The shutdown means that a lot of Liberian who have traditionally thronged the beaches will be staying home a shift from the norms of the past year when many crowd the beaches and other entertainment places to celebrate
Monrovia – For the first time in years Liberians will have to do without the beaches on what is unarguably the biggest holiday in the Ebola-hit post-war nation. November 29 is the birth anniversary of Liberia’s18th and longest serving president, William V.S. Tubman, which is observed as a national holiday. But this year, the Liberian government ordered all beaches operating across the country closed on November 29.
The shutdown means that a lot of Liberian who have traditionally thronged the beaches will be staying home a shift from the norms of the past year when many crowd the beaches and other entertainment places to celebrate.
Ironically, the biggest holiday of the year is set aside for Tubman, who led Liberia from his election in 1944 until his death in 1971. Tubman is regarded as the "father of modern Liberia"; his presidency was marked by attracting sufficient foreign investment to modernize the economy and infrastructure. During his tenure, Liberia experienced a period of prosperity.
He also led a policy of national unity in order to reduce the social and political differences between his fellow Americo-Liberians and the indigenous Liberians. However, during his tenure, he became increasingly authoritarian in his exercise of power. This year, according to Information Minister Isaac Jackson, the day is being contained because of the deadly Ebola outbreak as authorities look to curb the further spread of the Ebola virus.
This year, the Liberia National Police to keep surveillance at beaches across the country to apprehend violators as the government has warned against gathering at beaches in violation of the pronouncement by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf few months ago halts large gatherings at beaches and amusement centers due to the Ebola outbreak.
The government on Wednesday by Proclamation declared Saturday, November 29, 2014, as the 119th birth Anniversary of the late President William V.S. Tubman, and is to be observed throughout Liberia as a *National Holiday. The Proclamation further orders and directs all government offices, business houses and market places to be closed during the observance from Six O’clock ante meridian to Six O’clock post meridian.
The Proclamation is in consonance with an Act of Legislature enacted at the 3rd Session of the 42nd National Legislature of Liberia, declaring the birth anniversary of Liberia’s 18th President William Vacanarat Shadrach Tubman (November 29, 2014) of each year as a National Holiday in keeping with the will of the Liberian people.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, the Proclamation is in recognition of his productive and meaningful services and policies, including the Open Door Policy, the National Unification and Integration Policy, the granting of suffrages to Liberian women as well as the policies on all social, economic development nationwide and his contributions to the emancipation of African colonial territories into self-governing statehood.
The Proclamation further declared that the celebration is in consideration of the numerous contribution, profound changes and lasting compliments made by President Tubman during his administration as the 18th President of the Republic of Liberia, the people, desirous of showing their deep appreciation, esteem and approval for his outstanding, noble and remarkable leadership, did petition and request the National Legislature of the Nation to issue permanent record of their sentiments in honor of his birth for posterity.