Ellen Recommends Dialogue, Not Protest

first_imgMadam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf prefers peaceful dialogue to peaceful protest. -Says Liberia’s past is too bitter Ahead of the planned June 7 protest in the country, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf cataloged the importance of holding dialogues to settle differences rather than taking the streets with protests.In an interview with LBS Director General on Thursday, May 9, 2019 with LBS Ledgerhood Rennie, on the Bumper Show, Madam Sirleaf said while peaceful protest is fundamental and a constitutional rights for the citizens, care must be taken not to allow sentiments to override the objective of the planned June 7 “peaceful protest.”Though the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) chairman, Mulbah Morlu recently accused her of being one of the architects of the planned June 7 protest, the former President said she preferred dialogue to protest, taking cue from the country’s history.“Peaceful protest is a fundamental and constitutional right, which must always be protected and should not be denied. But let us remember our experience, and how quickly things get out of hands. Let us remember how quickly the unexpected can occur,” she said.She said Liberia belongs to everybody, and that everyone should have equal rights to access equal benefits.Sirleaf added, “What can and should change is the current course. Therefore, we call upon the government to demonstrate the willingness for change and choose the path in these cross-roads that lead to the peace and stability that you have learned over all these years.”“Our government has the primary responsibility for this, and I am glad that our Senate has taken some actions in recent time, and that President Weah, who must lead this effort is also beginning to take some steps toward this objective,” she said.About the challenging economic conditions, Sirleaf said the George Weah-led government should not be solely blamed, “because there is a challenge that is beyond our collective national capacity to address those cardinal issues.”Sirleaf said people should understand that reviving an economy is not an issue of pressing a button of a music player to get it forwarded.“We can find solutions to the problems, only that we need to get people together to start thinking  carefully to put together those plans that would enable us to successfully go through,” she said.Madam Sirleaf added, “If we want the administration’s objectives to be met, I don’t think anyone can disagree with me on these points.”The former President thinks that there is a need for Liberians to put their heads together, and that it is good for consultations to go beyond certain specific group on party lines.“I believe that our people will respond to initiatives of peace and dialogue, for they too want a peaceful nation to achieve the objective that would move toward the security that they have long desired,” she said.Sirleaf added, “Liberia has forever been dependent on the exportation of iron ore and rubber to the extent that in the times of high rubber prices, there has been no problem, but by the time the rubber market price drops on the world market, Liberia will experience difficulty circumstances, thus making things difficult for the country.”“We should have done more, but also when we were faced with the same situation in the last years of our administration, we knew that economic diversification was the way to go. We are not doing enough in the agriculture sector as a country, but I think something can be done to alleviate the current turbulent economic crisis,” she said.As the political godmother of the country who is interested in seeing President Weah succeed, Madam Sirleaf advised Mr. Weah to ask for financial assistance from the international monetary Fund (IMF) as well as other financial institutions, including the African Development Bank, rather than being afraid of debts.She added: “I think that all Liberians, first of all should be committed to seeing a better Liberia. Liberians should be willing to contribute. I do believe that we should also have a government that welcomes the exchange of ideas, working together and listening to others, even when they are in the opposition block.”She advised that those in the opposition also have a role to play, and therefore, should be allowed to contribute, because they will also benefit, whether good or bad.“The will benefit or they will suffer. All of them need to put eyes to this thing, and how we can succeed together as a people, because difficulties come to every country at different times under different circumstances, which situation does not call for staging protest of any kind,” Sirleaf said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgJust fifteen minutes after we sent out an SOS, Tess the black and white springer spaniel has been found.Tess has been found after our SOSThe family pet went missing in the Glencar Scotch area of Letterkenny just after 6.30pm this evening.Her owner Chris Toal contacted us and asked us to put the word out on missing Tess. Just a few minutes ago Chris came back to us with some great news.“Within 15 minutes of the story going on your website we got a call from a lovely woman to say she had seen Tess recently in the Windmill View area.“We drove there and spotted her – thanks to your website and your quick response to get the message out. I really appreciate it,” said Chris.We’re happy to oblige Chris and just delighted that you got Tess back safe and sound. Dog gone – that story had one happy ending!A HAPPY ‘TAIL’ AS TESS IS FOUND! was last modified: June 16th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DOGfoundletterkennymissingTesslast_img read more

Back in black Experts say why the Trudeau deficit gambit wont fly

first_imgHALIFAX – Less than two years ago, Nova Scotia voters enthusiastically embraced Justin Trudeau’s plan to spur the economy through hefty deficit financing, handing the federal Liberals every riding in the province.The free-spending approach appears to be getting little traction, however, as Nova Scotia’s provincial election campaign draws to a close.The Liberals under Premier Stephen McNeil are seeking a second consecutive mandate by pledging four deficit-free budgets, having already tabled two consecutive balanced budgets during a term marked by a tight-fisted approach to public spending.Their main rivals, the Progressive Conservatives led by Jamie Baillie, are also promising four more balanced budgets if elected on Tuesday.Tom Urbaniak, a political science professor at Cape Breton University, said Nova Scotia voters understand the country as a whole has a greater capacity to deal with deficits than their province does.“Nova Scotians have very limited experience with economic growth,” he said, noting Nova Scotia’s growth on average has lagged virtually every province for more than 25 years.“At the federal level, a pledge for deficit spending for infrastructure is more easily understood as being a bridge between a slow period and a more robust period of economic growth. The country as a whole is used to steady economic growth, and population growth. Not so in Nova Scotia.”McNeil has repeatedly said Ottawa’s plans can’t be compared with Nova Scotia’s, because the federal government is expected to benefit from an eventual rebound in world oil prices.Trudeau’s government is forecasting a $28.5 billion federal deficit in 2017-18.Inspired by the federal Liberals, Nova Scotia’s New Democrats have committed to adding close to $1 billion in red ink over the next four years if they take power.“The answer the federal Liberals gave in their last budget and in their last platform about this was the right one,” NDP Leader Gary Burrill said when his party released its platform halfway through the campaign.Burrill, elected leader just over a year ago, was immediately condemned by the Liberals as a left-leaning “anti-capitalist,” while a Tory spokesman called the projected deficits a “reckless spending orgy.”The NDP’s commitment to deficit financing stands in contrast to the province’s recent political history. For 17 years, successive governments have promised balanced budgets. And at one point, the province had a balanced budget law.Even the province’s first NDP government, which held office under Darrell Dexter between 2009 and 2013, pledged to table three consecutive balanced budgets — a promise they eventually broke.Burrill has said times have changed, but the polls suggest otherwise. The party has consistently trailed in third place since the campaign began in early May.“The greatest enemy for Gary Burrill and the NDP is time,” said Urbaniak. “They need more time to articulate the planks of their platform … It’s not necessarily unpalatable to run a deficit in this province, but it has to be tied to a comprehensive program of economic growth and good governance.”The Tories, meanwhile, have been outflanked by the Liberals.“The (Liberals) are behaving more like traditional Progressive Conservatives,” said Don Mills, CEO of Halifax-based Corporate Research Associates. “That’s left Jaimie Baillie with very little space to go … The Liberals are actually further to the right of them.”Since 2000, Nova Scotia’s debt-to-GDP ratio — a key indicator of economic health — has been declining. The province now sits in the middle of the pack when its ratio is compared with other provinces.But the Nova Scotia government is still paying an estimated $850 million annually in debt-servicing charges on a $10.5 billion budget — and the McNeil government seems determined to reduce that cost.The problem is that the Liberals have spent a great deal of political capital on reining in spending and holding the line on wage increases for the public sector — measures that have led to charges of ruthlessness and protests at the legislature.“The back-to-balance journey has been associated with a lot of pain for many Nova Scotians — perhaps more pain than was necessary,” Urbaniak said. “That is a risk factor for the Liberals in this campaign.”To soften their image, the Liberals spent $130 million on pre-election goodies, the Conservatives say. And the Liberals followed up by tabling a feel-good budget last month that promises broad tax cuts.Mills said many voters don’t care about the province’s fiscal plan, but most know the economy has been lagging for years. According to research compiled by his firm, 60 per cent of Nova Scotians have not seen a raise in the past two years.“Most households are feeling the pinch,” he said. “They understand how difficult the economy is because they’re experiencing it.”last_img read more