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first_imgIn 1822, a group of settler colonists sponsored by the American Colonization Society (ACS) and approved by the government of the United States of America reached the coast of West Africa and landed on Providence Island, today a part of the Republic of Liberia.The purpose of their journey from the United States was to find a settlement on the continent of Africa for freed African “slaves” or their descendants in America. This settlement would come to be regarded by them as the “Promised Land.”In 1847, having declared the independence of the fledgling nation of Liberia, the settlers adopted as part of the nation’s symbol a crest engraved with the motto: “The Love of Liberty brought us here”.As time went on this nation came to incorporate more and more of the indigenous peoples the settlers had encountered on their arrival.This nation grew to become one of the two independent nations on the continent of Africa. A fact, that brought pride to all of its peoples.  Yet, as some indigenous citizens of the nation became educated and developed political consciousness, they effectively came to participate in the political life of the new nation.  In time, they began to feel that there was something outdated in the motto, “The love of Liberty brought us here.”  They saw the motto as excluding them symbolically from the establishment.  Thus, in the era of the late President Tolbert, the issue of reviewing the motto was raised.  However, no noticeable action was taken to address it.On the 165th celebration commemorating the founding of Liberia, Professor Elwood Dunn, national orator, appealed for a review of the national symbols on the spirit of the efforts at reconciliation and peace building.  In response, the President (Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf) commissioned a review panel to look into the matter with Professor Dunn as its chair.The thoughts expressed in this article reflect a view held by a significant number of our citizens.  They believe that it was high time that the motto was revised/reviewed so as to include all of the nation’s citizens irrespective of their origin.Symbols are very important in the art of political communication.  They are like Totems, which represent the spirit or soul of a people.  They are used to identify a people and their outlook. They should not be taken lightly.  If well chosen they can contribute immensely to particularly uniting and solidifying a nation made of diverse ethno-cultural communities.  This was done in the case of South Africa at the end of apartheid.Liberia, a fragmented pluralistic society needs more effective political integration to make for better policy making choices arising from a commonly held political culture.  It will also serve to endow the political system with substantial legitimacy.Peace building requires that we take the issue of the national symbol seriously, adopting measures to correct any misperception.  This should be considered as a part of the efforts to not only reconcile the nation after 14 years of civil conflict but also to re-write a comprehensive history of Liberia.The views expressed here are not intended to be critical of any group or segment of our citizenry.  The motto as it stands is understandable for the period at which it was adapted;  since the founders of the new nation then were the settler colonists (today referred to as Americo-Liberians) whose sentiments were reflected in the motto: “The love of liberty brought us here.”  There is no doubt their descendants will understand the need for a change.What I propose as a replacement for the motto is to keep the reference to and good regard for Liberty which we all share.  Hence, I wish to suggest one of the following alternatives as a motto:1. “For the Love of Liberty We Stand Together”2. “For the Love of Liberty We Stand as one People”3. “For the Love of Liberty We Stand United”4.  “The Love of Liberty Unites Us”I will invite the readers to make their own suggestions as a fitting contribution to resolving this issue.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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first_imgA threat to the security and the invasion of any country can be mainly attributed to the acceptance of beautiful gifts (bribery) by security personnel, as in the epic tale of Troy, when a stunning “Wooden Horse” was presented as a gift, but in the gift was hidden 100 trained and armed soldiers who destroyed Troy.The Deputy Director General of the Civil Service Agency (CSA), Mr. Othello K. Weh, said the “Wooden Horse in Security” should serve as a forewarning to every officer of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalizations (BIN) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to be loyal to the country by refusing “gifts” at the borders and in the country.Mr. Weh said the “Wooden Horse” can be any gift such as L$50, US$50, or one gram of cocaine given in exchange for entry or escape.He made the remarks as guest speaker last Friday, November 28 during the graduation  of 39 and 10  senior officers of the Bin and DEA, respectively after the completion of a 10-week training in Leadership and Management, held at the Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA), on Mamba Point, Monrovia.The training was sponsored by UNMIL as part of their ‘Quick Impact Project’ initiative.  Mr. Weh, who is a lecturer at the University of Liberia, said the  periodic training of security officers in the country is crucial especially along the borders where there are cross border commercial activities as well as inter-marriages and geo-political dynamics to remind the security of the state of the danger of the “Wooden Horse.”Mr. Weh urged graduating officers of BIN and DEA to be professional and disciplined and implement what they have learned.“Discipline adds value to your integrity and personality. Discipline works on our consciences to choose what is wrong and correct,” the CSA Deputy Director said. “Discipline works on our commission to practice patriotism and a high degree of loyalty to our country and countrymen.”The Vice Chairman of the Governance Commission (GC), Madam Elizabeth Sele Mulbah, said GC is grateful for the training of the BIN and DEA officers, stating that it is important for the security to always be one step ahead amid the smartness of the criminals.She stated that the two institutions are among the critical institutions for national safety.For his part, the Director General of LIPA, Mr. Oblayon Blayon Nyemah said there is a tendency for people to be imbued with the mistaken notion that para-military personnel should be relegated to the lowest level of the skills training ladder and be confined to their cubicles especially when their skills are not directly linked to the normal operations of para-military engagement.“But this is a wrong and a wretched perception because a functionally capacitated para military, where the men and women are dedicated to operationalizing their mandates within the geo-political space over which we exercise our sovereignty as a nation with such training they would have the opportunity to perfect their skills and perform better given their complex responsibility that we are confronted with in building our country after conflict,” the LIPA boss said.He stated that similar training can be extended to larger security sector and other para-military institutions as well as other public institutions when there are additional supports or when the financial capacity of LIPA is improved.The Director of DEA, Mr. Anthony K. Souh commended LIPA for the training, saying it widens the understanding of the DEA middle managers of their conduct.The Commissioner of BIN, Cllr. Lemuel Reeves also thanked LIPA and said the training impacted the professionalism of the officers in a timely manner.  He urged them to be examples of what they have learned by being proficient.For his part, the UNPOL Commissioner, Cesar Hawthrone Binag also praised LIPA for the first-of-its-kind training of senior officers of BIN and DEA and said it is a part of UNMIL’s plan to train the officers and managers in the security apparatus.In appreciation for the UNPOL commissioner’s work, the BIN gowned him and gave him a vai name, meaning Chief. The Bin also presented a gown for his wife and a plaque.  Meanwhile, LIPA has introduced a new course, the Public Security Management for security officers, in the curriculum. LIPA offers various levels of trainings, ranging from short-term competency courses to long-term graduate professional development courses and there are also customized courses offered on request of the client organization.The design of these various levels of training, whether regular or customized, meets the demand of the participants in the use of State-of-the-Art technology and modern facilities employed by highly qualified institutional and adjunct faculty staff.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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first_imgThe countdown is on to when Donegal takes over the centre of Glasgow for a day for the much-anticipated Donegal Live event on May 1st.The already hugely-successful event moves into Merchants Square and Bell St in the city centre for the afternoon and the Royal Concert Hall from 7.30pm.The people of Glasgow and the surrounding area will be treated to a whole afternoon of free entertainment from 12noon until 6pm in Merchant’s Square with a huge emphasis on all that is good about Donegal. The adjoining Bell Street will be taken over with the Donegal Live Showcase, where it is expected that fourteen sectors from the leisure and tourist industries in the County will showcase all the county has to offer its visitors.The day will be a family day out with a carnival atmosphere with the Mullaghduff Band leading the street entertainment which also include clowns, face painting, magicians and much more.The Ardara Set Dancing Group will set the ball rolling in Merchants Square with a mid-day Ceili, with music provided by St. Roch’s CCE.Following this, the stage in Merchants Square will host a terrific blend of Donegal and Scottish artists, catering for all tastes in music. Among the artists appearing during the afternoon are Scottish artists the Irish Minstrels, singer/songwriter Jill Jackson, CCE, the McHugh Group, the Friel sisters, Paul McKenna Band, the Amadáns and the Wakes. Of course, people can also expect some of the Donegal artists appearing later that evening at Donegal Live in Concert, to drop in for some surprise appearances.Tickets are now on sale for Donegal Live in Concert, which will take place in the Royal Concert Hall and are selling fast. Artists include Mickey Harte, comedian Conal Gallen, The Campbells, The McLoughlin, Matt McGranaghan, Kinty, Pat Gallagher of Goats Don’t Shave Dancers and Donegal’s own, Daniel O’Donnell.A very active group of Donegal people and friends of Donegal in Glasgow are busily preparing for the day. A mass meeting of potential volunteers will be held in the 3 Bridges Club, 108 Carnamunnock Road, Glasgow on Wednesday the 13th April at 7pm.Tickets to Donegal Live in Concert at the Royal Concert Hall are available from the Tourist Office, Letterkenny, tel. 074 9121160, as well as a number of outlets in Glasgow and are priced at £25 and £20. EndsCOUNTDOWN IS ON FOR COUNTY’S INVASION OF GLASGOW FOR DONEGAL LIVE was last modified: April 12th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal LiveGlasgowlast_img read more

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