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NEWS : Local News  

In Sierra Leone, TRC Report has many Lessons - says SEA
By Aruna Turay
Jun 10, 2013, 12:06
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Special Executive Assistant (SEA) to President Koroma at State House has stated the Report of Truth & Reconciliation Commission set up after the war, has many lessons for Sierra Leoneans to learn from so as to ensure the country never goes back to war. Dr. Sylvia Blyden said according to the TRC Report, in the period preceding the war, many South-Easterners felt so aggrieved that it made them willingly join RUF rebels to take up arms against the Freetown-based government they had perceived to be working against the interest of the South-East. As a result, she said any current mischievous attempt to portray the APC-led government as working against South-Easterners will be robustly handled with some journalists facing criminal charges for seditious tribal lies.

 

Independent Media Commissioners are sitting by as criminal journalism takes a foothold to destroy Sierra Leone ignoring lessons in the TRC Report. We are going to put a stop to this media tribal hate which has potential to send the land up in flames; we are going to apply the full force of seditious and criminal libel laws because sadly, those are only option available right now. There are too much reckless lies in the media which IMC cannot curtail, Dr. Blyden said.

 

One culprit recklessly lied that President Koroma is at daggers drawn with the Vice-President and ordered him not to set foot inside State House office. As if orchestrated, Opposition SLPP then published of a physical fight between President and Vice-President at State House. Other culprits repeatedly published there was recent meeting in Presidents hometown to eliminate Vice-President. All are reckless lies for which media practitioners are going to be charged for criminal libel. We cannot have such lies go unchallenged anymore, she said.


She also reminded that the countrys libel laws cover for indictment of printing press owners currently busy printing reckless newspaper contents for which they might have to be dragged to court under the Public Order Act of 1965.

 

When asked about the alleged 2007 promise of the APC to repeal the said 1965 Act, she responded thus: That is untrue. The APC Manifesto in 2007 promised to review the Act; not to repeal it. How can we repeal the act when we are yet to have something to replace it with?


Asked about the fate of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill, she assured that The APC government is fully in support of FOI Bill which the government is going to ensure gets passed very soon so citizens can access information.


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