‘NEC Must Address Deficiencies in VR Listing’ -The Carter Center

first_imgNEC Chair Jerome Kokoya The National Elections Commission (NEC) is finally working on the final voter roll listing that will be publicized shortly, but the commission has been urged to provide further information on what has been done to address deficiencies in the provisional listing, if it is to increase transparency and ensure stakeholders’ confidence in the integrity of the voter lists, Carter Center has said.The Carter Center, a not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization that advances democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity globally, also called on the NEC to provide political parties copies of the final lists without delay.It may be recalled that the Voter Registration (VR) exhibition was reportedly overwhelmed by numerous irregularities—a situation that created a dark cloud over the electoral process. The exhibition was overshadowed by reports of missing names, photos and other personal information of registrants across the country.In a statement released yesterday by The Carter Center’s international election observation mission, the group said Liberia (through NEC) is managing for the first time the election process independent of large-scale international assistance, and all should be done to build confidence in the commission. Recommendations that the group thinks would help to ensure a peaceful, credible election were also included in the release.After acknowledging some technical difficulties in the compilation of the voter lists, the NEC continues to work on finalizing the voter roll. Although the NEC is still in compliance with legal deadlines for its finalization, presidential candidates and political party officials have expressed concerns to The Carter Center about its status.Following the VR exhibition saga, calls began to emerge for the NEC to do all in its power to cultivate public confidence in the electoral process to ensure peaceful elections with all the phases of the electoral process being executed in a more transparent manner. These calls were led by the Election Coordination Committee (ECC).ECC Chairman, Oscar Bloh, at a press conference urged the NEC to make public the detailed voter registration roll that highlights the particulars of every voter as this will help political parties and independent candidates to better plan for their campaigns.“The NEC must try to address deficiencies in the provisional listing if it is to increase transparency and ensure stakeholders’ confidence in the integrity of the voter lists,” the statement said.The Center observed that though hopes were high for the participation of women in Liberian politics, especially at a time when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had broken the glass-ceiling in Liberia and Africa, women’s participation in this election is limited. “Only two parties successfully ensured that 30 percent of their candidates were women,” it said.“Overall, political parties expressed measured confidence in the impartiality of the NEC. In an effort to bolster transparency, the NEC has convened regular meetings with the political parties at the national level through the Inter-Party Consultative Committee,” Carter Center noted, though it worries that this practice seems not to be consistently replicated in the counties.Despite the limited extent of campaign activity so far, the Center is encouraged by its peaceful and positive character, as well as by the commitment to a peaceful election professed by all the candidates with whom the mission has met.Widespread Misuse of State Resources ReportedThe Carter Center said allegations of the misuse of state resources in the campaign are widespread, and will be closely observing this issue throughout the process. “This election is an important stage in the consolidation of Liberia’s democracy,” said Jordan Ryan, vice president of the Carter Center’s peace programs. “The Center is encouraged by the NEC’s progress and by the peaceful conduct of the campaign to date. We urge the NEC to communicate clearly with the parties, and we encourage the parties to continue their cooperation with the NEC and maintain their commitment to peace.”To ensure a level playing field for all contestants, the Center noted that NEC and other relevant authorities should thoroughly investigate all allegations of the misuse of administrative resources and use existing remedies to hold perpetrators accountable.Meanwhile, the pre-election statement is based on the work of the Center’s core team and six long-term observers, who have been in the country since early August and have now visited 13 of the country’s 15 counties. Shortly before Election Day, more than 30 short-term observers will join the team in Liberia and deploy across the country to assess the voting, counting, and tabulation processes, the release said.The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

GAA: INTERMEDIATE FINAL POSTPONED

first_imgThe Senior Intermediate Final, scheduled for Páirc Thír Chonaill at 2.30pm today, has been POSTPONED due to a brereavement in the Termon club.Termon had been due to play Aodh Ruadh.  GAA: INTERMEDIATE FINAL POSTPONED was last modified: November 3rd, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAA: INTERMEDIATE FINAL POSTPONEDlast_img read more

Poultry show ban can be handled in a variety of ways at fairs

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In early June, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) had to make the really difficult decision to cancel all live bird shows in the state in order to protect Ohio’s $2.3 billion poultry industry from the recent avian influenza epidemic. No Ohio cases have been discovered so far.In Paulding County, the home of the first Ohio county fair for the year, Fair Board members made a decision about the poultry show before the State did.“We needed to set a plan in place if there was going to be a ban on poultry shows in Ohio. We have Cooper Farms in our area and they create a large percentage of jobs for our county. We decided we didn’t want a large number of birds together in one building to give the disease more of a chance to spread. We made the decision as a board to cancel two weeks before the fair instead of waiting for the State to make their decision. We had the skillathon the following night, which was the last time we’d see the kids before the fair started and we told the exhibitors then that there would be no poultry show,” said Caleb Schlatter, Paulding County Senior Fair Board member and head of the poultry department. “When the ODA cancelled the shows it took a lot of pressure off. All these kids had all their birds and put in all of their work, but I feel like we did make the right decision.”Instead of a show, the fair hosted an event for the poultry exhibitors.“Cooper Farms put on a Jeopardy game with all poultry knowledge. They have three different classes: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Each level has harder questions testing their knowledge on poultry,” Schlatter said. “Cooper Farms also donated 75 pounds of turkey that they grilled here for all of the exhibitors and spectators at the show.”At the Pickaway County Fair, which will be held next week, poultry exhibitors get to participate in showmanship and the sale.“We are having an abbreviated showmanship show and an educational event. We have a judge coming,” said Bob Black, president of the Pickaway County Agricultural Society. “The sale committee decided to not let the exhibitors sell individually, but they can sign up and be in the ring. We were hoping to raise money for the kids who show up so they each get $50 or so. I heard from some buyers and they thought that was as fair as anything. We wanted to be fair to the kids with poultry, but we also still have many other kids who are going through the ring with other projects and we wanted to make sure they get good money for their project too. The kids need something, but nobody knew exactly what to do. I think this is a good solution.”The poultry show ban will likely be handled differently by fairs all season long. Hopefully it can be viewed as a good learning experience for the affected exhibitors at every cancelled event for the year.“This is educational because with livestock you never know what you are going to get,” Black said. “This is real life.”last_img read more

CBI examining calls in Muzaffarpur molestation case

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation’s forensic team is mapping the mobile phone calls made by those suspected of having raped 34 girl inmates at the Muzaffarpur shelter home in Bihar.“The forensic team is also examining the evidence lifted by the State Police. It will visit the scene of crime to collect more evidence,” said an official. The agency plans to seek custodial interrogation of the 10 arrested accused.The abuse at the Balika Grih came to light following a social audit conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences of shelter homes across the State.last_img read more

Muslims celebrate Eid-e-Milad as restrictions eased in most parts of Jammu

first_imgMuslim devotees thronged mosques to celebrate Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi with religious fervour as authorities on Sunday eased out restrictions in most parts of Jammu region but did not allow any major procession due to prohibitory orders, officials said.Also Read Birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammad celebrated  Barring border district of Poonch and some sensitive pockets, the people were allowed free movement with police and paramilitary personnel removing the blockades and barbed wire from the roads early this morning, they said.Curfew-like restrictions were witnessed in most parts after the authorities imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC across Jammu and Kashmir on Friday midnight as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order ahead of Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya case.With the day passing off peacefully, the curbs on the movement of the people was lifted late Saturday, the officials said.They said the prohibitory orders which ban assembly of four or more persons are also likely to be withdrawn from the entire Jammu region after fresh review of the security situation by senior officers later in the day.The officials said strict restrictions, however, remained in force in Poonch district for the second day on Sunday with heavy deployment of police and paramilitary personnel.The roads in some sensitive pockets in Jammu, Kishtwar and Ramban districts were also blocked by security forces, they said.A huge Millad procession was allowed in Rajouri district town but no other major religious processions, including ‘nagar kirtan’ by Sikhs, were permitted by the authorities anywhere else, the officials said.However, Muslim and Sikh devotees were allowed to assemble at their places of worship, the officials said, adding that devotees took out minor processions in their localities but were not allowed to move on the main roads.“We are peace loving citizens and have sought permission from the administration for Millad procession from Lakhdata Bazar to Gujjar Nagar in Jammu. When senior police officers informed us that prohibitory orders are in force and no procession will be allowed, we decided against taking out a procession,” Masjid committee chairman Lakhdata Bazar Mushtaq Ahmad Mir told PTI.The policemen boarding vehicles fitted with public address system were heard making announcements before dawn on Saturday informing people about the imposition of the prohibitory orders and closure of all educational institutions.The policemen also asked the people to stay indoors, keep their shops shut and help the law enforcing agencies to maintain peace.last_img read more

APPLE ISLE ON TRACK FOR 2007 NATIONAL 18 YEARS CHAMPIONSHIPS

first_imgTasmania, one of Touch Football’s growth States, will be out to impress at the 18 Years National Championships in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, from 17 – 20 September, 2007. Tasmania’s best young players have been plucked from around the State to form the Boys and Girls teams that will contest the premier event on the National junior calendar. The teams will be mentored by two of the most experienced coaches in Tasmania, John Dowling (Boys) and Deb Button (Girls). Mr. Dowling, who has coached at representative level for 12 years, and socially for more than 20, has been in charge of the Tasmanian 18 Years Boys team for the past four years.He said he was satisfied with the team that has been picked, but said the key to a successful campaign was not to be overconfident. “You’re goals have to be realistic, and we should realistically be aiming to play on the Saturday, which is finals day,” Dowling said.  In 2004, Dowling’s first year in charge, Tasmania defeated Victoria and South Australia.“That was a magnificent result for us because everyone expected us to finish at the bottom of the table,” Dowling said.Unfortunately the team couldn’t repeat the positive result, finishing near the bottom in 2005. Last year Tasmania drew with the Gold Coast and defeated the Crusaders and Northern Territory.Dowling was looking to 2007 for better results from his charges.“Our main goal is to play on finals day because in 2005 we didn’t win a game and we actually finished up on the Friday, which wasn’t pleasant.” Mr. Dowling said.The standard of Touch Football in Australia’s island state has improved markedly over the last five years.This is largely due to the introduction of a development program from under-12s to opens, as well as an increase in the amount of people qualified in technical areas of the game.The three major affiliates, the Southern, Devonport, and the Launceston Touch Associations, have provided all players in both the selected sides. Training sessions will rotate between the affiliates to offset the tyranny of distance and minimize the costs of travelling for all. Some players will have to travel as far as 300km to attend some of the sessions. The Girls’ first training camp will be this weekend 16 – 17 June, with the Boys meeting the following weekend. “I’ve got some parameters that I would like the team to achieve. I’ve got a vision for the team as to what I expect, and I’ll actually give the players, in partnership with myself and the other officials, some team goals,” Mr. Dowling said. Dowling will also be constructing individual training programs for each of his players. One of the main objectives of the team will be to gain respect. “We certainly want to finish as high as we possibly can. We’re not going to make the top four or five, that’s an unrealistic expectation, but I’d be confident that we could make the playoffs for the plate or shield finals. I want the opposition to think of us as being highly skilled and disciplined. We’ll play with a high level of intensity and meet all the challenges thrown at us and hopefully earn the respect of our opponents,” he said.  The Boys’ side will feature four players that played in the National Touch League Under-20s division in 2006. There will also be a number of experienced players that have progressed from the Under-15 ranks. One of the strike weapons for the Tasmanian Boys team will be newcomer Trent Gutteridge, who has only been playing Touch Football for about 18 months but has plenty of potential. “He’s still learning the game, but he’s exceptionally quick. We’ll be looking to develop him further through our training program,” Dowling said. The girls will be similarly strong. Last year the team aimed to finish in the top 15, and achieved its goal. This year they will be trying to improve on the result.One of the stars of the girls’ team will be 2006 TFA National 18 Years Youth Development Squad member Emily Hudson.  This year’s event will be the bubbly Hudson’s third tournament. In 2005, aged 15 and in just her first year of Touch Football, Hudson participated in her first Under-18 National Championships. She, along with current National Youth training squad member Emma Haines impressed all and sundry who attended the Inaugural National Youth Development Training Camp at Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast in 2006.The two “Tassie devils” competed well with their more experienced squad mates from NSW and Queensland, and showed great talent and determination at the Youth Camp to stamp themselves as players of the future. This year Emily is looking forward to taking on more of a leadership role. She said she was excited about the upcoming tournament. “For me the best thing will be seeing the other talent, especially in the NSW and QLD teams. You learn heaps from playing against quality players.  For the team it will definitely be about progression for the next two years because we’ve got a pretty young team this year,” Hudson said.  Hudson believed the Tasmanian side was definitely on the improve. “We’re a very quick side this year. Even though we’re a young group, we’ve all been playing for five or six years, so we know the game pretty well.” Both the boys and girls’ teams will be busy in preparation for September. When the 18 Years National Championships role around, keep an eye out for the Tasmanian teams and let’s hope they get their wish and extend their tournament into Finals day.last_img read more

Let us rise with more energy Saganash responds to Senate death of

first_imgSome First Nations leaders have responded to the TMX announcement, saying consent means respecting their people’s right to say no to something that could harm them.Bennett said Thursday that while the UN Declaration hasn’t been legislated as a “totality,” the Liberals “have enshrined parts of UNDRIP” into Bills C-91 and C-92, the Indigenous Languages Act and child welfare legislation, which both received royal assent last week.“This is the new way of doing business,” she said.“How we take each of those very significant articles [of UNDRIP] and make sure that we as Canada are actually implementing this very important international document?”Last month on Nation to Nation, Saganash said the government’s failure to pass C-262 “probably will be the most disappointing fact in my life.”When he testified before the Aboriginal Peoples Senate committee in May, he recounted the two goals he set for himself after coming out of residential school in the 1970s.“One of them was to go back to the bush, live off the land, which I did for two years,” he told the committee.“But importantly, perhaps, was the promise to reconcile with the people who put me away for 10 years. And Bill C-262 represents that reconciliation for me.”In his statement on Monday, Saganash describes the nature of the fight for Indigenous peoples’ human rights.“The struggle for human rights is a long one; it takes us away from our families and loved ones; we work too many hours, we sacrifice our health and spirit. Yet our ancestors took a path before me, one that is for dignity, justice and a good life,” he writes.“Others have not only followed the path but imagined new possibilities. I am grateful for the sacrifices they also have made in the belief that Indigenous law, rights, and ways of being will…one day be restored to these territories. I am honoured to follow in their work, and I dedicate any accomplishments I have made to my family.”In 2015 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission compelled Canada to implement the U.N. Declaration “as the framework for reconciliation.”Saganash says in his letter he remains “strongly convinced of the potential” for this to happen, “as a set of standards created by Indigenous peoples for Indigenous peoples, and as a reminder to nation-states like Canada, that we are still here, and we not only deserve but we demand the rights that have been denied us for so long.“There are and always have been obvious flaws in a governing system that is designed to maintain a status quo and deny rights to people who power rejects,” Saganash writes.“The process of bringing C-262 along the legislative path has highlighted this for me and I believe there are many parts in this struggle and many people lead; it’s not enough to create legislation that holds the colonial governments accountable to International human rights standards and to Indigenous ways of being; it will take structural and institutional change in order to see justice on stolen lands.“Let us rise with more energy. Let us stand with a greater determination. On behalf of the millions who are building resistance and beauty in our communities: our spirit is not broken.”jbrake@aptn.ca@justinbrakenews MP Romeo Saganash says the fight for Indigenous rights will only grow stronger. APTN file photo.Justin BrakeAPTN NewsRomeo Saganash says he’s devastated that his private member’s bill C-262 has been left to die after making it to the final stage in Canada’s legislative process.But the Cree MP from Waswanipi says he believes the fight for Indigenous peoples’ human rights is strengthening and that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) has a future in Canada.“I am devastated and regret that my bill, that so many people have worked so hard to promote and educate on, will not become law,” Saganash, who, following two terms with the NDP is not running for re-election in this fall’s election, writes in a statement shared with APTN News Monday.“Nonetheless, I have been inspired and reassured by the broad representation from civil society in the support for this bill: churches, labour unions, human rights organizations, environmental organizations, Indigenous leadership and grassroots that have made it possible to get to the recognition and respect that we see today.”Saganash is speaking out just days after C-262, which represented his second attempt to have Canada align its laws with the global minimum human rights standards for Indigenous peoples, was left to die following weeks of intense opposition from Conservatives in the Senate.Senators and MPs of the Conservative Party of Canada have expressed fears of economic and legal consequences if Canada were to align its laws with UNDRIP.Last Wednesday, after it became apparent that Conservative efforts to prevent a third and final reading in the Senate for C-262 would be successful, the government’s representative in the Senate, Peter Harder, announced the Liberals would once again campaign on a promise to legislate UNDRIP if re-elected in the fall.In 2015 Justin Trudeau promised that, if elected prime minister, he would “enact the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, starting with the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”Harder’s statement came one day after the prime minister announced his government’s new approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX), which, if built, would run through unceded First Nations’ territories without consent from rights and title holders.“The Government of Canada will thereby intend to bring forward legislation introducing UNDRIP and ensuring its expeditious consideration, review and passage,” Harder said in the Senate. “Introducing government legislation to implement UNDRIP will be a platform commitment that Canadians will be able to vote on in the election in October.”The Green Party and NDP have already made the same commitment. But it’s the fact that the Liberals campaigned on the very same promise four years ago that has some upset, considering a legislated UNDRIP could have preceded a number of controversial Liberal legislative and policy changes critics say ignore the very rights declared in the UN Declaration.Niki Ashton, the NDP’s Deputy Critic for Reconciliation, told APTN Thursday the Liberals could have adopted C-262 as a government bill, which would have given it priority in the Senate over private members’ bills.“This is not what reconciliation looks like, whether it’s support of [TMX] or whether it’s the delays and lack of political will to speed things up with respect to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” she said.On Thursday, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett told APTN it was due to the Conservatives’ “partisan games” that C-262 was at risk of being lost.“I think that everybody had huge respect for Romeo Saganash, the work that he put into his bill, and we had every understanding that this would pass,” Bennett said.“We supported it in the House and in committee, and I think that’s what’s so disappointing — that this bill would have been Romeo Saganash’s legacy, after all the work he did in New York at the UN for decades.” At the centre of the Conservatives’ opposition to the bill is a fear over the principle of “free, prior and informed consent” (FPIC).FPIC is a cornerstone of the UN Declaration, but one that has some prioritizing Canadians’ economic interests over Indigenous peoples’ basic human rights due to concerns consent could mean Indigenous peoples would have the right to say no to resource development projects that could negatively impact them.“No one seems to know” the implications of UNDRIP being legislated, Conservative Senator Don Plett said in the Senate last month, “because there is no agreement on whether consent means a veto.”It’s a false dichotomy though, Independent Senator Murray Sinclair, Saganash and others have repeatedly told C-262’s critics.“Free, prior and informed consent is a very simple concept,” Sinclair told APTN in May. “And that is, before you affect my land, you need to talk to me, and you need to have my permission.“That doesn’t mean that we’re vetoing it. It doesn’t mean that First Nations people, or Indigenous people outside of Indian reserves, are vetoing anything. Just because they say you can’t run a pipeline across my land doesn’t mean you can’t run it somewhere else.”Without having their free, prior and informed consent respected and observed, Indigenous peoples find themselves in positions like the Tsleil-Waututh and Secwepemc in British Columbia, who argue their people have not consented to the TMX running through their territories, nor to the associated risks.Last year a Federal Court of Appeal decision quashed the National Energy Board’s approval of the TMX due in part, the court ruled, to Canada’s failure to fulfill its duty to consult with First Nations who stand to be impacted by the pipeline, which would triple the current movement of diluted bitumen from the Alberta oil sands to the B.C. coast.Last Tuesday Trudeau announced the TMX would be built, with shovels in the ground as early as this summer.The prime minister said Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi had “personally met with over 65 Indigenous groups across 46 meetings” since the renewed consultation process was ordered, and that government “listened to community concerns” and is “acting on community ideas.”Trudeau and Sohi said they would continue dialogue with First Nations and work to accommodate their concerns and wishes.But some nations are firm in their rejection of the pipeline.Following Tuesday’s TMX announcement, Tsleil-Waututh Nation Chief Leah George-Wilson promised further legal action against Canada.Last year the feds, under the leadership of former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, announced their 10 “principles respecting the Government of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples.”One of those principles states Canada “recognizes that meaningful engagement with Indigenous peoples aims to secure their free, prior, and informed consent when Canada proposes to take actions which impact them and their rights, including their lands, territories and resources.”Asked by APTN on Tuesday for the definition of free, prior and informed consent that was applied to the TMX decision, Trudeau responded that it is “what we engaged in doing with Indigenous communities over the past number of months.“It is engaging, looking with them, listening to the issues they have, and responding meaningfully to the concerns they have wherever possible.”last_img read more