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02.03.2007 General News

Parliament celebrates Independence Day on Monday

By myjoyonline

Parliament would hold a Commemorative Golden Jubilee sitting on Monday, March 5 at 21:45 hours as part of the country's anniversary celebrations.

Mr Felix Owusu-Adjapong, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, presenting the business statement for next week in Parliament, urged Members of Parliament to be punctual and attend upon the House by 21:15 hours because of the security implications and visit by President J.A. Kufuor and other dignitaries expected in the House.

The President, Speaker Ebenezer Sekyi Hughes and the Speaker of the Pan-African Parliament would all address the gathering.

Earlier, Mr Akwasi Osei-Adjei, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and NEPAD, told the House that breaking diplomatic relations with the Gambia would not favour investigations into the extra-judicial killing of Ghanaians in the Gambia in July 2005.

He said months of lack of cooperation by the Gambia authorities prevented a seven-member team from Ghana from investigating the matter in that country.

The team, he said, may soon visit Gambia to finalize investigations into the killings because of the positive stance now taken by authorities over there.

The Deputy Minister was responding to a question from Mr John Mahama, (NDC-Bole-Bamboi) on the status of investigations into the killing of more that 40 Ghanaians in Gambia.

Mr Osei-Adjei said official information puts the number of Ghanaians killed at eight and not 40.

He said government was frustrated at the uncooperative attitude of the Gambian authorities, which stalled investigations. He said the seven-member team had begun their investigations in Senegal and had expected to conclude their work in Gambia but after several diplomatic moves little progress was made.

He said the team has so far been able to ascertain the number of dead, those unaccounted for and the cause of death but a lot still remained to be done to conclude the work.

The Deputy Minister said investigations were still on-going now that the Gambian authorities had changes their stance. Mr Kwamina Bartels, Minister of Information and National Orientation, also in the House to answer questions, said to enable the Information Services Department to improve on its outreach programmes, cabinet had given approval for the procurement of 146 cinema vans for all the 138 districts and the regional capitals.
Source: GNA

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