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THE LIBERIA CAMPAIGN FOR OUT OF COUNTRY VOTING FOR ALL LIBERIANS

BOX 33354 / PHILADELPHIA, PA 19142

Fellow Liberians and Friends of Liberia. For too long Liberians have allowed themselves to be taken for granted by others and by their fellow Liberians. Hundreds of thousands of Liberians living abroad are being excluded from participating in their nation's historic national elections scheduled to be held on Tuesday, October 11, 2005, simply because the Liberian and International planners did not think they really mattered. We must not allow this to happen. If Liberians living abroad are expected to rebuild their country, they must be part of the process for selecting their future leaders.

It is not late for us to make our case to be included in the electoral process before our Government and the International Community. It is our right to be part of our nation's election system. We must not be punished because we live abroad and we must not allow anyone to deprive us of our fundamental human right to vote!!!. The Iraqi's living abroad, felt just as strongly about their rights to vote as Iraqi citizens. They were able to organize the registration of a million Iraqi citizens living in 14 countries in just 2 months and also to vote in their nation's historic election on January 30th, 2005. Liberians, we can do the same. If there is a will, Liberians, God will make a way.

There are international organizations such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Federation for Electoral Systems (IFES) that are willing and ready to assist us. They have assisted in conducting national elections in over 70 countries around the world, with their most recent success in Afghanistan and Iraq. They have even prepared a blueprint to facilitate Liberia's Out of Country Voting, if only the International Community and our Government will allow them to help us!

If we have to develop the resources, we will hold bake sales, car wash, flea markets and host dinners to show the world that Liberians mean business about the future of their nation. And if we show such good faith, the International Community might help us! If you feel as strongly about this as many of our fellow Liberians, please plan to join us for the following events:

MEMORIAL/PRAYER SERVICE AND OUT OF COUNTRY VOTING RALLY
SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2005, at 11:00 A. M.
LIBERIAN EMBASSY GROUND
1501 16TH STREET, N.W./WASHINGTON, D.C

Activities to include: The lighting of 15 Candles representing Victims of the Liberian Civil War from all 15 Liberian Counties. From all 15 lit Candles, the Lighting of a single large Unity Candle representing all of the Citizens of the Republic of Liberia. Gospel singing, special prayers and a Litany for Unity will be recited by all who attend. All Liberian Political Candidates, Ordinary Liberians and Friends of Liberia are invited to attend and participate in these events.

For Further Information please contact Rev. Dr. Napoleon L. Divine 215-729-0214, 267-971-6561, Rev. Robert Nyemah 301-792-1887/202-299-1151, Mr. Arthur Watson 973-537-7207, Mr. Samuel Slewion 215-964-32178 or log on WWW.THE LIBERIAN CONNECTION.ORG


OUR LOVE FOR DEMOCRACY UNITES US!!!


THE LIBERIA CAMPAIGN FOR OUT OF COUNTRY VOTING FOR ALL LIBERIANS
C/o CHRIST INTERNATIOINAL BAPTIST CHURCH

2210 SOUTH 65TH STREET
P.O.BOX 33354
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19142
The Reverend Dr. Napoleon L. Divine, Founder and Pastor
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April 20, 2005

Senator Richard G. Lugar, Chairman
US Senate Foreign Relations Committee
306 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-1401

Dear Senator Lugar:
As a pastor of a predominantly Liberian congregation in the United States and an advocate for Liberians living outside their country, I join tens of thousands of my fellow Liberians around the world, in calling for out of country voting for all Liberian citizens in Liberia's historic post-war national elections scheduled to be held on Tuesday, October 11, 2005. I ask that you kindly assist Liberians in making a strong case to the United States Government, The Liberian Government, the United Nations, the African Union, and the entire international community, that giving all Liberians the opportunity to participate in Liberia's October elections is an essential step in paving the way for a secured, prosperous and democratic Liberia.

At the height of the Liberian civil war President Bush made the historic assessment and call that the departure of Mr. Charles Taylor was a precondition for ending the civil war in Liberia. President Bush's statement not only resulted in Mr. Taylor's departure, but also created the climate for subsequent talks and the signing of a peace agreement among Liberia's warring factions. Liberia has enjoyed relative peace and stability and is well on its way to developing a stable society where all of its people can live in peace and aspire to the height of their God-given abilities.

I believe Senator Lugar that the prospects for peace in Liberia will be enhanced greatly if Liberians living abroad are given an equal opportunity to vote for their future leaders as their fellow citizens living in country. Many of these Liberians, forced to flee their nation because of corrupt and inept leadership, have longed for the opportunity to contribute their quota for a better future. They have sacrificed their own financial well being to provide for family members in harms-way and thus contributed in sustaining their country's economy during the fateful years of violent conflict. I know this from personal stories of members of my church and the Liberian community living in the United States.
Giving them a chance to vote for new leaders would be a fitting reward for their dedication to their fellow citizens, their love for their country and their great hope for democracy. Liberians in America have even committed themselves to paying a registration fee, if necessary, to ensure that they will be able to vote in their country's elections.

What a beautiful picture it would be, Mr. Senator, to have Liberians queuing up in American cities and cities in Europe, Canada and Africa to peacefully and democratically choose their next leaders. This will contrast greatly with the not too long ago scenes of street fighting and throngs of Liberians fleeing as factional leaders sought to gain political power by sheer force and violence. We ask you, Mr. Senator, to provide the moral leadership and requisite assistance for the freedom loving Liberian people around the world to begin the process of healing and rebuilding a truly democratic Liberia, by voting in their country's democratic national elections.

Within this vein, we ask that you kindly grant an audience to a delegation of Liberians and American citizens to present a prepared statement to you or a designated official of your committee, during a planned visit to Washington on Thursday, May 26, 2005, as part of a campaign to encourage Out of Country voting for all Liberians. Similar visits are being planned with officials at the White House, the State Department and with the Congressional Black Caucus.

We thank you, Mr. Senator, for the enormous support that the United States and the American people have provided the nation and people of Liberia during the difficult years of civil conflict and we can assure you that with your help that Liberia will again become a shining star in Africa and a proud democratic ally of the United States. For future references, I can be contacted at NAPOLEONLDIVINE@AOL.COM. 215-729-0214/215-884-1264/ or at 267-971-6561.

May God bless you, your family and your committee.

Sincerely,


Rev. Napoleon L. Divine, Ed.D. Pastor/ Christ International Baptist Church
Coordinator/ The Liberia Campaign for Out of Country Voting for All Liberians


OUR LOVE FOR DEMOCRACY UNITES US!