Madagascar News- Current Issues and Perspectives

Archive for June, 2009|Monthly archive page

Amnesty International given lessons by the HAT!!

In Freedom, Politics on June 27, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Irony of irony, the major Lilyson, member of the National Committee of Investigation- Cellule Nationale Mixte d’Enquête (CNME) did not hesitate to tell Amnesty International representatives who are currently investigating in Madagascar that the country” has no lessons to take” from the Organization, reports Madagascar Tribune. Major Lilyson has been reportedly saying that “Nobody is as respectful of Human Rights as Malagasies.” He then pointed out at Guantanamo Bay and the Israelo-Palestinian conflict.

However, making headlines of L’Express de Madagascar, Midi Madagascar and Madagascar Tribune are new arrests of at least 10 leaders of the ‘legalistic” group, which is the opposition group. The wife of an opposition media executive of Radio Fahazavana has also been “taken hostage” by the CNME. She would allegedly be freed upon her husband’s “reddition”. According to reports, these steps taken by the HAT on June 26, Independence Day in Madagascar, could be incendiary. It has been followed by violent street protests.

Worth mentioning is the recent acquisition of three surveillance helicopters by the HAT and the creation of a new military body, the Special Intervention Force (FIS) head by majors Charles and Lylison. They were used to survey the opposition manifestations on this Hune 26. This is reported only by Madagascar Tribune. The members of the FIS group  are operating with a hood to be kept secret, and were part of the military parade at the June 26  celebration organized by the HAT, observed the same source.

For a few months now, all major medias in Madagascar have consistently reported that arrests and searches without warrant  of opposition groups and leaders have been proceeded by hooded militaries.

The HAT has taken over the country governing by facto for three months now. The crisis is unresolved. Mediation talks are at a stalemate according to the latest reports. International mediators are re-routing negotiations under new leadership.

Testimonies – Témoignages

In Economics, French, Politics, Society on June 25, 2009 at 10:24 pm
 
 Antananarivo: One Year of Crisis – January 11 2010
 

About News Reporting in Madagascar

” C’est leur gagne pain !!! et tout cela pour de l’argent ….!!! ce sont des journaux à sensation tout juste . .. ça raconte n’importe quoi !! on ne parle que de faits divers … rien d’instructif, sinon peut-être que ça incite les gens encore à devenir encore plus marginaux (braquages, viols, kidnaping, vols à mains armées etc…) c’est le lot des journaux. Cést un pays sans gouvernement, en un mot. Voilà la principale raison !!! tout le monde fait n’importe quoi !! Ils passent leur temps à faire de la démagogie pendant que les gens souffrent , Un an de crise !! ce n’est pas rien, la façon de penser change, le comportement aussi””

Victoire

 

 
 
A Glimpse of Antananarivo After the Coup: Typical Contrast
Un Rapide Coup d’Oeil  sur Tana après le Coup d’Etat: Typiquement Tana, Contrastes

 

David Smith, British correspondent of The Guardian gives us a description of the many faces of Antananarivo after the coup: controversial, strange, yet typical of the many faces of Antananarivo life where people go by, seemingly unware of, and detached from the political situation, just worried enough about survival. A look from an outsider worth mentionning:

Through the bus window I surveyed stalls and shacks that could be in India, cramped concrete shabeens that could be in a South African township, two-storey townhouses and winding cobbled streets that could be in Europe, and gleaming corporate buildings for the likes of Coca-Cola and Orange that could be anywhere. …

The old houses are particularly striking. Their roofs have curved red-brown slates on a sharply sloping wooden frame, often with window turrets. Many have ornate wrought-iron balconies and wood shutters. It’s like glimpsing medieval London, or maybe Amsterdam, but now there’s a layer of grime and a nagging sense of decay…

The white typeface on deep blue street signs evokes Paris. We saw a group of young men playing pétanque, throwing metallic balls at a target ball on a dirt surface….

We crossed a bridge between the rubbish-strewn banks of a creek. A solemn column of people, many of them mothers with children, had embarked on what looked like a long walk home along a railway line. A hungry dog was burying its head in a rubbish skip. Women were queueing with jerry cans to collect water. Children in dirty clothes played in the dust…..

That evening, I went to a drinks reception at a big colonial-style mansion in a walled compound. Waiters in immaculate white delivered plates of canapes, including caviar, on a veranda overlooking palm plants and a manicured lawn where the evening air was heavy with the sound of chirping crickets.”….. (David Smith, guardian.co.uk, October 16, 2009)http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/16/madagascar-capital-coup

 

 Sur le Leadership de la HAT – About HAT Leadership (September 1st, 2009)

 

“Situation : Je n’espère plus grand-chose de cette HAT des nuls !!! Je m’attends à une fermeture de ma boite.

Dieu seul sait.”

 

I do not expect much from the HAT any longer. They are incompetent!!! I expect that my organization will have to shut down anytime. Only God knows.

 

 Victoire, Tananarive

 

Sur l’Accord de Maputo – Regarding the Maputo Deal (August 14, 2009)

“L’armée se sent trahie par Andry, on va voir la suite…..mais l’autre camp ne se manifeste pas. Ils préfèrent se taire que d’être tués.  L’armée se divise en deux , camp des généraux et camps des sous officiers et les genéraux préfèrent ne rien faire pour ne pas avoir de problèmes. “

The armed forces feel that Andry (Rajoelina) has betrayed them, let’s wait and see…The opposite side  prefers remaining silent, rather than getting themselves killed.  In fact, the army is divided: all generals on one side, all non-commissioned officers on the other side. Generals keep silent for fear of mutiny within the army.”

BG, Antananarivo

Sur la situation générale  à Madagascar et relations France-Madagascar: constat de Jean Bothorel (Point de vue, Le Monde 25 Juin 2009)

L’analyse de Jean Bothorel dans Le Monde du 25 Juin, veille de la fête de l’Indépendence de Madagascar vis- à-vis de la France, reflète d’une objectivité rare de ces jours quand on lit sur Madagascar. Au-delà de l’analyse, l’article est presque un témoignage de la réalité déguisée à Madagascar par les journaux locaux, et méconnue ou méprisée par certains Malgaches aveuglés par leurs positions politiques ou religieuses, ou tout simplement par l’ignorance ou le besoin de survivre   économiquement; et réalité maintenue sous silence par peur ou par découragement. Les journaux de l”Hexagone ont déserté  Madagascar mais la crise est loin d’être résolue et la France a son rôle à jouer entend dire l’auteur, dans ce gâchis dont la France est tenue pour responsable par bon nombre de Malgaches. En dissuader les Malgaches reste difficile à entreprendre.

Bothorel parle du Capsat -mutins tenus responsables pour le départ forcé du Président Ravalomanana – qui devient de plus en plus influent, mais aussi de la “catastrophe  économique et sociale”:  effondrement de la monnaie locale, flambée des prix, délabrement …des infrastrutures, atteintes aux libertés d’opinion” sous le régime de la Haute Authorité de la Transition (HAT).

“Gâchis”est le terme utilisé par Bothorel pour décrire le “coup d’Etat”condamné par Sarkozy, et décrié par les Malgaches pour être la responsabilité de la France.

Andry Rajoelina est décrit comme une “personnalité fragile, inexpérimentée et manipulable.”

Mise au point méritante est sa mention de la politique du Président Ravalomanana comme étant “un choix tactique et légitime”de “diversification de “partenaires économiques'” soutenu par les Malgaches plutôt qu’une position anti – France.

Aussi objective est l’observation que le “comportement “mégalomaniaque et affairiste” du Président n’entache pas sa “volonté dáutonomie, d’indépendance”qui répondait  à ‘”un désir profond des Malgaches”.

Tout aussi clairvoyant, Bothorel n’oublie pas les fondations “ethnicoreligieu(ses)” de la société et politique Malgaches: “silence piteux, sinon complice “(de l’archevêque de Tananarive) face aux exactions du Capsat “, le background Merina, protestant de Ravalomanana non diplômé de France contrairement  à la tradition depuis l’Indépendance.

Et pour terminer, Bothorel pose la question d’ un scénario de sortie de crise avec implication de la France, sans “ingérence”, dans la conciliation, et pose un parallèle avec l’expérience en l’Afghanistan.

Un témoignage au monde, digne de ce 26 Juin flou et “inexistant” pour Madagascar.

 

Sur la situation actuelle  à Tananarive: Une habitante de Tana

“”Je ne vois aucune évolution des choses ; tout ce que je sais est que la vie coute de plus en plus chère : le carburant vient d’être augmenté, le pain (réduit en poids), tout ce que tu achètes c’est terrible.

Le reste n’est que façade, Tanà est archi-sale à en donner la chair de poule …. Les gens deviennent blasés tu penses . En tout cas même les anciens TGV ne disent plus rien, moins agressifs, car il n’y rien de concret.

Je ne lis plus les journaux, rarement, on raconte les mêmes choses. Des incapables gèrent ce pays en ce moment. Le tribunal internl  porte plainte c/HAT sur les affaires de Tiko (qu’ils ont réquisitionnées) pour vendre à la population à des prix dérisoires, beaucoup de promesses non abouties et maintenant plus rien : les prix flambent. On est en récession économique.””

Victoire, Tananarive

Voilà pourquoi l’importance d’une élection. Voilà pourquoi l’importance d’un véritable parlement représentant la population, voilà pourquoi la nécessité de l’éducation de la population par les média.
Si Madagascar ne peut pas se remettre sur les rails raisonablement, eh bien, la communauté internationale se chargera de ce travail. Il est une véritable honte que Madagascar soit tombée si bas et continue de le faire. Et dire que Madagascar se veut dire différente de l’Afrique en termes de gouvernement. Rien ne l’a prouvé ces derniers mois et ce qui se passe actuellement ne prouve pas le contraire non plus!
Le respect se gagne par les actes et l’attitude, non par la force, les armes ou les chantages.
Il est plus que temps que la population – majorité silencieuse sortie de son silence- exprime clairement son point de vue de manière organisée, intelligente et cohérente pour se faire entendre sur l’échiquier mondial.
Et la population a le droit et le devoir de savoir comment les changements  affectent l’économie du pays. Par ailleurs, quelle est la définition du mot “TRANSITION”? C’est certainement l’opposé de permanent. Alors, parlant de droits acquis s’oppose au mot transitionnel.
Du reste, comment la transition est-elle devenue telle? Madagascar doit d’
abord redevenir officiellement un état de droit et alors, l’on pourra parler de droits. Donc, élections d’abord. Serait-il imaginable que certains appréhendent les résultats de la future élection et veulent assurer leurs sièges, d’ores et déjà? Comme dirait feu Général Ramanantsoa “Malgaches, mes compatriotes” montrez au monde que vous comptez: non par la violence, non par les mouvements de rue, mais par une expression éduquée. Une nation indépendente ne peut etre dirigée que par des esprits indépendants qui n’ont pas a se soucier de leurs sièges, mais de l’intérêt de la population.
Voilà l’esprit d’un parlement et de toute élection: écouter la voix de la population et faire entendre cette voix à grande échelle sur l’échiquier national et mondial.

Press Detox: Rajoelina Strives at Misinformation

In Freedom, Terror on June 4, 2009 at 7:00 pm

In the absence of state of law, there are no restrictions on means of information or disinformation issued from the HAT to the entire population, nor on administrative, legal, or executive decisions originating in Madagascar. As the French idiom says “au pays des aveugles, les borgnes sont rois“, now  in this “country of the blind the one-eyed men are kings” and the HAT makes it rain or shine as it pleases to him.

Contrary to the May 29th Rajoelina claim for undisputed leadership as reported by, and elaborated on without reserve by the local press, there is still no clear evidence of such worldwide recognition. Regional press, such as The Guardian and the Citizen converge to report that Rajoelina was granted a meeting with Kaddafi to seek advice upon interventions from France.  The Indian Ocean Newsletter confirms that Sarkozy’s general secretary “pulled out strings” for Kadaffi to meet with Rajoelina. Libyan press was reported being irritated by Rajoelina. As for his meeting with Wade, no statement has been released by Wade’s office before Rajoelina claim, neither there is indication of recognition by the Senegalese reader. Rather, according to a more recent press release from the Cabinet of the Senegalese President,  recommendation was made to Rajoelina to observe the position of the African Union and the International Community, at all times. Wade’s office press release was not elaborated by local media in Madagascar. In fact, if it were not to readers’reactions, it would not have been mentionned.

Undisputed leadership in Madagascar has been taking form surely and progressively. Yesterday, June 3rd, President Ravalomanana was condemned to a four-year jail term in absentia and $ 70 million fines for the purchase of the presidential plane, Air Force One II. Such is the headlines of all major local media. Le Monde, lately quasi silent about Madagascar affairs, has not failed reporting the news. Questions of due process are arising, report Midi Madagascar and Madagascar Tribune.

Major local media report that recently, Rajoelina, the HAT leader, had officially diverted a commercial flight to Dakar in order to meet his business and political needs. Passengers were not informed about the Dakar stopover that caused delays and concerns, and the HAT has not apologized. For the HAT this was due to budget imperatives.

It is not the first time that Rajoelina issues comments that contradict press releases made by foreign members representing the International community in Madagascar conflict resolution attempts. In fact, by now, Rajoelina has been striving at mass misinformation through the support of local media. Although media seem to disapprove of his comments, they show no clear evidence of such; rather confirming in their reports without further verification that Rajoelina, and therefore the HAT, is “recognized” by the “international community.” Examples are endless. The Indian Ocean Newsletter had issued an alert that “contrary to the stories circulated in Antananarivo by certain sources within the High Authority for Transition (HAT), no invitation to go to Morocco has been sent to the President of the HAT, Andry Rajoelina, by King Mohammed VI”.

Other blatant examples are shown in Rajoelina’s consistency at contradicting or denying statements issued by foreign representatives within 24 or 48 hours following conflict resolution meetings. We heard this about his prior agreement to early elections and to his non candidacy to presidential elections, among others.

Misinformation has also been very consistent in the contradiction between political rhetoric profusely diffused in and out of Madagascar and local realities. Key themes claimed in international and local media by Rajoelina and the HAT are democracy, financial order, and freedom of expression. In Madagascar, it translates into arbitrary arrests, a myriad of quick condemnations, a 40-member HAT body, and severely controlled and repressed manifestations as daily reported by local media, and without much consequences.

Rajoelina comments are taken at face value. One wonders if this is cultural since by tradition Malagasies respect authorities, or lack of professionalism or fear of reprisals. Recalcitrant media are subject to being shutting down in Madagascar. Media seem to be allowed to make headlines of what is said to be happening for justification of “respect of freedom of expression”. Content and accuracy become irrelevant where lack of state of law is prevalent and when media want to be able to keep their doors open. The HAT strategy seem to be the “fait accompli”. Media follow suit: key to mass misinformation.

All Africa reports that Ravalomanana would return to Madagascar by June 26. Local media are now covering the cascading condemnations of members of the Ravalomanana administration: another way for the HAT to make Madagascar news headlines.

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