Q: Before the Liberian elections, President Rawlings of Ghana was in a very big hurry to pull his troops out of Liberia. And this was one of the reasons why the elections could not be postponed because we were reminded that Ghana, like other West African countries, invested its meager resources and manpower to bring peace to Liberia. Surprisingly, during the champaign period, I heard that President Rawlings gave Taylor trucks equipped with loudspeakers that he used in his own election in Ghana. Although the elections were held over a year ago, Ghanaian troops are still in Liberia. Don't you think this was just a mere scheme to impose Charles Taylor on the Liberian people?
Andrew Koffa Weah
New York, NY
A: Andy, thank you for this keen observation. Most Liberians are grateful to Ghana and other West African countries for helping Liberia regain a sort of quietude. But, many still remember the role Ghana played in the ambush of President Doe in 1990. Since then, no Ghanaian has become field commander of the peacekeeping force. By his actions, it's fair to say that Rawlings was pro- Taylor and continues to be.
Q: One of my friends who recently visited Liberia said that "every Liberian wears lappa(skirt)". In other words, there is nobody man enough to speak against Taylor's assault on human rights, the rampant corruption that permeates the Liberian society, and the plunder of our national resources. Where are the so-called progressives, and politicians?
A: Solomon, the issue of human rights in Liberia is a matter of grave and serious concern, which should claim our collective attention. Those you called progressives were comprehensively beaten at the polls.
Each of us must be responsible for his actions. In Liberia, the citizenry chose Mr. Taylor despite his obvious propensity to ruthless disregard for human rights. As much as we all dislike his virulent attacks on civil liberties, the people must bear some of that responsibility.
Q: I know from the business point of view, you guys were all happy when Charles Taylor was elected President of the Republic of Liberia... I have read almost all your issues. Don't you think your paper will go out of business if Taylor is no longer president of Liberia?
H. David Banks
A: Many thanks, David. The Perspective is a issue-based publication which deals with various issues as well as the individuals charged with public policy decision making. In this regard, The Perspective will definitely prosper with or without President Taylor.
Q: First it was USD $275,000.00 scandal involving Finance Ministry, International Trust Company, and First Commercial and Investment Bank. But few days ago, I heard that another scandal, USD $65,000.00 involving the same institutions, was uncovered by investigators. Finance Ministry officials who authorized the transactions are not in jail, but rather bank officials who honored the signatures from the Finance Ministry. I am really perplexed. Could you explain?
Adolphus H. Wilson
A: Adolphus, in a corrupt system such as Liberia, only those in low level position are often brought to justice while the big shots go unscathed. Arresting the bank employees gives the appearance that the authorities are cracking down on corruption. In reality, however, it's government that is corrupt. But since there is no transparent justice system in Liberia, the crooks benefit.
Q: Your April/June Issue humiliated Rev. Jackson, a poor man trying desperately to find solutions to our problems. That your issue has made me to feel that The Perspective is just another sorry-Liberian-paper. If you guys are individually irresponsible, for the sake of your readers, do not use this paper to display your irresponsibilities. Could you do us that favor?
A: Susan, on the surface, Rev. Jesse Jackson seemed like he was helping Liberia. The truth is Jackson could care less about Liberia's problems. For seven years, he voiced no concern for our plight. Many believe, there are credible sources to support this, that Jackson was acting as an agent for Taylor. Mr. Taylor has admitted of funding the Chicago conference, among other things.
Q: The first time I visited your web site, I spent the whole night reading, downloading and printing articles. I have since been talking with friends here in Europe about the wonderful work you are doing. Please do not give up. Your paper is a must-read paper for every Liberian. Is the paper in Monrovia? If not, please make all efforts to send it to Liberia.
A: Sandy, thank you for your kind comments. Yes, the paper is in Monrovia - even President Taylor is reading the paper. However, as in other nominal democracies, fear and reprisal make it difficult to attract distributors. In addition, the lack of international postal links has compounded that difficulty. Of course, we have other means.
Q: What all this brouhaha about reconciliation? Where were peace-makers like Rev. Jackson, Romeo Horton, etc during the seven year civil war? Wasn't it the best time to reconcile in order to avert the atrocities?
A: Many people are now trying to be seen as caring and concern about our precarious situation. In reality, some simply want to cash in whatever booty Mr. Taylor throws in their directions. How pathetic!