It is somehow proving that natural efforts from the Liberian government and its international partners to bring the Ebola virus that is wreaking havoc on the Liberians and others in the Mano River sub-region under control are not yielding the needed results. This has led President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to call on Liberians to look to the supernatural for answers.The Liberian President called on the nation to turn its attention to the Almighty God, whom she said is “the ultimate solution” through fast and prayer, to the Ebola epidemic crisis.President Sirleaf has begun to give due reverence and recognition to God as the Ebola plague, which has claimed over 800 lives in the sub-region, continues to grip the nation.According to an Executive Mansion release, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is calling on all Liberians to observe three days of National Fast and Prayer, beginning Wednesday, August 6 through Friday, August 8, 2014. Fasting is to start from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. The three-day fast and prayer is an effort to appeal to God to heal the land.“Acknowledging our devout gratitude to God for our existence as a Free, Sovereign and Independent State, and relying on His Divine Guidance for our survival as a Nation, I call on all Liberians to observe three days of National Fast and Prayer to seek God’s face to have mercy on us and forgive our sins and heal our land, Liberia, as we continue the fight against the deadly Ebola virus,” the Liberian leader urged.She said this call is indicative that God is the ultimate solution to this crisis and source of Liberia’s deliverance as a nation, the release noted.The observance of the National Fast and Prayer is being held under the auspices of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC).The Religious Advisor to the President, Rev. Jervis Witherspoon said to climax the National Fast and Prayer on Friday, August 8th, a team of religious leaders will meet at the old Providence Baptist Church on Broad Street to lead prayers for the nation during the last three hours, beginning at 3:00 p.m. Rev. Witherspoon is also a member of the LCC,He indicated that state broadcaster, the Liberia Broadcasting System, and other radio stations will carry a simulcast so that those who are unable to attend the service in person can tune in and monitor the climax of the National Fast and Prayer Service.Religious leaders will offer prayers for the spiritual, moral and physical restoration of the land, including prayers for the elimination of Ebola and other pestilences from the country; prayer for comfort and strength for hurting families who have lost loved ones; prayer for healing and restoration of quarantined individuals in the land; prayer for the protection of health workers and other volunteers in harm’s way as they fight the deadly Ebola virus; prayer against any form of witchcraft activity used to spread Ebola virus; as well as prayer for God’s intervention in the sub-regional counties (Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia) affected by the Ebola virus.“We are calling on all Liberians to join in this time of true national repentance and prayer against the Ebola virus,” Rev. Witherspoon urged his fellow compatriots, adding, “We believe, in accordance to the scripture, that God will hear our prayer, forgive our sins and heal the land.”President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is wasting no time in taking advantage of this historic promise that has been enjoyed by many including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and the state of Israel that was rescued many times from the numerous enemies that surrounded it.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Mrs. E. Massah Carlon, wife of the deceased;Children of the deceased;Members of the bereaved family;Madam President and present and past officials of Government;Bishop Jonathan B. B. Hart and other members of the Clergy;Distinguished Fellow Liberians:As Dean of the Cabinet, I have often been given the somber responsibility of paying tribute on behalf of the President and Government to the memory of some of our finest sons and daughters, people who throughout their life spared no moment to demonstrate diligence, patriotism and integrity. And each time we have to pay tribute to a fallen statesman or stateswoman, we feel a sense of overwhelming grief as we struggle to find answers to the questions, “Why him?”, “Why her?”, “Why now? But the consolation we get comes from believing that God who has the power to give liberally also has the power to take at will.We can mourn for it is proper to do so, but we must not question the Almighty God for He knows best. In the passing of Honorable Dr. Simeon Jabaru Carlon, our country mourns a devoted patriot; the Unity Party mourns a stalwart leader,; his wife and children will forever miss a loving and faithful father and husband; his family and friends nurse profound grief, and the people of Grand Cape Mount County have lost an eminent son.Honorable Carlon had profound love for his country and a deep sense of humility, which propelled him to always place himself at the service of his country and to strive and contribute, like many others, to building a nation based on democracy, peace and progress.As first Chairman and Vice Standard Bearer of the Unity Party (UP) during the 1985 General and Presidential Elections, he was well versed in the politics and social dynamics of our country but never did he ever permit his political beliefs and alliances to create a stonewall between himself and people of other persuasions. His love and friendship transcended the confines of the party and embraced every Liberian across party, tribal and religious lines. He must have been a very proud and fulfilled man to have seen during his life time the UP rise to state power, for this was what he endeavored to achieve for many years.Throughout his public service to the government and people of Liberia, which spanned more than forty years and most of which was spent in the field of education, he proved himself competent, effective, practical and dependable. His professionalism and passion for impacting quality education was made manifest beyond the borders of Liberia through the Mano River Union (MRU) when he competently served as Deputy Director and Coordinator for Curriculum Planning of the MRU.I am certain that in many quarters of our country today there are grief-stricken hearts and mournful faces because Honorable Carlon gave an enormous lifetime service to his people. Whether it was at the University of Liberia, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and Sports, the William V.S. Tubman College of Sciences and Technology now William V.S. Tubman University or at the Governance Commission he led a life that earned for him a stately reputation, one which is stellar and very well deserved.Life is a multiple-lane highway that empties into one toll-gate Death. So to the grieving wife and members of the bereaved family, we say kindly accept our deepest condolences for the loss of your husband, father, and brother. To the resilient people of Grand Cape Mount County, we say sorry for the loss of one of your eminent sons.On behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Government of Liberia, we urge you to be strong and take succor in the Lord for Dr. Carlon’s time for confronting life’s trials and torments on these terrestrial planes have ended and through the eyes of faith, we know that he has ascended to a place of ethereal bliss and infinite calm.Now on behalf of President Sirleaf and the Government of the Liberia, we deposit these floral designs on the mortal remains of our honored dead in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the blessed Holy Spirit.May his soul and the souls of all faithful departed rest in perfect peace and may light perpetual shine on him.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dear Editor,Justice Claudette Singh Ret’d, the new Chairman of GECOM, who took over the reins of that troubled entity on July 29, 2019, is seemingly heading for dangerous waters. Facing the urgent task of executing General Elections in a tight timeframe, Justice Singh has been taking things nice and slow. In any other circumstance, I would be the first to say let’s give the new Chairman time to get her feet wet. However, with each passing day it means the Constitution is being violated further.Recall that elections were constitutionally due in March 2019 following the successful passage of the NCM on December 21, 2018, by the Opposition. Recall also that the Govt had brought spurious legal challenges grounded in nonsensical mathematics, compliments Nigel Hughes, and were seemingly aided by the Appeal Court and the CCJ, the latter which proved timid, to delay the constitutionally-bound elections.Even an ordinary person would have grasped the dire situation at GECOM. With two Government Commissioners seeking to delay the elections and two Opposition-led Commissioners seeking to expedite the elections in accordance with the Constitution, even a less intelligent person would have known the situation requires swift and decisive action.Instead, the new Chair has been slothful and tentative and her protracted decision to use data from the obviously flawed HtH is one which actually creates more problems and one which will cause even more delays. Is it a mere coincidence that so far everything the Chairman has done is in sync with the Government’s efforts to delay and frustrate free and fair elections being held in Guyana?Looking back, I think Jagdeo, Leader of the Opposition, was reasonable in his thinking to nominate Justice Singh, who has been historically rigid and upright in her application of the law, being dubbed “Iron Lady” and all, and expected not only the same attitude but swift and complete adherence to the rule of law and Constitution. Moreover, he must have reasoned that a Judge of her calibre would understand the need within our crime ravaged society and one that has seen decades of rigged elections under the PNC to uphold the law and to be seen doing so.Sadly, this has not been the case thus far and as it stands more than a month following her appointment, we are nowhere closer to knowing when elections will be held. The Iron Lady is dangerously on the brink of joining the dubious duo of Patterson and Bollers, ex-Judges who have violated the Constitution and rule of law in Guyana while at the helm of GECOM.Sincerely,Ravi Ram
…“they are indispensable in the public service”By Devina SamarooThe public service has a crucial role to play in transforming Guyana, Minister of State Joseph Harmon charged to a roomful of administrative professionals who were eager to begin their training in public service efficacy on Wednesday morning at the Impeccable Banquet Hall, Brickdam.The event, which was organised by Zoywins Consultancy, under the theme “Shine like a Diamond”, coincides with worldwide celebrations of Administrative Professionals’ Day in recognition of the valuable contributions of administrative staff to the success of organisations.Both Private and Public Sector workers from across seven administrative regions gathered to participate in the seminar where they were brief on areas related to the development of cooperative style, strategies to prevent conflict and master cooperation and efficiency; maintenance of healthy lifestyles; among others.In delivering his opening remarks, Minister Harmon underscored the importance of being involving in training programmes of thisMinister of State, Joseph Harmon delivering remarks at the opening of the Administrative Professionals Workshop at the De Impeccable Banquet Hallnature, noting that the knowledge gained may attribute to career advancements and increased earnings.Harmon, who has responsibility for the public service, emphasised that administrative staff are an indispensable part of the delivery of public/ customer care service, and as such, he noted that it is most advantageous for organisations to invest in the proper training and development of these individuals.“Administrative professionals or secretaries are particularly important to this process in a number of ways, specifically, many of you, if not all of you, are the first point of contact between your organisation and the public. You are the face of you department or agencies or companies in which you work,” he explained, highlighting that as a consequence, administrative professionals contribute significantly to the way in which their employers are perceived.Harmon even shared a personal experience to support his assertions.“When we came into office under the coalition Government, I had the responsibility of organisation work of the Ministry of the Presidency, and from day one up to maybe day 40/50, people were coming to see me on a daily basis and sometimes by the time they get to me, they would have gone through sometimes two layers or three layers of persons and sometimes some of them come in vexed because they say “the people give me a hard time before I get to you”; and so I have been at pains to point out to those members in the public service that they are the faces of that administration, these are the people that interact with the public on a daily basis; therefore, if you are not courteous and you do not treat the public well, by time they come to me to deal with their problems, I have to unwind them, I have to spend an extra five or 10 minutes telling them that this is not the kind of administration we will have,” Harmon related.On this note, he charged that administrative professionals ought to be considered the backbones of organisations.“Your day to day work is the foundation of your organisations’ accomplishment. You take care of the details and the success achieved with respect to task undertaken… in reality, it cannot be done without you,” he stated.In further underscoring the importance of the public service in transforming the country, Harmon reminded that in delivering quality service, administrative professionals must strive to look beyond political, racial and religious persuasions.“It does not matter which political party you voted for… public servants should deliver with strict neutrality and integrity,” he noted.In conclusion, Minister Harmon urged the participants to work assiduously both individually and collectively, not only in striving for self-development but to bring about massive changes in the quality of public service being delivered in Guyana.“You are the agents of change,” he charged.
President David Granger on Friday met with Professor Ivelaw Griffith at the Ministry of the Presidency. Professor Griffith, who was recently appointed as the tenth Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana (UG), said that he sees his new position as an opportunity to give back to his country.During the meeting, President Granger pointed out that there is not a single aspect of the university’s administration that does not require attention. He also assured of the Government’s commitment to providing financial and other support to restore UG to a position that is befitting of the nation’s premier tertiary education institution.Meanwhile, the new Vice-Chancellor has already drafted a 12-point plan that is aimed at building a wider portfolio of resources for the university. He said while Government’s support is essential, the alumni body, the diaspora and the international and business community can provide much-needed support.“UG needs much more than the Government can provide… We must find enterprising ways to make money,” he said.Professor Griffith, who was the first person in UG’s history to graduate with distinction in Political Science in 1980, will officially assume office as Vice-Chancellor on June 14. He replaces Professor Jacob Opadeyi.Earlier this month, the university inducted Professor Eon Nigel Harris as its ninth Chancellor.
By Indrawattie NatramSeveral pumps throughout Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) are currently without fuel and according to Region Two Chairman Devanand Ramdatt, the pump stations require closer monitoring.Contaminated fuel at Three Friends Pump StationRamdatt made this disclosure at the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) statutory meeting, which was recently held in the boardroom of the RDC at Anna Regina. Addressing the RDC, Ramdatt said he received numerous complaints about several areas experiencing flooding and upon his visits to pump stations, most pumps were left unattended. He also said that fuel for the pumps was not being supplied in a timely manner and, as such, it was having a negative effect on residents.Ramdatt is of the view that the cost of fuel was a huge investment on the Administration’s part and, as such, there should be proper monitoring at the pump sites. He informed Councillors that several irregularities have been unearthed, especially at the pump stations, and noted some of the pumps were without batteries, while the fuel supplied was mixed with other substances in some instances.“Fuel investments are huge investments for the Administration; the stations are multimillion-dollar investments, and, as such, persons need to be more responsible,” Ramdatt said. He suggested a security firm be contracted to monitor the pump stations.The Taymouth Manor pump, he said, has mechanical issues and another pump he visited was out of fuel. He also recommended a more united approach whereby administrative heads take a stronger position as well as enforce disciplinary action against workers who create flaws in the system.At that time, Coalition Councillor Naitram said that he recently visited the Three Friends Pump Station where he saw the pump operator cleaning the fuel tank. He said upon investigation, he found that the fuel was contaminated with “95 per cent of water”. As such, he called for a thorough investigation into the quality of fuel that is being transported from the Region’s stores to the pump stations. He alleged that often water is mixed with the fuel; hence, the pumps developed mechanical issues owing to the low quality of the fuel.Councillors also called for a closer monitoring process from when the fuel leaves the RDC compound to the pump stations.
World Teachers’ DayEducation Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine said teachers must be given the right training in content, methodology and outlook in order to deliver quality education to children.If the education system fails, nothing else is likely to succeed and, therefore, if teachers fail, then the system would inevitably crumble also, the Minister noted.Education Minister,Dr Rupert RoopnaraineActing Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson“It is, therefore, imperative that teachers succeed, since they are the very foundation of the education system,” he said, noting that it was important to identify the right calibre of persons to be teachers.“They must be given the right training in content, methodology and outlook. To that must be added the correct environment and the requisite terms and conditions of service,” he expounded, highlighting that those imperatives together comprise the complete approach to ensuring that the teachers deliver quality education.“It is to the provision of the aforementioned that the Government commit, within its means, in its quest to provide quality education and its effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to which it has committed,” he said.In 1994, UNESCO proclaimed October 5 to be World Teachers’ Day, celebrating the great step made for teachers on October 5, 1966, when a special intergovernmental conference convened by UNESCO in Paris adopted the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, in cooperation with the ILO.This recommendation sets forth the rights and responsibilities of teachers, as well as international standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, teaching and learning conditions. Since its adoption, the recommendation has been considered an important set of guidelines to promote teachers’ status in the interest of quality education.Roopnaraine stated that the 2016 Teachers’ Day is the first World Teachers’ Day to be celebrated within the new Global Education 2030 Agenda adopted by the world community one year ago.He stated that this year’s theme, “Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status”, embodies the fundamental principles of the 50-year-old Recommendation, while shining a light on the need to support teachers as reflected in the agenda’s SDGs.A specific education goal, SDG4, pledges to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”; therefore, Roopnaraine stated teachers were not only pivotal to the right to education, they were key to achieving the targets set out in SDG4.He added that this approach recognised that each child mattered and that the involvement of all of the stakeholders was also an imperative for the delivery of quality education.“Also in the pipeline are the curriculum review process and the report of the Commission of Inquiry into the education system, both of which will inform the revision of the education sector’s strategic plan,” he said.The Minister stated that the Government has recommitted itself to themaintenance of a professional teaching service that can assure the nation of quality education, the production of rounded and patriotic citizens and ultimately, the development of society.Acting Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson, in his remarks, stated thatteachers spend a significant amount of time with their students and fill gaps left by temporarily or permanently absent parents, often times performing critical roles as counsellors and confidants.“In many cases, you functioned as conveyors of non-academic (life) skills such as trust, respect, accountability and conflict resolution, all of which contribute to the creation of well-rounded students who will positively impact all spheres of society,” he said.
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Stalwarts of the Liberian Senate, including Pro Tempore Gbehzohngar Findley, John Ballout and Oscar Cooper, stooped to the lowest and almost broke down in tears in the Joint Chambers of the Legislature Thursday, February 20, evening, as they unsuccessfully appealed to the striking health workers to end their indefinite strike and go back to work while that body worked with the Executive to ensure that their demands are met to the letter.“We know we have not paid the needed attention to your plight as we should have, and that is wrong; we are appealing to you as those who take care of our mothers, fathers and children to see reason and help us put a halt to the suffering of our ailing citizens,” Margibi County Senator Cooper, almost in tears, repeated. But the health workers represented by Messrs Joseph Tamba, President, and George Williams, Secretary General, remained resolute and vowed in equally pathetic tones that they have given the Legislature sufficient time since February, 2013, to address the salaries and other needs of health workers, but they (Senators) failed to take them seriously.“What do you want us to do? Health Minister Walter Gwenigale does not have any respect for us and as a result, has failed to address our plight; instead he has gone ahead and dismissed 22 of our colleagues, who are from the leadership of the health workers. We are willing to go to work if Minister Gwenigale signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that he will not threaten our colleagues and will reinstate those he has already dismissed, “Secretary Williams declared.The workers’ secretary general continued: “Honorable Senators, we took your message and appealed for calm. We told health and social welfare workers your preparedness to work with them in making Senator Jallah’s recommendations a reality. They have agreed in principle to return to work, however, they will have me to inform you that given what they do know about the current Health and Social Welfare Ministry authorities, that certain the following be observed: that an MOU be signed that will protect and guaranteed them all; that the Ministry of Health makes a media- pronouncement—both electronic and print—of the withdrawal of dismissal letters, and the release of their January and February incentives and salaries; and that there be a timeline of Senator Jallah’s committee recommendations provided that will give us vivid indications of when and how we can see that these things are being done. We thank you for your kind intervention.” Immediately following the reading of that statement, the eight Senators present informed the over 30-man delegation of health workers that everything was already put in place for a speedy implementation of their demands, but that they (workers) need to call on their colleagues in the various counties to cut off the strike while another meeting that will include the Senators and Ministry of Health, and health workers are held this morning.The health workers refused to bulge and maintained that as much as they have respect for the Legislators and their willingness to help resolve the impasse, the same can’t be said for Minister Gwenigale and his deputies; hence, they vowed to stick to their demands.Some of the workers told our reporter that the situation now calls for the intervention of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who is said to be winding up a three-day visit to Lofa County. Others think that members of the House of Representatives, who have larger constituencies and have direct dealings with electorates, will now take over from where the Senate left off.Complaints by health workers about their plight came to the knowledge of the Senate in February 2013, and a committee headed by Gbarpolu County Senator Armah Jallah was mandated to investigate and make recommendations to plenary (all members in attendance).But as one of the Senators said on Tuesday, when news of the health workers reached the floor of the Senate: “We did not make appropriations for the health workers, but were more concerned about ourselves.”BONG COUNTYMeanwhile, for the fifth day running, health workers in Bong County have resolved not to return to work until their demands are adequately addressed by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Government of Liberia. At a mass meeting at the Dolokelen Gboveh High School in Gbarnga on Thursday, February 20, the health workers through their vice president of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia Bong County Chapter, Viakandeya Forkpa, vividly stated that their concerns are not limited to salary increment and improved working conditions, but the reinstatement of their dismissed colleagues and the resignation of Health Minister Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale along with two of his principal deputies, including Dr. Bernice Dahn and Cllr. Vivian Cherue.Mr. Forkpa in an interview with this paper said they have not received any communications from their national leadership in Monrovia to call on them to cut off their strike action.The Bong County health workers in their meeting strongly warned their colleagues, who they termed as “cowards or charlatans,” not to return to work despite government’s persistent threat to dismiss those who will not go back to work.“We will not go back to work until the Ministry of Health and the Government of Liberia can see reason to address our concerns. We pity the conditions of our kinsmen but let us receive our just benefits that belong to us” Mr. Forkpa emphasized.Government Health Workers in Bong County on Monday February 17, joined their colleagues across the country to institute an indefinite strike action.The health workers are demanding for employment, improved salary as well as better working conditions and the resignation of the trio.The meeting was attended by Bong County Superintendent Selena Polson Mappy, the Catholic Justice and Peace Regional Coordinator Jesse Cole, Civil Society Organizations, the National Teacher Association of Liberia Bong County Branch and some members of the traditional elders.In a brief statement, Bong County Superintendent Selena Polson Mappy appealed to the strikers to go back to their places of assignment as government is doing everything to address their demands if not all.The Bong County Superintendent reminded the aggrieved health practitioners to always remain constructive in their engagement but not to follow the path of violence as a course of resolving problems.Superintendent Mappy encouraged the health workers to for all times open their doors for dialogue with the Government of Liberia.In an interview with this paper via mobile phone from Monrovia on Thursday February 20, the newly elected Chairman of the Bong County Legislative Caucus, Senator Henry W. Yallah, said the Senate along with representatives of the strikers and the Ministry of Health agreed on Wednesday February 19, in a special session of the Senate to return to work while negotiations are being concluded.Senator Yallah informed this paper that both parties concurred that the dismissed health workers be reinstated and the US$55 deducted from the health workers be placed in their accounts.Health Minister Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale recently dismissed about 22 health workers in the wake of the on-going strike action instituted by aggrieved health workers across the country and promised to fire all the little over 4000 health workers as of Friday February 21, 2014 if they remain defiance to return to work.Hospitals in Bong County still remain closed. However, few medical doctors are attending to critical patients. Discussions continue…Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) has joined the national campaign against the “deadly Ebola virus” with a planned match insight, the party announced Thursday, July 17, in Monrovia.In conversation with the Daily Observer at the party’s headquarters CDC vice chairman for Operations, Mulbah Morlu, announced that due to the sensitivity and spread of the Ebola virus, “CDC will on Monday, July 21, stage a big anti-Ebola match to create awareness on the virus.”According to Morlu, the intent is to sensitize citizens about the danger the virus poses to the livelihood of the people, and as such, “more preventive measure should be taken in order to curb the spread.”Morlu disclosed that the match will begin at Point Four Junction and ends at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare offices in Congo Town. CDC political leader and Peace Ambassador George M. Weah and other government officials including members of the Legislature are expected to join the walk against Ebola, CDC said.Explaining further, Morlu encouraged all Liberians regardless of political or religious affiliation to join the fight, adding; “This is about saving lives and there’s no need to play politics with this event.”CDC attaches serious importance to this situation, Morlu maintained. He called on Liberians to follow the preventive measures announced by the Health Ministry in an effort to avoid spreading the “deadly virus.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)