Is it crime fighting, or a reaction to the USA advisory?

first_imgDear Editor,First, it was the killing of three bandits on the Corentyne, then there was a follow-up with three more killings in Norton Street, Lodge, yet crime continues unabated.Since last Thursday night’s shooting, there have been several other armed robberies, many of which were conducted in broad daylight, so what have we here in Guyana? The point is we are having a lot of piecemeal, double talking, political posturing, on crime with the real crime situation certainly getting out of control. So, let us take a candid look at crime in Guyana.First, it was the Director General, Harmon, speaking for the Government, stating in one voice that Guyana is a beautiful place, one where crime is down and persons should want to visit. Then in the same tone, he confirmed that crime is hurting the economy and foreign investment would shy away from this country.Then, the Police Commissioner came on board shortly after, stating that crime is down, quoting statistical figures from who knows where to support his argument.I guess he was referring to the recent killings of criminals by the Force, hailing this as a success. Be that as it may, crime continues to be a bugbear and nothing seems to stop it.The point I am making here is that the State, speaking through its representatives, the Director General and Commissioner is telling you one thing when the actual reality of the situation is totally different. Crime is a problem, a real big problem and if a comprehensive plan is not put in place things will – as they already have – become really ugly for locals and foreigners alike.The recent killings and the strident statements by the Government have nothing to do with crime fighting, rather, it is a stop-gap reactionary move by the State as a result of the United States Advisory on Guyana. This PNC-led coalition is hard-pressed to stem the harsh criticism levelled against it by the US Government that they were forced to take those drastic measures, otherwise, it was business as usual where crime is concerned.I told myself that I would not bring politics into my discussion on crime but the situation warrants me revealing the facts as it presents itself. This Government has to face the fact that they were and still is too cosy with criminals while in opposition as well as in Government, and as such they have only themselves to blame. One just has to look into the not so distant past and see their political manoeuvres and you would get the picture. This Government appears to only be concerned when the situation becomes sour and dire as the USA Government has indicated.The Americans have been in and out of Guyana since the oil discovery and the superpower is ensuring that its citizens get the maximum-security doing business here. Hence, they have told the Guyana Government that they are not prepared to accept this armed robbery nonsense as normal behaviour. In this regard, we are now faced with these brutal put-downs.But like I said, a piecemeal haphazard approach will get us nowhere, we have to get down to a long term concrete approach on crime to get this scourge under control. That long-term approach has been done in the last Administration and is on some shelf gathering dust. We must take a good look again at our crime plan and work that plan, it is the only way to bring crime down to a minuscule level.Respectfullysubmitted,Neil Adamslast_img read more

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Minister Ramjattan has reached new lows

first_imgDear Editor,The GAWU could not have failed to recognise the recent statements by Vice President and Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan with respect to the sugar industry. An Inews report of August 26 informed that the Minister, during a meeting held in Corriverton, reportedly told his audience “…that the Government made the right decision to close the estates”. While it is now publicly acknowledged, the Minister is known for his outlandish statements and has found his foot in his mouth on more than one occasion, his utterances this time around has even defied, in our view, the low expectations that many had of him.While the Minister, seemingly preaching from his ivory tower, justifies, unashamedly, the decision to shutter estates which in its wake put thousands on the breadline, the communities and people linked to Skeldon, Rose Hall, East Demerara and Wales are going through miserable times and hardship-filled days and nights. Today, while the Minister and his colleagues make wishy-washy statements and provide sordid rationales, there are people in the precincts of the closed estates that find it hard to eat or to pay their bills or to send their children to school. The public is well aware of the situation wherein the people of Skeldon must pay NICIL to catch fish in the canals to feed their families. Then there is the more recent instance, where a child of a redundant sugar worker is unable to take up a space at the illustrious Queens College as his parents simply cannot afford to meet the expenditure.The Minister went on to tell those he spoke to that “…the citizenry would become filthy rich in the near future with the booming oil sector coming on stream”. It seems the Minister is saying that we should place all our eggs in one basket. It is disheartening that an educated person and more so a national leader is making such outrageous statements. Time, experience and history have thought us that we never should place all our eggs in a singular basket. Moreover, recently, Minister Winston Jordan tempered expectations when he said that oil revenues in the early years will just be a few hundred million United States dollars, hardly sufficient to make us all “filthy rich”. Then, at the same time, we cannot ignore the many views expressed regarding the lopsided arrangements regarding oil exploitation that has been entered into. We really wonder whether the Minister’s feet were on the ground when he was speaking.Today, while the Minister goes on to justify the unjustifiable, it was not too long ago and not too far away from Corriverton, when Mr Ramjattan told an APNU/AFC rally at Whim, during the 2015 elections campaign, that if elected, they “…will not in any way close the sugar industry…”. Indeed, it goes to show that you can no longer take anything at face value from Minister Ramjattan and his ilk.Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGeneral SecretaryGAWUlast_img read more

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Pathologist gives evidence

first_img“Picture Boy’s” trialAs the trial for “Picture Boy” continued in the High Court, Government Forensic Pathologist, Dr Nehaul Singh and Deputy SuperintendentDead: Ray “Sugar” WalcottMichael Kingston took to the witness stand on Friday to give evidence.Cyon “Picture Boy” Collier is accused of killing two brothers – Ray Walcott, also known as “Sugar”, and Carl Andrews, also known asAccused Cyon “Picture Boy” Collier“Alo”; both of Victoria Village, East Coast Demerara (ECD) in 2006.Dr Singh in his testimony described what he found and submitted in his medical report for Walcott and Andrews.According to the Pathologist, Walcott would have succumbed as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. “The body had a large open wound to the forehead causing loss of brain matter,” Dr Singh told the court, pointing out all of the bones in the head were fractured.A second hole was discovered in the abdomen where a bullet entered and exited through the left side of the chest while another wound was visible at the base of the skull and exited through the back of the neck.In addition to those gunshot wounds, Dr Singh pointed out two parallel wounds entering from the elbow and leaving through the wrists with a number of grazed marks about the body, some of which could be caused by pebbles on the road or broken glass.Dr Singh said he was not a ballistic specialist and it was no way he could have determined the type of weapon used but from his knowledge, the injuries had to be caused by a rifle and not a shotgun.Defence Counsel Lyndon Amsterdam questioned the Pathologist about the possibility of a person being shot in the arm at a reasonable distance and not have any broken bones based on the fact that Walcott was shot in the elbow and no bones were broken in the arm; however Dr Singh deemed it a possibility.Upon examination of Carl Andrews, Dr Singh discovered three bullet wounds and several abrasions about the body caused by bullets.Dead: Carl AndrewsThe external examination showed a wound to the right cheek near the eye while a second showed an entrance from the lower right back and a third to the face.The bullet entering the back, according to Dr Singh, would have travelled upwards and pierced the right lung and fracturing the first rib before lodging in the chest cavity where he discovered it during the autopsy examination.The fractured rib, in Dr Singh’s opinion may have been the cause of the exit hole below the neck with a fragment of bone coming through the opening.This is the third trial Collier stands accused of murdering the two brothers in Victoria Village, ECD on September 23, 2006. Reports are a group of young men were playing dominoes at the Victoria four-corner when the two brothers were allegedly shot by the accused, who rode up on a motorcycle.The brothers were rushed to hospital where they were pronounced dead on arrival. The trial continues on Monday.last_img read more

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GPSU rejects 6% salary increase for public servants

first_img… agrees to consider Govt’s revised 10% proposalThe Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) has outrightly rejected a proposed 6 per cent increase in public servants wages and salaries for 2016, but has agreed to consider a subsequent proposal for a 10 per cent increase for persons earning below $99,000 per month.Government on Wednesday evening issued a public statement to this effect, and reiterated that its “proposal took into consideration the fundamental need for a restructured Public Service which included the adjustment of scales for wages and salaries; the implementation of a merit increment system; and a resolution of the issue of bunching.”According to the missive released by Reginald Brotherson, head of the Government’s negotiating team, “GPSU agreed to consider the Government’s final offer and indicated that a response will be forthcoming after a meeting of its General Council.”The two month long collective bargaining process concluded yesterday without a definite agreement in place, leaving the door open to a unilateral increases by government should the unions continue to reject the proposals.The negotiations were conducted within a two month period from June 22, 2016 to August 24, 2016.The initial proposal of the GPSU was for a 40 per cent across the board increase for public servants, but this was subsequently adjusted to 25 per cent. The Union had also demanded that allowances be included in the negotiations.Government responded by proposing that persons earning less than $100,000 be paid a 5.5 per cent increase while persons earning above $1M would only get a 1 per cent increase.The proposed 5.5 per cent offer was later increased to 6 per cent by Government, but this too was rejected by the union.According to Brotherson, the Government re-considered its position and a final offer was presented. This proposal by government, if accepted by the union, will see public servants earning below $99,000 getting a 10 per cent increase with the rate incrementally decreasing to a one per cent increase for those earning in excess of $1M.Brotherson, in his public missive on Wednesday, sought to stress that “It was pointed out to the GPSU that the GOG’s final offer for wages and salaries increases for Public Servants had taken into consideration the current socio-economic environment; the difficulty in agreeing to increases that would entail having to raise additional revenue and the unsustainability of any further addition to its offer with regard to the current and future budgets.”He said too that Government reiterated to the Union that its members were also the Government’s employees and that the Government was equally mindful of the need for financial relief for the workers under consideration.last_img read more

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GMSA condemns UK ‘ban’ on Guyana’s greenheart exports

first_img– calls for urgent review of “unfair decision”The Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) has lambasted as “unfair” and in need of urgentGreenheart logs from Guyanareview, a decision by the United Kingdom which essentially restricts the import of greenheart from Guyana.Moreover, the GMSA said the labelling of Guyana as a “pariah” in tropical forestry flew in the face of overwhelming independently verified evidence by internationally credible third parties – evidence which is available online and specifically on the Guyana Forestry Commission’s website “for those who wish to be further informed on the hard reality”.The GMSA, in a strongly-worded missive over the weekend, said the “UK agency essentially pronounced on the sustainability of forest management practices in our forests of origin with absolutely no communication or consultation with any local industry stakeholders”.It was pointed out by the GMSA that given that the markets for tropical forest products were declining and proving challenging: “Incorrect labelling of our forest management practices in this negative way can only be detrimental to the future lives and livelihoods of the 25,000 people directly employed in this industry.”The GMSA maintains too that available statistics highlight the great efforts that both the industry and the Government have made to ensure “sustainable forest management of our forests for our future generations and that in an ecological sense, our forests are being sustainably managed, an effort clearly verified through abundant, independent, third-party analysis and certification” .It was noted that this was especially so for “our hardworking colleagues in rural and indigenous communities, who, over time, have come to appreciate and see the value of understanding and implementing the Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) guidelines which they helped to formulate”.The GMSA, in its missive, drew reference to the May 2015 UK Environment Agency Technical Note, on the sourcing of new supplies of greenheart timber, which “did come as a great surprise to the local industry, especially since the Private Sector and Government were in communication with CPET (The Central Point for Expertise on Timber that advised UK Government Agencies on Timber Procurement Policies) for over four years previous to the Note to provide evidence of legality and sustainable timber practices” .According to the Association, as a result of the increasing global need to prove legality and sustainability, and meet certification standards, the industry had already entered into negotiations under the EU-FLEGT programme to ensure that the local forest sector would meet these guidelines and import regulations for the UK and EU markets.While the consultants to CPET did state that EU-FLEGT licensing would constitute adequate evidence of Category B compliance, the GMSA is adamant that the UK agency issued the Technical Note with no communication or consultation with local stakeholders.The GMSA also drew reference to recent pronouncements by local forestry expert Dr Janette Bulkan, who had pronounced on the sustainability of greenheart forest harvesting by referring to the studies carried out by Tropenbos in the Bartica Triangle.It was quick to point out, however, that, “the UK Environment Agency Technical Note refers to the sustainable forest management of the forests of origin and not only greenheart”.In December 2015, the consultants to CPET clarified that the submissions by the Guyanese industry did not meet the requirements for Category B certification, as it pertained to issues such as “adequate multi-stakeholder consultation locally in the development of the Codes of Practice, forest policy and plans and regulation”, according to the GMSA.“They never even got to the point of reviewing actual harvesting rates and practices on the ground – therefore the reference to the Bartica Triangle Study as the reasons for the Technical Note is incorrect in more ways than one.”Pointing to some of the verification practices obtained locally, the GMSA said “our forest management system is subject to regular independent forest monitoring; in addition to Guyana welcoming this, it is also a requirement of the agreement with the Kingdom of Norway.”It was highlighted that Guyana would not have received any funding for avoided deforestation from Norway under the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) if our forest regulatory environment was considered as “pariah”.Guyana has the third lowest deforestation rate in the world and, according to data released for 2015, forest operations only contribute one per cent of the total annual deforestation in Guyana.last_img read more

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No Managing Director at RIA?

first_imgThe Liberia Airport Authority (LAA) says its aim is to simply deter interference with the aerodrome at the Roberts International Airport, which sometimes leads to the theft of very valuable navigational equipment.Recent developments obtaining at the Robert International Airport (RIA), involving that airports’ workers union, management, and the Government of Liberia have given cause for the Liberian Senate to raise concerns as to who is in charge at Liberia’s only international airport. The last managing director at RIA was Ellen Corkrum, for whom the Government of Liberia has file extradition proceedings for her return from America to face trial for corruption.The Senator’s concern was prompted by recent communication from the Senate Committee on Labor Senator Matthew Jaye in which the River Gee lawmaker brought to the attention of the Liberian Senate an unfolding event at the RIA, and requested that body for immediate intervention to help avoid labor unrest or confrontation at the country’s only international airport.In the letter to his colleagues dated March 26, 2014, Senator Jaye informed them that on February 23, 2014, “I received a communication from the RIA workers union complaining that the Acting General Manager Mr. Richelieu A. Williams, and the recent board chairman Mr. Beyan Kesselly, who is also managing the Maritime Affairs without consultation with the workers union leadership, nullified the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that was signed by the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Labor, the RIA Management and the workers union.”According to Senator Jaye, the workers also complaint that the leadership of the union has been dismissed which contravenes the CBA as well, because the secretary and president of the union work full time to run the daily affairs of the union in every entity where the workers are unionized.In furtherance of the above, “I immediately invited the management for conference on March 19, 2014 in order to find an amicable solution to the problem. But surprisingly Mr. Pro Tempore and distinguished colleagues, one Mr. Gibson K. Sackor of the Liberian Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) responded as the acting director general of the CAA, and not RIA, on the same March 19, 2014. Mr. Harris had turned over management of RIA to the Board of Directors since November 18, 2013.Considering said response, the main question that remains unanswered is who is managing the affairs of RIA.”The Labor Committee Chairman reminded the plenary that “the RIA is very strategic and there is a need to know who is in charge, and to also avoid labor unrest or confrontation at the country’s only international airport.The plight of the RIA workers up to date is in limbo, as there is nobody to address their grievances.”Concluding, Senator Jaye begged the indulgence of his colleagues and request that the chairperson of the board of directors of the RIA be made to appear before the plenary of the Liberian Senate to show reason why the RIA is being allegedly operated without a director general or acting director general since November 18, 2013.Making intervention following the communication, Maryland County Senator H. Dan Morias cautioned that the issue at RIA is an extremely important one and welcomed the suggestion that the committee dealing with it be expanded, saying the nature of the case also borders on the legal aspect of whether the bargaining agreement is being altered; and asked that the Judiciary Committee be given consideration.For his part, the chair on the committee of Internal Affairs and Governance, Senator Armah Zulu Jallah warned that the issue that the RIA is without a managing director is not good news and that such kind of information should be managed properly, for the sake of the users of the port.“The issue is not only important to the national security, but also to our economy. As it is, the Robert International Airport stands empty, so who is controlling affairs of the RIA? We must know to whom we go; whom do we ask questions.”In their unanimous vote, the plenary agreed that the committees on Judiciary, and Labor be added to Transport so that the three can work together to deal with the issue once and for all and report to plenary soonest in two weeks.The Liberian government recently wrote its United States counterpart for extradition of former RIA managing Director Ellen Corkrum after she mysteriously escaped from the country, following accusation that she embezzled hundreds of thousands of United States Dollars.Corkrum has since launched a campaign of releasing secret recordings of her interactions with some prominent Liberian government officials, including President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.The United States Embassy near here has meanwhile, confirmed that Liberia which enjoys extradition treaty with that country has filed for the extradition of Madam Corkrum.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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Mass Protest Planned

first_imgThe Daily Observer has reliably learned of massive preparations underway that will involve tens of thousands of Liberians for a peaceful nation-wide demonstration.According to the organizers of the march, the protestors will peacefully assemble on or before March 6, 2014 to register their opposition to the recent legislation passed by the Legislature prohibiting the board of governors of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) from contesting any political seat for three consecutive years after the expiration of their tenures.The controversial legislation amends the 1999 Act of the CBL, which already prohibits the governor, his deputies, and board of governors from contesting political seats while serving their tenures. The lawmakers were said to believe that banning the board of governors of the CBL for three consecutive years after their tenures have expired, will help depoliticize the CBL. The heavily criticized legislation also gives lawmakers exclusive powers to determine whether or not an offense has been committed by the executive governor or a member of the board of governors of the CBL and “to take necessary action of impeachment in keeping with relevant provisions of the Constitution.” According to the 1999 Financial Institution Act, “a member of the board of governors can be removed from office upon a bill of impeachment by the House of Representatives upon a finding by a majority of the board of governors and the recommendation of the President for gross breach of duty; misconduct of office; conviction of a felony and being declared bankrupt.” Part II (4) (1) of the 1999 Act which gave the CBL the power to issue legal tender and banknotes and coins was also amended  to say that the CBL shall “supply” legal tender and banknotes and coins. The planners of the march have denounced the bill and vowed to resist it.Organizers of the march are contending that by giving itself these powers, the legislature is scraping the CBL of its legal and international best practice mandate as a central bank. They disclosed that the march will take place on or before March 6, 2014 and will be held at the Capitol Building and the Foreign Ministry. “We are going to tell President Sirleaf not to sign that unconstitutional bill into law,” said one organizer.Functions of a central bankAccording to international best practice, a central bank (reserve bank) or monetary authority is an institution that manages a state’s currency, money supply, and interest rates. Central banks also usually oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries and are institutionally designed to be independent from political interference, with limited control by the executive and legislative bodies.  In contrast to a commercial bank, a central bank possesses a monopoly on increasing the amount of money in the nation, and usually prints the national currency, which usually serves as the nation’s legal tender.Lawmakers’ argument  Members of the legislature are, however, contending that they have the constitutional authority to print and issue the national currency even though they (legislators) “mistakenly” delegated that authority to the CBL back in 1999.LINSU, Others Condemn BillThe Liberia National Student Union (LINSU) was the first to condemn the legislation. In a widely publicized statement issue last week, LINSU described the law as “a bad law gear towards fostering disunity and witch hunting.” LINSU’s president Varney Jarsey and secretary general Benedict Williams vowed to fight the law to death. The presidents of various universities’ student unions including the University of Liberia Student Union (ULSU), AME Zion University Student Union (AMEZUSU), United Methodist University Student Union (UMUSU), Cuttington University Student Union (CUSU), Smythe and Tubman University (TU) have also jointly affixed their signatures to a strong press statement condemning the Bill. The Citizens Solidarity Council has also condemned the Bill and threatened legal action against the Legislature. Also condemning the Bill is renowned Liberian constitutional lawyer and former Labor Minister, Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe, who has argued that the bill violates Article 11 of the Liberian Constitution. Hundreds of callers on various phone-in talk shows have also condemned the Bill and called on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to veto it in the name of peace and good governance.Some Lawmakers’ Condemnation of the BillSome lawmakers on Capitol Hill have also declared their opposition to the law seeking to bar Liberians from contesting for political offices after the expiration of their tenures with the CBL.Montserrado County Representative Thomas Fallah of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) wondered whether supporters of the Bill took into consideration the constitutional rights of those affected by such a law.Rep. Fallah frowned at the haste with which the Lower House concurred with the Bill, which emanated from the Senate, without sending it to the Committee room for advice to the plenary. Another CDC lawmaker who voted against the Bill in the Lower House, Julius Berrien, described the law as bad and unconstitutional. Our Capitol Hill sources hinted to our reporter during the week that House Speaker Jenekai Alex Tyler of the ruling Unity Party (UP) requested plenary to suspend the House’s Standing Rules before voting on the Bill to allow all motions for reconsideration to be tried on the floor on the same day. “This is because he realized that most of the lawmakers were in favor of passing the Bill,” said this source on condition of anonymity.Why was the Bill Passed?Our sources declared that the CBL Act was amended in order to “clip the wings” of Executive Governor Dr. J. Mills Jones, whom the lawmakers perceived as gaining political capital in the country. The CBL boss has gained strong popularity across Liberia for his “inclusive economic” policy under which the CBL is providing economic stimuli to key sectors of the economy through bank and non-bank financial institutions.With the high poverty level in Liberia especially in rural parts, many Liberians, mainly businesses—both small and large—consider Governor Jones as one who understands their plight and that of the Liberian economy. This paper has been told that politicians on Capitol Hill, who are eyeing the presidency come 2017, see Governor Jones as their greatest threat should he decide to contest. The CBL boss’ second and final tenure as Executive Governor of the CBL is expected to end in 2016.President Sirleaf’s DilemmaPolitical analysts believe that the passage of the controversial Amended CBL Act by the legislature puts President Sirleaf in a critical political position. Executive Mansion sources hinted to our reporter over the weekend that the President is disturbed by the decision of the Legislature to enact a law that directly contravenes international best practice. These sources, however, noted that the President is weighing in on the issue of the US$73 million district development bill recently submitted by House Speaker Alex Tyler.The bill, which seeks to set aside US$73 million exclusively for district development across the country, lacks basic elements of financial management. Citing failure of the County Development Fund, these sources noted that the President seems unprepared to approve the US$73 million bill due to accountability issues. Though these sources didn’t say whether the President will sign the amended CBL Act to appease the Legislature, they told our reporter that doing so would put her credibility on the line. They also told our reporter that President Sirleaf is keenly watching the political interplay on Capitol Hill following rumors that Vice President Joseph Boakai and House Speaker Alex Tyler, all of the ruling UP, are considering contesting the 2017 presidential and general elections. Internal wrangling within the governing UP has been fueled by a power- struggle over who should replace President Sirleaf as standard bearer. The big question is: will President Sirleaf risk what political capital and credibility she has left and sign a law that violates the Constitution and ruins the CBL, to appease lawmakers on Capitol Hill?   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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Delta Airlines CEO: Ebola Procedures in Place

first_imgWhile executivees say the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has had minimal impact on Delta Air Lines’ business, its CEO told CNBC the airline’s priority is making sure its operations are safe for passengers and crew members.Delta has screening mechanisms in place at the airport in Liberia, and its flight crews and pilots turn out of Dakar, Senegal, pick up passengers in Liberia and return to Dakar, Richard Anderson said in an interview with “Closing Bell.” Delta flights to Liberia will continue until August 31, 2014. However, Anderson said the airline is taking it on a “day-by-day basis.””We have good procedures in place. The government of Liberia is doing a good job screening people in advance of entering the airport,” he said.”We have a deep relationship with the CDC and Emory,” the hospital that is treating two Americans with Ebola, he said.”We operate under their guidance and advice and we’re continuing to operate under their guidance and advice.”On Wednesday, the International Air Transport Association said the Ebola outbreak that began in West Africa in March could be one of the biggest challenges for airlines. However, the World Health Organization has said the risk to plane passengers from Ebola is low and has not recommended travel restrictions. British Airways has suspended flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone until the end of the month. Emirates airline has suspended flights to Guinea and two regional African airlines have cancelled all flights to Sierra Leone and Liberia.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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Encounter with a Genie

first_imgKonah, a sixteen year old boy did not listen to his poor mother, Madam Kaymah, each time she told him, “My son, let us go on the farm.”Konah would always tell his mother, “Mama it is too early to go on the farm. You may go ahead mother, when the sun rises, I will come to you later.”Instead of paying heed to his poor mother’s advice, Konah would always remain behind each time his mother and the rest of the children were about to go to the farm. Even when his father, Mr. Kolleh encouraged him to go along, he would not heed his call.Konah’s obstinacy soon reached a point where no one ever bothered him to go to the farm. Not even his mother or older folks in the town who often would advise younger ones to obey their parents would pay attention to him.All they probably thought was that Konah was a man of his own and who would not listen to any advice.Konah continued this way until one day; he soon experienced the harsh reality of how it normally did not pay for children not to listen to their parents!Not knowing the reason why Konah had always refused to go along with his parents, it apparently had something to do with the presence of a certain genie from the mountains who usually sat at the middle of the pathway leading to the farm.Konah’s father Kolleh did not have any idea of the genie’s presence and as a result never consulted Old man Nanmo, now hairy with age, who was by then the only one who knew about the legacy of the town since the latter’s great grand father was the founder of the town.So when Mr. Kolleh completed his farm, Old Man Nanmo gave him the go ahead to harvest the crops on the farm before his efforts went in vain; but the old man kept this strange revelation secret. This particular genie was also noted for feeding on human beings. The genie would be at the middle of the path waiting for anyone traveling that route to devour.Konah one fateful day decided to journey to the farm when he encountered the genie.The carnivorous genie said to him, “Where are you coming from and where are you going?”Konah braced his courage and answered, “I am coming from town and going on the farm to my parents.”The genie retorted, “Yes, indeed you are going on the farm to your parent, my dear child; but unfortunately for you sing a nice song that may amuse my listening ears!”The genie’s ears looked more like fanners. He was rather ugly and had a funny appearance. And besides being ugly, there was something quite peculiar about the genie that Konah felt disgusted.With that instruction Konah started to cry, as he raised the song, “My mother told me let’s go to the farm; but I told her, mother go ahead and when the sun rises, I will follow. Oh, mother come for me; if only I had listened to my mother!”As Konah sang, the genie became impressed and told him to continue to sing. Konah sang and sang; then the genie, having an ulterior motive wanted to get raid of Konah, said, “Oh, what a beautiful song! Indeed, come closer my dear, stand on my feet and sing some more so that I may hear your sweet voice quite loud and clear.”But as innocent as Konah came to be, he did not know exactly what the clever genie was up to, and therefore, Konah did exactly as he was told by standing on his feet and he began to sing again.The genie said, “How wonderful of you my child, now climb onto my lap and sing some more of your fine song.” And Konah did as he was taught.The genie further said, “You will definitely become a very good vocalist some day my dear; but just climb into my hands and sing some more.”Konah did as he was told even though he was becoming hungry. Then the genie said, “Well done my dear, but just come to me and do me the last favor by standing on my lips and sing the last stanza of your fine song, then you may go.”At that, Konah soon became happy, as a flicker of hope was now visible on his innocent face! He probably thought that he would soon be released by his captor. And so, Konah hurrily climbed on top of the mighty genie’s gigantic lips.Barely did Konah climb atop the greedy and hungry genie’s sizeable lips than the hungry genie swallowed him within the twinkle of an eye! How happy the hungry genie might have been be then, having gone hungry for some them now, once no one would easily tread its path!Yet, though Konah was a stubborn boy, he was also smart, too! Konah always traveled with his penknife down into his pocket! And so, no sooner did Konah descend into the mighty genie’s sizeable stomach than Konah reaching out for his penknife, as sharp as tow-edges sword! Thus, Konah immediately opened the genie’s stomach wide apart and off he hurriedly ran away to his parents on the farm to tell them the news about his recent adventure with the genie.Once on the farm, Konah asked for a cup of water to quench his thirst before narrating his ordeal! He explained what happened to him on his way to the farm and what he had learned from it, as a lesson.Konah’s parents could not believe him because they felt his narrative was a mere fantasy! And so, they converged on the scene of the incident later only to behold the sizeable corpse of the mighty genie lying on the ground, face down!It was then that they believed him and immediately sent for everyone from far and nearby towns and villages to come and see what Konah had done!Everyone that came on the scene was amazed and glad all the same for what Konah did was seemed unbelievable, taking into account the size of the dead genie, as they carried Konah on their shoulders, chanting, “Little Konah the giant killer! Little Konah, our young hero.”“A small axe has cut down a big tree,” observed elderly folks in the village.But who knows? If God had not been on Konah’s side he would probably nor survive that grave adventure! So, it is best for children to listen to their parents’ pieces of advice rather than to have that experience of Konah.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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