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TEMOIGNAGE TODAY: RED ALERT IN MADAGASCAR

In Economics, French, Human Rights, Politics, Society, Testimonies, Uncategorized on March 4, 2015 at 3:20 am

Sad News in Madagascar. Old and new compounded, Madagascar is literally sinking, getting buried under rising watersCyclone after cyclone, Madagascar and its population struggles to withhold the sad truth: hope is a fading dream. The tides of people’ s desperation and helplessness are not getting lower, as even the driest regions and now the capital region of Analamanga, also known as Antananarivo or Tana, have been hit by high waters. Madagascar needs help. It is evident that the Malagasy Government  was not prepared for this disaster, and much less for any ensuing ones. The following is a most recent story, straight from Madagascar.

Madagascar: Le Ciel est Gris

Analamanga Region - March 3, 2015

Analamanga Region: Clear here – March 3, 2015 ©MarcSteave_DagoNewsReader

 

Madagascar , appelé « l’Ile Rouge », est frappé chaque année par des catastrophes naturelles. Situé dans la zone de l’Océan Indien, il ne peut pas  être épargné par les dépressions tropicales lors des saisons de pluies, parfois transformées en cyclones. Ces dernières années, plusieurs régions de l’île ont vraiment souffert. En 2012 le cyclone Giovanni a ravagé la partie Est; deux semaines après la tempête Irina n’a pas ménagé. En 2013 Haruna a fait plusieurs dégâts, et cette année le cyclone Chedza a fait enregistrer près de 69 décès et 156 178 sinistrés. Plus de 54 000 personnes ont été déplacées suite aux effondrements des maisons et des glissements de terrains. Des éboulements de terrain ont coupé plusieurs routes nationales rendant ainsi difficile sinon impossible les liaisons entre les régions, ce qui rend encore plus difficile les approvisionnements. Pire encore: alors que le riz est l’alimentation principale de la population, des centaines d’hectares de rizières sont complètement détruites. Et alors que le Gouvernement n’a encore  pratiquement pas  trouvé la solution pérenne à ce lourd bilan, le cyclone Fundi a causé plusieurs milliers de sinistrés et d’inondations dans le sud de Madagascar. Comme c’est encore la saison des pluies, les précipitations sont très abondantes ces derniers jours si bien que selon le bulletin hydrologique la plaine d’Antananarivo est en alerte rouge depuis une semaine.

 

Un Bilan Plus que Lourd: Décès, Sinistrés, 4 000 ha de Rizières Anéantis

Un bilan plus que lourd depuis ces vingt dernières années car toutes les plaines d’Analamanga sont aujourd’hui inondées dû aux pluies incessantes depuis près d’une semaine ; quatre digues de protection ont cédé jeudi dernier vers 3h du matin, dont trois de la Sisaony. Toute la commune rurale de Soavina (partie Est de la ville) est totalement inondée avec ses 500 maisons d’habitation. Les responsables de cette commune ont évacué d’urgence les sinistrés avec les moyens du bord, le corps des sapeurs- pompiers est venu prendre le relais plus tard. Les mesures d’urgence sont maintenant prises par le Ministère chargé des Travaux publics pour la réparation de la route et des digues sur cette partie pour empêcher que toute la zone Forello de Tanjombato et même la capitale ne soit  inondée. Il en est de même dans la partie Ouest où deux digues de la rivière d’Imamba ont rompu coupant la route qui relie la Capitale de Sabotsy Namehana. L’eau est montée jusqu’à 1,50m au-dessus de la route. Des voitures ont été emportées par les courants d’eau et les communes environnantes sont actuellement sous l’eau. Les statistiques établis par le Bureau National de la Gestion des Risques et Catastrophes (BNGRC) sont plutôt lourds pour ces quelques jours ; 16 décès, près de 41 581 sinistrés, plus de 20 000 personnes ont été contraints à quitter leurs maisons dans la région d’Analamanga . Dans la région d’Alaotra qui est le silo du riz, 4 000 ha de rizières sont anéantis. Ce bilan n’est que provisoire cependant. Toujours est-il, la vigilance est à l’ordre du jour car les zones à risque sont nombreuses.

Insalubrité Persistante

Un problème majeur est le manque de sites d’hébergement pour les sinistrés. Les tentes s’avèrent insuffisantes. Le manque d’hygiène dans ces sites persiste car plusieurs familles sont hébergées sous une même tente. Beaucoup de familles sont hébergées par de bonnes volontés. Jusqu’à présent, l’on se demande comment le Gouvernement va résoudre ce problème. Certains sinistrés demandent de l’aide, et jusqu’à ce jour se plaignent d’une répartition inégale des aides: manque de vivres et de sites d’hébergement.

Pourquoi les Autorités restent-elles Silencieuses ?

Il semble curieux que malgré les appels à l’aide, dans les médias et autres, le Président de la République n’ait pas daigné descendre immédiatement sur les lieux constater de visu ce qui se passait alors qu’il s’agit d’une urgence. Il est de son devoir de le faire comme tout Président digne de ce titre, ne serait-ce que pour soutenir ces gens moralement. Mais non, le Président Hery Rajaonarimampianina n’est intervenu que plusieurs heures après l‘évacuation des sinistrés et pour déclarer que « C’est le non-respect de la loi qui nous a conduits à cette situation. Des leçons seront prises et l’État va prendre ses responsabilités. » Ah ! Mais quel respect de la loi ? En quoi ces pauvres gens n’ont-ils pas respecté la loi ? Des propos déplacés dans ce genre de situation. Est-ce aux contribuables qu’il revient de prendre des mesures préventives pour éviter ces catastrophes ? Ces gouvernants ignorent peut-être que Madagascar est un pays qui subit des intempéries ? Nous n’en sommes pas au premier cyclone …. Ne parlons pas de l’état de toutes les routes à cause des pluies, quelles solutions ? A qui la faute ? Qui doit prendre les décisions ? Les mesures ? Certains membres du Gouvernement disent que les inondations sont causées par ces constructions illicites sur les bords des digues et canaux. Certes, ces personnes n’ont pas respecté la loi, mais qu’ont fait les responsables de la Commune pour empêcher ces constructions ? Pourquoi n’avoir pas éduqué ces personnes sur les dangers que cela peut occasionner. Pourquoi ne pas offrir l’opportunité de faire des logements sociaux ? De l’argent de l’Etat est bien dépensé autrement que pour des nécessités. Encore une fois, la météo prévoit de fortes pluies pour la semaine à venir. Espérons que les solutions prises par le ministère de la Défense nationale et le BNGRC vont beaucoup aider.

E. Raeliarisoa

E. Raeliarisoa est Consultante Juridique, spécialisée en contentieux en matière civile, commerciale et sociale. Elle accompagne les entreprises en création, diagnostic et gestion de projets, et prête conseil aux particuliers. Elle habite la banlieue de la Région d’Analamanga.

Qui Sera Le Prochain President Elu? Part II

In Economics, Elections, French, Human Rights, Politics, Society, Uncategorized on January 14, 2014 at 2:53 am

Et Maintenant, Que Madagascar Va-t-elle Faire?

matvonline
 

Les élections sont terminées, les résultats proclamés et remis en question. Que reste-t-il à faire, quels que soient les résultats des complaintes? Il semblerait que Madagascar soit de nouveau dans l’incertitude, et la lassitude de l’insécurité sociale et politique. La logique serait de respecter le processus électoral, démocratique. Mais y-a-t-il encore une logique dans ce pays qui souffre une misère rampante et révoltante? Une chose est certaine: la population veut vivre normalement, décemment. Est-ce tant à demander?

Malheureusement la solution n’était pas dans l’abstention…Ce n’est pas toujours le meilleur choix de laisser les autres gagner par “ne rien dire”. Une voix, un vote fait la différence entre la vie et la mort…Madagascar ne l’a pas encore appris. Le processus démocratique, c’est un long chemin cahoteux

En Prélude au Prochain Post…A Sharp Analysis

The Huffington Post has just published a sharp analysis of the situation in Madagascar. This is the best and most impartial article that I have read for the longest time on the subject…

 

Big Debate in Madagascar: Who Will be The Next Elected President? – Part I –

In Elections, French, Politics, Society, Uncategorized on January 14, 2014 at 2:40 am

Madagascar’s Fate Still Questionable

BBC Radyo – Published on Jan 3, 2014
 

Finally, after so many tribulations, and last minute controversies Madagascar is facing presidential elections. Better yet, Madagascar is at the presidential debate stage. My Memory may be faulty but I do not recall many presidential debates in Madagascar. There were a lot of “propagandas” through all imaginable media, but debates? No. At least, not real debates. Candidates made their big selling speeches, and Ratsiraka used to make mind-blowing presentations. Madagascar would talk about it for weeks, months in a row, and years afterwards…

So, no matter the content and outcome, it is refreshing to see that voters get to see candidates interact in a public forum on subjects of the country’s interest. The first round of debates for this election was among five candidates on five different platforms (?) in mid October. Five candidates debating over 33 for three hours was a prelude to this Island Nation’s way out of overwhelming misery.

viva mada-Published on Sep 24, 2013
 

Now, three debates after and down to two final candidates, Madagascar is still to hear about what could make one of them the winner. Local press is amazing: at least apparently in search for impartiality, most lack content and analysis. Others strongly reflect their patronage or impartiality. What is the press to do? Lack of information is another form of plague in Madagascar.

There are lots of controversy about the leading candidate. He is a French citizen, and socialist. He would have served the French Socialist party “during his youth”! Ah! Similar to “Obama is not American” maybe. He is sponsored or supported by Ravalomanana who has always been overtly anti-French, and pro-American. That would be the tricky part, according to observers. Robinson claims that he is a man of his own. That is always true of any politician until conflicting allegiances become very pressing. Interesting enough at the second presidential debate, he pushed for a “shared” (with France) overseeing of Madagascar Islands. Ratsiraka was quite protective on the subject. Evidently, France seems to be wanting to secure a stronghold in the Indian Ocean area.

According to RFI, the latest debate addressed social and economic issues: gas and subsidies, green approach, ag. education. The presidential election is set for December 20th, along with the legislatives.

At the latest news and interesting enough, and maybe reassuring to all, the European Union (EU) is sending 130 observers, according to CRI. They are to ensure a lawful process and  present a preliminary report 48h after the elections. Observers from the EU include long-term as well as court-terms ones. As for the International Organization of Francophonie (OIF), it has sent 30 electoral experts to be disseminated in 12 regions, reports the Malaysian National News Agency Bernama.

Today, as an update, elections are over, both Presidential and Legislatives. And both – unofficial – results predict that Rajoelina’s camp has won. There are lots of controversies, as usual.

In Madagascar, in the law of “Dadaism” ( this has nothing to do with Ravalomanana) nothing is created, nothing is lost, all is circumvented by the rules of “shape shifters”.

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….

Beautiful Pictures – Travel in Madagascar: strange wildlife and stunning landscapes

In Economics, Pictures, Politics, Society, Testimonies on March 19, 2013 at 10:18 pm

And sharing with you a fresh and different perspective from Rhett Butler

Travel in Madagascar: strange wildlife and stunning landscapes

Adansonia madagascariensis baobab  Female Malagasy Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone mutata)  Aye-aye feeding on a coconut Coquerel's sifaka (Propithecus coquereli)

http://photos.wildmadagascar.org/                Rhett Butler – Mongabay.com

Diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema) An extraordinary article covering wildlife and related socio-political elements. Wonderful portfolio of pictures!

 

On a personal note, I was privileged enough to visit the Reserve of Berenty many years ago. The most amazing and wonderful sight was that of lemurs “flying” above me!

Original Independence Day back to be Official Holiday. Ramadan added for Muslims

In Culture, Economics, Elections, French, Politics, Society on January 29, 2013 at 7:50 pm

ma-lgflag

Back to basics: Madagascar is putting October 14th, the country’s original Independence day,  on its 2013 official holidays calendar. By the same token the beginning and the end of the Ramadan are also declared paid holidays for Muslims, according to L’Express de Madagascar. Madagascar has a sizable (estimated at 7%) Muslim population mostly in the North and the SouthEast. This will more than likely appeal to Muslim voters, at the eve of the presidential election which is planned for May 8th of this year. At least one Muslim radio station broadcasts throughout the country and the number of Mosques jumped from 10 to 50 over the last ten years. Have in mind that this is a country that has seven provinces. The official support to Islam began in 1982 under the Ratsiraka regime.

Both Ravalomanana and Rajoelina had to comply with the international pressure of refraining from presidential elections this year. As expected, there are no emerging new figures. Worse; there are strong speculations that both men will endorse a “proxy” of their own choosing . Evidently, this has given Rajoelina the opportunity to prepare himself for the future. In fact he compares himself to Charles de Gaulle, as the “Malagasy equivalent of de Gaulle”.  Only 38 today, he has already announced his candidacy for the 2018 elections.

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.

Occupy Wall Street: Is Madagascar the Inspiration?

In French, L'Observateur Viewpoint- Other Sources, Politics, Society on October 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Occupy Wall Street is growing. Interesting enough, would Madagascar be the inspiration of the movement? It is reported that David Graeber, one of the initiator of the movement, spent nearly two years in Madagascar and wrote a book on the people of Betafo in 2007: “Lost People.” Reading the article  of  Joseph Knippenberg who refers to Occupy Wall Street movement in terms of  anarchy, democracy, equality, and disdain for the rule of law” I cannot help but remembering the 1972-75 Madagascar frightening period . Maybe it was Madagascar defining period, when everything started changing…for the best or the worst.  “Intellectual roots of Wall Street”? In transposition does the name of Manandafy ring bells? He is known as a political figure but was a powerful intellectual figure of the department of  Sociology at the time with his spreadheading force for proletarian power in Madagascar.

My daughter told me last week that there is a major resemblance between Occupy Wall Street and the issues I observed in Madagascar through Dago News Reader. She turns out to be right…

Life Goes On…A Far Cry from Democracy

In Economics, Elections, French, Politics, Society on October 18, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Amid recurrent crises life goes on in Madagascar. Nothing changes despite talks, again and again, infinite local and international talks. Among the major speculations and possibilities: a military Directorate...again, or Rajoelina winning his coveted presidential bid! Sadly, there is no news, just a relentless repeat of the past. When will Madagascar learn despite efforts from various groups? What has Madagascar learned?

Some concerns about Madagascar sovereignty, let alone Madagascar’s future seem legitimate. But aren’t today’s sovereignty concerns just a circumstantial  shift of foreign influence from one continent to another that Madagascar had endured over the decades? Isn’t it also the result of the remapping of world politics? Remember when Madagascar lost its sovereignty for the first time? It resulted from a quarrel between France and England, caused the end of Madagascar Kingdom, the exile of its leader, the emergence of a new era: colonization, independence, a myriad of regimes and administrations that had no respect for or made a priority of the sovereignty of the Malagasy people. One regime tried to restore Madagascar sovereignty: The Ramanantsoa regime. Although nationalist, it was viewed as too conservative, too “aristocratic.” Ravalomanana also calls himself  a nationalist.

Today, it was announced that the prime minister of the HAT resigned in line with the “road map”” to bring an end to the long standing crisis. And again, today, life goes on and nobody dares to dream of a better life anymore: survival has been a daily struggle for nearly the last three years. So what has Madagascar  learned? Maybe the question is how could you hear and see and think of your country’s future when you are overwhelmed by the present? The power of democracy lies in information and an educated population. Although the young generation is catching up with social media, life goes on…still a far cry from democracy. Concerns remain.

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