US Amb. Calls for Global Human Rights, Freedoms

first_imgThe United States Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, Deborah Malac, has disclosed that her government is committed to seeing a world where human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons are realized.While there is distance left to travel to make the world a [a better place], the United States pledges to be a partner with Liberia in that journey to remove the stigma of Ebola and HIV/AIDS and to ensure justice for people to travel.“There is need to empower women and girls, and promote the rights of persons with disabilities and this will amount to global human rights and freedom that everyone envisages,” said Ambassador Malac in her New Year’s message to Liberia.“My wish for all Liberians in 2015 and beyond is to continue to build upon the progress we have made and the challenges we have faced in the past year.  Let us continue to work to prevent new Ebola infections, to strengthen our partnerships, and to increase our respect for all members of society as one people.”The US diplomat noted that the Government of the United States is proud to partner with the people and Government of Liberia to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa, due to the progress it has seen in the past few months.However, she cautioned that the battle is not yet won and called on the general public to exert all efforts in ensuring that Ebola is eradicated. According to her, with the support of the United Nations, civil society, and international partners, the people of Liberia must stay committed to stemming new Ebola infections and preventing new outbreaks throughout the country.She said the full-fledged international response to the Ebola crisis has created new partnerships between government, civil society and various institutions since the outbreak of the epidemic.  She urged the people of Liberia to continue this worthy partnership during the post Ebola period. The US ambassador further disclosed that, “We hope these health-related partnerships continue to flourish and strengthen in 2015 and beyond into a post-Ebola Liberia so that men, women, and children have access to regular and safe healthcare.”The US ambassador added that, “Together we can eliminate Ebola from Liberia and her neighboring countries; getting this done is everybody’s business.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Former WBD cane farmers call for Govt subsidies

first_img…as they commence planting cash cropsBy Shemuel FanfairAlmost two years after the closure of the Wales Sugar Estate, cane farmers in the nearby village of Bellvue, West Bank Demerara are pleading for Government to assist them as they venture into diversified crops.When Guyana Times met with farmers of the Bellvue Cane Farmers Co-Op Society on Saturday, they were sourcing water as the mid-morning sunshine pierced the parched earth and rainfall remains scare owing to the prolonged dry season, which experts suggest could extend into the first months of 2019.A burnt out section of the farmlandSome farmers are trying their hand at cash crop cultivation while others are planting banana and plantain suckers and coconut palms. According to overseas-based Balram Balkarran, the farmers are encountering added expenses through land preparation and pump rentals.“At least the Government should have assisted the Co-op Society, as it costs members about $20,000 to $40,000 per acre to go into other crops. Farmers’ cane used to contribute 50 per cent of the canes. Wales Estate had more co-op societies that supplied cane more than any other estate, so the peasant cane farmers here are suffering more here than (at) any other location,” Balkarran told this newspaper.In December 2016, when Wales officially ended operations, water in the access canals leading to the Kamuni Creek flowed freely to the Wales area through the community of Renistyne, according to Balkarran. However, this all changed when the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) stopped maintaining the many punt trenches in the area. In fact, some sugar workers living in the area were also affected as they supplemented their income via fishing in the trenches.Farmer Ramchuran Sukhnan, 57, told this newspaper of the many expenses he has been paying since leaving the sugar industry, and he observed that he would be grateful for grants and subsidies as he still has to acquire seedlings. He said he had to pay $50,000 in labour costs to clean one of his plots, $40,000 to prepare the beds, in addition to other costs.“This is a-we livelihood; we not getting anything…we really need help here, we want water,” Sukhnan pointed out, referencing the dry conditions.The farmer noted that he supports his 4 grandsons from his earnings.“Since Wales close (down) things hard, we got children and grandchildren to send to school,” he noted.Guyana Times was told that the National Drainage & Irrigation Authority (NDIA) was contacted since June 2018 to assist in clearing the bushy trenches, but as mid-October approaches, the farmers are awaiting the entity’s swift action.Wales was the first of several estates closed under the Coalition Administration in moves to re-organise the industry. Though the closures were rationalised as cost-cutting initiatives, many observers — including the Parliamentary Opposition — had called for social impact studies to be conducted beforehand.Aside from the plight of the farmers, many sugar workers in the Wales area are facing difficulties in acquiring consistent and lucrative employment. Only a few workers were rehired by the Special Purposes Unit (SPU) which now manages the closed estates.last_img read more