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    The Journal of James Hastie on his stay in Madagascar in 1822, insists on several points: the agricultural colony of Foulpointe, which will be reached by way of Ambatondrazaka, the Menabe countryside … About this last point, the Journal de l “Said John Valette, an archivist-paleographer,” provides valuable insights into the chronology of the beginnings of this expedition led by Radama himself.
    The latter left Antananarivo on Friday, June 21, 1822, “escorted by his first regiment” to take the lead of the army gathered in advance. Before leaving, Radama organized a sort of regency to govern in his absence. Hastie, however, does not give the names of the members of this council.
    The British agent accepts the reasons given by Radama to justify the campaign against the king of Menabe (see previous note). That is why the sovereign merina confirms to him that “his warlike preparations would in no way delay the realization of an idea dear to Farquhar: the creation of agricultural colonies”, and that the first of these establishments would be created as soon as possible in Foulpointe . In his Journal, Hastie explains this choice on 12 June, “because of the quality of its anchorage and because it was possible to establish easy communications throughout the Antsihanaka region”.
    This colony occupies the attention of Radama who, from June 18, decides to entrust the realization to his brother-in-law Rafaralahy, put with this goal at the head of 2,000 workers and 100 soldiers. The money, the herds, and the goods deemed necessary for this creation, were united at the same period. Hastie considers that colonies of this kind should be placed under the direct authority of merina officers. He therefore agreed to accompany the detachment “to give all the advice I could to the officer in charge of his commander”. He spent the few days he still spent in Antananarivo preparing to travel to Foulpointe via Lake Alaotra.
    The English agent only leaves Monday, June 24, not Rafaralahy company. “The establishment of easy communication with the future colony of Foulpointe was evidently one of the conditions for its success” (Jean Valette, archivist-paleograph). To achieve this, Radama promises Hastie “to make a good road leading to all the places chosen to create a commercial establishment there”. This involves recognizing various routes to choose the most appropriate.
    The classic route by Moramanga and Toamasina is very difficult. It is decided that two groups will strive to find a better one, while Hastie and Rafaralahy, at the head of a third group, must take “a partly known road through the Antsihanaka region”.
    They left Antananarivo on 24 June and arrived at Ambatondrazaka on 2 July, traveling in nine days, about 160 km as the crow flies. Starting from the latter locality, on 5 July, they arrived at Foulpointe on 16 July. The English agent describes the different regions they cross, the merina country, the sihanaka country, and the great eastern forest.
    Hastie does not specify the exact boundaries of the Merina country, but Jean Valette fixes them, “arbitrarily, perhaps,” at the Mananara River. Rafaralahy, Hastie and their troops pass through the Imerina of the North and the Northeast. According to the English agent, the population of this country cleared up very quickly.
    On the first day, after 26 km of course, he already notes that “the density of the population decreases as we move away from the capital.”
    He pointed out “many small villages and scattered huts, and a large number of small plots of cultivated land in the valleys”, the second day he meets “only a few small villages and isolated huts …”


    During his stay in Madagascar in 1822, James Hastie spent 14 days in Antananarivo from 10 to 23 June. During this short period of time, the British agent sent by the Governor of Mauritius, Sir Robert Townsend Farquhar, can deal with matters as diverse as important, some of which, among others, the agricultural colony of Fulpointe, The future of Madagascar. And according to Jean Valette, when he relates faithfully in his Diary, certain conversations he had with Radama I, “it enables us to better grasp the thought of the sovereign.”
    Hastie’s first task, on June 11, was to pay the King the amount of the Equivalent for the year “which is to end on October 10, 1822”. At least that which must be paid in cash, namely, “1,200 gold piastres… And an equal amount in Spanish piastres,” that is to say, in money (12,000 francs). Not to mention the personal gifts sent by Farquhar to Radama.
    Hastie also deals with the material fate of those who accompany him on his journey. He found an effective help with the sovereign, and then with his advisers.
    The Jeffreys problem, “the easiest”, was settled on June 12, by the granting of “a pleasant new house in the midst of a vast enclosure and … two servants.” The craftsmen, one of whom, Brooks, was to die on June 24, are the object of special care. Hastie wants to explain in detail to Radama what their role will be and by what means they can fulfill it. The king seems to grasp rather quickly what is expected of him and he grants them “a chosen land in a situation that suits their respective activities” and giving “a servant to each of the craftsmen, in exchange for what each of them Shall instruct two young men. “
    Hastie also takes care of their lodgings after Radama’s departure for the Menabe, and praises the help received from the “persons whom the king has invested with his authority during his absence.” So well, writes Hastie, that “artisans can now begin their work”.
    As for the two naturalists, whose concerns are somewhat alien to Radama, they are entrusted with the task of caring for the garden created in Mahazoarivo following the Lesage mission in 1817. They also receive land intended, in the spirit of Radama, to “show him an overview of the system they wished to use for the cultivation of indigenous products and plants and seeds introduced into the country”.
    On the other hand, a problem related to the arrival in the capital of the missionary artisans and, to a lesser extent, of Bojer and Hilsenberg, the development of Madagascar preoccupied both the king and the agent English. The latter is aware that the loss of resources entailed by the abolition of the Treaty must be offset by new lucrative activities, which will benefit Radama’s subjects and the “Treasury”. The sovereign appears to be in complete agreement on this point, despite some divergences which are easily explained.
    According to Jean Valette, “symptomatic in this respect is the divergence of views between Radama and Hastie, about the campaign that an army merina, under the orders of the king, is about to undertake in Sakalava country.” Hastie prefers that this campaign does not take place because, according to him, it does not enter into a general policy to promote the economy of the country.
    This campaign against the Menabe must indeed, in Hastie’s mind, lead to the conquest of a port, a point on which he insists. For two reasons: the possession of ports (and hence of the coasts) is necessary both to prevent slave exports and to promote legal trade, but “it is also necessary to see Hastie’s desire, by floating the Flag merina, to do the French sights “.
    But Radama’s answer is clear. This campaign, he said, was necessary, first because he wanted to reduce to obedience the turbulent leaders who, on the outskirts of the Imerina, were taunting his authority and, undoubtedly, were committing depredations, Because he believes that such a campaign should make it possible to aggravate the newly educated corps of the army at its disposal.
    “It is also probable that Radama, proud of this new instrument, wanted to somehow experience it and hoped to avenge the rather stinging defeats inflicted on him by Ramitraho, the king of the Menabe, on several occasions. “


    The archivist palaeographer Razoharinoro-Randriamboavonjy, in his synthesis on the Fokonolona as a judicial institution, cites some examples of business conclusions judged by him (see previous note).
    The first date is 1868. “This is what the Fokonolona did for the debtors of Rafaralahy to free themselves of their debt which amounted to 35 piastres. The sum was half paid by Ramahalimby and half by Randrianantoandro; The Fokonolona also fulfilled its obligations at the same time as the families of Ralaitsirofo, Ratsarasata, Ramarobasy and others domiciled in Andranosoalaza. “
    Another example in the same year: “Rainimasy and Rasoarivony were on trial for a sum of 17 piastres; Rasoarivony paid Rainimasy 7 piastres and 6th to respect the word she gave. Payment was made in the presence of the Fokonolona as well as Rafaralahimiana, Rainitsarabe, Razafimanana 14 honors, Rainizafy, Ralaitsiry, Rafaratsibako. “
    The paleographer evokes another case of 1870. “A dispute arose between Ramanantsoa and Rainipatsa. The Fokonolona suggested to the parties to submit their case, which was done. If one of the parties contests the judgment, a fine consisting of a piastre (destined to the sovereign), 30 piastres, and one ox, shall be imposed upon him. The names of the witnesses followed, a dozen.
    Razoharinoro-Randriamboavonjy also speaks of a case that passes before the Fokonolona in 1871. “R … and R … have been on trial. The Fokonolona admonished both of them. It was understood that … To one of the parties contesting the judgment, the following fines shall be imposed: one ox, 30 piastres, and one silver piastre for the lord. “
    Another example of the same year: “… R … and R … sued R … for a good … The litigants received our advice and then were invited to explain each other, in the presence of his opponent. They offered the piastre to the king and recognized their respective faults. We have said to them: One of you who has retracted and denied what he has said here will be punished with a fine of 30 piastres, an ox, a piastre d ‘ Money for the king. He who looses his oath will definitely renounce the good and the sanctions provided for by the laws of the State will be applied to him. The statements were made on the evidence of the witnesses. “
    The more years pass, the more the Fokonolona becomes a judicial institution. The creation of the “Sakaizambohitra” corps in 1878, that is to say after the organization of the army, saw certain soldiers become “borizano” (veterans) and “sakaizambohitra” (from 1881 they are also Called “Antily”). It is increasingly lessening the role of Fokonolona as a judicial institution.
    However, the “Sakaizambohitra” are not judges, but bodies solely responsible for deferring the defendants to the Antananarivo court. Thus, they are not entitled to hold a hearing because they are simply entitled to “hear” and “see” or receive complaints.
    According to Razoharinoro-Randriamboavonjy, Article 4 of the Instructions for
    “Sakaizambohitra”, the reform tends to reduce significantly the authority of Fokonolona. This article states: “If the inhabitants summon someone to appear in court, bring it up as Fokonolona asks. “That is to say to pass to the superior jurisdiction, that of Antananarivo.
    Thus, it appears that the Fokonolona is only one of the two bodies charged with investigating the trial of someone. Razoharinoro then quotes Article 14 of the same Instructions. “If the lord, chief of the district or the Fokonolona, ​​wants to assume the right to arrange
    Force a case against the will of one of the parties, have the affair brought up in Antananarivo. “This article wants above all to avoid the abuse of the riding chiefs or Fokonolona in case they are the ones who are at fault. “It may also be regarded as a warning against the temptation of sovereignly overbearing in all things. “
    Some even cause disturbances within their constituencies because of their indelicacy. They even alienate the sympathy of the Fokonolona because they often abuse their authority.


    Historically, Fokonolona, ​​made up of the inhabitants of a Fokontany and forming the basic community of society, is a judicial institution. It is Andrianampoinimerina who establishes it. After Andrianampoinimerina, the Fokonolona no longer exercises its rights neither in the same way nor with so much happiness, explains Razoharinoro-Randriamboavonjy, archivist paleographer.
    According to the latter, “the Fokonolona was called upon to deal only with cases which did not relate to offenses committed against the person of the sovereign or the State”. This kind of crime is punishable by the death penalty, which the king reserves to be the sole judge because “all recognized that he had the life of each of his subjects”.
    Yet, in some cases, the king or queen is not the sole holder of this privilege. If the flagrant misdemeanor is proved, the criminal can pay with his life, if the Fokonolona judges so. “Thereafter, this practice became so common that no one had to say if the Fokonolona pronounced the death penalty. “
    When Radama I, the successor of Andrianampoinimerina, instituted the order of
    “Andriambaventy” or “Farantsa” to play the role of a judicial body, the Fokonolona gradually ceases to be a judicial institution. He was denied the right to impose the death penalty on a criminal caught in the act. “This gradual divestment erased the judicial aspect of the role of the Fokonolona. “
    In the years following the reign of Radama I, especially under Radama II, the courtiers and companions of debauchery of this king are awarded the title of judges. Any authority is thus removed from the hands of the Fokonolona who recovers his rights to judge at the end of the reign of Radama II.
    This judicial institution is a well-organized structure. If someone is guilty of a crime or an offense within his administrative district, he is dragged to the “Mpiadidy” or denounced to him. The interrogation followed when the “Mpiadidy” gathered all the members of the Fokonolona. Thereafter, the culprit is convicted. It is executed by the payment of the “orimbato”, its fines and the silver piastre destined to the sovereign in sign of allegiance.
    The “orimbato” serves as evidence of the judgment actually rendered by the Fokonolona. The payment of the piastre d’argent officializes the act of Fokonolona. No one may question a case already adjudicated in this way. The one who questions the decision of the Fokonolona is taxed from “mitsoa-bato” (literally withdraw its stone, its suffrage, thus to decline, to retract).
    The parties in a lawsuit, each claiming the ownership of certain property, for example, may sometimes agree to the imposition of the Fokonolian jurisdiction. “If necessary, each party explained itself to the assembly, which then decided first and last resort. The accomplishment of the orimbato and the payment of the silver piastre sealed the procedure. “
    Often, after the Fokonolona has said its last word, one proclaims by way of ritual:
    “To those who dispute this judgment, the following fines shall be imposed: he shall give an ox, and pay thirty dollars of silver as a sign of allegiance to the sovereign.” This formula is of frequent use after 1864.
    If the Fokonolona knows that a dispute arises between two people, it can take the initiative to invite them to explain themselves in front of its members in order to be “treated” by them. The procedure is the same as that presented previously.
    “Ordinary” offenses such as kidnapping, pickpocketing, drunkenness, attempted murder, disputes over a rice paddy or any other property are within the jurisdiction of Fokonolona. On the other hand, the latter automatically rejects a crime committed against the State or the person of the sovereign, especially if the crime must entail the death penalty as a punishment. If necessary, the Fokonolona is limited to facilitating the appearance of the accused before the Royal High Court, thanks to the local representatives of the king (“vadintany”, a sort of usher, and “antily”). The procedure is the same when there is a stubborn “mitsoa-bato”.


    Twelve, sacred number, which only the merina sovereigns can display. Twelve hills to the twelve Rova; Twelve women, at least known and judged official. Andrianampoinimerina used this figure well. When one looks at a non-exhaustive list of the “important” wives of the great monarch (there are 18 of them), one finds that most are at a degree of kinship more or less close to his maternal grandfather, the king of Ambohimanga Andriambelomasina, while others are raised to the rank of women or simple concubines to establish its sovereignty over the six territories of the Imerina.
    His main wife, his ‘vadibe’, is Rabodonimerina. She is her cousin since she is the daughter of her maternal aunt, Renibodonimerina, who is, moreover, her “vady lova”, the wife he inherited. Rabodonimerina has no children and adopts her nephew Rabodolahy whom the king has always regarded as his son and thus as a possible successor. But pushed by his jealousy against Laidama, feeling fanned by his adoptive mother, he takes it into his head to kill him and his father. Andrianampoinimerina is obliged to put them both to death, according to its principle of the equality of all before the law. Rabodonimerina is “hidden” (buried) in Namehana.
    Concubine first, repudiated and then resumed as wife at the same time as her own daughter Rasamoma (of a first bed), Ramanantenasoa has almost the same fate. She is the daughter of Andrianavalonjafy of Alasora, ally of the great king. It is also one of the five concubines that he uses to pacify the Vakinisisaony and that he installs on the hill of his father. She will give him two children (four according to some authors) including Ramavolahy the bearded. Once it reaches its objective, Andrianampoinimerina releases of its links Ramanantenasoa which convolces in just wedding with Andriamora, grandson of the ancient king of Antananarivo, Andrianamboatsimarofy.
    Later, the great monarch decides to resume it, this time as wife, with Rasamoma. But in the meantime, furious about his father’s decision to designate Laidama as his successor, Ramavolahy also revolts and keeps on killing his younger son and finally tackling his father. Again the king condemned him to death. On the other hand, he spares his mother. However, she asks to leave Alasora with her children and the monarch installs her first in Ambohimangakely then in Kaloy where she ends her life. It is only under Radama II that his ashes will be transferred to Alasora.
    Another royal wife who also made hers, is Rambolamasoandro, mother of Laidama. She is also the daughter of one of her concubines, Ratomponimarovatana who allows him to pacify the Marovatana: he thanks her when he reaches his goal to take as wife Rambolamasoandro. She gives him five children, but that does not prevent her from having a lover to whom she often visits, secretly agrees.
    But one day, Laidama surprised her stealthily disappearing. He then attaches a chick to a cock and places them in a corner of the royal box of Ambohimanga. Obviously, the chick is screaming to call his mother and astonished at so much uproar, Andrianampoinimerina rushes. Seeing the two poultry, he asks his son the reason for such a masquerade. Laidama answers: “The chick remains with his father and his mother misses him. The king understands the allusion and sends his followers Rambolamasoandro taken in flagrante delicto. It has been necessary that she should not be found with a sentence of death, so great is the fury and humiliation of the sovereign. He is content, however, to repudiate it. Rambolamasoandro will not be long to console himself with another husband in Anosimanjaka.
    Another royal wife whose story is well known is Rabodozafimanjaka, daughter of Andriantsira of Alasora whom he places at Mahazo when he defeats him, while he installs his daughter at Antsahadinta. But she begs the king to place her father near her, which he does by decreeing, however, that two-thirds of the property belongs to her. At the death of Andriantsira, Rabodozafimanjaka has quarrels with his half-brothers who believe that one-third of the property granted to their father is theirs. What she refuses. These disputes resulted in internal strife and the fief was again broken up. Suspicioned by her royal husband of disloyal maneuvers to weaken her, she is subjected to the test of the tanguin and does not survive. She was first buried in a neighboring village before her remains were transferred to Antahadinta, also under Radama II. But some site curators say they are always where they are hidden.


    As is customary, burial arouses numerous writings of travelers. Thus Dubois relates in his “Journeys to the Isles of Dauphin or Madagascar, Bourbon or Mascarenne the years 1669-72,” that when rich people die in the southern provinces, relatives, friends and neighbors rush to cry, ask for the causes of his Death … Cries “lugubres” accompany these questions. “Dances, odd postures, grimaces, and immoderate laughter soon follow. This lasts several days, “during which the blood of the beasts sacrificed at the expense of the dead flows with great floods.”
    It is then carried to the tomb, called “tranobelity”, the “house of the devil”, a hut built in framework. A part of his property is buried with him, and no one dares to steal them, for he risks the penalty of death if he is taken. Besides, even in times of wars if all is plundered, no one dares touch the tombs.
    The funeral proper also lasts for some time during which “it is used for
    Eat, but the dishes are raw and we carry at the same time what it takes to cook them so that it prepares them to his fancy “. When the body is placed in the tomb, a calf is brought to the entrance to be sacrificed. “We share the deceased and the rest is shared in the assembly. His remains (of the calf) are attached to stakes placed outside the tomb. “
    According to Dubois, the Southern Malagasy people all believe that after their death they will be resurrected and come back to lead a life similar to those they have just left. That is why, during their lifetime, they hide their possessions in gold and silver, believing that they will find them when they are resurrected, otherwise “they would be slaves upon their return to life.”
    Another author, anonymous, confirms this narrative. “These people have much veneration for the dead. As soon as one of them has ceased to live, the event is announced by lugubrious songs. Mourners make the air sound with their cries, the virtues of the dead are exalted. After several days of feasting, the body of the deceased is enclosed in a beer or exposed on an eminence or a large stone. At the end of a year, the family “will collect the bones” and put them in the tomb which contains those of the deceased former parents.
    The author says that when a great chief dies, his body is hidden from the people. They organize a simulacrum for the ceremony that lasts eight days and the people must provide a large number of oxen to sacrifice and share to all the assistants. “The same is done with regard to the children of the great chiefs who die. “
    Dealing with the same subject, Étienne de Flacourt adds some peculiarities. “The nearest relatives of the dead wash the body, the parent of shackles, earrings, gold necklace and other jewels, bury it with two or three up to seven of the most beautiful . They then envelop him with a great mat when they carry him to the tomb. There he is confined in a coffin formed by two trunks of hollowed and joined trees.
    They place him in the tomb-house made of carpentry-and place near him a basket, a tobacco box, a bowl of earth, a small burner of earth to burn the perfume, loincloths and belts. Then they close it and begin to sacrifice zebus in honor of the deceased leader, whose devil is given first, then to God, and finally to the dead. For eight or fifteen days, the parents continue to renew the provisions of the dead man and never cease to recommend himself to him as if he were alive. “
    In difficult circumstances, his children come back to sacrifice oxen and seek advice from the deceased. The most solemn oaths are then made “upon the souls of the ancestors.”
    Finally, if they fall sick and delirious, “they send their doctor to the cemetery
    The spirit they have lost. This charlatan makes a hole in the house (tomb) by calling the soul of the father of the sick and asking him to return his mind to his child who has no more. He opens a bonnet in front of the hole to receive the present, and not doubting that he has obtained it, he encloses the cap carefully and shortly to give the spirit to the patient who does not fail to say that they are relieved “.


    “Before breaking all relations with South Africa, we called upon a country of the so-called Western camp to give us a loan of 2 billion FMG. The loan was promised to us lip service and subsequently refused. Now, People’s Republic of China has agreed to lend us these 2 billion FMG so that we can repay the South African investments for the complex of Nosy Be. On top of that, she gave us this long-term, interest-free loan. Is this selling Madagascar to the countries of the communist bloc? If yes, then I am a brade, and we are going to sell off in this way “(Bulletin de Madagascar, March-April 1973). These were the remarks made, among others, by the Commander of the Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Ratsiraka, two days before he embarked for Paris. He will lead the Malagasy delegation to negotiations on the new cooperation agreements between the two countries.
    On Thursday, 18 January 1973, he gave a press conference to some 80 journalists, during which he explained his mission. He thus takes up the causes of the events of May 1972 which ignited the Great Island. “The cooperation agreements of 1960 were signed between two unequally sovereign partners. Indeed, these agreements were negotiated in April 1960 while independence was only granted to us in the following June. “
    He occasionally takes up a definition of the word “cooperation” by Kosciuszko-Morizet, former French Permanent Delegate to the UN. “If a black man makes me cross the river with his canoe, he makes some assistance; But if in addition he teaches me to paddle so that I can cross it alone next time, then he does cooperation. “For the head of the Malagasy diplomacy, it is” clear and clear “, before Define itself what it means by cooperation. According to him, it is a kind of civil marriage which, for want of love, must be of reason. “If the two partners are unequally strong, that does not hold the moment they have the same rights and the same duties. Hence the need to conclude new agreements on an entirely new basis between two equal partners in law.
    “There is no question for us of alienating our sovereignty and our honor”, especially since sovereignty and honor are not negotiable. He concluded his press conference by saying: “The delegation intends to defend the national interest. If France does not accept respect for national honor and sovereignty, we prefer to return empty-handed. “
    On Saturday, January 10, a crowd filled the Ivato airport to greet the departure of the Malagasy delegation. And before the opening of the negotiations in Paris, opinions are issued by political parties, trade unions, local press.
    Ady Gasy of 22 January writes: “The definitions given by Minister Ratsiraka in a measured tone are far from being a narrow yoke. It is a minimum below which our delegates can not descend without compromising the national dignity which has long been disregarded. “

    The AKFM party, in a communiqué of 22 January, expresses its satisfaction with the government’s orientation to its relations with other countries. The Malagasy Communist Party, PCM, believes that “the old agreements were intended to maintain French colonization. This time, it will be a matter of rethinking the cooperation between France and Madagascar – which must remain friends – on new bases “.
    The Republican Party of Mr. Adrien Ramboa expresses to Minister Ratsiraka and to the government the confidence it gives them, but a confidence that is not unconditional since it reserves to pronounce according to the results. The Malagasy Socialist Union and its General Secretary, André Resampa, in a communiqué dated 18 January, wished “that the negotiations should take place without any demagogy and in the sole interest of the Malagasy people, especially the working mass.”
    Alexis Bezaka’s Christian Democratic Party of Malagasy believes that there can be no question of breaking with France. On the other hand, a revision is required both by the people and by the circumstances.
    The Union of Higher Education Teachers and Researchers calls for “the total abolition of agreements with foreign countries and their renewal if necessary”. The Joint Committee of Militants of May (KIM), the MFM, the Union of Christian Democrats of Madagascar are for “the independence of the currency, the suppression of military bases and cultural imperialism”.
    We conclude with Siradiou Diallo who writes in the weekly Jeune Afrique of January 20: “Difficult negotiations in perspective. Nevertheless, the Franco-Malagasy negotiations promise to be tight. That is to say that each of the two parties, the Madagascan David and the French Goliath, intends to gather the maximum assets. Whatever the outcome of the game, other African states will learn useful lessons. “


    Thursday, January 12, 1973 in Paris. Formal negotiations marking another turning point in the history of Franco-Malagasy relations opened in Paris, presided over by Maurice Schumann, French Minister of Foreign Affairs. The object is to re-examine the Co-operation Agreements initialed in the French capital on 2 April 1960 and signed at Antananarivo on 27 June of the same year. These seal the relations between the Metropolis and its former colony.
    Their questioning is that, a decade later, the Malagasy see “that they no longer fit the aspirations of a people who becomes aware of its sovereignty and its independence” (Georges Ramamonjisoa, Bulletin de Madagascar , March-April 1973). The then foreign minister, Commander Didier Ratsiraka, considers them to be “de facto obsolete”.
    The 1973 negotiations will therefore have a “global character”, that is to say, according to the
    Chronicler, “that they will concern the whole of the relations which had been established between the two countries”. In particular on national defense, the French bases installed in the island, Malagasy currency and teaching to adapt to local realities.
    This is why the thirty members of the Malagasy delegation headed by the head of diplomacy are Minister Albert-Marie Ramaroson (Economy and Finance), Dr. Albert Rakoto-Ratsimamanga, Malagasy Ambassador to Paris, and 27 Business Foreign Affairs, Economy and Finance, Defense, Justice, Cultural and Social Affairs, Agriculture and Merchant Marine. Before embarking for Paris on 20 January 1973, Minister Ratsiraka gave a press briefing to some 80 journalists.
    He recalled that in 1960, the Great Island had no draft agreements to present and could only “place commas in the French draft”. Moreover, he affirms with force that “a defense can only be national because a government can not defend another country as it would defend its own”, and that in money matters, Madagascar claims Independence for its Institute resignation.
    Didier Ratsiraka describes his mission, which deals with the presentation of “the orientation of our foreign policy in general and the revision of the so-called agreements of cooperation with France in particular”. It begins with President Nyerere’s “historic words”, delivered at the Arusha Declaration. “We have been severely oppressed, widely exploited, long humiliated. This is due to our weakness. Now we want a revolution that will put an end to this weakness so that we are no longer oppressed, exploited, despised. “
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs continues on the necessity “of a revolution in our mentality, in our way of being, a political revolution so that such exploitation and contempt can never again arrive in Madagascar”. This will have to be reflected in the country’s foreign policy.
    According to him, it must be based on the best interests of the nation, territorial integrity, national unity and independence. “This foreign policy tends, in the first place, to safeguard our unity, to defend our interests. It also tends to preserve our independence and our freedom, our free will, our autonomy of decision in all fields. It tends, finally, to preserve peace and justice when the opportunity arises. “
    However, this political, economic and cultural independence does not mean
    self. Madagascar is poor and its development requires it to cooperate with third countries, neighbors, African, European, Asian or American partners. But it will always be the only one to adopt a major decision concerning it, in order to freely organize its policy and its economy.
    “Without being imposed from the outside,” comments Georges Ramamonjisoa.
    Didier Ratsiraka said: “Far from being confined within its borders, far from being absorbed in any political bloc, in any ideological plan, Madagascar deliberately opens itself outwards, provided that the countries with which it has Of relations, are willing to accept the five principles of peaceful coexistence. Some people spread the report of the disappointment of the Minister of Foreign Affairs during his visits to the communist capitals. It is not so. To be disappointed, you had to wait a lot. “
    Lastly, Minister Didier Ratsiraka announced that “in order to solve the immediate financial problems and the lack of conciliatory attitude of some countries of the western camp to grant a loan, Madagascar must turn to the countries of East and Asia, in particular China !”


    “At Ambohimanga, I reign; In Antananarivo, I conquer; In Ambohipo, I reside. It is thus that Andrianampoinimerina defines the place occupied by his palaces in his heart.
    When the work of reunification of the Imerina is accomplished, the great conqueror thinks of asserting his sovereignty over the lands of the kings he has just defeated, while protecting Antananarivo against possible attacks coming from the distant lands of the Coast. He then built Rova and Lapa on the Twelve Hills, symbols of the Imerina, by the populations of these ancient fiefs.
    As for the construction of the palaces of Ambohimanga and Antananarivo, it requires the participation of all the Imerina. Moreover, only the royal families residing in these two Rova receive the sacred tribute of the “volavita”, an ox marked with white spots on the forehead, back, tail and legs, offered to the sovereign by his subjects.
    Moreover, most of these Twelve hills are not established in the seigniory even though Andrianampoinimerina installs women and children there, but the government comes directly from him, for power is not a child affair, “tsy an-jaza ny Fanjakana “.
    In the peripheral provinces of Imerina already pacified, only Andriantsoba, Lord of Vonizongo, Andriantsileondrafy of Vakinankaratra, Ralainanahary of Kaloy and Andriamary of Vakinambifotsy are entitled to the “Tranomanara”, small wooden box high on the tomb of some noble castes. It is called a “cold house” because the fire is never lit.
    However, after consultation with his people, Andrianampoinimerina installs one on the tomb of Rangorivahiny, wife hova of his grandfather Andriambelomasina. Tomb he had erected south of Ambohimanga.
    After the Twelve Hills, the King built other palaces for him, of course, and for his favorite son Laidama. For his own person, he ordered the construction of two palaces called
    Soavimasoandro between the country of Antehiroka and that of Tsimiamboholahy, and Ambohipo (nimerina). These are high-rise holiday palaces in soothing settings. Soavimasoandro, the palace blessed by the sun is erected on an islet surrounded by marshes. Belahasa and Rabehoraisina are appointed in his custody.
    In Ambohipo, he built a palace of relaxation, a kind of hunting lodge, which he called Miandrivola. As a sovereign, it is there that he awaits the arrival of all the taxes, taxes … coming from the four corners of his kingdom. Three men are in charge of its care and maintenance: Rahaingo, Ralaifidy and Randriankoto.
    In Laidama, it offers two palaces.
    After having displaced the inhabitants of the place, the Tsimilefa, he orders that one builds near the lake of Mandroseza a construction which it denominates Mahazoarivo itself. For, he says, “to Laidama the thousand, to him the throne.” And it is said that whenever he comes, the young prince always brings two pennants, Mahazotany since to him is the land and Mahazovola because to him is the money.
    When the bearded (his brother Ramavolahy) sees this palace, he asks his father permission to build a house not far from Mahazoarivo, in Ankadiaivo. He baptizes her Ivanja (powder).
    There he united his supporters, the dissatisfied with the regime.
    Next to Mahazoarivo, on a site offered by the Mainty and guards of the Royal Palace located in Ambatomena, another pavilion is still built for Laidama: Tsiazompaniry that no person who covets it, can not get.
    Later, when he reached the throne, Radama enlarges the two pavilions so that they become one. One night, unfortunately, while he is asleep there, the whole thing catches fire. General agitation: the king can not be found. Living Death It is called. It takes some time for him to be heard hailing from afar, on the other shore of the lake which he swam across for more precaution. For the floor served him as an armory where he kept weapons, ammunition, barrels of powder. In any case, of all these wooden palaces, few have remained standing and have resisted the vicissitudes of the years, Of the time, to the acts of the criminals, through interviews, repairs, restorations.