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  • Redeeming the Liberian Nation

    first_imgBy Lekpele M. NyamalonMonrovia- Since the end of the Liberian Civil war, successive governments have ignored attempts to bring to closure the experiences of the conflict.  The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in its final report made several recommendations including the banning of some actors from operating in the political landscape of post war Liberia. This was, perhaps, to clean up the space and give an opportunity to reflect as a people, thereby setting a precedent for the future.Unfortunately, however, the Johnson-Sirleaf led Administration was reluctant in its implementation of the TRC recommendation, an action backed by some members of the Liberian Legislature. This sent a knife deep in the wounds of the thousands of victims of the Liberian Civil war- some of whom may never fully recover from the effects of conflict.The line-up of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission included former political actors, civic leaders, warlords and other persons of interest. The TRC was, amongst other things, intended to provide a space for participants of the Liberian conflict to state their roles in the conflict, perhaps apologetically for future recourse. Instead, it became a platform for bigotry and political grand standing. The ordinary Liberian masses were shortchanged, but most importantly, Liberia lost a glorious opportunity to redeem itself through self-cleansing of its scary past.  The Liberian Civil war is recorded to have left scores of families displaced, over some 250,000 lives lost, hundreds of children conscripted as child soldiers and sex slaves and Liberia became a corridor of some of the most vicious atrocities committed in a civil conflict.  Most of the atrocities remain undocumented.Today, documented murderers, economic criminals and gangsters have hijacked the political landscape- posing as ‘Statesmen’. This is unfortunate. To those young children recruited as infants to fight a war they didn’t understand, to those innocent souls left to die on the roadside while fleeing, to those families murdered in cold blood at massacres, to those young women summarily raped by gun tooting thugs, we have let them down.I was born when Liberian was under military rule in 1983, at the tender age of six; the civil war began in 1989. I’m a child survival of conflict and a direct victim of the civil war. Today, sixteen years since the end of the civil war, Liberia is still grappling with its ghost of conflict, in a large part, because it has ignored the basic rudiments of recovery needed in a post conflict society. In a show of political naiveté, former warlords have been courted as key power-brokers and ‘kingmakers’, an ex-warlord got appointed to serve on the Supreme Court bench- which culminatively, showed that we had lost it, in our tracks.Rwanda, for example, as a post conflict nation decided to shake off its shreds, after a brutalizing genocide which is recorded as one of the most barbaric acts in modern history.  Rwanda decided to take all the right steps to self-redemption. The United Nations established The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to deal with human rights abuses after the genocide, while Rwanda prosecuted lower-level leaders and local people. This was a starting point for Rwanda to gain some level of sanity in her journey to redemption.In Sierra Leone for example, The Special Court for Sierra Leone, was a judicial body set up by the government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations to “prosecute persons who bear the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law” committed in Sierra Leone after 30 November 1996 and during the Sierra Leone Civil War.These events helped to clean up the political space, serve as deterrence for future violators and etched a legacy for posterity. The long-term effect of dealing with violations that occur during conflict has a far enriching effect on the overall survivability of the nation than short-term political expediency that harbors war criminals, murderers and economic bandits.  Sadly, in Liberia, post conflict Democracy has seen the re-emergence of murderers, criminals and gangsters hijacking the political space. This is scary. The prosecution of those with the greatest responsibility of atrocities during the Liberian conflict would afford us a period of collective reflection, and, possibly save us from future woes.In my book, ‘Scary Dreams’- an anthology of poems that tell a history of the Liberian Civil war, I’ve tried to reach out to school children and the youth to discuss the stories of the civil war as an opportunity to reflect, remember and heal. Our worst mistake as a nation would be a generation 10, 20, or 30 years ahead that has little or no understanding of the history of the civil war- told in an organized fashion through books, documentaries, etc. The prosecution of war criminals would leave an indelible print in that direction. May God bless the works of our hands and save the state, perhaps from us all.The Author:Lekpele M. Nyamalon is a Poet, Author, Inspirational Speaker, OSIWA Poetry fellow and a Mandela Washington Fellow. He is the Author of the Book: ‘Scary Dreams’, An Anthology of the Liberian Civil War. He can be reached at [email protected] this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


    first_imgNoel Gallagher, winner of the Global Tiles & Bathrooms sponsored Open receiving his prize from Sean Gilroy, [sponsor]. Also pictured is club Captain, Gerard Duffy.Letterkenny Golf News:Congratulations to the high number of entries for the Cat 4. first competition of the season, most of whom were eagerly awaiting their first “official” tee-off date! Played over 9 holes, the proud winner was Bryan Harkin 20 pts, with runner-up Michael McDaid on18pts. With the Wednesday Opens now back in full swing, a good entry saw cat.2 member Kevin Mc Donald [13] taking his first main prize of the season with a “game of two nines” scorecard. Following a double bogey at 2nd and a “blank” at 9th, Kevin must have thought twice about continuing his round but that he did and very successfully indeed by returning a one over par 37 gross on back nine with the aid of a birdie at 12th, giving him a winning score of 41pts. Just one point behind in runner-up spot was Kenny Harkin [12], who followed an uncharacteristic “blank” at 1st with a birdie at 2nd and, continuing with some fine iron play to greens, recorded back-to-back birdies at 12th and 13th and finishing with another at 18th for an inward nine of 24pts.     Sunday 19th Confined competition top spots were dominated by Gerry O’ Sullivan’s cat 4 brigade but none of them were able to outscore Tim O’Farrell [18] for the top step on the rostrum. Playing steady, handicap golf, Tim took the front nine in 41 shots gross and 22 pts, and his winning return of 43pts would have been higher only for that double bogey at 17th. Following closely in second spot was Albert Strain [23] who’s lucky numbers must be all the seven’s for two magnificent birdies at 7th and 17th gave him a near miss for top slot on 41pts. In third place was Liam Moriarty [28] whose birdie at 11th helped him to a return of 38pts. Gross on the day was won by Darragh Mc Menamin [4] with 32 gross points.    Congratulations to the Eamonn O’ Carroll led Ulster Fourball team who won through to the second round of that competition at the expence of Banbridge Golf Club following a very competitive return leg in Barnhill on Sunday.Letterkenny had the advantage after the first leg having won 3 of the 5 matches in Banbridge and were 4 holes up. Despite being in apprehensive mood when Letterkenny’s first pairing of Bobby Mullaly and Pat Keating were two down on the 14th tee, Letterkenny were up in one match ,level in two and down in two.Bobby and Pat then proved their leadership qualities and parred the last 5 holes to halve their match. The other pairings dug in also and managed to turn around the tie with Pat J McGrath and Mark Cohen avenging their 5 & 4 defeat in Banbridge with a sweet 2 & 1 win, John Bowe and Tony Duffy, having won 5 & 4 in Banbridge, this time tasted defeat losing 3 & 2. Malcolm Crawford and Tom McDonagh continued their good form from Bambridge,having won 2 & 1 there, by winning their return match 4 & 2 and the final pairing of Barry Ramsay and Joe Lambe, also having won in Banbridge, were “called in”, being 3 up with 3 to play as the match was then Letterkenny’s. Wishing Eamonn and the squad every success in the next round. Meanwhile, commiserations to Charlie Coughlan and his Ulster Cup squad who were eliminated by old foe Cairndhu over two legs on Saturday and Sunday last.    Friday 24th will see the club host the annual Relay for Life Classic. There were still some slots left on the time-sheet at going to press and at only €80 per team, a great charitable day out. Sunday 26th Open is kindly sponsored by Letterkenny Driving Range [the Glebe] and the Club Classic, sponsored by Brown’s on the Green, will take place on Saturday 16th May. With time-sheet filling up already, it would be advisable for teams to get their name in asap.   HAVE YOU SIGNED UP?Letterkenny Golf Club’s Online Lotto’s draw took place on Wednesday 15th April and, although there was no JACKPOT winner of €2,150, two lotto members who smiled happily were Denis O’ Donnell and Barry Roughan, winners of the “lucky dip” prizes of €50 each. Congratulations to you both! Numbers drawn were 5; 8; 11; 14;; The Lotto draw takes place every Wednesday evening, closing time for entries is 6pm Wednesday, and entry page can be found on club website, www.letterkennygolfclub.com and follow the prompts. Join from as little as €20! [€2 per week]Thank you for playing and please continue to encourage your fellow members, friends & family to play our Club Lotto.   GOLF NEWS: KEVIN MCDONALD TAKES THE FIRST MAIN PRIZE OF THE SEASON AT BARNHILL was last modified: April 21st, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:BarnhillgolfletterkennyNoticeslast_img read more