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 Citizens Burn Norway Flag in Protest in Liberia

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PostSubject: Citizens Burn Norway Flag in Protest in Liberia   Citizens Burn Norway Flag in Protest in Liberia EmptyTue Dec 13, 2011 3:33 pm

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor

12 December 2011

A group of Liberians, mainly young people, Saturday set ablaze the Norwegian flag before the European Union Embassy in Monrovia in protest of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize presented to President Sirleaf in particular, saying the president does not deserve the award.

The Arab style form of protest is the first of its kind to be carried out here on Saturday.

Many Liberians have condemned the act, saying freedom of speech and expressions have been stretched too far, with the perpetrators underestimating the consequence of their actions.

The young Liberians, under the banner "Movement of War Victims in Liberia," held placards, palm branches and sang contemporary Liberian gospel songs, as they marched in the streets, under heavy police guards, before later gathering in front of the European Union Embassy near Monrovia.

Some of the massages on some of the placards read: "She does not deserve such honor", "The blood of innocent people crying", "What happened to the TRC Report", "Shame on her," "Madam President, the Commando."

In a statement prepared for presentation to authorities of the European Union Embassy, the group's leader, Tyrone Marshall, told the European Union (despite the fact that there was no representation from the Embassy to receive the statement) that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf does not deserve such a prestigious and world-respected honor.

He indicated that the Liberian leader is a strong financier of the 14 years of bitter civil war which led to the death of 250,000 Liberians, including women and children.

The group stated that failure on the part of President Johnson-Sirleaf to fully implement the recommendations of the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is sufficient enough to deny her the world-class honor.

"This is a total embarrassment to those who founded this organization in the name of promoting peace and harmony among people," Marshall said.

The group further explained that Norway, as a developed country, should be aware of the anger of those whose relatives, friends and loved ones were killed as a result of the protracted war, which President Sirleaf supported, emphasizing that the victims of the war will not forgive those who destroyed the country.

Marshall termed the award "unfortunate and regrettable" because, according to him, the Norwegian pro-democracy group has reduced its reputation by offering the award to a "war monger," saying, "It is unacceptable in today's reality."

The protesters demanded that the award be withdrawn from President Sirleaf immediately, or else they would consider the people of Norway lovers and supporters.
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