Request Accepted

first_imgIt seems that the outgoing Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Walter Traub Gwenigale’s request for retirement has been granted by President Ellen Johnson SirleafIn a special address to the nation yesterday, President Sirleaf replaced Dr. Gwenigale as Minister of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) with Mr. George Werner, who, too, will leave his post as head of the Civil Service Agency (CSA) if and when he is confirmed by the Liberian Senate.However, the President had a special word for Dr. G, as the former Health Minister is affectionately called. She said “ Dr. Gwenigale who continues to have my full confidence, will continue to serve as Advisor in the Ministry of Health, will continue to work with me on the President’s Advisory Ebola Committee, until his planned retirement in February.”Dr. G., who joined President Sirleaf’s Cabinet in 2006, had written the President on November 3, 2014, asking for her permission to retire next February 2015, which is also the month in which he takes his deferred annual leave. He will also turn 80 next February.In his letter, Dr. G. did not provide reasons for his request to retire but told the President he was retiring “from a personally gratifying active service to my country since September 1, 1973.”Recounting his years of service, Dr. G. said he returned to the country in August 1973, with “a young foreign wife and a year old son and started working for Phebe Hospital and School of Nursing on September 1st as the Chief of Surgery.” He was subsequently appointed Medical Director/CEO of Phebe the following year and in that same year, he was made Medical Director (now County Health Officer—CHO) of Bong County, where the hospital is located.He had inherited a 65-bed hospital; but between 1974 and 2003, when he left his administrative post at the hospital, he had increased the beds to 200 and the hospital campus grew to include the Rural Health Training Center for 200 students and an eye hospital was built by CBM of Germany.Even after stepping down as CHO and CEO in 2003, he continued to serve the hospital as Chief of Surgery until he was asked by the President to join her Cabinet.The former Health Minister told the President: “I have enjoyed working for my country under your wise and competent leadership. I will truly miss you and my seat in your Cabinet Room, but stand ready to advise you and my successor, should I be asked to do so.”Dr. G. also had this to tell the President: “Because I started supervising all of the MOHSW activities in Bong County in June of 1974, I can truly say I have served my country from that time until now, and do deserve to be pensioned by the country I have served all my productive life. Therefore, I kindly request that you favorably consider my request for a pension for the years, I have worked for the Government of Liberia.”Following 33 successful years in Bong County, the last three years of Dr. G’s tenure in Monrovia as Minister of Health and Social welfare, have been contentiously driven by claims and counter claims between him and striking public health workers on one hand and some members of the National Legislature on the other hand.Last October, when he addressed a regular press briefing at the Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism, he had said the two dismissed leaders of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia (NHWAL) would “NEVER” come back to work with the Ministry as long as he was there as Minister. Calling for the reinstatement of the two had been one of the demands of the striking health workers.Min. Gwenigale’s remark did not go down well with many people, including lawmakers. When lawmakers in the Senate summoned him, he reportedly accused the senators of being supportive of the strike action by health workers. It angered the senators who threatened him with “contempt.” He was, however, saved from the senators’ wrath when his physician, Dr. Robert Kpoto, told the lawmakers that his (Dr. Gwenigale’s) blood pressure was 197/90, and that he needed rest and medication for 14 days and therefore could not appear for a hearing.Following that communication from his doctor, 15 senators, among them, Senators Geraldine Doe-Sherif, Jewel Howard-Taylor, H. Dan Morais. Sando Johnson, Henry Willie Yallah and Thomas Grupee, requested, in a three-page communication to their colleagues, for President Sirleaf to retire Min. Gwenigale.They had said in their communication that Dr. Gwenigale, who should be the frontline general to supervise health workers, needs to be in the best frame of mind, void of illnesses such as high blood pressure during the Ebola crisis.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Chelsea v Atletico: Key players return

first_imgJohn Terry and Eden Hazard return to the Chelsea side for the Champions League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge. Samuel Eto’o, also back from injury, is on the bench. The Blues, level at 0-0 from last week’s first leg, start with Fernando Torres up front.Chelsea: Schwarzer, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Luiz, Azpilicueta, Hazard, Willian, Torres.Subs: Hilario, Kalas, Van Ginkel, Oscar, Schurrle, Ba, Eto’o.See also:Five things Chelsea’s victory at Anfield provedFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

Half-time: Reading 1 Fulham 0

first_imgNew signing Matt Smith was sent off just 18 minutes into his Fulham debut, with Reading ahead at half-time through Glenn Murray’s goal.Murray headed in Jordan Obita’s cross on 15 minutes after the Whites had been forced to defend heavily from the start.Fulham, yet to win in the Championship, stayed focused but heads dropped when Smith, signed from Leeds on deadline day, was shown a straight red card for a high tackle on Obita.Only Chris David looked threatening for the visitors before the break, forcing Adam Federici into a good save, while Jake Taylor missed by a whisker for the Royals.Fulham boss Felix Magath made three changes to the side that drew with Cardiff last time out, with 38-year-old goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly also making his debut along with Smith, and youngster Sean Kavanagh returning at left-back.Fulham (4-4-2): Kiraly; Voser, Burn, Bodorov, Kavanagh; Hoogland, Parker, David, Hyndman; McCormack, Smith.Subs not used: Bettinelli, Satfylidis, Hutchinson, Zverotic, Roberts, Rodallega, Christensen.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Round-up: QPR assess Lynch injury, Ngbakoto not fully fit, loan move for Chelsea defender

first_imgJimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has told West London Sport that recent QPR signing Yeni Ngbakoto will need time to improve his fitness following the French winger’s move to the club.“Yeni is not fit yet. We need to work him. We need to give him time,” manager Hasselbaink said.Ngbakoto scored on his debut in the EFL Cup tie against Swindon at Loftus Road, where summer signing Joel Lynch went off with an abdominal injury.Rangers are assessing the problem and are not yet sure how long Lynch might be unavailable for.Hasselbaink was unhappy with the performance against Swindon. Click here to see how we rated each Rangers player.Meanwhile, West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has backed Antonio Conte to succeed at Chelsea. The two sides meet at Stamford Bridge on Monday.Comte will begin his reign with a derby on Monday eveningThe Blues have loaned centre-back Alex Davey, 21, to League Two club Crawley Town until January.Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli has recovered from a hamstring problem and is set to return to the squad for Saturday’s game against Preston.Brentford are at home to Ipswich, who will be without injured striker Brett Pitman for the game at Griffin Park.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Safe, secure World Cup: Jordaan

first_img“Yes, we have crime,” he said, but pointed out that there was a difference between “societal crime and the ability to host a big event”. Proven event hosting track record Briefing a parliamentary committee in Cape Town this week, OC chief executive Danny Jordaan said the international media had raised concerns about South Africa’s ability to host a secure tournament, but said that he was never worried. Pointing to this year’s Confederations Cup and British and Irish Lions rugby tour, which passed without serious incidents, Jordaan reiterated that the level of crime in South Africa would not deter visitors or mar the first soccer World Cup to be held in Africa. The government has invested about R1.3-billion in World Cup security. There will be 41 000 police officers dedicated to securing the tournament, with 700 police officers around the stadiums for each match. The South African Police Service in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies, like the National Joint Operations and intelligence structures as well as the South African army will be used during the event. He said South African security forces had experience of policing major events by assisting at the 2006 World Cup in Germany and last year’s Beijing Olympics.center_img Jordaan said South Africa had regularly proved itself capable of hosting international showpieces, starting with the Rugby World Cup in 1995, just a year after the country’s first democratic elections. “The Rugby World Cup, the Cricket World Cup, the Athletics World Cup and now the football World Cup,” he mentioned. “In golf too: the Presidents Cup and other major events. You cannot mention more than 10 countries in the world with that kind of event profile.” With just over 200 days to go till the 2010 Fifa World Cup™, the first on African soil, the 2010 Organising Committee (OC) is assuring tournament supporters and the media that South Africa is ready to put on a premier tournament and protect every visitor “without a doubt”. 11 November 2009 Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Maharashtra allocates ₹30 crore for cloud seeding

first_imgThe State Cabinet on Tuesday cleared the proposal to implement the aerial cloud seeding procedure to tackle drought.“Most parts of the State are already facing the problem of water shortage and availability of water for agriculture could be a major cause for worry in future. Among the steps being discussed to tackle the situation is cloud seeding. The process, however, needs pre-planning and monitoring of usable clouds,” said an official with the Relief and Rehabilitation Department. The State has allocated ₹30 crore for the project. According to the government, foreign countries have witnessed a rise in rainfall ranging from 28% to 43%. The process will be implemented in Marathwada, Vidarbha and parts of western Maharashtra. The Sea band doppler radar and a plane will be kept ready at Aurangabad for the purpose. The experiment will be carried out only if this year’s monsoon is below average. It will also help areas where the Jalyukta Shivar works have been completed, said the official.Sadabhau Khot, Minister of State for Water Supply, said the State government has given directions to supply tankers considering the current population of the area and not as per the 2011 census. “We have been receiving complaints of inadequate water supply in many areas. It was found that water was supplied based on the 2011 census data. The population has increased since then and therefore, we have decided to supply tankers as per the present population,” he said. Meanwhile, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Chandrakant Patil on Tuesday said 6,209 tankers have been deployed to provide water in 4,920 villages and 10,506 hamlets. A total of 10.04 lakh cattle is being admitted to fodder camps in the State. The government has released ₹111 crore for the Auranagabad division, ₹47 crore for Nashik and ₹4 crore for the Pune division for fodder camps. Apart from cattle, the State will also set up fodder camps for sheep and goats. The Cabinet on Tuesday announced the decision to provide water through tankers in fodder camps for cattle.last_img read more

Party is over for Alagiri and friends

first_imgIt is celebration time in Madurai! For, so swift and sudden has been the change that it has lifted the people of this temple city from their despondency. With a new government taking over, the air of freedom seems all pervasive in the former fiefdom of M K Alagiri.”What next?” is the question that invariably lingers in the minds of the people, who are secretly gleeful at the increasing discomfiture of the Union Minister.With his close aides in jail, the DMK patriarch’s elder son is rattled at the prospect of his turn being perilously close. These were the people with whom the ‘Prince’ ruled the southern districts, holding his court in Madurai. Now his wings have been clipped. The sheen of invincibility too has vanished, resulting in his isolation.Alarm bells started ringing when the police first laid their hands on ‘Pottu’ Suresh, a school drop-out turned Man Friday of the Union Minister. Widely seen as the alter-ego of his master, he came to wield immense power with many bureaucrats, seeking transfers and plum postings, waiting for his appointment. So much so, Jayalalithaa chose to call him Deputy CM as Alagiri was considered the CM of the Southern districts.It was a meteoric rise for someone who was an unsuccessful roadside vendor close to two decades ago. Earlier, Suresh was known with the prefixes ‘nighty’ and ‘bajji’ for selling women’s accessories and then hot ‘bajji’ in the Town Hall Road. Sporting a huge tilak (‘pottu’ in Tamil) after associating with netas, it became his new identity. His final destination was Alagiri and within a short period of time, he edged out old timers and entered the Minister’s inner circle. “Pottu’s words are mine and should be complied with,” was Alagiri’s reported diktat.advertisementNone of the DMK leader’s courtiers, who gained prominence and power, had any stature. Neither were they from the party ranks nor from the family association. The less said the better about their vice- like grip. In spite of their humble beginnings, they have come to flaunt huge wealth which, even the DMK old timers could not digest. Worse, they were despised by the public for unleashing a reign of terror. The more notoriety they earned, the more dependable they became for their master.Doing his bidding without any hesitation is their only creed. No wonder, with the DMK’s crushing defeat in the assembly poll Alagiri’s cronies were expected to face the music. But, none had expected that the crackdown would expose and disarm the ‘ Prince of Madurai’ so soon.His lieutenants who landed in prison include, ‘Attack’ Pandi, an accused in the Dinakaran attack case, G Thalapathy, former MLA, and ‘Essar’ Gopi, accused in the murder of former DMK Minister Tha Kiruttinan. Those awaiting police action include Deputy Mayor P M Mannan, also an accused in the Kiruttinan case.These are only samples as the list is not exhaustive.More than keeping them as henchmen, the DMK satrap went a step ahead by elevating them as senior functionaries in the party. Ever since the pyrrhic victory in the 2009 Tirumangalam bypoll, which was the beginning of the cash for vote syndrome, Alagiri’s writ was never challenged. Despite their criminal background, he got his associates elevated to the DMK Executive Committee as well.Though the Dinakaran and Kiruttinan cases ended in acquittal, the spectre of their revival has come to haunt Alagiri and his associates.As the noose is tightening around Alagiri, no tears are shed either in the party or in the city, which he has made his home for well over two decades. ‘He who sows the wind shall reap the whirlwind’ is the reason proffered by the ordinary citizen about the fate that has befallen the DMK strongman and his associates.A man is judged by the company he keeps. It is more so in public life where none can escape scrutiny of one’s conduct.This is particularly true of Alagiri, who, given a long rope by his octogenarian father, turned out to be a law unto himself.He has no literary or intellectual pretensions like his father, who keeps the company of discredited writers and poets, to sing paeans. If the Dravidian movement could be called as anti- intellectual and anti-democratic for parading the halfbaked as scholars and thugs as leaders in the public domain, Alagiri could well be seen as its logical culmination.Wily Marans bunk DMK rally When the DMK took to the streets protesting Jayalalithaa’s ‘politics of vendetta’, one man invited the wrath of party workers by being conspicuous by his absence – Dayanidhi Maran. Both the Marans have flown to distant Indonesia where they are holidaying with their families. The DMK rank and file is not ready to forgive the indiscretion of the duo, who are seen as parasitic time servers. Their grouse is that the Marans consider themselves above the party. Having enjoyed power, they were expected to stand by the party at the time of distress is the chorus in DMK circles.advertisementMaybe mounting troubles could have forced them to stay away from the massive protest in which over one lakh party workers, led by the M K Stalin, courted arrest. With the patriarch taking a back seat, it was left to his younger son to shoulder the leadership. Even a limping Khushboo was seen getting into the police vehicle, raising the morale of the party which is reeling under the ruthless crackdown by the AIADMK government.And this being the first major agitation of the DMK after the humiliating electoral defeat, Maran junior’s absence was not taken kindly.Further, this has marginalised him after his exit from the Union Cabinet. “Are they attempting to make peace with the czarina in order to protect their business interest?” is also a question that is doing the rounds.Babus to face music nowAfter the netas, it’s the turn of babus who ruled the roost during the Karunanidhi regime to face the music. ADGP Jaffer Sait, former state Intelligence chief, has been placed under suspension. This follows a vigilance raid last week at the residences of Sait, his relatives and close associates.He has been charged with acquiring a prime plot in the name of his wife under the social worker category and building flats for sale together with another aide of Karunanidhi. In the run-up to the assembly poll, the EC transferred him to West Bengal following allegations by the Opposition. He preferred to go on leave and was vacationing in Bangkok. The buzz in the corridors of power is who will be the next to face the music.Left gets it wrong, againOnce again the Marxists have proved that they are twice removed from reality. On the emotive issue of Eelam, the CPI(M) has been treading the beaten path, by calling for unity among Tamils and Sinhalese. But, in the aftermath of the colossal human tragedy in Sri Lanka, the party’s formulation has made it a laughing stock among the pro-Tamil groups.In mobilising public opinion it is no match for its Dravidian counterparts. Concerned at the CPI too marching ahead of it in raising this issue, the party General Secretary Parakash Karat came here last week to parrot the worn out formulations. Even its sympathisers are red faced at the party living in the past. Will the Marxists see sense?Jaya seeks to revive dam dispute With Jayalalithaa back in the saddle, the Mullaiperiyar (Mullaperiyar in Kerala) dam issue could gain added momentum.advertisementIt is the lifeline of the six southern districts of Tamil Nadu which are facing the threat of desertification as storage level has been brought down to 136 in 1979 following Kerala raising safety concerns. Later the dam structure was strengthened as per Centre Water Commission guidelines. But, storage is no more the bone of contention with Kerala now pressing for a new dam even after the Supreme Court ordered reverting storage to the original 152 ft in phases.As a first step towards protecting her turf, Jayalalithaa has opposed the Centre’s Dam Safety Bill, objecting to certain clauses which she finds are detrimental to the state. As in all other issues, her bte noire Karunanidhi stands discredited.He had called off a fast due to pressure from the Congress. This presents her an opportunity to outsmart the old fox. Further, it would help her to rob the wind out of the sails of Vaiko and other pro-Tamil parties whose voice has turned shrill against Kerala.last_img read more