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‘Justice Is Good in Time of Peace’

first_imgCllr. Tiawan Gongloe: “They know the taste of good life now, and getting them out of the luxury to account for crimes perpetrated against innocent people will be more painful than what they did to victimize people.” -Says Cllr. GongloeAmid counter-reactions from the government and some members of the public against the call for the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia, human rights lawyer Cllr. Tiawon Saye Gongloe says it does not matter how many years it has taken since the war ended, because justice is good to be implemented in time of peace.Cllr. Gongloe, speaking on Tuesday, September 25, at a press conference organized by groups of human rights advocates in Monrovia, said prosecuting war criminals in time of peace sets a good legacy that would give victims relief and frustrate perpetrators who have used scare tactics to enrich themselves at the detriment of their victims.“It is good at this time to have justice and prosecute perpetrators of war crimes, because these perpetrators are living luxurious lives and have built decent houses,” Cllr. Gongloe said.“They know the taste of good life now, and getting them out of the luxury to account for crimes perpetrated against innocent people will be more painful than what they did to victimize people,” he said.Gongloe said it is now time for Liberia to fight impunity, because without it the current peace that Liberians talk of preserving will still be threatened.  “In order to have genuine peace, we must fight impunity,” he said.He emphasized that the perpetrators of war identified in the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) are getting older, “and may die if they are not prosecuted to ensure justice, which will be a bad legacy for the country.”Furthermore, Cllr. Gongloe said most of the victims who should serve as witnesses are getting older as well and, if they die, evidence that should back justice will be gone. He described war criminals as “cowards” who do not follow rules and only act when laws are weak.He added that this is the right time for justice, because “it is logical to reason that when there is a war and ceasefire is declared, you resettle people, put in place a government and rule of law, and then you can bring justice.”  Therefore, he said, Liberia, having gone through these processes, has the right time for justice.Since the TRC made its recommendations in 2009, following the hearing, there have been opposing views about the full implementation of the recommendations, which call for the prosecution of those who bear the greatest responsibility during the Liberian Civil War.It may be recalled that in May this year, a group under the banner “Citizens Action for the Establishment of War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia,” came out to present a petition to the Legislature, to enact a law that will call for the establishment of a war crimes court.This request has also met counter-reaction from the government, with House Speaker Bhofal Chambers and a few others stating that they are opposed to retributive justice.Furthermore, some clergymen, among them Herman Browne of the Episcopal Church and current president of the Cuttington University (CU), have registered their opposition to the process.In recent days, Browne said the call for the establishment of a war crimes court is“revenge that is not meant for justice.”In response to a question surrounding these views, Cllr. Gongloe said before some clergymen took on their titles, they committed heinous crimes 15 years back and the guilt is hovering over them.Since the TRC process and subsequent call for the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia, only Joshua Blayee, alias Butt Naked, has admitted to crimes he committed and expressed willingly his desire to face the tribunal and bear the consequences for his crimes.The rest, including Nimba County Senator Prince Johnson, has always said that bringing a war crimes court will cause Liberia to revert to its dark days.But Cllr. Gongloe said those calling for justice should not get tired, because those warlords are afraid and fear is another form of justice.Hassan Bility of GJRP, Danieletta Sleyon of FHRD, Adama Dempster of HRAPL and Cllr. Gongloe.The press conference at which Cllr. Gongloe spoke was organized by Amnesty International, CIVITAS MAXIMA, Global Justice and Research Project, Human Rights Watch, Coalition for Justice in Liberia, Civil Society Organization Platform and the Center for Justice and Accountability.These groups, together with others, are calling on President George Weah to make an open admission to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that would back justice in pursuit of accountability for past war crimes committed in Liberia.In a letter written and endorsed by 80 human rights organizations and read by Adama Dempster to President Weah, the groups called on the government to establish a process of accountability for past war crimes, following its first-ever review of human rights violations.The group said that since July 1, 2009, when the TRC called for the establishment of a war crimes court for the prosecution of those who bear the greatest responsibilities in the Liberian Civil War, no government has made a decision on the report.“By seizing the General Assembly high-level segment to present plans for Liberia to bring justice for the serious abuses committed during the civil wars, you would stand with victims and take an important step to address impunity—which has undermined development and reconciliation in the country for far too long—and then build sustainable peace for Liberians,” the groups said in a statement.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

What evidence?

first_imgRe “Iran’s letter to Bush dismissed” (May 9): The Bush administration has dismissed Iran’s attempt to neutralize relations with the U.S. just as they dismissed the evidence that Iraq had no WMDs. Iran, who is surrounded by U.S.-friendly nuclear nations, has not violated any terms of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which it signed, unlike India, Pakistan and Israel, who did not sign the treaty and now have WMDs. Yet, Bush remains confrontational with Iran and embraces the other three. Iran in its 250-year history has not gone outside its borders to attack another nation. Unfortunately, because of the Bushes, for instance (remember Panama and Iraq), the U.S. cannot say the same. Bush chooses to crank up the rhetoric and not trust anything the Iranian president says. What evidence is there that he is any more believable? – Philip Wilt – Robert L. Rodine Sherman Oaks Level of discourse Re “Ranting and raging” (Your Opinions, May 4): Eileen O’Neil, I read the letters and I totally saw the opposite of what you saw. Where people should be outraged and angry, I saw light-hearted jokes at the expense of the illegal aliens. What does not speak well of our communities and country is this total disregard for truth and common sense. What does not speak well for America is a group of non-American illegals demanding rights that are not theirs to demand. Our government has failed the American people. We have taxation without representation. Build the darn wall and then we can talk worker program. And no one is trying to push our problems on illegals’ backs, so wise up. Only new diseases, hospitals going belly up and worker wages going down should be thrown on their backs. – Walter Starkey Sylmar Oozing compassion Re “Exit-exam injunction likely” (May 9): Undoubtedly, this same judge will one day rule against employers’ hiring practices for “discriminating” against those high school graduates who cannot speak English or were too poor to be able to learn. I don’t know who is dumber, the judge, the uneducated graduates or us because so few of us recognize how ignorant this judge’s sticky sweet, “aren’t I compassionate” ruling is. This ruling condemns those “poor” and those who “cannot speak English” to a future of false hope pinned to a useless diploma that has no value. If they cannot read, cannot write, cannot perform basic math and have no learned ability to organize their thought process, what value does their diploma have? I cannot use them here in my company. – Patrick Weir Chatsworth So fishy Re “Bush fishes for best answer” (May 8): So, W’s best moment, in the first five years of his presidency, is not about the economy, not a foreign policy initiative, not a major overhaul of education, not a sweeping reform of health issues, not an impact on the environment, not even a “victory in Iraq.” No, it’s a fish. I hope whoever writes the history textbooks for middle- or high-school students keeps it simple and gets it right: a 7 1/2-pound fish. That’s the whole legacy, and that’s the ugly truth. Unfortunately for us, by the next time he’s asked the question, and believe me, he will be asked that question by one of his press stooges, his crew will have a neat, vacuous, sound-bite answer prepared. Why does that sound so, so, so fishy? – Bob Levine Granada Hills Not Labor Day Re “Think before writing” (Your Opinions, May 8): I appreciate Jeannie Billings’ clarification regarding the comments written after the “Day Without Immigrants” in this paper. I must correct two statements she wrote in her note. First, Ms. Billings says, “May 1 is Labor Day in most Latin American countries.” No, May 1 is not Labor Day in other places; it is Workers Day (big difference). Secondly, May 1, as Workers Day, is celebrated all over the world. No, just some countries. The irony here is that May 1 (International Workers Day) began being celebrated in the world as a result of the Haymarket Riot on May 4, 1886, in Chicago, Ill. But the USA is the only country in the world not celebrating it. Instead, we celebrate labor (not the workers), and on another date. – Jorge A. Pavon Sherman Oaks Prove you can vote Re “Register, then vote” (Your Opinions, May 8): Our “honor system” of registering voters desperately needs a redo. Proof of citizenship should be the most basic requirement. Citizens and citizens only have the right and the duty to vote and influence how this country is run. Noncitizens should be encouraged to follow the legal steps necessary to obtain citizenship in the United States of America and thus earn the right to the many benefits such citizenship offers. – Ruth Watson West Hills Gasoline pricing If “perception is reality,” I submit that the oil crisis can be mitigated by displaying the price of gasoline in liters, not gallons. True, Americans haven’t embraced the metric system since voluntary conversion was suggested 30 years ago. Even so, imagine the thrill of passing gas stations with numbers like 85 cents proudly posted for a liter of high-test. How very 1970s. Sure, the bill for filling up the family SUV would still top $95. But our exuberance about the perceived gas price could throw even more fuel on the blazing stock market. With summer coming, the time is now to convert to the metric system for gasoline pricing and remind us of happy days. – Tony Stanol Calabasas Abandoned I have had the same abandoned car parked on the side of my house for 30 days. I have called every day to the 800-ABANDON number. But nothing is being done. The excuse is that parking enforcement is backed up. There are now several beer bottles littered around the area due to this car being there. Mr. Mayor, if there is such a backlog of abandoned cars, why are you leaving town promoting L.A. as the best place to be? Our quality of life is deteriorating every day. Maybe if I got the press out to my area to take pictures, you just might do something. Please get your priorities in order. We don’t need a football team or more trees … just better services to improve our quality of life. Then the rest will come. – Lou Grinbaum Reseda TV program contents Ever since my grown children were small, parents have been wailing about the contents of television for children and teens. Now, watching what one set of my grandchildren watches, I see it has gotten worse. Everyone who cares what the behaviors and values of the next generation will be should stop lamenting this and phone the stations. Sometimes cartoons have very moral ideas presented as well as good information and good characters. Start with a compliment and then complain about the worst aspects of what has been shown. – Bette Simons Sherman Oaks160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsVan Nuys Adjust prior year Re “Cooking the books” (Editorials, May 10): In the business community when there is a change in the way data is accounted for or analyzed, the only honest way to present year-to-year comparisons is to revise the data for the prior year to the new structure. That is what the Los Angeles Police Department should do with its crime stats for year-to-year comparisons. If they use a new aggregating procedure or drop certain crimes from one category and add them to another, then for their year-to-year comparison, they should adjust the prior year data to the same standard, and then compute the year-to-year changes. A little good, objective analysis never hurt clarity or understanding. last_img read more

Gautam Gambhir furious with assault on Amit Bhandari: Won’t let this slip under the carpet

first_imgFormer Delhi captain and international cricketer Gautam Gambhir expressed his anger over the an incident on Monday where chairman off Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) senior selection committee Amit Bhandari was assaulted by a group of unidentified men during the Under-23 team’s trials at St Stephen’s College ground.Bhandari sustained head and ear injuries and was taken to Sant Paramanand Hospital at Civil Lines by his colleague Sukhvinder Singh. The goons fled the spot before the police could reach.Gambhir, who played his last match for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy in December last year, was “disgusted” with the incident and said he would “personally ensure” that this incident is not taken lightly.”Disgusted to see this happen right in the heart of the Capital. This can’t slip under the carpet and I will personally ensure it doesn’t.Disgusted to see this happen right in the heart of the Capital. This can’t slip under the carpet and I will personally ensure it doesn’t. To begin with I am calling for a life ban from all cricket for the player who orchestrated this attack post his non-selection. https://t.co/RpS6fzTcNlGautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) February 11, 2019″To begin with I am calling for a life ban from all cricket for the player who orchestrated this attack post his non-selection,” Gambhir tweeted.Earlier in the day, DDCA president Rajat Sharma told PTI that guilty will not be spared. “We are trying to procure all details of the incident. As far as I have come to know, it is regarding one disgruntled player, who didn’t make it to the probables list for the National U-23 tournament.advertisement”The SHO from the local police station has reached the Stephen’s ground and I have personally spoken to the Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik. The guilty will not go unpunished. I promise exemplary action against whoever is found involved in this misdeed. We will register an FIR,” Sharma said.Delhi’s senior and U-23 team manager Shankar Saini narrated the incident.”I was having my meal along with a colleague inside the tent and Bhandari along with other selectors and senior team coach Mithun Manhas was watching the probables play a trial match.”A couple of men first came and went up to Bhandari. There were heated exchanges between Bhandari and the two men. They left and before we could gather our thoughts, suddenly some 15 men armed with hockey sticks, rods and cycle chains came charging,” Saini said.”When the other boys attending the trials along with us rushed to save Bhandari, they started threatening us and one of them said, “Don’t get into this or else we will shoot you.””They hit Bhandari with hockey sticks and rods and he sustained head injury,” the former Delhi seamer added.When asked who could be behind the attack, Saini said, “I was not there when these two guys came and spoke with Bhandari. He is obviously rattled and once he gives his statement to the police, we will get to know more.”Delhi cricket has always been mired in corruption charges and allegations of dubious selections at the various age-group levels have also surfaced time and again.last_img read more