As the management of Cocopa Plantation completes the final payoff of aggrieved workers under the management of the Nimba Rubber Incorporated (NRI), which is almost at the point of closing, many are wondering whether the nightmare at the plantation is finally over.On Thursday, December 1, the Managing Director of Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and also Chief Executive Officer of NRI, Harrison Karnwea, told reporters in Ganta that the payoff process at the plantation was almost over.He said that upon the completion of the payoff, the company will begin the process of recruiting so as to immediately begin work at the deserted plantation.“We are completing the payoff exercise and immediately after the exercise we will start with the process of recruiting a minimum size of workforce to begin work,” he said.Mr. Karnwea in a happy mood said the company will take care of all the damages at the plantation, upon resumption of work. “When I first took in charge of the plantation in the ‘90s, nothing was there to refer to as an office or place to dwell and we were able to restore everything that was looted from the concession.”While the Cocopa Plantation is being revived, there are no facilities in operation; neither schools nor medical facilities, are open at present. Nearly all the facilities at the plantation were looted or vandalized by angry workers, which rendered the concession area a ghost town.But, Mr. Karnwea assured the public that everything will be restored as soon as the recruitment exercise is over, and said school will resume by next academic year.The Cocopa nightmare began in March this year, when the workers refused to work and started blocking roads in demand of salaries and other benefits.The trouble continued until October when the Government of Liberia deployed armed police at the plantation to calm down the situation, after all the facilities had been looted or vandalized by either the aggrieved workers or unidntified persons. The Cocopa Plantation had about 1200 employees, 400 of which were tappers, while the majority worked in other departments which the management could not maintain, especially as rubber prices fell.Mr. Karnwea said the money to pay off the employees was provided by the present management, the NRI and added that the company will be recruiting about 430 persons, including staff and tappers and skilled workers, until things can improve.However, another problem: those that were retired are yet to be settled according to their pension. But Mr. Karnwea said it will be taken care of by the government; for now, they are concentrating on workers. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Although he is supposed to wear the boot for three weeks, Brown said, “It feels better than the three weeks, so I’m going to talk to the doctor right after the All-Star break and see if I can try to speed it up a little bit.” Brown, who has missed 22 games since suffering the injury, was able to do some light shooting at Monday’s practice. He plans to work out next week in a hard cast and gauge things from there. The injury hasn’t cost Brown his sense of humor, as he joked about needing to shoot and feel the ball as much as possible while he isn’t playing. “I already can’t catch,” Brown said, “so if I wait this long and (don’t) touch the ball, you’ll really see something special.” Since Brown was injured Dec. 31, the Lakers have made due with teenage center Andrew Bynum starting. Coach Phil Jackson underscored the importance of Brown’s return when he was asked before Tuesday’s game about Bynum wearing down. “Without a doubt,” Jackson said. “He’s a 19-year-old kid. Jordan Farmar, who’s gone through some longer UCLA college seasons, has also hit the wall. They’re starting to come back a little bit. I see a little more life in them now as they come through this.” The rundown: There are issues of great importance in the NBA these days, like choosing sides in the All-Star weekend charity footrace between Charles Barkley and 67-year-old referee Dick Bavetta. “I talked to Dick Bavetta actually a couple games ago. He assured me that he’s in the best shape of his life,” Kobe Bryant said. “If I had to bet, I’d probably go with Dick.” Two-for-none: Jackson revealed that the Lakers suffered from a lack of communication in the final minute of Friday’s loss at Toronto. The coach wanted the Lakers to play the two-for-one possession game but the Lakers didn’t take a shot for nearly 20 seconds. “Not to have a two-for-one when you have 44 seconds (left), those are little things that we’re working at,” Jackson said. “I’m trying to get into that huddle a little bit earlier and be more direct with my comments and make less assumption that they know.” Good feelings: Not that he would say anything differently after playing 44 minutes Sunday at Cleveland, but Bryant said his health was good heading into the All-Star break, and his surgically repaired right knee was “100 percent” better. “Night and day,” Bryant said. “I don’t have to warm up or anything. I can just go out there right now and play. Last year, I had to warm up about 30 minutes just to get out there.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The timetable Lakers center Kwame Brown was given when he went for a second opinion last week on his sprained left ankle called for him to miss another four to six weeks and return sometime in March. But Brown said he was optimistic that he would be able to beat that projection. He has been wearing a walking boot day and night – even while he sleeps – and said the immobilization was helping his ankle.