-Speaker Chambers Digs Deep In TRC
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
At long last, House Speaker Bhofal Chambers has finally had his say on the controversial Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) works in the country.
The TRC was established to provide a forum that will address issues of impunity, as well as an opportunity for both the victims and perpetrators of human rights violations to share their experiences, in order to get a clear picture of the past to facilitate genuine healing and reconciliation.
In the spirit of national reconciliation, the Commission dealt with the root causes of the crises in Liberia, including human rights violations and among other things, recommended measures to be taken for the rehabilitation of victims of human rights violations.
Between 1979 and 2003, more than 250,000 Liberians died through riots and the civil war. Majority of the citizens also fled into exile and millions of dollars’ worth of properties were destroyed.
However, the commission has since cross-examined witnesses, documented findings and made recommendations to the Liberian Government in June 2009 for full implementation.
Key in the recommendations is the establishment of war and economic crimes court to prosecute those who committed heinous crimes and allegedly looted the nation’s coffers between 1979 and 2003.
The establishment of war and economic crimes court remains the most controversial issues in the recommendations as human rights organizations, Liberians at home and abroad along with the international community continue to demand the establishment of the court to bring justice in the country.
As part of its quest, the LCC Tuesday paid a courtesy visit at the Capitol Building office of House Speaker, Bhofal Chambers to discuss issues surrounding the establishment of the war and economic crimes court as recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in the country which millions of taxpayers’ money was used on.
House Speaker Bhofal Chambers:
But addressing the concern of the LCC’s delegation, the once staunch rights advocate, now House Speaker Bhofal Chambers revealed that for him, he thinks there were ‘more lies’ than truth telling during the hearing process of the TRC.
Speaker Chambers said most war actors and persons who bear greater responsibilities for crimes committed in Liberia during the civil upheaval did not say much about the extent of atrocities they committed.
The Maryland County electoral district two lawmaker however said it’s about time that the country looks forward to adapting a road map to attaining restorative justice as compare to retributive justice.
Meanhwile, in a release, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) stalwart claimed that it’s been several years now since the war ended in Liberia, and Liberians are yelling for more infrastructure developments and economic emancipation.
He says restorative justice also heals wounds in as much as truth telling is the hall mark.
Restorative justice has been defined as a legal system of criminal justice that deals with the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the society, whilst retributive justice is a system of criminal justice based on the punishment of offenders rather than on rehabilitation.