News / Africa

Liberians in US Observe Country's 164th Independence Anniversary

Liberia's ambassador to the United States William Bull says Liberia is on a development path put in place by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Liberian singer Tokay Tomah entertains the crowd with one of her hit songs
Liberian singer Tokay Tomah entertains the crowd with one of her hit songs "Chay-Chay Polay"

Multimedia

Audio
  • Butty interview with Liberians in U.S. on Liberia's independence anniversary

James Butty

Liberia commemorates its 164th independence anniversary Tuesday, July 26.

Meanwhile, Liberians in the United States kicked off the celebrations Saturday with an “All Liberian Day” cultural extravaganza on the grounds of the Liberian Embassy in Washington.  

Ambassador William Bull, Liberia’s ambassador to United States, said the Embassy uses the occasion each year to bring Liberians in the United States together.

“As you know, the independence anniversary is an important milestone of any country and Liberia is no exception. In our case, we have selected this event over the last 12 or more years as a way of bringing Liberians together and reaching out to [the] local community to let them know that we are here; we want to work with them; we want to foster good people-to-people relationships in addition to our usual diplomatic functions,” he said.

Liberian ambassador to the United States William Bull speaks to VOA's James Butty during independence day festivities
Liberian ambassador to the United States William Bull speaks to VOA's James Butty during independence day festivities


Bull said the theme of the “All Liberian Day” independence celebration, “Liberia Rising, Do Your Part, Get Involved,” reflects the general view of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s government.

“We believe very strongly that if we continue along the development path that has been set, as President Sirleaf herself has said, within 10 years, we will not require foreign assistance and by 2030 we could become a ‘middle income’ country,” Bull said.

He said the government supports Liberians in the Diaspora to be able to vote in the country’s elections.  But, Bull said that would require a constitutional amendment.

“Absolutely, this is a policy of the government.  Unfortunately, we have a constitutional amendment that is required to ensure that the current constitution can be amended which states that, if you declare an allegiance to another country, you automatically lose your citizenship. This needs to be repealed,” Bull said.

Vivian Clinton of Jessup, Maryland said Independence Day reminds her that she has a country that she loves dearly.

“We hope that having our 164th independence day, we have more progress, more development being done to our country,” Clinton said.

Patrick Tuon of Germantown, Maryland described the annual Independence Day gathering on the embassy grounds as the only non-controversial event that brings all Liberians together irrespective of their political views

But, as for Liberia’s August 23rd referendum, Tuon said he is one of those who have called for its boycott.

“As one of the opinion leaders here [in the United States], we have been talking about events, especially the referendum.  We believe the referendum has no national value.  We took a decision for this referendum to be defeated or be boycotted because the processes that were supposed to be followed were never followed,” Tuon said.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More