The spokesperson of the Liberia National Police, H. Moses Carter, said at least five persons, who were taken into ‘protective custody’ during a violent attack which rocked the quiet suburbs of Sinkor two weeks ago, has been released.The five individuals were part of a larger group of people who were said to be attending a birthday party in Sinkor at a Drop-In-Center (DIC) owned and operated by Population Services International (PSI) when they came under a massive attack from residents of the community over suspicion they were “Gays” (homosexuals).“A total of five persons were brought to our headquarters. Some of them sustained injuries as a result of the stone-throwing,” Carter said.The party, according to sources, was the 33rd birth anniversary of a staff member of PSI, and the entity seized the occasion to boost attendance at the DIC, following a previous incident last year that dampened the interest of a key section of the population who frequent the location for regular HIV/AIDS checkups.Carter said the five individuals will not be forwarded to court as they are victims who the police had ‘saved’ from mob violence and prosecution is out of the question as they were not “caught in the act of homosexuality.”Articles 14.74, 14.79 and 50.7 [of the Penal Code of 1976] consider “voluntary sodomy” as a first-degree misdemeanor with a penalty of up to one-year imprisonment.However, Liberia’s gay community says harassment and discrimination are widespread against their associates, but Carter furthered that the police could not arrest any of the assailants.“It was during the night hours; we only managed to restore calm in the midst of the stone-throwing,” he said.PSI Liberia continues to remain silent on probes by journalRAGE over the level of security measures employed, which would have staved off the attack from community members.But in a statement published in local news outlets including the Daily Observer, PSI Liberia Country Director, Rajiv Dua, said rumors circulating on social media that the entity was hosting a “Gay party” are “rumors of evil.”According to the statement, Dua said that the party, hosted by ‘Saranna,’ was the birthday of one of their clients at the center, during which time PSI peer educators would take advantage to conduct HIV/AIDS testing and counseling to those vulnerable groups, most of whom showed up during the night hours.“They invaded our premises because of wrong rumors,” Dua is quoted in the statement.“We provide HIV & AIDS testing and counseling at that premises, and the party was set up to ensure that a greater part of the population of this vulnerable group showed up to be tested and counseled, but unfortunately, people with no idea of what was happening invaded and manhandled them,” he said.However, observers say the imbroglio at the center could have been prevented if the organization had employed stringent security measures. But Carter added, “The police only got involved when the altercation broke out.”Source: journalRAGEShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Assurances from Sacramento that groundbreaking is targeted for June or July of this year and occupancy by eligible veterans will take place in October 2008 have raised the spirits of those who have worked diligently to raise funds for the home’s amenities. “Here we are, coming down to the wire, facing the reality of our home within the next year, and we’re still working on our goal. We’ve revised it upward in order to accommodate inflationary prices on all the equipment we’ll need to make the facility a real home. Now we’re reaching for $200,000. We’re confident that with the wonderful participation of the people and businesses in this valley, we’ll even surpass that figure.” He said everything is positive right now and on schedule with both the state and federal government agencies that are funding the construction and will be in charge of operating and maintaining the quality of care at the home. Robert Ortiz, veterans benefits counselor in charge of the Lancaster office of the Los Angeles County Military and Veterans Affairs department, said applications for residency will ultimately be available in his office at 335-A East Ave. K-6. “We’ve ordered them so that when everything is in place and we get the word, we’ll be ready, but these things are very complicated,” he cautioned. “Applicants will be required to bring service records and a lot of other legal documents. Many will probably need help to fill them out. “Our office is small so that will present a challenge.” Menus for the week at the senior life nutrition site in Palmdale include bread, margarine and coffee, tea or milk, for the suggested donation of $2. Monday: CLOSED FOR PRESIDENTS DAY. Tuesday: Mandarin chicken salad, marinated beets, pea salad, ice cream. Wednesday: Fish fillet, au graten potatoes, spinach, garden salad, orange. Thursday: Barbecued pork sandwich, macaroni salad, corn, carrot, raisin and pineapple salad, peaches. Friday: Beef enchilada, Spanish rice, green beans, creamy coleslaw, cheesecake. This column disseminates news of interest to seniors. Bettie Rencoret can be reached at (661) 943-2998, or messages can be left at the Daily News Antelope Valley Bureau, (661) 267-5740. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LANCASTER Confidence and anticipation have replaced frustration and skepticism among members of the Citizens Committee for Lancaster’s William J. “Pete” Knight California State Veterans Home. At its meeting Wednesday the committee discussed the timetable for the proposed home, the need for continued fundraising for amenities, procedures to determine resident eligibility and the current status of the amenities fund, which amounts to $102,348. Jane Gordon, auxiliary member of Quartz Hill Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3000, which co-sponsored the recent local Veterans Welcome Home Parade, said the proceeds from that event will go to the amenities fund. The parade, a co-project of Vietnam Veteran and photographer Ray Santana along with others, attracted some 40,000 people. Meant primarily to give Vietnam veterans – who received poor treatment on their return home – the heroes’ welcomes and recognition they deserved, the parade honored veterans of all wars as well. The estimated donation of $12,000 from the parade organizers, after all bills were paid, will swell the amenities bank account to more than $114,000. “It’s amazing. I still can’t believe it. All of you around this table should give yourselves a big pat on the back,” chairman Tom Craft said. “That’s a lot of money to be raised based on the fact that all you’ve got’s a bare piece of ground out there.” Displaced by the Parks and Recreation Department from its past meeting place in the Lancaster City Hall Emergency Operations Center, the Veterans Home Committee met Wednesday in the Antelope Valley Chamber of Commerce conference room on Lancaster Boulevard. Chamber executive manager Percy “Steve” Malicott indicated the invitation to hold their monthly meetings there is extended for at least a year.