LIBERIA: President Sirleaf To Deliver State Of The Nation Address At The Capitol, says Minister Brown

Information Minister Lewis Brown says the President’s State of the Nation Address will be delivered at the Capitol Building on the fourth working Monday in January as is traditional.. 

Minister Brown was reacting to a local daily publication Thursday saying that the address would have been delivered on Planet Pluto.
The paper made the assertion in a story captioned: “The President State of the Nation Address will be delivered on Planet Pluto, if nothing is done to reopen the University of Liberia.”
Addressing the Ministry of Information regular Thursday press briefing at the Ministry of Information, Minister Brown said: “The speech will be delivered at the Capitol Building where it should be; not on Pluto and nobody will stop it, neither today nor tomorrow.”
He said those who are against the President making the address will be the ones who will go to Pluto and not the President, because the President’s Speech will be delivered at the Legislature on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.
He said Liberians should now learn to express and channel their grievances through the proper means, instead of using inciting statements which threaten the peace and security of the country, saying “enough is enough.”
Minister Brown challenged those claiming that the President will deliver her speech on Pluto to go to the Capitol Building on the Fourth working Monday in this month, to witness the President deliver the State of the Nation Address to the Honorable Legislature and the Liberian people, as required by law, and not Planet Pluto.
He said the Government has refused to take sides in the UL saga and will continue to do so as it is in the best interest of the country, adding, “no amount of threats can and will change the Government’s decision.”
He said the only side the Government will take is the side which follows the rule of law to the letter and not the path of violence.

Liberian Government To Begin Issuing Service Passports

The Government of   Liberia, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will begin the issuance of Service Passports effective February 1, 2014.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, a Service Passport is a class of passport whose issuance is based only on the nature of work and activity of the grantee.  It is granted to civil servants and lower ranking officials below the rank of Assistant Ministers and Directors.  

The grantee must be non-commissioned presidential, judicial, legislative or ministerial appointees who are serving in capacities including research personnel, secretaries/clerks, civil servants of autonomous agencies, military and para-military personnel below the rank of lieutenant, athletes and employees of diplomats such as drivers and wards, among others.

Meanwhile, the release emphasizes that Diplomatic, Official and Service Passports must be issued by and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Foreign Ministry  release however warns that no Foreign Service Officer or Mission of the Republic of Liberia shall issue Diplomatic, Official and Service Liberian Passports except when specifically authorized by written instructions from the Minister of Foreign Affairs or the President of the Republic of Liberia

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