In the midst of the ongoing political situation in Liberia, the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) is calling for peace and civility in the Country.
The Union through a press release said it has observed with grave concerns the uptake of incendiary rhetoric amongst and between Liberians in discussing issues confronting the Country.
“While ULAA recognizes that the free expression of views and assembly are cardinal to the democratic process, it is also aware that the new and strange routines of bellicose languages in public space have created continued misunderstanding and a hostile environment that may potentially stall developmental growth in Liberia” the release is quoted as saying.
Accordingly, ULAA is calling on all Liberians, the Government, opposition, as well as the media and others who use social media to be mindful of the recent past and tune down the rhetoric.
ULAA says it is time that Liberians begin the process of talking with each other, rather than talking at each other to discuss national issues. The US-based Liberian Organization maintains that it is important to appreciate that there will always be divergent of views, and such tolerance and sobriety are key requirements in expanding the democratic environment.
“ULAA holds that an enabling environment of intellectual discourse breeds exponential growths” the group said in the release.
ULAA stated that it is particularly pleased that organizers of the June 7 protest have emphasized their commitment to the rule of Law and pledged that the event will be peaceful.
The Union narrated that despite the promise from the June 7 organizers to march peacefully; there must be clear and identifiable structure and leaders of the June 7 march to hold them responsible in case things go wrong, given the historicity of the 1979 Rice Riot that destroyed lives and properties.
It states that similarly, ULAA welcomes the expression by the Government of Liberia that she will uphold its obligations under the law by ensuring that Liberians exercise their rights to freely assemble and petition their representatives and/or Government in a peaceful manner.
The group asserted that it applauds the decision of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) not to stage a demonstration to counter the June 7 protestors on the same day and says this move from the Ruling Party is more than welcoming and must be appreciated by all Liberians.
ULAA further says that this decision is not only wise but largely removes any miscalculation that could lead to potential violence among protestors.
In a related development, ULAA said it strongly distances its various strong Chapters from the call by a few Liberians who styled themselves as “US Citizens and US Taxpayers” for the United States Government to stop economic support to Liberia.
ULAA, “this group recently made the call when they visited a staff or person in the offices of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. ULAA frowns that at this time when Liberians at home and Liberia are facing tremendous challenges, the call by this group for an economic embargo on the Liberian people is unconscionable and intended to increase the suffering on ordinary Liberians.”
ULAA maintains that it is gratifying to note that the Leadership of the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) has already taken the necessary actions in the corridors of the U.S. Government that countered this unwarranted request.
The Union finally calls on Liberians to never again see violence as a pathway to resolving political problems, rather, politicians, advocates, and all Liberians must organize and use the rule of Law to advance their socio-political agenda.
The Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) is an umbrella organization representing Liberians and their various organizations in the Americas. ULAA is a voluntary, nonprofit, and non-governmental organization formed on July 4, 1974 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America. The mission of ULAA is to advance the just causes of Liberians and Liberia at home and abroad.