Three debutants in Ireland side to face Canada

first_imgJames Tracy, John Ryan, Luke McGrath, Dan Leavy and Niyi Adeolokon could all earn first caps off the bench. Garry Ringrose is in the centre, while Jack O’Donoghue and Billy Holland are in the pack.Keith Earls returns on the wing, while Paddy Jackson is named at out half with Kieran Marmion at scrum half.Peter O’Mahony captains the side from the blind side, with Sean O’Brien is on the openside.last_img

Man attempts a 200km charity run for fire safety and burns prevention

first_imgA volunteer social change activist is attempting to run a distance of 200km from Aflao in the Volta Region to Accra in support of the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Unit and Burn Centre of the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital.Kwame Anane-Crane, 35, is running on 14 consecutive days to engage local communities on simple ways to prevent fatal burns and to raise money for the treatment of vulnerable children hospitalised at the ward.The event dubbed “The burns support run” will begin on Sunday, April 24th from the Aflao border post and end at the Plastic Surgery Unit (Burns Centre), Korle-bu hospital, Accra on Monday, May 9th, 2016.Undertaking this ultra running challenge comes with physical and mental difficulties for Kwame, who only started running again after a serious leg break in a sports accident. He and a team of runners, who have also volunteered for the event, will face temperatures of up to 30C some days. But according to him, each day of the run represents an opportunity for the runners to showcase to the communities they will be engaging; the importance of taking preventive health and safety measures.This will safeguard our communities and protect them from avoidable harm brought on by ignorance and negligence.At the moment there are only 13 qualified plastic surgeons in Ghana, treating a population of over 26 million people and they usually work from the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi and the 37 Military Hospital in Accra. Although most of these surgeons go on outreach programmes across the country, the norm however is that, patients from other parts of the country have to be referred to either Accra or Kumasi for specialist care. This reality thus presents a pressing need for national awareness of fire safety to save lives and also not to put extra pressure on a very limited medical resource.In the quest to make this a mass awareness event, Kwame and the Crane’s Appeal team is encouraging others to join in on the run. Although it is not mandatory for support runners to complete a full leg of the run but participation itself is a great physical and mental challenge and it is for a good cause.Giving the expected hot temperatures, constant rehydration is recommended for volunteer runners. Slower running can also help reduce muscle soreness and injury.When asked why he is specifically running instead of any other activity, Kwame revealed that he chose the challenge of long distance running because 2016 is an Olympic year and this could be a way to start the build up to the global sporting show piece.He is also running from the Volta Region to Accra to mark the 60th anniversary of the Trans Volta Togoland voting in a plebiscite to join the soon to be independent Ghana (9th May, 1956). The patron for the 2016 burns support run is Dr Opoku Ware Ampomah, director of the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burn Centre, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.Individuals, groups and companies who would like to support this worthy initiative can donate directly to the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burn Centre on the details below:Account number: 1138058794701Bank: National Investment Bank Law Court Or follow updates of the run on twitter: @Crane’s Appeal.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

Bullpen-ing? Starter-ing? Postseason pitching is slowly bending toward middle ground

first_imgIf the playoffs were a track meet, the Dodgers, Nationals and Astros would be beginning each race with a different long-distance runner. Sprinters would be called upon for the closing kick. The bullpen-ing approach, in its purest form, turns every pitcher into a middle-distance runner. But baseball has not evolved to the point where most teams feel this is practical – not yet, at least.The postseason is a time when experimentation becomes possible, if not necessary, and using starters out of the bullpen is nothing new. The Nationals’ approach to Tuesday’s game presented a bit like Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, when Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson recorded 26 of the Diamondbacks’ 27 outs in a winner-take-all game against the Yankees.Related Articles Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Tuesday’s National League wild-card game between the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers was supposed to be a contrast in styles. On the surface, it was: Washington sent its three-time Cy Young Award winner, Max Scherzer, to the mound. Milwaukee countered with Brandon Woodruff, an All-Star in the first half who had pitched all of four innings the previous two months.By the time Brewers manager Craig Counsell announced his decision to start Woodruff, it hardly came as a surprise. Milwaukee burnished its reputation for successfully “bullpen-ing” its way through the playoffs a year ago, when it pushed the Dodgers to the brink in a seven-game NLCS. By Tuesday, no one expected Woodruff to pitch more than the four innings he did. The Brewers’ reputation preceded them.The surprise came on the other side. Scherzer pitched five innings. Stephen Strasburg, himself a Cy Young candidate after leading the National League in innings pitched, then made his first relief appearance of 2019. He threw the next three innings.By the end of the Nationals’ 4-3, come-from-behind victory, the difference between bullpen-ing and whatever the Nats did – call it “starter-ing” – never looked so thin. One team used four pitchers. The other used three. The game turned not on a strategy, but on a ninth-inning error. Trent Grisham, the Brewers’ rookie right fielder, joined the likes of Mickey Owen and Bill Buckner in October ignominy when he allowed Juan Soto’s bases-loaded single to slide under his glove. Angels fail to take series in Oakland, lose in 10 innings It’s dangerously easy to make inferences about the remainder of the postseason based on the first game. Yet even before Tuesday, the 10 postseason participants represented an interesting crossroads for the state of pitching strategy in 2019.The Dodgers, Astros, Nationals and Cardinals will latch their fortunes to their traditional starting rotations, which subdued opponents with stamina in the regular season. These teams employ starters who have combined to win eight Cy Young Awards.The Twins, Rays, Yankees and A’s were comparatively stronger in the bullpen. The Yankees’ CC Sabathia has won the Cy Young Award once; so has the Rays’ Blake Snell. No other pitcher employed by any of these teams has won the award. Each is more likely to copy the approach that worked so well for the Brewers in the 2018 NLCS. Thirteen pitchers divided that seven-game series so democratically that none pitched more than 10 innings by himself.The Braves, who have three talented but unproven starters (Mike Soroka, Mike Foltynewicz and Max Fried) behind veteran Dallas Keuchel (a former Cy Young Award winner himself), can take a hybrid approach to their series against the Cardinals. Regardless of which way they go, the difference between the two approaches is becoming blurry.This week, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts suggested he might engage in a bit of “starter-ing” himself. Rather than have Game 4 starter Rich Hill get his between-starts work in the bullpen, Roberts said Hill would be available to pitch in relief early in the NLDS – “if there’s a potential matchup.” Roberts sounded firm in his strategy – “it’s about starting pitching,” he said Wednesday – but there’s more to it than that.center_img Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Three years ago, Roberts stunned Nationals Park by using Clayton Kershaw to record the final two outs of Game 5 of the NLDS. Quietly and efficiently, Kershaw recorded his first career save. Afterward, I asked Dusty Baker, then the Nationals’ manager, whether we had just witnessed the beginning of a trend. “It’s not a trend that I’d like to be a part of any time,” Baker said. Consider it a wish granted.Now, there are signs that postseason swingmen are becoming the rule rather than the exception. Red Sox manager Alex Cora used 10 pitchers in the 2018 World Series. Only one, Rick Porcello, pitched exclusively as a starter. On Sept. 24, Sabathia made his first career relief appearance after 560 starts. Only Tom Glavine (682) had started more games in his career without pitching out of the bullpen. If Sabathia pitches as a reliever this month, perhaps no pitcher is immune to the hybridization of roles anymore.That’s still a far cry from turning nine innings into a relay race composed entirely of middle-distance men. In 2019, this future is not inevitable. Yet if the arc of pitching is bending further in that direction, we’ll find out in the weeks to come. How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire last_img read more

Alexander: Dodgers, Angels in good hands in weird circumstances

first_img“You got to roll with it, man,” Maddon was saying the other day. “You just can’t be inflexible right now … I mean, I can’t say anything’s been difficult.“It’s really weird, though, when you really have to spit, how tough it is to spit. I mean, that’s probably the most difficult thing. Otherwise, it’s not been that bad.”In such moments are we again reminded of what the title of “manager” means. So much is made of lineups and in-game strategy and how much of a role front-office functionaries play in each, but the real heart of a manager’s work is in managing personalities and creating the right atmosphere.(And, these days, also reminding them to avoid high-fives and leave the sunflower seeds at home.)“You’re always trying to make sure the players are physically, mentally and emotionally prepared, and things are always kind of unknown and unpredictable,” Roberts said. “But obviously, like everyone else, (with) this kind of layer with the global pandemic, I never really thought I would have to try to educate myself so I could kind of help the players along and really keep their psyches positive and focused on baseball. Let’s face it: Pandemic Baseball is already a squirrel derby, to use the pet phrase of one of This Space’s favorites, the late Cal State Fullerton and Fullerton College football coach Gene Murphy. It is going to be different, it is occasionally (often?) going to be chaotic, and the normal boundaries aren’t always going to apply for players, fans, executives, whatever.Under those circumstances, if you are a Southern California baseball fan, you should be heartened. From a managerial standpoint, at least, the Dodgers and Angels are in good hands as they try to navigate whatever craziness is ahead.Dave Roberts has already created and nurtured a Dodgers clubhouse philosophy of flexibility, especially with a position player group where, with a couple of exceptions, nothing is guaranteed night to night. New Angels manager Joe Maddon believes in the comfort of being uncomfortable, acknowledging the hurdles and working through them, and keeping the lines of communication open to a greater degree than most managers.It would be easy to be thrown off by this new (temporary?) normal, right down to a list of protocols previously unimaginable in this most traditional and routine-oriented of sports. “Everyone is in that same bucket, I guess … There’s a lot of logistic things that are still kind of coming towards us as you get closer to the season. So I’m just trying to be open-minded (and) nimble, and hopefully our players will follow suit.”The Dodgers have had a player opt out in pitcher David Price. Both teams, along with just about every other team, have had players who have reported late or haven’t yet arrived at Training Camp 2.0, for reasons the managers have said they couldn’t describe but very well might be coronavirus related.There are new additions to the language of baseball, satellite camps and taxi squads, and the hallowed routines of baseball – including the clubhouse as refuge/hangout/bonding space – are being revised out of necessity.There will be unforeseen twists and turns going forward, and everything is overlaid with the possibility that in the event of a major outbreak within the sport, the season doesn’t get completed at all.Amid all of that, players still have to perform.“I’m just trying to, no pun intended, take a daily temperature, like trying to figure out everybody’s comfort zone and how everybody’s processing all of this,” Maddon said.“… There’s so many different ways that our mood is influenced before we ever get here, and then you have to come here and be a major-league baseball player and try to park it all. I’m a feel guy, and as much as ever I’ve been attempting to keep the feelers out there and try to understand where everybody is at every day. This includes the coaching staff, too, and I got to be aware of that. It includes my family, my daughter, my granddaughter, my wife.“You can look at somebody’s face. There’s something, concern or preoccupation. We all know what that feels like when you’re preoccupied with different thoughts to take you away from this exact moment. You get out of the present tense. That’s very concerning, and it could take you away from your ability to play this game. … I really believe empathy and the ability to be aware of who’s next to you and how they’re feeling matters now more than ever.”The mind reels at the idea of a Billy Martin or Dick Williams or Leo Durocher – the crusty old-school type of manager who believed feelings were for wimps – trying to navigate these choppy waters. It would be ugly.There are other factors here. Maddon turned 66 in February. Roberts is 48 and a cancer survivor. Both could be considered part of the group that could be hardest hit by COVID-19, but neither has shown any hesitancy in pushing forward. Roberts had previously said he had consulted with Dodgers’ medical people who told him people with prior cancer history “haven’t been prone to be at higher risk.”“I thought about what was at stake, given my health history,” Roberts said this week. “I talked to my wife and family. I just wanted to make sure, you know. I had to make sure that I’m responsible. But I never really considered opting out or choosing not to manage.”For his team, that’s a very good thing. Pandemic Baseball is an environment that’s uncertain and in some ways scary. The steadier the hand at the helm, the on Twittercenter_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Supported by Red Sox teammates and fans, Blake Swihart plays with heavy heart

first_imgMORE: Opening Day schedule for all 30 MLB teamsSwihart grounded out his first time at the plate, against Max Scherzer — coming up to a warm reception from the sold-out crowd at Fenway South — and stepped in the second time against Erick Fedde, a right-hander who’s vying for a bigger role with the Nationals this year. With two on and one out, Swihart slashed the second pitch from Fedde into left-field, chasing home Xander Bogaerts from third base. Blake Swihart’s teammates — all of them — lined up for a moment of silence for the death of Swihart’s adopted brother, Romell Jordan, just before the national anthem.Swihart is in the lineup today, at DH.— Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) February 28, 2019The crowd roared its approval. First-base coach Tom Goodwin — who experienced a personal tragedy of his own a couple of years ago — patted him on the back, then on the helmet and gave Swihart a hug before Cora sent Sam Travis out as a pinch-runner. The crowd — and Swihart’s teammates in the dugout — gave him a mostly standing ovation as he trotted off the field. It was a nice moment in an awful time.“For sure. I’m happy for him,” Mookie Betts said of the RBI single. “It’s a tough time, but he’s doing what he needs to do.” For now, he’s with the club. Cora said his parents are handling arrangements, and that Swihart would likely leave over the weekend. “He said it yesterday: He said he finds comfort around our team,” Cora said. “We have a great group of people who are going to help him out.”MORE: 10 questions after Bryce Harper’s mega-deal with PhilliesBefore the contest, Cora talked about how Swihart and the team are trying to handle the difficult situation.“He’s OK. I mean, obviously, he’s not OK, but he’s OK. Trying to treat him as normal as possible,” Cora said. “As you guys know, Goody went through this four-and-a-half, five years ago. Tom Goodwin. He was the right person to address the team yesterday. And one of the things he mentioned was that it’s tough, it’s harder than people think. It’s actually more painful than what people think. But at the same time, it’s hard to say that it has to be normal, but be there for him. I saw him this morning, talked to him a little bit. He’s in the lineup. He wants to play. He was in the meeting. We did our normal routine. I bet that’s what he wants, with how different his life is. He wants it to be as normal as possible. That’s a fine line there. He laughed with us today, went about it, and he’s ready to go.” FORT MYERS, Fla. — It’s hard to imagine what was going through Blake Swihart’s mind, or how he was able to keep his mind clear, as he stood in the batter’s box Thursday afternoon at JetBlue Stadium. A day after his adopted brother, 23-year-old Romell Jordan, died, Swihart was in the Boston lineup as DH against the Nationals, per his request. “It’s just, whatever he wants, we’ll do,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said before the game. “That’s what I told him yesterday. If you tell me, we’ll do it. … We all deal with it in different ways. He wants to play. He’ll go out there and do his thing.” Swihart was drafted by the Red Sox in 2011 and made his big-league debut in 2015, when he hit .274 in 84 games. He’s dealt with injuries, inconsistencies and minor league demotions over the past three years, but he’s still been a big part of the clubhouse, even when he wasn’t producing on the field. And now his teammates are returning the favor for a player who’s part of the Boston family. “It’s more than just being at the field,” Betts said. “We know everybody’s families, brothers, sisters, kids, aunts and uncles, all those types of things. It’s deeper than just Red Sox.“We go to dinners and we play games and we do everything together. It’s more than just being here at the field together. We do pretty much everything together at some point.”last_img read more

Wellington 7th Grade wins Pioneer League Scholars Bowl Championship

first_imgWellington seventh grade wins Scholar’s Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Seventh Grade Wellington Scholars Bowl team won the Pioneer League Tournament held in Wellington Thursday evening! The team of eight individuals would rattle off six wins and one loss to capture the league championship!The team, coached by Shanna Fairbanks and Danna Swingle, are from right to left: John Long, Mason Lough, Cade Fairbanks, Quinn McCue, Tyler Brown, Austin Harriger, Hanna Hawks and Avery Barker.McCue was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament.Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (2) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +1 Vote up Vote down inigo · 298 weeks ago Was there an eighth grade team? Report Reply 0 replies · active 298 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down You know who · 298 weeks ago Great. Now on to jeopardy. Report Reply 0 replies · active 298 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

Well played Shiv!

first_img STEADY BATTING When Shivnarine Chanderpaul announced his retirement from international cricket recently, it just confirmed what everyone already knew – he would never play cricket for the West Indies again. The selectors had forced his hand by making it clear that they wouldn’t pick the little man again. It’s a pity because ‘Shiv’ has been obliged to walk away from the Test arena just 86 runs short of the all-time Test record held by Brian Lara. The position is that ‘Shiv’ couldn’t be picked just to chase a personal milestone. Underlying that position, one supposes, is a belief that he was long past his best. For those who treasure statistics, Shiv ends his Test career so near and yet so far. As a batsman who has scored almost 12,000 Test runs and nearly 9,000 runs in One Day Internationals, he surely would have gotten past the record had selection not been denied to him. In an era when fans of West Indian cricket have little to cheer about, Shiv’s approach to the record would have given them something to talk about. Interestingly, it is Lara who has said Shiv’s departure from the realm of international cricket has not been well handled. Shiv’s steady and productive presence in the maroon cap may yet be celebrated with pomp and ceremony, but so far, it has dropped as loudly as a feather floating down to a surface covered in carpet. The little Guyanese wasn’t perfect for all situations. Safe to a fault, there were times when the team needed him to press on and to accelerate his rate of scoring. That’s one thing he seems unable, or some say, unwilling to do. Of all the statistics his career heralded, his 49 not outs is probably the one that will bear the most analysis. To say he valued his wicket greatly is an understatement. He scored 30 Test centuries in his international career. Statistically, his highest test score, 203, also tells a tale of steady batting. For him to score 11,867 runs without a triple century or any totals over 250 is remarkable. The corresponding measure is that he passed the 50 run mark 66 times in his career. You can’t avoid thinking that this former West Indies captain, who has a Test average of 51.37 runs, would have found 86 runs had he been selected more in these last few years. Besides that, his experience might have aided young debutant captain Jason Holder as the tall Barbadian seeks to find his feet in a challenging arena. That’s all moot now. At 41, Shivnarine Chanderpaul has taken the step all sportsmen face at some point. Perhaps, when the tales of West Indies cricket are told, the storytellers and coaches will pass on the lessons of batsmanship to be learnt from the Headley, Three Ws, Sobers, Greenidge and Haynes, Viv, Lara and Gayle. Hopefully, those tales will include a chapter on Chanderpaul as well. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at track side since 1980.last_img read more

Telecoms Bill for Parliament today

first_imgPublic Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes will today be reading for the second time the Telecommunications Bill (Amendment) 2016, in the National Assembly, nearly two months after it was tabled.Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy HughesHughes will move the second reading of the Bill, alongside the second reading of the Public Utilities Commission Bill 2016; both Bills are expected to liberalise the telecommunications sector.In November 2013, the National Assembly sent the two Bills to a Special Select Committee with the then A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Opposition, who had a one-seat majority in Parliament, indicating that while it supported the Bills, it was uneasy about the then Minister’s control of the process.The Bills were pushed back several times as the then Government and the two communications giants in Guyana were in discussions to break the monopoly held by the older, GTT.Hughes, when tabling the Bills, had stated that they were intended to “provide for the establishment of the telecommunication agency and for the regular, coordinated, open and competitive telecommunication sector and for connected matters”.With regard to the Public Utilities Commission Bill, she stated that it was intended to make provision for the establishment and functioning of the Public Utilities Commission and for matters connected therewith.Breaking the monopoly in the sector was promised within 100 days of the coalition APNU/AFC attaining office in its elections manifesto. This promise was also made by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Government.GTT, formerly the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GT&T) Company, which has claimed a legal monopoly on international voice and data transmissions and the domestic wire-line service in excess of its contracted 20 years, has always declared that the sector was free because of the existence of other service providers. However, the younger company, Digicel has disagreed.last_img read more

Dwadifo Adanfo ‘Sell-Pay’ Vehicles Arrive

first_imgAn international transportation company headquartered in Accra, Ghana, announced over the weekend that its first consignment of 20 vehicles has arrived in the country.Dwadifo Adanfo, meaning “friends of the common people” in Twi (a Ghanaian language), is a microfinance company that was founded in Accra, Ghana, in 2009. It aims to provide basic products and services that include consumer finance, investment accounts, small and medium enterprise loans, and vehicle financing for quality assurance and consumer security in the formal and informal sectors of Africa.In an exclusive interview with this paper, Country Manager Dehkontee Wymon said over the years she has observed that many of the cars in post-conflict Liberia have not been properly maintained and are in no state to be declared road worthy.Based on that observation and other factors, her company decided to bring in 20 brand new 2013 model sedans and loan them to poverty-stricken, but vehicle-hungry Liberians on the basis of a  ‘sell-pay’ contract.The cars, according to Madam Wymon, are fully air conditioned and very fuel efficient; making them ideal for the African setting.She maintained that in the absence of the initial US$2,500 down payment, applicants are required to bring along a guarantor (backer, bondsman) who is financially stable.Concerning the payment of the US$2,500, Madam Wymon explained that the money would be used to maintain the cars, but within the coverage area of 2,000 miles. Any mileage beyond the stipulated 2,000 would incur additional fees.Once applicants have received their vehicles, they will not be allowed to go beyond the limits of Montserrado, Bomi and Margibi Counties.Madam Wymon said those in possession of the cars are expected to report US$25.00 per day for a period of three years in line with their agreements.“We know some people will be afraid because of the price, and because this type of business is new in the country. In spite of their fears, we are encouraging customers to take the opportunity and own a new car of their very own,” she said.Ms. Wymon said the initiative is aimed at addressing some of the challenges confronting the country’s transport industry.She disclosed that Dwadifo Adanfo would be implementing two of its programs in the country to help support the economic empowerment of its citizens.“Currently, we are working on phase one of the program,”Ms. Wymon explained, “which is the vehicle work and pay exercise, while the second phase would include, but not be limited to, bringing in huge consignments of building materials and furniture for workers.” By that, Wymon said, customers would be given the privileged to take home some of the building materials and furniture to make a monthly payment within the period of one and a half years.Trokon E.R. Hill, executive director of Dwadifo Adanfo, urged Liberians to do business with his company to derive the full benefit from its products for economic self-reliance.Mr. Hill is also encouraging potential business partners to purchase the cars to ease the burden of waiting for commercial transportation.Anyone wishing to do business with Dwadifo Adanfo can visit their offices on the 1st floor of the Urban Financial Central building located on 5th street, Tubman Boulevard or call them on cell numbers 0888329905 or 0886949666.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

As UNMIL Drawdown Continues, Security Sector to Receive Substantial GOL Funding

first_imgFinance Minister Amara M. Konneh has disclosed plans by the government of Liberia (GOL) to increase funding for the national security sector in the coming 2014/15 fiscal year. According to Mr. Konneh, the security sector needs strong support to train, acquire logistics and deploy across the country to provide law enforcement for citizens as the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) drawdown program continues. Speaking at the graduation ceremony of new police recruits at the National Police Training Academy (NPTA) in Paynesville on Saturday, Mr. Konneh declared that by the instruction of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Executive Branch has appropriated over US$94 million to the security sector. The security sector compromises mainly of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), the Liberia National Police (LNP), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), amongst others. In the current 2013/14 fiscal budget, the security sector’s budget envelop is about US$82 million. Konneh told the 288 new LNP recruits that a total of about US$20.5 million will be allocated to the LNP alone. Currently, the total allocation for the LNP in the 2013/14 fiscal budget is about US$15.2 million. Many police officers complain of low salaries and benefits, but the Finance Minister assured the young graduates that the government is doing everything within its powers to address their concerns. Mr. Konneh also disclosed plans by the government to beef up the strength of the LNP to approximately 8,000 within the next years to fill the security vacuum being created as a result of UNMIL departure. “We have committed ourselves to doubling the size of the Liberia National Police to 8,000 trained officers deployed throughout this country with the required logistics,” he said. The Liberian treasury boss noted that in order to achieve this goal, the government has put together an ambitious work program that requires training and deployment of 900 officers yearly, beginning July 2014. UNMIL came to Liberia in 2003, significantly supporting the provision of security throughout the country. After 11 years of their service in Liberia, UNMIL has begun to pull out their troops from Liberia and has vacated 12 camps in Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Lofa, Bong, Grand Kru, Nimba, Sinoe and Rivercess counties each. This big reduction in the presence of UNMIL, Konneh observed, leaves Liberia’s security institutions, specifically the LNP, with the major task of deploying adequate manpower in those areas vacated by UN troops, to provide security for our country. “But as it is,” he observed “the LNP is constrained in both manpower and logistics, and we must invest in effectively deploying officers to these areas, to minimize any negative impact of the UNMIL drawdown on cross border trade between Liberia and her neighbors (Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast), and other law enforcement issues.” He assured the new LNP recruits that a further testament to the government’s commitment to improve and sustain the quality of LNP’s service to the Liberian people, GOL has opened an escrow account in the amount of US$2 million to fund its program with the LNP. According to the Minister, funding for the completion of the training of the new recruits dubbed Class-42 and the organization of the program was been sourced from the US$2 million account.Minister Konneh, however, challenged the graduates to insist on their moral responsibility to change the image of the police by upholding the core principles of honor, integrity, humility, selflessness, fairness, courage and obedience to authority.“As you operate in adherence to these principles, without even knowing it, you will be building an institution that the public will come to respect,” he said. For his part, Police Director Col. Chris Massaquoi thanked the graduates for mounting the courage to join the force in order to serve their country. Col. Massaquoi however warned officers of Class-42 to stay away from corruption and protect the image of the police.“If are caught in corrupt act, you will be prosecuted and if found guilty, you will be dealt with in lines with the law and the police manual,” Col. Massaquoi said in a strong word.Earlier, UNMIL Police Commissioner Gregory Hinds thanks the GOL for training more strong officers to fill the security vacuum being created as a result of UNMIL drawdown.Commissioner Hinds challenged the new recruits to serve their country well and not compromise their own integrity.Earlier, Acting Justice Minister Cllr. Wheatonia Barnes saluted the recruits challenged them to be more professional.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more