On Tuesday at 11:00 am, the former president Albert Zafy joined Ambohijatovo in order to lay a bunch of flowers down in remembrance of the third anniversary of the establishment of democracy. Professor Zafy and his movement got authorization from the Prime Minister Omer Beriziky although the transitional junta´s dictatorship stood against it, and gave a piece of its mind to the rally.
The place of democracy was locked and kept locked by General Richard Ravalomanana and his men. The legalized repression´s conductor negotiated with the opposition. Opening the place of democracy is off the point, the bunch of flowers may however be left at the gate. The crowd began to rally and shout around “To the Square May 13!”
General Richard Ravalomanana´s men stroke with tear gas before the rally numerically goes out of control. “It was a banned gathering, they troubled circulation … stones began to fly around” argued the commander of the Emmo Reg.
Professor Zafy himself was personally affected by tear gas, and had to be taken back to his car. The “father of democracy” already got what he wanted though. “The evidence that freedom of speech and democracy are now dead can no more be denied”, he declared.
According to him, nothing but Rajoelina´s departure could pledge any recovery of democracy in Madagascar. He promised a forthcoming meeting with the press to explain the transitional authority´s recorded abuses.
Despite warnings and deterrents from the HAT´s repression forces, the Zafy sphere reached Ambohijatovo in the name of democracy. “Let these leaders join the front lines and confront us” warned General Richard Ravalomanana in a typically defiant tone.
“We go unarmed and demonstrate peacefully” declared Lalatiana Ravololomanana. The main goal consisted in displaying the Opposition´s determination to speak out in spite of deterrents from the HAT and from its army.
Democracy is dead! Long live democracy!
Rajoelina labeled the remembrance of the anniversary of the establishment of democracy as a destabilization act, although unofficially ordering that only March 29th has to be remembered. Whatever! Ambohijatovo was closed and kept closed by armed forces at the Opposition´s expenses.
Three years after the openning of the place of democracy, there is actually no reason to celebrate this anniversary. The dictating authority has anyway soured the taste of a true democracy.
On that very day, January 17th, 2009, Andry Rajoelina, by the time mayor of Antananarivo was allowed to gather his followers without prohibition from that time´s ruling power. In the name of democracy, he called upon the access to the national television channel to be granted to opponents, his Viva TV station to be allowed to broadcast again, the prohibition on the RDB station´s program Karajia to be lifted.
“Truth is being hidden to the people, on this account, we need this place of democracy,” he used to say. He promised free speech to whomever longing to say something on this nearly sacred area. Merely empty propaganda words!
History will remember that Andry Rajoelina spurred his supporters on with phrases like “are going to take the TVM station, shall we take the MBS station down?”, and that fire and looting silenced these stations 9 days later. During the transition, his dictatorship kept on banning stations from broadcasting.
The HAT made the national television channel his own one, deemed to enforce an image of a false presidential couple on top of a patched up party which seized power through a putsch. It has been sending journalists behind bars and keeps on pressuring anyone daring to criticize. Flags were to be hoisted up at half-mast on January 17th, on the day on which democracy died.