The minister met with the Minister Plenipotentiary who is also charge of Information and Public Affairs at the Mission, Mr. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu , and the Information Attaches based at the Sierra Leone Embassy to the United States, Mr. Pasco Temple and Ms. Elizabeth Foray. He also met with the Deputy Permanent Representative for Legal Affairs, Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara and the Acting Head of Chancery, Mrs. Victoria Sulimani. The Permanent Representative , Ambassador Shekou M. Touray was away on official duties in Freetown.
Minister Sheka Tarawalli ( Middle ) flanked by Kabs Kanu (Left ) and Pasco Temple ( Right )
Minister Tarawalli took the opportunity to introduce Mr. Pasco Temple to Min-plenipotentiary Kabs- Kanu as the new substantive Information Attache to Washington DC. He commended the presidential press corps for the tremendous job they were doing to propagate the activities , achievements and programs of the ruling APC Government. He said that President Ernest Koroma was pleased with their hard work and charged them to remain focussed and continue to rebrand Sierra Leone to help attact international commerce, investments and tourism. He also admonished them to continue working cooperatively with each other as a team and as representatives of the government for the betterment of the nation.
The minister said as Information agents the press corps is a very important arm of the government and country and the government placed very high premium on their work. He therefore challenged them to continue to work very hard and diligently to justify the confidence reposed in them by the President and the government.
From left : Kabs Kanu, Elizabeth Foray and Pasco Temple
In his vote of thanks , Mr. Kabs-Kanu thanked the Minister for the meeting and said that his visit and kind sentiments had boosted the morale of the team and given them more determination to continue to perform their responsibilities with diligence and efficiency . He told the Minister that the ambassadors under whom they are assigned are supportive of their work . Mr. Temple and Ms. Foray also expressed delight at the minister’s meeting with them in Washington DC and this session at the Sierra Leone UN Mission and described the exercise as a huge morale-booster to them.
From left : Kabs Kanu, Minister Tarawalli, Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara and Pasco Temple
Mr. Kabs-Kanu used the opportunity to brief the minister about online editors and publishers of newspapers who were also performing an excellent service for the government and the country. The minister , in acknowledging their efforts, also expressed thanks to these journalists.
Mr. Tarawalli also thanked ambassadors and staff for helping to facilitate the work of the presidential and government press corps.
From left : Ambassador Keh Kamara, Victoria Sulimani, Minister Tarawalli and Kabs Kanu
Minister Tarawalli also held meetings with some U.S. organizations in the Washington DC- Maryland -Virginia Metropolis on matters of national interest. The Deputy Minister also met with some elements of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) to clear the air about a spate of false propaganda being hatched against the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) by dissident elements at home and the diaspora bent on defaming the government.
He assured the groups and opposition supporters that it was the determination of President Ernest Koroma and the government to ensure that the forthcoming Presidential , Legislative and local elections are free and fair and to be conducted in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. He noted the government’s commitment to stamp out violence and re-echoed President Koroma’s warning that whoever decides to take the law into his/her hands will be dealt with to the full extent of the law.
He rubbished the diabolical allegations by SLPP Presidential candidate , Maada Bio, that government was transporting armed ex-combatants to the South/East to register as voters for the forthcoming elections. The minister said that the government did not need to do that because it was very confident of being legitimately re-elected by the people of Sierra Leone . He described the allegations as a figment of Mr. Bio’s imagination.
Minister Tarawalli said that President Koroma was focussed on his determination to continue executing the socio-economic and political transformation of the country in accordance with his Agenda For Change program. He enumerated the many achievements of the government since it came to power in 2007 and advised his audience not to be carried away by the distortion of reality about what was going on in Sierra Leone by those who feel that it is by spreading false propaganda against the government that they would gain power.
The minister also interfaced with other members of the Mission, including Counselor Saidu Nallo , the Financial Attache, Mr. Vahfomba Barwoh, the Secretaries Mrs. Iris Max-Macarthy , Mrs. Sherene Ramashengan and Mrs. Mamie Sama and the Office Manager, Mr. Smart .