Liberian 168th Independence Day Poorly Attended, As Sinoe County Youth Groups, Others Boycott Occasion

Despite the attendance of dozens of dignitaries, foreign business executives, and officials of the Liberian Government including women groups from around the country at the just ended celebration of Liberia’s 168th Independence Anniversary in the port city of Greenville, Sinoe County failed to show up at the occasion, expressing their displeasure over several errors they said made by the County authorities, and legislators.

Our reporter who was at the program from its start to the end, said elders and youth groups presence at the program was invincible due to their anger on several issues including the death of one of their citizens; protesting the death of Fred Thompson.

Thompson was one of those picked up by police and incarcerated along with some of his colleagues for their involvement in the June 26 protest on the compound of the oil palm company, Golden Veroleum.

Quoting some citizens of the county, said the citizens decided to boycott the celebration held in their County in protest of the death of their kinsman, whom, they claimed was allegedly flogged and tortured while under the custody of the government.

Our Reporter further noted that some residents of the City of Greenville who spoke to him expressed disappointment in the Liberian Government for its less interest in the death of their kinsman, noting, “We decided not to attend this program, because Madam President has deliberately refused to listen to our plight,” our Reporter quoting a resident, only identified as Ma Sarah as saying.

He said during the entire program, residents and some senior citizens of the county were seen moving about their normal businesses, while some youths were seen playing football as the program went.

Thompson died at the Francis Grant Hospital in Greenville, Sinoe County in late June. The cause of death has not been established but citizens of Sinoe claimed that he may have died as a result of flogging and torture meted against him allegedly by security forces at Correction Center in Greenville which is under the control of the Ministry of Justice.

The citizens said his body was buried hurriedly by county officials, raising concerns that the cause of death may have been concealed.

This year celebration was jointly carryout by both Sione and Grand Kru Counties.

According to reports, citizens in Greenville, the provincial capital of Sinoe, where the official programs were held, boycotted the occasion in protest of the death of Fred Thompson, one of several persons picked up by police and incarcerated along with some of his colleagues for their involvement in the June 26 protest on the compound of the oil palm company, Golden Veroleum.

Some Sinoe citizens told The NEWS on telephone that they boycotted the celebration in protest of the death of their kinsman, whom, they claimed was allegedly flogged and tortured while under the custody of the government.

A resident in Greenville, who identified herself as Lucy Wesseh, revealed that the Independence Day program was attended by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, her officials from Monrovia and local officials from Sinoe and Grand Kru counties.

She said during the occasion, Sinoe citizens were seen moving about engaging in various activities while some of them went on their farms, others moved about celebrating the day in a low manner.

Lucy believes that Sinoe citizens have legitimate reason to boycott the program, because since Thompson's death, the request of Sinoe citizens for his remains to be exhumed has fallen on death ears.

Thompson died at the Francis Grant Hospital in Greenville, Sinoe County in late June. The cause of death has not been established but citizens of Sinoe claimed that he may have died as a result of flogging and torture meted against him allegedly by security forces at Correction Center in Greenville which is under the control of the Ministry of Justice.

The citizens said his body was buried hurriedly by county officials, raising concerns that the cause of death may have been concealed.

 

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