No help on Hindu holiday controversy from Indian High Commissioner

first_imgFrom left to right: Pandit Hardesh Tiwari of the Viraat Sabhaa, Pandit Ramdial Balbadar of the West Coast Demerara Sanatan Dharm Pandits Sabha, Pandit Navin Lillia of the Guyana Pandits Council and Pandit Ravi Persaud, the President of the Viraat SabhaaA resolution to the Hindu holiday controversy is far from over now that the Indian High Commissioner to Guyana Venkatachalam Mahalingam opted to stay clear of this conflict which has virtually divided the local community.He was lobbied by the local Hindu fraternity to provide assistance in settling the dispute over the timings for the various religious events, most notably Diwali and Phagwah.However Pandit Hardesh Tiwari of the Viraat Sabhaa, one of the lobbyist groups, disclosed during a Thursday news conference that the High Commissioner indicated that no help will be forthcoming since the matter is too controversial. “The Indian High Commissioner clearly indicated that India is a secular nation and would not want to interfere in a sovereign nation’s own expression of its religious views and that the Indian Government would not want to interfere and be a part of this whole,” he pronounced.After this route was unsuccessful in resolving the controversy, the Viraat Sabhaa organised a symposium with the aim of establishing the correct date for Hindu religious observations locally.Some 33 pandits from various organisations attended the meeting and came to a consensus that Diwali 2016 must be observed on October 29.But Pandit Tiwari explained that given the 9:30h time zone difference, Guyana must celebrate Diwali the day before India in keeping with the religious guidelines to observe the holiday during the evening of the new moon (Amaavasya).He said the problem lies in establishing when Amaavasya, which has a beginning and an ending.In local time, the Pandit explained that Amavaasya starts at 11:09h on October 29 and ends on 13:37h on October 30. Therefore, he said, Guyana must observe Diwali on the night of the new moon which falls on October 29.He explained that India is celebrating the festival on October 30 because with the time zone difference, the new moon sighting will be on that evening.Amavaasya will begin at 20:30h on October 29 in India and end at 23:00h on October 30. Pandit Tiwari said it would be impractical to celebrate Diwali on October 29 in India because adherents generally light their diyas around 18:00h.                                                                                                              He argued that this calculation is being observed by Caribbean States and Hindus in both Canada and the USA.Massive confusion erupted last year after the two leading Hindu organisations in the country failed to find middle ground on the date for the festival of lights – Diwali. This disagreement between the two bodies rolled over into the new year for the festival of colours – Phagwah.last_img read more

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Police Raid Criminal Hideouts, Make Several Arrest s

first_imgAt least 86 suspected hardcore criminals and drug users were arrested over the weekend by squad of the Liberia National Police (LNP) in a pre-dawn raid in several parts of Monrovia.During the exercise, the LNP said those suspected criminals, 86 drug users and traffickers, will be sent to court for prosecution following what the officers called “thorough processing of the suspects.”However, according to police spokesman Sam Collins, the early morning raids on Thursday were part of “Operation Safe Haven Reload,” a drive to make the city and its surroundings safe ahead of the raining season.He disclosed that those arrested were in possession of dangerous substances, including marijuana, Italian whites as well as other contrabands or illegal imported drugs.He made the disclosure to reporters Saturday, May 10, at the LNP Headquarters on Capitol Hill in Monrovia. Collins said the raid affected ghettos in Paynesville, including Red Light, and the Liberia Broadcasting Station (LBS) Communities, and Vai Town located in the Sinkor Old Road Community.Quoting the Senior Inspector of Police, Robert Saah, the police spokesman said, the raids will continue until the ghettoes and all suspected criminal hideouts in and around Monrovia are dismantled to maintain a low crime rate in the city.Mr. Collins has, meanwhile, called on all residents to help the police with information that will lead to locating criminal hideouts in the city and its environs.“We will not compromise your security, all we need is your support and cooperation as we strive to make our country a better place to live and do business,” he assured.The LNP official said the police was only carrying out its statutory function of protecting life and property, and not targeting anyone for reason than being a suspected criminal or drug user.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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UL Engineering Student Burial Schedule for Saturday

first_imgA junior student of the Civil Engineering Department of the University of Liberia (UL) who died recently after he  sustained  multiples injuries, as a result of a fence that felt on him will be buried on Saturday, May 17.The incident took place on May 3, within the compound of the American Cooperative School, on the Old Road in Sinkor, where he was employed as a contractor.The late Moses Newon Teayah was born 1983, unto the union of Pastor John P. Teayah and Martha M. Teayah.He was a member of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification in Duport Road, Paynesville outside of Monrovia.Explaining circumstances leading to the death of Moses, McCarthy Teayah , elder brother of Moses, said “We don’t know what killed Moses or how he died. What we were told by friends is that he died when a fence fell on him,” McCarthy explained in tears.According to him, they are still waiting to hear from the government on the cause of death.“Moses was one of the brains behind the entire family; we depended on him for our survival. How are we going to make it,” McCarthy lamented.He said, Moses’ remains will be removed from the Alfred Butler Funeral Home at about 4 p.m. on May 16, and taken to the Family Federation Headquarters Church on Duport Road Market, behind the mosque for a night of wake keeping, and burial will be on Saturday, May 17, at the Shara Community Cemetery on the Duport Road.Moses leaves to mourn his mother, Martha M. Teayah, father Pastor John P. Teayah, three sisters, Mabel, Joyce and Kyeong-hi, and a brother, McCarthy.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Twice the Pain, It was bad enough watching her sister slowly die. But nothing…

first_imgMiriam Kamara had always wanted a family of her own. After meeting her boyfriend and finally finding the love that she fantasized about; Miriam was ready to have their first child together.Unfortunately, her elder sister Satta, who supported her financially, was diagnosed with stomach cancer.“My sister suffered before and after she was diagnosed. There was no medicine to take away her pain,” Miriam stated.Satta ran a cook shop that Miriam was able to use to feed her family and also buy things for her expected child.“The cook shop pretty much fed our entire household, and also helped in sending all of my sisters to school,” Miriam added.After falling sick, Satta and her family were told by every hospital they visited that she had only three months to live.Sattah eventually died in July of 2013 amongst all of her relatives who dearly loved her, just as the doctor had predicted.“My sisters death hurt my entire family, and even divided a lot of us,”According to Miriam, her sister’s husband decided to take another wife months after the late Sattah’s death. Instead of finding a new location to take Bendu, his newly-wed, he moved her into the house Sattah and himself had built together.“That hurt our family a lot, and because of that, we decided not to speak to her at all. And almost everyday we had arguments and fights. Malice,” Miriam said.Furthermore, Miriam and her boyfriend had decided that they both would keep distance from Bendu, who had a family of her own living in the house.According to Bendu, the Kamara family despised her not because she married their late sister’s husband, but because they felt Bendu was the cause of Sattah’s death.“They say I played witch to have my husband to myself, and poisoned Sattah. Cancer is a white man’s sickness, it had nothing to do with African sign,” she defended.Meanwhile, Miriam was well into her six-month pregnancy when Sattah passed, and struggled to take care of herself while no one else seemed to care.“It was hard going for check-ups at the local clinic and identifying certain things about my health that only Sattah understood. She had 10 children before she passed away and knew a lot about pregnancy,” Miriam sadly added.As for Miriam’s boyfriend Malachi, he was unemployed and hardly stayed at home. Being a native of Sierra Leone, he spent all of his time trying to blend in with the Liberian culture and people.“I love my girlfriend, but this is my first time really being in love and living with a woman. There are things I don’t know and still need to learn,” he admitted.Miriam had reached into her last month of pregnancy and began staying indoors all day. She had no one to turn to for advice in what to do when her delivery time were to come. At that time, no one in the house was speaking to one another.According to her cousin who asked not to be named, Miriam made the decision of not talking to anyone in her yard.“She kept away from all of us and that’s bad, especially when you’re pregnant. We didn’t even know if she was in labor or not,” her cousin added.In October of 2014, at around 11pm, Miriam felt an unexpected pain in her groin area. Instead of waking Malachi who was asleep in the same room, Miriam managed to wrap the new lappa the late Sattah had given to her, in panic.“I was so confused from the pain, and thought I would die. I wasn’t thinking straight at the time, but could hear Sattah’s voice in my head telling me to go to the mid-wife she had taken me to before she died,” Miriam recalled.According to Miriam, after managing to get dressed and grabbing a few extra things, she silently but with a struggle, managed to leave the house.“I can’t recall how I managed to make it to the other side of the community, but I remember bending over the whole time as I walked. As I got closer to the streets, I couldn’t see any cars or anything because by then curfew had already set in,” she remembered.Miriam says she fought to decide her next move while sitting on the edge of the sidewalk, and that’s when she realized she was in labor.“I could feel a large bone or something between my legs, and at the same time I wasn’t able to walk again. So I decided to crawl across the street because the mid wife’s house was on the other side of the street. Not too far away,” she narrated.What happened next is very graphic and upsetting.According to Miriam, she did breathing exercises that she was told to do if she were to ever enter labor. And as she crawled slowly from off the sidewalk unto the street, she could feel her baby coming out of her vagina.“I cried very loudly but no one came to my rescue, and then I saw it. Bright lights coming from down the street. I thought it was an ambulance that someone had called for me, so I gradually crawled back to get closer to the sidewalk. I didn’t know that I had pushed the baby all the way out until the car lights came closer,”With a loud crushing sound, the head and parts of the newborn baby’s body was mashed completely flat by the moving vehicle. The car never made an attempt to stop to ask the crying mother her problem, but instead took speed.“ I screamed and screamed when I realized that a baby – my baby – was lying in front of me covered in blood. A man came out of his house to see my problem, and that’s when he took the lappa from in my plastic bag and started spreading it over the baby’s parts,”Meanwhile, Miriam’s family is stunned and sad at her situation and has been gradually consoling her, for she has refused to eat for days.While weeks have passed since the accident, the family has begun to speak out and make aware those in their community of the dangers of not communicating.“What happened to Miriam happened because we all cut off speech, we should have been there for her. The sight of the blood and things in the street that morning frightened everyone, and we’re sad she had to experience that,” added Malachi.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Ex-NPA Boss Gives Customs Brokers ‘11 Commandments’

first_imgFormer National Port Authority (NPA) Managing Director, Madam Matilda Parker, has challenged the newly installed leadership of the National Customs Brokers’ Association (NCBAL) to strive for unity, rather than push for the downfall of others.Madam Parker believes that unity would result in an effective service association for people to get “on board and point in the same direction,” adding that “leadership does not mean domination.” Madam Parker’s admonition is based on the fact that most organizations come into existence to tackle problems that could be achieved with a united front.But if there are disagreements, it is likely that the association would not be effective, and members would spend most of their time arguing and posturing, she said.Delivering the keynote address on Saturday, Madam Parker said the art of leadership is in the ability to make people want to work for you, while they are really under no obligation to do so.“Leaders are people who raise the standards by which they judge themselves and by which they are willing to be judged.“The goal chosen, the objective selected, the requirements imposed are not mainly for their followers,” Madam Parker said. Leaders, she said, ought to develop with energy and devotion, their own skills and knowledge to reach the standard they have set for themselves.The wholehearted acceptance of the demands imposed by even higher standards of a leader is the basis of all human progress.“A love of higher quality, we must remember, is essential in a leader,” declared Madam Parker.She stated that a leader is one who realizes by faith that he or she is an instrument in the hands of God and must be an inspirer of the governed.“A leader must kindle interest, teach, aid, correct and inspire. Those whom he or she leads will cooperate with him or her in maintaining discipline for the good of the group.“The leader must instruct the followers in the goals towards which to strive, and create in them a sense of mutual effort for attaining it,” she said.She then described her style of leadership as the “Eleven Commandments.”“As a leader, when you adopt these ways of behaving, it’s like making deposits into a trust account of another party,” Madam Parker said.The Parker 11 commandments include straight talking, demonstrating respect, righting wrongs and extending trust.”Others are “showing loyalty, delivering results, getting better, confronting reality, clarifying expectations, listening first and keeping commitments.”For his part, installation officer, Dorbor Jallah, urged the leadership of the Customs Brokers to lead exemplary lives. Mr. Jallah is the executive director of the Public Procurement Concessions Commission.The newly inducted officers include Ivan Tumbey, president, Harry To Klechee, vice president, Mohamed Massaquoi, secretary; Alphonso Barkoum, national registrar, Benedict Jallah, financial secretary, James Hinneh, treasurer and Alphonso Weah, chaplain.In his inaugural address, Mr. Tumbey promised to bring every member of the association together and get their trust so as to move the organization forward.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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