It takes more than presidential promises to make Sierra Leone a better place!
It was indeed with a heavy heart that I read the press release from Reporters Without Borders (RWB) raising alarm bells over the hounding of Independent Observer editors Jonathan Leigh and Bai Bai Sesay in the name of the much dreaded killer press law—the seditious criminal libel law of the 1965 Public Order Act. I cannot actually quantify the extent to which I dread this most obnoxious enemy of press freedom—and indeed the free world—not least because I suffered persecution in its name on a number of occasions under three regimes—the APC, NPRC, and the SLPP---but because it continues to cast a very negative image over our country’s democratic credentials.
Freetown, Feb. 26 (SLENA) - The Managing Director of the leading betting company, Mercury International Sierra Leone Limited, Martin E. Michael has said in Freetown that his company is contributing immensely to the country’s economic growth promotes the development of the nation.
He made this statement Monday this week in an exclusive interview with the Sierra Leone News Agency at their head office at Siaka Stevens Street.
Speaking to SLENA, Mr. Micheal said since the establishment of Mercury in 2007 many households now rely on the company to make ends meet, saying many Sierra Leoneans are today benefiting directly or indirectly from Mercury International.
An organization called ‘Platform for Free Speech and Democratic Rights” says the use of criminal libel laws against journalists in the country is tantamount to press gagging.
Over the years many journalists have been jailed by use of criminal libel laws. The organization says it is currently conducting a research on criminal libel laws in the country. It says one of its aims is to draft a private member bill that would be tabled through parliament so as to repeal the existing criminal libel laws. The organization says it has discovered that the provisions in the Public Order Act 1965 are very vague and gives room for narrow interpretation of the laws. It also observes that Sedition and Seditious libel laws which are also in the Public Order Act 1965 are not in line with contemporary trends in the world. At a time when other countries have abolished sedition and seditious libel laws, Sierra Leone is still making use of them which can silence the media and thus aid bad governance, authoritarianism, party hegemony and corruption.
African Minerals lacks the moral authority to discredit the report by Human Rights Watch
‘‘The only qualms I may have with that report is that it is made up mostly of old truths. Truths we already know but are in denial about, again for some selfish reasons.” These are lines from an opinion piece, ‘Rich in resources, rich in poor people’ by Umaru Fofana on the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report ‘Whose Development? Human Rights in Sierra Leone’s Mining Boom’.
I cannot agree more. Old truths indeed, many of us have lost count of the number of times local organizations like Green Scenery, Network Movement for Justice and Development and the Coalition for Just Mining have drawn our attention to these abuses and many others, but were ignored.
Infact, some observers have described the report as a watered down version of those compiled by these organizations. Others have accused the organization of cherry-picking the human rights abuses it investigated and reported on.
His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has officially opened the 53rd Jalsa Salana of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in Sierra Leone. The three days conference scheduled for 7th to 9th March, 2014 attracted thousands of Muslims from all over the country.
Delivering his address His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma congratulated the entire Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at for their continued demonstration of commitment to tolerance and service to the nation. He reiterated that Islam is a religion of Peace and Tolerance and do not in any way promotes Extremism.
President Koroma emphasized that Islam laid a lot of emphasis on brotherhood, as you should treat others the same way you expect others to treat you. He made reference to the Compassion demonstrated by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) when he returned to Mecca after he was driven by his own People.
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 22, 2014 – The Nigerian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Mrs. Gladys Modupe Quist-Adebiyi, has said that it is in the interest of her Embassy and indeed all Sierra Leoneans to see that the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) and journalism generally develop in the country.
The Nigerian diplomat, who was addressing the SLAJ Executive during a courtesy call on her at her High Commission office, Hill Station in Freetown on Friday February 21, pledged her support to SLAJ in its quest to raise the professional level of their membership.
The new Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (Dubai)
Siray Timbo, one of the leading Sierra Leonean architectural engineers; a reality he proved through his firm IDEAS Partnership and the former Chairman of the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM); has been appointed Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates by His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.
The timing of the appointment is very appropriate. From his track record, Siray Timbo is certainly the right man in the right place everybody agrees.
Honest, modest, humble, friendly and generous, Ambassador will succeed in selling a positive image of Sierra Leone in his mission the United Arab Emirates and far beyond in the Middle East.
One of the world’s leading bodies in combating poverty and aiding development, “The World Bank” continues to support Sierra Leone in its developmental advances not only to establish the key building blocks for a basic national safety net system, but also to provide income support to extremely poor house-holds in the West African Country.
That was why Sierra Leone’s Ambassador accredited to the United States of America H.E. Bockari Kortu Stevens has on behalf of the Government of President Ernest Bai Koroma, signed an amount equivalent to SDR 4, 600,000 financing Agreement pact with the World Bank on the proposed financing (Social Safety Net Project).