President Sirleaf Confers National Honor on Outgoing Chinese Ambassador

Monday, 30th July 2007
President Sirleaf and Ambassador Lin Songtian
President Sirleaf and Ambassador Lin Songtian
Photo Credit: James Garessen, II/Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia - The Master of the Orders of Distinction of the Republic of Liberia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has conferred a national honor on outgoing Chinese Ambassador Lin Songtian. The honor of Knight Great Band in the Humane Order of African Redemption was conferred on the Chinese diplomat for his tireless efforts to the people of Liberia during his diplomatic tenure in the country.

The honor, according to an Executive Mansion release, was conferred at a national investiture held Monday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The President expressed the Liberian peoplesí gratitude to Ambassador Lin for the numerous projects the Chinese Ambassador has successfully initiated during his tenure including the University of Liberia Fendal Campus project, the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium renovation and refurbishment, and the Camp Tubman military barracks project, among others.

Ambassador Lin said he was delighted for the honor, describing it as the highest he has ever achieved throughout his career. He called on Liberians to rally around President Johnson-Sirleaf, describing her vision as positive and one to depend on for the future.

The investiture brought together an array of senior government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, as well as wishers.

Earlier during the day, the President led members of her cabinet and other government officials to the signing ceremony of a book of condolence in memory of a Chinese national, stabbed to death last Friday by a man, said to be a former student of the Monrovia Vocational Training Institute. He has reportedly admitted committing the act during a robbery attempt.

The President expressed utter shock and regrets for the incident, and assured Ambassador Lin, the government and people of China that the perpetrator of the crime would face the full weight of the law.  The Liberian leader assured all foreigners residing within the countryís borders of maximum protection.

Chinese Ambassador Lin said despite the incident, his country will continue to implement all programs earmarked to assist Liberia in its reconstruction drive. The outgoing Chinese Ambassador said the death of Mrs. Jiang Chongyu, who was an instructor at the MVTC, has further strengthened the bilateral relations between Liberia and China. He urged the Liberian government to ensure that a repeat of such an incident is prevented.

Following the incident, an angry mob is reported to have attacked the suspect who is now undergoing treatment for wounds allegedly sustained during the attack.

Mrs. Jiang Chongyu, 44, served as Deputy Chief of the Chinese Expert Team of the China-aided Technical Training Project on Bamboo and Rattan Weaving at MVTC.