The Chairperson of the Independent National Human Rights Commission, Cllr. Gladys Johnson has disclosed that the INCHR is designing strategies to embark on ‘Palaver Hut Project’ across the country.
Cllr. Johnson in a recent statement made during the launch of the National Symbols project said, the palava hut project is aimed at allowing every Liberian to explain what they did to each other during the civil conflict to seek forgiveness and reconcile.
According to her, Liberians became divided as a result of the civil conflict, which caused so much hurt that needs to be addressed by all to ensure that Liberians once again unite to forge ahead with the development agenda for the country.
Palava Hut discussion is one of the recommendations forwarded by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission along with prosecution for active war players and banning of others including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from public office for 30 years.
Since the recommendations more than four years now, the INCHR established after dissolution of the TRC to perform the task of palava hut discussion has remained dormant.
She said the palava hut discussion was important for Liberians because if people confess and forgive one another, it will pave a way to uniting Liberians.
Cllr. Johnson, who also served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, observed that unity among Liberians is critical toward building a wholesome and harmonious society in which every Liberian can participate in the development process.
The INCHR Chairperson said the Commission is striving to ensure that Liberians are united to move the nation forward, rather than leaping into the “ugly past.”
She made the call on Friday when she delivered a statement at a one-day symposium organized by the Governance Commission (GC) on Liberia’s symbols and national awards; National Symbol Review held under the theme, “Reviewing Liberia’s National Symbols to Renew National Identity.”
The event, which was hosted at the Paynesville Town Hall over the weekend, brought together several high profile individuals.
Among them, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Sr., Sister Mary Laurene Browne of Catholic-run Stella Maris Polytechnic, South African Ambassador to Liberia, Masilo E. Mabeta, Minister of Foreign Affairs Augustine K. Ngafuan, and the President Pro-Tempore at the National Legislature, Gbehzohngar M. Findley.
In her keynote address on the main day of the program, Sister Mary Laurene Browne called on Liberians to be honest and forge ahead in unity as a nation that is destined for all, irrespective of status.
According to the Catholic Sister, the call for unity has become necessary and therefore, Liberians must undertake the task “individually and collectively” to understand their proper nationality.
Those who also made remarks and expressed gratitude to the organizers of the symposium included, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Sr., the President Pro-Tempore, Gbezohngar M. Findley among others.
Friday’s symposium was the first major activity that brought people together to discuss the essence of the national awards project—the symbols and the possibilities for making a few important improvements where necessary.