Friday, August 21, 2009

Didn’t I Deserve My Government’s Protection?’

--Liberian Journalists Feels Discriminated

A Liberian journalist says he feels discriminated by the Liberian authorities considering the failure by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to investigate his “illegal dismissal” complaint filed against Mr. Peter Owusu Manu of the Embassy of Ghana.
The Editor of the NEW VISION Newspaper and former Executive Officer for Information at the Embassy of Ghana, Bill K. Jarkloh, is therefore calling on the Minister of Foreign affairs of Liberia to probe his complaint so as to accord him his labor rights under the Liberian and international laws.

Mr. Jarkloh, who accused the Ghanaian diplomat, Mr. Manu, and his collaborators at the Embassy of witch-hunting him, said he was ashamed that a Ghanaian diplomat would abuse the rights of d in eNMBASST, before the Liberian Government through the Foreign Ministry to ensure that the journalist’s labor rights are protected.
Photo: Mr. Manu of the Ghana Embassy
Mr. Bill K. Jarkloh said, “Manu should hide behind so-called diplomatic status to abuse the rights of a Liberian and to also insult and insubordinate authorities at Ministry of Foreign Affairs for seeking redress in favor of a Liberian who has worked and was illegally dismissed without his benefits.
The Journalist said he is disturbed by the apparent lack of interest being exhibited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, especially the office of the Deputy Minister for Legal Affairs, Cllr. Krubo Kollie, who has been silent and have him running up and down the stairs of the Foreign Ministry for redress. He said the continuous silence and delay to give him redress is dangerously an indication that Liberians working with foreign missions are not protected.

“But I as for me, I insist on protection by my government. The same way government would have had me liable if I offended the Embassy is the same way the Government must protect me if the Embassy a diplomat of the Embassy or the Embassy offends me,” the Liberian journalists lamented. Mr. Jarkloh displayed documents that indicates he was terminated from work at the Embassy of Ghana for was referred to as “Financial Difficulties” and noted that this dismissal was an act of witch-hunt by Mr. Manu and his collaborators at the Embassy which could not have been if an Ambassador was on ground.

Journalist Bill Jarkloh said the lack of interest in his “illegal dismissal” complaint against the Charges d’ Affaires of the Embassy of Ghana is indicative of the lack of the political will on the part of authorities concern to accord protection to Liberians working with diplomatic entities who have been deprived by diplomats or whose rights may be violated and abused.

The journalist said he is utterly ashamed of the weakness of the Offices of Legal Affairs Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headed by Deputy Minister Krubo Kollie, for allowing the Charges Affairs of the Embassy of Ghana, Peter Owusu Manu, to insubordinate and practically insult the authorities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia on the alter of seeking protection for a Liberian violated by a diplomat.

Jarkloh recalled that Mr. Manu of the Embassy of Ghana has always bragged that no Liberian authority can act against him in the event of any action he might take and may be considered wrong under the Liberian laws, saying, “Manu threatened that he would terminate my services without my full benefit after the end of the tenure of the Ambassador of Ghana, H. E. F. Adu-Amanfoh, whom Manu thought was protecting the Liberian from terminated from the embassy employ.

According to the journalists Manu acted upon his desire to violate his (Jarkloh’s) labor right, terminating his services under the canopy of “restructuring staff position due to financial difficulties” facing the embassy. The worst of the matter is that Manu did so without paying his four months benefits for the four years of service and the one month in lieu of notice of termination as required by the Liberian Labor laws and the laws of Ghana.
Jarkloh intimated that when Manu was reminded of the five months benefit payment, he said the laws of Liberia could not hold on any action he takes against Liberians working at the Embassy, which Jarkloh said was erroneous and therefore prompted him to have complained to the Ministry of Labor for protection of his right.

However, Mr. Reginald Doe, the Hearing Officer who was assigned Journalist Jarkloh’s case referred the matter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on ground that a Foreign Diplomat was involved, and that the Labor Ministry could not assume jurisdiction as such.
Mr. Doe who documented the case file and forwarded to the Foreign Ministry for attention of Minister Olu Banke King-Akerele who was already out of the country, even though during a follow-up, he was referred to the Office of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Legal Affairs, Cllr. Kruboe Kollie who acknowledge receipt of the case file.

Accordingly, the deputy foreign minister for legal affairs wrote inviting the Ghanaian Embassy Charges d’ Affairs, whose response in a note verbale (diplomatic note) as insulting and insubordinating the authorities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The journalist’s concern for protection comes in the wake of a challenged put up by the Ghanaian diplomat, Peter Owusu Manu, against the intervention of Liberian Foreign Ministry authorities into an ‘illegal labor practices’ complaint filed against him by the Mr. Jarkloh, who served the Ghanaian Embassy for four as Executive Officer for Information.

Journalists Jarkloh quoted some staff at Deputy Ministry Kollie’s office as saying that Manu’s performance when he (himself) delivered his Note Verbale defied contemporary diplomacy. Journalists Jarkloh said when Manu took note verbal to Deputy Minister Krubo Kollie’s office, he flung it on the desk of an office staff without a word and walked out ignoring the “who are you” chorus from the staff present at the office, Mr. Jarkloh said he was told.
Cllr. Kollie’s staff intimated to the journalist that it was later discovered that it was one Peter Owusu Manu, a Ghanaian diplomat, responding to a letter from the office of the Deputy Minister for Legal Affairs after the envelope was opened and the contents of the diplomatic note was read. Cllr. Kollie and her staff, according to Mr. Jarkloh, were astonished by such undiplomatic behavior, which they said was insulting to the Foreign Ministry of Liberia.

In his diplomatic note, Manu, instead of honoring the invitation by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the Minister should send her representative at the Embassy of Ghana for any hearing desired of the “illegal dismissal complaint” by Mr. Jarkloh. In his Note Verbal of 4th April 2009 and addressed to the Foreign Minister proper, Manu wrote, “Mission will however welcome any representative from the Foreign Ministry to be briefed on Mr. Jacklor’s past threats of blackmailing of the Mission’s staff in the event of any attempt to terminate his appointment.”

No comments: