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Independence Day Orator wants TRC Report implemented

By myonline staff
Cllr. Varney Sherman
Cllr. Varney Sherman

( Orator of the 2013 Independence Day celebration has delivered a strong worded speech calling for a careful application of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report.

The ruling Unity Party Chairman, Varney Sherman, emphasized: “True peace and reconciliation cannot be achieved in Liberia in the absence of the implementation of the TRC report.”

“Millions of United States dollars was spent to set up the TRC as a National Platform to help reconcile the Liberian People,” Cllr Sherman noted.

Cllr. Sherman made the statement Friday, July 26, 2013 in Tubmanburg, Bomi County when he served as National Orator of Liberia’s 166th Independence Day celebration.

Tubmanburg is the provincial capital of Bomi County, one of the three counties that form Liberia’s Western Region - sharing common border with neighboring Sierra Leone.

Amidst several count recommendations, he added: “Government should ignore illegal and unconstitutional provisions in the TRC report that are conflicting with the law.”

“Government should rather scrupulously implement those provisions that would foster genuine peace, unity, integration and reconciliation.”

Cllr. Sherman argued that ignoring the report in its totality would not foster national growth and development, but would serve as a recipe for continued disunity and confrontation amongst Liberians.

The National Orator also spoke highly of the numerous landmark achievements to the credit of the Johnson-Sirleaf-led government in restoring basic social services, including the construction and rehabilitation of major roads, health and educational facilities.

Other public infrastructure, continued efforts geared at building the country’s image amongst the comity of nations, among other national initiatives.

According to government, the tripartite hosting of the Independence Day event by regional counties is in furtherance of its decentralization policy to purposely foster development in those areas.

Earlier, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf dedicated several development projects in Gbarpolu Grand Cape Mount and Bomi Counties as part of the National Independence Day celebration.

Following the projects' dedication, the Liberian Leader expressed satisfaction over the level of progress made in implementing them and called on Liberian people to unite and support government in the country’s transformation process.

The renowned lawyer is a graduate of the Cuttington University College, now Cuttington University, the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law of the University of Liberia, and Harvard University Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the U.S.A.

In 2003, Cuttington University conferred on Cllr. Sherman the honorary LL.D. degree in recognition of his philanthropy, especially his personal financial and material support to higher education in Liberia.

While studying for his LL.B. degree, he served as a Junior Labor Counsel & Investigator at Liberia’s Ministries of Labor and Youth & Sports, where he obtained vast knowledge and experience in Liberian labor law and industrial relations, especially collective bargaining negotiations and trade union affairs.

Liberia’s independence proclaimed–a short history

The Republic of Liberia, formerly a colony of the American Colonization Society (ACS), declared its independence on July 26, 1847.

The historic declaration of independence made the West African nation the first democratic republic in Africa’s history.

Under pressure from Grate Britain, the United States (U.S.) hesitantly accepted Liberia’s sovereignty.

However, independence was granted Liberia by the United States in 1847, and Liberia aided Britain in its efforts to end the illegal West African slave trade, with official U.S. diplomatic recognition coming in 1862.

The Liberian constitution, modeled after that of the U.S, was approved and in 1848, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, was elected first president of the tiny nation.

The ACS was founded in 1816 by an American, Robert Finley, to return freed African-American slaves to Africa and by 1820, the first former U.S. slaves arrived in Sierra Leone, a British colony, from the United States.

Finally in 1821, the Society founded the colony of Liberia, south of Sierra Leone, as a homeland for former slaves outside British jurisdiction.

The American Colonization Society came under attack from U.S. abolitionists, who charged that the removal of freed slaves from the United States strengthened the institution of slavery.

In addition, most Americans of African descent were not enthusiastic to abandon their native lands in the United States for the harsh West African coast.

Nevertheless, between 1822 and the American Civil War that erupted in 1776, some 15,000 African Americans settled in Liberia.

With the backing of the United States, Liberia kept its independence, though the turmoil of the 20th century.

Regrettably, a costly civil war began in the country in December, 1989 and lasted until 1997, when Charles Taylor, now in The Hague, was elected president of the nation in what was referred to as “free elections.”

Mr. Taylor’s administration was under continued criticisms for allegedly supporting neighboring Sierra Leone rebels.

Over three million people live in Liberia today.


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