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Archive for the ‘Personal Letter’ Category

By Tarloh Munah Quiwonkpa

August 9, 2005

It has been 20 years since I lost my friend and husband, General Thomas Quiwonkpa on that unforgettable day in Monrovia, Liberia (1985). Many people may be wondering why it has taken me this long to break my silence. Yes, it has taken me this long for many reasons. The most obvious reason was to reflect on the events before and after the death of my husband and to reconstruct my life as a widow and a single mother.

I wish to extend my personal condolences to all those who lost their loved ones during the 14 years of the senseless Liberian civil war. I am profoundly touched by their loss and pray that Liberians will change their culture of violence to peace for the betterment of the country and its people. In addition to the loss of my husband, many members of my family died during the civil war in Liberia. Liberians of all persuasions should come together in brotherly and sisterly love to rebuild our nation; a new Liberia that builds on our common bonds at the same time respecting our diversity. Every Liberian has a unique role to play in the rebuilding of the new nation, where collective interest is weighted more than individualism. The new Liberia must be built on equity, justice, respect, inclusion, transparency, accountability and religious tolerance.

One of the primary reasons for this open letter is to help bring final closure to the emotion and agony surrounding the death of General Thomas Quiwonkpa. As I have reflected on my husband’s death, I still have many unanswered questions. I have waited for 20 years for the people who were closed to my husband, including his best friend, Harry Yuan, whom he considered his brother, to tell me the untold story about his death. Harry Yuan, I am told, was with Thomas during his final hour. Harry and the others whom I will name later have not spoken nor call me to give me their side of what went wrong. My 20 year-old son continues to ask me about information surrounding his father’s death. I am interested in knowing what went wrong. What was his last statement? What was his demeanor at the point of death? What happened to his belongings and documents? How did others that went with him escape and he did not? Why hasn’t anyone come forward to provide answers to these questions to his family?

The last memory I have of my late husband was when he walked out of our Silver Spring, Maryland home, accompanied by Harry Yuan in 1985. Harry Yuan suggested that Larmah Quiwonkpa (Thomas’s sister), Yormie, and I relocate to the Twin Cities and reside with Miss Joanne Toweh. It later became clear to others, and me that Harry Yuan along with some external forces have recommended to Thomas that he topples the Doe government. Harry Yuan used the fraudulent 1985 presidential election in which Samuel Doe was declared winner, and the incident in which Doe ordered the beating of Thomas’s mother to convince him that he should over throw the Doe regime. Following Harry Yuan’s explanation to Thomas about the manner in which “Samuel Doe ordered his soldiers to beat Ma Mango” (Thomas’ mother), Thomas was convinced that it was necessary to remove Samuel Doe from power. Yes, Thomas Quiwonkpa was independent and capable of making his own decisions, but let us remember that persuasion is a powerful tool, particularly when the persuasion is coming from a confidant and best friend. I was hesitant to let my husband leave our residence but Harry Yuan looked at me and said “Tarloh, I will be your eyes, your ears, and your nose and I will do exactly what you will like to see as though you were there in Sierra Leone.” Since the death of my husband in 1985, Harry Yuan has avoided me for 20 years. I need answers to these critical questions from Harry Yuan or anyone that was connected to this trip that led to my husband’s gruesome death. Answers to these questions will be helpful for his children understanding, and perhaps enable them to accept and deal with the circumstances surrounding their father’s death. Equally so, it will bring final closure of his death to me as well as the rest of the Quiwonkpa family.

Several attempts have been made over the years to contact Harry Yuan, but I have been unsuccessful. I am not sure if I have done anything wrong to Harry Yuan to avoid me all these years. It will be prudent for a closed family friend to at least call and sympathize with the family of a deceased friend after his death. Over the years, there have been theories and allegations surrounding Quiwonkpa’s death. Some people believed that General Thomas Quiwonkpa was betrayed by closed confidant or confidants or was set-up by other powerful parties. Some even believed that his association with some Liberians with different ideological points of view angered the external supporters, which caused them to remove the support system put in place for his rescue when needed. This support system was never made available to him when he needed to be rescued.

I do not know all the facts of the matter. However, what I do know is that Harry Yuan, Amos Sawyer, Archie Williams, H. Boima Fahnbulleh, Jr., Joe Wylie, Tom Kamara, Harry A. Greaves, Jr., Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and several others have not explained to any of my family or me what actually went wrong during the mishaps that led to the capture and murder of General Thomas Quiwonkpa. They have not sent me words of condolence for 20 years. Now, some of these same people are running for elected offices in Monrovia or rallying around certain potential leaders. Some are masquerading as the true leaders of Liberia and spewing solutions to our country’s problems. Yet, they have failed in their moral responsibilities to at least soothe a widow and her family in crisis. For me, they lack the moral authority to find just solutions to Liberia’s problems because they have failed to show kindness towards a widow whose husband died fighting their battle. They have not done the decent thing – admitting their roles in the death of my husband. I am now convinced they used my husband solely for their personal/selfish aims.

I wonder why these people call themselves patriots? They have not sent a word of condolence nor asked about the conditions of General Quiwonkpa’s children namely Kou, Deddeh, Gonkama, Jeleth, and Yormie. I wish that these people could have the decency to contact me with any information regarding these questions in this open letter. The answers to these questions will bring closure to the death of my husband, General Thomas Quiwonkpa. I am not bitter nor holding anyone responsible for the death of my husband, but simply attempting to uncover the facts and ascertain clarification of allegations and theories surrounding the failed attempted coup which led to his gruesome death in 1985.

Sincerely,
Signed: Tarloh Munah Quiwonkpa

quiwonkpa@yahoo.com

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The Liberian Democratic Future

P. O. Box 2824 · Smyrna, GA 30081 · (770) 435-4829, (404) 761-2874, Fax (404) 257-1047

April 10, 1998

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
RAINBOW/PUSH Coalition
930 East 50th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60615

Dear Rev. Jackson:

Since your appointment as President Clinton’s special envoy to Africa a few months ago, Africans here and on the continent have not only considered this as a strategic move, but have taken a great satisfaction in the fact that this would provide a real opportunity to spotlight Africa, which has been long ignored and neglected by American foreign policymakers and political establishment.

Your appointment as Special Envoy could not have come at a better time when the continent is beginning to receive an unprecedented attention, and deservedly marks an important turning point. Given the tradition from which you’ve come, as a perennial civil rights advocate for African-Americans, other minorities, women and the underprivileged, and your longstanding relationship with Africa, we believe, gives you certain sensitivity and understanding of the plight and struggle for democracy, and all its inherent tenets that most African countries have yet to achieve.

Your recent visit to the continent during which you engaged the rulers of Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Liberia for improved human rights conditions, democratic reforms, and increased freedom of speech and the press, was indeed remarkable. We believe this kind of engagement, which brings pressure to bear on these regimes whose records are replete with undemocratic practices and human rights abuses, must continue.

We recalled 25 years ago, you visited Liberia, and since then you have had a special interest and affinity for the Liberian people, a greater awareness of their situation. Your most recent, Feb. 12th visit enabled you to renew your ties and seek a much deeper understanding into the Liberian dilemma, which plunged the country into seven years of civil war.

Without delving into the causes of this war, Reverend Jackson, a few points would be necessary to be made here to set the record straight. First, the Liberian civil conflict which began in 1989 was only a culmination of a long- brewing and simmering crisis which had its roots in the founding of what is now Liberia. A “settler-supremacist” mentality, and the determination of a privileged few to control and suppress the majority African population was the bedrock upon which the oligarchy sustained itself. Secondly, the war and subsequent special elections in July 1997 have only helped to sharpen this divide. And, sadly, the current regime has failed to create the necessary environment to bridge this deep-seated animosity.

With this background, we wish to register a few concerns on your proposed “Reconciliation” Conference scheduled to be held in Chicago, April 17 – 19th. We strongly believe this conference is premised on several “false starts” that clearly undermine its intended purpose, and would only contribute to further deepening the divisions that already exist amongst the Liberian people. We want to raise with you the following concerns:

1. We believe that a conference on “Reconciliation” must have as its paramount objective the purpose of healing wounds, which have been broken as a result of the evil wicked men, perpetrated against people of goodwill. Therefore, the evildoers and their agents of death must admit and confess to their wrongdoings in order to receive forgiveness from the victims. This admission of truth not only invites forgiveness, but also allows redemption of our sins from the omnipotent. These words taken from 1st John 1:9 are apt to the Liberian situation. He said: “…If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…” We wonder, who are those that will be confessing their sins at your conference?

Rev. Jackson, the process of reconciliation and reconstruction for Liberia must take place in the towns and villages in the country, not packaged in America and exported to Liberia. No grandstanding, marathon call-in spectacle in the United States can substitute for the face-to-face engagement between the perpetrators and their victims. Such a process must include all the former warlords, not just the Taylor government or its surrogates.

Having alluded to the “settler-supremacist” scourge that reigned Liberia for more than 130 years, coupled with the physical violence of the war, surely does provoke a sense of urgency for reconciliation, so that Liberia can begin to address its human and economic development problems. We are, however, extremely doubtful whether a conference on reconciliation in the United States can achieve the desired objectives when, in fact, those that are actually affected, both the “victims” and the “predators”, are all in Liberia. If there is any parallel or model to draw from, the South African experience would be apropos to the Liberian problem.

2. Granted, the need for Liberians everywhere to begin an honest dialogue and national conversation on the root causes of the war and search for solutions that would heal our wounds and souls. However, it’s our considered judgment that the planning of your conference lacks the kind of broad-based participation necessary to make it successful. The numerous social, cultural and regional Liberian organizations in this country have not been adequately engaged to get their input in organizing such an important conference about the future of Liberia.

In addition, the absence of other relevant parties, such as the other former warlords and a live satellite message from President Taylor, makes your conference nothing more than a scheme designed to promote Taylor and his repressive government. It is an affront to all Liberians that President Taylor, who has refused to make genuine efforts to promote reconciliation at home, is slated to lecture your audience on the importance of healing national occasioned by his virulent adventure to seize power.

3. Rev. Jackson, it is historically inaccurate to assert that the Liberian dilemma began 18 years ago. The historical truth is that our crisis pre-dates 1980, and is rooted in the early formation of the Liberian state which goes back to the 1800’s when the nation was founded. Seemingly, members of the former Liberian oligarchy who, by and large, contributed to our problem, now want to absolve themselves shamelessly from their failure in doing the right thing to the African-Liberian majority. This is the “false start” we are referring to, and the pervasive intellectual dishonesty and revisionist history some Liberians and their American collaborators want to reconstruct. This does not augur well for reconciliation, Rev. Jackson.

Please convey our appreciation to President Clinton and the government of the United States for all the humanitarian assistance the U.S. gave to Liberia during our civil conflict.

With sentiment of our esteem, we remain;

Yours truly,

Siahyonkron J. K. Nyanseor
Chairman, Liberian Democratic Future

Abraham M. Williams
Secretary, Liberian Democratic Future

Cc:

President William J. Clinton
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Ambassador Rachel Gbeyon-Diggs
Rep. Maxine Waters, Black Congressional Caucus
The Inter-faith Commission
Press Union of Liberia

1998: From Siahyonkron Nyanseor’s Archive.

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Dear Editor:

I’m trying to understand what possible motivation you may have had for publishing that vile cartoon depicting the shooting of the chimpanzee that went crazy. I guess you thought it would be funny to suggest that whomever was responsible for writing the Economic Recovery legislation must have the intelligence and judgment of a deranged, violent chimpanzee, and should be shot to protect the larger community.  Really?  Did it occur to you that this suggestion would imply a connection between President Barack Obama and the deranged chimpanzee?  Did it occur to you that our President has been receiving death threats since early in his candidacy?  Did it occur to you that blacks have historically been compared to various apes as a way of racist insult and mockery?  Did you intend to invoke these painful themes when you printed the cartoon?

If that’s not what you intended, then it was stupid and willfully ignorant of you not to connect these easily connectable dots.  If it is what you intended, then you obviously wanted to be grossly provocative, racist and offensive to the sensibilities of most reasonable Americans.  Either way, you should not have printed this cartoon, and the fact that you did is truly reprehensible.  I can’t imagine what possible justification you have for this.  I’ve read your lame statement in response to the outrage you provoked.  Shame on you for dodging the real issue and then using the letter as an opportunity to attack Rev. Sharpton.  This is not about Rev. Sharpton. It’s about the cartoon being blatantly racist and offensive.

I believe in freedom of speech, and you have every right to print what you want. But freedom of speech still comes with responsibilities and consequences. You are responsible for printing this cartoon, and I hope you experience some real consequences for it.  I’m personally boycotting your paper and won’t do any interviews with any of your reporters, and I encourage all of my colleagues in the entertainment business to do so as well.  I implore your advertisers to seriously reconsider their business relationships with you as well.

You should print an apology in your paper acknowledging that this cartoon was ignorant, offensive and racist and should not have been printed.

I’m well aware of our country’s history of racism and violence, but I truly believe we are better than this filth.  As we attempt to rise above our difficult past and look toward a better future, we don’t need the New York Post to resurrect the images of Jim Crow to deride the new administration and put black folks in our place. Please feel free to criticize and honestly evaluate our new President, but do so without the incendiary images and rhetoric.

Sincerely,

John Legend

Culled from the New York Post – 2008

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Subj:   Response to Board’s Actions

Date:  09/11/2001 11:18:31 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: Tuanndea

To:       Chetwet14
UNION OF THE LIBERIAN ASSOCIATIONS IN THE AMERICAS (ULAA)
OFFICE   OF THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT
Tel: 410-000-2001 (Phone number withheld)   Email: Tuanndea
MEMORANDUM BY EMAIL
To: ULAA Board of Directors
Attn: Augustus E. Majors, Chairman

Copy: National Leadership Council (Chapter Presidents)
Re: Unlawful Attempt to Change the Constitutional Administration of ULAA
This acknowledges the receipt of your email dated September 10, 2001 communicating “Board Decisions” reached at your September 8, 2001 meeting. Record my brief responses to your three key issues as follows:
1. On your decision titled “Status of your Administration”, I am and will remain the National President of ULAA until elections are held at your arbitrarily suggested date in November 2001 at your chosen City of Columbus, Ohio. No external politically motivated act of yours or the Board will suffice under the law of the Union.  I will not give away any of my constitutional duties, responsibilities, roles, and functions to you or the Board to satisfy the whims and caprices of internal and external forces against the best interest of the Union and Liberia. Under my leadership, I will ensure that the will and pleasure of the ULAA member-organizations prevail that there be no constructive engagement with the undemocratic Liberian government until at such time the fundamental rights of the Liberian people are respected and protected. Your personal preference and the Board decision to have the Union do business with President Taylor is out the door.

2. On your decision titled “Authorization of Audit”, I am prepared to submit all necessary fiscal records of my Administration to the National Auditing Commission as required by the law of the Union. No extra – constitutional directive from any person or organ will force my hand to contravene stated lawful procedures in what is shaping up as a covert plan to unleash personal and political vindictiveness against me for upholding the conflict of interest provisions in the conduct of Union business as provided by the law of the Union.
3. On your decision titled “ULAA’s Funds, Documents, and other Properties”, I am ever ready to submit all governing instruments of our association to a duly -elected administration of the Union as part of the normal and smooth transfer of power and authority provided by our Law. No unconstitutional act of a person or organ of the Union will oblige me to compromise the fiduciary interests of the Union in violation of U.S. nonprofit corporation law for the personal business interest of any Union director.
Finally, take keen note that I will continue my presidency with renewed spirit to uphold, defend, and protect the Union membership, as well as my office and character from illegal attempts within and without the Union bent on rolling back our rally for a future democratic and developed Liberian society. I have contacted my Attorney to seek legal redress for your continuous deformation of my character. I will under no circumstances permit you and your cohorts to falsely accuse me of any financial impropriety. It is also most unfortunate that you attempt to sabotage and undermine the Immigration initiatives, which will benefit a large majority of Liberians who had to flee from the tyrannical Taylor Government. You have personally elected to throw a monkey wrench in our efforts to mobilize people for the September 20th Rally.
Remember that you and the less than majority Board members that conspire to seize the administrative leadership of the Union, by and through unlawful means, will face the full force of the people in this Union at the upcoming General Conference. The die is cast.  Either your Board or my Administration will be given the trust and confidence of the Liberian peoples by our peers not our lords.  Remember, “The plot that failed” in Liberia.

2001: From Siahyonkron Nyanseor’s Archive

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Subj:   Re: Board’s Affairs!

Date:   06/05/2000 11:11:17 AM Eastern Daylight Time

From:  Chetwet14

To:       Tuanndea

CC:     JacksonSrRanney, nimbarogers@yahoo.com

Dear Madame President:

Thanks for your letter.  It is very important that we get some issues clear:

1. The Board is not subjected to the whims of the administration.  It is the second highest decision-making body of the Union.  It is also has the authority to act independently whenever it is deemed necessary, as long as its actions do not violate the Union’s constitution.

2. We do not need your constant interference in issues of the board.  Board members know how to reach the officers of the board, everyday and anytime.  They can all speak for themselves and don’t need you to be their spokesperson.

3. At the appropriate time, you would have been informed about the meeting.  It is my call.

4. Your “centralized methods” are unrealistic and outdated. Yes, it is true that the administration is the official implementation body of the Union, it does not mean that it has the exclusive mandate to function in this manner.  Also, the administration is understaffed, undermanned and overwhelmed and yet, every time you keep referring to this.

5. The Board has the authority to organize its meetings, or other activities to facilitate its own responsibilities, whenever it is expedient.

6. The Board can also meet when, where and how it chooses.  The Board will always notify you when it requires your presence or needs information from you or any member of the administration.  Upon official notification, you are under obligation to comply to the requests of the Board of inform the Board as to reasons why you cannot. The Board will then act accordingly.

7. We have kept our lines of communication open to you and welcome your suggestions, however, I suggest that you exercise some discretion and caution in your approach.

8. Finally, the Board does not interfere in the internal dealings of the administration and the national advisory council. We hope you will keep this in mind.

9. A few weeks ago, I requested additional information from you regarding the Union’s immediate agenda. These issues related to the trip to Liberia, the general conference and the activities of June 11, 2000.  We have received some very broad information about some of the issues.  We suggest that you give this some attention  and let us know.

Thank you,

Augustus E. Majors

Chairman

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Subj:   Suggestion

Date:   06/04/2000 10:14:49 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From:  Tuanndea

To:       Chetwet14

Mr. Chairman

I heard you are planning a Board meeting and fund-raiser for Godwin Wilson on June 17 even though you have not informed me or asked my opinion, may I suggest that you schedule your Board meeting for another time. June 18 is Father’s Day and most Board members will want to spend the weekend with their families. We will have the same problem we experienced scheduling the Board meeting on Easter weekend. I think if you are scheduling a fund-raiser for Godwin, the whole Union should be involved and not only the Board. In addition, this idea could be proposed by the Board but the Administration is the implementation arm of the Union. Godwin is a strong member of the Union and we should all be involved in humanitarian efforts. At least we feel that the Union should support its members especially in times of emergency. I will also not be available on June 17. I have a previously scheduled engagement.

Take care and talk to you when time permits.

Mydea Reeves-Karpeh

President, ULAA

__________________________________________________________________

December 21,2000

Mr. Augustus E. Majors
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas
P.O. Box 4916
Brockton, Massachusetts

Dear Mr. Chairman,
Acknowledgement is hereby made of your letter of December 16, 2000 forwarding me the Resolutions of your Board Meeting. I regret my inability to attend the joint session of the Board and National Leadership Council due to health reasons and the lack of a quorum. Mr. Jabateh, the President of the Pennsylvania Chapter had agreed to pick me up but passed thinking I had left. In addition, elections were being held in most of the active chapters especially my own Chapter where I have been making efforts to re-vitalize my community and put into office competent leaders who would work for the betterment of the Liberian people. It is my duty as President of this Union that all member organizations are viable and active especially my own Chapter.
I am quite disappointed that despite efforts by the Presidential Advisory Council, especially stalwarts like Patrick Roques, Jesse Cooper, Tom Grupee and Joseph Korto, to ensure that the Board and the Administration function amicably in the interest of ULAA and the Liberian people, you continue to personally attack me and the Office of the President of this Union. You claim to up-hold, protect and defend the Union and its Constitution but your authoritarian efforts are primarily aimed at tarnishing my good name and the record I have taken on stances in Liberia during these turbulent times in our nation’s history. One wonders what length you could go to any more to seek my demise. Unfortunately, your efforts cannot go unnoticed and the Liberian people are more matured and politically wiser these days.
Since you became Board Chairman you have never been able to muster a quorum to conduct the affairs of your office. Accordingly, you have resulted to changing your meetings to Executive Meetings (i.e. April 22, June 17 and December 16) or out-rightly engage in fraudulent and “gangster” tactics to impose your will on the people. In those Executive Sessions you make critical decisions that affect the whole Board. After your meetings you call up individual Board members or Chapter Heads, gave them erroneous information and then record their responses so as to validate your subversive activities. Please furnish me copies of the minutes. As a matter of fact, some of your members are shocked when you send out the final product and are quick to distance themselves from your decisions.
On several occasions you have purported to know the letter and lines of the Constitution. However, I wish to remind you that there are 13 member organizations of this Union. You did not have a quorum to make your resolutions binding. Therefore, I will take them under advisement and await the implementation. I did, however, contact the leadership of the10 Chapters you mentioned as attesting to these resolutions and they are not aware or in agreement with your “Resolutions”. Even my own Chapter, the Liberian Association of Maryland, did not send any representative to the Board Meeting since they were having elections so how could they attest to the Resolutions? I am head of the National Leadership Council and as far as I know only the heads of Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania were present at your meeting. Similarly, I am not aware that there is a position of Acting Doyen of the National Leadership Council. Where can I locate the functions and responsibilities of that position in the Constitution? Members of the NLC suggested at their last meeting in Washington that they wanted the oldest Chapter Head to assist the President in the NLC but it was only a “suggestion” and I have never reacted to their suggestion. Don’t you think I would send the name for confirmation to the Board at the appropriate time?

We are full agreement that financial reports are necessary and I applaud your enthusiasm for accountability. I only wonder where you were when the past Administration operated for three years without a Treasurer, sent a report that was never audited or the infamous Immigration video was produced? Where is the Board’s resolution that the report was audited and conclusive? Where are the supporting documents of outstanding financial matters of the Administration or its deficits? Where is the Board’s formal responses to my 8-page memo entitled “Outstanding Bill and Bounced Check” dated September 8,1999 and the audited report by your renowned Vice Chairman Mr. Ranney Jackson?
The Treasurer, Mr. Morris Momo has assured me that your report will be sent by regular mail shortly to you and the Chapters of the Union shortly. I hope you will find something constructive that you can do for this Union other than showing your power.
Given your active participation in the previous Administration as the biggest vendor of goods and services I am not alarmed that the issue of the financial report is the only concern of the Board. When we took office we told you that you would no longer be the vendor. Consequently, we have been personally attacked and humiliated because you still want to have control over the coffers of the Union. If you are so interested in financial accountability why hasn’t the Board approved the Financial Management Control Procedures submitted in December 1999 or the Budget of the Union?
You indicated in your illegal and fraudulent resolution that we are to turn over all documents and properties in our possession. By this action are you dismissing, suspending or nullifying the job of President of the Union? Is the Board taking over the function of the Executive? In your quest to impound the bank account of the Union are you going to stop short of seeking my demise?
As a former home-owner you are aware that one’s private property is important. You have mandated your agents to “proceed to my residence to take possession of all Union’s documents in my possession on Wednesday, December 20,2000″ I have been waiting for your agent and I will fully cooperate but let me warn you that I will also protect my personal property I work so hard for each day. If you feel you have legal rights to handle this matter in this manner then I have a right to protect my property from trespassers.
I am also aware of your vested interest in the ULAA’s proposed trip to Liberia and your concern to ” Constructively Engage” the Taylor Government. I will respond in a few days about the Administration’s position on this issue and advise the Board accordingly.
Compliments of the season to you and members of the Board.

Sincerely yours,
Mydea Reeves-Karpeh

National President
Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas
2000: From Siahyonkron Nyanseor’s Archive

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Office of the Chairman

1800 Metzerott Road, #53

Adelphi, Maryland 20783

December 8, 1973

To The Presidents & Special Task Force Delegates

Liberian Student Associations

Dear Compatriots:

Enclosed please find a copy of the final draft proposal for the use of the requested government-owned building near our Embassy as the pro-jected service center for all Liberian students in the Americas. Submission deadline limitations have not, unfortunately, permitted consultation with all the Liberian student organization chapters in this country. But I believe that this product of participating chapters does adequately reflect the prevailing general needs of our student community. In any case, there will be plenty of room for adjustments once project approval is granted by our national government. Unrepresented concerns can then be taken into account at that point.

For the benefit of those not present, it is my humble duty to report that a meeting of representatives of organizational chapters was held in Washington on Sunday, November 18, 1973. The purpose of this meeting was to re-invigorate the movement for the creation of a general union of Liberian students and their local organizations in the Americas. It was the common feeling that this movement should continue to be spearheaded by the Special Task Force created for this purpose four years ago. This body which will handle all other matters of common interest to the various organizations pending the activation of the general union, will continue to be composed of no more than five official delegates from each organization, along with a neutral chairman and such personal staff of administrative personnel as he may find needful to assemble.

Beyond these procedural matters, this meeting emerged with important substantive decisions. To begin with, a timetable was adopted for bringing the union into existence: between date of meeting and January 25, 1974, ratification of the union constitution, pending since 1969, is recommended and expected from those local chapters which have not acted up to now. Those who have already ratified it may of course avail themselves of this period to propose any additional improvements in the draft document. Then on January 26, a ceremonial event will be held in New York City to announce the formal birth of the union, featuring a gala pay dance to make the occasion. Between late January and early Summer, 1974, the temporary government of the union will handle affairs and plans for the convocation of the first annual conference of all Liberian Students in the Americas. Lastly, the annual conference is contemplated for mid-summer to elect the permanent general officers and take care of other important matters.

–    2    –

In addition to the above timetable, it was decided at this meeting of November 18 that each local organization contribute $33.33 to cover administrative cost of the work of the Special Task Force up to the end of January. Since the Special Task Force has no established bank account, it is suggested that checks be made payable to the undersigned. Satisfactory accounting of expenditures will of course be furnished periodically or upon request by the chairman’s office.

Finally, I wish to inform you that arrangements are being made for the next meeting of the Special Task Force to be held in Philadelphia on 28-30 December. You will be informed about the details as to the place and time of the meeting as well as possible free accommodation. To ensure continuity and familiarity with the proceedings, it is recommended that from now on each organization be represented by permanently appointed delegates. These regular members of the Special Task Force will also serve as the point of contact and liaison with each organization especially for those local Associations unable to attend Task Force meetings because of distance.

Your organization’s quota for the financing of the provisional budget of the Special Task Force is urgently awaited. See you soon in Philadelphia, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Faithfully,

Jangaba A. Johnson

CHAIRMAN

*Signed Copy in Archive.

NOTE: Jangaba A. Johnson, later returned to his original names — Tambakai A. Jangaba. He served as the 1st President and 6th Chairman of  the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA).                       

1980: From Siahyonkron Nyanseor’s Archive

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