editorial staff of the Heritage Newspaper in Monrovia
on February 23, 2003 on the order of the Monrovia Magisterial Court
is disturbing and should be condemned by democratic minded Liberians.
If such a trend is allowed to continue it will have chilling effect
on the ongoing efforts to bring peace to Liberia since muzzling the
press and repression of dissenting views are recipe for resorting to
armed means of resolving grievances.
Slave Trade: Driven By Racism, Greed And Economics
- Part 2
(By Siahyonkron Nyanseor)
Part 1 of this essay ended with how Westerners talk about democracy
as if we Africans are not capable of practicing it, and how we African
people have suffered the worse kind of humiliation and that racist lies
which have no scientific basses continue to be propagated against us.
Part 2 will address how Westerners use their media and other schemes
to continue their subjugation of people of color.
Government: Stop Harassing Journalists
(By Winsley S. Nanka)
The reported arrest of the Heritage Newspaper’s staffers by
the Liberian government for the distribution of ‘‘obscene
materials" is profoundly disappointing barely four months after
the removal of Charles Taylor from office because he violated the
constitutional rights of Liberians.
Defense of J. Fonati Koffa
(By Samuel Zohnjaty Joe)
Kindly publish on my behalf a rebuttal to Mr. Ahmed K. Sirleaf II’s
article "A Lawyer’s Ethical
Platitude" published in the February 23, 20004 edition of
The Perspective. In that article, the author writes, "to have
a place in the study, and practice of the law is not by wisdom only,
but by the sacred virtues of human dignity, and character..."
Cllr. Charles Brumskine’s Legal Advisor Resigns, Faces Criminal Charges in US
J. Fonati Koffa
(By Josephus Moses Gray
With regrets, I have accepted the resignation of Counselor Jonathan Fonati Koffa, as legal advisor to my campaign", these were the words of Presidential hopeful in accepting the resignation of his legal advisor.
Orders Entire Staff of the Heritage Newspaper Arrested In Monrovia
(By Josephus Moses Gray
Crackdown and attacks on press freedom have again re-surfaced in the
Liberian capital, Monrovia, with the court ordering the arrest of the
entire staff members of the independent Heritage newspaper for publishing
a sex scandal story under the banner headline, " For US$400.00-Liberian
Girls Sex With Dogs".
defend lawyer's absence
Two defense attorneys and a relative of Jonathan F. Koffa defended him
Tuesday, arguing that the former Zebulon town manager never fled the
Koffa, 40, is accused of defrauding two clients of his law practice
of nearly $300,000.
The Beginning of our Time
(By Tarnue Johnson
I have written that Liberia is at an important historical crossroad
at this particular moment. And accordingly we have two stark choices
that confront us. We must either consolidate current gains on the path
of national reconstruction through the assistance of the international
community, or choose to fall into the abyss of darkness. These choices
demand active and unrelenting discussions as to how we move forward
as a nation. I share the views of not so few writers in this magazine
and elsewhere that there must be far-reaching constitutional change
before the next elections.
Peacekeepers Asked not to Abandon $75.00 Payment to Liberian Fighters
(By Abraham Massaley
The Movement for Political Reform In Liberia (MOPRL) is pleading with
the United Nations peacekeeping force in Liberia to reconsider its decision
not to pay cash up front to former combatants who will hand in their
guns when the disarmament process resumes some time this year.
lawyer turns self in - He faces charges of embezzlement (News Observer)
A lawyer who was once town manager in Zebulon and town attorney for
Rolesville turned himself in Monday morning to face charges of absconding
with nearly $300,000 in government and clients' money.
war on terror: Is Liberia re-emerging as a U.S. strategic partner?
(By Gabriel Williams
The Associated Press and other news organs reported on February 13
that U.S. Navy sailors may board thousands of commercial ships in
international waters to search for weapons of mass destruction under
a landmark pact between the United States and Liberia, the world’s
No. 2 shipping registry.
Journey Towards Reconstruction
(By: George D. Yuoh
This short piece of story tells of a very interesting conversation
between Ballah, a Liberian living in the USA who has just returned
home after 13 years, and his younger brother Samolu, a one time frontline
commander of the NPFL, and now a deputy minister in the interim government.
Although based on real life situation, the story is entirely the imagination
and creation of the author. Any resemblance of the names of characters
to real people is purely coincidental.
of Liberian Refugees to Resettle in U.S.
Thousands of Liberian refugees who fled a 14-year civil war in the country
founded by freed American slaves will be resettled in the United States,
the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said on Monday.
(By Ahmed K. Sirleaf II
" ...To have a place in the study, and practice of the Law
is not by wisdom only, but by the sacred virtues of human dignity, and
" Justice Benjamin Nathan Cardozo, The Growth
of The Law (1924). Law schools in the North America, and elsewhere grill
candidates seeking admission to study law at their institutions. They
probe, investigate, research, and question the candidate's backgrounds,
not only to ascertain academic qualifications and the ability to withstand
the rigors of advanced study of the law, and the inherent adverse environment
thereupon, but also to forecast some other aspects of the would be attorney's
ethics here to wit:
and Pencils Project for Liberian Children
(By Alvin Peabody
A Liberian native living in the United States has launched a project
to aid thousands school children in her war-torn country. Ms. Kate S.
Peabody, in collaboration with Archbishop Michael K. Francis of the
Catholic Diocese in Monrovia, has launched the Pens and Pencils project
for Liberian Children.
Nonprofit Organizational Development, Leadership
(A Presentation by Syrulwa Somah, Ph.D)
I am honored by your invitation to participate in this leadership seminar
as a presenter. I have been very busy lately with job and family matters
that I almost had a second thought about being here today. But, then,
I felt a sudden urge and obligation to be here when I remembered the
Bassa proverb, Son dyoa do ni
fia gbinnin, which when translated to English means, "A single
hand cannot coil a boa constrictor."
soldiers accused of massacre (AP)
-- Soldiers loyal to former Liberian President Charles Taylor massacred
369 civilians last April in three southeastern villages, accusing them
of supporting rebels in the area, the country's human rights commission
Women Stage Protest March Over "Dog-Woman-Sex Scandal" Story
(By Josephus Moses Gray
On Thursday, February 19th, hundreds of aggravated women in Monrovia
staged a peaceful demonstration to protest a newspaper story under the
headline " Liberian Girls Sex With Dogs". The dog sex scandal
story published in the last Monday, February 16th edition of the independent
newspaper prompted public outcry, and accusations
that the Liberian media is engaging in "yellow journalism".
The World Has
Come To Us
(By Tarnue Johnson
This poem is dedicated to all our fallen heroes and heroines and especially
to the patience and resilience of the Liberian people. The day is near
when no one shall dwell on the mountaintop. Indeed, the day is near
when we shall look ahead in dignity on the path of glory and transformation
of our commonwealth into a current of stability and an oasis of freedom,
hope and prosperity.
in Monrovia (II): A Day at the University of Liberia
(By Abdoulaye W. Dukulé
"Why do you think the government should buy books for you?
In the US, the American government does not buy books for students..."
"One thing I know, is that if you work in America, they pay
you. And if you go to a state college, or any college for that matter,
they make sure you have books. Look at our library; the newest book
is from 1993. You call this a university? There is not single instrument
in the labs. The man must go!"
The Way Forward (Annual
Message Delivered by Chairman Gyude Bryant)
Let us first bless the Lord our God for sparing our lives to see this
day and being able to assemble in this chamber. I ask that you kindly
rise and observe a moment of silence in reverence to our Creator for
the blessing of Peace that He has given Liberia and in memory of our
citizens who perished during our fratricidal conflict
For Job at Maritime Bureau in Monrovia
(By Josephus Moses Gray
Normal working and business activities at the Sinkor head office of
the Bureau of Maritime Affairs in Monrovia came to a standstill on Tuesday,
February 17th owing to a fistfight for a top position in the bureau.
African Slave Trade: Driven By Racism, Greed and Economics - Part
(By Siahyonkron Nyanseor)
Throughout the world today, more and more people are calling for the
democratization of their societies as well as speaking out against
the violation of human rights. They want to have a society in which
every individual or group will be allowed to exercise his/her or their
God-given rights more freely, and to select the leader of their choice.
However, for centuries, these fundamental rights were denied them
based on all sorts of justifications.
LUP and FOB
Issue Statement in Support of J. Fonati Koffa - The Liberian Lawyer
Accused of Fraud in North Carolina
The Liberia Unification Party (USA Branch) & Friends of Charles
Brumskine (FOB) have noted, with grave concern, recent reports of
allegations against Mr. J. Fonati Koffa. These allegations, which
were carried in a local newspaper in North Carolina, may have implications
that are beyond our purview.
Combatants In Liberia Hangs In the Balance
(By: Josephus Moses Gray
Late reports gathered from the circle of the United Nations Military
Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) have revealed that the disarmament, demobilisation,
rehabilitation and reintegration (DDRR) program of combatants to the
Liberia's armed conflict is likely to be delayed again until next April
(By: Ezekiel Pajibo
My return to the country of birth has given me renewed inspirations
to write poetry and I would like to share with you one of the poems
I have written since my return. There are more where these come from.
Rebels Loot Rubber Plantation (AP)
Liberia - Rebels in Liberia stormed and looted a rubber plantation in
the southeast of the country and have begun selling off its assets,
the plantation's manager said.
(By: Abdoulaye W. Dukulé
The first thing one notices upon arrival in Monrovia is the incredible
number of people thronging the streets all day long. From one end of
the city to another, there seems to be hundreds of thousands of people
walking to and from mysterious destinations. Walking has become a national
sport. The streets are so crowded that it is sometimes better to just
walk anywhere downtown than to ride a car. One afternoon, I jumped out
of our taxi in front of the Ministry of Finance to catch up with a funeral
procession on Broad Street. I passed the procession, took pictures and
sat on a bench to catch my breath, waiting for the taxi to reach the
corner of Center and Broad Streets.
Armed Forces Of
Liberia: Reality Check For A New Military With A Redefined Constitutinal
(By: Brownie J. Samukai
The Armed forces of Liberia, was created under the amended National
Defense Law of 1956. It was a skeleton brigade of soldiers who were
predominantly from the lower economic and social stratum of society.
They were poorly paid, and had less than decent facilities for accommodation
and care. Generally, they performed ceremonial and guard duties. Many
of them came to be called "Nokos", a local nomenclature
with meaning ranging from soldier without rank, guardsman, the least
of the crop of professionals, uneducated, among other meanings. Most
AFL Officers were graduates of the ROTC Program at the Booker Washington
Institute in Kakata.
Congressional Black Caucus: Brain Trust on Liberia
(A Speech Delivered By Leslie Norman Abayomi Cole, Sr.)
On Wednesday, February 11, 2004, Mr. Leslie Norman Abayomi Cole, Sr.,
former President & Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Union
of Liberian Associations in the Americas ULAA), spoke at the program
sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus. The program was held at
2237 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. The theme of the
program was: "Liberia: from Crisis to Reconstruction". Congressman
Donald M. Payne of New Jersey chaired the occasion, while Hon. Gyude
Bryant, Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia
(NTGL) delivered the keynote address.
Future Depends How The Children Are Treated
(By Simon Reeves)
George Weah on a UNICEF mission to Liberia last month apologized to
the children for the suffering(civil war) brought on them by adults.
I must take my hat off to the hero for doing the noble thing. He did
what those responsible for sinking the country should, on their knees,
be doing. Such outpouring of the heart can play a major role in healing
Records Raise Doubts (News Observer)
J. Fonati Koffa
When he was hired as the Zebulon town planner in 1990, Jonathan Koffa
had a typically self-effacing explanation for a career path that had
taken him from Liberia to a small town in eastern Wake County. "I'm
a man that's been overtaken by events," he said. It's a sentiment
that fairly sums up his position right now. Koffa, who had been working
as a private attorney for the past six years, is wanted by police
on suspicion of absconding with his clients' money. He is thought
to have fled to Liberia. Before leaving in December, Koffa told many
people that he would be going to Liberia for a few months to advise
the West African nation's transitional government on legal and diplomatic
Logging industry must be free of links to armed conflict to ensurelasting
national and regional peace and security (Global
At a time when Liberia and the international community have made considerable
progress in fostering peace in Liberia, Global Witness (1) restates
its urge that the Liberian government and international community scrupulously
ensure that Liberia's logging industry is fully reformed, integrating
transparency and accountability at all levels and ending the industry's
ability to perpetuate armed conflict. Global Witness and UN Expert Panel
investigations have shown how the Liberian logging industry has historically
fuelled conflict in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d'Ivoire 2,3)
Charles Brumskine's Legal Advisor is a Wanted Man in the US
( See Associated Press Article)
A lawyer who disappeared in December is being sought by the U.S. Department
of Agriculture, which thinks he may have taken nearly $200,000 in
government money with him.
Want 4-Year Presidential Term
(By Abraham Massaley
Philadelphia, February 9, 2004: Over fifty Liberians from more than
eight states in the United States met Saturday in Philadelphia and adopted
a 19-count vision document for Liberia which calls for constitutional
amendment to reduce the presidential and legislative terms from six
to four years each.
Mythology From History
(By Siahyonkron Nyanseor)
On December 1, 2003 and January 7, 2004, I wrote a two-part article
entitled: "Putting the Matilda Newport Myth to Rest";
both articles were published by The Perspective. This article is in
response to similar reception received by Dr. Jean Martin when she
discussed her research regarding Matilda Newport with, I presumed
Prospecting Technology Advancement in Liberia
(By Taa Wongbe)
With the new peace agreement in Liberia and the existence of a new
interim government, Liberia looks to a new chapter in redevelopment
and emphasizing on essentials like health, education, agriculture,
infrastructure, electricity, water, housing and communication. However,
with the limited resources available, the country will look to private
companies to assist in the rebuilding of Liberia; particularly, Information
Says No Thanks to Chairman Bryant
After it was reported in the news that Samuel Kofi Woods had been appointed
to the National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Woods' office issued the
following statement to say no thanks to Chairman Bryant:
Practical Suggestions For Democracy And Development In Liberia
(By Cecil Franweah Frank
I was reading an article of Ezekiel Pajibo some time ago in which he
highlighted the need for Liberia to have bold and confident leaders.
As he rightly observed in that article Liberia is indeed lacking in
bold and confident leaders, even though in the present time of its history
our country needs more than ever such caliber of leaders. Since the
declaration of Liberia's Independence on July 26, 1847, two key words
- democracy and development - have continued to elude Africa "oldest"
republic in spite of the fact that the founding of the Liberian state
to a large extend had to do with the yearning of our forefathers for
attaining both. There are striking similarities between Liberia and
Haiti. Both countries came about as a result of the desire of men of
the Negro race - a downtrodden race – to liberate themselves from
fear embodied in slavery, to acquire social justice from social injustices
based on division by race, income...
(By Abdoulaye W. Dukulé
Mat is in his early twenties. But he has seen more battles than many
veteran soldiers. "I joined the revolution in 1990, in Bong County.
Prince Johnson led the first group of rebels that came to our town.
They tied up my father who was the town chief and beat him up because
they said he was working for the government. They beat him so bad he
died. I took my sisters and my little brother and we came to Monrovia.
I returned to the village and another group had come and chased the
first group that had killed my dad. My cousin and I joined them."
American Relations Revisited
(By Abraham L. James, Ph.D.
In July 2003, during Liberia’s devastating civil conflict when
Monrovia, the capital city was under siege due to an attempt by Liberians
United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) rebel forces to overthrow
the regime of President Charles Taylor, Liberia received unprecedented
media attention. The issue of America’s responsibility for Liberia,
and America’s participation in the conflict was discussed and
debated in the media.
Open Letter to Agnes Reeves Taylor
(By Ezekiel Pajibo)
Thank you for the wonderful letter
you send to me via email. It was revealing, as it was surprising.
I am flattered to know that the ex-wife of a disgraced and dethroned
Liberian leader has the time to read what I write and not only have
the temerity to respond but the audacity as well. I am so happy to
write you that I can’t help but keep a perpetual grin on my
(By Woplah Kambor)
A stroll through the corridors of recent history shows the L.U.R.D.
and its twin M.O.D.E.L. waxing pacific before and after Akosombo,
leading the uncritical eye to view their professions of peace as better
than a façade.
Leader Thanks Us Churches At Un Donors Conference, Hails His Nation's
(Church World Service)
"Keep praying for us. That's what's carried us so far."
With that, Gyude Bryant, the chairman of Liberia's interim government,
thanked U.S. church leaders and representatives Thursday (Feb. 5)
for their continued support as the west African nation continues to
rebuild after more than a decade of civil war.
in Post-Conflict Situations Must Be Rapid, Smart and Sufficient, UNDP
Administrator Says (UN)
United Nations intervention in post-conflict situations must be
rapid, smart and on a sufficient scale to turn the tide towards a sustainable
peace, Mark Malloch Brown, Chairman of the United Nations Development
Group (UNDG) and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP), said at the opening of a two-day International Conference on
the Reconstruction of Liberia, co-sponsored by the United States, the
World Bank and the United Nations.
Said to Seek Freeze of Taylor Assets
The United State wants to freeze the assets of exiled Liberian President
Charles Taylor, who has been indicted by the United Nations for war
crimes, a U.N. diplomat said Friday.
Meet Expected to Raise $500 Million for Liberia (Reuters)
UNITED NATIONS - The United States and the United Nations are confident
rich nations will donate close to $500 million on Friday to rebuild
Liberia, in ruins after 14 years of civil war.
Warns Against Illegal Road Blocks In Liberia
The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has expressed serious
concern over the setting-up of illegal roadblocks coupled with the
harassment and intimidation of peaceful civilians by the various warring
Justice Minister Accused In Land Case (The
A situation that could have again resulted into an all-out built up
yesterday again over the grand-old Vai Town land dispute when the
Justice Minister dispatched police officers to halt a construction
work being undertaken by one of the contending parties to the case.
Father Of Triplets
Appeals For Assistance (The Inquirer)
"It is fortunate and a blessing for me and my wife to have the
triplets, but I am not working and have no means of supporting my
children", were the words of the distressed father of a set of
triplets born recently.
At Liberia's Finance Ministry (The
The newly appointed Commissioner of Internal Revenue at the Ministry
of Finance, Mr. Banks Roesler has finally taken over office from his
predecessor, Mr. Pennoh Bestman.
Revenue Agents In Liberia React Sharply
Aggrieved revenue agents of the 26 collectorates at the Ministry of
Finance, have reacted sharply to news reports that they were dismissed
from the Ministry by the authority.
Tubman Speaks Out (The Inquirer)
A renowned Liberian statesman, Cllr. Winston Tubman has urged Liberians
to do those things that would keep the disarmament process and the
entire peace process on track.
Gyude Bryant was selected in Ghana by the Liberian warring factions
to head the interim government of that West African nation after 14
years of civil war in which over 250,000 hapless people were slaughtered,
and hundreds of thousands of the citizens displaced. Monrovia, the capital
of Liberia, is the only capital city in the world with no electricity
and running water. The new interim leader is headed the the United Nations
today to ask for assistance for his country. He is heading a forty-man
Liberian delegation to the United Nations.
need for AFL"
(By Ckewellen Fonigama)
A hungry idiotic looking fellow stood on the dusty road manning a
rope crossed-over he called a gate. The idiotic man threatens passengers,
delays them and extracts money from drivers plying the deep jungle
roads in Liberia's interior. Here is a man who does not know the meaning
of the job he is doing. To him, the gun he totes is his source of
livelihood. To him the gun and the uniform he wears are not for the
protection of the civil population but an authority invested in him
to harass and intimidate anyone at will.
Journalists Commend OSIWA For US$54,000 Assistance
Liberian Journalists victimized by the armed violent conflict in Liberia
are grateful to the Open Society Initiative for West Africa(OSIWA)
for a grant in the amount of US$54,000 to assist some 131 war-affected
Whom the Bell Tolls"
J. Rudolph Johnson
(A Keynote Address By J. Rudolph Johnson
at the Maryland County Association of Liberia National Conference)
Like his contemporaries and kinsmen, bearing such names
as Appleton, Bedell, Brownell, Bryant, Collins, Elliott, Langford,
Neufville, Shannon, Speare, Wallace, Wilson, and many others too numerous
to mention, names my siblings and I often heard around the dinner
table, the Old Man did love and cherish his hometown, county, and
country, and went to his grave wondering, why in the world people
who had dubbed themselves patriotic citizens of Liberia would have
taken up arms, drugged little children and used them as soldiers to
commit genocide against some 250,000 of their own countrymen; to brutalize
and traumatize innocent women, children, and even senior citizens;
to loot and decimate the entire socio-economic infrastructure of the
country that many had labored so hard to build.
Liberia: Prospects and Perils
(A Press Release Issued by the International Crisis Group)
Failure to achieve security and stability in Liberia would have a violent
spill-over effect in the rest of West Africa. Long-term strategies,
real money and hard thinking are required if Liberia is to pull out
of crisis. The 5-6 February donors conference at UN Headquarters in
New York provides an opportunity to address these issues.
Lovebird in the City of "Brotherly Love"
This short piece is about Joe Blow, one of the main characters in
my last story, "Lovebirds in the Buckeye State." You will
recall that as that story ended he was on the bus to Philadelphia
and he had the audacity to give me the finger. I laughed because I
figured my friend was learning something about the culture and mores
of his new society. But it's always amazing how quickly we learn some
of the negative expressions while we are slow to pick up some valuable,
life-enhancing lessons. Our friend Joe Blow learned how to give someone
the finger but failed to learn a simple lesson: 'Don't trust strangers',
even if they live in the city of brotherly love - better yet, especially
if they live in the city of brotherly love.
orders armed factions to remove roadblocks in the interior
MONROVIA, 4 Feb 2004 (IRIN) - The UN peacekeeping force in Liberia
said on Wednesday it was increasing its patrols in the interior and
had ordered the country's three armed factions to remove all their
Million Dollars Power Project For Liberia (The
If all goes well, Monrovia and its environs will be electrified through
a US$24.5 million Independent Power Project concept earmarked for
Liberia.According to a dossier of the Independent Power Project which
is in the possession of this paper, the project has its genesis in
an arrangement between the Liberia Electricity Corporation and a foreign
company, AIMS Enterprise, Inc., a corporation registered in the State
Old Boy Burnt to Death In Monrovia (The
The Chugbor Community on the Old Road, Sinkor, was
recently the scene of sorrow and weeping when a 6-bedroom zinc house
was gutted by fire leaving a 15-year old boy, only identified as JR,
burnt to death.
Damateh Wants Bryant Removed
Sekou Damate Conneh
(By Abdoulaye W. Dukulé
On his 100th day in power, Chairman Gyude C. Bryant held a tête-à-tête
with editors of Liberian newspapers on the back porch of the Executive
Mansion. The discussion, facilitated by the Minister-designate of
Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. C. William Allen, was candid
and was followed by an off-record session. During this latter part
of the discussion, journalists exchanged with Chairman Bryant ideas
regarding some thorny issues.
National Conference in Rhode Island
(By Theodore T. Hodge
I was ambivalent about going to Rhode Island to meet with my fellow
Marylanders - quite joyous and optimistic on one hand, yet apprehensive
as well. My apprehension was not due to meeting my fellow citizens
- to that I looked forward with great joy and anticipation as usual.
My concern, however, was about the pending deliberations and their
probable outcomes. This presentiment was due to what had transpired
among my dear brothers and sisters via correspondence in cyberspace.
From Illinois to Maryland, from Minnesota to Pennsylvania, from Ohio
to Rhode Island, reaching as far away as Arkansas and Oklahoma and
Texas and bouncing off a computer screen near me, I sensed tension
- dare I say a potential disaster?
Donor Conference on Liberia
(By Ezekiel Pajibo
From February 5-6, the Bretton Woods Institutions - the World Bank (WB)
and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) along the with United Nations
and the United States Government will meet in New York to pledge financial
and technical assistance for Liberia economic recovery and the enhancement
of the UN peacekeeping forces in the country. The United States Government
has already pledged $200 million in additional to another amount of
about $240 million for peacekeeping activities in Liberia. The American
pledge is welcomed and appreciated.
Seeks Liberia Child-Soldier Rehab
DAKAR, Senegal - If Liberia's fragile peace is to hold, international
donors must pledge more money to rehabilitate the West African nation's
child soldiers to ensure that they - and new generations - don't take
up arms again, a leading human rights group said Monday.