UN Security Council Applauds Liberians for Peaceful Elections

first_imgUN Security Council in session (Courtesy: UN/Evan Schneider).Commends use of legal mechanism for resolution of disputes; wants timely conclusion of electionsThe UN Security Council congratulated the Liberian people and government, as well as political leaders, civil society organizations, and the media, for the peaceful conduct of October 10 presidential and House of Representatives elections.In a release issued in New York, the members of the Security Council commended international partners and UNMIL for their support in elections preparation and applauded the role of international, regional, and domestic election observation missions for their contributions to the transparency of the electoral process.They also commended Liberia’s National Elections Commission’s conduct in an expeditious tallying process and timely announcement of results.The members of the Security Council commended the Government of Liberia, political parties, and the National Elections Commission for the use of established legal mechanisms to address complaints about the conduct of the October 10 election.They called on Liberian claimants and institutions to resolve any disputes, including pending litigation, in an appropriate, fair, transparent, and expeditious manner with a view to permitting the timely conclusion of Liberia’s electoral process and a peaceful transition of power to a new president in accordance with timelines outlined in Liberia’s Constitution.The members of the Security Council called upon leaders of all political parties to continue to refrain from incitement of followers toward any violent action.They noted the importance of a credible and peaceful second round presidential election and called upon Liberians to ensure the elections are free, fair, credible, and transparent, including through the full participation of women.The Security Council reiterated that the responsibility for the preparation, security, and conduct of free, fair and transparent elections rests with the Liberian authorities.They also reiterated their call for international partners to continue to support the Liberian authorities, including through the deployment of international electoral observers, with a view to ensuring the credibility of the second round of elections.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

The bookstore is not dead yet; colouring books and graphic novels are keeping it alive

first_imgWe live in an era when obituaries are being written for the publishing industry and a number of bookstores are shutting down. Last year alone, there were quite a few iconic bookstores across the world that closed down; and among them was our own ‘Fact & Fiction’, whose owner Ajitvikram Singh decided to shut the curtain, saying he just couldn’t “afford to run the shop”. But in this gloomy milieu, there’s a silver lining: India’s publishing industry, valued at approximately $2 billion, is witnessing the rise of a few niche genres like graphic novels, adult colouring books, among others. Rahul Srivastava, managing director of Simon and Schuster, explains how adult colouring books, which have become a rage all over the world in the last couple of years, are steadily gaining popularity in India too. “Adult colouring books are now trending and picking up in the country. Although colouring is usually thought of as an activity for children, it has recently become very popular among adults as well,” he says.Yogesh Sharma, vice-president, sales and marketing of Bloomsbury India, seconds Srivastava when he says that among the niche genres – which “could be anything from poetry and graphic novels to sports and film noir” – adult colouring books are the ones that aren’t just a fad anymore and are beginning to sell well in India, a country where Indian mythology, self-help and rom-coms rule the roost.Vivek Goel, founder of Holy Cow Entertainment, which publishes comic books and graphic novels. Picture courtesy: Mail Today Sharma, however, isn’t quite optimist about the publishing industry per se. “The industry is going through a lot of upheaval,” he says, “This despite the fact that the business outlook is good with 20 per cent growth projected year on year.” And he has reasons to be so concerned about. “With bookshops closing, there aren’t that many takers for new books from un-established authors and, therefore, the average print runs are falling. Also, bookshop owners generally don’t order all new books and almost always don’t order large quantities of a book anymore.”advertisementIn this scenario of conservative marketing, an entity like Comic Con emerges as a knight in shining armour. Since 2011, when it was established in India, it has been a Mecca of sorts for the lovers of pop culture. And, as Vivek Goel, founder of Holy Cow Entertainment (a comic book/ graphic novel publisher), says, “Comic Con India has given us a platform to meet and interact directly with the buyers. It serves as a great platform for new and independent publishers and artists in the industry.”Jatin Varma, founder of Comic Con India, adds, “We keep working closely with a lot of graphic novelists to figure out innovative ways to market them and help them. This year we have a new initiative for indie  publishers. If they agree to publish at least two books and commit to being at all our shows, they get free space plus marketing through us. We are building an ‘Indian Comics Village’ at each of our shows to showcase creators.”Yet, says Sourav Dutta, a veteran of the publishing world and a senior editor at Campfire Graphic Novels, “It’s hard to say whether graphic novels are more popular today because of Comic Con or whether Comic Con is more popular today because graphic novels themselves are before in India. It could be a chicken and egg situation. But I must say that Comic Con India has brought the graphic novel industry of the country to the forefront.” He continues, “The graphic novel industry in India has been around for a while, be it in the English language or in regional vernaculars. It is true that there are nowhere near as many graphic novel fans and buyers in India as there are in the West, but in the last decade-and-ahalf, there has been some wonderful work being produced by Indian writers and artists, and the genre is getting the respect it deserves even among serious readers.”Still, a few things haven’t changed. Varma explains, “In terms of the issues faced, which is lack of distribution channels, lack of understanding from retailers and consumers alike, things are pretty much the same as before. But on the flip-side, more individuals are self-publishing and creating some really interesting stories and content. It’s an uphill battle for publishing comics in India and the creators have to  keep evolving and innovating to stay afloat.”In such challenging times, Simon and Schuster’s managing director presents a positive outlook. “Graphic novels, Manga comics and poetry are few genres where we have seen growth year on year,” he says, adding,advertisement”We have noticed the change in today’s youth. They are ready to explore and have gone beyond the commercial or literary fiction.”last_img read more