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Sierra Leone’s security must be paramount : No chance-taking PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tony Bee, Sydney   
Wednesday, 05 April 2017 11:26

We had enough of our bitter experience from 1991-2002 Foday Sankoh and others brutal civil war in the country. Therefore, the country’s peace and stability must be a top priority. Because we need no more war. Also because of what is currently happening in the world, especially in the Middle-East, Europe, particularly London, America and Africa, especially in Congo, Nigeria, Somalia South-Sudan etc. there should be NO chance taking in terms of the country’s safety and stability. Particularly against those who think and feel that they can only achieve power by inciting violence or war situation at the expense of the gullible general public and the poor students in the country.

The fact is, regardless of whatever one may like to say, Sierra Leone is big than any individual or group of Sierra Leoneans. Therefore, the country is supreme.  Because it is above all Sierra Leoneans. Whether young or old. That is whether you are a politician, human rights activist, journalist or student. Therefore the country’s interest MUST always come first. By putting its peace, security and development above anything else.

Although as citizens, sometimes our governments can wrong us but because of the love for our country’s peace and stability, we can oversight. Sometimes we too can hurt government by disseminating fake news, fake photos against it but it gives blind eyes towards that. Sometimes our political parties, especially the oppositions can wrong us by engaging on chronic political self-destructive infighting instead of fighting for us. But for the sake of peace and development we can oversight. Sometimes our senior civil servants can wrong us by embezzling the country’s wealth. But for the love of our country’s peace, we will pretend not to know anything especially because of the safety of the lives of the poor people.

For the fact that we can only talk about development when there is peace. We can talk about maintaining or forming new political polities when there is peace. We can talk about general elections when there is peace. We can talk about becoming flag bearers of political parties when there is peace. We can talk about going to school when there is peace. We can talk about attending tertiary institutions when there is peace. We can talk about writing articles and fake stories when there is peace. We can talk on TVs and radios’ stations freely when there is peace.

We can talk about going to work when there is peace. We can talk about going to the market to buy and sell when there is peace. We can talk about going to our farms to plant and harvest when there is peace. We can talk about investors when there is peace. We can talk about diamond/s when there is peace. We can talk about travelling throughout the length and breadth of the country when there is peace and if you are deported from abroad, you will only think about going back home when there is peace.

Therefore, peace is a precious GEM that we should NOT compromise with. The fact is, it is our lives saving grace. We have to cherish it. Therefore, we should not allow it to slip from us. In view of that we should protect and promote it in any way possible. The reason being, we know/knew what it means to lose peace. Particularly when our one time most peaceful country in the world, especially in West Africa lost its peace in 1991. We know what it cost us to regain it.

What I am trying to bring to the minds of my readers is, the recent students’ demonstration issue in the country. If anyone tells you that they do not have the right to demonstrate, that individual is a liar. They have the right to make their voices heard. But it depends how they are presenting their issue/s in order to make their views heard. For the fact that freedom of speech goes with responsibility. Because there are certain limitations that being attacked to any freedom on earth, including freedom of expression and association. No one has the right to trample or steps on others rights, especially when trying to exercise his or her own right by any means, including blocking roads, burning others houses, burning their vehicles, towns, villages and the use of weapons. Because others have the right for free movements, the right to live a peaceful life with security. Therefore no one has the right to disturb or obstruct others rights of movement.

That was why I said in one of my recent writings that the FREEDOM concept is a brother term. Therefore, we should always be very careful when trying to interpret it. For the fact that the term its self is a complex one because every individual or group has freedom and also has the right to live a peaceful life. You cannot join a very well attended APC and SLPP campaign train and shout fire or snake because of freedom of speech when there is no fire or snake. Whatever ugly situation that might take place at that moment because of your shouting, you will have to face the consequence of the law for doing that.

Likewise you cannot organise a demonstration or protest and infringing the rights of peaceful people that going about doing their normal business. Burning their vehicles, houses, towns and villages or offices. You will have to face the law if caught for such actions. You have no right to stop others from going about doing their normal duties because you want to exercise your right by demonstration or protest. You have no right to force them to join you. So people should STOP brainwashing the gullible public wrongly about freedom of expression or association. They normally undertake such unpatriotic attitudes and behaviours because of their own selfish gain and political affiliation interest.

However, it was really a traumatic and painful situation for the students. For them to pay their fees without receiving the service for which they paid their monies for. I knew how stressful they were because of such disappointment. The poor parents who are always battling to pay their children’s frees. Only for them to pay such fees and found out that their children could not attend classes for over three months. It was a disgusting situation because of the work of the evil hands politicians. In my view the students have the right to call the attention of the authorities concerned to put forward their concerns. But it seems as if their method of approach on the issue was wrong. As a result, some of them had to fall victims of their own circumstance for misusing their rights and freedom of expression. By blocking roads and allegedly blocking the president environments while others were alleged to have being arrested with weapons.

With such alleged attitudes and behaviours, it seems as if some political evil hands were underneath to influence the already traumatised and emotional students’ proposed peaceful demonstration at their own expense.

The fact is, a peaceful demonstration does not take place in such unpatriotic ruthless and violent way. Any demonstration that seizes the rights of others, especially by disturbing their movement, including blocking their passages, looting their properties,  holding weapons, burning vehicles, burning offices, burning houses, burning towns and villages it is NO longer a peaceful demonstration. Therefore, any responsible government has the right to step in to enforce the law. By using its law enforcing agencies, especially the police to insure that sanity is prevail.

Nonetheless, any loss of life of any Sierra Leonean, is a big loss to the nation. Whether he or she is a student or not. The fact is that individual has a role to play in the nation’s development strive. Therefore, I would like to extend my sincere condolence to the bereaved family that lost their young man during the said demonstration.

However, the students should NOT allow themselves to be used like a remote control robot by wicked ungrateful, unpatriotic and unnationalistic, selfish and greedy desperate for power politicians whether directly or indirectly. They should value their precious lives. Some of those guys (politicians) children are enjoying abroad. You die for ungrateful politicians, you die for nothing. Therefore, they should know that for any action there must be a reaction. It could be good or bad reaction. The country’s national safety and stability comes first.

 

Editorial

2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul

 

The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in  Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of  the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th  IPRA conference in Turkey,  at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th  IPRA  conference in Istanbul  to serve a second term of two years.

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ACC CAPACITATES SIERRA LEONE COMMERCIAL BANK STAFF ON ANTI-BRIBERY AND ANTI-CORRUPTION ISSUES

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on the request of the Management of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) on Thursday 20th July, 2017 commenced anti- bribery and anti-corruption training with staff of the Bank.

The training which was held in the Bank's Conference Room 9th Floor, Christian Smith Building 29/31 Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown attracted over twenty members of the Executive Management.

Addressing colleagues, the Managing Director, SLCB, Idrissa Aloma Kamara disclosed that the Bank has integrated into the Bank's operations anti-corruption measures, such as the development of anti-corruption policy, anti-graft messages inscribed on Bank Statements and sensitization of staff on the dangers of corruption. With all these, the MD stated, it is the view of the Bank that the ACC which is the statutory body responsible for the campaign against corruption be brought in, to provide awareness training on anti-bribery issues for an efficient and effective banking system.

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Freedom of Expression Violations Rise Sharply in West Africa

The incidents of freedom of expression rights violations in West Africa more than tripled in the first quarter (January-March) of 2017.

Over the three-month period, a total of 47 violations were recorded as against 14 violations for the last quarter (October-December) of 2016. The violations recorded in the quarter under review range from arrests and detentions to physical attacks, online violations, shutdown of media houses, censorship, seizure and destruction of property and killings. The 47 violations occurred in 10 out of the 16 countries in West Africa.

These findings are contained in the latest edition of the West Africa Freedom of Expression Monitor, a quarterly report by the MFWA which analyses and highlights freedom of expression developments in the sub-region.

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REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT

A PASSIONATE LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT:  44TH EDITION

REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT
 Your Excellency Sir,
 It’s been six months since I subscribed to my usual publications of this piece. And this is primarily because I have been out of the country for the entire period, and as such would not normally objectively tender a subscription. I do apologize to my readers for this. So having being in Monrovia, Liberia for the recently concluded ECOWAS Summit, I would like to do some analysis on such a historic august body and gathering of this sub-Saharan/West African region.
 
In resume, among other crucial achievements, ECOWAS, through its military apparatus, ECOMOG, played very sacrificial and invaluable roles in bringing peace, security and democratic governance to both Sierra Leone and Liberia during their past civil wars, and most recently ensuring that the Gambian people’s democratic change of government from the notorious dictatorial twenty seven years regime of Yaya Jarmeh, to the current government of President Adama Barrow, through their tactical robust intervention, overseen by President Helen JohnsonSirleaf of Liberia and other ECOWAS Presidents/actors, was enforced. Furthermore, ECOWAS has also spearheaded the enactment of several socio-political, advocacy and economic treaties in the sub region.
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View Point

WHY SIERRA LEONEANS HATE PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT

Honestly speaking Sierra Leoneans are well known for their hospitality all over the world, especially in Africa. But ironically many of them hate each other. But they love foreigners. They have high respect for strangers. But unfortunately they do not have respect among themselves. You can attest this to what is happening in the social media. Where they are showing their pull him down (PhD) syndrome. By castigating their compatriots unnecessarily. Some of them just because of jealousy and envious evil spirit they possess. They prefer to promote foreigners than their own brothers and sisters both in and out of the country.

Day in day out they are insulting each other.They are using all sorts of vulgar languages against each other. And even their own highly respected president in the world, President Ernest Bai Koroma they are insulting him openly. Therefore, it is an open secret that many Sierra Leoneans are not well cultured.

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Ms. Browne wants the Board to hold outreach events in the village to educate the people on issues of law relating to domestic violence, gender, women’s rights, redress mechanisms and support services for victims.

‘We want to benefit from the Legal Aid Board’s Legal Empowerment Programme because there is an urgent need for one in the community,’ Ms. Browne told the Executive Director of the Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles on the phone. ‘The situation is desperate. I am afraid if you do not come in now the situation could spiral out of control.’

The call follows series of referral of victims of domestic violence to the Legal Aid Board office in Freetown. The latest victim sent to the Board is one Baindu who was battered by her boyfriend Borbor Abu in the presence of their one year old son.

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Other beneficiaries include the WAN POT Comedians, members of the National Youth Coalition and six senior officers of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF). The latter includes the highest ranking female military officer, Brigadier Kestoria Kabia and the Director of Gender and Equal Opportunities at the Ministry of Defence Col. Tucker.

The training is aimed at equipping staff and partners with the requisite skills and techniques required for effective and efficient ADR. Moreover, the trainees should be able to use ADR as an alternative to litigation and using effective skill of arbitration, mediation, negotiation and active listening. 

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Development

30 Staff of the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development will go China for Seminar on Economic Planning

Thirty (30) staff of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will depart the shore of Freetown to China on 14th August 2017. The purpose of their trip is to attend a seminar on Medium and Long-Term Economic planning for Sierra Leone. The National Development and Reform Commission of China will organize the seminar from 16th August to 7th September 2017 in the capital city of Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

The Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Freetown, Mr. Shen Xiaokai met with the 30 participants at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED) on 2rd August 2017. In his remarks he told the participants that in December 2016, His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Momodu Kargbo visited China, where they had high level bilateral meetings with Chinese Government Officials. 

He said this seminar is as a result of those meetings. “When China makes a commitment, China will fulfil it” he reiterated. He said The Ministry of Finance is one of the most important ministries in this country, therefore this seminar was designed specifically to meet the needs of the ministry.

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Politics

News from China, June 28th: Youth Affairs Minister addresses 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development in Beijing, China
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Youth Affairs has said, the 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development hosted by the Chinese government should help enhance the ties of friendship and foster the wheels of bilateral cooperation between the two nations and particularly strengthen cooperation in the field of human resource development.
 
Hon. Bai Mamoud Bangura spoke on Wednesday, 28th June, 2017, at the start of the week long Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation, which has brought together participants from various countries, including eight (8) from Sierra Leone.
 
According to minister Bangura, in line with the spirit of friendship and cooperation, the event could serve as an opportunity to jointly define new strategic directions in Sierra Leone’s ties with China and in opening up another episode of friendship and cooperation between the two.
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