Friday, July 27, 2012

Liberia: Inside TQ Harris' 26 Message -Dealing with TRC Fiasco, Social Malaise, Godlessness

There are politicians, even though they may speak rarely, who remain steadfast and unbending on their position from regime to regime. In Liberia this category of politicians are few amongst them TQ Harris, known for his candid and fearless counsel on crucial national issues. Ahead of this year's National Independence Day, Harris has issued yet another thought-provoking position, as The Analyst reports.

Liberian political activist and former presidential contender TQ Harris has issued his version of the 165th Independence Anniversary message to the people of Liberia bordering on a wide range of issues.
The statement titled, "Liberia Desperately Needs a Vision," included issues ranging from the aborted TRC report, lack of patriotism, citizenship, amongst others.
TRC Report
The Liberian politician spoke of the long-debated issues of Justice and Reconciliation, saying that as the nation moves closer toward final resolution, it was time to turn our attention towards the immediate future beginning with a commonsense strategy to address pressing issues, including that of effective national leadership.
"What must be done when the current President refuses to heed the will of the Liberian people in keeping with the TRC Recommendations while members of the Legislature fill their pockets and armed robbers terrorize the already traumatized population?" Harris asserted.
He said: "Perhaps the sensible thing to do is reach out to one another and become our brother's and sister's keeper, and look within for solution. In so doing, we must search our neighborhoods identifying those in need--the sick, hungry, jobless, homeless, widows, single mothers…the downtrodden and share whatever little we can afford. Nurture the habit of giving, and we ultimately will defeat our enemies while building a wholesome, functional society."
"How we get a government that effects the change this country needs? Begin by strengthening our democracy and do not vote for a candidate on the basis of personal wealth. Instead, vote for men and women whom you can trust, regardless of educational background or social status. What is more preferable: having an educated thief as leader or an honest man who does not have a degree?" Harris further said.
He said the call for a war crimes court was not meant solely to punish those that perpetrated the violence, but also to promote accountability, rule of law and seek justice for the more than 250,000 defenseless men, women and children that were brutally raped, tortured and murdered. Today, our position remains unchanged.
"That's why we are encouraged by the expanding support for a war crimes court, especially amongst Liberians," TQ Harris said. "Unless those bearing the greatest responsibility for the atrocities are brought to justice, it is impossible for this country to move forward. Therefore we are comforted by the fact that after more than a decade of sustained pressure we now can say with a high degree of certainty that a Liberian war crimes court supported by the international community is inevitable."
Harris noted that in light of these positive developments we would like to use this occasion to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all those that have stood firm in support of the victims.
Good leadership
To move this country forward, TQ Harris said, "We must elect leaders with character and integrity -- men and women who stand on principles and are not tossed by every wind. I hope beginning with the 2014 Senatorial election and beyond you will take into account past mistakes before casting your vote."
The political activist said the way to create a vibrant political culture that includes a matured opposition.
"To change the current political culture Liberians must stay away from political parties that claim to have all the answers and a solution for every problem. Furthermore, reject political parties that are personal properties of individuals rather than standing institutions. The party that best serves the Liberian people is one that has ideas, vision and sound leadership," he said.
Social Counsel
TQ Harris used his Independence Day message to appeal to females of the younger generation, saying: "My young daughters, pledge this 26-Day that you will not become pregnant before marriage to the man who loves, cares, and respects you as a woman. Much has been said recently about the rise of women to positions of power, but it will profit nothing if your generation is not properly equipped to continue the trend. Preventing teenage pregnancy is the first battle you must win."
Then he said to the young men: "I say, do not father a child before marrying the woman you love, respect and cherish. Make this your pledge this 26-Day. Premature fatherhood may deny you the chance of a brighter future. "
He added: "I challenge you -- the young people of Liberia -- to commit yourselves to end the long-standing practice of creating single mother households where the children have different fathers. This in large part has contributed to the dysfunctional family that has weakened the fabric of our society."
Dual Citizenship
Regarding the contentious issue of dual citizenship, the renowned political activist as Liberians living abroad are vital to the country's reconstruction, they must not wait to be invited but rather seize the moment.
"Those that have obtained citizenship in foreign countries must lead the organizational and promotional efforts with absolute confidence that your compatriots at home will support and defend your right to retain your Liberian citizenship," he noted. "We now live in a global village and must act accordingly."
To eliminate confusion regarding citizenship, Harris further said the beleaguered masses that survive primary on remittances from relatives and friends abroad will demand legislation stating emphatically that under no circumstance shall a natural born Liberian forfeits his or her citizenship. So get to work and let us together rebuild this country."
He asked rhetorically: "Have you observed that in general foreigners in Liberia do not respect the citizens? This is about to end. The Inheritors of the land from this point forward will demand respect by becoming proactive. Banks, for example, that do not show on their books a respectable percentage of loans to Liberians will face the angst of the citizenry until Liberian-friendly policies are adopted.
"Likewise, businesses that do not hire a substantial number of Liberians at all levels will find it difficult to operate. And where it has been determined that an illegal alien is operating a business; that business will be shut down immediately. The same will apply to foreign-owned businesses that engage in unfair competition."


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