Wednesday, 30 January 2008


This is only meant to remind my fellow Gambians that, it is high time we start patronizing our authors and writers. I was conductinga brief research on Gambian writers and to many utmost surprise,we have so many of them out there. Like me, many young and old Gambians hardly heard of this skillful men and women. I don'thave any data to back-up my assumptions but I have been around many discussion forums to know about our authors.It is the duty of our newspapers to publicize the work of our country's authors. This can be in the form of a partnership or other arranged methods but the hard work of this people shouldn't left dormant in some bookshop or printing press. The Gambia we all know has come a long way from the days of colonialism, we have many graduates in different schools of learning. If some of our brothers and sisters pick up a pen to write; they at-least expected us to read what they write about. I am not a writer, i don't have the skills for it, all i can do is try to buy the books authored and read them.I found a list of some our renowned Gambian writers on this web site. Truly, i never heard of them of being writers or authors. Check them out here. I will list them here so that others can have a glue of what i mean when i said, there are many of them out there.Baba Galeh Jallow, authored about four books: his most recent one his 'Mandela's other children' , another of his book is 'Angry Laughter' and also an in-dept take on African politics 'The anatomy of powercracy'. Dr Tijan Sallah. Tijan is also another brilliant writer. His recent book is 'Dream Kingdom' and another of his book is 'Essay on second Independence'.Sheriff Samsideen Sarr. Sam ,we all know him. He is about 57 years of age. He is a veteran in the writing field. His earlier book written in 1984 is the famous ' Meet me in Conakry'. and Also the recent book titled ' Coup De'tat by the Gambia National Army'. Foday Baldeh. He is a 60 years old and for that a veteran in the writing field. His book is title 'A fate of an African President' The book talks about the 1981 coup plot and his suffering during his detention in prison. That should be a good read.Sally Singhateh. A young writer. Her book is titled.'Christies's Crisis'. Essa Bokary Sey. A former ambassador. his book written in Hungary is titled 'The Boat of Thought'.Lang Fafa Dampha PhD. His book is title 'African Aliens'. A good analysis of what African encounter in foreign lands.Bala Saho. His book is titled 'Road to My Village'.Other writers and authors worth mentioning here are, Fatoumata Jawara daughter of former president DK Jawara. Her book is titled 'Behind the Scenes of the WTO'. The book is hugely praised by scores of university professors. an in-dept look at corruption in the WTO.Due to time and space i will list other authors who sacrifice immensely for the literary progress of our motherland.Dr Lenrie Peters, Gabriel Roberts, Ebou Dibba, Hussain Ceesay, Musa Jallow, Suwaibou Conateh, Essa Colley, Musa Jallow and many more others.We are endowed with Good writers, it is the duty of the reading public to buy the books and read them. Libraries build strong intellectual power base. And God knows we need a good and intelligent society. Our institutions requires open minded individual who can be innovative and think progressively. With willing writers and a willing reading public, our nation can achieve what ever we wish. Knowledge is power.Most of the books are very cheap as compared the many foreign writer's books we read. In U.S and England the books can receive in two working days. I hope that we as a nation will cherish the authors of our small beautiful nation. I thank all the authors our there. You have sacrifice a lot for our country, may God bless you all.I also thank the on-line papers in advance for publishing this small contribution of mine.




Editor,Allow me space in your ethical news paper to say some thing concerning a plea made by a concerned Gambian regarding Kanyiba's case.It is very sad to see our fellow citizens of the tiny republic thinking in this way. The laws of the Gambia are governed by a constitution and the rule of law, no one person should dictate the law or the constitution. Why would Gambians come to think in this level as the concern writer did? I am not faulting him here, all I am trying to put across is why should yahya Jammeh hold Kanyiba in violation to a court order? Why should Kanyiba and Rambo be held without trial?These are legitimate questions the concern citizen should first ask and then he/she can continue to involve the dormant CCF. The writer very well high lighted the lack of concern and care of Kanyiba's work colleague; this is the Gambia under yahya Jammeh. The simple principles of communal relations are floundered .CCF staff and managers should challenge the illegal arrest and detention of their colleague, they can at-least make a press release and contribute towards the legal bill.The Gambia shouldn't come down to this low level where concern citizens believe that only by pleading with an insane paranoid dictator will the law take its cause. Our situation is getting desperate.My plead to the CCF staff would be show support ,write letters to powerful people to intervene ,what is happening to Kanyiba can happen to you .Remember Kanyiba was your one time friend and confidant ,play a role his suffering to get him release.To the wider Gambian community, we should end our unholy silence, the men and women in the media are not the only people with the duty to speak out for us. We all know how our dictator perceives the private media outlets. Our silence is a sign of complicity and lack of care.I hope and pray a day would come soon where an individual’s Gambian freedom will be protected and respected at all times.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008


Every human being one way or the other is expecting his big day,the unfortunate day he/she will depart from love ones and friends.he is either crimated or burried.whatever the mode of burrial ,the person just have expired from this sheik Almoravid stated''his world is finished,he has withinessed his dooms day''.we the living keep on worrying ourselves about when the ocean layers will finally colapse,natural desasters will become prevalent,when some alians will invade us .but the dead will never come scientist can bring back a dead and burried person.the dead slowly get forgoten by friends ,then love ones,once in a while we remember them fundly .but we cannot be with them.we the living imagine ,what is like to die ? what happen during that process of the organs giving in to the unseen power or force taking effect on our organs ? we only read medical journals and some sceintific analysis ,but those explanations cannot solve the problem of excaping death .who is that can avoid death ? i read with keen interest the amount of fortune amassed by people like david rogafela ,nathen rothchilds ,onasis and the many more billoinairs who passed away.powerful men too die .from flanbouyant heads of state to dictators,they all die ,from strong will leaders like reagan,yaser arafat ,abdul nasser all of them are dead .the hard face dictator like sani abacher is also no more .who do we answer to after all our crime spee whilst living ? do we go just like that unaccount ? what about the leaders with excutive powers who authorise the leveling of certain country's infracstures ,do they too just die without any sort of account ? it baffles me.the key question is WHY DO WE HAVE TO DIE ?.muslims are told that ''death is a test for them'' a sign of the human limitations .after death the creator takes account of his creation ,the human .but then the reason we die is very puzzling .




Down by Sandougu Bolong, lies a small village called Wulaba. In Wulaba, the residences are very nice and close nit. They like good food and they will do any thing to maintain the village traditions. They farm, garden and fish. But during the raining season, the village designated fisher men go to the farm. When it is summer season no one has any excuse except the very lazy men. Even fishing is delegated to visiting fisher men.

One summer season, a wicked fisher man came to the village; he was very impress by the villager's love of fish and vegetables. He knew after providing for the morning portion to his host, the remaining fish is his. What is required of him is hard work and honesty. Visiting fisher men don't pay any rent to their host; all they do is give a certain amount of fish for the woman cooking to use as ingredient. The fisher men later get use to the system. They catch fish and then they hide all the big fish to be sold in a different village were waiting customers compete for the bigger fish. The fisher men can charge any price they want for their catch. The villagers usually turn a blind eye to the bad behaviour of the fisher men.

One summer, a batch of new fisher men came to the village. They look around for a host, a place to use as a summer residence. Among the fisher men there was a man called Bantu. Bantu is a Malian traditional fisher man. He claims to learn his trade from childhood. He knows the river and he like fishing. He has lots of fishing songs. He is never bored when fishing.

But Bantu has a nasty side to him. He cannot bear seeing a fish being wasted. He can even start a quarrel over an abandon fish. Every morning Bantu will gave some fish to the wife of his host. That lady is known as Wande. Wande like money, she knew fisher men have money. But to get a Butut out the fisher men requires a compromise. Young able bodied men sleeping rough wouldn't hand over any butut just in vain. They too require some thing unbecoming of a married lady. For Mrs wande to have any money from the fisher men, she must agree to cohabit with them. This is a grave crime in the village. If she is caught, it meant banishment and lost of respect but she always take her chances.

One day Mr Bantu went fishing and Mrs Wande waited for him at his usual ducking point. Bantu was tired and hungry. Mrs Wande brought him some wawa to drink. Bantu was over joy. Wawa is local delicacy made of mazi. Mrs Wande wanted money. Mr Bantu too wanted more in return, times are hard. They did the unbecoming act. That was it. They never spoke again about what happen. Nine months later Mrs Wande gave birth to baby boy looking just like Mr Bantu.

This is a small village were every one knows other people business. The gossip mongers start the story. Mrs Wande knew no one has any proof to claim she got pregnant by a fisher man who is only staying temporarily and that she is also married? How comes the villagers would say, ''Her son look just like Mr Bantu fisher man?''.
Mean while, Mr Bantu never left the village after the summer season came to an end. He stayed. Mrs Wande was shocked for the fact that Bantu didn't leave like the other fisher men did. Why? She wandered.


Editor E Sangareh:
Allow me to express my part in the reconciliation process to highlight that , i never doubted your credibility as an editor. In fact , i have drum-up publicity for the Gambia Echo news paper to many of my friends and i have regularly posted your news items on different Gambian forums ,notable among them is the exchanges between brother Suwaibou and Mathew k Jallow.
In my part ,i agree that we should move on from the potential unhealthy exchanges, The Gambia is for us all. I did not receive any message sent to me from your end ,it may have been mistakenly sent some were but i accept your word for it. If I hard received any further information from your end ,i would not have choose to deliberately move the medium of debate to freedom news paper. The debate was taking place in your paper .I waited for two weeks before sending my reply to the Freedom newspaper.
I don't have the energy to engineer any media war. I respect you and hold you in high esteem ,you are an indefatigable journalist. The readership of the Gambia on line news papers must realise the cost and time involve in making a good news piece ,it is not easy at all. Coming from a finance and accountancy background ,i can sense the amount of overhead cost involve in maintaining a quality editorial and publications. I commend the whole band of editors out there. I will await the response from Uncle Samsideen ,we can carry the debate as health as should be. I never aim to smear your character.

Suntou Touray, UK


Editor Jambang:After reading through your editorial last evening, I came across a piece relating to Sam Sarr’s topic - 'The genesis of tribalism in Gambian politics'. I must say here that, the angle from which you looked at the topic was very interesting and relevant to our history. The references you provided for your readers will be helpful to many Gambians who are interested in the history of our country. Any honest writer willing to delve into the already tense debate must bear in mind that evidences are available at their disposal to use as a measure of accuracy and reliability. Our history is recorded in many books; pretenders and opinion makers must remember that young Gambians aren't falling in for household names in making up their minds. We want accurate accounts of our history - Nothing more and nothing less! The Cambridge University press is world renowned institution of higher education and research, known for its authenticity and reliability. Gambians must now do themselves a great favour and start checking hitherto distorted facts. Thanks Mr. Jambang for starting another dimension to the debate. Good luck. Suntou Touray U.K

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

black role models

Black public figures fail us.

The very people many young men and women from the black community look up to don't want to be black themselves .this men abandon their people and heritage for flashy white women. The never ending sport stars see only themselves in their narrow equations.

From celebrated names in many black household, the likes of Henry, fadinan, bent, cambell, dayer, cole and many more black football stars only see beauty in white women and that is it. The hundred and thousands of adoring black youth's fans lost all hope of reviving the little self-respect they are constantly trying to salvage.
What do these men in flash sports cars think? Are they still children in adult body? I don't have any iota of envy for them just because they have heavy bank balances, I pity them. Some of them end up in losing a large junk of their wealth to divorce lawyers. One can site many bitter divorce cases involving this spineless black stars and white girls. Of course they can argue all about I decide who to love and get married with, but do they really decide or is it all arrange for them? Name any house hold black football star hardly he wouldn't have a white girl friend and what message those that send to the young desperate youths? These men cannot see a single attractive black girl among the whole of Britain or wherever they may be. It is disgraceful and self-humiliating.

The young black youths need to change their focus to other groups of blacks in finding a suitable role model .I am not counting the mix race population among the black stars ,since most mix races don't consider themselves black. It is pathetic and disheartening to see the endless black footballers and musicians falling from night clubs with white girls, this people are sending a very bad message and they at least endorsing the racist programming scheme of constant attack on the black image. The image that young people see sticks with them for a long time. This trend continues to the next generation and the racist out there make reference to it.
Some will ask what is all the hype about famous and successful black men getting together with white girls. I will answer them as this, which white successful personality have you even mistaken seen marrying a black woman? Boris Becker did it but he is lights years different from the conventional white males.
I am not attacking racial harmony that will sort itself out if first the black population put their house in order. The patronising terms like integration and assimilation will be effective if first the blacks respect themselves and love each other for real ,marry each other even after attaining success ,only then can racial integration and co-existence prove successful.

The search for fitting role models for young western black youths goes on ,the target group that many feel should have solve the problem are themselves inadequate and lacking self-believe and confidence . What is the real reason for our community backward thinking in this age of abundance thinker among our ranks? From good writers to Politian's, academics, doctors, journalist, accountants, scientist etc yet, we cannot lift ourselves up from the downtrodden level of the social stratum.

How can we give hope to the young and coming black youths? in Britain and America, the question is largely debated among the anchor men/women hardly involving credible personalities that can change the course of the continuous humiliation to our colour .the sleeping giant is still sleeping after many of our ancestors predicted success for our kind .Hear me, the masses of great men and women, we can be the master of our destine, all we need to do is just start to love ourselves.

skin bleaching. a sad story for blacks

The age old self-disrespect topic of skin bleaching still linkers on after decades of african low self pride.the sad part of the whole saga is ,why is it that our able and eminent african writers especailly those in the media business hardly say any thing about this very topical issue?We easily see and read articles upon articles about POLITICAL MATTERS but hardly any thing concerning other related topics on socail empowerment about issues of pride and dignity.I am not under estimating the importance of proper democracy and the rule of law but our collective problem as a people is not just about politics but also about lack of pride and respect for our selves.I always hated people who bleached their skin ,and i am not sorry bout it.but it seems to me that those involve in skin bleaching have an audience to satisfy and who are this audiences ?Why is skin bleaching seen as respectable by those involved in it ? some thing even animals should be ashmed of is seen as some kind of status symbol ,why ? Two days ago ,a british tv station exposes the increasing rate of reported cancer related to Indian women doing skin bleaching .i was a bit surprise that fair coloured Indain women are into skin bleaching more than black women according the tv's statistics.And the cancer caused by skin bleaching is more dangerous to indians than blacks but still those women cannot just stop it.Africa have seen and withnessed great pan-africanist leaders among us who preach all sorts of self-pride and the believe in blackism yet ,we cannot even convince some among us to stop humulating themself.Why are the men allowing their partners to practise skin bleaching ,i am assuming the majority of those who bleach are women .of course some men do it as well .,why would a man choose to marry a woman practising skin bleaching? it is sad that this shameful act is still prevalent among us ,and it make me sick.I don't know about the many of you out there but for me ,i will never comsume a drop of liguid prepared by a bleached person ,and that is my stands.we cannot talk and write about racism whilst we ignored the reasons why some still believe we hate ourself because we aim to look like them in every way or form. how can we be respected if we allow our selves to be disrecpected? what is more disrecpecting than seeing a spoted black person trying hard to look otherwise ? .. i call on all men and women to stop this is shameful and degrading.i hope some prominent person can add his/her voice to mine .i feel sick writing about this.let men boycout marrying or having relationships with bleached women and vice vasa for women .if we keep telling a bleached person, i can't do this with you because you are bleaching ,it is bound to make an effect.even CNN is not ashame to advertise skin lighting cream using black women as the medium.the adverts goes like''marie clair make you lighter and gives you confidence'' .what on earth those that mean ? being black doesn't give confidence ? who gave the impression to CNN to keep on advertsing such cream on pick times ? please let us speak about our socail malfunctions ,politics is absolotely vital ,but some times we should take interest in unppalatable topics .

Alcahol ,why is haram or forbind in islam?

Any one with some knowledge of figh can elaborate this question here.
some of the reasons for the classification of alcohol has haram are has follows.

God wants us to be in a stable mind all the time .for alcohol affects our mental state when drank up-to a certain quantity .an intoxicate person is capable of doing many things without full knowledge or good judgement .
The supreme of law of Allah ,the sharia forbid the drinking of Alcohol at every cost .no little or large quantity is permissible.some may argue that i only drink it to relax but ,it is haram ,find acceptable soft drinks that are not harmful for you to drink.

the key principle that determines the halal or haram of any thing in Islam have to do with BENEFITS AND THE BAD EFFECTS .
if the bad effects outweigh the benefit then such action became a thing of legal debate.
but alcohol is declared in an unequivocal terms in the quran as HARAM and we should stay away from it .
a drunken person cannot recollect his/her actions .a survey in u.s states that the majority of cases of incest are by parents of alcoholic background. rape,murder are normally committed by men dependent on alcohol in some sort .

the society is what Islam looks at ,not the individual alone.
some also argue ,that they ''drink in their privacy'. that is also haram even though it is much less worst than drinking in the open.
the bad medical effects of drinking is high and for that Muslims are advice to stay away from alcohol.if you are dependent ,try to quit drinking it .it is classified as the MOTHER OF ALL SINS .this statement may be ironic because fornication is worst than drinking .they are both major sin .but the after matter of fornication could produce an unwanted children .a drunk person can do many vices as well.
may God make it easy for us to obey his commandments

Gambians and there comfort zone mentality

why do we like been comfortable all the time ? issues that can arouse potential discomfort are hardly touched by many .i wonder why .
or i thought may be ,it may be some the following reasons .i have a wive and two children and i live in u.s/Europe and if i keep interfering in national debates ''the all-seen,all hearing one eye'' will descend on me as soon the 747 touch down at Yumdun airport and why should i put my self in that position ?
or may be ,i just don't know what the fuss is all about .today it is yahya ,tomorrow some else ,God will decide ,it is not my problem .

or may be ,i am just minding my business ,who knows i may get a call from yahya one day .

Well ,it is all a big waste of precious time to write about irrelevant issues relating to the Gambia ,what can i change by writing some thing any way ?

oh no ,just look at what happen to Baba galleh in his diary of discomfort ,again Ebrima manneh ,the late Deyda RIP , loooook at that nonsense ,why should i put myself in that precarious position .

financially ,i want to travel freely to and from Banjul with a big smile and nice dresses ,go clubbing ,oh attending shows by Alie Mbyendery ,Pap so and so ,the mega star in himself Yousou Suma Jiken ,woow .

Why should i throw all that away just for some thing i gain no direct benefit from ? i am not silly .

hmmm ,am i really right by avoiding controversial issues concerning the country i love so much ? what is the price of my silence to others ?



Mr Editor:
Kindly allow me space in your well respected on-line news medium.I never doubt your credibility as a journalist and editor. The issue I want to throw some light on is the recent controversy caused by Mr. Mathew K. Jallow's article on Mandinkanisation of the former PPP regime.
I was a young student at the time so I cannot say much but The Gambia is a very different country now which cannot be comparable to the past, both in terms governance and behavioural aspects of the Gambian subject.
I am both linked with the Mandinka and the Fula tribe, as well as having a Fanafana ancestry. I will just tell Mathew as an elder in the news network the first thing to remember is the impact his lucid writings will have on an average reader.The Gambia today is a divided society, although history explains the future but dwelling too much on the past can ignite unnecessary wounds. His comments can be deem as tribalist of the highest order but personally, I wouldn't categorise Mathew as tribalist.Conveniently, he may be a pragmatist. His social commentary about the state of affairs in The Gambia today is second to non .
My final advice to him is, don't let certain bad experiences linger in your mind, we all have gone through it, one way or the other, unpleasant tribal mistreatments. Our society is a tribal society, we cannot eradicate tribalism in its entirety. Some writers can also relay stories of similar encounters. I see The Gambia as a small pond with many large fish, which cannot stay without each other but some times they all have unpleasant encounters. Let us see our tiny country in that light. We cannot do without each other- Fula, Mandinka, Sarahule, Wolof, Jola etc., we are all one big family .
Mathew, the pen is mightier than the sword. Always remember that. The pen writes more horrors than the gun. There is no malady worst than ism's; it is the cause of world disharmony.
Thank you.


Amidst persistent economic hardship due to military rule in Gambia for 13 years now, there is some light at end of the tunnel. Suntou Touray says the private sector financial service industry is promising. Mr. Touray during a recent visit met some of his friends and past work colleagues who now serve in key positions at various financial service establishments. They told him their story and now he tells us what they told him.

Private sector financial service industry of Gambia is gaining pace despite the hostile economic environment the small West African nation is exposed to. Highly skilled specialists in management and financial disciplines have settled on stable jobs offered by private sector financial services establishments with lucrative benefits. Without doubt, there is extensive impact on the formal sector arena of employment that has seen the highest rate decline in recent times due to severe political interference. Competition in the financial service industry means that head hunt for talent goes with the commitment to provide value for output. By many attractions of the generous offers in a buoyant financial industry it is common to see young and promising personnel from government switching to the informal sector for better gains.

After all the shocking news emanating from bad governance there is occasion for relief to know that private sector financial service is gaining steady progress. That does not mean the economic prosperity promised by president Jammeh in all his pronouncements. Though president Jammeh may prefer to claim the success of Gambia’s private sector financial industry as mark of his government’s achievements, this is highly disputable. The simple reason is that public sector performance is progressing on backward motion leaving behind a trail of destitution and hardship.

Amid unreliable and hostile economic environment, financial service establishments in Gambia’s informal sector perform quite satisfactory. The measure of success for the sector is by way of lucrative remuneration packages dished out to a well motivated staff in various establishments.

It is the Gambia we are talking about, a country where one man claims to be owner of the tiny land not just head of state. He tries to take credit for the hard work of others.

Private sector financial service industry of The Gambia is very promising. There is a feel of buoyancy and low volatility in the banking and the property market. Returns of even low risk investments are high. Whatever the reason behind this is hard to pinpoint. It may have to do with heavy foreign investment.

Currently many graduates in finance and accountancy and a compliment of banking qualifications attract bumper pay packages. A personal friend of mine who left the government in protest of low pay is now earning per month over D25,000.00. This doesn't include the D120,000.00 housing allowance for the year and a new car for home and work. Outside Gambia this is peanuts but lot of money for a Gambian working and living at home. There are visible indicators of high spirit for people working in the investment businesses.

Inflation rate is low at present and forecasts are much promising with the World Bank doing its bit to control the finance sector. A lot of British investors are choosing the Gambia even though they are aware of its political drawbacks.

Key reason why foreign investors keep pumping cash into our informal sector financial service industry is something to do with our good nature and less aggressive behaviour. The Gambia produces very competent graduates in finance and accountancy and pay rates are reasonable as compared to England, Nigeria or Ghana. A Gambian would be happy taken home 10% less than his/her counter part in Nigeria or Ghana and the investor feels much saver accepting the risk of our country.

Rate of competition is also very low from native Gambians. The banks are doing well. Even the Islamic Bank rewards savings handsomely. For Gambian brothers and sisters with some spare cash there is reason to consider investment in the homeland either in property or savings. You will not regret it.

The volatile part of our growth is politics. This is the only major player in the external environment of business posing as threat to the buoyancy and growth in foreign investments. Such a threat can be converted into renewed economic strength whenever the current hostile political environment is changed. That change is to serve the best of interests for citizens and investors alike and for restoration of peace and harmony in Gambia.

Gambians should take keen interest in the property industry. To neglect that cardinal part of our country's business has the prospects of leading to some regrets sooner or later. Chunks of land now fall in the hands of profiteering foreign investors and property developers as they take firm grips of a growing financial industry. A good number of developers particularly British are purchasing vast square miles of land for resale at higher prices or developing it for increased value. Native Gambians have even better opportunities if only they care to take advantage of what this booming industry offers. Unless Gambians engage the financial machinery, the potential loss can be enormous. No government can stop the trend of free market taken over politics. Even when the current unsuitable military regime phases out, The Gambia our home land is still ours. For the moment, the success story of young talents in the financial disciplines serves as case of growing berries on rocky land. It goes to confirm that for talents, even the most hostile political environment can be exploited for true gains. To our good brothers and sister who dare to take up this challenge in driving the Gambian economy during such stormy political weather you deserve your place.


Mr editor allow me space in your widely read news paper to support the article authored by brother Drammeh on the subject of FGM. Mr Drammeh was right in his claims that FGM or female circumcision is not encoded in Islamic traditions. The practise of female circumcision is cultural and evidently pre-Islamic ,so any scholar who try to islamise it is evidently making an error.I would like to add that Imam Abdoulie Fatty is an eminent individual and a very educated scholar ,but that doesn't spare him from the common human emotional down side. He passionately believes that with female circumcision many vices adherent in our societies will be eliminated but the crunch of the social moral collapse is to do with change in our life style and freedom provided to our youths without correct supervision. Secondly ,our moving away from what we perceive as core cultural and religious values is more to do with complicated globalisation which religious leaders are finding very hard to comprehend .The continuous emphasis of women being the cause of our moral decay is over exaggerate and completely misplaced. Both men and women in our society are equally responsible for any thing we perceive immoral and decadence. Female circumcision cannot be claim to be the single most important practise that will reduce the libido of young females to curb their desires ,the old English saying bear fruits here '' it takes two to tango ''. We have been concentrating more attention on our female children and sisters in terms of moral issues whilst at the same time we over looked the moral issues affecting our son's and brothers .these doesn't help the debate in maintaining a decent moral society. The scholars have stated over and over that female circumcision is not Islamic ,one such scholar is DR Bilal Philips resident in emirates who did a lot of research on the topic ,in-fact he went as far as saying that '' female circumcision is not Islamic .He can be contacted at I will advice those advocating the end of the practise not to use heart in passing their message ,the topic is a sensitive subject . I am only writing as a concern Gambian not a scholar or an expert .I hope our common good is put ahead of individual scores .


Allow me space to debunk Fatoumatta Drammeh's claims that Ahmadiyya movement is Islamic. I would first ask Fatoumatta to read the teachings of Qadianism or Ahmadiyya movements books.The movement was born out for the simple reason of countering the militant Islamic concept in the Indian sub-region.

The founder of Qadianism or Ahmadiyya movement was actually a British agent .The Ahmadiya came about to challenge certain teachings of Islam and to question the basis of the Quran itself.How can such a movement be considered Islamic when they refuse to leave the ayah's or verses of the quran as it was reveal to the noble prophet Muhammad (PBUH) ? How can the Ahmadiya movement considered them-self Muslims when they only target vulnerable and poor Muslim countries for there propaganda ? The movement from the top officials are friends with countries that traditional oppose every thing Islamic.
There are thousands of facts to present to madam Drammeh that will unveil the deceptive movement of Qadianism ,the sad thing is that many young and old Ahmadiyyas are blindly following a teaching which is contradictory to a believe system that they proclaim to adhere to.
I am not igniting any religious conflict but the facts are facts. Let the Ahmadiyya call them-self some thing else ,no one will have any problem with that , but to be a cancer in the midst of Muslims is even worst than the open enemies of Islam. Gambians need to read the literature's of the Ahmadiya movement and then assess whether it is Islamic or not.
The founder Mazir Qulam Ahmad clearly openly advocate for obedience to the British monarch rather the Islamic caliph .Mazar Qulam Ahmad change the meanings of quranic verses to soothe his doctrines .The clear Arabic text concerning the seal of prophet-hood is change to give way to his false proclamation of being a Mahdi.
I will advice Fatoumatta to read the news papers accounts of Qulam Ahmad's claims ,she and many others will uncover the gran-deception .The British needed an agent who will dilute the powers of Muslims ,and they needed a Muslim to the job for them. this is where Qulam Admad came in. He form his movement Solly to bring confusion and weaken the unity of the Indian Muslims fighting for liberation from colonial rule.

Every third world British colony was provided with the Ahmadiyya mission .look at the way they spread. they are mainly in British former colonies ,one can see a clear connection between the Ahmadiyya movement and there masters.

The movement is not Islamic .They practise some aspect of Islam but the fundamental believe in qatmu nubuwat ( sealed of prohethood by prophet Muhammad is denied) ,the Ahmadiya movement believe that prophet-hood is only sealed to non-Muslims but it continuous among Muslims .This is a clear fabrication and deception.
To be considered a Muslim one need to believe in the truthfulness and accuracy of the quran and to follow the sunah of prophet Muhammad ,leave his words as they are and interpret the quran as was understood by the sahabas or his companions ,any thing else one is following error .
i have attended Ahmadiya conferences in London Modem where they have their biggest centre. why did Pakistan declare the movement unislamic ? Madam Fatoumatta ,find out the truth of the movement. Ahmadiyas don't pray behind other Muslims ,they don't marry to other Muslims and they have there own graves in many Gambian towns and villages WHY ? Because they consider other non-Ahmadiyas as unbelievers .
Of-course the movement engage in charitable ventures but so is the red cross ,and many other non-religious organisation .They build schools ,hospitals and provide sponsorship to needy pupils but so are the catholic missions .When we discussed faith ,we are talking about the here after ,not this present world. If one doing some good acts out of concern for humanity ,his or her intentions are well spelt out but if one is doing a good action to trap and manipulate poor people ,then that is wrong. The later is what the charitable organisation of the Ahmadiyaa movement is all about .From the poor Gambia to Ghana ,to Sierra Leon ,Nigeria etc ,they have mission projects to entice the needy and vulnerable.
Finally ,i will reiterate that the Qadiani or Ahmadiya movemnet is not an islamic splinter group like the shih or Sufis ,or even comparable to the four school of Islamic thought .they some times use that term to define them-self .They are not Muslim .period.
thank you Mr editor for the space .


Should the Gambian President Yahya Jammeh be using force on his People?......By Suntou Touray, United Arab Emirates (UAE) ..................Posted June 28th, 2007As we ponder daily over the apparent mistreatment of our fellow country men/women, thousands of miles away, we wonder and we ask, is it necessary for a legitimate elected President with over sixty percent (60%) of votes be using force in ruling a peaceful populace of just over one million people? We ask again, if truly our President Yahya Jammeh won the election through the clean modern democratic system, why the brutal dictatorship? I can't find any answers to these legitimate and simple questions. We are told that in a democratic society people are ruled according to their will. It is the will of the majority that voted in the government, but what happens if that government turn against its electorates? Gambians have read from newspapers published far from our shores about the undemocratic norms prevalent in the daily lives of the average Gambian, yet our state department pass these allegations as mere unpatriotic and a rife in blame culture. Who is really saying the truth? Are we just labelling false accusations against a government we oppose or are they in reality strangling the democratic culture the Gambia have known for over three decades? Wherever one stands on the issue of Yahya's style of governing, there are legitimate questions to be answered. What cannot be denied is the use of force and torture to humiliate peaceful and toothless Gambians. The Gambia, a small country where every one is nearly related was a poor but stable country until Yahya came to power .The poverty still remains but the peaceful side has nearly vanished. Gambians used to pride themselves on the peaceful coexistence of Muslims and Christian and the respect for their respective religion, but now all that is gone through the artificial window created by a young military officer Yahya Jammeh. Over the period of his twelve-year rule, Gambians have transformed from non-brutal human beings to the beast that is ever bloodthirsty. Many Gambian can now kill for Yahya with impunity and walk the streets of Banjul and Serrekunda without feeling any remorse for the crime he/she has perpetrated against innocent and defenceless citizens. Now we can laugh at each other's tragedy so easily. Every single complaint against Yahya's narrow-minded leadership is deemed as tribal opposition. What happen to us? Did we allow our so-called Islamic and Christian beliefs to escape without a single fight? Or was it that we were always the beasts inside but we did not have the means to let it out until a young officer gave us the opportunity? I have seen in Sierra Leon where the natives use to labour so hard for foreigners, one wonder where the self-respect is after Foday Sanko open the Hell Gate who ran through it? All decent journalists in our small paradise either stopped practicing their profession or seek refuge in a foreign country while the rest of the Gambians are sitting doing nothing. Shall we say all complaint be stopped against Yahya and his cronies until we are ready to take action. Our opposition parties are under funded and have no militants. What options do we have to correct the injustices taking place daily? Many Gambians are quiet as usual thinking to themselves what can they do about the current hardship? For now let us tell Yahya, you don't need to criminalize us and rule us with an iron fist. We are a peaceful and obedient people and please stop harassing us. Let the free media do their job and you too can let your media do their role of writing only good stuff about you .We can read the news that is realistic and accurate. You see Yahya, you don't need to be tyrannical to spend another fifty years in power .For now all Gambians should be saying is President, why the harsh rule, the arresting and jailing, the insulting and hatred? Why creating hostility between our sister country Senegal and us? It is we Gambians who will pay the price for any eventual confrontation between Gambia and Senegal. There is no need to be tyrannical for us to sing Jilanka every morning and before we go to bed. Mr President, give us our freedom back or else we will demand it back by any means necessary.


Letter Writer Takes Issues With Lt. Col. Sam Sarr’s Reflections On Tribal Politics

Mr. Editor: Allow me space to comment briefly on the latest article authored by the eminent Mr. Sarr,' 'the Genesis of tribalism in Gambian politics''.

The topic is very important and a significant catalyst for our unity and way forward. The topic is also very sensitive and a source of confrontation among the Gambian community. Intellectually, the topic can be debated and appropriate conclusions can be derived from the discussions.

I will advice Mr. Sarr to be careful in mentioning the names of private Gambian individuals, it may proof the opposite of what he may be trying to achieve. Sam himself was a prominent Gambian and many have dealt with him on different levels, both professional and personal. Naming names may create an avenue where his own person becomes a source of diversion and distraction from the topic.

I agree with some of his narrations. No one can eliminate tribalism we most agree. Just like racism, tribalism serves as a source of comfort to some and a source of gain for others. Negative gains.
The most important thing for every Gambian is for us to continue to maintain the mutual respect, cordiality and tolerance we have for one another. We have indeed come a long from the days of the heavy CAST SYSTEM prevalent among our respective tribes. As a country, we still have a long way to go in realizing true brotherhood and oneness in our national endeavors.

What Mr. Sarr has narrated concerning the founders of PPP, some are true and others are speculations. Similarly, the Mandinkas from the outer boundary of greater Banjul were not seen to be included in the clique that existed among the founders of U.P.

The friction among our early founding fathers was not to be emulated in totality and as Sarr said ''Jawara change his stance later run''. He Jawara was seen to abandon the core members of the Gambian community that helped brought him into power. And one thing worth clarifying here, which is, those who helped and rally behind Jawara were not only Mandinkas, there were also Fulas, Sarahuleh and Wolofs from the Province’s.

Tribalism exists in The Gambia, just like Racism and classicism exist in the west. It has become the duty of us all to work on our INNER ATTITUDES AND THINKING PATTERNS in reducing the problems of tribalism.

Yahya Jammeh it is true has been put under media spot light more than Jawara and that the faults of Jawara were not overly exposed due to the limited media outlets and the fewer number of literate Gambians. But the major difference between Yahya and Jawara is their respective records of HUMAN RIGHTS .The media attention on Yahya is much to do with his curtailing of the independent media's freedom. Both Yahya and Jawara have been guilty of fanning tribal politics, but on a closer scrutiny, one will see a clear difference between the two. During Jawara's time, his biggest opponents where Mandinkas. This is vital in the discussions. The tribal tag that opponents of Sheriff Dibba label on him were not found to be credible. In NCP, there were both strong Wollof personalities and other tribes. The tribal tags level on the likes of BB Darboe and the rest were all preemption by other non-Mandinka speaking tribes.

To evidently know ones tribalism, one key indicator is the willingness for one to speak other tribes’ languages. Now in the Gambian how many percentage of Wollof speaks a language other than Wollof?
I too was recently presiding over a naming ceremony in U.K and the father of the Baby is Mandinka but cannot speak Mandinka and but majority of those congregated at the ceremony are indeed Mandinka speakers including myself. What is the solution to this problem? We decided to do the rites in Wollof because all the Mandinkas there can speak a fairly good Wollof and the Wollof audience including the baby's mother (a Wollof) cannot understand Mandinka.
Yes, it is easy to pinpoint the likes of the late Fan Nafa Saho, Dr. Manneh has tribalist, but for me i will take that comment with a pinch of salt.

Brother Sam, it is good and patriotic to stimulate this discussion and i hope many will join in the debate .For me i will wait until you conclude the topic to be in a better position to analyze all the account you stated. One thing though, every one account you gave about a prominent Mandinka showing tribalist sentiment some one will march that with a prominent Wollof showing an even bigger tribalist sentiment. The ball is in our court; it now depends on how we play it. Some of us have mix parents; it is that kind of open minded and tolerant inter-marriages that will create a better understanding among us all.
I thank you Mr. Sankareh for the space. We owe you a lot for the news and interviews. It is not easy to be in a media business, it requires lots of investment .We owe you a lot. May be one day we will conduct a fund raising for our on line newspapers. God bless.


THE BAD STATE OF THE ROADS WITHIN SERREKUNDAOur roads are a source of illness and diseases. The people of Serrekunda, Bakoteh, London Corner, SOS and Sukuta needs better treatment by the regime of Yahya Jammeh.The daily travel hassle is so intense ordinary people from the affected areas mention above have to wake up very early in the morning to start their journey within the towns of Serrekunda.On average passengers pay fairs until they nearly start to scream.I tell you my average fair and the number of vehicles I change before I get to Banjul. I live in Bakoteh, from Bakoteh to Serrekunda Senegambia garage the fair is D5, from Senegambia garage to Westfield is D5, from west field to Banjul is D6 .And within Banjul the vehicles have many other restrictions, so the distance which use to be a vehicle hub is now a long walk. A single trip can cost up to D17. How many people can afford this horrendous amount?Early in the morning, Vans start from Bakoteh Tipper garage to Banjul, the fare for that journey is D12. This is cheaper for people living in the vicinity of Tipper garage. But for me, I commute from Bakoteh layout to Tipper garage for these Vans, since many commuters wish to save money, we scramble for these Vans. The Gambia doesn't have any public buses .The Van drivers can charge any fare they wish because of the monopoly.The road situation is so sad. I usually see the APRC members of parliament from Sukuta and beyond driving their comfortable four wheel cars passing by commuters every morning, whilst the resident of Serrekunda and sukuta swallow the dust and heat.The Vans are seen regularly trying to avoid potholes, this avoidance swing them at pedestrians also trying to utilize the safer areas of the dilapidated roads.The Van drivers with their rude aparantees and the pedestrians continually trade insults and swearing due to all of them trying to use the sides of the roads that are a bit level.Some times when trucks pass you on the Serrekunda road, only the power of God keep you without coughing your lungs out. The dust is red, tick and bitter and the trucks blow it every where.The bravery of the residents of Serrekunda to Sukuta pass Bakoteh is immense, these people with all the neglect by the useless government of James junkun Jammeh aka Yahya go about there business without any hindarance.They put the APRC government to shame.The president I am told doesn't travel on that road. He and his entourage always use the coastal roads or the Westfield to Yundum road.MY FEARSThe majority of people from London Corner, Bakoteh, SoS, Sanchabah, Sukuta, Burufut and the nearby villages of Serrekunda buy there daily UNDUGA (food ingredients) from the dusty Serrekunda market, imagine the contamination in the food stuffs.They have no choice but to eat the food that is bought from the Serrekunda market with dust. Now this is a health hazard. The hospitals are not up to scratch yet our roads are increasing the level of illnesses.As soon as night falls, the visibility level drops close to 10 meters only. This is dangerous for all pedestrians.The government needs to realize that a healthy and good road is source of progress and national empowerment. The people living in the affected areas need a better treatment; our children need to be safe on the roads and the vehicle owners need help in maintaining their source of revenue on the roads. A bad road lead to the continual breakdown of vehicles be it work vehicles, commercial vehicles and medical ambulances. A good road encourages investment and shortens the time of travel and these will help us in our own way of tackling the threats of global warming. The intention is not to shame my country which I love dearly, but to expose the neglect and disregard on the side of my government. It is an Islamic and human duty for citizen who pays taxes to speak out against mismanagement and inefficiency.I applaud the people of Serrekunda to Sukuta for their courage in walking the roads that are not fit for a twenty first century man. The system fail you, the politicians fail you and our journalist need to be stronger in there spirit and efforts in bringing the truth to the public domain.I am a patriotic Gambian and I love each and every citizen of our blessed lands.The promise regularly given by the government to build those roads are not worthy of listening to. The people need actions. Imagine how those roads will be like in the raining season? They will not only become DOMODAH, but they will be SUPERKANJA instead after the fungus and bacteria infested them. This was my personal observation on the bad state of our roads during my stay in the Gambia in the Month of November 2007.The pictures are taken during my November 2007 visit to the Gambia.


My view on the two great concepts.
read along.hundreds of people sacrifice time and money for both concepts to improve the physical and spritutal needs of man. from missionary activities to political activist.some get killed along both ways. isn't it time humanity realise both ideas and concepts are here to stay.they cannot do without each other. we are all religious in some way. and we are all political in some others ways .

it is just my humble thoughts.

It has become part of the culture of intellectuals and academics and those aspiring for status on that line to have deep phobia for religion. Students of knowledge and propagators of religion often encounter these intellectuals usually with very strong condemnation for religious people.
One wonders what the problem of all this phobia for religion is about? It seems that these haters of religion need to look within themselves and to analyse what is making them have the anti-religion line of The religious phobia
thinking. They aim to let us talk in language devoid of any religious sentiment, yet they will not hesitate to propagate the noble and all-perfect idea of democracy. They believe that democracy, can work without any religious side to it .I doubt that concept very much. I believe that the greatest achievement man can have is his/her salvation from hell. What does democracy tell us concerning how to achieve salvation? How many great proponents of democracy left us in this beautiful world? Some of them even get killed by their opponents.

People of religion hardly have any problem with democracy and secular ways. It is the so-called advocates of democracy who can't accept others. Consider the countless wars on others just for them to accept democracy. Why is force always been part of democracy? I also wonder why the biggest democratic countries have unlimited fire power that can obliterate rest of the animal kingdom. These fire powers are usually in the hands of the defenders of the now divine idea democracy.
They still tell us that religion is the cause of human rights violation and abject backwardness. Consider some simple questions: Was religion responsible for the genocide or holocaust of the Jews and genocide in Rwanda and Burundi ? Of the wars on Iraq how much do you blame that on religion? Was it not based on the forces of democracy willed on a people whose culture and social values differ with democracy in all its facets? Again was it religion that was responsible for the usage of the chemical 'agent orange' on the Vietnamese people and the Burmese people?

The list can go on and on .But secular fundamentalists don't wish to answer those questions .Mostly they get entangled between corporate interest and promotion of democracy. The two are closely intertwined so much that their difference is blurred.Any comment about what the Almighty says is looked at with disdain and apprehension. The struggle between man's interest and God's principle has been going on for a long time and that struggle will continue.

The two great ideas concerning love of God and the treatment of fellow human beings with respect and love are promoted both by religion and democracy. Where the two differ is on the issue of worship and morality. Belief and disbelief is a matter of personal choice for every human being. God never forces us to believe in him. He endowed us our free will. But he reminds us that the long journey will end some day and then we will have no choice but give him our account.

The vital issue that secular democrats highlight concerning religion is the different religious sects or groups existing and each group is calling to its ways. They doubt the usefulness of all the callers to God. They also tell us that the problem of the world today is extremism and religious intolerance .Who will question that statement?
No one will. But what they forget to tell us is that any extremism is bad and evil not just religious extremism.
All religions call to moderation.
It is true that there are different religious groups and each believing it is on the right path. But so is democracy. Democracy has many models. It is not just one big idea on a horizontal line where every thing is equal. Each country models its unique type of democracy. Do we have any problem with that? We even have monarchy in democratic countries, how unjust can that get? The callers to God give people an option. The important thing is for people to be free to choose which faith group to follow if they so wish or remain faithless if that’s what they want. The way we sit down and find out about our life should be the same way we analyse the choices available in religion as well. Callers to religion are no different from the callers to democracy; free speech, human rights, animal rights etc. The callers to a particular faith group mostly state why that religion or faith is the best .Just like how some countries keep reminding other countries why they should adopt democracy and be friend with them.

Islam is based on an idea of submission to the will of the only one true God. Much has been said about how Muslims in the past used to force people to accept Islam. The big fallacy in that perception is that no one can force any one to submit his will to the will of God. No one can do that. The choice for any human being to accept following the one true God by submitting his/her will to God can never be done by force. The word Islam can also mean SURRENDER, SUBMISSIOM, and OBEDIENCE.
These acts must be done with sincerity, peace of mind, and free will. The acts of obeying God is to believe that God is the only supreme being worthy of obeying in totality, without any questions. The word Islam is usually referred to as peace. But the Arabic word peace means salaam not Islam. Islam appropriately means PEACE THAT ONE HAS INSIDE HIM THROUGH HIS RELATION WITH ALLAH.
A Muslim is someone who is practicing Islam. Islam just like democracy implores on believers to avoid blood shed and tyranny and to respect human rights. It also advises the wealthy to look after the poor. It explains to human beings how to attain salvation through the teachings in the final testament of God, the Quran. How many Muslims today follow Islam as was the practice by prophet of Islam Muhammed (SAW)? How many people born into a Muslim home and from Muslim families became overwhelmed by other ideas some of which run parallel to Islam? How many born Muslims practice cultural activities which is plainly unislamic? How many Muslims call to ideas strange to Muslims yet they advice us that it is for the best? So we can easily see that being born a Muslims is not the end of the matter. One has to be ready to submit his/her will to the commands of Allah. It cannot be done by force but by free will. Why shouldn't Muslims preach their religion or why shouldn't Christians preach their faith? If people believe and know for certain what they have and know it is good and the best they tell others about it. That is what men/women of religion do, just like men/women of media, politics, science, sports etc do. If people are calling to God, why should that be a bad thing? Another key issue worth considering here is the difference between people of the same faith group. Some people have made changes into the original message of the prophets. They have allowed adulteration and alteration to creep into what was preferred and original. It has become the duty of those within the same faith group to expose the ones practicing a diluted or adulterated brand of their faith. Again no religious group is free from this problem, from Budihism, Islam, Hindusm, and Christianity etc. Just like in democracy, we have many brands and experts can sit and analyse which brand is the real one. So also is it with the experts on religion as well. The real brand in Islam is following the Quran and the Sunnah or ways of the Prophet of Islam. Any other thing falls into bidah or innovation. Scholars and experts can easily state which group is way off the mark. They are easy to know. Like any other thing, what a human being is engrossed into, it is not easy to take him/her away from that. But people need reminding what must be done. Allah in the Quran told the prophet of Islam,'' your ummah or generation are the best raised up among mankind because you forbid the evil and advice towards good''. But even undertaking that simple advice can land one into all sorts of name calling and character assassination. That is the order of the day now. Should the callers to true Islam stop and succumb to the secularist? Of course No. The dilemma between secularist and religious adherent will soften up when we understand each other’s point of view and work in close harmony. We are not a threat to one another. We all need bits and pieces from each other. May humanity see the goodness in the human family to love and follow God along the most blessed road to eternal peace and harmony


Refocusing Samsideen Sarr
By Suntou Touray

Editor Pa Nderry Mbye allow me space in your respected and widely read freedomnews paper. I want you to publish my rejoinder to Samsideen Sarr. The response should have been published on the pages of the online Gambia echo news paper but unfortunately the able and renown editor of the online paper couldn't find the time and space to publish my rebuttals to Samsideen Sarr's wild and gullible response to my piece. Samsideen, I believe was expecting a response from me and many of my friends and acquaintance were also expecting some form of response after Samsideen mistakenly refer to me as Dr Manneh and he also deliberately misquote my response to his piece. It is my firm believe that you Editor Pa Nderry will let Gambians read my response to the Retired Colonel who openly lied about Dr Manneh and others. The truth shouldn't be suppressed for friendship sake.'' If an offense came out of the truth, better it is that the offense come than that the truth be concealed''. St. Jerome . Samsideen poke fun at the Mandingo speaking soldiers by declaring that they the ''Mandingo boys were the majority in the July 22 coup but Yahya stole it from them''. I don't know what Samsideen mean by that statement. If he was trying to instigate a tribal uprising in the army, then he is the wrong person to be the instigator.
Another vital issue worth clarifying is Sam's sudden expertise in the Kenya trouble. He blamed all the trouble on Tribe but a close analysis by experts on the ground explained otherwise. The core of the problem is neglect and imbalance wealth distribution by the Kibaki Government which was elected into power by the dwellers of the Nairobi slums during the time of former president Moi. It is the same disadvantage people rising up against Kibaki who failed them. We can all see the gun shots taking place mainly in slum areas.

Further to Samsideen Sarr's rejoinder on the topic 'the genesis of tribalism is Gambian politics'', there is compelling reason to track the issue on sharp focus.

Mr Editor, please post this response to our brother, Samsideen Sarr's reply to my earlier rejoinder. For Sam to take my piece as supporting tribalism is a grave error on his part needing correction. I have not and will not subscribe to promoting tribalism. The comment pertaining to problems of tribalism I made was just to highlight that NO ONE CAN ELIMINATE TRIBALISM IN TOTALITY .I advise that each and every one of us must do his/her best to be tolerant and accommodating towards others in our diverse society. Sam did his best to make me look like some ‘mandingocentric’ hell-bent on fanning tribal war. That is unjustified and intellectually dishonest on the part of Sarr.

The wider gains of this topic are for interested Gambians to debate. It is not a response and counter-response between me and Sarr. I have to give credit to Samsideen for providing ample historical side to the topic but in reality all he narrated is available in many written text and the information is widely shared among Gambians.

The warning Sam should consider is not to narrow the issue as personal attack. Sam needs to differentiate where to personalize issues and where not to. This topic is so fundamentally important that making self-promotional remarks will divert readership attention. He could have avoided his usual bigot and self-exhibition. Sam went out of his way to question my person as if the topic is about me or him. The key reason for taking part in this sensitive and important topic is not trade my person but to add the little facts and information available as way flavoring the debate.

I am not Doctor Momodou Manneh. I have never seen him or talked to him. I am not the least connected to him by family. My humble origin is of the Upper River Division URD from the district of Sandu. Doctor Momodou Manneh coming from the North Bank Division is a far stretch. The editor of this paper is informed about my person. Let’s move on from there.

Samsideen Sarr placed himself in an uncomfortable situation. It is now proven that Dr Manneh truly obtained a doctorate degree in a well known American university and the link is here for Sam to check for himself.

Gambians will be terribly disappointed in you Samsideen. You personally attacked Dr Manneh's credibility and truthfulness. You insulted his intellectual integrity beyond all ethical conformity. You raised doubts about his competence and trustworthiness.

It is proven yet again that the comments you made against Dr Manneh with closed eyes and blocked mind are all wrong. What are you going to do Mr Sarr? I took no offence for the fact you questioned my person in me defending Dr Manneh and Dr Saho. I am not new with fellow Gambians on different online forums of debate. We each grow from different experiences. Harboring hate and malicious grievances is unhealthy. This is the link to Dr Manneh's former university in U.S. .The burden of proof now lies squarely in-front of your very eminent Rtd Lt. Colonel Samsideen Sarr. Those who feel Sam is right then you search the link for yourself.

This is what another Gambian by the name Kay Jatta observed about Sam's comments.

''the author ( Sam) made what seem to me another preposterous claim that " was not until the PPP in their quest for independence from the British started to spreading the inaccurate political message that the Wollofs had stolen their country...and kept them under suppression for centuries...". Could the author provide any sources for this giant claim? The author talked about "Wollof hegemony" ? Hello!Perhaps it will be relevant for the author to understand that the PPP initially represented the rural dwellers which included all the ethnic groups of the Gambia . The author's concept of Wollof seems to be limited to Banjul and Serekunda only.I am afraid I will have to say that Sam's paper, which other wise could be a good paper, is charged with animosity against Dr's. Manneh and Saho. I do not know about Dr. Saho who is believed to have obtained his doctorate from Germany , but Dr. Manneh's doctorate title I believe is kind of a street tile not of his own making. There used to be rumours that he bought his doctorate certificate in the U.S. , but that is never substantiated. Here is a one time incident with Dr. Manneh elevated to the level of tribalism. Perhaps tribalism is in the eyes of the beholder in this case. I have heard someone narrated his encounter with Dr. Saja Taal also, then Parm. Sec. DOSE, who scornfully crawled at him (a Mandingo) 'yen lemalen sibeh' meaning how he hated Mandingos. Funny isn't it? But these incidents are exceptions rather than the norm in Gambian society.The author referenced the case of Kenyan conflict to make his point about the Gambia . Well Kenya 's case is very important and perhaps generally symptomatic of the broad African tribal dilemma, but we must not simply transpose the Kenyan question on the Gambian socio-political landscape. I have a Kenyan co-worker, a Kikuyu who is very supportive of Kibaki, but another Kenyan of my acquaintance , a Luo who is very angry about the sham election in Kenya even talk about dividing the country. That is how grave the Kenyan situation is, it breaks my heart.Perhaps one has to understand the forces in the society in order to have some proper perspective of the nature of the conflict in that given society. All societies are divided into race, class, religion, gender, region, etc. There is actually very few homogeneous societies. These societal divisions can either act to neutralise one another or reinforce one another. Where they neutralise one another, peace is usually maintained, but if they reinforce one another then conflict usually result.In the Gambia for example, our tribal, religious, and economic divisions tends to have neutralised one another, so that our political (and other behaviour) cut across tribe, religion, economic, and other affiliations. No particular group is completely marginalised to the point of feeling angry. This perhaps is the source of our stability. Now in Kenya , this might not be the case. If you look at Kenyan political and economic life since independence, it has arguably been dominated predominantly by the Kikuyus to the almost total exclusion of others. So what might be happening in Kenya is that the economic disparity between the different tribes is reinforcing their ethnic divide thereby creating a conflict we are witnessing today. This is different from what obtain in the Gambia . The Gambia has a tradition of political and economic inclusiveness. I hope Jammeh does not destroy that tradition''.Thanks.
Kay Jatta and many other Gambians currently debating this topic can be access at this link.

Janko, another contributor on the same forum made this observation:

“The Gambia -The Genesis of Tribal Politics is a good example of a Europhonic mindset. For example, in his response to Suntu Touray the author mentioned what he would not teach his children, he wrote; “They don’t know about those crappy mumbo-jumbo stuffs like the “Domas”, “Buwaas”, “Fangbondis”, and the primitive segregations based on family trade or skill background.” The author shares the perspective of the anthropologists of the 20s and 30´s that our traditional worldview and social structure is PRIMITIVE. The difference is the anthropologists used the notion of Primitivism to strengthen and alleviate the status of their own societies over the rest of the world whiles the author uses it to harm the reputation of his own society and people.The author threw the baby with the birth water,i) by manifesting the very tribalism tendencies he intends to resolveii) by on the one hand blaming so-called ethnic indifferences on colonialism but on the other hand using it as a positive argument for lack of interest in learning to speak other languages.Interesting is that the author’s good intention is defected by the inadequacy of knowledge about the formation of political parties. The juxtapositioning of facts makes it difficult to grasp the red thread in the article. The only distinguished characteristic in the article is the magnitude of contradiction. Is the eradication of elementary political history intentional or unknowing? The author made no mention of the fact that M C. Cham, M C. Jallow, Andrew Camara were all UP candidates elected under the UP banner and later cross-carpeted to PPP. That Dibba broke away from the People’s Protectorate Party (PPP) when it became the People’s Progressive Party clearly indicate a revisionist rather than a reconciliatory attitude. Dibba did not form NCP because PPP changed name. The author claims to have grownup in a homogenous community, Serra Kunda but the picture painted in the article is the opposite, heterogeneous, a “melting pot”. Post colonialism a term used by the author is misleading because it implies a utopia; “Africa after colonialism” but colonialism has not left Africa it rather changed form to Neo colonialism. Hence, the mindset of the political everyday is Europhonic (not Eurocentric or Afrocentric), that is to say; everyday political reality is perceived in colonial and not local languages, the instrument of governance is English/French not local languages. I fully agree with the author’s intention of the need to discuss and debate issues pertaining to ethnic relations but this call for a mindfulness that does not strengthen ethnic stereotypes. It demands a historical understanding based on reality not wishful thinking, or revisionism.”

I ask you for the sake of peace and mutual co-existence to make an open unconditional apology to the person of Dr Momodou Manneh and Dr Lamin Saho concerning the unethical and disrespectful remarks you made against them with regards to their educational qualifications.

If you are brave enough to do that then we can count you among our brave gallant Gambian soldiers. Retired Lt Colonel Samsideen Sarr former commander of the GNA infantry division is a big rank Sam. For us to adequately believe that you obtained that rank by merit then be a brave soldier and apologise. If not the question marks surrounding your army credential will vindicate many.

This response is not meant to be as wordy and lengthy as yours Sam. I will start a sub-title called:


The Gambia is a blessed social fix and fit. People occupying that tiny strip of land enjoy harmony in diversity. Any one of us can be connected to other tribes. That is a fact. Samsideen being connected to both Serere and Wollof is good proof harmony in diversity. I am connected to Wollof. My great grand father Mbye Touray was a Fana fana speaking Touray. His eldest son Suntou Touray adopted Mandinka as a language. My mum is Fula and now I count myself Mandinka .This is not specific to me alone. Many Gambians can trace their linage into two or more tribes. That is a special blessing we must embrace and promote and not the divisive wedge you labour to drive between us.

Yes we will encounter incidences of minor tribal derogatory remarks but the bigger picture is what should be amplified and promoted. Even the likes of the late PS NJIE was connected to both Jola and Wollof. According to professor Sulayman Nyang PS NJIE's mother is Jola and Father Wollof just like Samsideen Sarr's father is Serere and mum Wollof. Let the Gambia and Gambians look at the great blessing. To mess up with that for the sake of point scoring will lead us into disharmony.

Gambia ’s ethnic harmony is further promoted by our diverse artists especially in the music arena. Some of our best known of Wollof musicians have composed and made good songs in Mandingo language to the appreciation a joyful audience. Musa Ngum, Lie Ngum (Abdel Kabirr), Ousou Lion Njie, and many other Wollof musicians served as good examples. Many kora musicians have also play tunes with songs in Wollof .Jaliba Kuyateh a mandinka kora musician composed a song in wollof in honour of prominent wollof lawyer and business tycoon Amadou Samba. What is less ethnic harmony than that? So many good teachers speak Wollof, Fula, Mandingo and other Gambian language. In every Wollof household Domoda (a Mandinka dish made of groundnut butter) is a regular part of the weekly menu. “Benechin” (Wollof fried rice) is part of Gambian national food choice. Such is the value of our national assets in appreciating the vast ethnic harmony Mr Sarr.
You are better off to delineate yourself from this issue. You are Sam Sarr. When you pick up national issues it is most ethical in the basic principles of writings that you differentiate fairly what belongs to the issue. Your personal experience is not a national issue. Extending the issue to your parents and children falls outside the call of this topic.
Individual problems must be dealt with individually. The originator of this topic lambasted Dr Manneh due to a private personal encounter and the citing of some few instances of unpleasant tribal comments .If indeed that was true then Sam should have sorted the matter there and then. It will be very unhealthy to drag that private encounter into a national debate after more than 20 years. The settlement of Banjul alone is a great scenario for us to emulate. Even in Banjul there are other minor ethnic people that have nearly faded away. Some Malian communities of the early days are culturally non-existent. Most of them either adopted Wollof or Aku as a tribe and language group. If they are happy with it so be it.

Sam, do not try to assume the topic you authored. That is a dangerous way of writing. One can associate with your piece but don't make the piece about you and you alone. I pray that the Almighty God forgive the soul of the late Dr Lamin Saho. Long live peace harmony and tolerance in the Gambia and Africa .

Our unity and harmony can even be envied by the Belgium 's who are currently disputing over whether to divide there country or not. This is due to language problems. We are not in that situation.