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|The Distinguished Diplomat, Ambassador Freeman Is Dead - 'Played by the Rules'||| Print ||
|Written by FPA Obituary|
|Sunday, 23 September 2012 11:17|
Ambassador James Freeman was never one to mince words. His knowledge and experience as one of Liberia’s most distinguished diplomats made him a rare breed of astute foreign service veterans who never really received the recognition and the flowers he deserved. His passing last Friday, September 21, 2012 left a void of experience, intellect and passion, Liberia could take years to fill.
Ambassador Freeman’s diplomatic career spanned more than three decades. He first joined what was then the State Department in 1957 and was one of the first three employees sent to the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy by the Government to do graduate studies in Diplomacy during the tenure of the late Joseph Rudolph Grimes as Secretary of State, The other two were Ambassador Charles Hansford, and the late Dr, Abraham James.
Ambassador Freeman, along with Ambassador Hansford and James graduated from Fletcher in 1960, their success paved the way for other Liberians to attend Fletcher.
Upon return home Ambassador Freeman worked at the State Department until 1966 when he was nominated an Adlai Stevenson fellow at the United Nations in New York for a year.
He was still an employee of the State Department when he was subsequently appointed Counselor at the Liberian Embassy in Washington D.C.in 1969.
In 1974 Ambassador Freeman appointed Ambassador to France and the Swiss Confederation concurrently, then to Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and the Kingdom of Lesotho currently in 1978 and to Italy and the former Republic of Yugoslavia currently in 1981, to Guinea and Cape Verde in 1984 and back to the Foreign Ministry as Senior Ambassador-at-Large in 1986 until the civil war.
Ambassador Freeman once wrote about his proud record of never being suspended, dismissed or called back as some Ambassadors for misappropriation of government funds or other malpractices.
”I was audited in each position I served. Strangely the audits were conducted after I had been posted to another post but at no time did they find any irregularities. I was not perfect, but I played by the rules.”
Citing his own case, Ambassador Freeman wrote: “I worked continuously over thirty years unlike some Ambassadors who were dismissed from the service and they begged their ways back with clouds hanging over them I would like to know from the Foreign Ministry if there is any living person who matches or outmatches my services to the Foreign Ministry. Please check the records or ask those of us who witnessed the events and helped to shape them. We will not live forever Allow us to share the legacies we built throughout the years with the young aspiring diplomats who are urged to emulate the invaluable exemplary contributions the honorees made to the Foreign Service Please be fair and impartial. Be realistic.”
The interpretation was given that the former Foreign Minister created the scheme so that her sister could be rewarded The policy was never announced. nor explained, and so people drew their own conclusions Many of us do not even know about the CSA Pension referred to during the ceremony and who is entitled to a retirement package under the plan. The people have the right to know what they are entitled to when they serve an institution . I served Government over three decades diligently and honestly as in the Liberian Foreign Service.”
|Last Updated on Monday, 01 October 2012 01:50|