Archive for July 15, 2014

WE MUST BE SOBER-MINDED ABOUT FEDERALISM

Posted: July 15, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Featured Articles

By Philips Al-Ghai

south sudan map by counties

south sudan map by counties

While the country lies apparently on the verge of falling apart, recent weeks have seen the infiltration of calls for federalism into the national agenda.

Typically, like any other political debate in S. Sudan, cheerleaders have already spiced it with sentiments that suggest dishonesty, contempt, and mistrust as they attempt to lure their flocks into embracing their take. Phrases like “rebel agenda”, “agenda of Equatorians”, “saving Equatoria from Dinkocrats”, “to get rid of Dinka” etc are currently floating in the mouths of many.

Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that 1) Federalism is a national agenda and deserves opinions of S. Sudanese from all walks of life. Those harboring cognitive allergies to this topic might need to see their psychiatrists. 2) It should not be used as a tool to hold the current government for disguised political ransom. It carries more value for all S. Sudanese than just individual interests.

Although I am a strong supporter of federalism, a system that would mark the next politico-economic step towards the prosperous S. Sudan in my definition, recent calls for federalism leave a lot to be desired.

Let’s be a bit rational about this. It is an overhaul of the existing system, a change easier said than done in reality.

Establishing a viable federal system would need careful study of failures of the current political system –which are countless of course, identifying common pathologies that need to be remedied by the federal governments, and ensuring that better alternatives are at hand. Otherwise, recycling the present selfish, abusive, aliens-to-the-rule-of-law, unambitious, ‘Oyee’ stooges in the national parliament, as crude as they are, for instance, would spell a whole different disaster for ordinary S. Sudanese who are certainly in dire need of change. It is in the hands of these same individuals that the nation is rocked by conflict, still nursing unspeakable poverty and poor delivery of services. What would federalism bring if it happens tomorrow? Just as the conversion of units doesn’t change the quantity of a substance, giving these lots new micro-niches in the name of federalism won’t make them any different at the look of things.

Furthermore, the federal system, whichever form it will be, would require prior evaluation of the national budget, current & future state of the economy, and terms of sharing resources, just to name a few. Yet none of the above is possible with the current state of affairs. So, how is federalism possible without any of these? Or are they not necessary altogether? These, I feel, cast serious doubts on sincerity in the voices calling for federalism now.

Although it is a commendable agenda, federalism at this point is utterly misplaced and mistimed. An unrealistic, disguised maneuver of opportunists trying to nurture safer foraging nooks for themselves, it seems. A resolute action to taming the reigning bloody thieves would have laid concrete foundation for the revolution of people’s power that can be advanced into federalism.

Whatever the motives, we must not lose sight of the future. Federalism promises long-term solutions to most of our problems. I believe. But it must be given direction. It must be geared towards salvaging S. Sudanese from the rule of elites. A slight mistake in crafting it, which is likely to happen if we choose to cloth the elites with federalism and shuffle them around, is bound to break S. Sudan into pieces that would be hard to assemble.

We must approach it with more rationale than taking it at face value!

Philips Al-Ghai is a proud S. Sudanese and can be reached at alghai211@gmail.com or on Twitter @ Al_Ghai211.

The Black Lamb

Posted: July 15, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in David Aoloch

 
Black Lamb
By David Aoloch Bion

Where is the lamb
Here is the lamb

Where is black lamb
Here is black lamb

Under shade
Which shade ?

This tree shade
I don’t see

Shade of wisdom, Sir
I don’t see in my memory, Dear

Unfold your pages, Sir
what wise see,
Under tree shade in sunny day
Ordinary man need ray
Of firelight to it in sunny day
Easily

 

 

AN EAGLE EYE

Posted: July 15, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary

By Dut Lual Anei

Years of marginalization are seem gone as the dawn for change and evolution to the modern era emerges but the designed and calculated lack of probity with non existence of political will are driving away the hopes people have towards a serviced society. East or west is waiting for effective service delivery; nonetheless the road to Christianity has many wishes and believes that a priest or father is holly and a God chosen with un-reputable characters dedicated to love and blessing.

The salesians family of Don Bosco under the diocese of Rumbek are on records for their long stay during and after the struggle for independence and freedom in South Sudan, with a man of high profile of moral, integrity and discipline is remembered by Tonj community by the name of Fr. John Lee Tae Soak, who was a Korean national and had devoted his time and life for the God’s mission in Tonj of warrap state. Unfortunately, untimely death claimed the life of a man widely known for his artistic and medical knowledge in addition to his title in the church, rightly remembered for his ‘will’ to the people of Tonj. May his soul R.I.P,We will always miss you!

The departure of Fr John Lee left people of Tonj with his ‘will’ focusing on education by renovating the girls based school of Mayom Abun, construction of rural roads all over areas of Tonj and establishing international health centre where he had emphasized the building of a national hospital with 300 rooms to be built in Tonj but here is a reverse of the reality.

The unforeseen modification later caused inconsistencies altering the written ‘will’ through the search for faith while on the other hands, involving a big fish and an ideal businessman who either deliberately or unknowingly underestimate the stakeholders of the ‘will’. The late didn’t only leave the ‘will’ but also series of connections with profound relationship to his home country. This was remarkable when a brass band of Tonj taught by the late Lee went for historic visit to Korea dated 12th Oct. through 20th of 2012.

Talent was exhibited in front of the home based knowledgeable group prompting them to assure them with un-wavering support to the people of Tonj leading to the establishment of smile Tonj project centred home but paralyzed instantly later. Focus groups, media of both Korean and South Sudanese state own television covered the event objectively and the visit was finalized by the signing of letters of no objection for the tapes to be televised internationally or nationally by all the participants with whom i obtained a copy dated October 2012 with no prejudice or biasness.

The content of no objection letter goes, ‘my name————–, visited Korea from Oct. 12.2012 through Oct.20th 2012. i know SSTV of South Sudan and KBS of South Korea filmed all our activities including the preparation period and during our stay in Korea. I confirm that i have no objection to the broadcasting of the produced films in South Sudan and South Korea through SSTV and KBS of Korea. I want to receive the copy of the film’.

Those were the words of the student who was part of the visit. The poetic justice of victimization led to the sabotage of broadcast for the film which was initially covered by the South Sudan television (SSTV) and the Korean KBS by co-opting some students to sign objection letter as details emerged later. Thereafter, an alleged diversion of the said ‘will’ to an unknown location also occurred and the question to answer is, what role is any church tasked with when there are no corporate social responsibilities directly or in directly expected of if?

This is clear after the commitment letter was written to the society with whom ‘will’ was initially directed to and here are the true words of the late Fr. Lee family who said, ‘since our visit to Tonj, our family are thinking of all the people and the priests and sisters every day. Tonj is like a mental home to our family. We hope to visit Tonj again someday and share the delight of constant improvement which will be foreseeing the future of the South Sudanese sanctuary, on the behalf of us, PLEASE pray for our re-visit to Tonj’. Still no wonder!

In conclusion

Factors to the delay of the ‘will’ would need to be investigated as to what happened to the ‘will’ ? by the warrap state or central government, And to also authorize the concern parties to televise or broadcast the films unconditionally so that South Sudanese can see what was taking place in the eyes of an official.

Finally, to summon and to the best knowledge ask the alleged Fr. Shjain Job, Salesian of Don Bosco to explain the conditions pertaining the ‘will’ and to reaffirm his neutrality with the brass band team leader by then and thereafter Salesians of Don Bosco priests or fathers need to stay away from the Korean based Fr. John lee’s ‘will’ activities voluntarily while also examining who is behind the delay of the promised visit and since it was a request for us to pray for its happening, we prayed and the failure to revisit is in the hands of third parties who should be caution seriously against ill intention. I pray for attention and action!!

The author can be reached through duticanei@gmail.com