The Importance of the Land Rights Bill to Liberia’s Land Reform Part II (Land…

first_imgThe Land Rights Bill is a proposed law currently before the Legislature for review. The Bill seeks to establish authentic procedures and well organized processes for land acquisition, use, management and administration in Liberia.Purpose of the draft Land Rights BillThe Land Rights Bill highlights several key issues relevant to the holistic reformation of Liberia’s land sector. One of such is Land Ownership.As highlighted in the Land Rights Bill of 2014, its purpose is to define and delineate the different categories of land ownership and rights recognized in Liberia.The proposed law prescribes the means by which each of the categories of land can be acquired, used, transferred and otherwise managed.It ensures that all communities, families, individuals and legal entities enjoy secure land rights free of fear that their land will be taken from them, except in accordance with due process of law.The Land Rights Bill intends to confirm, declare and ensure equal access and equal protection with respect to land ownership, use and management, including ensuring that Customary Land is given protection equal to private land.It calls for permitting land ownership for all Liberians regardless of their identity, whether based on custom, ethnicity, tribe, language, and gender or otherwise.Scope of the Land Rights BillThe Land Rights Bill applies to and covers all lands in Liberia, whether presently or hereafter owned privately, publicly or collectively.It provides that all persons who own or seek to own rights or interest to land in Liberia, including individuals, communities and legal entities as well as government and its agencies follow the established procedures and processes for said ownership.The draft law allows original acquisition or title and subsequent transfer of any interests or rights in land in Liberia. Ownership and other Rights in LandThe Land Rights Bill indicates that land ownership shall consist of a bundle of rights which include the right to possess, the right to use, the right to exclude and the right to transfer by sale, devise, gift or otherwise.Under this nature, the Land Rights Bill points to the absence of the right to transfer singly or jointly by sale, devise, gift or otherwise including a restriction on the exercise of any of the rights such as the right to possess, the right to use, the right to exclude and the right to transfer by sale, devise, gift or otherwise does not defeat or negate a person’s ownership of land in Liberia.The Land Rights Bill further pointed out that ownership of land in Liberia does not extend to Mineral Resources on the land and beneath it.It provides that land ownership may be held singly or jointly by individuals, or collectively by a community as a communal property or the Government as public assets.According to the Land Rights Bill, a person not having title to land may still have and enjoy the right to possess and or use the land pursuant to an agreement of lease, an easement, or a license; noting that the government may also grant a concession on or over Government Land or Public Land.The Categories of Land Ownership in LiberiaThe Land Rights Bill sets four distinct categories of classification for land ownership in Liberia which include Public Land Ownership, Government Land Ownership, Customary Land Ownership and Private Land Ownership.According to the Bill, Public Land is a land acquire by the government through purchase, escheat, confiscation, gift or otherwise, which is not presently used by government for its facilities and operations and is also neither Private Land nor Customary Land.The Land Rights Bill describes Government Land as a land owned by government and used for its buildings, projects, or activities of the government, including but not limited to land on which are located: the offices of ministries, agencies, and parastatal bodies; military bases; roads; public schools and universities; public hospitals and clinics; public libraries and public museums; public utilities; and airports.For Customary Land, the Bill indicates that it is a portion of land owned by a community and use or managed in accordance with customary practices and norms, and include, but not limited to wetlands, communal forestlands, and fallow lands. On the issue of Private Land, the proposed law mandates that Private Land is a land which is owned or otherwise held by private persons under the provisions of The Land Rights Bill and other applicable laws in Liberia.Owing to the importance of the land Rights Bill, which provides comprehensive measures to curtailing land conflicts and promotes the inclusive acquisition, use, management and administration of Land in Liberia, there is a need for the Bill to be passed in a timely manner with the aim to encourage peaceful coexistence and suitable environment for business in Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Read More
Looking back…

first_img…in rageThe “angry young man” wave was launched back in the 1950s by John Osborne’s ground-breaking play, “Look back in Anger”. It expressed the frustration of the lower-class British post WWI generation chafing at the stifling hypocrisies and restrictions of the pre-war mores and sensibilities. For America, which was never so class-stratified but was certainly more racially divided, you’d think there would be an even more intense reaction by the post-war black generation, wouldn’t you?Well, there was the explosion in the race riots in the inner cities, the Black Liberation Movement, and the violent “Black nationalist” movement represented by Malcolm X, with the Black Power Movement even spreading beyond America’s shores. But if the truth be told, even though they let off steam, none of the Black Movements really was geared to mass violence, and they were all overshadowed by MLK’s non-violent Civil Rights Movement.But how did the Whites deal with their angst? From their position of power, they were buoyed upwards by the explosion of prosperity, occasioned by the pre-eminent status of the US state. They could just print money and have the world ship in their back-breaking-produced goods and services produced with blood, sweat and tears. But the contradictions of benefiting from a system based on both internal and external oppression had to create its own disorders.And it certainly did, with psychoses and neuroses peeping out in all sorts of destructive ways. The most prominent being the mass killings perpetrated with increasing frequency in random states. The most recent being the one two days ago in a California bar where an American war veteran opened fire into a massed group of college students, letting off some steam. When these gruesome acts are committed, the establishment is quick to point to “mental issues” of the shooter – this time Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) of the young veteran who’d served in Afghanistan.But the Western European countries, which most resemble the US in background and income, have the same range and rate of mental issues; yet, over the last 30 years, the Americans have had double the number of mass shootings that the 24 European countries combined have had!! So what’s the variable in addition to the collective repressed violent tendencies?The availability of guns is highlighted, of course. While it’s true that guns don’t kill people, and it’s the people with the guns that do; if the guns weren’t there, maybe there mightn’t be so many killings. Maybe…but your Eyewitness doesn’t think so. The same guns are available to Black Americans, and while they’re constantly blamed for gun crimes, they’re almost never mass murderers.These take a specific mindset of historic collective denial of violence.…WITH ANGER AT MONUMENT’S NEGLECTA couple of days ago, there was a very revealing news item from the Essequibo Coast. It showed the Monument to the Martyrs of 1872, at Devonshire Castle, all overrun with bush and weeds. Imagine that!! With all the talk of building monuments to the 1823 rebels, and India building one to Indian Arrival in 1838, one that was dedicated to the first rebellion, which directly led to our independence from Britain, those in power won’t even spend a couple of thousand dollars a week to clear a ten-ten space!!They’ve obviously forgotten that Berbice, Demerara and Essequibo were united as one country – “British Guiana” – only in 1831. Before that, all struggle was against the Government of the COUNTY! When, in 1872, the Indian immigrants refused to work, and five were killed at Devonshire Castle, they were protesting the planters’ not honouring the contract on their hours of work — leading to continued protests culminating in 1948 with the Enmore shootings, PPP formation and independence.How quickly the Government forgets!…AND FORGETTING UNC’S LARGESSEThe Government boycotted the GMSA’s dinner at the Pegasus with TT Opposition Leader, UNC’s Kamla Persad-Bissessar. While feting PNM’s PM Rowley, however, they praised TT for cancelling Burnham’s debt.But it was actually a UNC Govt! Ungrateful or racist?last_img read more

Read More
Cove and John Ashram assists Mahaicony fire victims

first_imgThe Cove and John Ashram, located on the East Coast of Demerara, on Saturday donated several household items, groceries, tables, chairs and a quantity of cash to the Mahaicony family who were recently affected by a fire.The couple, Jairanie and Nalinie Singh, whose house was completely gutted onJairam and Nalinie SinghMarch 15, 2017 while they were attending a wake, explained that they with still coming to grips with the entire situation, which has left them homeless. Accordingto reports, the fire originated from an electrical wire.The Singhs were unable to save anything from their home; however, they remain optimistic that their situation would improve, as according to Mr Singh, their dream for Christmas was to be living in their own house with their family. They explained too that it was devastating to witness 20 years of hard work engulfed in flames.The Ashram, upon learning of the tragedy, decided to extend its humanitarian hand. According to Swami Shivashankaranadaji Maharaj, the couple’s eldest son,Swami Shivashankaranadaji Maharaj making the donationwho was a student at the Hindu College, informed the Ashram about the fire, and as such, members decided to render assistance.The Swami, during his visit, encouraged the family to have faith and reminded them that where there was a way, there was a will. He pledged the Ashram’s support towards helping the family until they could get back on their feet.The Singh family expressed gratitude for the timely donation; however, they also appealed to members of the public to assist them in whatever way they could to help them to rebuild their home. The couple has three children and the family is presently staying at a relative’s home.last_img read more

Read More