“I Support Liberians’ Right to Peacefully Protest”

first_imgMr. Cummings addresses the intellectual gathering.-Says CummingsAlexander B. Cummings, political leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) over the weekend declared that he is in support of the planned June 7 “peaceful protest.”Mr. Cummings made the statement at program making the 44th edition of Dr. Kofi Annan Intellectual series held at the National Polit-Bureau of Liberia (NPBL), a local intellectual center in Clara Town, Bushrod Island that discusses issues of national concern.“I support the rights of people to assemble, associate peacefully and responsibly voice out their disagreement, because it is their constitutional right,” Mr. Cummings said.He condemned government for “creating a hostile environment for people, who want to peacefully protest which he said is not acceptable.”On recent development, Cummings also described as unfortunate the recruit of ex-rebel generals to intimidate peaceful Liberians, who are critical of the government.On the topic, “What are those economic and political policies needed to be put in place by government to sustain growth and citizens peaceful co-existence,” he said the solution to revise the country’s economic status depends on the seriousness of the government, and functionaries to practice accountability, transparency and promote Liberian-owned businesses.Mr. Cummings welcomed by residents of Clara TownAccording to him, if the government fails to give an account of the US$25 million and the L$16 billion, no investors will see Liberia as a serious country to bring in huge amounts of money for investment purposes, “because there would be no assurance of getting back the money invested”.Cummings named corruption, intimidation of the press, the opposition and the constant disrespect of the rule of law as major contributing factors that would scare away investors from the country.He called on the government to revisit its tax environment; and give easy access for businesspeople to the Free Port of Monrovia to import new goods, “because there is an urgent need for the government to provide credit to Liberia-owned businesses.”Cummings said the government has failed on the growth of the economy, noting that every indicator to stabilize the economy has gone backward in the last two yearsHe added, “the Liberian dollar has lost its value on the market; prices are very hard and unemployment is at the peak, which is not a good sign for our economy.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Man pardoned by President jailed on rape charge

first_img…to serve 20 yearsAn ex-convict, who was pardoned by President David Granger two years ago, has been jailed again, this time for raping a 48-year-old woman.Justice Jo-Ann Barlow handed down the 20-year sentence to Raymond Gouveia, called “Ryan”, 22, of West Coast Berbice, for raping the middle-aged woman shortly after he was released from prison.Initially, Gouveia had pleaded not guilty to the indictment, which stated that on September 14, 2015, he sexually penetrated the woman without her consent.The Judge told Gouveia that the victim was old enough to be his mother.“She was going about her own business when you attacked and violated her. She sustained injuries and you thereafter threatened her. The sentence of this court is 24 years,” the Judge said in handing down her sentencing.Justice Barlow further told the convicted rapist the crime carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. However, the court was being lenient by imposing the 24-year jail term.In addition to that, two years were deducted for the mitigation by Defence Attorney Sasha Roberts and also his age.The Judge also took into account that Gouveia was remanded for almost two years and as such, deducted another two years from the sentence.Roberts, in mitigating for leniency, said Gouveia is the eldest of five children and was forced to drop out of school at the primary level. After dropping out, he started to work as a coconut peeler to supplement his family’s income.When asked if he had anything to say, the young man remained silent.In 2015, Gouveia was sentenced for sexually assaulting a young lady, who also lived on the West Coast of Berbice. Gouveia who was reportedly friends with the young woman who lived in a nearby village, attempted to rape her, but she fought him off. He was subsequently charged and jailed for that matter but was released sometime after.Residents in his village had revealed that he is out of jail because he was pardoned.“I de get a two-and-a-half year and I come out May 23,” the man had told Guyana Times shortly after he was charged for raping the 48-year-old woman.As a child, he allegedly raped two girls and was sent to the New Opportunity Corp (NOC) and while there, he also raped a boy.The 48-year-old victim, in relating the incident, stated that Gouveia attacked her while she was coming from the backdam.“While I was walking, he was walking to go down to the backdam and when I coming out I saw the boy coming to go the backdam. I kept my eyes on him… he just run from behind me and grab on me and lick me down to the ground. Then he was holding me down, pressing me down with one hand and strip me out and he raped me.”last_img read more