''All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'' - Edmund Burke


S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol 9 No 1

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report

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Wednesday November 16, 2011 - International Day for Tolerance - but does our smoke and mirrors President and more especially those who believe that hurling their internet flying toilets at perceived critics realise that they have woefully failed the nation in terms of tolerance, political and opinion tolerance? We doubt this very much. In fact we can categorically state that this ruling party scores below zero when it comes to political tolerance visiting violence on all those who dare to criticise their god ernest bai koroma and would have gone even further had it not been for the ever-vigilant watch of concerned Sierra Leoneans and the international community.President Koroma - fanning the flames of intolerance

Let us begin by taking a part of the message of the UNESCO Director-General for this year 2011 and then decide if a party that has won a keenly fought battle for the highest political seat in the land, State House would physically attack the losing side, in Sierra Leone, the former ruling party, the SLPP. In that attack, one man was killed and up to the time of writing this - no one has been arrested and no investigations conducted into the death of another Sierra Leonean and in an explanation that defied logic, the then head of the police had the gumption to say that the ransacking and looting of the SLPP office was carried out by SLPP supporters who were on an "operation pay yourself" because, according to that police chief the SLPP had not paid the looters their dues, money owed them for work done on behalf of the SLPP. And this from the head of a law-enforcement body.

This no doubt encouraged more such attacks leading to the arson attacks, alleged rape and sexual assaults of SLPP supporters caught up in their own office buildings in March 2009.

The Shears-Moses report still awaits government action, two years after it was set up to investigate political violence throughout the country since the APC regained power after fifteen years in the cold.

This is a part of the UNESCO boss' message

Tolerance is an ancient idea, at the same time as being an idea that is always new and in need of continual reinvention. Much more importantly, tolerance is a behaviour, a way of being that evolves with the history of our societies. In a world that is more connected than ever, intolerance is not an option, and “passive tolerance” or mere peaceful coexistence is not enough. The mixing of different identities and the rapprochement of diverse cultures, between States but also within societies, calls for us to devise models of citizenship and social participation where individuals manage to live together truly, rather than just “side by side”.

...Tolerance is a school for dialogue. It is a condition for identifying, by comparing experiences and opinions, the shared core values of our belonging to humanity regardless of our different origins, faiths or cultures. Tolerance is, by definition, openness to others. It is the opposite of indifference and can never promote withdrawal into one’s own culture or community...The building of an ethic of real tolerance today calls for each of us to improve our skills and our ability to embrace global diversity, by sharing knowledge, mastering languages, discovering cultures and learning the lessons of history. The key to this active tolerance is quality education, which enables us to take part in informed debate, listen to others and integrate diverse points of view. ...It is a vital challenge for peace. It also drives social innovation, a source of renewal for societies and ideas. No single country can meet our shared challenges. No culture has a monopoly over universality. If, together, we want to find new solutions to sustainable development issues and emerge from crises successfully, we need everyone to participate. A culture of tolerance is vital for the future of Nations and grows stronger through the daily behaviour of each and every one of us.

There is nothing so great a threat to a people, a nation as intolerance and we believe that it is intolerance that led to our troubles, the avowed policy of a party that foisted one party rule on a people not ready for it; it is the atmosphere of intolerance that treated critics whether real or imagined as enemies to be physically eliminated.

It is this culture of intolerance that saw a party become judge, jury and executioner as it dispatched "enemies of the state" on the gallows at Pademba Road with "evidence" manufactured on which compromised judges acted on the orders of State House.

Today under the smoke and mirrors President of an Ernest Bai Koroma, only APC supporters and sympathisers eat at the table, be it corruption or otherwise, while all other Sierra Leoneans are left in abject poverty and misery as the thieving cabal gets bolder in their destructive enterprise by the hour.

And they dare not complain - do that and the hired "journalists" who actually believe they can get away with impunity will throw everything at you....and where there's nothing adverse to report, will create and concoct stories that will form the basis of further vilification, abuse and threats of varying degrees.

It is this culture of violence that has allowed the present government to get away with the murder of youths by armed police personnel when they dared to challenge the behaviour of service personnel.

It is this culture of intolerance that has seen the security forces become so politicised that the life of Sierra Leoneans considered a threat to the powers that be becomes cheap, so cheap that the mystery surrounding the murder of one Abdul Mustapha and a female friend remains unsolved as Sierra Leoneans still await the present Inspector General of Police who was in charge of investigations to give the nation an update!!!!

It is the culture of intolerance that saw some six million Jews murdered in Nazi Germany.

It is the culture of intolerance that saw nearly a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus murdered in Rwanda.

It is the culture of intolerance that saw more than five thousand murdered in Sierra Leone when AFRC/RUF forces tried to again seize power during the January 6, 1999 attacks on the capital Freetown.

It is this creeping and rising culture of intolerance that all Sierra Leoneans are urged to crush once and for all so that our children's children would live in love, peace and unity.

We call on all Sierra Leoneans to resist this new threat to our national unity and cohesion lest we be made to suffer once more under the jackboots of repression, intimidation and terror.


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©Sierra Herald 2002