Sunday, November 14, 2010


T.Q. Harris Jr.
The truth-telling approach to healing touted as the best way forward has been roundly rejected by the Liberian people. Now its leading advocates, including President Johnson Sirleaf, are unwilling to accept the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) report which largely favors accountability and eradication of impunity. Opposing the will of the people, Madam Sirleaf and the others have refused to honor the TRC recommendations risking the possibility of renewed violence.

Although the conclusions might be lacking in certain regards, there is no denying that the TRC final report has exposed the diabolical scheme to use reconciliation as an unsuspecting weapon to bludgeon the truth. It confirms the level of atrocities visited upon defenseless men, women and children. This was the first opportunity given the victims to speak freely and their stories were not unlike scenes in a first rate horror movie; their accounts were sickening to say the least.

Those bearing the greatest responsibility for the atrocities must be held accountable. They must not be allowed to participate in the 2011 elections or hold any positions of governmental authority and power! This is necessary in order to begin genuine reconciliation.

The imperative to seize the moment and do what is right cannot be over stated. Liberia is being repositioned for an awesome transformation and we must act decisively. This is an opportunity to embed into the national fabric rule of law, moral values and democracy. Do not give in to threats and intimidation. The heinous crimes perpetrated against the Liberian people have been well documented. It is only a matter of time before justice takes its course.

These are steps that must be taken to ensure that the TRC report becomes an invaluable instrument in transitioning Liberia from the era of war to lasting peace:

1. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf must state without delay her unequivocal support for the TRC report and in the same breath tender her resignation or state categorically that at the conclusion of her current term she will not seek reelection;

2. In the interest of transparency, President Johnson Sirleaf must constitute a 5 to 7-member committee which shall observe all concession agreements, because the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has indicted the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches of government;

3. Along with President Johnson Sirleaf, the Legislature must act immediately on the TRC report; and,

4. The Independent National Human Rights Commission must begin implementation of the TRC recommendations without delay.

With every passing day the cost to rebuild this nation increases while Liberians fall deeper and deeper into poverty. Failing to act expeditiously only prolongs the uncertainty, increases the country’s vulnerability and lengthens the time it will take for recovery.

Therefore, we call on the President to demonstrate leadership by complying with the TRC recommendation that she not hold public office for 30 years. Afterall, Madam Sirleaf vigorously supported and promoted the truth telling approach to national healing. Her acceptance of the TRC recommendations will no doubt compel others to cooperate.

Please, Madam President, do not let the sycophants mislead you as they did Presidents Tolbert, Doe and Taylor - men who did not know when to quit. This just might be your finest hour…make the most of it! Would you rather be remembered for what you did or did not do as it relates to the mass murder of unarmed men, women and children; or will you seize the occasion to shape the destiny of this nation? The Key to Liberia’s peace, renewal and success is in your hands!!

The Author: T. Q. Harris, Jr. is a member of the Free Democratic Party (of Liberia) who is expected to be a Presidential candidate in the 2011 Election. Mr. Harris in 1997 was the Vice Presidential nominee of his Party. He is currently the Chairman of Liberian Contempt UPS. To get more information: ; ; ; and Phone: (562) 256-4271 Liberia: (231) 6 538827

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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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