BLOODY SATURDAY


It is only now that I can talk about it …

The events which occured last Saturday were too traumatizing for myself, my family and my friends (workmates included). Fucking shit! This stupid rally has gone too far! I’m damn pissed off with all bullshits which are happening to my country.  What’s happening to us guys? Do we all go bananas? I’m feeling like a little bottle within the ocean … Who will pick me up and read my SOS message? WHO?

“Bloody Saturday” This is the name that I decided to give to that dark day of February 07th, 2009. Actually, I hesitated between “Stupid Saturday” and “Bloody Saturday”, but if you read carefully this post, you may end up thinking that I should have kept both of them …

Place of May 13th

After 02 days of interruption, the TGV and the opposition gathered people again on the place of May 13th, on Saturday February 07th, 2009. This public meeting, like all the meetings before it, did not receive any approval from the “préfet de police” of Antananarivo, as provided by the law. No policeman was seen around, is this the préfet de police’s way to allow such meeting?

there were a lot of people in place of May 13th
there were a lot of people in place of May 13th
It is quite difficult for me to assess the exact number of the poeple who joined the rally
It is quite difficult for me to assess the exact number of the poeple who joined the rally

Most of the famous political leaders from the opposition were there.

Maître Oh là là! - Daniel Ramaromisa - Lahiniriko Jean
Maître Oh là là! - Daniel Ramaromisa - Lahiniriko Jean
General Désiré Ramakavelo, former minister of defence
General Désiré Ramakavelo, former minister of defence
Théodore Ranjivason, former minister of education
Théodore Ranjivason, former minister of education

Some members of the parliament which belong to the opposition wing, attended the rally

"députés" from the National Assembly
"députés" from the National Assembly

But nobody expected to see the famous nephew of the former president Admiral Didier Ignace Ratsiraka: Rolland Ratsiraka in such meeting. Actually the current governement has issued an arrest warrant against him.

Rolland Ratsiraka, former mayor of Toamasina
Rolland Ratsiraka, former mayor of Toamasina

It is then possible in Madagascar to wander throughout the capital when you are under an arrest warrant …

Andry “TGV” Rajoelina declared that he is going to establish a transitional governement and that the head of the state will be led by an entity named “HAT” (High Authority of the Transition) in which he will be the president.

Andry Rajoelina proclaimed himself president of the HAT
Andry Rajoelina proclaimed himself president of the HAT

Andry “TGV” Rajoelina also appointed the primeminister of the transitional governement: Monja Roindefo, leader of the political party MONIMA KAMIVIMBIO (political party which has been founded by his father, Monja Jaona, a famous nationalist.

Monja Roindefo, a politician and a businessman
Monja Roindefo, a politician and a businessman

Monja Roindefo made speech in 03 languages: Malagasy – French – English
The point which has attracted my attention in his speech was that according to International constitutional case laws (Does that exist???), their movements, their actions comply with an international principle which provides that “legitimacy prevails on legality”.

He challenged any lawyer from the international community to contradict the merits of their actions
He challenged any lawyer from the international community to contradict the merits of their actions

After his speech, Andry “TGV” Rajoelina declared that the presidential palace of Ambotsirohitra belongs to the “Commune”, and that he wants to give it to the primeminister.

"let the primeminister to deal with it now!"
after his declaration about the palace of Ambotsirohitra, he said: "let the primeminister to deal with it now!"

Monja Roindefo replied that the “people” has to take the palace of Ambotsirohitra. He also said that the time for such action depends on the so-called “people”.

"let the people decide when will we take Ambotsirohitra palace!"
"let the people decide when will we take Ambotsirohitra palace!"

To such question, the crowd answered: RIGHT NOW! NOW!

NOW, RIGHT NOW!
NOW, RIGHT NOW!

crowd3

Presidential palace of Ambotsirohitra
The crowd arrived near the presidential palace around 02.40pm Madagascar time. The immediate surrounding of the palace was tightly kept by police forces.
police

The policemen kept all the main roads which led directly to the presidential palace.
police1

The policemen banned the access to the presidential palace.
police2

Despite the growing tension, the policemen remained very calm.
police3
police4

Some MPs negotiated with the policemen to allow people to get in. I noticed that policemen also discussed the decision to make.
police5

Finally, the policemen decided to back little by little untill the crowd was near of the gate of the palace.
police6

There was a group of MPs which started to negotiate directly with the officer who was in charge of the security of the palace.
mp

Suddenly, there were grenades which exploded. I hears strong gun shots. Everybody paniced and started to run away. There were even soldiers and policemen who also run away from the palace.
police7

The shooting kept on for one hour. Most of the people who “dared” to get closer to the palace were shot. The ambulances came … One of our good friend, a journalist from the RTA Group (Radio Television of Analamanga): Ando Ratovonirina, died. He was shot on his throat.

According to the latest information I have, the number of “casualties” is amounted to 53 deads. 53 people which ceased to live in this special bloody Saturday … 53 people who really believed on what TGV and the opposition said… 53 people who though that the Army will never dare to open fire… 53 people who died for an uncertain cause …

who is responsible for all of that?
who is responsible for all of that?
Is it the soldiers who had to protect the presidential palace?
Is it the soldiers who had to protect the presidential palace?
Is it Andry rajoelina and Monja Roindefo who brought people there?
Is it Andry rajoelina and Monja Roindefo who brought people there?
why did tell people that it is possible to take over a presidential palace?
why did tell people that it is possible to take over a presidential palace?
Why did people suddenly run towards the gate of the presidential palace?
Why did people suddenly run towards the gate of the presidential palace?
why did the Army shoot at them?
why did the Army shoot at them?
was it worth to die for?
was it worth to die for?
who will pay for that?
who will pay for that?
WHO?
WHO?

11 thoughts on “BLOODY SATURDAY

  1. cyberlawyer please stay away from any shootings today and in the future. you are still very useful for us who still believe that good can be done in this world and we need people like you.

  2. Thank you for yr blog in English. Although I am only a foreigner here, & I know we should keep out of the affairs of Madagascar, nevertheless I am extremely saddened by what has happened to a country I care deeply for, & the people the leaders profess to love.

    Like the silent majority of Mada, I am no fan of an abusive dictator nor a hate-inciting person who has managed to polarize the good people of Madagascar.

    Not being an economist or a politician, my views are that of an average person. The way I see it, the following must happen:
    1.Rav8 must divest himself of his businesses to stay as President
    I do not know the number of people TIKO (& all his other businesses) employ. There is also a chain of suppliers which TIKO uses from milk farmers to packagers.

    I am more concerned about the impact of further loss of employment.

    As it is foreign investors are / have fled. Whatever the level of criticism against Rav8, the truth is, he has built roads, improved infrastructure & provided more opportunities for the children to attend school. He has given stability to Mada to attract investors even from non-Francophone countries.

    To maintain some employment Rav8 should sell TIKO or its parts to other companies; if only so that productivity & employment exists.

    2. SELL that damn Plane!
    Interestingly enough, an insider from an international donor agency said to me that donors did NOT condemn the buying of the plane, but instead has asked for the mode of financing of this plane.

    3. Get Daewoo OUT of Madagascar!!
    Daewoo announced this deal to the Korean Borse community – mainly to pump their share prices up. It worked for a while. No. I don’t think the Koreans are mad to announce a non-event. Ofcourse they must have something agreed upon verbally (??) but todate, they have yet to reveal the Memo of Understanding on any deals struck with Mada government.

    4. Rav8 must address his Mistakes & Ask for Forgiveness from the people of Madagascar

    In my years here, I have seen how forgiving the REAL people of this country are. Vengeance & Vindictiveness are for those with a full belly & who hungers for power.

    For the normal folks, they just want their lives to improve & to have a future where they do not worry about a job, food, their health, their kids.

    I feel strongly that Rav8 must apologise to his people for all the wrongs he has done & that from now on he will LISTEN to his people & act upon consultation with the Senate

    5. In the event of a Transition Government would it be wise to appoint TGV?
    Yes he is charismatic. Yes he is dynamic. Yes he is also backed by Ratsiraka, & all the pissed off biz people Rav8 has crossed in his life.

    But can he lead & manage a country? Or can the team of ministers he has named manage Madagascar?

    Here I take a personal stance. I DO blame TGV & his advisers for risking the lives of innocent people. What took the cake for me is not his self proclamation but that he DISAVOWED all responsibilities for knowingly sending people to great danger while he stayed away & safe.

    A real leader like Gandhi marched in front with his followers because he knows that the army will hesitate to shoot him & make him a martyr. By walking with his followers, Gandhi kept them safe.

    6. Empty Promises do not a Plan make / Threats do no a People break
    Can anyone tell me of TGV’s economic plans for Madagascar? Or indeed any plans to turn this country around from risky to stabile, and how they plan to take Mada through the giant global economic crisis?

    Their main plan seems only to be the total destruction of Rav8 & everyone he has ever seemed to favor or employed – rather than the promotion of the well being of the country & people.

    Let us also ask ourselves when & why has there been a rapid increase in the price of food & fuel?

    I greatly admire the tenacity & the will of the Malagasy. They have shown exemplary courage to continue their daily existence – regardless of any threats.

    It is absolutely amazing to me how simple REAL people’s needs & wishes are. I work with several villages & the people simply want to get on with their lives, to see progress & peace.

    The question is WHO can grant this Peace to them? TGV? Rav8? Syvlla?

    The more important question to the international community & negotiators is IF they condone the actions & threats of TGV by allowing him to ceding to his conditions, what will they do when another “leader” similar to TGV appears & tries similarly to seize power the way TGV is doing now?

    I pray for the Peace of Madagascar & the Safety of its People

  3. All this violence over the DAEWOO land deal. Has anyone checked the filing at EDBM (Economic Development Board Madagascar) to see what DAEWOO is planning?

  4. Dear Andry,
    I write you from Germany and want to say thank you for all the Informations you gave allready about the things which happens at Madagascar. Hope you are doing well.
    I have two questions for which maybe you can give an answere:
    1. Who is the man on picture 14 at the car, who is rising up his arm to make the tgv-sign?
    2. I heard about rumors that Rajoelina told the people he will form his goverment also with malagassy people which -for the moment- are in foreign countries. is it true and does it mean: people from the raziraka-regim?

  5. As I say, why didn’t those jackasses Andry TGV and his followers waited for the presidential election.
    Come on they really messed up everyone’s life.
    Who destroys “Antananarivo” will never lead Madagascar!!!

  6. Hi Jimbo,
    Thanks for the comment,
    As far as I know, even journalists did not contact the EDBM to know more about DAEWOO’s file. The reason is according to most of people’s understanding, EDBM has nothing to do with it. All they know are the relevant ministries.

  7. Hi Valérie,
    Thanks for your comment,
    The man on the picture 14 is known as a close subordinate of Andry Rajoelina. He came with the MPs to talk to the in charge of security of the presidential palace, on Saturday, February 07th. Unfortunately, I do not know his name.

  8. Valérie,
    There are 02 ministries in the transitional administration who came from abroad: they are the ministry of education and the ministry of telecommunications.
    I do not know if they are Ratsiraka’s people or not

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