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Madagascar News Forums Food for thought the domination of the Merina oligarchy

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    In his speech on the solemn return of the Court of Appeal of Antananarivo on 4 October 1967, the first President Henri Raharijaona began by drawing attention to the efforts made by the Ministry of Justice to ensure the functioning of the courts. He goes on to discuss the problems they face.
    “If the law is capable of bringing justice closer to the litigant, its application is in fact encountered by practical obstacles which it would be necessary to undertake to make disappear. “
    Henri Raharijaona points out two obstacles in particular, the first being the lack of efficiency in the material organization of the courts.
    “Justice,” he said, “must cease to be an austere, hermetic, severe, sometimes harsh administration, with doors desperately closed, although the law orders the opening of the office. This, to become a vast enterprise adapted to the needs of a population more and more informed of its rights. “
    The first effort, he said, was to improve the working environment and the acceptance of litigants.
    The second obstacle to which Henri Raharijaona is subject is the complexity of the legal language. he
    Specifies, however, that it is not advisable ‘to recklessly recommend the use of a simplified language which would have the serious drawback of depriving the legal language of its precision and of emptying expressions of their content exact “. He said that justice did not hold a monopoly on the hermetic language, pointing out “its perplexity” in front of “certain expressions emanating from the reports of forensic expertise or the investigations of experts in maritime law”.
    Nevertheless, he believes that words such as “fouling, cancellation, iterative, pareatis, curator to the belly, to give more strongly … could without great damage disappear from our language. While the auxiliaries of justice might cease to declare to the illiterate tenants of the working-class districts that they are assigned to condemn themselves! Or that, in the absence of emptying the premises which it holds to the rent of the applicant, one will expel it, throw its furniture on the tile and make clear place “.
    Continuing his criticism, Henri Raharijaona suggests that the decisions be drafted more simply. Thus, he said, it would avoid litigants to present themselves to the magistrates, with a notice of judicial notice or a copy of a decision, “to ask timidly, as if they felt responsible for their ignorance, They had won or lost, or what it meant to the general role “.
    Another suggestion made by the first president of the Court of Appeal was to prepare rationally for the time when justice would be rendered in the national language. This presupposes, first of all, a modification of the texts – “which prohibits magistrates and clerks from acting as interpreters” – and the fixing of legal terms “in order to avoid erroneous interpretations or philological or grammatical challenges” .
    However, facilitating citizens’ access to the courtroom is not sufficient to bring justice closer to the litigant. For Henri Raharijaona, the expression also means that the judge must strive always to better know the individual as a man, whether it is “the one who demands the protection of his patrimony or the one who must answer Of its facts “.
    The law also offers multiple resources to the judge. “In criminal matters, it allows him, recommends to him, and sometimes orders him to submit the person referred for examination to the doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist. “
    In addition, “it obliges the investigating judge to discover all that can contribute to the manifestation of the truth and, in the first place, all that allows a better knowledge of the accused, his antecedents, his environment , His character and his personality “. Thus the judge will contribute to rendering justice “less uncertain and therefore more human”.
    In civil matters, “this humanism” must be translated by the constant search for truth. Especially since the latter is difficult to grasp, “through doubtful testimony, certificates of complacency, conclusions which all claim to restore the facts in their accuracy”. The first President of the Court of Appeal finally warned magistrates against a tendency “encouraged, moreover, by the Code of Civil Procedure” to rely on the documents in the file to decide a dispute, Would be a divorce.


    General Gabriel Ramanantsoa, ​​presenting his new government team on May 27, 1972, said: “I will give priority to operations that will create new jobs that are absolutely essential for the future of our most valuable capital, Beautiful and generous youth. “
    The Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs, Dr Justin Manambelo, said on 1 July in a radio interview that “among the teachers of technical assistance, Those with good records and diplomas. I will not keep the military from the contingent who teach in Madagascar if they are not graduates “.
    In order to stop appealing to the French soldiers and to give posts to Malagasy youth, General Ramanantsoa signed two decrees issued by the Council of Ministers under the Act of 6 December 1968, which established the Defense Organization in Madagascar and created the National Service .
    Article 10 of the Law states that “the obligation of all Malagasy citizens of male sex with the requisite physical capacities and aged between 20 and 50 years to participate in national defense constitutes the National Service “.
    In addition, Article 14 states that “the obligations of activities and reservations may be carried out either in the Armed Forces which include the National Gendarmerie, the Army, the Sea and the Air, and the Civic Service ; Or outside the Armed Forces (SNHA) in public, parapublic or private bodies, contributing to the achievement of the objectives set out in article 1 “.
    The two decrees, dated 29 January 1973, provide for the organization of this SNHA in order to satisfy requests from certain departments, and in particular from the Ministries of Education, Justice and Social Affairs.
    The first text stipulates in particular that “personnel performing their duties of service of the National Service except the Armed Forces, are called as auxiliary soldiers of 2nd class, whatever their title or their qualification in civil”. The advancement of this staff takes place only to the choice. The first advancement may take place every three months from the date of actual service.
    “Personnel fulfilling their obligations of activity of the SNHA receive, to the exclusion of all remuneration, a fixed monthly maintenance allowance. This allowance may be supplemented by family allowances for civil servants. “To clarify that the amount of the allowances is borne by the ministries, administrations or employers’ organizations.
    General Ramarolahy, in a radio interview, gives some clarification to the two texts. Only young people aged 20 to 29, who hold a Certificate of Educational Qualification (CAE), are required to take over from the military contingent, the baccalauréat, the license or the engineering. Those who have never taught will receive accelerated pedagogical training.
    “However, recruitment will be done in such a way that it does not interfere with the studies pursued by the students in the faculties. That is why a stay of incorporation is planned.
    Further clarification: as far as possible, conscripts complete their NAHS in their region of origin.
    Finally, a draft ordinance is adopted in the Council of Ministers on 1 February. It carries the institution of a National Women’s Service, not obligatory at the beginning. It is aimed at girls and young women volunteers, aged between 18 and 30, who hold one of the diplomas already mentioned and “also willing to participate in the national effort for the development of education


    When Ranavalona I reached the throne of Antananarivo, the fate of many personalities named by her husband, the late Radama I, was sealed. Besides the princes Ratefy and Ramananolona, ​​among others, as well as its Prime Minister Ralala, all “murdered”, its French adviser Robin is also banished.
    According to the curator at Toamasina, Benoit Joachim Dayot, Robin left Antananarivo “with all possible shame and humiliation” on October 13, 1828. Previously, the judges questioned him about his administration in Toamasina, the use of funds Of the port customs … “After various squabbles and captious subtleties, the queen approved of Robin’s accounts. “
    When he arrived in Moramanga, he wrote a letter to Ranavalomanjaka in which he “asks him a thousand
    Let us pardon by exalting his grief. He asks her to allow him to stay in such a small square in Madagascar that she wants to designate, rather than banish it. “
    The queen then decides to “assign her an exile and to my will.” Here then is the White who says to himself, sometimes Madecasse, now French, and sometimes English, to return from his error. ” She sends him a guard to carry her answer. “Where my guard, destined to watch over you,
    Will be the place of your exile. But if it is on the shore that she has joined you, she has the right to make you demote. So now accept exile or banish yourself under pain of death. “
    According to Benoit Dayot, “his sudden rise to fortune” dazzled Robin and eventually caused his
    Disgrace and pain. The delegate of the French curatorship explained his banishment for four reasons.
    The first is that he was unable to make a satisfactory assessment of Customs activities and the administration of Toamasina where he was co-governor.
    The second is to have abused the powers and the confidence granted to him by Radama.
    The third is that during the illness of the late king he allowed himself to rise to the rank of Grand Marshal of the Kingdom and of the Palace. He also granted himself the title of Governor-General … All this without the sovereign’s knowledge. Yet, when he writes to the Court, he retains his real title of XII honors. But several officers, wishing to mock him, call him a marshal,
    “By adding to it a kind of crescent designating the horseshoe, whose emblem he could not guess until after his punishment.
    The fourth reason for his forfeiture is that he always showed Napoleon in Antananarivo and uttered obscene insults against the Duchess of Angoulême, braving the royalists. “What is regarded by the Hova as a crime, for this tribe singularly honors their sovereign and family. It is to the point that if any one of them allowed himself the slightest insult to the royal family, he was immediately wise and the corpse thrown to the animals. “
    It seems, according to Dayot, that it was this reason that determined his banishment. Indeed, “this veneration and profound respect, worthy of example, is still remarkable by the oaths which the natives make on their sovereign and on his family.” Oaths as sacred as those made to God.
    Thus Robin never enjoyed the consideration of the Merina. Only Radama, who needed it as an interpreter and a professor of French, had for him “the kindness of a good friend.” And it was thanks to the respect which the sovereign had for him, if he was respected. But since the loss of his benefactor and protector, he finds himself alone.
    According to Dayot, besides, the sovereign did not have sincere esteem for him. “Radama, in my presence and in that of other people, says that with money, we could do everything from Robin. Certain circumstances have too unfortunately confirmed and proved that great truth which came from the mouth of a sovereign who had slander and falsehood.
    Robin arrives in Toamasina on 22 October. The very next day, “explains Dayot,” he said that I was the cause of all his disgrace, having written to the queen against him. ” According to the delegate of the French curatorship, to take revenge Robin would have launched a calumny against him. According to this accusation, it was Dayot who had seconded the relations of the English Government with Radama, to whom I had said that France was incapable of invading her possessions in Madagascar. A “terrible slander” that Dayot does not digest at all. He even made a complaint against Robin to the Queen.


    In the Bulletin of Madagascar of May-June 1972, the researcher Leonardo Ramaroson gives the various hypotheses that relate to the origin of the word Ifandanana or Ifandàna. This is the name of three historic localities as he explains.
    “Andrianampoinimerina confessed helplessly before the Ifandanana of the Vakinankaratra (Callet, Tantara ny Andriana, 622); Radama I was right in the Ifandanana of the southern Betsileo only by famine (Callet, pp. 1071-1072), but some five hundred years earlier (according to Rainitovo, p. 97) Andrianahitrahetra had been able to hunt without Too many difficulties, the Vazimba, apparently from Ifandanana located about 35 km East-South-East of Tananarive (Callet). “
    In any case, it seems here a confrontation between the conquering Merina and their neighbors, the Betsileo of the North (Vakinankaratra) and those of the South (Vohibato) which
    Refuse their domination.
    The Ifandàna of the Betsileo is, as the Academician Regis Rajemisa-Raolison describes, a rock located east of Ambalavao, on the right bank of Manantana, and famous in the annals of this country. “On the summit of the south was a fortress reputed to be impregnable. Radama I, in 1811, made the siege and could not subdue it by cannon, but the famine opened the doors to him. He shaved it and passed all the defenders to the sword. We can still see the bones of the victims, without burial, at the foot of the rocks “(Historical and Geographical Dictionary of Madagascar, 1960s).
    To support his various hypotheses, Leonard Ramaroson refers to various authors, most notably Callet, Rainitovo, Webber, Richardson, Dubois, Abinal and Malzac, Rajemisa-Raolison, Veyrières de Meritens. Thus, he gives four hypotheses which, in general, are based on the possible meanings of the word Ifandanana: ‘fanda’, ‘fandana’ and ‘fandàna’, ‘anda’, ‘andana’ and ‘ Lana “and” lanana “,” da “,” dana “and” danana “,” nda “,” ndana “and” ndana “…
    Rainitovo links the denomination of Ifandanana to the word “mandà” (to refuse). According to him, the Vazimba of the locality (near the capital) refused to submit to the merina wren “in a less happy or less decided manner than the Betsileo of the North and those of the South who would have refused until the end “To serve the greatest sovereigns of Antananarivo.
    “This is quite possible, since the form andàna de mandà, heard in the province by Webber, gives the example andàko izy (I deny it, I deny it), a provincial expression. “
    Dubois proposes “lana” which gives the verbal substantive “fandana” or which is used to exhaust, or simply “difficult to access”. This, according to Rajemisa-Raolison, can approach the current “lanaka” or exhausted merina.
    And Leonard Ramaroson commented: “Now what mountains could be described as difficult to access in a more adequate way than our three historic mountains supposedly or indeed impregnable”
    Webber and Richardson propose that “da” could give the verb “mandà” (celebrating) and the noun “fandàna” (act of celebrating or “place of celebration”).
    This is not surprising to Leonard Ramaroson.
    “That a mountain which, in some ways, is cut off from its neighbors, was specially chosen to be a high place of worship, it is nothing but very normal. “
    Finally, de Veyrières, which is based on the root “andana” of a word used in an old proverb, can include the sense of action to enjoy freedom, and form a “fandanana”, a place where one enjoys the freedom. Because in the proverb of reference, “ampandanina” is clearly opposed to “afatotra”: “Afatotra manito tady, ampandanin-tsy mahalany”; In other words, “Tie, pull on the rope to eat further, and when they are fed, they can not finish their ration.


    The forest of Manjakatompo, in the district of Ambatolampy, formerly contains a “mystery”. In fact, it is a rite of sacrifice that has Ambohimirandrana, the mountain-braided.
    The inhabitants of the neighborhood are, moreover, deeply imbued with superstitions: “Do not go through such a marsh, you can have the neck twisted. “Do not spit here, you will become dumb.” “Do not show your hand this tomb, you will lose your fingers.”
    Indeed, the channels of communication are so difficult that only, sorcerers and diviners are the kings and masters of the places. These beliefs persist, all the more deeply as the country is the kingdom of the Vazimba, “dwarfs” of African descent who, according to legend, would have disappeared as if by magic and transformed themselves into evil inhabitants of solitary springs and places .
    To appease these invisible anger or to ask for blessings, many
    People come to sacrifice bloody sacrifices at the top of Ambohimirandrana, especially in the month of August.
    According to Fulgence Eutrope Ramilijaona, of the Museum of Art and Archeology in 1971, Lac Froid, a small secret path leads to the foot of a waterfall in a forest of trees and shrubs interwoven with lianas. The water falls into icy sheaves, but for those who wish to participate in the sacrifice, they must abide by the usual ritual of ablution to purify themselves of their sins.
    Bringing something pig-based (meat, fat, cold cuts, food) is a deadly sacrilege, for then the gods are angry and punish the profaner. From the waterfall, one must also walk barefoot, shoes are not allowed in the “archisacre” enclosure. Finally, silence is necessary and “pay attention to the false step if you do not want to be commented severely and in a fanciful way sometimes”.
    At the top of the mountain there is a large clearing which only the worshipers know. Here and there, old tree trunks with holes hide various presents: sweets, honey, heads and paws of poultry, coins …
    Cattle skulls with horns are hung everywhere. “In the middle, in the shade of a great fig tree, the royal tomb, that of Rafohy, the queen of the Vazimba, imposes respect by its unusual aspect. It is covered with dried blood and the bones of animals and motley presents. “
    In front of the tomb stands a stone table. All around, people, men, women, children, young and old, “tired and tired of a long journey, wait silently, seized with a mysterious fear.”
    An old man, wrapped in his great lamba white festival, hides a cock under his left arm. A family keeps a white lamb retained by a red cord. A red-headed ox, spotted with white on the forehead, carelessly ruminates at the foot of a tree. Large cutlasses and white basins gleam in the sun. Players of flutes and drums are exercising in mute.
    Early in the afternoon, “a great frizzy-haired individual, with his beard bushy, a long cork to the ground, the priest no doubt, cowers the assembly with a circular glance. Calm and mysterious, he places himself before the door of the tomb, bends almost as if cut in two, crosses his arms on his chest, raises his hands to the sky, then brings them back on his face while uttering incomprehensible oracles and finally , Turns to the assistance “.
    At this moment, the silence is abruptly broken and a “cacophony of tamtam, cries, prayers, strange dances and prostrations” accompanies the rhythm of the songs. Ten robust men immobilize the ox, and the priest and his aides proceed to the sacrifice, bleeding him first with a cutlass before giving him the last blow of grace. The priest returns before the entrance of the tomb, takes a handful of soil, mixes it with the blood of the ox, makes a short bow and sprinkles the faithful with a fig tree branch.
    Meanwhile, the followers “prostrate themselves on the ground, in a confused murmur and convulsive gestures.”
    Next comes the time of offering the lamb, cocks and other appropriate presents. The meal in common is prepared with the last words of preaching, reproach or exhortation, of a “hysterical dance” performed by a woman, supported by the acclamations chanted by the audience.

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