Remarks by H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at Official Launch of the National Symbols…

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first_imgLet me first express gratitude to the Speaker who designated the Deputy Speaker; to the Deputy Speaker who agreed to come because Thursday is their plenary day. Today they are all in a meeting. Tuesdays andThursdays are not a good time for them because they are busy doing their legislative work.Many may recall the report for the Vision 2030 and the consultative process that took place. During those rigorous consultations – I see Dr. [Togba Nah] Tipoteh is here; he’s one of those that headed the group that went around the country, gathering the views of Liberians as to what we need to do to unify people, to have a sense of national identity, to feel that we all have shared values, we all have one destiny, one people – some of the things identified as not promoting that spirit of unity were some of our National Symbols – the Flag, the Anthem, Awards, among others.All of those things, people expressed concern and said we need to look at them and what they mean in terms of coming together as one nation, one people for the future. That’s what this process is all about.However, the consultation process has not taken place. Even among the leadership, among the three branches of government, there still needs to be more consultation for them to agree with the process, for them to be a part of the process, for them to also guide and lead the process. Some consultation has been done, but not sufficient.So, I want for you to consider this as the preliminary launch of this project to enable the team, and the Governance Commission, to go and do what is necessary so that when we have another meeting we can have everybody onboard – feeling that what we’re trying to do is something that we all will commit to and we all will be a part of.It’s come a long way, they’ve done a lot of research and analysis and papers. But at the end of the day, this is serious business. It has political implications; it has financial implications; and all of those must be taken into account.Liberians like pomp and pageantry and symbolism. I don’t think, Madam Mayor, we needed all these fancy things with balloons here today. I don’t think we needed a fancy program. This is something that requires getting a large group of people together to be able to start the thinking of this and them going around the country – like Dr. [Elwood] Dunn said; like the Deputy Speaker [Hans Barchue] said – in all the nooks and crannies so that everybody can have a say, and when we finally determine what will be our future symbols, it’s something that everybody will stand up and say: Yes, this is what we want. This is what we like. This is what will bring the Liberian people together.So I urge you to take a common approach, a simple but effective consultative approach on this. We will work with you so you can start that process and get it right; so that we can make sure that tomorrow, if our flag will have one palm tree inside it, because of all the reasons the Deputy Speaker said, everybody will see that palm tree and say we want that palm tree because we can get the red oil, because we can use palm kernel, crack it and get oil, and we can use the branches to sweep the floor or cover our heads when we want to demonstrate, whatever; but then we all will agree that this is the way we want to go.So let me thank you for coming, urge the Governance Commission to start the process of consultation, and to have another meeting.We will consider it launched because we need to get started; we need to get the consultation going; we need to start doing the papers; we need to start preparing the agenda and what not.So we consider it launched, but I will urge them to now go one step further to get a bigger group to see this, so the next time we come back to the City Hall, I will see all these chairs filled with people who now agree that we need to start that process, to think about these symbols so that we can see a future that we all belong to, that we all can identify with.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Inviting Turkish Manufacturing: How Serious Are We?

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first_img“It is our resolve to shift from simply exporting raw materials to being a manufacturing nation.”        These were the words of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf when last week she received the letters of credence from Turkish Ambassador Senturk Uzun.  She told him she was inviting Liberia’s partners, “including Turkey, to direct their investments [to] the manufacturing and service industries.”The question is, how serious are she and her government?In advancing any pleas and challenges to partners, one has to know these partners well enough.  Does the Liberian government know Turkey?  It is a very serious country, which is fast becoming industrialized.    It is also self-sufficient in agriculture.We understand that most of the steel rods which are imported into Liberia come from Turkey.Yet Turkey has no iron ore.  So how does she produce enough steel rods for local consumption and export?  The poor Liberians would not believe this: and when we say poor, we have no intention of ignoring the fact that yes, we are desperately poor, yet we are vastly rich in mineral and agricultural resources.  So what is it thatLiberians would not believe? Turkey produces its steel rods from scrap metal that it imports!  It then manufactures them as well as steel plates and other products, then ships them to iron ore rich Liberia.  That is why we ask the question, how serious is our President in inviting Turkey to help lead us into manufacturing?Does the government recall   the golden opportunity we   missed just two years ago when a Chinese steel manufacturer put in a concession bid for the Western Cluster mines?  Yes, then Lands, Mines and Energy (LME)Minister Eugene Shannon, reputed to be one of our brightest sons, joined others in shortsightedly rejecting this Chinese company, brought in by President George Bush’s brother, Jeb, former governor of Florida.  The reason:  Shannon and company found every excuse to reject that Chinese company, including that it could not raise enough   money to engage in the Western Cluster mining!  Now here are two things about that decision that will make All Liberians cry!  First, the Chinese company told the government they were willing to establish a steel plant in Liberia.  Here was a golden opportunity not simply missed, but REJECTED!The second thing that will make Liberians cry is something they already know only too well, especially since this newspaper, the Daily Observer, wrote repeatedly  about but we, too, were ignored and rejected: Elenilto, the Israeli scrap metal company that the LME and the President’s Ministerial Council declared as having “won” the bid for the Western Cluster mines, HAD ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE IN MINING OPERATIONS.  They were only scrap metal dealers and financial speculators.And Elenilto knew that only too well.  So, realizing they had no experience in mining, before they even signed the concession agreement with the Liberian government, they sold 49% of it to the Indian steel company SesaGoa!  And months after Elenilto’s signing of the concession agreement, they sold to Sesa Goa the remaining 51%!Here you had the whole sovereign government of Africa’s oldest independent republic taken for a ride by scrap dealers!  This is why we ask, how serious are the President and her government in inviting the Turks to engage in manufacturing?  For clearly, to have allowed itself to be taken for a ride like that by Elenilto, rejecting a company that was committed to building a steel here, makes one wonder whether those engaged in these negotiations do not take their work seriously, are incompetent, or just plain unpatriotic.Now, after barely two years of operation, Sesa Goa has informed GOL that it has scaled down 80% of its operations.   That is apart from the outrageous proposal they recently put to GOL to transport its iron ore by truck through the already heavily congested Duala traffic to the Free Port of Monrovia!  This means that the deal Elenilto led GOL into and GOL willingly accepted for reasons GOL has  never explained to the Liberian people, is now at a standstill.We suggest that GOL investigate the possible breach of this concession agreement, cancel it and reopen the concession bid for the Western Cluster.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Gittens appointed as Deputy Chief Constable

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first_imgAfter months of deliberation, the Mayor and City Councillors of Georgetown have finally moved to appoint a Deputy Chief Constable for the City Constabulary.Laurel Gittens had been working in the position for a number of months under the premise that she was on probation, however, Councillor Sherod Duncan on Monday afternoon appealed to the Council on the officer’s behalf.Senior Superintendent Laurel GittensAfter highlighting that Gittens has served the constabulary for some 31 years, Councillor Duncan explained that by the time the Constable completes her six-month probationary period, she would have already passed her retirement mark. Duncan lamented the unfairness of the matter, noting that the Constable deserves to be appointed substantively after all the contributions she has made over the years. Another argument put forward in Gittens’ favour was the fact that she had acted in the position of Chief Constable on numerous occasion when the Chief Constable Andrew Foo was on annual leave.It was disclosed that the Chief Constable did not disagree with the recommendation of Gittens’ promotion but he requested that the probation be attached. After which an evaluation will be done, and the position could be confirmed or not confirmed.Councillors Noelle Chow-Chee, Andrea Marks and Carlyle Goring followed suit in the plea for Gittens’ appointment. Marks in her statement, admitted to agreeing to the probation at a meeting, however she pointed out that the retirement mark was not disclosed nor was it taken into consideration. She explained that had she been aware of those complications, she would have protested the probation upfront. The Chief Constable opted to remain silent during the debate, even after members of the Council called for him to disclose the ‘reasons’ why he requested that Gittens be put on probation. The fact that Foo had not been through a probation phase when he was being appointed was also debated by the Councillor.Subsequently, by way of a unanimous vote, Gittens was promoted to senior Superintendent and appointed as the Deputy Chief Constable.Gittens’ promotion was being mulled over since December of last year, after the need for a Deputy Chief Constable was underlined by Councillors and Mayor Patricia Chase Green.last_img read more

Blue Christmas for unpaid HEYS participants

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first_imgIt is going to be a blue Christmas for some unpaid participants of the Hinterland Employment Youth Service (HEYS) programme. HEYS participants were assured that they would receive outstanding payments owed by December.Minister within the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry Valerie Garrido-LoweMinister within the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry, Valerie Garrido-Lowe made the promise as she apologised to the HEYS participants who have not been paid since September.But the participants were hopeful that the payments would at least be made in time for the holidays. Several disappointed participants from Region One (Barima-Waini) related to Guyana Times their frustrations over not having that money for Christmas.This newspaper understands that residents from the Mabaruma sub-region went to the village centre just to return home with desponded souls when they were told that payment was not ready.“Many of us wasted our monies to come down to collect our stipends but were told we got to come back until Wednesday. It’s not fair,” one participant said.The beneficiaries are entitled to a monthly stipend of $30,000, but the payment plan stipulates that only $20,000 would be paid and at the end of the yearly programme, recipients would receive the remainder in bulk – $120,000.Exceptional graduates will also receive cash grants of $50,000 to be used as start-up capital for a business of their choice.Minister Garrido-Lowe conceded that there were many problems plaguing the programme and while she gave assurances that the issues would be addressed, she did not outline any concrete plans for remedying the situation.The Minister had previously explained to this newspaper that funding for the programme is not an issue but rather it’s an administrative problem which results in the participants not being paid on time.Launched in 2015 by the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change, the programme currently trains in excess of 1800 students, utilising the services of some 373 facilitators across 112 Amerindian villages.last_img read more

Sarri backs Hazard to thrive as ‘false nine’

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first_img0Shares0000But he has been moved to the central striker’s role by Sarri as the Blues boss tries to find a solution to his team’s lack of cutting edgeBRIGHTON, United Kingdom, Dec 16 – Maurizio Sarri insists Eden Hazard can thrive in the ‘false nine’ role after the Belgium playmaker inspired Chelsea’s 2-1 win at Brighton on Sunday.Sarri’s side cemented their grip on fourth place in the Premier League thanks to the latest virtuoso display from Hazard. Although Hazard started the season playing in a wide role for Chelsea and won the Premier League’s Player of the Month award for September.But he has been moved to the central striker’s role by Sarri as the Blues boss tries to find a solution to his team’s lack of cutting edge.Both Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud have struggled for goals when leading the Chelsea attack this season.And, while Hazard at times doesn’t seem comfortable in his new role, he was still too hot for Brighton to handle, with an assist for Pedro’s opener and a fine finish to double Chelsea’s lead before half-time.Only a crunching challenge by Brighton’s Dale Stephens slowed Hazard down, but Sarri expects the midfielder to be fit to face Bournemouth in the League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.Asked if will he continue in the false nine role, Sarri said: “I think that, for us, he could be very important in this position.“He’s very able to come out and play with his team-mates, very able to create spaces. Now I think that, in that position, he has to improve in attacking the box.”Brighton manager Chris Hughton admitted Hazard is already enough of a danger to most teams, regardless of where he lines up on the pitch.“Very difficult to stop. He’s a world-class player,” Hughton said.“When you have that kind of player, it’s very difficult to get close to them. You have to do that as a team, and we got to grips with them better in the second half.”– Upbeat Blues –It was a satisfactory end to a difficult week for Chelsea after the alleged racist abuse of Raheem Sterling by a supporter in the 2-0 victory over Manchester City and anti-semitic chanting from travelling fans during the Europa League tie away to Vidi in Hungary.The Blues remain upbeat thanks to Hazard’s ninth assist of the season and his ninth goal — his first since early October.After 17 minutes he sped into the penalty area and rolled the ball across goal for Pedro to score.And when Willian sent Hazard through after picking off a wayward pass by Leon Balogun, he took the ball on before slipping it between Ryan and his near post.Chelsea endured a nervous finale after Brighton’s Solly March pulled one back with his first goal of the campaign, with Giroud sent on to add height in defence as much as the attack.“I think we could have won better because we played very well for 60 minutes,” Sarri said.“We conceded a goal in a moment in which we were in full control of the match, and so, in my mind, it was clear in that moment that we have to suffer in the last five minutes with the long balls into the box.“We are not a physical team. With the substitutions, I tried to have a more physical impact for the last five minutes, but it was clear it was very difficult in the last five minutes.“When we have the feeling of being in full control of the match, it’s dangerous for ourselves. Suddenly the level of application and attention is lowered.“The feeling when we are confident is dangerous for us. Complacency? I don’t know.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

CEILI BEO

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first_imgAr an 15ú de Márta ghlac sé scoil ó gach carn den tír páirt i mbabhta ceannais den chomórtas Beo. Bhí cuid mhír imeachtaí i rith an lae ar nós moltóireacht, ceilí mór agus ceolchoirm. Thosaigh an lá leis an moltóireacht- iondaithe ó na sé scoileanna ag cuir a bpointí trasna chuig na moltóirí chun an €5,000 de dhuais a bhaint.I ndiaidh an strús uilig ón moltóireacht, bhain na daltaí sin agus daltaí ó na scoileanna áitiúla sult as an gcéilí. Bhí an RCC plódaithe le daoine agus bhí sport agus spraoi ag gach éinne. Chuir Paddy Mc Kenna, ó 2FM agus a bhí mar mholtóir, ar a bhróga damhsa fósta agus ghlac se páirt sa chraic. Bhí duaiseanna ar fáil dó na damhsaraí is fearr (nó is measa), agus rinne Paddy ‘Twinkle Toes’ Mc Kenna iad a thabhairt amach ag an deireadh. Míle buíochas dó Phaddy as ucht an obair ar fad a rinne sé!Ar an oíche thóg Scoil Phól ó Luimneach abhaile an príomhduais de €5,000 agus gan dabht bhí tuilte acu. Bronnadh duais ar na cúig scoileanna eile fósta, Pobalscoil na Rosann, Coláiste na Carraige, Coláiste na Trionóide, Scoil na mBráithre Phádraig agus Coláiste Naomh Cholumba. Bhí oíche ar dóigh againn uilig agus ní thig linn fanacht don tosacht de chomórtas Beo 2014.  CEILI BEO was last modified: April 15th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Ceili Beolast_img read more

VIDEO AND PICTURE SPECIAL: AN TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY OPENS COLÁISTE AILIGH

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first_imgDDTV VIDEO & PICTURE SPECIAL: TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has officially opened Ireland’s newest school – Coláiste Ailigh in Letterkenny. Mr Kenny praised principal Michael Gibbons for his endeavour in setting in the college in the first place and praised the staff, parents and pupils for being part of “a wonderful school environment.”Click play to watch the school music group perform for Mr Kenny, local TDs and distinguished guests.And below are some pictures from an historic day for the school.      VIDEO AND PICTURE SPECIAL: AN TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY OPENS COLÁISTE AILIGH was last modified: May 12th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Colaiste AliighEnda Kennyofficial openingTaoiseachlast_img read more

Wijnaldum to Liverpool: ‘Don’t whine about paying £25m – we got £15m for Ibe!’

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first_imgREAD MORE: Stoke City have £13 million bid accepted by Liverpool for midfielder Joe Allen 1 As Georginio Wijnaldum edges closer to a Liverpool, fans are yet to be convinced. The Reds are understood to have had an offer worth around £25m accepted by Newcastle for the Dutch midfielder and are now in discussions with the player.The 25-year-old will leave the Championship side after just one season on Tyneside and he won’t come cheap. Wijnaldum, who has 30 caps with the Netherlands, featured in all of United’s Premier League games last term, scoring five and laying on 11 assists. With the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana as creative midfielders, some fans believe manager Jurgen Klopp should be strengthening elsewhere.Whereas others look at Mario Gotze’s return to Borussia Dortmund for around £22m and Paul Pogba’s rumoured mega move to Manchester United and feel they have been short changed. See some reaction from social media, below:center_img Georginio Wijnaldum: The Newcastle United midfielder is set to seal his Anfield switch last_img read more

MAN’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE TO DONEGAL PUB OWNER: ‘I’LL BURN YOU OUT’

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first_imgA man who threatened to burn down a popular Co Donegal bar on St. Stephen’s Day last year, Letterkenny District Court had heard.Johnny McDonagh, 23, with addresses at The Big Isle Letterkenny , and 12a Glendale Manor Letterkenny – threatened the bar owner after he was ejected due to his severe intoxication.The incident took place around 10.40pm on December 26th, 2014 at the Lagan Inn Bar, Manorcunningham. He threatened the proprietor of the public house – and said he would return later and burn down the bar.Garda Emmet JJ Brady was called to the scene and found the defendant in an extremely intoxicated state.He continued his threatening and abusive behaviour outside of the pub towards Gardaí and was arrested.The court also heard two other incidents involving the defendant – on both occasions he was again highly intoxicated.On 20th March 2015, Garda Paul Maguire was called out to a disturbance in Glendale Manor.Upon arrival Garda Maguire found an intoxicated Johnny McDonagh lying on the ground in the estate.Garda Maguire commented that he was talking incessantly and extremely intoxicated and seemed unable to get off the ground.When Garda Maguire tried to help him off the ground, an agitated Mr McDonagh told the Garda to f**k off and kicked out in anger.Garda Maguire was left with no other choice but to arrest Mr McDonagh.Mr McDonagh was again at the centre of a disturbance this time at The Big Isle, Letterkenny, it was alleged.Mrs Kathleen McDonagh contacted Gardaí to attend her home after growing increasingly concerned her son was going to attack her.She informed Gardaí her son was threatening her and she was afraid he was going to cause harm to her and himself.Garda Kevin Hynes attended the disturbance and found a highly intoxicated Mr McDonagh at the scene.The defendant exited the caravan at the halting site and continued his drunken tirade and was arrested.Solicitor for the defendant Frank Dorrian has said his client was a troubled individual who had a serious problem with alcohol.He said that alcohol didn’t agree with him, and that he becomes agitated and aggressive when he consumes too much.However, Mr Dorrian added that his defendant has made good progress in terms of sorting out his life and no longer drinks.He has started playing soccer for his local club and has also returned to boxing – and that lifestyle change has helped the defendant hugely.Mr Dorrian also added that his mother only called the Gardaí during that incident out of fear he would harm himself.She informed Mr Dorrian that he has been much better of late, and had been excluded from the family at one stage due to his behaviour.However, due to the changes he has made he has now been welcomed back into the family and continues to make good progress as he attempts to sort his life out.Judge Paul Kelly adjourned the case until December 21st.MAN’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE TO DONEGAL PUB OWNER: ‘I’LL BURN YOU OUT’ was last modified: October 19th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:arson threatcourtsJohnny McDonaghnewspublast_img read more

TD WELCOMES CARNDONAGH FUNDING BOOST

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first_imgCarndonagh will receive a welcome boost this summer with the completion of two very exciting projects for the town, according to local TD Charlie McConalogue.The Fianna Fáil Deputy said the new public park and the resurfacing of the town car park will help encourage greater activity in the town.“It is fantastic to see these important projects finally becoming a reality,” said Deputy McConalogue. “The community has been waiting a long time for the car park to be completed and I am delighted that it’s finally finished. The car park, complete with disabled parking spaces, is located on the Station Road and has pedestrian access to the town at the Heel Bar.  It will go a long way to easing traffic in the area and will be a welcome boost to local businesses as motorists will be able to stop easily and discover what Carndonagh has to offer.”Deputy McConalogue also noted that work is nearly complete on the Barrack Hill project. The 4 acre site will host a public park with children’s playground, cycle track, walking trails, community allotments and a training shed. The park is jointly-funded by Donegal County Council and the Leader programme for rural development and expansion. It was designed by celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin with the help of over 650 local people and groups who were consulted as part of the process.“Once completed our park will be one of the most advanced in the country,” said Deputy McConalogue. “It is particularly exciting for the community as so many people have been involved in this project from the beginning. The years of hard work have finally paid off and everyone should feel extremely proud.“This park will have something for everyone in the community. It will also be a welcome boost for local tourism, with people likely to travel to Carndonagh to experience our fantastic new facilities. “I am delighted to see these two projects finally become a reality. Carndonagh stands to benefit significantly at a time when the town very much need a boost,” said Deputy McConalogue. TD WELCOMES CARNDONAGH FUNDING BOOST was last modified: June 18th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:TD WELCOMES CARNDONAGH FUNDING BOOSTlast_img read more