The Inquirer Newspaper

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July 26 Celebrated With A Difference

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has expressed great satisfaction that the 168th Independence Celebration of Liberia was well attended in the Southeastern Port City of Greenville, Sinoe County.

President Sirleaf, speaking at the celebration yesterday said for the first time members of the diplomatic Corps, members of the House of Representatives and other legislators, government officials and ordinary citizens attended the Sinoe celebration.

The President said, “We have gathered here today to celebrate another year in our statehood, the 168th Independence Anniversary of the existence of our Nation.”

The Liberian leader continued, “It is a celebration far different from that of the previous years as we look back to the past years, to the true test of our faith and resilience to the challenges posed by an unknown enemy that our nation had never seen before.”

She said despite those trying times, Liberia and her development objectives have not faltered, and the fundamental principles of a nation, dedicated to democracy, the rule of law, human freedom and individual dignity, were strengthened by the country’s resolve to defeat the Ebola Virus Disease(EVD).

“We give thanks to God Almighty for strengthening this resolve, and now ask that we stand for one moment of silence to the memory of the precious lives of more than 4,800 of our fellow compatriots. May God continue to strengthen and richly bless their families who the Liberian nation deeply console,” the President said.

President Sirleaf said, “We recognize and express gratitude to the unprecedented show of solidarity from the International Community to the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Mission on Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) which coordinated and advised on the response.”

She further said, “We express profound appreciation to our multilateral and bilateral partners, foundations and individuals several countries from all over the world.”

President Sirleaf also said, “We especially applaud our continental organizations, ECOWAS and the African Union which mobilized unprecedented private sector support and recruited 339 Africans from 16 countries including (Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana and Niger) to make the sacrifice to leave their country and families to join us in the fight.”

She admonished that as Liberians celebrate their National milestone, they must be mindful that global conditions forced millions of people in all parts of the world to face death, and destruction from wars, earthquakes, floods, terrorism and other violent natural phenomena.

She noted that sometimes, these tragedies take the form of internal descent, unrest, oppression and hunger.

“The ability to surmount these challenges come from a demonstration of inner strength to survive, to recognize the progress upon which we can build to regain lost ground, to continue to build a nation toward the common goals of peace and prosperity,” the Liberian leader said.

The President continued, “In these trying times we do not ask many what you can do for your nation, because that would be asking too much in effort of patriotism, in recognition of the long road of definitive and quantifiable progress. But we can and must ask for informed positions of expressions which reflect honesty and truth as this is the true test of power.”

She said her administration is pleased to note that bilateral relations with Government represented near Monrovia have been most cordial and that the spirits of friendship and solidarity have dominated the government’s official and special contacts.

She congratulated the Doyen and Members of the Diplomatic Corps and assured them of the continued determination of the Government and People of Liberia to live in peace and friendship with all nations, to work and live together as equal partners in the pursuit of permanent world peace and cooperation.

Concluding, the President said, “As we return to our homes and daily preoccupations after today’s celebration, may we in our hearts resolve to love our country, protect our heritage and pledge anew to the true ideal of service to our nation.”

As Part of the 168th Independence Anniversary celebrations, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf dedicated development projects in Sinoe County, one of two counties co-hosting this year’s celebrations.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader early Thursday, July 23, dedicated a number of development projects in Greenville, Sinoe County.

At the dedication of the 3rd Judicial Circuit Court complex, President Sirleaf expressed her pleasure in joining the judiciary in dedicating the judicial complex. “This is another manifestation of the promise made by the government to continue to have development in all counties within the Republic of Liberia,” she said, noting that the fact that the judicial complex is one of the largest in the country attests to the commitment that government had made.

The Liberian President also expressed delight in joining the people of Sinoe County as Liberia celebrates its 168th Independence Anniversary which gives all compatriots the opportunity to access the progress that has been made, recognize the challenges that still exist, and to have an opportunity for an exchange with fellow citizens on how they see the way going forward to continue the progress in the country.

President Sirleaf promised government’s commitment to see that the judicial complex premises are fenced in order to secure the entire five acres donated to the judiciary by the people of Sinoe County.

She thanked the Chief Justice, Associate Justices and Staff for exercising and rendering justice in the country; adding, “That in itself is recognition of the commitment of this government to the rule of law even sometimes we think matters could be settled out of court.”

Earlier, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor said the dedication of the judicial complex promotes the concept of judicial independence. He said it was high time that the judiciary, an independent branch of government be housed in its own facilities throughout the country.

“As we speak, many of our courts are still operating from administrative buildings owned by local government authorities, or from properties owned by private individuals who are potential litigants before the courts,” he stressed, noting that this practice has the tendency to compromise the independence of the Judiciary in many respects.

Chief Justice Korkpor revealed that his administration plans to continue to have a facility of this kind constructed at all judicial circuits in the country, to enhance the productivity of judges and judicial workers and place them in conducive work environments free from outside influences.

Already, there are three modern judicial complexes across the country – the Temple of Justice in Monrovia dedicated in 1965; the 2nd Judicial Complex in Bopolu, Gbarpolu County dedicated in 2013; and now the 3rd Judicial Complex in Greenville, Sinoe County.

In a related development, President Sirleaf has also dedicated a newly constructed Superintendent’s official residence, 15-room Executive Guest House, a Multi-Purpose Youth Center, a Children’s Playground and a Youth Center where she used some time to socialize with the children and youths of Greenville City.

She also dedicated a National Port Authority Rest House and a Warehouse at the Samuel Ross Port of Greenville.

President Sirleaf visited the newly refurbished Francis J. Grant Memorial Hospital where she interacted with the healthcare workers, medical staff, including expatriate medical staff working at the hospital. She applauded them for giving the health facility a facelift.

The Liberian leader said the projects dedicated are progress for the county; though she said a number of them still needed some extra work to complete them and make them comfortable. She stated that the transformation of the city is beginning to be seen and encouraged officials to do more. She promised to give them the support so that Greenville can have a true facelift.



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