Grand Cape Mount Senator H. Varney Sherman has described Liberia as a country that has been, since its beginning, “very tolerant about individuals’ religious beliefs. There is, therefore, no need to ignite any fire in the country by placing in the Constitution that Liberia is a Christian state,” he declared emphatically. “One thing we ought not to do is to ignite any fire in our country; one thing we ought not to do is to give a certain group of people in our country the suspicion that we are little by little creating a situation where one day we will discriminate against them; we shouldn’t do that.”Cllr. Sherman made the statement yesterday at his Capitol Building offices when he hosted Daily Observer’s Legislative reporters and Senior Staff for an exclusive interview.“I don’t know how we are thinking about that (a Christian State) in 2015, honestly; to gain what? This is one country in my mind that is very tolerant about what your beliefs are, and we need to keep it that way.”Senator Sherman, who is Christian and a practicing Episcopalian who hails from a predominantly Muslim county, wondered whether Christian state advocates believe that if it were placed in the Constitution that Liberia is a Christian state the Pope would take half of the resources of the Vatican and contribute them to Liberia; “or the United States government will say now that Liberia is a Christian state, this is what we will do for them that we haven’t done before?”The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, who spoke on the Christian state issue for the first time, said if the question did not come up during the interview with this newspaper, he would not have commented on it until it was brought before the Senate. “Nothing,” he cautioned, “goes to referendum unless there is a law passed in this chamber. “We don’t need that—a Christian state!”Speaking about the Constitution that declared Liberia an independent state in 1847, Senator Sherman clarified that the circumstances of 1847 or before then are significantly different from now. He referenced a part of the present Constitution which provides that there should be no state religion; that the government shall not support any religion in preference to another religion.He further reflected that the 1847 Constitution did not say Liberia was a Christian state, but rather stated that “we have been endowed by certain inalienable rights, blessed by God Almighty.”Senator Sherman, who is chairman of the ruling Unity Party, further reflected that even the framers of Liberian Constitution of 1847 crafted it as similar to that of the United States Constitution, which guarantees freedom of thought, conscience and of religion. It did not say that Liberia was a Christian state. “Professor Samuel Greenleaf of Harvard University who drafted the 1847 Constitution,” recalled Counselor Sherman, “did not talk about that; why are we thinking about something like that in 2015, especially given our most recent past?”Liberia, he emphasized, must never think about going back to its most recent past when certain tribes were linked with certain warring factions and religions.The Grand Cape Mount lawmaker said Liberians need to remember the past, and reflect on those things that were responsible for the more than fourteen years of conflict. He declared that it was time to do away with the negatives of the past and put on a progressive posture. “So I won’t support anything that says Liberia is a Christian state; I won’t support it if it says Liberia should be an Islamic state.”Senator Sherman recalled how during his campaigning in his Muslim-dominated Grand Cape Mount County, some people expressed fear that electing him would give the county two Christian Senators, after Senator Edward Boakai Dagoseh.Today, Senator Sherman noted, the county has five Legislators—four are Christians and one is Muslim, even though the county is predominantly Muslim.Some people tried to play on the sympathy and emotions of Cape Mountainians, failing to accept the reality that there is no Cape Mountainian who does not have a Christian or Muslim relative.”He recalled that long ago, those who went to Christian mission schools in the county were fortunate to have received Christian education, hence automatically became Christians, and that many of those who did not get Christian education remained Muslims.But the two groups, Christians and Muslims, have brothers and sisters, uncles, aunts and cousins who belong to one of the religions or the other. Yet they live in perfect harmony and have done so all of the time. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
BCB/Ivan Madre 100-Ball finalWest Indies and Guyana Amazon Warriors start batsman, Shimron Hetmyer, hit an unbeaten 30 ensuring his team took a seven wicket victory over the strong Rose Hall Town team. Earlier player-of-the-match Trevon Stanislaus’ 2-20 restricted Rose Hall Town to 95-6 when their 100 balls expired.The packed Albion Community Centre Ground came alive as the presence of Hetmyer excited all Berbicians. In the day-night 100-ball affair that started at exactly 16:40h, Rose Hall Town Captain Shawn Pereira won the toss and opted to take first strike. Openers Kevin Sinclair and Junior Sinclair strolled out to bat under afternoon cloud. Young Warriors led by Suresh Dhani, saw left-arm spinner Trevon Stanislaus bowling the new ball and removing Junior Sinclair in the first over of the match. Junior fell without troubling the scores when he checked a shot and was caught and bowl by his former Berbice Under-19 team mate.Kevin Sinclair continued to build but he was brilliantly run out by Linden Austin for 13. A huge roar came from the crowd after the prize scalp of Sinclair had been dismissed. The natives from Canje, came in their numbers to witness a Young Warriors team overthrow the Rose Hall Town team.Kevlon Anderson then entered but was out in similar fashion, caught and bowl by Stanislaus for a duck. The Rose Hall Town were at one stage reeling at 3-2 but Jason Sinclair, the older brother of Junior consolidated for a moment until he was dismissed by Austin. Off-spinner Linden Austin shattered the stumps of Jason Sinclair (08) with the score on 25-3 that became 25-4.The Rose Hall Town team lost their front line batters early but senior players in Eon Hooper and Captain Shawn Pereira stepped up. Hooper and Pereira added 36 runs together; Hooper was dismissed for a top score of 24, while Pereira was unbeaten on 21.Keon Sinclair (11) and Keith Simpson (09) saw Rose Hall Town Gizmos and Gadgets finished on 93-6 after 100 balls. Stanislaus ended with 2-20 in three overs, while Austin, Dhani and Ishwar Singh had one wicket each.In pursuit of a small total, Young Warriors openers Alex Algoo and Ishwar Singh danced out to bat, with the intention of producing a good start for the Hetmyer brothers. Algoo fearlessly pulled the bumping Keon Sinclair for four before he was out that same over. The aggressive Algoo was bowed off a ball that kept low for four.It was then the moment everyone had been waiting for, the entrance of Shimron Hetmyer. The gifted Test player and RCB bound batsman, entered with the score on 4-1. Hetmyer had a slow start, with poor fielding from Rose Hall Town team seeing him dropped on various occasions. Nevertheless, Hetmyer came and entertained the crowd with his attractive strokes.Ishwar Singh was out for a composed 20 that included five fours, after he was bowled by fast bowler Keon Sinclair. Linden Austin and Shimron Hetmyer added 32 runs together, with Austin falling for 15. In the process Hetmyer got going with a boundary of Junior Sinclair and the crowd at Albion were on their feet.Shimron Hetmyer (30*) and Seon Hetmyer (15*) saw their team to a comprehensive seven wicket win ending the match with a huge six. The Young Warriors team ended non 96-3in 11 overs. It was the perfect revenge plot for Young Warriors who lost to the same Rose Hall Town team in two first division finals. At the post match presentation, Warriors captain Suresh Dhani was elated for the win his team essayed on his birthday.
Veteran mid-fielder Sardar Singh was today dropped from India’s 18-member squad for next month’s Hockey World League Final, while the fit-again Rupinder Pal Singh and Birendra Lakra made comebacks for the season-ending tournament to be held in Bhubaneswar.The biggest omission from the squad was this year’s Khel Ratna Award winner Sardar, who was part of the team that won the Asia Cup last month in Dhaka.The exclusion might just mark the end of the former skipper’s illustrious career.In the Asia Cup, Sardar shunned his playmaker role in the midfield for young skipper Manpreet Singh and played as the ‘free defender’.But the ouster from the HWL Final might mean that Sardar doesn’t quite fit into the scheme of things of new chief coach Sjoerd Marijne, who took the reins of the team before the Asia Cup following Roelant Oltmans’s ouster.Rupinder and Lakra’s return will be big boost to the India’s fragile backline.Rupinder will return to the team after a five month lay- off due to a hamstring injury while Lakra has been in and out of the side after missing the Rio Olympics due to a knee injury.While Rupinder last played for India in the Europe tour before the HWL Semi-Final, Lakra was part of last year’s Asian Champions Trophy and December’s four-nation Australia tour squad before being kept out to regain full fitness.Hockey India selectors have retained Manpreet Singh as the captain of the 18-member squad, while naming Chinglensana Singh as his deputy.advertisementWith PR Sreejesh yet to regain match fitness, the Indian goalpost will be defended by custodians Akash Chikte and Suraj Karkera.The midfield will see SK Uthappa, Kothajit Singh and Sumit join Manpreet and Chinglensana.Junior World Cup stars Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar and Dipsan Tirkey, who have had promising outings in Europe and Asia Cup too, find themselves in the squad for the season finale.BREAKING: The 18-member squad for the Odisha Mens Hockey World League Final, Bhubaneswar 2017, December 1 to 10 has been declared. Tweet your thoughts!Read: https://t.co/B4XaqSs4mM#HWL2017 #IndiaKaGame pic.twitter.com/gieFiWpjct- Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) November 17, 2017In one of the best comeback stories of the year, Odisha- lad Amit Rohidas, who had a fantastic outing in 2017 Hockey India League, made his return to the team.The team boasts of a strong forwardline in experienced SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, who had a promising Asia Cup, Lalit Upadhyay and 22-year-old Mandeep Singh, who also returned after being rested from the Asia Cup.India are grouped with Australia, England and Germany in Pool B and will begin their campaign on the opening day against defending champions Australia.India coach Sjoerd Marijne was happy with the balance of the team.”I think this is a great mix and would especially like to see how the youngsters soak up the pressure of playing against higher ranked teams in the world. We will have to play every match like it is the final and will have absolutely no room to make errors if we want to see ourselves on the podium,” Marijne said.The coach was particularly delighted to see the return of some senior players, who according to him, will add value to the team.”It is good to have Rupinder, who brings great experience, as well as Birendra back in the team. Both are 100 per cent fit and eager to wear the India colours again,” stated the 43-year-old Marijne.”Amit was called-in as a replacement for Kothajit who had a hamstring injury just before we left for the Asia Cup. He flew in directly from Australia where he had played the Australian Hockey League for India ‘A’ team and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands,” stated the Dutchman.Rupinder’s return will add sheen to India’s already potent drag-flick division, which also has the likes of Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Amit and Dipsan Tirkey.”We have five players in defence who can drag and have been putting in extra hours for penalty corner training which is great for the team,” Marijne said.Squad: Goalkeepers: Akash Anil Chikte, Suraj KarkeraDefenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Dipsan Tirkey, Varun Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Birendra LakraMidfielders: Manpreet Singh (Capt), Chinglensana Singh (Vice-Capt), SK Uthappa, Sumit, Kothajit SinghForwards: SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh.