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Issues at Large 12-2-09

Issues at Large 12-2-09

Daru Soldiers & SLPP Promises

National Chairman of the Sierra Leone People’s Party Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin has promised that soldiers will be redeployed to the Daru Military depot as soon as his party wins in the 2012 elections.

The Daru Depot has been selected by the Defense Ministry to be closed up as part of moves to down size the military.

In promising the soldiers that they will be redeployed to Daru, Mr. Benjamin is showing that it is a bad decision on the part of government to close up the military installation as it occupies a strategic location in protecting the country from invading forces. There are also complaints that closing Daru is part of political attempts to deprive the East and Southern parts of the country.

The accusation is that the Teko Barracks in the North is being allowed to flourish while the long established Daru is being scuttled up and closed.

While John Benjamin continues to complain over Daru, some opinion makers have also started showing concern that the opposition parties in Sierra Leone have no alternative policies in administering the country and that they are merely noise makers.

There have also been calls to leave Soldiers out of politics.

The Killing Of Eddie Turay

Former Majority leader in Parliament, legal luminary Eddie Turay has survived threats of death following the overthrow of the APC in April of 1992, he has escaped mob killings after Tejan-Kabbah was reinstated by foreign troops and has even survived the short life prevalent in Sierra Leone.

After going through all these challenges and surviving them, a newspaper in Sierra Leone seem to be trying to kill him.

What the experienced politician may not seemingly survive is the repeatedly false claims that he is either dead or seriously ill on his death bed.

It is rather sad that His Excellency Eddie Turay, a hard tough living survivor should be mischievously reported as being ill. A certain newspaper had even reported that Lawyer Eddie Turay is dead.

To all those who know the erudite lawyer and now High Commissioner, he is very much alive, vibrant and as usual charismatic.

More on H.E. Eddie Turay when he lands at the Lungi International Airport today.

Killers Of Elephants

While Dr. Sama Banya, Sierra Leone’s avowed environmentalist, continues to occupy his mind with propagation of SLPP propaganda, the level of conservation of our flora and fauna and wild life continues to be left, abandoned.

To the average Sierra Leonean, elephants are only seen in films, TV documentaries or in magazines. The reality is that elephants are still very much in existence in Sierra Leone. The concern is that these animals are an endangered species. Added to this is the lack of public information in educating people about how to protect and report about these our very important animal compatriots.

We are talking about tourism, about conservation, about selling Sierra Leone to the international community, but back home, it is a matter of lip talk. Nothing is really being done in this part of the globe concerning conservation, everything is about politics.

However, let us hope the charismatic Minister of Tourism Mr. Hindolo Sumanguru Trye will look into the population and find ways of controlling trigger happy elephant killer hunters.

Sierra Leone’s Leading Female Publisher Again!

Mrs. Isha Johansen, nee Tejan-Cole, Sierra Leone’s most remarkable female publisher has shown her love for country and her unique approach in bringing her motherland in the eyes of the international community.

Mrs. Isha Johansen has a great following in Sierra Leone and in the Diaspora. She started publishing and show casing Sierra Leone in her publications, unlike some publishers who have made it a practice to destroy people.

Isha has through her various charity works demonstrated how any honest citizen can be of service to her country without maligning hard working citizens and lampooning leaders because of jaundiced political affiliations.

The name Isha Johansen (formerly Isha Tejan-Cole) is a house hold name in Sierra Leone, and these are the citizens who should rightfully be given national honors.

Justice Tolla Thompson’s Industrial Court Praised

Justice Tolla Thompson has been praised as a judge who is straight forward and incorruptible in his affairs especially in the manner in which he has been conducting the Industrial Court.

According to several people who spoke to Sierra Express media, Justice Tolla Thompson is a great judge who has the interest of the country at heart and that he has repeatedly shown concern for the workers as well as for the downtrodden. The praise came following the decision of the judge supporting a worker who took a well known newspaper owner to court following refusal to honour his end of service benefits.

Mr. Edward Trinity Davies had been working in the newspaper for several months without pay, and after repeated attempts to have his salary; he took the matter to the Sierra Leone Labour Union. Union executives tried to prevail on the newspaper proprietress to pay her worker but she is said to have refused. The matter was therefore referred to the Industrial Court, presided over by Justice Tolla Thompson. The good judge after also trying to bring the proprietress to honour her commitment to her worker realised she was not ready to relent.

Mr. Edward Davies is said to have made a claim of four million Leones as his end of service benefits. The Industrial Court findings after several sittings finally realized that Mr. Davies was indeed the aggrieved party. The newspaper proprietress was thereby ordered to pay the worker the sum of  Le800,000 which she ended up paying.

Speaking to Sierra Express Media, Justice Tolla Thompson said instead of the proprietress accepting the judgment in good faith, she started maligning me in her newspaper even though I followed the law to its conclusion,” he said.

Meanwhile, Justice Tolla Thompson continues to receive accolades for his role in presiding over the Industrial Court and in ensuring that employers honour their workers and pay their end of service benefits.

It could be recalled that a well known security company had also been prevailed over by the Industrial Court to pay service benefits of more than fifty former security guards in the company. The coming of the Industrial Court has now made it possible for the common man and women to be treated in a respected manner by people who ones considered themselves to be above the law. “Formerly people were employed and sacked without any regard to paying them and even the labour congress was not able to put the situation under control but nowadays we are seeing that justice is done, because of Justice Tolla Thompson,” said Mohamed Sesay, a former aggrieved worker in a factory who received his benefit after he was allowed right in the Industrial Court presided by Justice Tolla.

“If we have more judges like Pa Tolla I believe there would have been more respect for the average worker in this country because he respects everyone but he does not take mess from anyone even if you are close to him as a friend, and that is why some people like to attack him in the press,” said Mr. Williams, a teacher who said he once tested the strict and no nonsense approach of Justice Tolla Thompson.

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