Friday, May 14, 2010

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf White House visitation

Letter to President Obama
By TQ Harris Jr.

May 14, 2010

H.E. Barack Obama
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC

Your Excellency:

Having learned that later this month you will host Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, at the White House, we would like to bring to your attention issues critical to Liberia’s recovery.

We are happy you have decided to meet with the leader of our nation. May we ask during your discussion with Madam Sirleaf that you please raise the issue of the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendations which is critical to national healing, stability and lasting peace. It is an essential element in Liberia’s revival following the devastating war that displace two-third the population, involved the rape, torture and maiming of tens of thousands and the murder of more than 250,000 civilians, including 5 American Nuns.
Since the release of the TRC Final Report almost a year ago Madam Sirleaf has refused to act in any way on the Commission’s recommendations; rather, she has allowed this genuine effort to heal the nation become a source of division, hatred and frustration which – if not addressed in a timely manner – will again plunge Liberia into violence.

Also, that the U.S. is a major contributor to Liberia’s recovery, perhaps Your Excellency might persuade Madam Sirleaf into explaining how she intends to address corruption while continuing to protect her friends and cronies caught in the act. In utter frustration, the head of the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission recently took the President to task on this very issue.

Since her election to the Presidency, Madam Sirleaf has expended enormous amount of time and resources persuading creditors, including the U.S. to forgive Liberia’s more than $5 Billion debt. Yet she has done nothing to ensure that Liberia never again amasses such astronomical debt without having anything to show. Regrettably, Madam Sirleaf seems unwilling to accept that in order for Liberia to prosper there must be Accountability and Rule of Law. She speaks eloquently on the subject but refuses to act.

Lastly, Your Excellency, Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country’s brutal war; without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results.

Your Excellency, the beleaguered citizens of Liberia desperately seek your direct intervention in order to end the prolonged nightmare and rebuild our lives. Decades of injustice, intimidation and abuse have rendered Liberians powerless. Please help!

Thank you for reading this letter.


Thomas Q. Harris, Jr.



News Headline

Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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