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Leadership Deficit, a Virus in Liberia

first_imgOn Friday, the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL) ushered its new leadership into office during a ceremony held at the association’s head office on Broad Street in Monrovia.The keynote speaker, former Public Works Minister Samuel Kofi Woods, expressed gratitude to the female lawyers’ leadership for the peaceful manner in which they conducted the affairs of the association. He spoke on the theme, “Leadership Deficit in the Country.’’ The former Works Minister sees AFELL as a leadership that is championing the cause of justice for women and children.Atty. Woods observed that some Liberians who came to the country under the guise of contributing and leaving their ‘lucrative jobs’ abroad are now leaving the country during these challenging periods.“When President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was first elected in 2005,” said Atty. Woods, several Liberians returned home and took up jobs in government with many claiming that they left lucrative jobs abroad to come home and sacrifice. During the early days of the Sirleaf regime when the country was not experiencing difficult financial situations, many of the Liberians came home but are now leaving government because things have gone bad.”“This deficit is a virus that is eating our country,” declared Woods.According to him male dominance in every decision making process in the country has paralysed the visions that bring concrete and lasting developments.He called on the female legal practitioners to be more united than ever if they are to overcome the many challenges facing the Liberian society.Those inducted into office are: Attorneys Vivian Doe-Neal, president; Nadia Sartus-Kamara, vice president; Irene Saie, general secretary; Naomie Gray, chaplain; and Cllr. Dedded J. Wilson, treasurer.Atty. Woods admonished the officers to remain humble, sincere, honest and trustworthy in demonstrating their leadership skills.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

The Robben Island Bible and the SA story

first_img21 December 2012The liberation leaders and activists who served on Robben Island prison came alive on a London stage in July 2012 in a staged reading of The Robben Island Bible – inspired by a disguised copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare – that highlighted the power and resonance of the South African story.The reading of the script by Matthew Hahn, an American-born playwright and drama lecturer who has interviewed eight of the surviving Robben Island prisoners, took place at the Southbank Centre, one of the world’s leading entertainment centres, in an event co-sponsored by Brand South Africa.At the centre of The Robben Island Bible story are the men who were forced to work long hours chipping stones from the island quarry over three decades. But in their spare time they debated strategy to overthrow apartheid, and eventually studied and read whatever they could find to assist in the process.‘The Bible by William Shakespeare’One of the books that they read and debated for many hours was a copy of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare which was sent to Sonny Venkatrathnam, a prisoner from the Unity Movement in the 1970s who lives with his wife and family in Durban, by his wife Theresa.The book was initially impounded but later returned to Venkatrathnam when he convinced a sympathetic warder that it was the “the Bible by William Shakespeare’. Coming from the Hindu faith, Venkatrathnam later disguised the cover of the book with Diwali (Hindu festival of light) greeting cards.The book became one of the most treasured documents on the island.Six months before he left the island in 1977 Venkatrathnam asked his 32 fellow- prisoners in the single-cell section which included the most senior leadership figures of the liberation movements, to choose their favourite passage from Shakespeare and sign their name alongside their chosen quote.Julius Caesar, Hamlet and The Tempest emerged as the most popular and keenly debated texts, focusing on issues such as loyalty, betrayal and assassination and what the legacy would be of the assassination of evil dictators.Robben Island’s ‘Reading Revolution’The staged reading of The Robben Island Bible was preceded by a passionate introduction to the evening by South African author Ashwin Desai, who recently published Reading Revolution: Shakespeare on Robben Island (Unisa press, 2012).As Desai notes in his book: “There was a camaraderie on the island, political discussions amid the struggle to survive. For Venkatrathnam, there was Shakespeare.”Venkatrathnam’s interest in Shakespeare had been intensified by an essay he wrote at university on the jesters in Shakespeare’s plays.Desai: “The prison setting suddenly made so many lines resonate with new meaning.”Following the staged reading was a lively panel chaired by South African actress Pamela Nomvete, with Hahn and Desai and one of the actors, South African-born Vincent Ebrahim of the Kumars fame, with many questions from the packed audience of some 300 people. The conversations went well into the night at a reception hosted by Brand South Africa.Desai spoke about the importance of the Robben Island prisoners as an example to the youth of today and their relevance to the current heated debates going on about the form and structure of South Africa’s future economic and political models and the need to honour the spirit, integrity and vision of the men on Robben Island.Inclusivity and tolerance was a strong theme, and it was moving in the extract from Hahn’s script to see the full spectrum of liberation leaders presented discussing their chosen quotes from Shakespeare: Eddie Daniels from the Liberal Party; Saths Cooper from the black consciousness movement; Neville Alexander from the Unity Movement; Theo Cholo, Michael Dingake, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada and Nelson Mandela from the ANC; Kwede mohlobe (Kailipi) from the Pan Africanist Congress.Desai is passionate that the example of the Robben Islanders should be used to spark a reading revolution in South Africa which informs the debate about South Africa’s future in the same way that the study of Shakespeare and other texts on Robben Island informed the anti-apartheid struggle and helped win freedom for all.Playwright ‘inspired’ by Robben Island survivorsHahn, who first read about the Robben Island Bible in a brief mention in the late Anthony Sampson’s authorised biography of Mandela, admits that his life has been changed by the inspiration he has experienced interviewing eight of the surviving Robben Island prisoners.He visited South Africa again recently to pursue his vision of drama and the arts being used as a major tool for development of the country and its people.Hahn’s staged reading was first performed at the Richmond theatre in London in 2009 in collaboration with iconic South African actor John Kani.Greg Doran, the artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and his partner Sir Anthony Sher, were instrumental in getting the Robben Island Bible to Stratford- on-Avon for a major Shakespeare exhibition in 2006.Doran’s production of Julius Caesar, the first-ever RSC production with an all-black cast, drew capacity audiences in British theatres this year, and a filmed version has been shown on BBC television.Shakespeare was at the centre of Britain’s Cultural Olympiad, an arts and culture outreach which coincided with the hosting of the 2012 Olympics in London.Robben Island bible at British Museum exhibitionThe Robben Island bible, on loan to the British Museum, was a centre-piece in the hugely successful exhibition “Shakespeare: Staging the World”, which ran at the British Museum from 19 July through to 25 November.The internationally renowned director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, focused in May on the Robben Island bible in the last of a 20-part series of BBC radio programmes highlighting 20 objects on display in the Shakespeare exhibition.He said it was one of the most powerful examples of Shakespeare’s legacy that his writings could be of such influence in a political prison at the southern tip of Africa more than 400 years after his birth.Dora Thornton, the curator of the exhibition, noted: “The book was used in the same way as the Bible has been used down the ages: as a constant reference for debating the moral issues of the day.”Telling South Africa’s unique storyThe engagement of the audience at the Southbank Centre was a powerful reminder that the South African story is the rock on which the South African brand is built and the medium through which South Africans’ unique experience of turning adversity into triumph can be best communicated globally.We may have gold and amazing scenery, mountains, sunshine, beaches and game parks, and we are thankful for that. But it is the people of South Africa who move and inspire the world with their achievements, human spirit and determination not to settle for second best however difficult it may be getting there.Just as the writings of Shakespeare resonate around the world 400 years after his life, so will the readings and debates of the Robben Island prisoners will resonate for centuries to come.All the more so when we learn to take ownership of the richness of our own heritage and treasure and showcase priceless symbols and objects such as the Robben Island bible, which is becoming such a source of inspiration to audiences in Britain and the rest of the world.John Battersby is UK country manager of Brand South Africa and a former newspaper editor and foreign correspondent. Brand South Africa co-sponsored the Robben Island Bible event, which was programmed by the Southbank Centre and the Nelson Mandela Centre at the Museum for African Art in New York City.last_img read more

3 Northeastern States on alert after Myanmar raids

first_imgAssam Director General of Police (DGP) Kuladhar Saikia on Friday said the district police chiefs have been alerted for the possible entry of State-based extremists flushed out of Myanmar during an extensive raid on their bases in that country.Mr. Saikia also said the fallout of the operation in the neighbouring country has been discussed with his counterparts in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.Indian security forces had stepped up vigil along the 1,643 km border with Myanmar — specifically the Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland stretch adjoining Myanmar’s Sagaing Division, where the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) is based — after the Tatmadaw’s crackdown on the bases of the extremists since January 29. The Myanmar Army is called Tatmadaw.“We have taken note of the development in Myanmar and have asked the district police to be vigilant,” Mr. Saikia said.Safe havenMost extremist groups of the Northeast — United Liberation Front of Assam-Independent (ULFA-I), the B. Saoraigwra faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), and the Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), for instance — have their camps around the NSCN-K’s base in the Naga Self-Administered Zone of the Sagaing region.According to reports in the Myanmar-based The Irrawaddy, the Tatmadaw took control of the extremists’ camps in a bloodless operation. The reports said a ULFA-I member was killed in the encounter while all extremists fled as some 400 soldiers raided the area.‘Not reading much’The Irrawaddy quoted NSCN-K leader Kyaw Wan Sein as saying that their cadre had withdrawn to let the Tatmadaw occupy its headquarters in the Taga village on January 29 in order not to disrupt the ongoing peace process. Members of other extremist groups from the Northeast were also flushed out from nearby camps.“The Myanmar Army has carried out the raids, but we are not reading much into it as they conducted such operations earlier, too,” an officer of one of the Armed Forces in the Arunachal Pradesh sector said. “Since the extremists keep using the dense jungles and hills for hit-and-run operations from their illegal bases in Myanmar, we cannot rule out the possibility of their trying to cross over to escape being captured by the Tatmadaw,” the officer said, explaining the watch along the border.The NSCN-K, formed by S.S. Khaplang in 1988, has been the mentor of other Northeast outfits. It had signed a peace deal with the Myanmar government in 2012, three years before junking a 14-year truce with the Indian government.There had not been any confrontation between the NSCN-K, which was allowed to set up a liaison office in the town of Hkamti, and the Tatmadaw, until last week.last_img read more

NMAT 2015 late registrations date released by NIMS

first_imgNarsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies has released dates for late registrations of admission applications to MBA, PGDM, PGDBM courses. NMIMS Management Aptitude Test 2015 (NMAT 2015) is conducted by SVKM’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) to grant admissions to its School of Business Management for the 2015-17 academic session. It is one of the fastest growing and among the top private universities in the country that has undergone a tremendous transformation since its commencement. The university is a globalised centre of learning, providing its students a balanced exposure to research, academics and practical aspects of the industry.Important dates:Late registrations for NMAT will be held – September 25, 2014 to October 4, 2014Test will be held – October 7, 2014 to December 20, 2014Results to be released – January 22, 2015Fees-The non-refundable registration charges for late registrations are Rs 2,550 for either of Master of Business Administration (MBA) full-time at the Mumbai campus, Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) at the Bangalore campus or Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management (PGDBM) at the Hyderabad campus.The late registration charges will be Rs 3,000 for both MBA full-time at the Mumbai campus and PGDM at the Bangalore campus/PGDBM at the Hyderabad campus.Candidates can make the payment through credit card, cash at bank and Demand Draft (DD).Selection Process – The entrance test will be followed by Case Discussion (CD) and Personal Interview (PI) for shortlisted candidates. The candidates’ previous academic performance, work experience and other similar inputs will be considered for admission.last_img read more

India rise to 96th in latest FIFA rankings

first_imgIndia’s football team has achieved its best FIFA ranking since February 1996 — it has been placed 96th in the July rankings released on Thursday.India’s best ranking till date was 94, which was attained in February 1996, while 99 was India’s second-best (November 1993).India have risen by four spots in the past month after their impressive showing during the international break in June when they notched up a 2-0 friendly win over Nepal and a 1-0 win over Kyrgyzstan in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers group match.INDIA CLIMBS 4 PLACES TO BE RANKED 96 IN THE FIFA JULY MEN’S RANKING. 2nd highest ranking ever. #BackTheBlue #IndiaAt96 pic.twitter.com/Xt3ix0yu2f- Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) July 6, 2017 The national team have been on an upsurge with a string of good results leading to a climb of 77 places in FIFA rankings over the last two years.The Indians have now won 13 of their last 15 matches and are unbeaten in the last eight matches — including an unofficial match against Bhutan.India were ranked 171 when coach Stephen Constantine took over as national team coach for the second time in February 2015.The rank slipped further to 173 in March 2015 in the FIFA ladder even before Constantine could have his first game in charge against Nepal, which India eventually won 2-0 on aggregate.As far as Asia is concerned, India are the 12th ranked team while Iran continues to lead the chart at the 23rd spot.”When I took over, I had mentioned that my target was to bring India below 100. I am happy to have played a small part in this process. Kudos to the boys, the staff and a big thank you to my colleagues in AIFF for supporting us all throughout,” Constantine told the official website of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).advertisementSports Minister Vijay Goel said: “”We are going through a golden period of football and the best is yet to come.”AIFF President Praful Patel also congratulated the team. “It’s a giant leap of faith for Indian football. Two years back, we were 173 and now we have reached our second best FIFA ranking ever. The leap signifies the potential of Indian football. Congratulations to the National Team boys, the Coach, the staff and all in AIFF.”last_img read more