27 August 2013

Liberia: Former Information Minister Calls for Peace and Stability

Former Press Union President and Minister of Information, Prof. Lamini Waritay, has called on Liberian media personnel to all times strive to foster peace and stability in the country.

Waritay pointed out that the current prevailing state of stability, ten years after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, has been possible as a result of the collective efforts of all, including the media and the ongoing political dispensation in the country.

He said in the absence of peace and stability in any country, nothing substantive in terms of development and progress would take place.

Prof. Waritay was speaking when he launched the Press Union of Liberia's new website at a well-attended program in Monrovia last Thursday.

The former Minister said while Liberians now have the free atmosphere to fearlessly discuss national issues and vehemently disagree with one another, such expressions of agreement should be done in a structured and civilized manner. Mr. Waritay praised the Press Union of Liberia and the International Research and Exchanges (IREX) for facilitating the setting up of the PUL website.

He noted that at a time when the world is going digital thanks to the "catalytic capacity of communications technologies," it is very understandable and commendable for the Press Union to become part of the unfolding global technological innovations.

He then called on media personnel in the country to take advantage of the PUL website to broaden their knowledge base and sense of social responsibility.

Speaking further to reporters after the web site launching program, Waritay posited that the continuing investments that the country has been enjoying is not because the investors have any special likeness for us as a people and a society, but primarily because of the prevailing environment of peace and stability for the past 10 years.

He argued that while there remain several post conflict challenges confronting the present leadership and the Liberian people as a whole, and while vigorous debates on national issues are democratic manifestations and must continue, care must be taken by all to ensure that in such expressions of civil liberties, the institutional framework for democratic national governance as established by the constitution, is never compromised.

He observed that having gone through two post conflict successful and peaceful democratic elections, Liberians must now have realized that the ballot box, rather than the gun or violence, remains the only civilized and acceptable means by which to effect leadership change.

He therefore called on all Liberians to unite and remain peaceful in order to collectively and peacefully debate and tackle the socio-economic and other challenges that face us as a people.

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