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Welcome to the Expotimes News
The President’s Legacy, Our Duty to Protect!
Written by John Baimba Sesay-CHINA   
Thursday, 23 February 2017 21:01

With a date announced for the 2018 general elections, a platform has been provided for parties to officially start the process of ensuring victory at the end. This can be a herculean task for the next one year, politically speaking.

Where there had been political mudslinging and infighting for close to a decade, behind-the scene smokescreen peace process had to be initiated even if for the pleasure of supporters and other stakeholders. Well, can such moves be a clear ruse? Only time will tell!

With huge achievements scored by the governing party, efforts should yet not be reduced in ensuring the people-the masses are informed, told of what has been achieved and what lies ahead should there be a change in political leadership, nationally.

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Insight into what LAB is doing for children
Written by Author Joseph Dumbuya is the Registrar at the Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board   
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 20:52

Since the Legal Aid Board started operations in May 2015, it has amply demonstrated commitment to protecting the rights of children through the provision of legal services, legal education and the introduction of the ‘Child Protection Under the Law’ Programme which focuses on issues of teenage pregnancy, child marriage and harmful cultural practices.

The Legal Aid Act 2012 provides that the Board shall provide legal aid and determine the type of persons and cases for which legal aid may be granted. The draft Legal Aid Guide puts the latter into context. Itprovides that to qualify for legal aid, the applicant’s monthly income should not exceed five hundred thousand leones (Le500,000) which as you may know is the country’s Minimum Wage.

Nationality is not a criteria for qualification for legal aid. Any resident of Sierra Leone who meets the requirement is provided free legal assistance. Citizens of other Mano River Union Countries, Nigeria and Burkina Faso have benefited from the scheme in the past. The Board in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Drivers Union has gone the extra mile to provide free transportation to the former to their respective countries.

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Press Freedom under Siege in West Africa: 30 Media Workers Arrested in 38 Days
Written by Media Foundation for West Africa   
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 20:47

The 30 victims, made up of 15 journalists and 15 media technicians, were arrested, detained and/or assaulted in 10 separate incidents in four countries namely Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Togo. Nigeria recorded six incidents, Cote d’Ivoire recorded two incidents while Guinea and Togo recorded an incident each.

In Nigeria, seven journalists were arrested and detained during the period. In Cote d’Ivoire, six journalists were arrested and detained in a single incident while one journalist each was affected in Guinea and Togo, bringing the total number of journalists affected to 15. In respect of the other media workers, nine staff of a newspaper printing firm were arrested in single incident. In Cote d’Ivoire, six technicians working with the state-owned television station were also arrested in a single incident.

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At Triennial Sessions Of Synod… Anglican Bishop Speaks Against Homosexuality
Written by Expotimes   
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 20:40

The Anglican Bishop of Freetown Diocese Rt. Rev. Thomas A. L. Wilson JP, Co has condemned homosexuality in the Anglican Church.

The Bishop was speaking at the 2nd triennial sessions of Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Freetown yesterday 21st February 2017 at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Freetown.

The triennial which brought together stockholders of the Dioceses officially kicked off on the 21st with the Theme: “This old man must die” and will end on the 24th February 2017.

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HRCSL conducts training on the interpretation of the Gender Justice Laws and the Sexual Offences Act.
Written by Expotimes   
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 20:26
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone(HRCSL) with funding from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Tuesday February 21 organized a one day training at the Lancelot Campbell Memorial Hall for its Commissioners and staff on the interpretation of the three Gender Laws: (The Devolution of Estate Act, Domestic Violence Act and the Registration of Customary Marriages and Divorce Act 2007 and the Sexual Offences Act 2012.
 
 The training was conducted to further enhance the capacity of HRCSL Commissioners and staff to measure the impact of the implementation of the three gender laws and Sexual Offences Act of 2012. Through the measurement of the impact, HRCSL would be capable of cataloging areas that need to be improved upon and thereby advice government. 
 
Section 7 (2) (c) of the HRCSL Act of 2004, states that the Commission shall “review existing legislations, advice government concerning compliance by such legislation with the obligations of Sierra Leone under international treaties or agreements” while (d) also states that the Commission shall “advise government concerning draft legislation, which may affect human rights” and (f) requires the Commission to monitor and document violations of human rights.
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Page 7 of 347

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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Business News

Why Parastatals should be Socially Responsible: the Case of NRA

In Sierra Leone, the notion of corporate social responsibility has always been associated with the private sector. No wonder some people see the active involvement of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) in corporate social activities as strange, and many have opined that a tax collecting body should not be engaged in corporate social responsibility activities.

However, the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on corporate image is immense, even for tax collecting bodies. The perception that tax collectors are monsters vigorously bent on collecting people's earnings with no care for the environment or the vulnerable in the community they operate is evolving. Indeed, many revenue authorities in Africa are today socially responsible.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) in an article in its website argues that "the nature of Revenue Collectors' mandate makes them the hill of the nation such that whatever they do is mirrored and echoed by many".

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Media News

44 Journalists in Beijing for China Development Studies and Media Exchange

The 4th session of the China Africa Press Center (CAPC) Program hosted by the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA) was officially launched on Wednesday 1st March 2017 in Beijing, China. This year’s event is running simultaneously with the China South Asia Center 2017 program. Both programs brought together forty-four journalists from Africa and South Asia.

The program you will give journalists the opportunity to cover major domestic and international events in China such as the upcoming Two Sessions, i.e, the 5th Session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) and the 5th Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese

People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) (similar to Parliamentary sessions in many countries) in March, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May and the 9th BRICS Summit in Autumn this year.

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Commentary

Dr. David Tam-Baryoh: A New Broom in Sierra Leone Politics

Dr. David Tam-Baryoh is a household name in Sierra Leone, mostly because of his“Good Governance” popular radio programme called monologue. In fact the programme has become sopopular that most people prefer to call the presenter “Mr. Monologue”. Recently Mr. Monologue said in two or three of his programmes that he would be going intopolitics. It looked like a joke the first time he said it. But after saying it over threeor four times it is no longer a joke.

So Dr. David Tam-Baryoh is going into politics in 2018. Those who are very closeto him will tell you that this is a fact. The Doctor has made up his mind. Afterdiscussing and editing serious national issues on newspaper pages and on the airwaves for almost twenty five years, hehas decided that he cannot achieve much for the people behind the microphone and the pen. He now wants toengage into something that will make a direct impact on the lives of Sierra Leoneans.

And the Doctor thinks politics is the best way to do this, if we look at politics as“the authoritative allocation of scarce resources within a nation state.” He wants tobe part of the allocation of Sierra Leone’s scarce resources.

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View Point

Precious Minerals, Public Trust and Government’s Openness

By late 2001, the Anti Corruption Commission arrested then Sierra Leone's  transport and communications minister, together with his wife, “for involvement in illegal diamond mining” in Kenema district.  Large quantum of illicit diamonds had been found in their possession, according to a BBC report at the time.

With some diamonds said to have been smuggled out of the country by the minister, the incident happened at a time when the rebel war was raging and the key perpetrators- the RUF were also seriously involved in illicit mining and smuggling. The minister was later jailed in 2003 for two years for illegal possession of diamonds.

Amongst other factors, Sierra Leone’s civil war was fuelled mainly by diamond, specifically “conflict diamonds”- those diamonds that originated from territories controlled by rebel forces (UN definition).

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News - Press Release

LAB resolves dispute over property in Kissy

The Legal Aid Board’s Alternative Dispute Resolution on Tuesday, 7 March 2017 resolved a long standing dispute in respect of a property on Newcastle Street, in Kissy, Freetown between one Mr. Solomon Samba Mansaray and his seventy-seven year old elder sister Madam Marian Kamara who is in the country on holiday from the United States of America.

The two who had not been on speaking terms were reconciled. Both promised to work together in the interest of peace in the family. In this vein, Madam Marian Kamara agreed to cancel a U$ 400 debt owed by Mr. Mansaray. 

While the tension between the two had been lingering several years,Mr. Mansaray decided to report the matter to the Board in Freetown when he got information that Madam Marian Kamara was planning to sell theproperty.   The owner of the property who is the sister of both parties had died over a decade ago without leaving a will.

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Society -Local News

Njala demonstration stretches LAB to the limit

The Legal Aid Board office in Freetown was stretched to the limit following the storming of the office by desperate students ofthe Njala University seeking the intervention of the Board to secure the release of their colleagues who had been arrested and held in police cells around the city.

On a normal weekday, you would expect at least forty people crammed in the Freetown office to seek the services of the Board. The situation on Thursday, March 23 was characterized by mild chaos as too many students wanted to visit the office to provide updates on students arrested by the police.

The team of Legal Aid Board staff comprising Bankole Morgan and Anthony Karim Kamara negotiated the release of five of the six students detained at the Central Police Station. One was not released because of an alleged inflammatory statement to bring the city on its knees.

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Development

U.S. Africa Command Launches a 33-Nation Maritime Exercise: Sierra Leone Maritime “Full Speed Ahead”

During March 23-31, the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) issponsoring “Obangame Express”, an in-port Command Post exerciseand at-sea maritime exercise designed to enhance maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.The exercise includes 33 partner nations, as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). 

The exercise is designed to improve cooperation andinformation sharing, and to refine tactics, techniques and procedures among participating nations.

The “Obangame Express”exercise will be based on realistic modern-day scenarios such as piracy, illegal fishing and hijacking.  During the exercise,Maritime Operations Centers (MOCs) will be challenged to recognize illicit acts and share trackinginformation with other MOCs throughout the region.

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Politics

Ansumana Usman Koroma Urges Sierra Leoneans To Support the Registration Process

The winner of the Pride of Australia Award, Ansumana Usman Koroma popularly known as AUK has called on all Sierra Leoneans within and outside Sierra Leone to support and fully participate in both the ongoing voter registration that has started March 20 to end April 19 2017 and the forthcoming nationwide civil registration process slated April 24 to June 11 2017.

AUK who is a Political and Policy Analyst working in Australia said the mass registration of every citizen is a very important process in the development agenda of the country. He therefore appealed to all Sierra Leoneans to put politics aside and understand that the process would help government consolidate citizens’ data and enhance effective service delivery and improve monitoring of government programmes and policies.

He stressed that the national civil registration authority is created to promote a greater sense of nationalism and common identity.

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