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The leadership of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) last Friday paid a courtesy call on President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, an Executive Mansion release has disclosed.
Speaking during the meeting, PUL President Abdullai Kamara assured the Liberian leader that the Union remains a part of the National Taskforce and are playing the role it can but with very limited support and resources.
He said the Ebola virus outbreak has also affected every sphere of the media landscape with newsprints and advertisement all running low.
“The Union is also concerned about freedom and rights issues during the outbreak and is prepared to work with government to address outstanding freedom and right issues concerning the media,” Mr. Kamara emphasized.
He used the opportunity to raise the issue about the closure of the National Chronicle newspaper and support for community radio stations across the country.
Mr. Kamara thanked President Johnson-Sirleaf for accepting to meet with them and thanked her for the effort government is making thus far in trying to contain the further spread of Ebola virus in the country.
Responding, the Liberian leader welcomed continuous engagement with civil society groups such as the PUL and others on a routine basis.
She agreed with the PUL that community radio stations must be supported to enable them play their role during this critical health crisis in the country.
The Liberian leader urged the media not to heighten the fears of Liberians and the international community by their reportage.
She informed the PUL that the issue of the National Chronicle is before the courts and will be resolved within that context.
Although President Sirleaf claimed that the issue of National Chronicle Newspaper is before the court but the Liberia National Police are still investigating the paper’s publisher Philipbert Brown.
The paper’s license was suspended by the Ministry of Information pending the outcome of the probe. The comment by President Sirleaf indicates that she is not aware that the matter is still languishing at the LNP headquarters on Capitol Hill and not the Temple of Justice.