Wednesday, 30 March 2011


Despite agreement with Supreme Court, FrontPageAfrica remains committed to our readers and the expression of their views. Nothing, and we mean, nothing, will kill our fight to preserve the principles of free speech and the right to expression.
THE EVENTS of the last weekend has not in any way, shape or form deterred FrontPageAfrica from objective to expose the ills of our society and allow you, our readers a forum to express your views.

THOSE VIEWS may not be welcomed in many quarters or come as music to the ears of the powers that be but we strongly believe that our opinion pages is the right place for you to vent out your frustrations, your anger and dislike for the powers.

WE HOLD the belief that our opinion pages is the best place for everyone, regardless of religion, race, creed or beliefs to speak truth to power.
FOR DECADES we have stood by and watch as scores of our brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers endure hardships, oppression and suppression under tyrannical previous administrations.

TODAY, one of those, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is head of our state. Until the arrest of the Editor of FrontPageAfrica, the administration had boasted a record of not having a journalist in jail.

SIRLEAF, in her State of the Nation address Monday said she strongly believes that the most essential ingredient of democracy is the total freedom of speech with the attendant political right that gives rise to a vibrant and thriving society. Said the President: ‘‘If we have learned anything during our years of advocacy and political opposition, it is certainly how precious freedom of speech can be. This Administration has never attempted and will never be part of any effort to curtail the freedom of expression.’’

IT WAS in view of this that the President, said in recognition of the freedom and the open society her administration has promoted since coming to power, 200 journalists from across Africa, at the African Editors Forum held in Bamako, Mali, in October, awarded her  the “Friend of the Media Award,” the first to be awarded a sitting President.
TURNING to Chief Justice Johnnie Lewis, the President then declared: ‘‘We are glad that the saga on the weekend has been resolved, allowing us to continue to enjoy the distinction of having no journalists or politicians in jail.’’

WE WELCOME and hail the behind-the-scenes efforts made by the President to secure the release of the FrontPageAfrica editor and we would hope that other branches of government would take heed and begin to exercise tolerance.

AS MUCH as the media is required to be responsible in their reporting, that responsible must never be accompanied by fear or the thoughts of being jailed, oppressed or suppressed for publishing commentaries and letters.

THE SUPREME COURT must exercise tolerance and must not allow it self to sway away from its core objective which is to dispense justice in a fair and impartial manner.

FREEDOM comes with responsibility but it also comes with the ability of all to exercise tolerance and respect for each and every Liberia’s views and the forum and medium through which those views are expressed.

IRONICALLY, Glady’s Johnson was allowed to express those views years ago when, in 1979, Liberia was hosting the annual gathering of the Organization of African Unity.  She wrote an opinion piece in the government-owned Liberian Age in which she took a stab at African leaders and the Tolbert administration.

NOT ONE hair was touched and one drop of blood drawn from the woman who would later be appointed to sit on the Supreme Court as an Associate Justice to dispense justice.

SO WHY should anyone else now be prevented from speaking their mind.?

THE ANSWER may be a difficult pill to swallow but members of the high court must make it their duty to ensure that the freedom of speech in Liberia’s post-war environment is preserved because in the final analysis, no one wants to live in a country where the highest court is intolerant to their views.