18 01 20

first_imgMOST READ LATEST STORIES Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Rookie hotshot In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Nation/Asia News NetworkGEORGE TOWN — Former Penang football captain Aziz Azizan has died after slipping into a coma on Monday (Jan 14).Aziz passed away at 4.30pm on Wednesday (Jan 16) at the Penang Hospital without regaining consciousness.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazilcenter_img Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title At least 25 dead in Indonesia bus plunge PLAY LIST 00:56At least 25 dead in Indonesia bus plunge00:50Trending Articles03:51BCDA: P13-B deal with Malaysia firm for New Clark City project aboveboard02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Football Association of Penang (FAP) press liasion officer Ahmad Zachki Ahmad Suri said Aziz’s wife, his nephew Zambri Ahmad, a former footballer, and other close family members were beside him during his death.The 54-year-old former left winger fell ill during a friendly veterans football match in Balik Pulau on Sunday and was taken by ambulance to the district hospital.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissHe slipped into a coma on Monday due to high blood pressure and was transferred to the Penang Hospital where he was put on life support. View commentslast_img read more

17 01 20

first_imgDear Editor,We have witnessed the recent chaos on Nomination Day, with its the many justified ensuing Court battles, which the circumstances signal are likely to continue at the highest judicial decision making authority. The continued disappearances of the Chief Executive Officer at key events and activities during the preparation for the Disciplined Services balloting, clearly points to the realities of the trial and error approach, and much heightened incompetence.On Monday October 29th, 2018, the Secretariat’s CEO, Mr. Lowenfield, held a briefing with the Political Parties in preparation for the Disciplined Services voting, scheduled to take place on Friday November 2, 2018. Only heaven knows, why, even up to that point, he could not provide a schedule of events with clear timelines regarding where and how some key elements would take place. He promised that he would subsequently deliver further details, which speaks of lack of coordination at the highest echelon of GECOM.Approximately eight thousands persons are listed as registered to vote on Friday, but at the time of the briefing, parties were yet to confirm their final voting numbers. This information is particularly relevant, given GECOM’s report that a great percentage of the voters would be allowed to vote without ID cards, based on the internal Folio positions.Lowenfield announced that there are 1674 polling stations countrywide and the Chief Election Officer also said that GECOM successfully trained some 10, 700 polling staff whom he expects to run the Local Government Elections. There is still the need, however, for the assurance of the nation, regarding the evaluation mechanism employed to ensure the readiness of the persons the Secretariat claims to be sufficiently trained. This is particularly relevant since many of the Returning Officers under whose authority these persons will be functioning, have proved to be deficient in their preparation.This is a serious matter, because it is open knowledge that the Commission is constitutionally tasked with the responsibility of hiring all GECOM staff, and there has been the usurping of many elections functions under the current system.The public is and will be questioning this process further, as we understand that there are many ‘phantom staff members’, who have been allowed to infiltrate the system for clandestine reasons.It is clear that like Nominations Day approximately ninety percent of the staff selected to work on D-Day, will be retained and employed by GECOM for future elections work. The path followed by GECOM is resulting in a retrogression to the dark days when the PNC had all of the Election staff fully under their control. This, no doubt, is a recipe for countrywide resistance towards the necessary remedy of an acceptable balance.We advocate for the transparency of employment practices at GECOM and the use of electronic methodology as an approach to strengthening the validation of results of elections in Guyana. Bring in the United Nations Now!Sincerely,Neil Kumarlast_img read more

12 01 20

first_img… as more former officials questioned by SOCUThe drama continued on Wednesday, though not as ostentatious as before, as more former prominent Government officials trickled into the headquarters of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) in connection with several investigations into ostensible criminal activities regarding the misappropriation of State assets.Former Prime Minister and President Samuel Hinds; former Education Minister Priya Manickchand; former Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee; former Public Service Minister Jennifer Westford; former Labour Minister, Dr Nanda Gopaul; and former Housing Ministers Irfaan Ali and Sheik Baksh were drilled by SOCU agents in relation to findings which stemmed from several forensic audit reports.Clement Rohee on completion of his interview at SOCU headquartersFormer Public Service Minister Jennifer WestfordFormer Education Minister Priya Manickchand speaking with media following her interview with SOCUSheik Baksh walking away from media operatives outside of SOCU headquartersNanda Gopaul as he exited SOCU on WednesdayUnlike what transpired the previous day where some officials including former President and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and former Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon were arrested, the officials who visited SOCU’s Headquarters on Wednesday were not placed under arrest.British Advisor to SOCU, Dr Sam Sittlington, explained to media operatives that the persons were only arrested because they demonstrated some level of unwillingness to cooperate.But contrary to what he said, former Natural Resources Minister Robert Persaud and daughter of former President Donald Ramotar and General Manager of the Guyana Gold Board, Lisa Ramotar, had freely visited SOCU’s Office but were detained.Dr Sittlington presumed they were only detained because of their ‘attitudes’ towards the SOCU agents.“That had to do with the investigators and how they were talking to the investigators,” he stated.Political vindictivenessAttorney Anil Nandlall, who has provided legal representation for a number of the past Government officials, announced that he has enough evidence to prove a case of political vindictiveness and witch-hunting against the Government.“It is clear that they are taking directions from the Office of the President… If charges germinate from these investigations, these charges are going to be challenged vigorously on that very ground. The criminal justice system must never be used as an instrument for political vendetta, vindictiveness and to oppress people,” he declared during an interview with media operatives outside of SOCU’s Headquarters.Nandlall said the evidence would be compiled in an affidavit that will demonstrate with clarity the case of political vindictiveness and vendetta if charges are laid.Criminal actMoreover, the former Attorney General argued that the alleged acquisition of house lots at prices below market value is not a criminal act, as is being peddling by the Government.The majority of the persons being currently questioned by SOCU are persons who purchased properties at the Sparendaam seawall area commonly known as “Pradoville 2”.The current Administration contends the transactions are a criminal act because of the belief that the properties were acquired below market value.But Nandlall remarked that subsidised housing has always been a part of the legacy of the People’s Progressive Party and that countless Guyanese have benefited from lands sold below market value.“Every single house lot in this country was distributed way below the market price; $50,000 for a land in Mon Repos, $200,000 in Eccles, is that the value of the house lot? So let us not get carried away and become victims of the propaganda,” he pointed out.DistractionMeanwhile, Priya Manickchand expressed her strong belief that these events are orchestrated by the coalition administration to distract the populace from its bad governance and the fact that the promise of a ‘good life’ is yet to be fulfilled and is nowhere on the horizon.“I would like to say this to the Granger-government, bringing in a Priya Manickchand for questioning, arresting a Roger Luncheon, bringing in the former cabinet members here and parading them in and out of SOCU will not distract the parents who have to pay 14 per cent VAT on children’s education, ordinary public servants who sacrificed and bought themselves a car and now repaying that loan on the car and are now being asked to pay parking meter fees on very opaque contract that majority of the country is asking to be withdrawn and the over 200 new taxes which have been introduced…,” she affirmed.Manickchand told reporters while leaving SOCU’s office that Government should make better use of its time and try to stimulate the economy.“Move our economy so that money is circulating. Recycling an envelope or two is not going to help us in that regard,” she stated.QuestionsManickchand, Rohee, Westford and Ali were questioned in relation to their acquisition of lands at the Pradoville housing scheme.Manickchand disclosed to the media that she applied for a house lot under the national housing programme and was subsequently designated a one in the Pradoville Scheme.“I bought the property, I built on the property and I took mortgages to do that…,” she stated.On the other hand, Gopaul was questioned about his role as former Permanent Secretary of the Office of the President and as former Chairman of the Board of the National Communications Network (NCN).“I was a public servant. I never in my working career had any query with respect to my job, my work has always been transparent and I followed the rules of the public service, I am perhaps the only public servant who has never had a query in my career,” he told the media as he exited SOCU’s Headquarters.Gopaul is not a holder or any land in Pradoville but his son, Dr Ghansham Singh was called in for questioning in relation on the matter.“My son acquired his land on his own right and in his own behalf, I have never intervened on behalf of anyone, I have never begged favours, as a public servant I have always been very professional,” Gopaul commented on the matter.Hinds was also questioned about his role in the development of the Pradoville 2 Housing Scheme. He denied claims that the State’s transmission mast was removed as part of a plan to clear the land for distribution.last_img read more

3 01 20

first_imgManchester United chief executive Ed Woodward has travelled to Spain to try and complete a deal for Barcelona forward Pedro, according to the Daily Mail.The Spain attacker, who has won every club and international honour in the game, has a £22m buyout clause, which the Red Devils look set to trigger.Any potential deal appeared to have slowed last week due to emerging interest from Premier League champions Chelsea, but Woodward looks to have flown to Barcelona ahead of their Spanish Super Cup second leg to finalise the move.Pedro struggled for first-team action last season as the devastating trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar proved impregnable, and is known to be seeking a new challenge in England.He is a like-for-like replacement for Angel di Maria, who ended his ill-fated spell at Old Trafford by moving to Paris Saint-Germain last month.It is also reported that Woodward will take the opportunity to cast his eye over Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte, with the Basque side leading the European Champions 4-0 from the first leg. 1 Ed Woodward last_img read more

28 12 19

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card On Saturday, 250 people joined a ceremony at Kennedy Space Center to honor Scobee, pilot Mike Smith, astronauts Ellison Onizuka, Judy Resnik, Ron McNair and Greg Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe, who was supposed to be the first teacher in space. Rodgers, along with NASA associate administrator Bill Gerstenmaier, laid the wreath at the base of the Space Mirror Memorial, a tall granite-finished wall engraved with the names of the Challenger astronauts, the seven astronauts killed when space shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas in 2003 and the three Apollo 1 astronauts killed in a fire during a 1967 launch pad test. The audience included some relatives of the Columbia and Apollo 1 crews, as well as the widows of Challenger astronauts Smith and Onizuka. Supporters stood in line to lay flowers at the side of the monument. “I have lived around the space program my whole life and it’s a fitting tribute for those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Susan Valek, who works for a Kennedy Space Center contractor. The investigation into the Challenger accident revealed a space agency more concerned with schedules and public relations than with safety and sound decision-making. CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The widow of Challenger’s commander laid a wreath of roses and carnations at a memorial honoring fallen astronauts Saturday, the 20th anniversary of the day the space shuttle lifted off from a launch pad a few miles away and blew apart 73 seconds later. June Scobee Rodgers, whose husband Dick Scobee was the shuttle’s commander, recalled waiting for the launch that chilly morning with other family members of the crew, including 12 children. “Our lives were shattered, but over the years that followed the families persevered with tremendous success,” Rodgers said. “I believe those parents launched aboard Challenger would be proud of their children.” Seven astronauts died in the explosion, and the images of the shuttle bursting apart were replayed over and over to a shocked nation. The explosion eventually was blamed on a poorly designed gasket in one of the shuttle’s solid fuel boosters that hardened in cold weather. The temperature at Challenger’s liftoff was 36 degrees. Engineers for a NASA contractor had protested launching at that temperature, but they were overruled by their managers under perceived pressure from the space agency. “It is our responsibility, individually and collectively, to make good decisions,” Gerstenmaier told the audience. “As engineers, the machines we build can do great things but can also cause great harm.” Rodgers said the Challenger accident hadn’t changed her opinion about the importance of space exploration. “Without risk, there’s no discovery, there’s no new knowledge, there’s no bold adventure,” Rodgers said. “The greatest risk is to take no risk.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

27 12 19

first_imgLetterkenny Gaels Club Notes:The senior team secured two vital league points at the weekend when they had a one point victory over Aodh Ruadh in Ballyshannon. The reserves lost their game. Pride of the Glebe this week goes to our U-12 hurlers who were victorious over neighbours St. Eunan’s in the County Hurling final. Well done to Tom, Ray and all the team.The U-16’s hurlers had a good victory over Na Seamróga from Strabane in the league semi-final on Thursday evening. They play Mc Cumhaills this Thursday evening in the final. All support welcome.The team travelled to Loch Mor Dal gCais Antrim to play in a 7 a side tournament on Saturday morning. The lads finished the day winning Division 3 of the tournament and took home the Casement Cup.Congratulations to all involved.Well done to Diarmuid Cahill, Mikey Sweeney and Ross Marley who were part of the County under 15 development squad who played in Cavan on Saturday.Well done to our U-16 girls on their victory over Burt on Tuesday evening. Training continues from 6-7pm on Tuesday and from 7-8pm on Fridays.Our Camogs attended a blitz in Donegal Town at the weekend. Gaels Camogie would like to extend a huge thank you to Laurence, Shirley, Mary and all at Four Masters for the invitation to the blitz and a brilliant day for all the girls.The U-13 footballers had their first run out of the season when they welcomed Naomh Colmcille to Pairc na nGael. The game finished in a draw. U-13 training continues every Monday & Friday at 6.30pm at the pitch. New members always welcome.Buíochas Mór to all who participated in the recent Gaels Got Talent auditions at the clubhouse. It has highlighted the wealth of talent within the club. Music, drama and ballad groups have been selected from those who auditioned and they will take part in the upcoming Scór Competition in the Autumn. It is hoped that the younger members will represent Gaeil Leitir Ceanainn in Scór in the years ahead.After Christmas it is planned to arrange a regular music session at the clubhouse, open to all. So if you play an instrument and would be interested in developing your session tunes, we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.Underage football training for U-6, U-8 & U-10’s continues every Sunday at the Glebe. New members especially welcome. 11am-12noon. There is also a session on Wednesday evenings. Please bring mouth guards and drink.Rehearsals for our forthcoming play are now continuing. All roles have been filled and our actors are enthusiastically working away and developing into their various characters. It promises to be a wonderfully entertaining comedy. We are presently looking for an assistant producer-this role may suit someone who would like to learn the ropes or get an introduction into producing a play so if you are a student or just somebody who would like to get involved please contact J Frain. We are also looking for some volunteers to assist with catering during the nights that the play will be held.Camogie training continues at the pitch on Mondays from 6-7pm for U-14 and older girls and Fridays from 6.30-8pm at the pitch for U-8, U-10 & U-12. Contact 086 8163605 for information. New players welcome. Please check club website and Gaels Camogie Facebook for more info.Hurling training continues at Pairc na nGael every Thursday evening from 6.30pm to 7.30 pm. Please contact Dan Harnett 0867392780 or Sharon Harnett 0868405785 to book or for more information. New members always welcome.For regular club updates and photos see our club web page, Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @LetterkennyGael GAA NEWS: LETTERKENNY GAELS SECURE VITAL LEAGUE WIN OVER AODH RUADH was last modified: September 8th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAASportlast_img read more

26 12 19

first_img Getty 📋 #CelticFC starting XI and subs 🆚 @RedBullSalzburg! 👊Come on the Hoops! 🍀 pic.twitter.com/LqQvZpIDzS— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) October 4, 2018 Celtic will be hoping to make it two wins from two on Thursday evening having started their Europa League campaign by claiming three points against Rosenborg last month.Brendan Rodgers’ side visit Austria to take on Red Bull Salzburg, who currently sit top of Group B having also won their opener against RB Leipzig. 2 Celtic sit fifth in the Scottish Premiership having struggled for consistency this season Salzburg only missed out on a place in this season’s Champions League group stages by losing their qualifying clash to Crvena zvezda on away goals, and they remain unbeaten in 16 matches across all competitions so far this term.In fact, they head into the clash vs Celtic on the back of six straight wins, including 6-0 and 4-1 demolitions in their previous two matches.What the managers are sayingMarco Rose (Salzburg): “We obviously want to press on after winning out first match and continue our good run for as long as we can.”Brendan Rodgers (Celtic): “I think in terms of where we’re at as a squad, playing against top opponents has proved really difficult for us. Okay, this is a slightly lesser level in terms of opponent, but they are still going to be tough for us. It’s not that you sit back to defend and not attack. I’ve always said to the players that it’s not about the possession – it’s about dangerous possession. That’s something we’ll really focus on – about our possession being dangerous, not always thinking you have to dominate the ball. But we must ensure that when we do have the ball, we’re dangerous with it.”center_img Leigh Griffiths scored a late, late winner as Celtic beat Rosenborg on Europa League matchday one Team newsThe hosts will be without striker Patson Daka through injury, while Kristoffer Ajer misses out for Celtic having picked up a knock against St Johnstone last week.Confirmed line-ups Unsere Startelf gegen @CelticFC! #FCSCEL #UnserBewerb pic.twitter.com/bFuVY12CNk— FC Red Bull Salzburg (@RedBullSalzburg) October 4, 2018 2last_img read more

26 12 19

first_imgTHIS is the incredible moment an English surfer rode a massive wave in Donegal Bay.Jayce Robinson, from St Ives, can just be seen inside the huge rolling wave.The daredevil surfer even dislocated his knee – and his board snapped in half – during his efforts on Tuesday. The 22-year-old professional has just given Donegal a massive tourism boost as well.He has told various worldwide media outlets: “It was definitely the biggest barrell I’ve ever surfed.”He went on: “I was a little nervous but I didn’t have time to think about it – it’s almost like a car crash, you don’t know what’s happening.“I was only on it for about 20 seconds then the lip just hit me straight in the back and I went down. “It’s like being in a washing machine and I felt my limbs get pulled all over the place. That’s when I felt my knee pop.”His mate – and fellow British surfer – Lyndon Wake witnessed the glorious ride after towing him out to the waves behind a jetski.“It’s always a worst case scenario when your tow partner wipes out,” he said.“Lucky he managed to come out the other side OK and I got him straight back on the jetski.”The adrenalin-seeking pair have been in Ireland for about a month chasing the swells. “The waves are just amazing and world-class here at this time of year,” Mr Robinson said.“(The wipeout) is not going to hold me back, that’s for sure. As soon as my knee is better I will be back out there.”The wave was on the same afternoon a 67-ft wave was recorded off Donegal (See our report yesterday here: https://www.donegaldaily.com/2011/12/13/gigantic-20-metre-wave-hits-donegal-biggest-ever/ The one pictured isn’t as big – but it’s still massive!WOW! INCREDIBLE PIX OF SURFER RIDING MASSIVE DONEGAL WAVE! was last modified: December 15th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegal wavemassive wavesurfersweatherlast_img read more

25 12 19

first_imgOver the last couple of months we’ve looked at a variety of mountain areas around the mighty Donegal. From Mount Errigal to the Mamore’s, we’ve looked at rock climbing as well as trail walking on the coastal fringes of beautiful Inishowen. We have even pondered history and ancient mythology.So now maybe it’s time to consider our impact on the landscape that we love so much and see if we really do love it, do we appreciate it or maybe we really just take it for granted?Our Collective Mark… Without a doubt we are lucky to live in such a diverse and beautiful county. This county really is a treasure trove of gems and jewels. Testament to this is how frequently Donegal gets mentioned in the news, the recent sightings of killer whales, plus the good news stories of golden eagles or the beauty of the aurora borealis all help to raise Donegal’s profile.As word spreads of the vast natural riches that Donegal possesses, the numbers of people keen to experience what we have on offer is on the increase. This increase comes from people locally, nationally or even internationally. More people are keen to come and experience Donegal, to see our blue flag beaches, they want to swim, surf or scuba dive in our clear (and cold!) ocean. They want walk, climb and cycle in the ‘highland’s and islands’ of Ireland and enjoy their own little piece of heaven.This is of course is fantastic for Donegal, the often forgotten county, but how do we manage this increase in numbers? This increased pressure on the environment and importantly this pressure for access on to private land!This is certainly a difficult question and it’s one we should ask ourselves sooner, rather than later. What is ‘Leave No Trace’?The old adage of ‘Leave nothing but foot prints, take nothing but photographs and break nothing but wind’, was a saying I grew up with, the last part ‘break nothing but wind’ got added on recently somehow?Rather than rewrite what is already well written, the following is taken from the Irish Leave No Trace website, www.leavenotrace.org .‘Leave No Trace is an Outdoor Ethics Programme designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research, and partnerships. An ethic can be defined as knowing what the right thing to do is, and doing it, even if there is no one about to see you do it. Leave No Trace depends more on attitude and awareness than on rules and regulations. Techniques designed to minimise the social and environmental impacts to the outdoors are incorporated into the Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics Education Programme as seven principles.’The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace 1.Plan Ahead and Prepare2.Be Considerate of Others3.Respect Farm Animals and Wildlife4.Travel and Camp on Durable Ground 5.Leave What You Find6.Dispose of Waste Properly7.Minimise the Effects of Fire‘Practice a Leave No Trace ethic: Make it hard for others to see or hear you and LEAVE NO TRACE of your visit.’Leave No Trace is seen as the Q-Mark for good outdoor ethics.Its seven principles can provide a great format for all outdoor users to understand just how the beauty that we sought out in the first place can remain for others to enjoy for generations to come.So these Leave No Trace principles will become part of our Donegal Great Outdoor features over the next few months.I’ll expand on one of the seven principles and make it relevant to that week’s feature, so we can see if we can nurture a better understanding of good outdoor ethics and encourage responsible use of the outdoor environment!All images copyright Bren Whelan & www.mountaintraining.ieTHE GREAT DONEGAL OUTDOORS – LEAVE NO TRACE by Brendan Whelan was last modified: June 15th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:bren whelanThe Great Donegal Outdoorslast_img read more

18 12 19

first_img4 June 2013The countdown to the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s freedom and democracy next year has begun, marked by the unveiling of a logo by Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile in Pretoria on Monday.Speaking before unveiling the logo, with the message “20 Years of Freedom – South Africa 1994-2014”, Mashatile said South Africans should remember that freedom and democracy came at a price.“It was not free. Many [compatriots] sacrificed life and limb in order for us to enjoy this freedom and democracy. Let us therefore continue to work together to defend andexpand the gains of our liberation,” he said.“The countdown towards the historic milestone of our 20 years of liberation begins today. We take this opportunity to call on all South Africans to participate fully in the build-up programme towards our 20th anniversary celebrations.”Next year on 27 April, South Africa will commemorate 20 years of freedom and democracy. Mashatile said the historic occasion presented an opportunity for the nation to reflect on the path the country has walked towards freedom.He said some of the activities that will form part of the build-up programme include the recognition of unsung heroes and organisations that contributed to the demise of apartheid, and activities aimed at expressing gratitude to the international community for supporting the struggle for liberation.There will also be massive school essay competitions and a participatory process to identify 20 big achievements that are collectively owned by South Africans.Uniting South AfricansAlso critical to the success of the build-up campaign and beyond is the on-going implementation of a social cohesion action plan that was agreed to at the National Social Cohesion summit in Kliptown, Soweto last year.“It is also an opportunity to look back at the road we have travelled since 1994 to deepen the gains of our freedom and democracy,” he said.“Going forward, it is an opportunity for us to work together to implement the National Development Plan – Vision for 2030 – as our nation’s long-term vision and a basis for collective action and partnerships across society.”Struggle hero Andrew Mlangeni said: “A lot of houses have been built for the poor since the dawn of democracy in 1994 and most of those houses have been electrified.“While more people have access to clean water, however, my regret as a struggle hero is that the service at our public hospitals leaves much to be desired. The future to build this country is in our hands, so let’s work together with government to continue building a prosperous country.”Former political prisoner and anti-apartheid activist, Ahmed Kathrada, said South Africans should unite to tackle the struggle against poverty, hunger and unemployment.Human rights lawyer George Bizos, who represented Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela in the Rivonia Trial, said those who think that nothing has been done or achieved since the dawn of democracy were doing the country a disservice.Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Frene Ginwala, said while South Africans should be grateful about their efforts to create a wonderful Constitution, government should start printing comic books for the youth, explaining how the Constitution works.“There must be civic education in all the public schools so that our kids can be taught about the liberation struggle of this country. Again, all our public schools should fly the national flag,” she said.Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more