Liberia: Govt Strengthen Bilateral Relations With India

The Government of Liberia (GoL) has elevated its bilateral relations with India to a new level with the released of a Mahatma Gandhi commemorative postage stamps to celebrate his upcoming 150th birthday, a release has said.

A commemorative stamp is a postage stamp, often issued on a significant date such as an anniversary, to honor or commemorate a place, event, person, or object. It can also be used alongside ordinary stamps.

According to the release, the moves by the GoL, which is reportedly the first of its kind in decades long relationship with India, was witnessed by India Ambassador to Liberia, Y.K. Sailas Thangal, who is based in Abidjan, La Côte d' Ivoire, Liberia's Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Henry Fahnbulleh, and Post and Telecommunication Minister Cooper Kruah, as well as other government officials.

Picture of Mahatma Gandhi commemorative postage stamps to celebrate his upcoming 150th birthday.

At the official unveiling and signing of the commemorative postage on Monday, August 12 in Monrovia, Fahnbulleh said that the stamps are symbols of positive and productive relations between India and Liberia.

He added that in every sphere of the two countries bilateral engagement, India has been a modeled development partner, and that both countries have a long and laudable cooperation in the fields of education, health, security, agriculture, infrastructure, and commerce.

"This cooperation is only destined to flourish from strength to strength. So it is no coincidence or accident that the commemorative postage stamps will bear such iconic [India] patriot, Mahatma Gandhi, especially in honor of his 150th birth anniversary. The unveiling of the commemorative postage stamps in honor of Gandhi is not just a simple act of expression, but a testament of the great bilateral relations between us, which will grow to heights unimaginable, Fahnbulleh said.

He also said that the commemorated stamps is Liberia's way of honoring, and valuing Gandhi's teachings, and raising Indo-Liberia relations to noble heights.

"Another reason for commemorating this stamp is to aligning the GoL to his principles of freedom, equality, religious tolerance and harmonious co-existence and mutual respect, as well as his non-violence approach," Min. Fahnbulleh added.

Amb. Thangal appreciated Liberian government and the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication family for honoring the father of their nation (Mahatma Gandhi) with the commemorative postage stamps.

Thangal added that the stamps are testimony to the good relations that have existed between the two countries and its constant evolution.

"The people and the government India are honored to be part of "this milestone event, and look forward to more positive bilateral engagements that will continue to strengthen the already strong and warm friendly relations between our countries. This move is the beginning of greater things to come, and open lots of windows of opportunities for Liberia," Amb. Thangal said.

Postal Lockbox

In a related development, the Ministry has finally dedicated its revamped private lockbox postal system, which was damaged during the country's devastating civil war (1989-2003).

The Ministry private lockbox system is a subscription service offered to institutions and individuals, who want to get their inbound mail privately. The dedication of the revamp facility, which was held over the weekend attracted scores of government officials to the ceremony.

The lockbox system, according to Deputy Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, G. Wesseh Blamoh, was revamped to improve the ministry's direct mail delivery service for corporations, government agencies and individuals, who want to receive their original parcels and communications unaltered, un-scanned and undigitized.

Blamoh described renovation of the postal lockbox service as a "commendable move" by the ministry to enhance it mail delivery to its many customers around the country, and be in compliance with the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a UN agency that co-ordinates postal policies, and the worldwide postal system delivery standards.

"Despite improved communication technology, this mode of sending and receiving mail, parcels and other solid materials remain indispensable, secured and guaranteed. That is why the lockbox postal system remains unconquered in the pluralism's face of technology. And it remains an asset for all societies, big and small, developed and underdeveloped," he said.

Few of some motorbikes which will be used for postal lockboxes.

Therefore, Blamoh said it is important and relieving that the government, through the Minister of Post and Telecommunications, continues to make lockbox an integral part of our communication and postal tradition.

He said that the government, through its flagship Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) program, is committed to leaving no stone unturned in all sectors of development, including post and telecommunication.

"The system is reliable, secured and immune to hacking and the evil of digital technology. It makes our country complaint with the Universal Postal Union delivery standard," the Minister added.

Minister Kruah said the lock box system in the ministry was revamp by Vapco Liberia, Inc. is a 100% Liberian-owned company, who have a business agreement with the government to to pre-finance, rehabilitate and the construction of postal lock boxes at post offices and institutions premises across the nation.

"Now that the lockbox system is reestablished, the ministry to raise needed funds for the government will soon embark on a long time government policy to be the sole carrier or delivery agent of all government communications which could put the posts in a better position to derive more revenue from these facilities," Kruah said.

He added, "The coming of this facility, parcels and packages deliver will now be fast and easy and reduces the time and cost its take for people to get their parcels and packages."

He promised that sooner or later, the ministry will begin working with the Liberia Business Registry to ensure that the over 25,000 registered businesses get a lockbox, which will also contribute meaningfully to national budget.

Min. Kruah added that the contract with Vapco also addresses the issue of transportation to transfer mail from one postal facility to another, as well as computerization of the service.

"The real target or number of private postal lock boxes earmarked to be constructed over time is around 50,000 boxes. These boxes will not only be install at post offices but also at businesses and institution's premises where their mail shall be taken and place into these boxes," Min. Kruah added.

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