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EDITORIALS  

An Embarrassing Lack of English Comprehension at Sierra Leone's State House
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Jul 15, 2008, 23:45
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Many Readers of the ongoing imbroglio between the State House and this newspaper medium have expressed amusement at what is now proving to be an embarrassing but serious handicap by State House writers. The authors of the two Press Releases issued by the State House Press Secretariat and the Presidential Affairs Ministry against our newspapers Thursday 10th July 2008 article are exhibiting a serious problem with their apparent lack of comprehension of simple English Language. This, from the aides to the leader of an English speaking country, is too shameful.

In our entire article of Thursday 10th July 2008 which the Ernest Bai Koroma Government has been vigorously and serially reacting to, there is ABSOLUTELY NO MENTION about anyone from Zimbabwe or elsewhere condemning the conduct of the elections itself by the National Electoral Commission.

The 10th July 2008 Awareness Times article that the Minister of Information, the Minister of Presidential Affairs and the Presidential Press Secretary are busy lambasting, simply compared the intimidation and violence by members of the ruling All Peoples Congress party in Sierra Leone to that of the ruling ZANU-PF party in Zimbabwe.

What our article went to pains to highlight was the unconscionable violence perpetuated with GROSS IMPUNITY upon opposition candidates and opposition members by supporters of the APC both before and after the elections. It is NOT a secret that APC operatives acted violently! This is extensively and very well documented. (See articles below). So, what is all this noise about?

We assert very strongly "in no uncertain terms" that the only thing that the various Press Releases have succeeded to do is to highlight a serious problem in the Ernest Bai Koroma Government; ie: a problem with the comprehension of basic written English.

It is very sad to realise that the people who purport to be leading Sierra Leone at this time can expose their mediocre grasp of English Grammar to the whole wide world and in the process, expose our Nation to even further international ridicule.

Was it not enough that our countrys Minister of Foreign Affairs was recently quoted in a Nigerian newspaper throwing grammatical bombs that left many cringing and hanging their heads in shame? Now, these folks at State House are exposing this lack of understanding of English language; and this from persons seated right up there next to Mr. President himself? What a lamentable disgrace!

It could be time for Mr. President to reconsider the caliber of people he has around him up there; especially the ones he entrusts to issue out releases on his behalf. Mr. President could find himself with a load of un-necessary negative publicity caused by these person(s). A word to the wise...

Now, following the attacks on our article by these State House Releases, Awareness Times, by way of this editorial, is now openly challenging the Minister of Presidential Affairs, the Minister of Information and the Presidential Press Secretary, to explain to the general public and our very vast international readership, why they keep on issuing Press Releases that falsely accuse this newspaper of having criticized [in our July 10th 2008 article] the manner in which the National Electoral Commission conducted the last local elections.

We know they cannot give any such explanation because we NEVER criticized the conduct of the elections. What we did was to publish materials that criticized those ruling party supporters who were perpetuating VIOLENCE against the opposition candidates and opposition supporters.

Instead of State House continuously throwing out threats, sending emails containing vile lies about an esteemed member of our team and issuing rubbishy Press Releases that expose their lack of comprehension of simple English, we recommend that State House instead makes use of English Dictionaries and take some lessons from a Primer.

We submit to these State House operatives that we have enough national problems than to have to add the international exposure of your lack of comprehension of written English.

Finally, let all concerned know that we are not in any mood to be quietened by vile threats from people who ought to know better.

If they think otherwise, let them try us!


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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