“Serious Credibility Issues”

first_imgAlthough there are reports of decline in cases of Ebola and more survivors emerging from Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs), the Liberian Business Association (LIBA) president, Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah, has attributed the spread of the virus to the lack of trust in the Government of Liberia on the part of its citizens.Mr. Kemayah in a keynote speech delivered on his behalf by a proxy on October 25, emphasized that because of the wave of corruption in Liberia that has eroded public trust in officials of government, many Liberians denied the presence of Ebola by saying, “The Government wants to eat money, that’s the reason they say Ebola was in Liberia.”It can be recalled that when Ebola outbreak was announced in Guinea in March and subsequently reported in Liberia, many in the general public, including people of Lofa where the outbreak first occurred, denied the existence of Ebola in Liberia and attributed the news to an alleged ploy on the part of government to receive money from donors.According to Mr. Kemayah, on the basis of such perception people have about the government because of rampant corruption, Liberians refused to accept information about the reality of Ebola and take precautionary measures.These perceptions and statements, Mr. Kemayah said, “suggest that we have serious credibility issues that need to be addressed from the social, political, and economic standpoints. In January 2006, when the President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf led Government was inaugurated, the Liberian people had complete confidence and trust in the leadership ability of… her Administration.”He contended that when President Sirleaf took over in 2006 and promised that “papa will come” with a black plastic to impress the home; Liberians had complete confidence in her administration.But after a few years, especially beginning her second term, the confidence has apparently withered away because they are not seeing anything being done as promised earlier.“The increasing level of hardship and downward trend in the standard of living amongst the masses in Liberia, long before the Ebola virus outbreak, are among many reasons why the trust/confidence in the national leadership has been eroded,” Kemayah stressed.Mr. Kemayah in the loaded speech also questionably stressed, “Can the citizens trust their national leaders again when, for example, the papa na come pronouncement is far from tangible realization? Can they trust their President again? Can they trust their Senators again? Can they trust their Representatives again? Can they even trust their religious leaders again?  To answer these, one must first agree that the fabrics of these institutions have broken down from an analytical point of view.”The LIBA boss indicated that when statements by people concerning failure of the government to meet its promise are analyzed, one deduces serious problem with the national government in misapplying fund.“If one analyzes the views by the ordinary people on the streets, you could deduce that there is an issue of concern. If we say people are not eating money from this Ebola fight, why is it that giving proper account of the initial United States Five Million Dollars (US$5,000,000.00) to fight Ebola has been an issue?”He said while there are reports of decline, community dwellers need to still be conscious of its prevalence because it can break out at any time when people avoid precautionary measures.Mr. Kemayah’s statement was delivered in proxy by Rev. Garlison George, head pastor of Mount Nebo Baptist Church, of which Kemayah is a member. The occasion at which Rev. George spoke marked the launch of the Paynesville Town Hall Community Anti-Ebola awareness campaign, where a total of 100 hand-washing buckets were presented on behalf of the Kemayah family.LIBA, which has a presence in the City of Paynesville with its national headquarters located on AB Tolbert Road, also participated in the program represented by its vice president, David K. Sembeh.  In remarks, Sembeh urged the business community to strengthen its contribution to the fight against Ebola. Mr. Kemayah is currently in Uganda defending his thesis at the Catholic owned Martyrs University, where he is expected to graduate with the Masters of Arts Degree in Development Studies on November 13.Members of the community represented by Darlington Kpayili commended Mr. Kemayah and his family for the gesture and acknowledged his role played in the lives of many in the community.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Korean-American residents hoping old foes will bury the hatchet at last

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityIt also came just a day after North Korea signed on to an international deal to disable its nuclear facilities. “I don’t pay attention to politics and politicians,” said Soo Oh of Woodland Hills, manager of the receiving area at a supermarket in the Reseda shopping center, “but this seems to have promise.” “This raises hope. Let’s hope they don’t disappoint.” Some Korean-Americans especially expressed hope for the disabling of North Korea’s nuclear facilities – which the country has promised to do after decades of moving to become a nuclear power. “It is a good sign for world peace,” Moon said. A historic pledge by North and South Korean leaders Thursday to bring peace to the two countries was greeted with optimism by local Korean-Americans, who hope a long-awaited reconciliation is in sight to unite a country divided by war more than a half-century ago. “Korea is a great country, and peace will go a long way in the world seeing its greatness,” said Carolyn Moon, operator of an organic health store in a Korean shopping center in Reseda. Leaders of the two countries vowed to bring peace by seeking talks with China and the United States to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War. The agreement came at the end of only the second summit between the divided Koreas, where war ended with an armistice and created what is now the last bastion of the Cold War. The optimism was echoed by Korean-Americans in the Koreatown area west of downtown Los Angeles, which is home to 200,000 Koreans. At a Koreatown driving range, golf pro Hun Park said a peace treaty would be a welcome boon to next year’s Beijing Olympics. “Wouldn’t it make a great statement for the opening ceremony?” Park said. “Korea’s joint team to be emblematic of the two Koreas finding their way to come together?” Coming to L.A. Many Korean-Americans who now make their homes in L.A. emigrated in the wake of the Korean War, including families such as that of Jane Kim Chang, 46, of Porter Ranch. “My father fought in the Korean War and didn’t like what happened (afterward),” said Chang, former president of the Valley Korean American Parents Association. “He didn’t want his son to go through what he had gone through, so he brought us all to America.” In the San Fernando Valley, Korean-Americans have largely settled in Northridge, Granada Hills and Chatsworth, where good schools were a magnet for education-conscious Koreans like Chang. An artist, she has a fine-arts degree from UCLA. Her oldest child is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania. “I hope this is just the first step of interacting between North Korea and South Korea and of them working together,” she said. “They should be working hand in hand.” Some local Korean-Americans said that in addition to the economic and nuclear ramifications of the agreement, the deal will have a strong emotional impact. “So many families have been separated for generations because of the way Korea has been divided,” said Kim Lee, a spa owner in Koreatown. “There are entire families in the South who have never known their relatives in the North.” In the 54 years after an armistice ended the Korean War, two profoundly different Koreas have evolved – a democratic South that is a world economic power buttressed by 28,000 American troops on its soil, and an impoverished, totalitarian North. Steps toward peace But North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun signed their peace agreement after three days of meetings in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, in only the second such summit between the countries. The two Koreas “agreed to closely cooperate to end military hostility and ensure peace and easing of tension on the Korean peninsula,” according to their statement. Substantive progress on any peace treaty would require the participation of the U.S. and China, which also fought in the conflict. South Korea never signed the 1953 armistice ending the war. The United States already has pledged to discuss peace, but has insisted that any final settlement would be contingent on Pyongyang’s total nuclear disarmament. The summit ended a day after an agreement between North Korea and the U.S. – along with other regional powers at China-hosted arms talks – in which Pyongyang promised to disable its main nuclear facilities and fully declare its nuclear programs by Dec. 31. Many Korean-Americans in L.A. said they believed today’s global economy made it inevitable that the two governments would eventually sign a peace and economic agreement. “South Korea has too much to offer – it could only be to the advantage (of North Korea),” said Justin Shim, a store manager in Reseda. “This is a first step of maybe many steps. The future is very promising.” The Associated Press contributed to this report. tony.castro@dailynews.com (818) 713-3761160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more