Vice President Joseph Boakai says if leaders allow their people to speak frankly and earnestly, it is unlikely that they will plan evil against their government.
“They may not always be our friends, they may not always say what we want to hear, but I know that when people speak frankly and earnestly, they do not go back to plan evil because they have said what they wanted to say,” VP Boakai noted.
He made the assertion Sunday, June 8 when he spoke at the first anniversary of the Tom Kamara Foundation (TKF), and the launch of the Foundation’s Lecture Series held at the Mamba Point Hotel in Monrovia.
The late Kamara was the Managing Editor of the New Democrat Newspaper. He died in June 2012 following a brief illness in Holland.
VP Boakia noted, “In an earnest way we should respect their views, but the underlining thing about what you say and what you do is to say the truth in the interest of the nation.”
“Because you know very well that no matter what you say or do, you must be harming the country and we want to be in a country where leaders would know that they are called to leadership to serve their people,” VP Boakai noted.
Vice President Joseph Boakai commended staffs of the New Democrat newspaper for what he considered “Keeping the dreams of Kamara alive.”
Making remarks earlier, human right lawyer, Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe said that Kamara’s dream was to use his pen to expose and eliminate corruption in the country, but unfortunately he could not live to accomplish the objective.
Explaining about the lecture series, Cllr. Gongloe said, it would provide platform where individuals will discuss critical issues which he considers “unspeakable.”
“The lecture series will not window dress and whitewash; it would highlight critical issues that people don’t want to hear. This was Tom’s vision and mission for Liberia,” the human rights lawyer emphasized.
“Tom did not hate anyone, but his love for Liberia was above every other thing in his life time,” he added.
Cllr. Gongloe also said “If Tom were asked to choose among his family, friends and Liberia, he would rather choose his country.”
According to the human right lawyer, writing an article against the wrong government did does not mean he hated government, but demonstration of love for his country.
“Many of us were advocates that came to government, but he took his pen to monitor us and to keep us on our heel to do the right thing,” Gongloe noted.
He continued, “That was what he demonstrated and people thought he hated them. Tom was an individual who stood up for the truth.”
Mrs. Rachael Kamara, widow and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Foundation, described her late husband as a “remarkable journalist.”
She stressed that her husband was not only a remarkable journalist, but also an outstanding social advocate, who stood for protection of free speech, freedom of the press and promotion of human rights.
Giving an overview of her foundation, Mrs. Kamara said, it has helped to build capacity of high school students, basically in the area of Journalism.
“We have taught them the rudiments of Journalism by organizing them into a press club, which we expect to expand in the future, when we have the needed funding,” Mrs. Kamara disclosed.
She named the William V.S. Tubman High School, Paynesville Community High School, D. Tweh High, True Vine Institute, Mohammed Salim Baktit, Bishop L. J. Barnes and M.J. Nuah High Schools as institutions where students are benefiting from her foundation’s activities.