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Madagascar Police Defy Government

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posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 03:26 PM
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I hope I've put this in the right area. If not, please feel free to move! I found the following to be a future glimpse of where we are headed....or maybe not. What do you think?

Madagascar Police Defy Government


CRISIS TIMELINE

24 January: Opposition protests begin
26 January: Two protesters shot dead
27 January: At least 20 bodies found in burnt shop
31 January: Rajoelina says he is in charge of the country
3 February: Rajoelina sacked as the capital's mayor
7 February: Security forces shoot dead at least 20 protesters
8 March: Section of the army joins opposition
9 March: Rajoelina under UN protection
10 March: Defence minster ousted
11 March: Army chief of staff forced out



Mr Rajoelina, who was sacked as mayor of the capital Antananarivo in February, accuses the president of misspending public money and being a dictator.
Supporters of Mr Ravalomanana, 59, say the opposition leader is a troublemaking upstart who has overplayed his hand.


Citizens in Madagascar React to New Government


The confrontation began in January after the former president shut down a radio station owned by Mr. Rajoelina.

Angry crowds subsequently sacked and looted business owned by Mr. Ravalomanana, one of the country's wealthiest citizens. More than 100 people were killed in the clashes before soldiers mutinied saying they would no longer take orders to shoot their own people.

Retired civil servant Jean-Paul Reiser says rising food prices and growing signs of corruption and authoritarianism by the former president were the main cause of the confrontation.


The man was put under UN protection prior to this, on March 10th.....

Rajoelina Placed Under UN Protection


Antananarivo - Madagascar's opposition leader Andry Rajoelina, in hiding amid a power struggle with the president, has been placed under United Nations protection for his security, a UN official said on Monday....

...Rajoelina has been in hiding since security forces attempted to arrest him last week and ransacked his private television and radio network....

...Security forces have repeatedly thwarted attempts by opposition protesters to demonstrate in Antananarivo as part of a three-month-old campaign by Rajoelina to unseat the president, whom he accuses of running a dictatorship...

...Soldiers at a key army base in Antananarivo said Monday they were opposed to the security forces' action, but they denied that their decision amounted to mutiny.
"This is not a mutiny," their spokesperson, Colonel Noel Rakotonandrasana, told reporters a day after declaring they would no longer cooperate with the government's crackdown.
"We cannot accept the repression of the civilian population," said the colonel...

...Ravalomanana, who has formally banned anti-government demonstrations, described the soldiers' protests as mutiny....

...Madagascar is one of the world's poorest countries and Rajoelina's criticism of the regime's economic and social policies have struck a chord with large portions of the population.


Wow, is all I can say. I searched for this topic on ATS, but didn't find it. Hopefully, I haven't repeated anything. Please forgive if I did. I felt this was worth a look! I still am trying to understand how the UN got involved, and WHY. From the surface, it looks like liberty and freedom won out over a dictatorship-type government, who was elected in by the people, by the way! Obviously, there are still supporters of the usurped leader. Can anyone make sense of this, or are we only allowed the media's opinion only? Not 100% sure of what to make of this. Thoughts?




posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 06:04 AM
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I have been to madagascar 3 times and during my last visit, in 2006, Ravalomanana was running campaign for re-elections. I had the privilige of meeting him (nothing more than a "hi" from him to me though
when he visited mananara. This is a picture my wife snapped when his convoy passed by



Anyway. Ravalomanana was extremely popular. The entire country went nuts and almost everyone wore shirt, caps etc with his image. Not suprisingly, he won the re-elections with a stunning 90% of the votes. During his administration infrastructure in Madagascar got radically improved, tourism got a boost (next to vanilla export the country's main source of income) and even more important: the unique nature of Madagascar got it's much needed protection and conservation. Wood loggers and poachers were severely punished and everything seemed to go uphill. Western governments praised Ravalomanana naming him an example of great african democracy.


Now much to my suprise things turned around against him violently. He suddenly became a dictator rather than the popular democratically elected president he was. Right now he fears his life. If he won't be exciled he probably will be put in jail, or even worse. I have no idea where this violence comes from. Apparantly he bought a $20 million dollar airplane and handed out large parts of the country to Korean investors, but that doesn't make the man a dictator. People there seem to have forgotten what he has done for the country.

Nature wise, this is a disaster for Madagascar. I received a worrying email from an acquaintance yesterday. This guy is living on the border of a unique national park where the White Sifaka lives (one of the top 10's world's most threated mammals) where he devotes his life to conserving the nature and organizing tourist visits into the park.

Here's a snippet:


Due to excessive activities for rosewood, the Marojejy National Park has recently be closed to tourist because ANGAP (or MNP) can not take any responsability about what's going on in the park. Chinese people already arrived in Vohémar, Antalaha, Sambava taking comfortable advantage of the political crisis in Madagascar supported also by local important people already involved many times in all the precious wood business in the area... This a the ultimate plague for everybody loves nature... Director has been threatened (burning his house) and other people too. Situation is very hot there, there is a big tension between the two villages of Mandena and Manantenina, one wants to protect (Manantenina), the other is involved in the traffic (Mandena) with a lot of porters also involved.


Anyone who wants to read more visit news.mongabay.com... Note that some commenter bring up a conspiracy theory about...oil.



posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 04:50 PM
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reply to post by errorist
 


Thanks for the personal account. I'm not sure what to make of it all. Seems to me that there was already a large undertow of tension going on before this played out. But the UN involvement, and why would they pick a side?

You added that the leader gave away portions of the land to Korean investors....this raised a huge red flag for me, as this seems to be a massive problem in the US with foreign investors owning most aspects of the country, and people are not happy about it.

Well, this topic obviously didn't interest a lot of folks, but I saw it as a crystal ball, and glimpse of our own future within the US. Obama won with a majority of the vote, yet he's losing support VERY quickly with all the handouts going on. Over there, it seems it started with media censoring and infringing on rights. Over here, we have congress members trying to get rid of the internet and labeling constitution supporters as terrorists. It doesn't look good.



 
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