19 01 20

first_img787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano CJ Perez once again imposed his might, racking 16 points, three rebounds, two assists, and a steal, but this time, he allowed his teammates to also flourish in the spotlight.Jaycee Marcelino fired 13 markers, six boards, and two dimes, MJ Ayaay went on a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc to wound up with 13 points and nine rebounds, and Ralph Tansingco also had 13 markers and five boards in the win.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Lyceum also matched its longest winning streak at four, equaling the feat set under coach Bonnie Tan in 2013.Still, coach Topex Robinson downplayed the win, saying that his players simply manned up to the task on a night when with Arellano fired blanks. Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur Quarters: 20-11, 40-30, 63-49, 99-65. For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube View comments OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson “We just caught them in a bad afternoon and we took advantage. The players were playing well and they’re up to the challenge,” he said.Zach Nicholls topscored for the Chiefs with 12 points on a paltry 4-of-11 shooting from the field, while Kent Salado was limited to 11 markers, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals in the defeat.The Scores:LYCEUM 99 – Perez 16, Jc. Marcelino 13, Ayaay 13, Tansingco 13, Nzeusseu 8, Ibanez 8, Jv. Marcelino 8, Caduyac 6, Serrano 5, Pretta 3, Marata 2, Baltazar 2, Liwag 2, Santos 0.ARELLANO 65 – Nicholls 12, Salado 11, Concepcion 9, Canete 7, Meca 6, Alcoriza 5, Dela Cruz 4, Enriquez 4, Flores 3, Ongolo Ongolo 2, Rivera 2, Abanes 0, Taywan 0, Villoria 0, Padilla 0.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Jaycee Marcelino. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netContinuing its dream streak this NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament, Lyceum coasted to a 99-65 thumping of Arellano to stay unscathed Tuesday in the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.It was a complete domination for the Pirates as this season’s dark horses showed no mercy against last year’s runner-up,  pulling away from the Chiefs, 63-49, in the third quarter before pushing the lead to as high as 35, 99-64, late in the game.ADVERTISEMENT Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets MOST READ Engel, Davidson homer as White Sox end 9-game losing streak LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

19 01 20

first_imgMargot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Photo from ONE ChampionshipBANGKOK — There’s no doubt in ONE Strawweight Champion Yoshitaka Naito’s mind that Alex Silva is a good fighter.After  the Brazilian fighter submitted  fellow Japanese Hayato Suzuki last month, Naito gets his chance against the hungry SIiva at ONE: Warriors of the World Saturday here.ADVERTISEMENT “I am confident in my abilities and that I will successfully defend my belt.”Meanwhile, Silva (6-1) will be riding  the  wave of momentum after emerging the victor in his past five fights. And in his mind, he has no doubt that his time to be the champion is now.“It’s most important that before you are even a champion, you have a good personality, and a good character, that you need to be humble. I’m grateful for the opportunity to challenge for the title, and will do my best to take home the win on Saturday night,” he said.Aside from the main event, the card will also see hometown bet Shannon Wiratchai facing off against Rasul Yakhyaev figure in a ONE Lightweight Championship title eliminator.Four Filipinos are also scheduled in the card, bannered by the return of Team Lakay bet April Osenio making her return to the cage against Xiong Jingnan.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Also seeing action are model-turned-fighter Rome Trinidad taking on Rika Ishige, Jimmy Yabo clashing against Sagetdao Petpayathai, and Rabin Catalan fighting Kritsada Kongsrichai.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny “Hayato is known as one of the best wrestlers in Japan, so I was shocked to see him lose against a jiu-jitsu champion,” Naito said.Naito (12-0) is putting his title and his undefeated record on the line in the main event at Impact Arena here.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSBrian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defenseWhile Silva was able to stun Suzuki in their Manila clash, Naito believes he’s different beast for the 35-year-old challenger.“Alex Silva’s grappling is extremely good. Silva’s strength is of course his ground techniques, but his striking is probably not a big threat. Silva has never gone five rounds, so if it goes the distance, it will be my time,” said Naito, who is reeking of confidence going into his title defense. Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson ONE: Jimmy Yabo shrugs off losing skid, eyes redemption MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

14 01 20

first_imgHer Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of LiberiaHis Excellency Joseph Nyema Boakai, Vice President, Republic of LiberiaMr. Speaker and Members of the National LegislatureHis Honor, Chief Justice and Members of the Honorable Supreme CourtDean and Members of the CabinetDoyen and Members of the Diplomatic CorpsChief of Staff and Members of the Armed Forces of LiberiaHeads of Public Corporations, Academic InstitutionsTraditional Leaders, Elders, Eminent Citizens, Women, Youth, StudentsDistinguished Guests, Ladies, GentlemenMembers of the PressPeople of LiberiaAllow me to join all of you in paying tribute to one of our own soldiers who succumbed to the cruel hands of death recently and others who fell victim to the EBOLA Tragedy: General Abdul Rahman, Former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia. General Abdul-Rahman was a Soldier’s Soldier: A humble man but a man of candor. I am honored by the privilege of interacting with him.  I got to know him not as a soldier but as a friend. He was known as a soldier only when he wore his military uniform.  This “Great Liberian” deserves a memorable honor.Honorable Minister of Defense, Chief of Staff and Men and Women of the Armed Forces of Liberia: May I now ask, to what temptation have I been invited?Today is your natal day marking 107 years of your existence and 58 years since this day was set aside by the National Legislature to recognize you all as the defenders of our sovereignty.I admire your courage to invite me to your birthday celebrations. I am one of your most vocal and un-repenting critics; and in a country where critics and those who dissent are considered enemies only to be excluded, demonized and to a large extent condemned as a heretic, I see this as a rare act of courage, humility and a new sense of the definition of power and authority. Most often, you invite your friends and well-wishers to your birthday celebrations. Although, in this case, this is a national celebration, you appear determined to entertain diverse opinions on how you can better serve our country and restore the confidence of our people: This underlines your commitment to reform and renewal.Over the years of my career, I have supported the demilitarization of the state and campaigned against increased military expenditures and architecture at the expense of other social services. At my Truth and Reconciliation Hearings few years ago, I called for the dissolution of the army and frowned on huge US support to the Liberian Military over the years and during the restructuring phase suggesting that similar resources be diverted to health and education as well as other social services. We have an opportunity to now reflect together.This position is borne out of your legacy and your history: A history of fear, lack of trust, and suspicion. Fear because the military have always represented the power of a repressive government and therefore ordinary citizens are often fearful of any increased presence of the armed forces.  What I call the “Sins of your Fathers”.Some Historical ReflectionsWe are reminded of the origin of our military and the role it has played historically as we constructed our nation. As you may be aware, the forerunner of the Armed Forces of Liberia was the Liberia Frontier Force.The Liberian military formally started as the Liberian Frontier Force in 1908. It was a “national constabulary” mandated to protect international borders, maintain public order, assist in the State’s expansion into the “hinterland regions” and in the collection of public taxes (hut tax). There is extensive documentation of widespread abuse and untold injustices to rural Liberians for many decades. In 1909, the National Legislature enacted the LFF Reorganization Act, mandating that the military force shall be utilized in scientific service such as the mapping of the interior, the exploration of rivers and watersheds and laying out of roads from the interior to the coast and perform such other duties of a scientific and economic character as the President may require to be done.In 1962, the Engineer Battalion was created in order to carry out the scientific and engineering duties. The Engineer Battalion participated in building of Farm- to-Market roads and sponsored by Government in the 1970s. I have seen some of their work in various parts.In 1981, Agriculture Battalion was also created in order to produce food not only for the Army but also for the entire civilian population. Great vision, Great Ideas! No Sustained Action!Historians documented that LFF was alienated from our people and was used against them. The LFF did not serve the interest of the vast majority of Liberians.  Instead, it preyed upon them. Its successor, the AFL did not do better. The military therefore was seen as a vehicle of the political establishment using brute force and naked power to penetrate the interior of Liberia. The character of the military was then a place for societal rejects and way-wards. Its recruitment procedures were questionable. Our people were afraid of the national army because it visited upon them, mayhem and destruction.Though reforms were attempted in the last decades of the 20th century, the new Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) remained for long time a tool for regime (as opposed to State) security.In 1980, the AFL conducted a coup d’état that resulted in a military dictatorship.  It polarized our nation and people. Most, if not all of us, are witness to this history. We have all learned that GUNS DO NOT PROTECT OR PROMOTE DEMOCRACY. GUNS TERRORIZE DEMOCRACY!As a young student, I confronted the military on several occasions, was arrested and detained, my colleagues were arrested and tried by the military tribunal and then the August 22, 1984 invasion of the University of Liberia by the military: an attack on academic freedom.  During the civil war, our army emerged as a faction. It reportedly committed equally untold atrocities as the warring factions.Over the years of my personal development and my personal understanding of the development of the Liberian State, the military has been a key factor in this development process. As a state initially developed on a false premise, the military found itself a liability rather than an asset to our development process.So we cannot ignore our history as we set out to rebuild our nation and thus the need to deliberate on the role of the Army in our current dispensation.I therefore applaud your rare act of courage and humility to invite me both as a sign of redemption, a sign of reconciliation and commitment to reforms as I endeavor to share my thoughts and reflection on theTOPIC: “ENHANCING THE CAPABILITES  OF THE ARMED FORCES OF LIBERIA IN HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE AND DISASTER RELIEF OPERATIONS”The Armed Forces of Liberia must be commended for this new thinking.  A vision built on such a strong premise will certainly transform the AFL into a modern army fulfilling all of the dictates of both domestic and international standards.The restructuring program of our army started few years ago and was further pursued under the Accra Peace Agreement of 2003. This process continues and now forms a part of the overall security and defense sector reform programs. Hence, this new thinking must be informed by varying factors.Post Conflict Liberia: A national call for reforms: a new structure, policy and program, new progressive thinking and policy initiatives including compliance to new regional and international protocols.Post Coup Africa: The universal rejection of unconstitutional changes of governments and the threat of sanctions on erring nations. The army is now compelled to focus on other issues of state and subordinate itself to civilian authorities in the consolidation of democracy. The growing influence of the International Criminal Court and International Justice Framework is also a factor.3. A Global demand for a more comprehensive security/defense sector transformation program, which takes into account a policy framework, vetted nationally with various stakeholders; new recruitment strategy, and the strengthening of the capacity of the institution. This new approach demands new ideology and philosophy that will rebrand our army making it a modern entity both at home and abroad.In her first Armed Forces Day Message in 2006, President Johnson Sirleaf envisioned a nation building army. It is indeed what this country needs. But what exactly is a nation-building army.According to the US Pentagon nation building “refers to a range of activities which include: repair, maintenance or construction of economic infrastructure and of health infrastructure, water and sewage facilities. They can also include training and assistance to Police, the military, the judiciary and prison officials as well as other civil administrators.”The history of the military involvement in humanitarian assistance dates back to the Napoleonic period.  The concept of establishing martial law over civil populations was developed as a means of structuring this involvement in a post-conquest period. While most European armies of the period pursued only a limited security objective with martial law, Napoleon and the French revolutionary armies saw it as a means of changing the social structure and bringing the benefits and new social order of the French Revolution to the occupied territories. (That they failed is a lesson to be learned.)Post-World War II Europe witnessed what was perhaps the most extensive use of the military in civil affairs. It is important to recognize the influence this had both on military doctrines of civil involvement and on development of the international relief system and the approaches that relief agencies have used since that time. The task that faced the Allies in the aftermath of the war was enormous. Virtually an entire continent had to be administered. Vestiges of the Nazi regime had to be eradicated, whole populations had to be reunited or resettled and economies rejuvenated. Civil government and the rule of law had to be reestablished and entire civil administrations restructured.The role of the military was expanded as never before. The public administrative function was perceived as so important by the Allies that special attention was given to recruiting civil administrators, city planners, urban development specialists, and hundreds of persons skilled in operating the systems of modern cities and their governments.The military can be deployed after natural disasters, at the conclusion of a conflict, in peace-keeping, point relief, in humanitarian interventions and cross border operations.One must also commend the Armed Forces of Liberia for the progress it has made thus far locally by intervening in assisting some communities and its latest triumph in its star peacekeeping role in Mali. I must advise, however, that if you are applauded abroad you must seek to win the hearts of your citizens at home.Civilian authorities turn to the military for help in humanitarian operations for several reasons, among which the most obvious may be their physical assets. The military is often regarded as a cornucopia of assistance. Among the most sought-after assets are transport (land, sea and air); fuel; communications; commodities including food, building supplies and medicines; tools and equipment; manpower; technical assistance (especially logistics and communications) and facilities, aerial photographs, etc.Relief authorities know the military has the capability of providing these on request and, in a resource-poor post-disaster environment, it is not unreasonable for authorities to request them. Since many of the items are commonly stockpiled and since civil disaster agencies have few stockpiles of their own, especially in the developing countries, demands can be quite extensive.There are some challenges in humanitarian operations coordinated by the military: Conflicting Values in Emergencies, Nuances of Involvement, The Mantle of Neutrality, Humanitarian Assistance vs. Pacification and Operational issues.What makes the military so efficient in the first place, that is, its highly centralized control system. Its hierarchy is designed to facilitate control and centralize authority. But in a disaster, people need to get together and develop collective responses. A military hierarchy of decision-making can discourage and inhibit this process.Seemingly, there is a place in the “new” Liberian military for a humanitarian and disaster relief mission or component that stands in need of enhancement.In 1981, the AFL was deployed in one of the first major disaster crisis in history, which occurred at Noway Camp in Mano River. The second major involvement of the AFL was the Ebola crisis in 2014.Beyond the normal periodic improvements in such outfits, one wonders whether there is some recent occasion that prompts the need to think “enhancement.”  Evidently, the Ebola crisis that raged in the second half of 2014 is that occasion. The performance of the military, notably in the West Point Incident left much to be desired. And the subsequent reaction of UNMIL to that incident coupled with that of the Mission of the U.S. Military to support GOL’s efforts in containing the epidemic, all underscore the need to examine the role of our military as regards “humanitarian and disaster relief.”Like on August 22, 1984 when it invaded the University of Liberia, it was in August 2014 when the AFL was instructed to enter the West Point Community to ensure that a quarantine order would be respected and that the safety of our people assured. We watched and witnessed a sad and tragic event. One of our citizens: a young boy was shot and he died subsequently. IT WAS A GRIEVIOUS WRONG! IT MUST BE CORRECTED! That incident reminds us all of the conversations we need to have as to the role of the Army in our national development endeavors and how we deal impunity in this new thinking.If there is to be no repeat of this sad event and the military is to serve people in community in “humanitarian and disaster relief” situations, the following general principles need affirming or incorporating into Guidelines for the Liberian military. AND SUCH GUIDELINES NEED TO BE MADE PUBLIC.1. The military should be used in such situations as a “last resort,” but even so there must be enhanced understanding and effective communication between the military and humanitarian professionals at all levels. One cannot overemphasize the importance of inter-organizational communication and coordination during military engagements in “permissive and uncertain environments.”2. There is prior need to establish a basic framework for formalizing and improving the effectiveness and efficiency in relief situations. As such, the basic humanitarian principles of HUMANITY, IMPARTIALITY and NEUTRALITY should be inculcated in the mindset of our military.Humanity: Alleviating human suffering, particularly the most vulnerable in the population – children, women, the elderly, persons with disabilities, etc.Neutrality: Guarding against hostilities of a political, ethnic, religious or other social character.Impartiality: Guarding against discrimination (when delivering humanitarian assistance) as to ethnic, gender, religious or other considerations.A national policy framework must be developed and properly communicated throughout the rank and file of the military. Our men and women of the Armed Forces must be properly trained and informed that there are local and international consequences for violations and those punitive measures must be enforced.The recent out-break of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease; necessitate the debate about the new role our military should play. This new role means that we should ready our men and women in arms not only to carry the gun but to have the brain power to assist our people when they are victims of natural disaster, a health epidemic or other forms of mishaps; as happened and is happening in our country in regards to EVD.We need engineers who can built and maintain our road networks, we need doctors and nurses who can go to the remotest part of our country and attend to the sick where ever they reside; we need teachers who are committed to the education of our children; these are all roles that can be played by our army. This new army must engage our people in ways that add meanings to their lives in terms of attending to their needs. This will certainly endear them to our people. Therefore, the capacity building that is so much talked about need to find expression with the rank and file of our national army. The men and women who join our armed forces need to develop leadership skills and abilities. This is one of the many ways our State can invest in its citizenry.My Dear Friends, while we celebrate more than a decade of peace, we as a nation have to re-dedicate ourselves to the building of a sustainable peace and the construction of an enduring democratic order. To achieve these two cardinal principles, the role of the army must be defined and pursued. The national army is made up of our citizens, those who take the solemn pledge to defend our people and protect our territorial integrity. As a result, they must embody the best principles this nation holds. A principle, which speaks to the inherent dignity of the human person.Our political leadership and citizens must participate to form credible, holistic sector roadmap to include: defense, police, intelligence agencies, court system, public and government. Communication between civilian authorities, communities and security professionals, respect for human rights; such reform will ultimately help build or produce accountable government and responsible security sectors that provide the foundation for economic development and opportunity. This process requires Local ownership to ensure that we design, manage and implement.  It must involve people at all levels of the justice sector and those outside, this will bolster legitimacy, political sensitivity, and holistic vision and address technical complexity. It will encourage effectiveness balanced with accountability. Accountability requires checks and balances to make sure laws are followed to avoid abuses.In our current environment where national reconciliation remains an unfinished business, stigma of injustice and impunity requires a code of conduct, a more aggressive legislative oversight, judicial review and civilian review groups, religious groups, and media, NGOs to provide informal accountability.  Accordingly, we must ensure the best atmosphere in which our national army is nurtured and built. As we strive to build a responsible citizenry, we must at the same time make sure that not only do our men and women in arms are professionalized but are enabled to contribute to our nation building process.This means that we should invest in building the capacity of our men and women in arms. Professionalization does not only mean that our men and women in arms conduct themselves according to the existing military doctrine and the command structure, it also means developing their abilities, their minds so that they too, can actively participate in the reconstruction of our country. We need our men and women in arms to be trained as medical doctors, nurses, engineers, policy analysts, teachers amongst other professions. We as a nation cannot afford to have able-bodied men and women waste away while we continue to make the claim that ours is a nation without skilled personnel.They must be provided better conditions of service, to live to work in dignity like others. They must be given benefits and assurances when they retire from public life and service. I have had the opportunity to visit our borders and see first hand the conditions of our Joint Security Team. The conditions to which they are subjected are deplorable. Housing, salaries and other conditions of work must be addressed as a matter of urgency. These are the men and women we depend for our security.Our military barracks must be transformed into citadels of learning. When we recruit young men and women to serve our country, they should be offered the opportunities to obtain the highest form of learning our nation can offer. Our barracks must be center of learning and excellence. Those who enter our army must as a matter of national urgency, be assured that by the time their military service to the nation is ended, they can be deployed into other professions and contribute to the nation building process. In other words, it is not sufficient that our men and women in arms are only trained to fight wars but are trained as well to improve the living conditions of their fellow Liberians. Our armed forces must play a meaningful role in humanitarianism in our country, in our region and within our continent. They need to acquire the requisite skills to be able to achieve such tasks.This then means that our military and civilian leaders need to cooperate. The security and reconstruction of our country is a necessity whose time has come. The real security of our people is dependent on their abilities to see in their living conditions as an active intervention by the State. We cannot anticipate a loyal citizenry when the State is not actively involved in the delivery of social services especially during periods of calamity such as we are witnessing at the moment.Thus the moral imperative that is upon us is to use all of our existing institutions, including the military to hasten the delivery of social services to our people. The military in the post Ebola Liberia must be viewed as an ally in this venture. That is why, we need to develop and train our men and women in arms to acquire professional expertise in the various disciplines so central to our nation building efforts – that can bring dignity to our people. As my parents always cautioned me: “Knowledge once gain is never wasted”.  Indeed an army with knowledge in how to improve the material conditions of our people is an investment that we as a nation must make and make now.My Final ThoughtsThe New Armed Forces of Liberia is attempting to demonstrate that it is serious about reforms, redemption and reconciliation. Its recruitment diversity, its recent success at peacekeeping initiatives in Mali, civil initiatives in our communities is all commendable undertakings.  Madam Commander-in-Chief, Mr. Minister of Defense, Chief of Staff, Men and Women of the Armed Forces, you have done your best and made your contributions too.However, CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME. The Armed Forces of Liberia needs to increase its local community interaction.  You are part of our communities especially the local PHP Community but we do not feel your presence here. We see what appears to be local garrison that continue to instill some fears.  Please develop a community action program for the PHP Community and communicate it well if one is not developed yet.We must seek redemption and reconciliation with the citizens especially those who reside in West Point. We cannot resurrect young Shaki Kamara and other victims, we cannot pay reparations but we can inspire hope and accrue some TRUST DIVIDENDS through a renewed relationship with the community. The AFL must return to West Point, this time armed with shovels, diggers, pens, paper and engage in community waste management and sanitation programs, clean up exercises, adult literacy, sporting activities and other initiatives aimed at restoring the broken relationship. This is not the substitute for  punitive measures and justice but an attempt to reconcile and restore confidence and mutual trust. As a son of West Point, I avail myself to facilitate this process. As I call for the end of impunity, I offer my own character for scrutiny where my stewardship in public service do so require.Civilian Control of our military requires that the national leadership develop the political will and vision to transform the military and provide the necessary support for its engagement in civil works and other community-based process that will enhance national development and consolidate the gains of democracy. This is what I call the CIVILIANIZATION OF THE MILITARY.Civilian authorities with questionable integrity will undermine the development of our military.  If we promote impunity, we subvert the understanding of justice of the military. If we delay or at least ignore our national reconciliation agenda, our unity in diversity of our military will be undercut. We must do our share. We must develop the political will and courage to lead and take responsibility for our actions. We must act against friends and allies who break the law and violate the public trust. To build a new future: we need a new value order. A radical paradigm shift on how we govern and lead. We must be true servants of our people. By this we set good examples for our men and women in arms.A People-Centered Approach to the transformation of our security must seek to link the national security sector and the society at large and by focusing on threats to individual’s socio-economic condition and personal security. A comprehensive reform will take into account professionalism and ethics training, encouraging civil-military partnership, supporting democratic governance and dealing with responses to everyday security threats to our citizens.We are desperately in need of new knowledge, new discourse, new research as to the nature and character of the state we must build for ourselves. We are in dire need for scholarship and along with it the character necessary to turn our politics of greed and mediocrity into politics of hard work and nobility; our drowning despair into hope, the brokenness into fortresses of prosperity, and our ignorance into outburst of knowledge and creativity.The best vehicle to national revival and renewal is our army. It is a well-established traditional institution, which encapsulates and embodies those values of our national recovery. Its structure can help redefine our sense of authority and power. It is the one institution that has accelerated the much-needed reforms in Liberia and has the potential for growth.Civil-military relations should be guided/characterized by winning hearts and minds not brute force and intimidation. We are the military and the military is we. They are recruited from the poor communities. They know about transportation fares, school fees, costs of goods and services. The weapons they own are purchased from our sweat. They must be used to protect us and enhance our national well being not to humiliate, harass and extort. In civil-military relations, new weapons are deployed. They are the diggers, shovels, heavy earth-moving machines, etc. Our system of government will help the military to improve if we address poverty and national discontent.In your legacy lie fears of brutality and a history of extortion and intimidation. You must now invest in a rebranding and reshape your new image, improve your communication and interaction with our people, your own people. Your attitude, your sense of power and authority must be radically altered to rebuild trust and restore confidence.The transformation of our military will require partnership. The International Community (US, ECOWAS, AU, other partners) continues to assist us with training, equipment and logistical support. Their interest manifest or latent can impact our future. In a globally connected world, regional and international security will affect our policy decisions. The pending drawn down of UNMIL and the departure of the US Military Ebola Mission must consider the new standards, perception and action they have imposed on our nation. You have displayed your capacity for effective and efficient delivery. How do you intend to depart? Will we have a specialized ward at JFK, a clinic/hospital for our military? I recommend that a comprehensive transitional plan be developed knowing that one is already being developed. It must include all of the necessities to make our army proud and transformed. Our own army needs to be prepared to deal with our health and other forms of humanitarian crisis or disasters. In this, you too, will reconcile with our country.“Shakespeare mentions in Julius Caesar. Where the dialogue between Brutus and Cassuis ensued: “We, at the height, are ready to decline. There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in the shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat; and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures”.Finally, Commander-in-Chief, Minister of Defense, Chief of Staff, men and women of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Dear Friends, The military will not be prepared to actively engage in humanitarian and disaster relief activities if the dreams and aspirations of these men and women remain unfulfilled. If their dreams are unfulfilled the dream of Liberia will be unfulfilled. We must seek to ensure that their dreams of a better life, better pay, improved skills, decent houses and other benefits are improved consistent their dignity. They travel on peacekeeping missions and interact, here in Liberia they are interacting with the US Military. The Military can help with Revenue generation:  Protection and surveillance of our exclusive economic zones, shipping lanes, protecting the energy sector, protecting fishing rights, rapid response to maritime threats, peace keeping operations; responding to the new security challenges both regionally and internationally.  We need to engage each other and reconcile our nation.We can all see that even your critics must be heard, for in understanding your critics you can discover friendship and appreciate your imperfections.I wish you a pleasant anniversary. Thank you for your invitation!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

14 01 20

first_imgUnited Nations Police in Liberia (UNPOL) has set up a modern Drug Evidence Room at the headquarters of Liberian Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), aimed at protecting and securing drug evidences.The ‘Drug Evidence Room,’ valued at US$1,870, is the first of its kind constructed under the present Administration. It will be in this room that DEA that authorities will preserve samples of confiscated drugs before destruction, or for court documentation, following the seizure of  harmful substances from peddlers.The construction of the ‘Evidence Room’ was created by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in collaboration with UNPOL Quick Impact Project at the DEA headquarters in Monrovia.Turning over the keys of the room to Col. Souh yesterday in Monrovia, UNPOL Commissioner Greg Hinds  reaffirmed the UN’s  commitment to help post-war Liberia overcome the problem of illicit drugs and other harmful substances.According to him, the UN  was concerned about the fight against illicit drugs in Liberia because it remains a regional problem, which has the tendency to undercut the peace and security of any nation.He underscored the importance of the “Evidence Room” and the fight against drugs which, he said, involves all because when drugs get  into the wrong hands, resulting in abuse, the end result is chaos, not only for Liberia, but other parts of the world.Commissioner Hinds promised that the UN would continue to assist the DEA in capacity building efforts, provision of some of the needed tools that will enhance its role in the fight against drug.He said it was important to support the efforts and dreams of DEA, especially in the wake of the gradual UNMIL peace keeping draw down, so that DEA would be in the position to effectively perform its role in the interest of national security.DEA Director-general Souh, who received the keys to the “Evidence Room,” lauded the UNPOL Commissioner Greg, and all those associated with the drug-fight in the country for what he called their  “persistent concerns” in helping DEA attain desired professional status.Souh used the occasion to register the commitment of DEA to the fight against dangerous narcotics drugs in the society.  He noted that the fight against illicit drugs was compellingly the obligation of all concerned, “because every dollar earned from drug sales in the streets of Monrovia automatically poses a threat regionally, if not internationally.”He then expressed the agency’s gratitude to UNPOL and all other partners who have and continued to assist DEA, galvanize resources and the strength to fight drug crimes.      Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

12 01 20

first_img…says preventative measures being identifiedThe inflow of Venezuelan migrants into Guyana seeking refuge from the economic crisis in their country has resulted in amplified initiatives by the Public Health Ministry to expand its vaccine programme, to reduce the possibility of a disease epidemic.Chief Medical Officer Shamdeo PersaudThis is according to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Shamdeo Persaud on Wednesday, who disclosed that the migrants brought a number of challenges and this must be examined before the situation escalated into a crisis. According to him, such can challenge a country’s health-care system, so preventative measures are being identified.These include the introduction of a vaccination system to prevent the contraction of some diseases, such as measles and polio.“We have this current ongoing situation with the new migrants to Guyana and the challenges they bring. We have been focused to look at the vaccine-preventable diseases because in most crisis situations, those diseases plummet to the top of the agenda and they can be the ones to really challenge a health-care system. Things like measles, outbreaks of polio, diarrheal diseases, and so on,” he said.Persaud related that reports surfaced of a child who was denied medical assistance because of his nationality. He stated that such an incident should not occur in the future, urging medical practitioners to handle such cases with caution.“We have been working on a plan to expand our immunisation programme. We really need to ensure that our visitors, guests, and new migrants have access to our services. We should not be hearing reports as we did in the past week of persons being turned away from our facilities because they are Venezuelans. We had a child being turned away from a principal health facility and the impression I get is that we’re not quite familiar with the policies…with regard to how we handle these persons,” the CMO stated.Venezuelan migrants in GuyanaHe also related that among those seeking refuge were elderly persons who were suffering from chronic diseases and a few cases of cancer. As such, provisions are being made for them to access equitable healthcare.“I noticed that among the persons that were coming in, there were several elderly persons that are also coming in with chronic diseases and at least two cases of cancer.”Just a few weeks ago, it was reported that 5123 documented Venezuelan migrants in Guyana were recorded, with approximately 150 children in Region One (Barima-Waini).Thousands of Venezuelans have been fleeing the Spanish-speaking nation in light of the growing social, political, and economic crisis under the Nicolás Maduro Government. Many of them have been coming into neighbouring Guyana while others have dispersed to other countries within the region.Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge had stated that the possibility of these persons being diagnosed with diseases posed a danger to the general public.Meanwhile, just a few days ago, Indigenous leaders from hinterland communities called for increased security in border communities, since the arrival of the Venezuelans has been affecting their villages. The issues surround cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and surges in criminal activities.Arau Village representative Devroy Thomas had related while the village leaders understand the need to lend support, the issue has become very complicated, since these migrants are bringing with them bad practices which could corrupt the villages.last_img read more

12 01 20

first_imgThe driver who fatally struck down 81-year-old Parbattie Ramsarran of Lot 4D Nigg, Corentyne, Berbice was on Wednesday granted station bail.According to information received, the driver is said to be a Chinese businessman of Robb Street, Lacytown, Georgetown, and he has since posted bail in the sum of $100,000. However, he was instructed to lodge his passport at the Albion Police Station.The car that fatally struck down the womanIt was reported that the accused was driving motorcar PPP 1008 at a fast rate when he collided with the woman as she was in the centre of the pedestrian crossing at Nigg Public Road, Corentyne, Berbice.As a result of that impact, the woman sustained severe injuries about her body. She was picked up and taken to the Port Mourant Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival.Dead: Parbattie RamsarranThe post mortem examination is expected to be conducted on January 14.last_img read more

12 01 20

first_img… questions on ‘missing’ USM could be answered – GoolsarranBy Edward LayneAnswers as to whether or not Datang Telecom Technology and Industry Group, the Chinese company whichAuditor General Deodat Sharmabought the Government’s 20 per cent share in the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT), actually paid over the US$5 million it had outstanding on the 2011 buyout could be found when the current “transaction audit” into the operations of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) is complete.Auditor General Deodat Sharma confirmed Sunday that the audit under his office has commenced, but declined to divulge any information.“Yes! The audit has commenced … I cannot divulge any details of the assignment …it is my policy not to speak about assignments,” Sharma told Guyana Times.Former Auditor General Anand Goolsarran who conducted the first phase of the forensic audit into NICIL had said that the audit he conducted only examined the general operations of NICIL and did look at the sale of the GTT shares; however, that was limited to the acknowledgement that the US$30 million transaction was conducted and as at December 31, 2015, US$5 million was still unpaid.He said this was corroborated in the Management Response from former Executive Director of NICIL, Winston Brassington.However, he noted that the transaction audit could provide key answers to the entire fiasco, including exactly when the monies were actually paid over.In 2011, Datang purchased Government’s shares in GTT at the cost of US$30 million; based on the agreement with the then People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration, the company paid off US$25 million and had two years to make the outstanding payment.The PPP/C had long maintained that the outstanding monies were not paid and after assuming office last year, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition undertook to recoup the monies; hence, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon’s recent trip to China.But, Government spokesman, Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman told a post-Cabinet news conference Wednesday that based on documentation in the Government’s possession, the monies were paid long before the May 2015 General and Regional Elections.“What I can say is that Mr Harmon has been able to retrieve some documents which tell a different story. That story being, of course, that the five million was paid so we are trying to track down to whom, how, where and when,” Trotman revealed to reporters.Former President Donald Ramotar, under whose Government the deal was struck and executed, has since denied that the monies were paid, saying that the Government’s claim was “a lie”.“I challenge the Government to present the “documents” it has received (under suspicious and questionable circumstances) so that the veracity of the evidence can be tested and authenticated,” Ramotar stated.The former President had reasoned that if indeed the monies were paid, that would not be hard to prove since there must be documentation to that effect, adding that NICIL was the sole entity authorised to receive the payments.“One would assume that had NICIL received this money, then there would be a receipt or some form of banking documentation to show its payments. Any claim that some other entity or person received this money would also be easy to prove or disprove,” he reasoned.Brassington, in an invited comment, also denied having any knowledge of the payment, as at December 31, 2015.“If it was paid, then the seller can easily produce evidence showing this.  Payments of this nature are transferred via the banking system (wire transfer) from one bank to another and easy to check and validate. Given that the first payment was wired directly to NICIL’s US dollar bank account in Guyana, I would expect the remaining US$5 million to have followed the same course,” he said.Brassington’s contract came to an end last year and was not renewed.Minister Trotman had indicated that after Cabinet and the Board of Directors of NICIL completed their examination of the document, it would be made public.Efforts to contact the current acting head of NICIL, Horace James proved futile, as officers at NICIL advised he was out of the country on vacation.Similarly, Guyana Times was told that the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr Morris Odle could not be reached since he was “travelling”.last_img read more

10 01 20

first_img0Shares0000Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren’s report for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) claimed Russia had orchestrated an elaborate doping programme. © AFP/File / Fabrice COFFRINIMONTREAL, Canada, Sep 14 – The World Anti-Doping Agency has been given the green light to lift its ban on Russia’s drug-tainted testing authority after a recommendation from investigators, the global doping watchdog said Friday.A WADA statement said its independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) had recommended that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) be reinstated when the agency’s executive committee meets on September 20. WADA suspended the RUSADA in 2015 after declaring it to be non-compliant following revelations of a vast, Moscow-backed scheme to avoid drug testers.A WADA report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren accused Russian authorities of running an elaborate doping programme with the full support of the Russian Ministry of Sport and the Russian secret service or FSB.Russian officials had previously concluded that their doping system failed, but refused to acknowledge claims of institutional involvement.Tensions within WADA emerged earlier this year over whether Russia had done enough for the sanction to be lifted, with some officials arguing it had not fulfilled a “roadmap” to rehabilitation.However WADA’s statement on Friday said its compliance committee had recommended reinstating RUSADA after reviewing a letter from the Russian Ministry of Sport.“This letter sufficiently acknowledged the issues identified in Russia, therefore fulfilling the first of the two outstanding criteria of RUSADA’s Roadmap to Compliance,” WADA said.It said Russia had also agreed to provide access to data and samples in its Moscow laboratory to WADA via an independent expert.That pledge fulfilled the second outstanding criterion on the roadmap, WADA said, “provided that the Executive Committee imposes a clear timeline for such access.”“The ExCo will fully discuss this recommendation during its 20 September meeting and its decisions will be communicated publicly,” said the statement.WADA added that since RUSADA was banned in 2015, the agency and Russian authorities “have been working very hard to rebuild a credible, and sustainable, anti-doping program in Russia.”If RUSADA’s reinstatement is approved next week, it could have far-reaching implication across the sports world.Most significantly, it removes a key obstacle to lifting the suspension of Russia by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), track and field’s global governing body.The IAAF has taken a hardline stance on Russian athletes since the scandal emerged, refusing to lift its ban shortly before the European Championships.The IAAF has said Russia must fulfill three criteria to be readmitted; the reinstatement of RUSADA, provide access to doping records at the agency’s Moscow laboratory from 2011-2015, and payment of costs incurred by the IAAF in the wake of the scandal.The IAAF will review Russia’s status once more at its council meeting in Monaco in December.Clear divisions within WADA came into the open at its board meeting in Montreal in May, where members from individual sporting bodies called for the ban to be lifted.Patrick Baumann, a prominent member of the International Olympic Committee, questioned whether Russia should be suspended indefinitely.“We don’t challenge the road map, we simply question for how long we want to follow that road map – for the next 10 years, 20 years, 30 years?” he told the meeting.Officials in Russia meanwhile have sent mixed signals over the country’s doping scandal.Russian President Vladimir Putin has acknowledged doping cases but has dimissed Grigory Rodchenkov, the whistleblower whose revelations exposed the scandal as “an idiot” who should not be trusted.Rodchenkov is currently living in hiding in the United States, and has said he fears for his life.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

6 01 20

first_imgDespite the loss, the Kericho based team remained 12th in the standings with 32 points, nine off the drop zone.In the other results, Posta Rangers beat Ulinzi Stars 1-0 in Kakamega while Vihiga United and Kakamega Homeboyz played to a 1-1 draw at the Mumias Complex.Earlier in the morning, Kariobangi Sharks were hammered 2-0 by an impressive Sony Sugar at the Camp Toyoyo Ground.In Ruaraka, the game didn’t provide much of scoring chances but the home side should have gone to the break ahead on the balance of possession having seen much of the ball.Zoo had the first chance of the game after four minutes, Kepha Ondati coming to the end of a sweeping team move finding the ball from distance but his rasping shot went wide with the Tusker backline caught off their lines.Tusker FC midfielder Sidney Ochieng vies for the ball with Zoo Kericho’s Isaac Kipyegon during a Kenyan Premier League match at the Ruaraka Complex on Sunday, August 19, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluIn the seventh minute, Tusker’s June acquisition David Juma had a chance on target when he swung in a header from a Timothy Otieno cross but it swung straight into keeper Martin Elung’at’s arms.The game’s fight squared down in midfield with the two sides fighting to get the possession. Tusker had an edge, but they couldn’t find a way past the stoic Zoo defense that guarded their lines well, marshaled by Sabiri Sindani.In the 28th minute, Elung’at was forced into a brilliant save tipping over Boniface Muchiri’s swinging freekick from the edge of the box after curling it beyond the wall.Three minutes later, David Gateri also had a chance from another set piece, but a training ground routine didn’t yield much of results as the left back swung the ball straight to the keeper’s arms.Tusker FC striker Timothy Otieno wheels away from Zoo Kericho defenders during a Kenyan Premier League match at the Ruaraka Complex on Sunday, August 19, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluZoo were almost caught off a minute to halftime when Johnson Ligare’s back pass to his keeper with Muchiri intercepting it, but he could not get the ball into the back of the net despite side stepping the keeper, Sindani coming to the rescue and clearing.In the second half, Matano started off with a change in personnel, Paul Kamau coming on for Osumba. Kamau almost made an immediate impact when he looked to have been axed inside the box but the ref waved play-on.Tusker continued to press and on the hour mark came close with Macharia striking a sweet effort on the volley but it went straight to the keeper.Five minutes later through, the home side broke the deadlock, Muchiri’s well struck shot from the edge of the box whistling through a forest of legs before ending into the bottom right corner with Elunga’at’s effort at keeping it out ending in futility.Six minutes later, Otieno should have had his name on the score-sheet when he was sent through by Macharia, but his effort under pressure from SIndani was saved by Elung’at.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Boniface Muchiri celebrates his goal against Zoo Kericho at the Ruaraka Complex on August 19, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 19 – Boniface Muchiri’s 65th minute strike was enough as Tusker bounced back from last weekend’s home loss against Bandari, beating visiting Zoo Kericho 1-0 to go fifth in the Kenyan Premier League standings.Zoo had hoped to pick maximum points on their sojourn to Nairobi to fully give them comfort off the nightmares of relegation, but they couldn’t get anything past Patrick Matasi.last_img read more

30 12 19

first_img Thomas Muller 1 Manchester United were willing to pay around £88m for Bayer Munich’s Thomas Muller, claim reports in Germany.Having already signed Bastian Schweinsteiger from the Bavarians, Louis van Gaal planned a sensational swoop for the forward.According to German magazine Kicker, the Red Devils had set aside an annual salary of just under £10m for the 26-year-old as they attempted to land a big-name to partner Wayne Rooney up front.It is understood United made contact with Bayern but the Bundesliga champions were reluctant to negotiate, despite the astronomical offer.Van Gaal then opted to sign untried teenager Anthony Martial, who made a sensational start to this Old Trafford career at the weekend by scoring against arch-rivals Liverpool.last_img read more