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Archive for August, 2011

Philippines And Sierra Leone Consolidate Relations

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

By State House Press Team :
FREETOWN: The Filipino Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Philippines to the Republic Sierra Leone, Nesto Paladhin has on (Monday) 15th August 2011 presented his letter of credence to President Ernest Bai Koroma.
The ceremony at State House was well attended by government ministers, Filipino diplomatic staff, officials at State House and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Addressing the gathering, the Filipino Ambassador based in Abuja said bilateral relations between the two countries have always remained excellent in socio-economic, political as well as cultural areas.
PHOTO : PRESIDENT KOROMA RECEIVES THE LETTERS OF CREDENCE
He expressed his government’s desire to share sound experiences with Sierra Leone, and commended the Government of President Ernest Bai Koroma for the warm hospitality it has always granted to Filipino citizens working in diverse fields in Sierra Leone.
Mr. Paladhin therefore advocated for the importation of Filipino products into Sierra Leone and implored President Koroma to consider visiting the Philippines in subsequent travels to Asia.
He disclosed that his country is on the verge of establishing a Honourary Consulate in Freetown, adding that both Sierra Leone and the Philippines have enjoyed long standing diplomatic relations.
The diplomat also pledged to continue to work for further expansion of bilateral relations.
President Koroma in response expressed his profound gratitude for the kind sentiments conveyed by Paladhin from President Benigno S. Aquino III of the Republic of Philippines.
He recalled the long history of friendship between the two countries.
‘In the past 20 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the two countries have supported each other on a number of issues. I believe that further strengthening of our mutual ties and cooperation will yield greater results for the governments and peoples of our countries’, said President Koroma.
He therefore disclosed that as developing nations, economic and technical partnerships and networking are viable underpins for strengthened bilateral relations.
The Head of State also called for the expansion of trade between the two countries as he described Sierra Leone as a business friendly country.
President Koroma invited Filipino businesses to seek out Sierra Leone’s huge economic potentials in the agricultural, infrastructural and mining sectors.
‘We believe that these engagements and increased trade between us will accelerate the pace of development of both countries’, he said.
President Koroma said Sierra Leone’s attendance of the Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD) in October 2008 and the Special Non-Aligned Movement Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development (SNAMMM) in March 2010 impacted on the country positively to a very large extent.
He noted that religion has never being an obstacle to national development in Sierra Leone, for which the credit lies with the citizenry of the nation.
The presentation of credentials by the Filipino Ambassador Nesto Paladhin on Monday at State House marks the firm consolidation bilateral relations established over twenty years ago.

Who was this Bambay Kamara: A rejoinder

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

By Peter Lahai

Initially, I was very skeptical about the idea of setting up an inquest into the extra-judicial killings of Bambay Kamara, Yayah Kanu, Salami Coker and 23 others on that faithful day of 29th December 1992. I now have a totally different opinion as I was struck by the coldblooded thinking of the SLPP official mouthpieces; the Unity Now and the Global Times. With such thinking the SLPP clearly comes across as a bunch of sadistic and power thirsty people whose only aim is to get power at all cost. I couldn’t even believe that Sorie Fofanah of all people (although an SLPPian yet continue to give the impression that he’s running an independent newspaper) could allow such rubbish to be published in his paper on the 9th August, instant.

I was particularly taken aback by the statement in the article written by a certain Bantos Bangura; “Bambay Kamara, that scourge of Satan. It was proper that he died and buried without a prelate to bless, and without a noble to adorn. He lived by the sword and died by the sword.” What could be crueler than this is anyone’s guess? The above quote conveys nothing but the unmistakable impression that the SLPP is nothing but a coterie of misguided, power hungry extremist elements and ill-motivated malcontents ostensibly engaged in the criminal act of gloating with bumbling arrogance and impunity over the extra-judicial murder of 26 very important citizens without due process.

Is this government of President Koroma going to sit back and allow such impunity to stand unchecked, especially when the families of the victims have been crying for justice? According to former United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Kofi Anan, “The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace…doesn’t help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand.” But such unfortunate and dastardly statements by SLPP operatives clearly contravene the spirit and letter of not just the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report but also the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.

 

As a citizen of this country I view such awkward statements by the SLPP with utter disfavour and further consider it outrageous, improper, and destabilizing and a blatant violation of the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation. This implies the SLPP has not learnt anything at all from the cries of the families of Bambay Kamara, Salami Coker, Yayah Kanu and others for the establishment of an inquest into the murder of their loved ones. Instead of the SLPP using a matured approach in tackling this issue, it’s busy displaying it’s propensity for human rights violations. But as Kofi Anan noted in his observations of the Waki Report, impunity must not be allowed to flourish unchecked.

 

Resultantly, government should emphatically maintain that on no uncertain terms should the freedom, justice and peace this country is enjoying currently be mutilated or tampered with to suit the convenience of any criminal culprit with respect to becoming president of Sierra Leone.

 

These miscreants and mischief makers, in an inordinate appetite for greed, unbridled arrogance and the glorification of the cult of mediocrity in violation of minimum standards of civilized society, are now assiduously working round the clock to trigger conflict over the issue of an inquest, disrupt the entire forthcoming Presidential and Parliamentary elections and cause havoc leading to post elections power sharing arrangements typical of the Kenyan scenario.

 

Notwithstanding the above, I personally believe there is no cause for concern as this government under the indefatigable President Koroma would neither be taken aback nor for a ride as it will not sit by and allow uncouth wayward bunch of gangsters and rabble rousers to have their own way or to hold our motherland to ransom. God forbid!

 

This country had lacked for far too long, qualitative and meaningful leadership and had suffered from severe social and economic hemorrhage. Now that this government is trying to reverse these lamentable shortcomings by scaling the wall of state apparatus to ensure good governance and democracy with due diligence, steadfastness and dogged determination, the SLPP is busy plotting to take us back. But the people would leave no stone unturned in their desperate search for sustainable infrastructural development, lasting peace and harmony.

FLASHBACK : NPRC should also be blamed for our national disaster

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

August 14, 2011 | 
By Amadu Tarawallie
The National Provisional Ruling Council ( NPRC ) , the military junta that was headed by the present Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) Presidential candidate, Mr. Julius Maada Bio , was no better than the politicians the soldiers claimed had ruined the nation and prompted  their overthrow  of a constitutionally-elected government.  The junta that had come to correct the nation’s ills turned out to be worse than the politicians . Sierra Leoneans complained day and night about the junta’s corruption, dictatorship and misrule and as a last resort went into the streets to protest against plans by the junta to transform itself into a political party, thereby destroying hopes for a return to genuine multi-party democracy. We start bringing you flashbacks of the NPRC era from our COCORIOKO archives.
COCORIOKO : Volume 1, No.11 November 1-9, 2002
 NPRC should also be blamed for our national disaster- Amadu Tarrawallie
A Sierra Leonean national resident in the U.S,
Mr.Amadu Tarrawallie, has blasted his countrymen for
focussing their ire on the civilian governments in
discussing the administrations that ruined Sierra
Leone.
In a telephone discussion with the Editor of this
newspaper on Wednesday night, Mr.Tarawallie said that
one of the worst governments that helped to push
Sierra Leone to her doom was the National Provisional
Ruling Council (NPRC) military government , led first
by Capt. Valentine Strasser and later by Brig .Maada Bio.
http://www.cocorioko.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Soldier1.jpg
He fumed that he was tired of people casting all the
blames on the APC and the SLPP. While he agreed that
both civilian governments had ruined the country, he
was however convinced that the NPRC should also be
blamed extensively for what happened to Sierra Leone.
Mr.Tarrawallie called for all the members of the NPRC
to also be prosecuted for leading the Sierra Leonean
people to their destruction.He said that the NPRC coup
in 1992 which overthrew the APC government was not
necessary at all. He described that coup as not only a
major set-back to peace and stability in the country,
but the cause of the destruction of the genuine birth
of democracy in Sierra Leone.He called the 1996
General Elections “a farce”.
Mr.Tarrawallie explained that the NPRC coup was not
staged for any national interest.Rather, it was a
tribally-motivated coup that helped to make the rebel
war worse and spread throughout the country.
Mr.Tarrawallie stated that when the NPRC rudely
intervened in politics in 1992, the APC had already
set in motion the genuine birth of multi-party
democracy in the country. President Joseph Momoh had
yielded to pleas from the international community to
change over to a democratic system of government.
New political parties had been formed, said
Mr.Tarrawallie and he named them as : The Democratic
People’s Party (DPP), the Unity Party (UP),the
National Action Party (NAP),the Sierra Leone People’s
Party (SLPP), the National Republic Party ( NRP), the
Civil Development Education Movement (CDEM) and the
National Unity Movement (NUM). Mr.Tarrawallie further
stated that an umbrella organization called
UNIFOM(United Front of political movements) had also
been formed to pursue the interests by some of the new
parties to fight the APC. He predicted that the APC
would have lost the General Elections that were in the
cards.That would have been the beginning of genuine
democracy in Sierra Leone.He complained that the NPRC
however intervened and destroyed a great experiment
that could have helped the country.
Mr.Tarrawallie stated further that if this multi-party
system had been allowed to be born, the RUF would have
had no reason to continue fighting and the
international community would have come to the rescue
of the nation. He grumbled that when the NPRC, with
their loud mouths , made the coup however and came to
power,promising to end the war, they also hindered the
chances of intervention by the international community
as no foreign nation likes to deal with a military
government.
Mr.Tarawallie went on to explain that the NPRC did not
only interrupt the democratic process, they made peace
with the RUF impossible as the very soldiers became
rebels themselves and helped to commit atrocities
against the people of Sierra Leone.
“And what did Sierra Leone benefit from the NPRC coup
?” he asked. He answered his own question : “Nothing
!” Instead of saving the nation as they promised, the
NPRC became one of the worst governments ever to rule
Sierra Leone, he grumbled further.He blamed the NPRC
for politically and tribally-motivated murders of
Bambay Kamara, Yaya Kanu, Salami Coker, Kawuta Dumbuya
and others; other vile human rights violations;
institutionalized corruption; violence and mayhem;
tribalism and revenge.He wants the NPRC members too to


Public Disclosure/Disclaimer Statement

Aziz Nabe lays it on the NPRC

Sunday, August 14th, 2011
“The New NPRC chairman , JULIUS MAADA BIO, told the UK and the US Ambassadors in terse conversations that he had taken over, that Strasser was safely out of the country, and that elections would take place as scheduled.”
               John L. Hirsch , Author –Sierra Leone, Diamonds and the Struggle for Democracy.
The above arrogant statement was uttered immediately after Maada Bio had forcefully handcuffed his Boss Capt. Valentine Strasser in a palace coup out of power, and was almost thrown out of the helicopter while they were crossing the Sierra Leone River en route to Guinea. At the Meeting he held with his Uncle Foday Sankoh in Yamoussoukoro on March 25, 1996, 5 days before the official handing over power to Mr. Tejan Kabbah, Maada Bio made a promise to Foday Sankoh  that he would make him deputy Chairman of NPRC if the election was canceled or postponed , or use their influence to assure him the vice presidency of a civilian government. It was apparent Maada Bio was plotting to cancel the election and retain himself in power. But one thing he did not understand in his thick empty skull was that, the people of Sierra Leone ” Bin don Tawa for go ahead with the elections, the Army gree or not ” Therefore, at the Bintumani 11 summit at the Bintumani Hotel in Aberdeen, the army, under instructions by Maada Bio, occupied the Aberdeen Bridge with instructions to disrupt the meeting so there would be a reason for him to cancel or postpone the elections so he could fulfil his desire to hold on to power. Many people were molested and embarrassed, including Mr. Thaimu Bangura, one of the Presidential candidates who was forcefully yanked out of his car and severely assaulted which caused him an emergency retreat to the Hospital.
The civil societies, political parties and the electoral commission were ready to die or let die, but the elections were to be held no matter the consequences.The Chairperson of the Bintumani 11 conference Mrs. Shirley Gbujama played a pivotal role in controlling the conference with transparency, and the electrifying statement of the electoral commissioner Dr. James Jonah that he was prepared to be killed but the forces of democracy would prevail, changed the whole dynamics of the situation.  That bold statement gave the participants at the conference extra vigor and zeal to go ahead and voted their hearts off for an election with an overwhelming vote of 58 for and 17 against.  Those against were those enemies of democracy who were benefiting from the spoils of war and the NPRC. They were demanding for ” Peace before elections “, but the bulk of the representatives of political parties and civil societies were ready to end the 4 bloody and murderous years of Maada Bio and his notoriously infamous NPRC useless caboodle.
But that flimsy promise he made to the ruthless Foday Sankoh that he, Bio, could not fulfilled, opened up a new dimension of atrocities the world have never seen in contemporary wars.  The RUF rebels infiltrated the vulnerable northern region that had no Kamajors, nor government soldiers to protect them and started hacking the limbs of citizens. This was mainly in protestations against Tejan Kabbah’s fraudulent election as President in the past elections, and going up to the run off, they wanted to make sure no body had a hand to vote for Tejan Kabbah whom they percieved was a northerner. All of these problems were caused by the overzealous and incompetent NPRC cabal who thought as rag tag soldiers, they would correct the mistakes of the overthrown One Party APC government of President Joseph Momoh.  Please read below a brief chronicle about the uselessness and atrocious behaviors of the most corrupt and incompetent NPRC administration. Therefore, this Mad Maada Bio have a lot of answers to give for his stewardship of the country under the NPRC bloody coup years.
Mednabe

UN Minister returns from two-nation trip

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

 

 By Solomon Sesay:

The Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu returned to the United States today after a 10-day trip to England  and France. The Minister Plenipotentiary responsible for C-10 and  Information and Public Affairs at the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone  to the United Nations in New York  and family flew back home from a trip that he has described as very rewarding and educative.

kabs kanu 4

KABS KANU AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE

The Minister was in England  during the bitter riots that hit  cities around London . Despite the chaos, and his busy schedule during the tour, the Minister utilized  the opportunity to take his family to see the seat of power  and other fashionable and historic sights in England and France.

We will bring you full reports of the trip in subsequent issues.