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Government warns PATEL against protest

Joseph Koon/Maximilian Kasseh, Jr.
Ministry of Information,Culture and Tourism,Monrovia
Ministry of Information,Culture and Tourism,Monrovia

MONROVIA-The Government of Liberia says its attention has been drawn to reports that individuals representing the Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia (PATEL) are intimidating and threatening owners of businesses to join a planned demonstration and strike on Monday, April 10.

The Liberian Government says such act by PATEL is in conflict with the laws of Liberia and strongly warns the group to immediately desist.

An information Ministry statement issued on April 7, 2010 quotes Government as saying that it will not condone any illegal act by individual or groups, including PATEL that has the propensity to breach the peace and disrupt normal activities and stagnate the economy.

The Liberian Government says while it recognizes the rights of individuals and groups to express their grievances over issues of disagreement, it advises that such expressions or demonstrations be done within the confines of the law.

The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism says during the past months and up to April 7, Government had been engaged in series of discussions with the PATEL Leadership.

The release further quotes Government as clarifying that PATAEL’s initial concerns and contentions have already been addressed.

Some of those concerns are the ECOWAS Common External Tariff, Pre-shipment Imported Goods, and Inspection Procedures at the Free Port of Monrovia, the Payment of Taxes in United States Dollars only and the One Cent Telecommunications Tariff, have already been addressed.

Government says despite ongoing constructive engagement with PATEL, it continues make additional and unrealistic demands, describing such action as politically- motivated.

The Government has assured the public, including the business community that, it will, at all times uphold its responsibility to protect the peace and ensure the security of the state.

Meanwhile, the Liberian National Police has been to closely monitor the situation to maintain the peace and stability of the state.


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