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Pleure, Madagascar, Pleure….(Part II)

In Culture, Economics, Human Rights, Politics, Society, Terror on September 9, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Un Brin d’ Espoir

Au moins, il y a un petit brin d’espoir puisque les élections devraient être sur les rails, maintenant que trois majeurs protagonistes sont officiellement éliminés de la liste des candidats viables. Reste à savoir que faire des 31 autres candidats! Cela frise le burlesque. Pauvre citoyen: où donner de la tête? D’autant plus qu’à Madagascar, une élection présidentielle ne se fait pas sans équivoque.

source: matvonline

Aux dernières nouvelles le Président Ravalomanana a déclaré de son exil en Afrique le boycott des élections. De nouveau, Madagascar doit-elle épouser les pratiques d’autrui au détriment de son identité en voie de disparition? A quand la maturité politique qui ferait finalement de Madagascar un réel, crédible interlocuteur sur le plan international? En attendant, le local terrorisme grimpe – non que cela ait jamais été absent ces dernières années – mais cette fois-ci s’adressant aux nations étrangères pour excessive ingérence aux élections par un groupe jusqu’ici inconnu qui se déclare être “Défenseurs de la souveraineté nationale”.

Alors, comme d’habitude, l’on attend le déroulement des choses et l’on espère, faute de mieux…En tant qu’individu, à des niveaux personnels, que peut-on faire pour améliorer la situation, à quelque niveau – domaine – que ce soit?…L’information est critique pour qui veut écouter…

Final Presidental Candidates Down to Thirty One!

In this country sadly plagued by unruliness, voters have to make their choice among the 31 remaining candidates. What a chore! The people of Madagascar deserve better than a political mascarade and manipulation. One needs to have access to better, if not just plain decent, living conditions to learn or re-learn some thinking process that will finally and hopefully elevate the country to become a credible partner in the international arena. It is a long way to go…each and everyone, at any level, has a role to make it happen. Madagascar is sobbing….

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Pleure, Madagascar, Pleure….(part I)

In Culture, Economics, Elections, French, From Observateur, Human Rights, L'Observateur Viewpoint- Other Sources, Society, Terror on September 9, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Qu’ y a-t-il encore à dire sur la misère physique, morale, intellectuelle et politique de Madagascar et des Malgaches?

La semaine dernière Nasolo-Valiavo Andriamihaja a tout dit dans la fameuse  Chronique de Vanf de l’Express de Madagascar. Une longue tirade pleine de désolation et d’amertume auxquelles les Malgaches ont fini par s’ habituer, au fil des années, surtout ces longues, interminables dernières années.  Tant qu’il y a vie il y a espoir dit-on, mais Madagascar vit-elle encore? Non, elle survie, flotte tant bien que mal sur les vagues houleuses de la “politique” souvent taxée – à juste titre – de “politicienne”.

Penser? Qui peut encore penser avec une tête claire dans la situation actuelle? Un défi à prendre? Qui oserait même y penser? La “vie”  est “trop dure”… Qui lit encore les journaux? Qui écoute encore la radio?…ce ne sont que des fonds sonores pour l’homme de la rue, ni plus ni moins. Au fond, comment peut-on se soucier de ce qui se passe dans son pays quand on se soucie nuit et jour de sa propre survie physique?

Malgache, Qui es-tu? Malgache, Vis-tu?

Apparemment, les sanctions de l’Union Africaine sont levées. Elles étaient en place depuis Mars 2010, pour sanctionner “le Président” Rajoelina. Un “président” qui a “pris le pouvoir” par la force, et qui y reste par la force, ou par la force des choses! Les sanctions étaient à l’encontre de 109 individus, membres du Régime politique de transition, plus couramment appelée “Transition”. Ironiquement c’est la totalité de la population qui a pâti…bien plus que les 109 individus qui sont payés par l’Etat – ou plus concrètement par les pauvres contribuables Malgaches – !! Avec la perte du Millenium challenge gagné sous Ravalomanana, Madagascar a vu l’éducation passer d’un budget de 82 million de dollars (US) a 14 million de dollars (US). Grâce à l’Unicef, les enseignants ont pu être payés. Triste constatation, les Malgaches ne savent plus parler ni Malgache, ni Français, ni Anglais…A vrai dire, peut-être doit-on se demander si le Malgache est encore Malgache!!…ou plutôt, le Malgache a-t-il encore sa propre identité ?…Heureusement que l’Académie Malgache existe en dépit de la misère rampante a tous niveaux!…

By trainkeeper

Quant à la santé? Si aux USA le grand débat est sur l’imposition d’un système d’assurance médicale pour tous, à Madagascar, nul n’ose même plus penser assistance médicale avec la clôture de 214 centres médicaux en 2011. Des bénévoles, après une formation d’une semaine, assurent le minimum dans des centres non urbains. Mieux que rien, bien sur….

Madagascar as of Today: Never Boring, Always Enduring

In Economics, French, Human Rights, Society, Terror on May 3, 2012 at 12:25 am

Madagascar had a rocky start for the New Year . It would probably be more accurate to state that the New Year has seen a display of multiple conflicts in various areas, from economy to politics, through daily societal life. Never boring, always enduring. We are in May 2012 and the situation has not improved.

OLD NEWS in ACTUAL TIME: RAVALOMANANA IS A THREAT TO RAJOELINA

Ravalomanana whether present or absent from Antananarivo continues to be a serious threat to Rajoelina and his close associates. How else could be explained the facts that Ravalomamana has been refused twice or thrice re-entry to Madagascar? Similar situation happened to his wife who attempted to return by herself. And his son has been victim of an illegal search if not a police raid at his home.

April 28-May 2nd 2012: On a more recent tone, the Ravalomanana team led by sociologist and long-time political activist Manandafy Rakotonirina,  has made a public demonstration against the parliament, marking its on-going protest against the legitimacy of the current regime. The Rajoelina regime  had decided to counteract by dispersing the crowd, using tear gas. High profile members of the transitional parliament, including the head of the body, Mamy Rakotoarivelo, who had joined the rally were  not spared by military forces.  The Ravalomanana team had distanced itself from the “transitional” administration since the Rajoelina regime’s  attempts to eliminate Ravalomanana from presidential elections. Today, it clearly declares its separation from the transitional administration as long as mutually-agreed upon SADC requirements are not met and recommendations taken into account. There is a clear dissension between Rajoelina allies and the SADC. This latest is accused of interfering in “tactical and operational” functions  of the Malagasy security forces according to a declaration made by the leader of the gendarmerie, Madagascar internal security forces, General Ravalomanana.  Following the  rally, the former twice elected-president, Marc Ravalomanana himself had addressed via phone to his followers, according to La Gazette de la Grande Ile. According to La Vérité, some members of the military had joined the rally, signaling that the movement may grow bigger than expected by the HAT. Both opposing parties announced that there were some arrests, according to Midi Madagascar.

Worthy of noting is the most recent request of investigation filed  in South Africa against president Marc Ravalomanana for alleged crime against humanity in 2009, and published by Madagate, a news portal of the HAT.

Pr. RAYMOND RANJEVA, A FORMER VP OF THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE, IN TRIAL IN MALAGASY CRIMINAL COURT

March 19, 2012: Judge Raymond Ranjeva, well-known in the legal world for his heavy curriculum vitae, formerly member of the Hague International Court of Justice (ICJ)  from 1991 to 2009, Vice-President of the ICJ  from 2003 to 2006, and Founding Member of the Malagasy Human Rights Committee  in 1971, did appear in Madagascar Criminal Court of Justice. Judge Ranjeva was allegedly accused of being involved in the 2010 army mutiny against Rajoelina. His trial, along with his daughter’s, Ranjeva-Ratsisalovanina, who was accused of the same crime,  has been a major event in Madagascar, and closely followed by international observers, including the United States and the United Nations. The Court acquitted Pr. Ranjeva on March 21. Military officers accused of the mutiny or BANI case were condemned from seven years to life of forced labor.  A letter from the SADC was read during the trial, calling for a suspension of the trial “until some of the roadmap’s articles are made clear.” The Court seemed to not have taken the letter into account. Evidently, Raymond Ranjeva being an international Human Rights figure made a difference. In Madagascar linkages between justice and executive power are stronger than ever, evidenced by a series of trials.

HAUSSE DES PRIX A LA CONSOMMATION: de + 0,8% à + 3,3%

L’indice des Prix à la consommation (IPC) a enregistré une hausse substantielle durant le premier trimestre 2012 selon le l’Institut National de la Statistique (Instat) de Madagascar, et selon le tableau suivant:

– Antsirabe: + 1% (Plateaux Sud/South of the Capital)
– Toamasina: +3,3% (Côte Est/ East Coast)
– Fianarantsoa: + 2,7% (Centre Sud/Mid-South)
– Antananarivo: +2,1% (Centre Plateaux/Capital Region)
– Majunga (1,8%) (Nord Ouest/North West)
– Tuléar+1,6% (Sud/South)
– Diégo Suarez: + 0,7% (Nord/North)

De même, le SMIG a été rehaussé a “100 011 Ariary brut” dans le secteur privé. Selon La Gazette cette hausse ne couvre pas la hausse des prix à la consommation.

Maputo II: Arrests. Former ruler, Admiral Ratsiraka reclaims Madagascar

In Elections, French, Politics, Terror on August 26, 2009 at 6:35 pm

So predictable, but yet, surprise to some local journalists: the long-time domineering ruler of Madagascar, Admiral Didier Ratsiraka reclaims the leadership of  the transition, report Sobika, Madagascar Tribune, and L’Express de Madagascar.

This comes as a “surprise” to some journalists who evidently have not observed Madagascar history or have underestimated Ratsiraka keen sense of strategy. Ratsiraka has been a domineering ruler for over twenty years, hated and feared by many but uncontested until the emergence of then prominent businessman Ravalomanana, who became fed-up of the system, and who embodied all oppressed and repressed parties. Lately, local media had reported that Ratsiraka just wanted to retire peacefully in his homestead on the East Coast of Madagascar. Partially true, maybe. But it would almost be inconceivable to imagine Ratsiraka staying “lost” on the East Coast.

This is an extraordinary man who graduated from one French elite military school, managed to stay in power in Madagascar for over twenty years, changed Madagascar to fit his personal eclectic vision of socialism through his famous “Red Book”, managed to “avoid” extradition from his country of asylum, France, and consequently, the international tribunal of La Haye for crimes of genocide and against humanity (Gazety.Malagasy, Midi Madagascar, Prevent Genocide International).

This is a man who has been suspected to be behind the Rajoelina-led movement, according to several local media reports and some foreign media as well. Ratsiraka is not and will never be the “aging, fragile” politician that local media have decrypted lately. Ratsiraka is and will remain a man of power, and certainly a redoubtable and resourceful adversary to Rajoelina and all parties involved in Madagascar politics. Ratsiraka cannot be ruled out of the picture. He is a charismatic speaker, an influential political and military figure, utmost capable of reinventing himself.

Is Madagascar going back under Ratsiraka rule? Maputo II may not reach its resolution goal in a timely manner. At this point, it becomes evident, according to local medias, that Ratsiraka’s motivation is not the interest of the country. Neither are the motivations of those who are behind Rajoelina. Observers were doomed to have realized that Maputo I was the endorsement of Ratsiraka come-back. But is was a necessary risk in an attempt to resolving the months-long deadlock.

In the meantime, negotiations are threatened: at this writing, Taiwan News reports that five Malagasy armed men have just been arrested in Maputo upon suspicion of  disturbing negotiations.

Ravalomanana, unlike other members of the negotiating parties, was escorted upon arrival by military men, had reported Midi Madagascar. Evidently, Ravalomanana security and safety remain a subject of concern. Public safety and security have been quasi nonexistent in Madagascar since the military-backed Rajoelina take-over.

 

Madagascar: Out of Control?

In Freedom, Politics, Society, Terror, Timeline on August 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm
August 26-27, 2009: Madagascar peace talk deal is extended while stakeholders fail to reach a consensus on who will lead the transition. Meanwhile, in Madagascar confusion climbs. There is frustration both in Maputo and in Madagascar. Is Madagascar getting out of control? When the people will want to have their say? In Madagascar, the fate of the country lies within the hands of the most vocal and powerful ones. All the reason for international mediators intervention. Mediators urge for wrapping up of negotiations today regardless of the outcome.

Rajoelina Camp: Ruthless or Lawless?

  • August 27, 2009

China Viewreports that the five men arrested in Maputo were reported to be Rajoelina security staff. They were apprehended for illegal detention of arms and were to be extradited to Madagascar, said Maputo police.

While the talks are being extended to a third day in Maputo, Tovonanahary Rabetsitonta, an economist in Madagascar has been calling on the armed forces to take over power for holding earlier elections, according to the same source.

Madagascar Tribune gives more details about the subject. In fact,  Rabetsitonta is a politician, founder of the Group of Reflection and Action for the Development of Madagascar or GRAD/Iloafo party. In 2002, the party was part of a coalition party supporting President Zafy, and that contested the 1993 National Assembly Election, according to African Elections Database.

Antananarivo daily L’Express de Madagascarquotes a senior officer, general Randrianafidisoa : “No power that does not get the support of the army will succeed in leading the country. Therefore, it would be impossible to refuse the transition presidency to Rajoelina.”

Midi Madagascar notes that power sharing deal results that seem to anticipate the allocation of major Transition seats to non-Rajoelina members could lead to an unprecedented economic crisis and civil war.

The article subtily refers to Ratsiraka’s winning edge over attribution of  major seats in Maputo and being animated by “vengence”.

   Maputo Deal Questionned by Rajoelina

  • August 20, 2009

People’s Daily Onlinereports that talks for Maputo II are being postponed by Madagascar parties. According to local press, Rajoelina set up a preliminary meeting in Antananrivo as a platform for leveraging his position. Some factions of the armed forces, regional leaders appointed by Rajoelina, civil servants unions, and Rajoelina himself overtly want to monopolise the new transitional institution and question the week-old signed Maputo deal.

Moreover, some terms of the agreement have not been respected, such as the immediate release of opposing leaders, reports Madagascar Tribune.

This is a signature move of Rajoelina. In the past, Rajoelina has always made a point of contradicting his previous statements, or any previous agreement he had consented to. Such has occured repeatedly during the crisis and had finally led to deadlock and violence (see Timeline).

Local media unaninously point out that this is all about holdhovers and personal interests.

The French newspaper Le Monde has remained silent on the subject since its August 14 reporting on the declaration of the Malagasy armed forces being against the Maputo agreement.

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.

Madagascar Held Hostage by its self-proclaimed leaders

In Freedom, Terror on April 30, 2009 at 2:11 am

A few weeks ago, in an interview with the French daily Le Monde, the administration’s declared opponent, ex mayor Andry Rajoelina, has depicted then President-elected Ravalomanana as dictator and assassin, and accused him of misspending public funds and starving the population.

Today, as leader of the High Authority of the Transition (HAT), Andry Rajoelina is multiplying his orders to violently repress any expression of opinion on the part of the population, dissidents, media and bloggers alike, according to several sources.

His militaries have been eye-witnessed chasing protesters throughout neighborhoods, throwing tear gas to hospital grounds, storming into people’s homes to seek for protesters, and gun pointing at people in those homes, according to live reports from Radio Fahazavana the day before it was shut down by the regime. 

Rajoelina regime accuses the victims of killing each other to discredit the HAT, say local daily papers. In parallel, there are allegations  of militaries searching for bodies in hospitals and in clash areas, reported by some local medias. 

On the one hand, the government is on the verge of bankcrupcy. On the other hand, there are allegations of diverted and seized staple goods from the toppled President businesses by militaries, to be sold at reduced price to the population. By the same token the TIKO group, Ravalomanana business, is summoned to reimburse some alleged hundred of millions of unpaid taxes to the State. This was making headlines in local papers the last couple of days.

The latest happenings are high profile arrests made of the security officer of the High Constitutional Court and of the local leaders of the opposition, making now local headlines and echoed by international media. Pictures published by the Cyber Observer transpire one more time the same violence seen during the announcement of Ravalomanana handing over powers to a military directorate, a month ago.

It is clear that there is no arena left for expression of opposition. Tension continues to escalate in Madagascar. 

With the HAT multiplying its diplomatic efforts internationally while taking increasingly drastic measures against the opposition, one wonders what tomorrow would bring.

Antananarivo survives in fear, Madagascar is held hostage in the midst of daily terrorism and political instability, unable to voice its opinion, to live freely, to conduct business,  and let alone to chose its leaders.

Testimonies – Témoignages

In Freedom, French, Pictures, Society, Terror, Testimonies, Timeline on April 24, 2009 at 7:43 am
April 23, 2009 : “les militaires tirent sur des civils, le Gt HAT emp^che les meeting et ils poursuivent les gens 7:55 AM
9 tués par balle dont deux jeunes écolières de moins de 12 ans. C’est le bilan provisoire des tirs sans sommation de l’Emonat du coté d’Ambohijatovo.       Le riposte de la population tananarivienne ne s’est pas fait attendre: d’anosibe à ambanidia…des voitures de la HAT ont été incendié…Des membres de l’émonat ont pris la fuite….Aucune voiture de la HAT n’est plus autoriser à circuler à Tana ville sous peine de subir la justice populaire…  Demain, les anti-puchistes se donnent rendez-vous à Ambohijatovo…Appel a été lancé à tout militaire, gendarme et policier de ne plus etre en tenue dans la rue ” – Victoire
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