Archive for the ‘News’ Category

“THE GAMBIA IS MINE”, CLAIMED PRESIDENT JAMMEH OWLISHLY

July 31, 2014
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GAMBIA'S JAMMEH-CLAIMS HE OWNS GAMBIANS

GAMBIA’S JAMMEH-CLAIMS HE OWNS GAMBIANS

GAMBIAN DICTATOR

GAMBIAN DICTATOR

“DEKABI SUMA BOSS-LA”, President Jammeh told Gambians and the rest on the world in his televised Eid message broadcast on GRTS. Amazingly, all the state ministers and Islamic clerics sitting from across him sheepishly nodded their heads in approval to his claim of ownership of the Gambia. On the one hand, on a constitutional and legal point, one can dismiss his claim as preposterous and oafish. To better sculpt a colourful image of my exposition, I would sponge Wikipedia’s designation of the term country. Most importantly, it will help President Jammeh distinguish “a compound” from “a country” as it appears he is confusing the two. “A country is a region identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with sets of previously independent or differently associated people with distinct political characteristics. Regardless of the physical geography , in the modern internationally accepted legal definition as defined by the League of Nations in 1937 and reaffirmed by the United Nations in 1945, a resident of a country is subject to the independent exercise of legal jurisdiction” (Wikipedia). On the contrast, a compound when referred to connote human habited, is an enclosure of houses or buildings by either walls or any structures belonging to a particular family or individual for instance Jeng Kunda, Baldeh Kunda and Jammeh Kunda.  Consequently, for President Jammeh to claim ownership of the Gambia as a country as opposed to a compound, it is fitting to deem him as a leader who has lost his perimeters of leadership.

On the other hand, however, one can jump on the wagon of those uncaring, selfish and unpatriotic Gambians who were sheepishly nodding their heads in approval like a bunch of drunken zombies and cruise with the euphoria. Perhaps their reasons are punctuated amply in all his unconstitutional decrees. Firstly, it is an open secret that Jammeh is synonymous to Gambia as he embodies all judicial, legislative and executive institutions of the Gambia. If that is anything to go by then one cannot but agree with him that he owns the Gambia and Gambians as well. Jammeh abuses his office day in and out yet not an eyebrow is raised. Nevertheless, Sabally, Njogou Bah, Jobarteh and Mambury Njie can be imprisoned for neglect of duty and abuse of office. Interesting, isn’t it? President Jammeh can order the execution of 9 inmates in broad daylight and yet again he his hailed “Babili Mansa” and the greatest African leader of all ages. President Jammeh can comfortably deny Gambians their birth and religious right to be buried in their own country and we all look the other side as if without him we are worthless. This reminds me of a Wolof narrative: “Yallah dafai gell sa worsack mu jaraleko si kenen. Soo naago fock ne koku sula woche daga torrouck. Yallah bayela ahk joju waye dila say tan”. Which literally translate “sometime God may destiny your luck through another person but if you conclude that without the individual your will be ridden with misfortunes, God will forsake you and watch you and that person”. We have for long let Jammeh get away with his banditry and arrogance. His unchecked pomposity and contempt for constitutional laws are not only designing a lifelong insecurity for Gambians both home and abroad but also shrinking us into his personal artefacts collection. To make himself feel like he is “a celebrity” worthy of a grain of salt, he has to abuse, humiliate, torture and incarcerate innocent and vulnerable Gambians to deflate their pride and self-esteem. That way he thinks, in his deluded and jelly mind, his terminal inferiority complex will be augmented and be endorsed by society which has always continued to scorn him.

Furthermore, President Jammeh finds it testing to demarcate between his private and public life and responsibilities. At one point, he assumes the role of a religious cleric and within the blind of an eye; he switches into a judge and jury. As his audience strive to be at length with his gaffing, he turns into a maroon trying to impress his bemused spectators. What is even more laughable is his persistent futile referencing the Quran with his famous lines “it is in the Quran” and “the Quran and Prophet said it”, but never quoted a particular verse or sura to qualify his statement. It elicits his lack of knowledge about Islam and the Quran otherwise he would have emulated Abubacarr, Omar, Ousman or Ali (RNH): powerful, brave, rich but very humble and mindful of the rights of their subjects especially the poor and weak. Unrepentantly, he radiates loathsome arrogance, hatred and disrespect for establishment. Well Kaba Sallah has surmised Jammeh aptly when he affirmed, “Jammeh came to power with a chip on his shoulder, that he is not getting any respect because of his Jola ethnic background, Ebou said as much. Jammeh’s early pronouncements and policy decision support this theory that he wants to uplift the social status of the Jola ethnic group…Another point is that not only were the junta members young, but also angry and vindictive”. President Jammeh still agonizes from inferiority complex and chillingly more vindictive than ever before. This is explicitly manifested in his uncultured manners particularly when addressing the nation.

Now that Jammeh has publicly claimed ownership of the Gambia as his personal possession, what are we going to do about it as Gambians? Alternatively, should I console my sanity which what Sedia Jatta once said: “Gambians love to be oppressed by President Jammeh”?

Sulayman Jeng, Birmingham, UK

EX-PREMIERSHIP PLAYERS TO TAKE ON GAMBIAN EX-FOOTBALL STARS

July 24, 2014
Reads :2319
Stephanie & Alan

Stephanie & Alan

Ex- Barclays Premiership and English national team footballers and celebrities will next February play an international art-football match with ex-footballers of the Gambian national team and artistes at the Independence Stadium in Bakau. The football match which is jointly organised by Karmic Angels, a charity registered in the Gambia since 2008 and the UK 3 Lions, a UK based charitable organisation is part of events to mark the Gambia’s 50th Independence Anniversary from the UK. It is aimed at building the UK and Gambian relations in sport, art, education, business and tourism and also to raise more awareness and funds for Karmic Angels International charitable projects.

According to UK philanthropists, Stephanie and Alan Turner, who are also the founding director and chairman of Karmic Angels, the football match on Independence Day, will attract thousands of Gambian and European football fans. This will be preceded on 17th February by an International music concert with UK, US and Gambian musicians and artistes (Hip Hop and Rap and more). Jaliba Kuyateh is performing alongside many other top Gambian artistes.

“This is going to be a great celebration and we want thousands of Gambians to participate. Obviously there are many things to collaborate, but with the help of the National Sports Council, the Gambia Football Association, the ministries of Tourism, Sports and Education and of course the President of the Gambia, we will make this an event never to be forgotten,” said Alan Turner.

“UK 3 Lions will be bringing celebrities, artistes and footballers who played for Barclay’s Premiership clubs like, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United who will as part of the tour visit  Gambian schools, colleges, training institutes and orphanages to give mini sports fitness sessions, motivational speeches, mini music taster sessions run by the artists.”

“We have documentary crews from Satya Media Group from Miami, USA, together with our own UK media team. We also have the services of two Gambian video professionals and have also invited GRTS to be at all occasions together with the press. This will have the benefit of having a documentary across the US and UK as well as Gambia.” said Stephanie Turner.

Stephanie and Alan Turner expressed hopes to make the event an annual one to provide more support for the people of the Gambia and towards their projects for help in education, health, agriculture and sport.

Having gained the interest of a number of companies in the Gambia and UK, Stephanie and Alan Turner said they are still looking for more sponsors and Gambia organisations that would like to be part of the event can either log on to their website www.karmicangels.org.uk or contact their Gambian offices on 6310379/7926456, 7431185/3931185 or email karmicangels@hotmail.com.

Since it started operations in the Gambia, Karmic Angels have built three nursery schools, renovated another three classroom block, donated educational and health materials worth millions of Dalasi to schools, hospitals and clinics. They have also donated agricultural items to help the women in the crop fields on the North Bank.

Stephanie & Alan

 

GAMBIAN CIVIL SOCIETIES GEAR UP TO SHAME JAMMEH IN WASHINGTON

July 23, 2014
Reads :972

 

Shameless Jammeh wants to meet the Obamas - Go get him Gambian Americans

Shameless Jammeh still wants to meet the Obamas – Go get him Gambian Americans.

PRESS RELEASE: OPERATION FREE GAMBIA

Our nation is in the middle of an escalating situation that must come to an end and if we do not act, this will devastate our country, which our children would inherit. We all want a Gambia, where every young person, no matter where you come from, or what you look like, or who your parents are, can make it if you try and work hard not to live in poverty; a Gambia where there is economic progress, meaningful development, security, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

For the past 20 years, we have been denied this and our people face injustice and brutal oppression. The Gambia is in crisis and we stand at a crossroad and the path we must take is the road to liberate and free our nation. This is a moment of great challenge but in a moment like this, that we Gambians face, exits a greater opportunity to liberate our nation and build a country that will become a hope for all, a true heaven of Africa, a real smiling coast.

This is why we are calling on all Gambians and Friends of The Gambia to join us for a major protest against the injustice committed daily by the Jammeh Government to our people. President Jammeh and his government will be attending the U.S. Africa Summit, this will be a chance to stand our ground and be heard by Jammeh’s Government and the international community.

Date: August 5, 2014

Venue: The White House, 1200 Pennsylviania Avenue, Washington, DC 2002

Time: 11:00AM – 5:00PM EST

The FREEDOM MASK will be given to all attendees to stand together in solidarity to call for change in the Gambia. This event is proudly supported by all Gambian civil society organizations: CORDEG, GCC, GDAG, DUGA, STGDP & GMDD and other African civil society organizations.

GCC SEND CONDOLENCE TO LATE ALHAGIE EBRIMA MBENGA

July 23, 2014
Reads :695
The GCC Logo

The GCC Logo

Condolence for the passing away of the late Alhagie Ebrima Momodou Mbenga.

On the occasion of the passing away of Ousainou Mbenga’s father, Alhagie Ebrima Momodou Mbenga, members of the GCC wish to extend their heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy to you and your family for this great loss of your father. GCC is further saddened by the fact that due to your activities in fighting for the cause of justice in the Gambia, you will, by virtue of the political climate at home, be unable to participate in sending your beloved father to his eternal place of rest.

GCC is further mindful of the enormous sacrifices that you, your family and your DUGA family have made, and are continuing to make, which has created this unfortunate for you, which no son or daughter, would wish to experience. But driven by your deep commitment to your country and fellow citizens, it is a sacrifice you and your family have seen fit to make. We applaud you for your courage of conviction as you mourn your beloved father. We are convinced that in life, he was proud of your commitment to justice in yours and his land of birth.

May Allah Subhanahu Wataa’la accept Alhagie Ebrima Momodou Mbenga to a high place in Jannatul-Firdaus.

Signed GCC

AUTHOR TAKES A SWIPE AT RTD. COL. SARR

July 23, 2014
Reads :543
EX-COL. SAMSUDEEN SARR

EX-COL. SAMSUDEEN SARR

Dear Editor,

I did not witnessed nor did I ever accused anyone of taking the life of another person, but it is an open secret that Samsudeen Sarr had violated lots of Gambians especially soldiers. Therefore he has no point in the first place trying to defend or mock those he violated.
Firstly Sarr and many others like him should be very grateful to Senegal and the Senegalese people who did not only sheltered them but also fought hard for them to be reallocated to the United States, Europe or elsewhere.  As a Right activist we documented several appeals and attestations made by Senegalese in favour of Gambians just for humanitarian reason and nothing else. Essentially it is helping them to escape the Kanilai tyrant. But unfortunately Sarr has a very short memory or he is deliberately trying to mislead us for that matter. Some of us remember when Sarr running out of the country dressed as a ‘BY FAAL’ and sneaked into Senegal only to be supported by our neighbours to avoid his untimely death from the dictator. Therefore it is beyond belief for Sarr to be so ungrateful to Senegal.
Secondly, Gambians can still recalled with the assistance of Sarr who personally involved in the extraction of those men and the way and manner he treated them with impunity. As a senior Army official who was a friend to the dictator, Sarr equally committed the same amount of crime just like his Oga. Also the way in which Sarr was harassing and abusing fellow officers such as Alieu Bah on GRTS is an indication that he was capable of anything while in uniform. Sarr was so cruel that he cannot even allowed his captives to speak out and defended them selves. Maybe dictator Jammeh knows the reason why he chased Sarr out of the country.
Thirdly if the Gambian courts are fair and just as Sarr is trying to portray, then why should he ran for his life and finally seeked asylum elsewhere. We thought that Sarr by now will repent his deeds but instead his tone is very frightening and much similar to the dictator’s. Sarr including his likes are truly Jammeh enablers and deserve to be on trial for numerous violations. Let us remember that Senegal has compromised and sacrificed huge economic and political interest with Gambia just to make sure that Gambian dissents are safe and sound inline with international obligations.
Therefore in the contrary, Senegal who is relying on international law and the respect for humanity using its status to help and assist Gambians who fear for their lives with their families should be praised a million fold. We should be grateful to the Senegalese. Thank you for the space.
Sohna Jobe (Jobis)
Germany

AN OLIVE BRANCH TO PRESIDENT JAMMEH – WILL HE ACCEPT!

July 23, 2014
Reads :634
The Author: Momodou Njai

The Author: Momodou Njai

Dear Mr President

As we mark the 20th anniversary since you came into power, I thank you and the First Lady Madame Zeinab Jammeh for giving me this opportunity to share with you my concerns and proposals that would benefit the Gambian people and Gambia as a whole. I also thank you and your administration for the developments that have taken place since you came into power. I am willing to take any or all  of the criticism that will come my way for actually engaging you to do the right thing.

Even enemies talk to let each other know where they stand but you are not my enemy nor a friend, but the leader of our beloved nation. With that being said, I as a citizen of The Gambia have the right to address our issues and come up with proposals and plans that can save us from further chaos. Take this deal and forever hold the peace or in due time face the people that will have no other choice but to march and claim what belongs to them. Mr President, I am not a supporter of the APRC, nor am I a member of any political party, or organization. Like many Gambians who share the same concerns as mine, I would want to come to Gambia to sit and discuss with you about these proposals after consulting all the opposition parties and diaspora groups by engaging them in the debate.

Mr President, with the help of the First Lady that means dear to your heart, I am hoping that you would accept my request to see me as a concerned Gambian who wants to be part of the solution and not add to any problems; for country’s sake. I am not expecting any guarantees that you would grant my wish for the proposals, but as the leader of our beloved nation, I expect you to do your level best for the interest of our nation. It is your very own words that said, “If somebody is doing something that is bad and is affecting you and the country, stop him and if you cannot stop him, report him to somebody who can stop him. If you are a good citizen and good Muslim or Christian, when somebody is appointed in any position and is doing something bad, your obligation as a human being and a servant of God is to stop the person from doing what is bad.” That is what I am doing today Mr President. I am telling you that The Gambia is not on the right course and we need to change course. Just in case I don’t get to see you and I am either arrested, tortured, or killed with or without your knowing, just simply know that I am willing to take that risk not for anything in reward, but for God’s sake and love of country. I would sincerely ask you to:

1. Show compassion towards the prisoners on death row and release them. I know you have said that you will never forgive murderers and those who have done evil, but may I remind you that if we don’t have the heart to forgive one another, how do we expect God to forgive us! Yes we live in a world with laws, but how many people have gone missing and died in the hands of some officials, and nothing was said or done that justified such! There are also some that have been wrongly accused and he or she says dominates or justifies such arrests without concrete evidence.  Please use your pardoning power to set the records straight and release all political prisoners such as Amadou Sanneh, and others that have not killed a living soul. Also, please have the judiciary review all cases of those that are in mile 2 or in the NIA, and pardon them willingly. Compensate families and victims that have been wrongly accused or are victims to any inhumane treatments. You would be seen as not weak but bold enough to fix what is broken.

2. Call the National Assembly into session and repeal laws that are unconstitutional, and threatening to its citizens. The internet bill or law for example gives ultimate powers to the State and government officials, which is abusive. It is too broad that it violates every aspect of the constitution, and what it means to say that no one is above the law.

3. Allow term limits and ask the National Assembly to work on it as soon as possible. Dismiss any claims of wanting to be a King or turn Gambia into a monarchy. Be strong to tell the people that we are living in a democracy that respects the rule of law and that we are not or will ever be under monarchy rule again.

4. Call on the International Community for better relations and rebuild the unwavering relationship with Senegal being our family neighbors. Honor the fallen and their families by inviting them over to settle past differences. Only a good person can give you such advice and good is all the Presidency should be about and the interest of the nation.

5. Call on the Diasporas that are educated enough to build the country but fear persecution. Many Gambians are highly educated but can’t go home because they are intellectually smart enough to know and feel what they might face if they return home, because they simply cannot ignore such when living in a free world. They should not be blamed for been exposed to their individual rights as citizens that every democratic country must adhere to. Having an open discussion and speaking to them without threatening them can bring in highly educated folks to improve our beloved country. Mind you,  Gambia is lacking people that really want to develop it but you and your government needs to refrain from words of punishment and encourage its citizens to join the country for its National Interest. They are afraid that you will build more Mile 2’s and even use the firing squad on them. Forgiveness is the key, and reconciliation will open the doors to many opportunities if we mean well.

6. Hold officials accountable that abuse power and give them a fair trial in court. Stop the officials from torture and ban any inhumane treatments. That is not democracy or the way forward.

7. Call for peace, stability, and reconciliation.

8. Call for more transparency and accountability. A commission of inquiry should be set up to verify and hold into account anything that belongs to the Gambian people. Your wealth that is earned legally will be untouched and yours to keep.

9. Have an open debate were citizens are engaged in the process of electing their leaders and make GRTS accessible to the opposition parties. Also, reform the Independent Electoral Commision by giving them the power to strip people that are fraudelent and have violated the rules and regulations of voter fraud. Many a times, young voters that are not eligible are casting ballots because they have the approval of Alkalos. Let us fix what is broken with the IEC and strip the Chairman who is not eligible to oversee the operations of the IEC. The Gambian people deserve free and fair elections with also the monitoring of all opposition parties and the International Community.

10. Last but not the least, I know you are a man of dignity and pride. Please put aside your differences and work with all Gambians who want to work for the sake of peace, prosperity, and growth. It is never too late to try and involve others that mean well, but please refrain from words that keep people away. Also Mr. President, as thoughtful and promising these proposals could be, it can only be implemented if you the head of State make it an agenda. It is all in good will and good faith to ask you as the leader of The Gambia to please reason with us, and humanity as a whole. We can also work on an exit strategy that will keep you in Gambia and be paid your retirement salary with security if exiting would be best in 2016 to stabilize the government. I think now is the time to announce that you will not run for elctions and this is where you can stop. Please do not make the mistake Sir Dawda did by announcing and then coming back. I would hate to see another military junta come in to force you out just like you did to the former PPP government. I know you have your concerns but I can assure you that the Gambian people are often forgiving and if you make the right decision, I am confident that Gambia’s better days are yet to come.

Mr President, your security and that of your families shall be protected if concrete steps like these listed are executed under your presidency. This is not a threat or a command, but a wish that I hope the Gambian people will rally behind. The cost of war, or civil war can be avoided if the right choices are made. Mr President, if you have Gambia’s best interest at heart, it is about time you listen to people that will tell you what you do not want to hear, but need to hear. Too many times, you have been surrounded by people who fear you and are willing to tell you and your family anything just to make you smile. Even though some may mean well,  they are overshadowed by fear which eventually leads to poor choices. In this holy month of Ramadan, you would have met an honest Gambian who would tell you the truth even if it means you would frown more from starving, while fasting and that it could lead to my last breath of air. I wish you a blessed Ramadan and may Allah forgive you for your shortcomings. I hope and pray that God the almighty would guide you towards reforms, and to a total transformation of the Status Quo. I pray that God will make you see in me and all of those in the diaspora, that we love our country so much, and that is why we are fighting for reforms. May you be generous enough to accept my request to see you and eventually grant us the peace we desire. Also, even though i realize the discontent you have against the West, this letter or proposal is not influenced from the West or any foreign government, but from that of your own Gambian citizens and the plight they have in love of country. It is time to talk Mr President; it is time to talk!!May God bless you, the family, and the Gambian people!!May God bless the Gambia our homeland!!

Yours sincerely Momodou Njai

UK GOVERNMENT HOSTS GIRL SUMMIT

July 23, 2014
Reads :1120

DAVID CAMERON-UK PRIME MINISTER

DAVID CAMERON-UK PRIME MINISTER

By Sarata Jabbbi

The UK government in partnership with UNICEF have on Thursday July 22nd, hosted the world first Girl Summit at the Walworth academy in south London. The aim of the conference was to mobilise domestic and international efforts to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child early and forced marriage (CEFM) within a generation.

Speaking at the Girl Summit– the Home Secretary, Theresa May, said the cross-party unit would help protect thousands of girls across the country. The unit, which could operate in a similar way to the government’s forced marriage unit, has been a key demand of campaigners against FGM. “These measures will ensure that we can maintain the momentum on stamping out these harmful practices,” May said.Home Secretary May added that the government would also strengthen laws around FGM, by holding parents responsible if their child was a victim of the practice. May, however, went further to announce a consultation into making it mandatory for professionals to report FGM and said victims going through court cases would be given lifelong anonymity.

As part of a £1.4m prevention programme, charities will receive funding to create community “champions” with the “cultural knowledge and the connections necessary to challenge beliefs and behaviours”. “We are making progress. Today we are taking one more step on the road towards giving women a voice and eradicating these harmful practices,” concluded May.

FGM has been illegal in the UK for three decades, but the first prosecution was only made in March and is currently going through the courts. As part of a £1.4m prevention programme, charities will receive funding to create community “champions” with the “cultural knowledge and the connections necessary to challenge beliefs and behaviours”.

For his part the Prime Minister David Cameron saidthe government is to legally oblige doctors, social workers and teachers to report FGM if they see it. “What we are trying to achieve is such a simple and noble and good ambition, which is to outlaw the practices of female genital mutilation and early child forced marriage,” he said.

Cameron highlighted the equality between boys and girls by saying, “for me the context is very simple. The context is about equality. I am a dad with three children, two girls and a boy. And I want my girls to grow up with every opportunity my son have, and that is what this is about – equality.”

Many speakers including FGM survivors, gender activist and girls’ education campaigners expresses their concerns over harmful traditional practices, among them was Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani education advocator said people to abandon traditions that are harmful to human beings.

She added that Islam did not condone FGM and early forced marriage, and challenged those who used religion as an excuse to subjugate girls. “There are people who need to read the Qur’an again and do a little bit more study,” she said. Around 600 people from England and the rest of the countries in the world attended summit.