president JAMMEH CONDEMNS HOMESEXUALITY

15th May 2008

President Yahya Jammeh has asked members of the country's security services to seek out and arrest any person who is gay, latest by last Friday. They must also close down any motel suspected of harboring gays, he ordered, while also asking yard owners to expel suspected gays from their compounds. The president gave his instructions to the police on Thursday, When he spoke at the “Victory Celebration” held at the Tallinding Buffer Zone. He announced that his government will soon come up with new law banning homosexual practices in The Gambia; a law which will be more stringent then any found in other states such as Iran.

The Gambia leader declared that he has nothing against foreigners who are legally resident in the country because they are in search of greener pastures. However, he will not tolerate criminal practice such as homosexuality.

Speaking at the Tallinding meeting, President Yahya Jammeh also called on the Kanifing Municipal Council to cancel the allocation of any stall or canteen within the Serekunda Market to Gambians who, instead of utilizing the shop, have sub let the stall or canteen to a foreigner. He expressed his frustration over the fact that, in The Gambia whenever public resources are made available for the benefit of nationals, it is other nationalities who reap the benefits.

The Gambian leader pointed out that, from 1994 to date, his government has spent over 10 million dollars on projects, which investment have all gone to benefit neighboring countries. He commended Gambian women, describing them as the pillares which support him and his national development programmes, adding that “98 percent of the support we gave the women have succeeded.”

President Jammeh, however, wondered how many Gambian youths trained by the National Youth Service

Schemes are utilizing their knowledge and skills in the country.

He narrated that “some youths wrote to me asking for my support. But the mistake I made was I gave them the money in bulk, and one of their group leaders absconded with my money. He wanted to go to Babylon by sea and, when I heard about it, I said Allah will judge him. A few days later, I was told that he drowned at sea.”

The President said Gambian youths must change their attitude and, instead of going to find word in Europe , they must “learn skills will earn you a good life in this country.”

KMC, he pointed out, has the largest concentration of foreigners resident in the country, but none of them sleeps in the streets of the municipality. “So let us change our attitude as Gambians.” Secretary of State Yankuba Touray called on Gambians “to change our attitude and diversify to ear staple food, especially in the era of world food crisis.”

Each year, the amount of rice imported into this country is around 90,000 tonnes, when the country is only producing around 25,000 tonnes, he said.

Touray urged the people to produce more food crops “in order to sustain ourselves.”

KMC major Yankuba Colley announced the presenting of two cheques to the public works agency, GAMWORKS. One of the cheques amounting to D311, 000 was for building a resource centre at Charles JOW Memorial Academy , and the D210, 404 cheques was for the rehabilitation of kayumba road near Tallinding.

He also disclosed plans by his council to upgrade Charles JOW Memorial Academy to a senior secondary school. The KMC mayor also presented certificates to deserving persons and intuitions within the municipality for their outstanding commitment to Operation Clean the Nation. The recipients included Yama Njie, Banjul Breweries, Gambia Police Force, Momodou Tour Darboe, Aja Rohy Sagnia and Edrissa Njie.

President Jammeh was among those awarded a certificate of appreciation.

Mayor Yankuba Colley expressed his council's commitment to Operation Clean the Nation and announced that, apart from the 25 new tractors available for operation, the council has ordered shovels, loaders, bulldozers, 12 trucks `and septic tanks, among others, in order to ensure that the Kanifing municipality remains clean.

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