15 June 2012

Liberia: Publishers Association Saddened Over Tom Kamara's Death

The Publishers Association of Liberia (PAL) says it has learned with deep regrets the untimely death of its astute and dedicated member, Tom Kamara. In a statement issued in Monrovia yesterday, PAL notes: Tom, as he was generally known within the PAL circle of influence, was the publisher of the New Democrat newspaper. Tom was one of Liberia's iconic publishers/journalists who, for many years, used the pen to fiercely combat nepotism, impunity, and bad governance in Liberia. He fought for freedom of the press and of speech even as the powers that were chased him into exile. Yes, he was a warrior for good governance, who was passionate about using the pen, rather than the bullet, to transform the society and country which he loved and in which he believed."

As member of PAL, Tom was pivotal in many ways: he was a key member of the Advisory Committee of PAL and the leadership of PAL counted on him whenever its problems became insurmountable. He was always available, and he bent over backwards, against busy schedules, to encourage and steer the publishers association towards noble heights.

Outside PAL, Tom was a nationalist and a patriot. The Liberian political history, and the history of its locust years, can never be complete without the mentioning of the central role Tom played in informing the world about the murderous situation in Liberia while in the Diaspora. Where some professionals saw the need for comfort in Europe and the Americas, Tom saw a need to return home to help clear the debris of war and rebuild Liberia. Generations of Liberian professionals and advocates will remember Tom as mentor and hero. His passing away is indeed a blow to the Publishers Association and media advocacy in Liberia.

As a mark of respect for the falling publisher, all members of the association will converge at the Robert International Airport on the day of the arrival to escort the body to his residence. The association will be in full attendance at all activities marking the home going of Publisher Tom Kamara, including the burial.

The Publishers Association has meanwhile extended its deepest condolences to the bereaved family, the New Democrat newspaper, and the numerous professional and civil society organizations of which Tom was member, the statement signed by Mr. Stanley Seakor, President of PAL concluded.

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